1753: Ambrose Vincent to Hugh Hall Wentworth

This letter was written by Ambrose Vincent, Jr.  (1713-1800), a merchant of Boston, Massachusetts.

Hugh Hall Wentworth (1740-1774), son of John and Sarah Hall Wentworth, was a merchant in Portsmouth with interest in shipping. He was a partner in the firm of Davenport and Wentworth, trading with agents in Boston, New York, Antigua, London, Jamaica, and other port cities. The firm changed to Montgomery and Wentworth when Davenport sold his stock in 1766.

The Quincy brothers mentioned in this letter may have been Edmund (“Ned”) Quincy (1726-1782) and Henry Quincy (1727-1780), the sons of Edmund Quincy (1703-1788) and Elizabeth Wendell (1704-1869.

Addressed to Mr. Hugh Hall Wentworth, Merchant, at Portsmouth

Boston [Massachusetts]
July 30, 1753

Mr. Hugh Hall Wentworth

I’m favored with yours of 20th instant and note you desire the lumber by first vessel. You’ll mind to get it freighted as low as possible and to be paid in your currency.

As to Mr. Quincy, I am amazed at his behavior. There is not a shred of truth in what he has told you. The whole affair is as follows:

Henry Quincy came to me and asked if I wanted any West Indies rum for that he wanted money and could sell reasonable. I told him I had no money to spare but if other Government money would suit and we could agree, I would buy some. He answered he wanted 1500 S — other Government’s money to send his Brother Ned by the Post. I told him I had got about 1100 S. by me, and if it would be agreeable to him to take Mr. Fruill’s debt on his brother for 300.107, I would take 1500. worth & he answered me that it would be agreeable to him and that I should have the rum at 29 S per gallon your currency which I thought too much, however, I was determined to give that price if I could not get it under, and he desired I would call at his house and he would let me know the lowest. Accordingly I called on him and his answer was he could get 1500 of Mr. Gould on better terms and did not choose to let the rum go. Now if it had not been for Ned’s note with Henry of his own accord promised to take, I should have had the rum, but I’m fully convinced he did not care to discount Ned’s note, notwithstanding twas his own offer, for they love to be in debt as long as they can.

I’ve since received yours ____ with Henry Quincy and told him he had behaved very basely in the affair & should [page creased] … ever he wrote to his brother that I offered the note for sale to him or anybody else and says he only wrote him that he thot Mr. Fruill was in his debt and wandered he should accept ____. In short, they are people that have no regard to what they say.

I never offered the draft for sale to any person whatever, not ever mentioned to anyone ( ______ Henry Quincy) a word directly or indirectly about it, and my mentioning it to him in the manner as above was very natural and what you and any man living in that case would have done, and as their behavior in the affair is so base, charging me with offering the note for sale (which is absolutely false) I desire & insist you get the money of him forthwith.

Henry tells me has sent his brother 1200 S — our currency and 1200 yours & will write him to pay the draft immediately. I wish he may comply but don’t expect it. Observe there is a gentleman that will pay thirty pounds on ___ Deacon Willson’s draft on Williams. I don’t think your receiving it in person will prevent the Deacon’s being liable for the ____ but pray if Williams is with you, why don’t you oblige him to pay the whole.

My compliments to [paper creased] from your most humble servant, — Ambrose Vincent


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