This letter was written by Willis R. Bradley (1822-1881), a lawyer residing in Mayfield, Graves County, Kentucky. Willis was the son of Samuel D. Bradley (1772-1825) and Catherine R. Campbell (1784-1839). Willis was married to Ann E. Rogers.
This letter appears to be addressed to C. H. Dallam of Princeton, Kentucky though I cannot find anyone by that name. There was a Charles B. Dallam of that period who worked as an attorney in Princeton and I suspect it was him. The letter concerns a dispute regarding the mode of calculating interest on a note. The “Dr. Dallam” referred to in the letter was probably Dr. Francis R. Dallam (1790-Aft1866) who lived in Mayfield, KY. He was married to Arabella Mitchell but widowed before 1848 and had several adult children in 1860.
Addressed to C. H. Dallam, Princeton, Kentucky
December 31, 1846
C. H. Dallam, Esq.
I am in receipt of your favor the 5th inst & in reply to the _____ I would say that I have gotten your business here arranged with Dr. Dallam. There was some difference between Dr. Dallam & myself as to the mode of computing interest & then sums also to become between you & myself but I took the bond for the entire amount of principle, interest, costs half commission & 50 cents for the bond amounting in the whole to the sum of $165.19 cents & then on the back of the bond I entered the credit of $38.14 & dated the credit back to the 10th of July, 1841. So if your mode of computing interest is correct when the bond falls die, then your mode can be adopted, but I am of the opinion that your mode of computing interest is incorrect. From the law referenced by you in your letter, I make the calculation thus. Calculate the interest on the principle to the time when the credit was given, if the credit be greater than the interest, take the interest from the credit & the remainder of the credit from the principle. But if the interest be greater than the credit, take the credit from the interest, then add the interest on the principle to the time of payment, and then the principle in the last ____ & the remainder of interest after subtracting the credit together. By this mode of calculation, I make (from the acts in your letter) the interest & principle of the Drs debt $114 after deducting the credit – some $14 more than the Dr. makes it and some $9.00 less than you do. The above is the way the interest was understood to calculated at the time the bond was given, but, as stated above, when the bond falls due, if you are still of the opinion that that your mode of computing interest is correct, then we will collect it in that way.
The Doctor got very fractious about the winding up of the matter & at one time exclaimed that he would not settle according to the way I calculated the interest & went so far as to call upon God to Damn his sole if he ______ it, & when I mentioned your letter & the mode of calculation of [interest] stated [within it], he seemed still more fractious than ever. But I eventually got him into it & I thought it the better plan from the fact that the property that I had _____ upon & such as he had besides (except the negroes) was such that but ____ would be disposed to bid for, & in this way it would work not only an injury to him but to you also if it should not bring your debt.
I have also credited the bond with my fee, & he is also to settle the sheriff’s & clerk’s fees as directed by you. His security is perfectly solvent & is a man that is not in debt nor ever was in debt so I think it is perfectly safe.
I stated above that Dr. used some rough language for a Christian this is certainly true for I got it from two respectable gentlemen, but you need say nothing about it as coming from me, & I guess the church will do nothing with him about it, even if they find it out, but will regard it as a lapse in language. And I also should not care for him to know that I knew it as I believe the gentlemen who heard him use the expression are rather keeping it as a secret.
I feel in hopes that the manner in which I have done your business will meet your approbation. I am still your friend &c, — W. R. Bradley