Thursday, August 21, 2014

CJ (#36) Clear Gone 1687

The letters of William Fitzhugh (FI-1) record a series of events in his personal dealing with our Cadwallader Jones (JO-1).  A letter dated "February 18th. 1687" written "To the Honourable Nicholas Spencer" (SPE-1) is as follows:

"Honoured Sir
          The first day of February I receiv'd your's dated 15th. January about Collo. Jones (JO-1) his affairs, I immediately upon the receipt thereof dispatched a Messenger away to him to come to my house, where I apprehended I should have the freer & fuller opportunity, to discourse him in it, & to persuade him to the payment of it, which letter her answer'd me with his company about five days after,"
                    [This would place this encounter around the 20th of January 1687.]

 The letter continues:  "which was as soon as he came home from Gloucester, where he had not only account of, but Dunns for several Sums of the like nature protested.  I used both my Interest & persuasion, to get him to pay in Tobo. for the money, & agreed to allow him ten shilling (symbol) Cent, & remit the damages, which he seemed willingly to approve of, & would he said use his endeavor to procure that Tobo., & what Tobo. he owed me, which was about five thousand, for his own Crops were already disposed of, in paying Neighbouring Debts, & supplying his family's necessary, & with such intentions & some assurances he went from my house, & promised to be with me again within four days at fartherst, & did not question to bring me a satisfactory answer,"

                   [Neighboring debts and the need of the family was listed as priority.]

The letter continues:  "he was punctual to his word as to his coming, but with tears in his eyes said, he could not possibly answer either yours or mine, for he said he had neither Tobo. nor effects to procure it.  I offered to buy two or three Negroes of him, he assured me they were already made over to the Alderman & his Ship merchants to whom he hath not yet paid one penny, and therefore that way there was nothing to be expected."

                [Lots of debt and no way to the end of 1686.]

"And I hear since, that night he went away from my house, he went into Maryland & so conclude he is clear gone."

       [Wow..."clear gone" into Maryland.  Cadwallader had prior connections and business 
                              contacts here.  There are other factors involved as well.]

The letter concludes: "Thus Sir I have stated the Case, & given you my Sentiments of the man; I refer to your self to take such measures therein, as may be to advantage his Estate is so shattered & incumber'd with Mortgages Conveyances &c. & his debts so many & great that without a very sudden Course taken it will be impossible ever to recover one penny.  If I can be any ways serviceable to you therein, I shall most acceptably & willingly receive your Commands, & diligently therein manifest myself to be  Your  W.ff "

This letter would indicate that our Cadwallader was deeply in debt to a variety of folks, and it was around January 20, 1687 that he left Virginia and began his flight into Maryland.  It also documents that a family was present.  Much...much...more to come!

The Fitzhugh Letters and Other Documents can be found in "William Fitzhugh and His Chesapeake World 1676 - 1701, Ed. Richard Beale Davis, The University of North Carolina Press, 1963.  This letter found on  pp. 209-210.

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