Revolutionary War

All Categories Revolutionary War Revolutionary War Letter of Debts Owed

Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War Letter of Debts Owed - 1783

A fine content Autograph Letter Signed by Philadelphia merchant, William Nichols (3pp, 4to, Philadelphia, 3 February 1783) to Thomas Smith (1745-1809) of Carlisle, Pennsylvania concerning debts owed to him at the end of the Revolutionary War. As news of peace trickled in, Nichols decided to call in some ling-time debts owed to him by some of Smith’s neighbors in western Pennsylvania. In light of the long-running conflict between eastern and western Pennsylvania, one could imagine that Nichols’ actions did not endear him to anyone among the western settlers. In full:

Philada. 23d January 1783

Dear Sir

        I am to request you will be so Obliging as to recover three small Debts that are due me from three Gentlemen of your County, their Names are Capt. Alexander Parker Mr. Alexander McKechen and a Mr. John Davidson of Shurmans Valley who Colonel Davis recommended to me.
        I am sorry to take this method of Getting my Money but the length of time it is due obliges me, perhaps when they find me Determined to have what is justly and so long due me, they will save the Trouble of Bringing an Action against them.
        At Bottom you will find the Different sums they owe to me as well as their accts.  Inclosed which you will please to be Governed by if it is possible to get the Money from them without Sueing them I would much rather get it that way   it is really Disagreeable to me to Sue any person particularly those who have Dealth with me – but Sir the Sooner You get the money the Greater Obligations your Sincere Friend and Much Obliged Humble Servant will be under to you

             W. Nichols

Capt. Parker       £ 29.10.-
Mr. McKechen        27.3.3
Mr. Davidson         14.4.11½
                         £ 70.18. 2½

        Since I wrote this letter I have been informed of a Capt Robt Elliott, living in Bedford (a Tavern keeper in that place) who Owes me since Decr. 1780  £  30.10.2½ which I must beg you will Sue for & recover, there is also a Mr. Alex McKibbins of your place please to get from him £  5.15 for goods he bought and went Out of Town without paying for them.

                I am Sir Your Friend,
                          W. Nichols

Repairs to weak folds, ink spill on first leaf with some ink erosion at margin, else very good condition.


* THOMAS SMITH (1745-1809) was a politician and jurist from Pennsylvania. Smith began practicing as a lawyer in 1772. He became a deputy register of wills and prothonotary in 1773, and a justice of the peace in 1774.

When the Revolutionary War broke out, Smith served as a deputy colonel of militia. He was a delegate to Pennsylvania’s constitutional convention in 1776, and elected as a member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1776 until 1780. Smith was then chosen to be a delegate to the Continental Congress from 1781 to 1782. He was later a judge of the court of common pleas in 1791, and finally on the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from 1794 until 1809.


All Vintage Memorabilia autographs are unconditionally guaranteed to be genuine. This guarantee applies to refund of the purchase price, and is without time limit to the original purchaser. A written and signed Guarantee to that effect accompanies each item we sell.