March 5, 1814
I hope this letter finds you in good health and spirits. Everyone here is in good health. You know, poor hand that I am at it, I would never take to write you were it not of some important matter. As you know your father left some time past for Germany, leaving the business in the hands of your mother and I. Thomas has took a clerk position in Shoreditch and they has a fine, healthy baby boy, which keeps most of his time occupied. Which brings me to the problem.
Your mother, good hearted soul that she is, is to soft hearted in extending credit and insisting on payment. You remember Lord Hathcock's young son Bradford? Well as soon as his old Father passed he ordered a top of the line carriage- and a finer coach we have never put to wheels. Now he spends all of his time running about town playing the rake- even has a livery dressed in silk more colorful than a dancing monkey- but we have yet to see payment beyond that which he put down to begin with. When pressed for payment he comes up with a story about having trouble collecting from his tenants and we will be paid as soon as they are settled. Yet he has the money to dress his livery in silk and be about town all evening? And now two of his young rake friends has put in carriage orders also.
Now James you have known me since you was small and we are as close to family as people can get without being blood kin. I have tried to speak with your brother about this, but he is occupied with other affairs. I do not want to overstep my position or offend your mother, but she does not take my advice on insisting on payment when payment is due. I am feared we may be in ruin before your father returns. If you could write to her and encourage her to allow me to take charge of debts and payments I am sure I could soon set matters straight. Please do so as soon as you may be able. Hopefully this war will end soon and you can have liberty to come home.
yr, Obt. Svt,