Smithfield Preston Foundation
Papers, 1784-1881, n.d., Ms1997-002
June 23, 1845 -- letter from Thomas Lewis Preston in Huntsville, Alabama to William Cambell Preston in Columbia, South Carolina
Huntsville Ala: June 23rd/45
My dear Brother
I promised myself to write to you from here and when I first came I thought it would be very important that I should do so. Things however have taken a change and the dangers I once was apprehensive of, have in some measure past away. On my arrival I presummed there would be a not harch falling out between Dr. McCall and I, and an entire seperation. I expected him to assume grounds and attempt to maintain them, which on our part could not be admitted, and as I had caught him in meanness and falsehood I supposed he would try to bully it through. This indeed seemed to be his purpose at first, but finding it would not do, he grew conciliating and we have got on without serious difficulty. I mentioned to you my suspicions about the 16000 Bushels saolt he was to have transferred to us in Market. My suspicions were rather confirmed and I found that the money he paid me last spring on account of sales of this 16000 Bus. and ---- to have been collected for J. S. Preston and had in reality heen collected in his own ---- and the sums apportioned to the different points to suit his own convenience. On making this discovery I was tempted to reject the whole transaction and hold him responsible for the amount in money. But this involved a lawsuit and a deferring of the payment, and as it was viewed by me only as a business transaction, I have deemed it best to compromise the matter and make him supply the deficiency of salt. We have had some rough talk and though we transact business without difficulty I keep myself from any other intercourse with him. He feels that all confidence in him is gone and that he will be made to stick to the contract.
I have notified all the agents that the last shipment belonged to J.S. Preston and Co. and that we would hold them responsible for the proceeds. This ties up the matter for the present, and will afford us apportunity for consultation. It is of great moment that this consultation should be had as soon as possible and I hope you will come to Abingdon as soon as you conveniently can. I shall try and get the material for a pretty full report of the market and its condition and thus make an expose of the prospects of the business. Thus far they strike me as very gloomy, and I feel anxious about results.
I have met with kindness and attention here and indeed have been favorably received along the whole time. By this time I trust brother John and Margaret with their families are in Abingdon. Col. Player and wife left Nashville some days ago for Virginia. They are there by this time. I leave here in the mourning, but as I visit most of the agencies on the river it will require nearly three weeks to ---- home. I will stay 2 days at the mouth of Hiwassee and try and dispose of our land there. I wish also to look into that man Kellego Feory. It is very important for me to raise money, and I must make the effort to do so by some proper means. If it is practicable do come soon to Abingdon. Give my love to sister Penelope and believe me
your truly affectionate
brother Thomas L. Preston
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