Longest ask for a loan ever
July 11, 1807
Isaac Humphreys was 42 years old when this was written.
The recipient, Governor Joseph Bloomfield, was 53 when it was received.
Isaac Humphreys died 42 years, 10 months, 22 days after writing this.
It was written 215 years, 8 months, 18 days ago.
It was a Saturday.
11 July 1807
For years past, I have been accustomed to feel particular pleasure when I took up my pen to address you. My present sensations are of a different kind.
On the 5th June, we all arrived safe at Pittsburg. The river was falling and I found it impossible to procure a passage for my horse in the steamboat with my family, which placed me under the disagreeable necessity of going home by land, but not until I had procured a passage for my family on board a boat belonging to a Mr. Andrews of Limestone, Kentucky, and who engaged to put them as far as here. A Mrs. Findley—the wife of a gentlemen of respectability—was going down in the same boat, & some arrangements were made for the ladies accommodation for which I paid Mr. Andrews.
On Friday the 6th at noon, I left Pittsburg & they were to follow me on Sunday morning. They could have reached this in three days, so I had reason to expect them on Tuesday evening next after parting them. Boats passed me without number for many days; my station was the bank of the river opposite my farm upon which I hailed 10-20 & sometimes more boats in a day—most from Pittsburgh, but could receive no intelligence respecting them. The Post Office was duly attended but no letters until the 8th of June when Mrs. Humphreys informed me by post that some accident prevented Mr. Andrews from setting out as soon as he expected, but that he had procured a passage for her & the children in another boat. Her baggage was sent down to the boat and she went down to the waterside for the purpose of coming down, but it was a family boat and she ordered her luggage back to the Hotel, where, after a stay of some days, she wrote to me directing me to come for her as she would not think of coming by water and informed that my son was unwell. Three days after I received that letter, another on the 4th of July came to hand informing me that my darling boy was dangerously ill of a bilious fever as this is a disorder of the most active kind. I waited until the next mail arrived for further advice, but received none.
This morning I write by candle light. I leave for Pittsburgh in quest of them. This measure would have been adopted in the long interval between the 6th ultimo & the 5th instant but I feared they might pass me in the night, or even in the day as the road does not keep close to the river. I wrote to Mr. Lane, or Spencer of Pittsburg for information, respecting them, to Major Sprigs of Wheeling to make inquiry, & write to me by post.
The person who kept house for me left me four weeks this day. Since that time I have had no servant. This measure was in conformity to Mrs. Humphreys’ orders. Tis unnecessary to describe my situation; my feelings, Sir, I cannot describe.
Under those unpleasant circumstances, it would seem as if there could not be a great addition, but from my arrangements, I am left present without money sufficient to go to Pittsburgh and pay the expenses accrued there during this painful & unnecessary delay.
The liberty I have taken is too great. It is most sensibly felt, but a recollection of former favors conferred on me, induced me, from the great necessity I am under of drawing on you for one hundred & fifty dollars, in care of Dudley Woodbridge, Junior, Esq.—a liberty which no circumstance shall ever induce me to repeat.
Provision shall be made and the money transmitted by the 5th October next, and be assured, Sir, that your honoring this draft will be considered as a very particular favor conferred on—your most obedient, & very humble servant,