This letter was written by John Dean Gardner (1799-1869), the son of John Gardner (1772-18xx) and Deborah Dean (1775-1860) of Exeter, New Hampshire. Deborah was the daughter of Ward Clark Dean (1747-1828) and Elizabeth Hill.
John D. Gardner married Susan N. Dicks of Portland, Maine, in 1824. Susan was the daughter of Capt. John Dicks (1766-1830) and his wife Ann (or Nancy) Stimpson (1771-1872). Capt. Dicks, a native of Scotland, came to America about 179o and settled in Portland, Maine. He became the captain of a trading vessel in 1793. He also became the owner of a number of vessels and acquired a lot of real estate in Portland. He lost his life at sea in 1830.
There is an interesting article about John D. Gardner appearing in The New England Journal of Medicine, Vol. 14. in which his experience with Grahamism is described.
Addressed to John Gardner, Esqr., Care of Messers. John Gardner & Son, Exeter, New Hampshire
November 10th 1826
For a long time I have ___ of your kind favoring to reply to . A short time since I received a letter from my kind Mother inclosing Mr. Thomas Harding’s letter, the subject of which was Bro. Williams leaving Mr. Harding when at his twentieth year, all of which has had my attention and I have already written William on the subject my opinions relative to the course for him to pursue. I have already named to the family that on a former occasion, I had made some talk with a man named Maj. Day relative to Bro. William being employed by him in his Tan Yard &c. &c. Since the receipt of the above named letter, I have called on the Major who says he has changed his plan for future business and intends to sell or let his land and does not intend to carry on the trade of Tanning. Therefore, an arrangement cannot be made with him. I have informed William of that fact and also that I shall be making exertions to obtain for him a situation. My letter to William in amount is this, “I shall not say that Mr. Harding’s demand is too high for his time for one year as I am not a proper judge. As William wants more schooling &c. &c., therefore, I have recommended that he leave for that purpose this winter, for which time Mr. Harding would be moderate. Then, should no good chance appear, return and finish his time in the spring. Should something better present before spring, then make the best bargain he can with Harding. As William has behaved so well since being in Haverhill, I do sincerely think you ought to assist and sanction his reasonable requests — and for him to leave for this winter is quite reasonable, if he is deserving of going to school. Should I hear of anything to his advantage, I will write you.
Another subject now presents itself. When I was about to commence business, you will recollect that you and Uncle John Dean gave William Ladd, Esqr. a letter of guarantee on my account for $3,000 — for three years. That time expired one year since. My wish is now (if consistent with your pleasure) that you do guarantee to William Ladd, Esqr. on my account the sum of $2500 to expire on the 31st of December 1827. A letter on half a sheet inclosed in your reply to this similar to what you signed before will be sufficient should you conclude to grant my request and I wish you to reply in the course of 10 days. My reason for making the above request is as follows:
I have engaged to advance money on about $10,000 worth of beef, now packing. My allowance will be two-thirds its value and the advantage to me is that the property will be in my store and I shall sell it and derive a benefit of about 5 percent — equal to 4 or 500 dollars. Mr. Ladd is willing to assist me to the amount of $5,000 provided I secure to him $2,500 by property or your name and he will ask no security for the balance. Therefore, your granting my request will prevent my giving him mortgage on my property, which I do not wish to do as it must be recorded and the fact might be an injury to me. Since I saw you, my business has prospered to my mind and to the present, I am doing a large and safe business.
My vessels are all doing well and I have great reason to feel as if I was prospered beyond my expectations. My wife is well; also Capt. [John] Dicks family. Aunt & family are well. How long all the blessings are to continue is beyond the knowledge of man. We all know they cannot always continue. How do you get on with the new house? Presume you have done for the season. On receipt of this, please write me, and should you grant my request, direct part of the letter to Mr. Ladd.
Remember me to my dear Mother & Sister & Brothers, and believe me your affectionate son, — John D. Gardner