Col. Guy C. Irvine
From the personal collection of Sylvia Hasenkopf
Col. Guy C. Irvine
Greenville Jany 21st 1840
My esteemed and kind Friend,
After being detained very little by business - a little by indisposition - and much more by storms & winds, which were interrupted the mails several days, I arrived at Albany on the 9th Jany & paid as you will see by the inclosed $6032.86/100in Gold at West Farmers Bank which was very acceptable - In the panel marked "$2000" was a half sovereign over - in that marked "$1300" - $1000 - but in the one marked "$1066" - which we called only $1046 - they made only $1029.44/100 & in the one marked "$1700" - was just $1700 making the amt. first abovenamed: - For the balance which I requested our friend O to extend as far as consistent in these hard times, he accepted the Note sent by me, at "2 months & 15 days" from the 9th of Jany, which he said he would bring it round, at a time when it would be most desirable & most useful to the Bank; and although the time of the Loan originally was such as I am sure no man in this part of the country can obtain, he made this extension, in the same pleasant manner which you saw in March last, without a word or look indicating disappointment or dissatisfaction.
I returned home on the 12th , found my family in better health than when I left them - between two & three months since : since my return, the weather has been very cold & I have not been very well - have delayed writing until I could go to Catskill & see my old friend Judge Hutchinson who I mentioned to you, as the friend of of Olcutt & a capitalist, but who, I am sorry to find without any money, beyond his engagements & therefore despair of being able to effect the loan, which you spoke of for "12 months" in this part of the country, which I should be most happy to do, for various reasons.
Times are said to be improving but the Banks, having with much difficulty, just escaped a second suspension, will I imagine be very cautious as to the amt. & manner of business, which they do hereafter. Indeed, obtaining money now is a very different matter from what it was when I just had the pleasure of knowing you then our Catskill friends not so limited by Law, it is true, as now in their operations, thought I was doing them favor in enabling them to make long loans to my friend Irvine, for such a situation, as he gave them money, whereas they & other Institutions have now only to make selections of Paper, from the mess offered, even at a short time by those in their more immediate neighborhood - any by these friends & customers which makes them regard foreign applications differently, from former years.
I have given you kind & friendly offer much consideration: There is no man on Earth, who I would so soon be concerned with as the friend who I have known so long and so well; and nothing could make me so happy as to realize yearly even one half the result which you spoke of as this, should everything else fail, would enable me to take care of, in a respectable manner, those who have claims upon my attention & care: But, as I meet with nothing but disappointment here, I dare not even engage to pay the small sum which you were so kind as to mention at 1 Mar, as nothing could make me so unhappy as to make engagements which I might fail to meet - if those who owed me fail to pay - which is too possible - for out of about $3000 which I expected on my return, I find $50 & the balance in Protests - which is a pretty fair sample of my good fortune for sometime past.
I called upon Mr. Olcutt at his House on the evening of my return to Albany - described your late purchase, which he seemed to appreciate very fully; and although he, like most others, in these times, is averse to making engagements to pay money directly for Real Estate, I have very little doubt, from what he said, during our short interview, that he might be prevailed upon, either to loan himself, or effect Loans, for he has interest in some, I understand & influence in many other Institutions, yearly, at 5 & 7 Mos. from 1st March, were it to his interest to do so: But your proposition was so liberal, I cannot ask you to vary it: Indeed, in matters of business, I wish you to be guided solely by your interest towards me p not by the good feeling& friendship which during 12 years has known no change - and which is held in grateful remembrance! - My affairs in New York compel me to go there immediately - to be absent several weeks - possibly until the River opens.
I am always happy to hear from you & remain with best wishes for the property & happiness of yourself & those who are near to you.
Col. Guy C. Irvine
P.S. Please make my respects to Mr. J & W & your interesting
I find I have commenced my Letter on the wrong Page.
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