This letter was written by Francis Thornton (1795-1881), the son of Francis Thornton (b. 1760) and Sally Innes (b. 1776) of Fall Hill (near Fredericksburg), Stafford County, Virginia. Francis married Susan Beverley Wormeley (1793-1856) in 1820.
I believe the letter was sent to Murray Forbes (1782-1863) who was the son of Dr. David and Margaret Sterling Forbes, daughter of the Last Laird of Herbertshire.
[Addressed to Murray Forbes, Esq., Falmouth, Virginia]
October 17th 1844
I have just received your letter of the 8th ultimo with the check for 336.55. I received the check for the 600 which I though I had acknowledged. Also your letter directing me to draw on you at 3 days for 1000. The best I could do with such a bill was the loss of 15 dollars. I drew on you in favor of Mr. Patton who will send me a certificate of deposit on a check on Baltimore, Philadelphia or New York, and thus save me the loss. You say in your letter of today, “I send you this 336.55 which leaves in my hand only the 1000 for which you are authorized to draw.” The sum paid to you on the 11th and 15th of June last was 2611.32 cts, subtract = 500 = 75 = from it you lent me – interest and principle – leaving 2010 dollars 57. Subtract John for 50 dollars leaves 1960.57. You sent me 603 subtracted from the 1960.57 leaves 1357.57. The check now received subtracted leaves a balance of 21 dollars. Perhaps an order in favor of Mr. White of Fredericksburg. The amount I have forgotten covers his balance. Please let me know.
When I left K. F. for Virginia in January last, I owed 562 dollars. I had such assurances of closing my matter at law or by compromise that I assured my condition of payment. I thought I might safely calculate on it. I did on my return in May enter into improvements in addition to other obligations. I disliked to ask Clifton to assist me in obtaining the money and I induced other friends to do it, each of whom I have inconvenienced very much. And had I not been able to show clearly that I had the best reason to expect a different result, I should have been esteemed a scoundrel. This matter is now happily adjusted at a loss to me however of 17 dollars in addition to the offence given my patrons in selling their accounts at a discount, and many of them not due = at the time – all of which would have been avoided if I could have imagined a refusal to pay over the money. Please enclose to me the notes I sent you. If Mr. Ficklin has not returned, he has no more to do with the matter — none than the Pope.
I will turn from this subject to another that is just now cheering us. Mr. Cocke of Virginia and Edmond Randolph of New Orleans = the one a grandson of Edmond Randolph, the other married his grand-daughter (Miss Preston) – dined with us day before yesterday. Letters from London announce the death of Edmond Jennings – maternal Uncle of Edmond Randolph – leaving an estate of 4000000 of dollars. N. W. Hume, now in Parliament – a distinguished lawyer – is to settle up the estate. It is to be divided amongst the descendants of Edmond Randolph & Fanny Wormeley who married the sister of E. Randolph. Capt. R. R. Wormeley, Mrs. Norris, Mr. Cickson & my wife inherit from their mother. Mr. Taylor, Mr. Daniel, Mr. Preston & Edmond Randolph, son of Payton Randolph of Richmond from E. Randolph. Capt. Wormeley told m e that this Old Jennings supplied him the money to make the tour of Europe and frequently aided his Father. Why he should have cut off the Nicholas branch of the family is not known. I think this a more tangible matter than the Tunis fortune. Capt. Wormeley & Edmond Randolph will attend to the matter. We are in daily expectation of hearing from Capt. W who is in London. Mary & Elizabeth are well. Mr. Clayton has been in Virginia for some time. We expect him daily.
We are all well. Jinten going to Alabama in November to see my brother. Tunis has professed conviction and has united himself to the church. This is a _____ of great comfort to his friends. Remember me affectionately to my sister and your family, particularly to Murray and his dear wife. I am yours, very truly – Francis Thornton
P. S. I may lay my bones at the Old Falls yet.