From Henry Sheaff1
Philadelphia, February 10, 1798. “Mr Robert Morris by Art and address has nearly Ruined me.…2 I have paid Ten Thousand Dollars have yet to pay Seven Thousands.…3 It was suggested to me by applying to you, as Mr. Morris holds large quantity of Lands in your State,4 you have it in your power to put me on Some plan to Secure my Debt.… Any mode you can devise for me will be thankfully Received.…”
ALS, Hamilton Papers, Library of Congress.
1. Sheaff was a Philadelphia wine merchant.
2. Sheaff had endorsed notes for Morris, which were protested. For Morris’s unsuccessful efforts to settle this debt, see Morris to Sheaff, June 5, 19, July 11, 24, August 8, 15, 21, September 4. October 31, December 11, 28, 1797; January 25, 1798 (LC, Robert Morris Papers, Library of Congress).
3. In the summary of his various debts Robert Morris wrote: “Henry Sheaff. The balance at his credit is $7,684.30.
“Ledger C. Folio 118. It is but lately that I enter’d up his accounts, and struck the balance. I have not given him the statement, and he thinks the balance is much larger; and so I thought before entering up his accounts against me. Under that impression, he is included in the Genesee security to T[homas]. F[itzSimons]., J[oseph]. H[igbee]. & R[obert]. M[orris]. jun’r. I also assigned to him my claim on Henry Philips. Mr. Sheaff lent me his name; and the balance arising from the use of it forms his claim, which is therefore considered of the first class.” (Morris, In the Account of Property description begins Robert Morris, In the Account of Property (King & Baird, Printers, No. 9 Sansom Street [Philadelphia], n.d.). description ends , 54.) The “Ledger C,” to which Morris refers above, is located in the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.
4. For Morris’s original purchases in the Genesee country, see H to Morris, March 18, 1795, note 29. For Morris’s explanation of the disposition of these lands, see Morris, In the Account of Property description begins Robert Morris, In the Account of Property (King & Baird, Printers, No. 9 Sansom Street [Philadelphia], n.d.). description ends , 1–7.