Ms. 1714

Fredk. 21 Sept 1785


 I received your letter of the 10th Inst five Days after it's Date and the next Day had an opportunity of showing it to Mr Lee he had very lately been to see Mr Rumsay and was Spectator of several successful Blasts - Rumsay had discharged several disorderly Fellows and had but one left that he was any way desirous of getting rid of he had than about twenty Hands Mr Lee says the Man seemed to work with spirit and the Difficulties appear less in the Progress of the work than were expected it seems they only want more Strength

 We both think it desirable to hire Negroes as well as purchase Servants but imagine very few can be got in this State perhaps indeed they cannot be removed from hence on the Virginia Side of the Great Falls with propriety we think your supply must be altogether from Virginia and we are altogether unacquainted with the common Terms we both must and are willing to submit this Point to yourself and the other Gent. as you are so much better informed than we are we think their Labour will be more valuable than that of common white Hirelings As to the Number there's no other check as we see but the Employment for them in winter your and the other Gent.s View of the Great Falls will have enabled you to fall in with my Ideas as to beginning the Cut there or induce you to correct my Guesses if we should go on I imagine we might find Employment for 100 Hands perhaps more amongst the Servants I think it would be well to have four Smiths some Carpenters and a wheel right or two as the season is fast approaching in which we must resolve whether to do anything this winter or not I had determined to meet you at Seneca today and to have gone with you to the Great Falls Tomorrow but last night I received a pressing Message to go to Annapolis I therefore gave up so much of my Design as to seeing the Great Falls abd a very rainy Day prevents my Meeting you at Seneca to remedy it as far as my Situation will allow though I would prefer half an Hours Conversation on the subject to all I can write a day I have amused myself with writing my Ideas on the Canal and Locks in detail and making Calculations of the Expense which indeed surprizes me for it's smallness in the Amount though I do not see where to add to bring it nearer my former Conjectures I inclose then to you my Intention must be their Recommendation I propose to myself the pleasure of seeing you before long.

The Butcher who was to have supplied Mr Stewards party would not enter into the Compact on my Return without being ascertained there should be 30 Rations issued I told him there was a probability of more instead of less and prevailed on him to take a letter from me to Mrs Steward he set off with it but came back without going near Steward or coming to me on his Return I was unwell and knew nothing of this B____ for a week or ten Days afterwards I fear Mr Steward has been equally dissapointed about Boats Colo Clapham has been ill and as has been common with us this Season has had a great proportion of his people sick he has been obliged to take his own people out of his Crop for he could not hire Hands I dare say he is as much chagrined at the delay as Mr Steward for no Body is more friendly to the Success of the work than he is

 I am Sir
your most obedient Servant
Th. Johnson

2 recipe books: the first from 1805-1811, the second date unknown, MHS guesses 1714

Diary of Margaret R. Graham, around 1847

"Uncle Joshua's saw mill burnt down Sept. 22, 1847"

"Margaret R. Graham left the house on the 30th of March"
She travels around Maryland and Virginia, staying with friends and family members, including Col. McPherson, Mr. Worthington Johnson, Uncle Joshua, Cousin WJ, Miss Mary Beall and CWJ

"where oh where shall we go? poor wanderers of a stormy way with out a home home home"

mentions letter from T. Johnson in Allegany County and one from her son T J Grahame

visit to Dr. Johnson's family and Mrs. Wooton

says that Louisa and the children arrived on Sunday

Draft of a letter from Thomas Johnson:


I reced your two letters yesterday having previously wrote to you - You know my Thoughts as to removing the Seat of Government from Annapolis for more than twenty years and that for Reasons which need not be repeated I have always been against it: I have latterly however feared that Necessity would compel a removal to avoid Starvation - It seems now from your Letters that the British sailing up or down the Bay makes a temporary change of Desire as to a temporary removal of the Offices to Frederick it is a Matter of too much Consequence to the public to have our Records and Offices out of the wash of the Enemy to allow the Wishes of the People of Annapolis to influence the Question in any degree - I do not want the Seat of Governmt even for a Time in Fredk it would have the same Consequence here as it has had in Annapolis - We have too much tavern politics already and if the Assembly was to sit here the Hammer and the Shuttle would be still whilst those who had better be plying them would be swallowing politics so that their Families would have no Food to swallow - People cannot live on windy politics - they would call themselves p___ indeed whilst they were begging little Offices which could not afford Bread we have enough of this Servility already amongst us whereas an Application to their private Affairs would produce independant and honourable Comfort - it would be poor - Necessity alone and choice that we reced the Offices and perhaps we shall be honoured too with the Company of Congress But the deep politicians of Annapolis if their View is to continue the Seat of Govt. at Annapolis seem to me to mistake the Means - that the War will continue the Summer through is certain and as much longer I think as Money and Men can be found to support it - the Annapolis politicians don't now expect that G.B. will be on his Marrow long before Christmas nor wish Peace till she is so reduced - to be serious - the work of Destruction will be let loose are not we using all our Means and will not they nothing but the Hope of an Accomodation has prevented that full Exertion which we may daily expect if Annapolis is not destroyed it will be from its Insignificance the Credit of driving the Assembly would be an Inducement and the same Motive as to the City of Washington will invite the Enemy there with the addition of the Navy Yard and Foxalls Foundary

Draft of another letter from Thomas Johnson:

Mr. Thompson

I am an old Man - my musket went off for Joy at the proclamation of peace in 1748 I should have been in the Service in the War of 1755 had not Advise prevailed over Inclination was a marching Militia Man in the Revolutionary War and had the Honour of being a Common Man before the Assumption of a more formal indept form of Governmt I rejoiced at the Acknowledgmt of our Independence and almost as much at the Adoption of the U.S. Constitution which as something like which could as I judged - under our Independ. lasting as Produce, Prosperity and Happiness I loved my Country aided by a f___ chearful Constitution of my Mite I have never hunted a place nor have I even wished one but have marked the ways of men and things as they passed Genl Washingtons being called to the presidency was p____ to my Mind no Body could mistake in that I was satisfied in Mr. Adams's Elevation not simply but in Comparison the 10 Years past and Things have been against my Wish After seventy eight Winters passing over my Head I think I have as fair pretentions to being W____th____ as the Boy had who said he had seen a hundred Christmas's As to Genl. Washington he is gone we may speak in his Praise without Offense to his Modesty Eulogy can hardly come up to what the Truth warrants and Detraction and Envy never can injure his memory the Fable of the Frog and the Ox ought to be remembered by all who set up to reveal him.

John Adams did two Things he joined Mr Jay and acted the true republican patroit in the Treaty when Doctr. Franklin had given into the Snares of the French Court he too with a Federal Congress justly got us clear of our Guarantee in the first Treaty with France and of Mr Jeffersons Consular Convention those who appreciate this Services either are not Americans in their Hearts or have Understandings much below Mediocrity But John Adams's Temper is unequal vain and rash and his Character [chequered or cheapened] he must p_____ on a New Year and himself if his Intellects have not declined

Mr Jefferson's Strength is in Intrigue he knows how to raise a Party nor is he nice in the Means or Strait in the Truth

(on the back of the paper)

Jefferson an Intreage
Adams did some good Things especially in getting rid of the Guarantee of the French _____ and the Consular Convention

Another draft, probably of the above letter:

Mr. Thompson

I rember something of the War which finished in 1748 when my musket joined in the Militia Ranks to make the Fire of Joy for peace I of Course knew more of the War of 1755 the Bustle of the Stamp Act the Opposition to the Collection of Duties imposed by Parliamt. The Meeting of Congress in Sept. 1774 the Revolution War the peace which followed and the adoption of the Federal Constitution and the Admin of it since you will truly conclude from hence that I am an old Man and have very little to do with the Affairs of the World as they cannot much concern me personally and insiderally I will add that I have never sought office F________ desired than that if such had been offered and accepted it would not have been from a love of them but from an Opinion framed as candid as I could that in the proposed situation I might be useful. this part you are to take on Credit as well as an Assurance that tho' I allow more Talents to many I should feel assured Shame if I thought any Man possessed a Heart more sincerely American than myself. I have notified down many Things which have passed and it is has been my Custom for sixty Years past to review them again a Custom far from useless in many Situation of Life I have _____ a little History too from whence I think I have ______ some Profit though the Pleasure has often been much lessened by a Suspicion that the Truth has been obscured in the Relation.

Not having the Advantages of a liberal Education and that you will see by this Address to you nor a Knowledge of any foreign language what Knowledge I have gained from Books is from English originally written or translated into that Language and yet I venture to lay some of my Observations and Acquisitions before my Country men for their Serious Consideration and I think myself as well intitled to this Indulgence as many who fill our papers with political Knowledge gained and given having green Advice given when they have scarce left their Schools.

It may be laid down as a general Rule that self Interest governs Nations without Exception as it does Individuals with very few Exceptions - I do not rember to have met with one Instance where unmixed Generosity has engaged the Succour of one Nation to protect another from unjust Oppression and there have been few Instances if any where one Nation has received and been benefitted by foreign Assistance but has been afterwards upbraided with Ingratitude

It is necessary in forming a just Estimate of G_____ting to distinguish between the People and their Govt It takes a long Time to form the Character of a Nation the Character of ours is not finshd the Blossoms it put forth under Washgs Admin are withered they have reced no Nourishment for 10 Years past. The Character of the Nations of Europe have been pretty well known for Ages

The Character of the French Nation is given in a Word by Rollin as the greediest Nation that ever was Rollin knew his own Countrymen as well as any Body and had all the predilection and prejudice in few men of his Country that any man ought to have - that Spirit has come down and governs to the present Day - there's little Change the great Monarch in the Time of Louis the 14. and the great Nation under every passing Authority to Napoleon has been a summary of Frenchmens Feelings

Philip who drew his own character in a few Words used to say that Children _____ to be amused with play Things and M______ Oaths his Conduct is acted over again (by)

another draft of a letter from Thomas Johnson:

When the Storm of the Revolutionary War was collecting and before it had burst upon us there was an Exhortation to the then Colonists not more remarkable pe its simplicity than its Wisdom - A Rattle Snake the appointed emblem of America was divided into bleeding pieces - The Motto "Unite or Die"

The Congress of the 4th Sept. 1774 composed intirely of native born Americans acted under this the sufferance of this Principle - And their Writings and Proceedings will be far from disgraced in a Comparison with the political Manuovres and bombastic Writings of the Success of Washington, he acted on the same Noble Principles he set out on 'till his Death - every Body is acquainted with his Efforts and Success as a Soldier and saw general Prosperity spring up on the Way of his dignified War under his Civil Admin as our Chief Magistrate. A.

The Reason of the mighty Change is obvious to the Eye of Reson - Truth Justice and Sincerity make the only stable foundation of good and prosperous Governments - people write best when they feel most but though learning has become much more disseminated and common hypocritical Professions - Bombast sophistical reasoning and delusive Promises are substituted as the support of a wretched Governmt whose narrow Mind is constantly racked for Expedients instead of forming and carrying still higher the Edifice on the strong pillars of Truth Sincerity and Justice - how are we fallen! how disgraced. "are we not in the high Road of Ruin?" Does not the dreadful Gulf on which we almost touch threaten to swallow up our Substance and Population + our Liberty?

I believe no Instance can be proud of a Peoples prospering and flourishing under the Domination of a foreign Power we seem to be almost levelled to the condition of a conquered People not an American born who has the Qualifications necessary for a Secretary of the Treasury! not enough of them to fill up the Number of Ambassador as the Counts in Europe - What foul Wind landed these hungry Emigrants on our profitable Shores did they come amongst us to increase our Prosperity or their own the Primary Object is fully answered - they came to better their scanty Means of living and they have grown sick - they possess places and power and Opportunities of growing still sicker and are suspected nay accused of not only not neglecting but making and improving Opportunities to grow sicker - and what should hinder they came to invite themselves at the Expense of Sh_____ and cannot be supposed to have the feelings of those who drew their first nourishment from the Breasts of this their native Country. What Folly to look for an American Heart in a foreign Breast - there never will be a truly sound one found there We have and it is much to be lamented too many native Americans where instead of the American heart a bagg of gross Humours it's place The highest Authority informs us that a "Tree shall be known by it's fruit" and it is nearly as certain that a Man is to be known by his Company - look at that chosen by our Executive

I have before said that I have not heard of a prosperous People under a foreign Domination is not our Condition in Effect such - The fault is in the heart it is folly to set a Course of 12 or 13 Years constant Blunders all tending to weaken and __________ the US and destroy its' guaranteed Liberty to the Amount of Folly and Weakness the Conduct is ___________ and foreigners are most to be depended on to go every length in so nefarious a project

It may be thought by some Men of honest Minds and short Vision that these Ideas of Danger are groundlessly grounded by a ____atic Temper and disordered Mind I intreat ______ (to)

another draft of a letter by Thomas Johnson:

to Mr. Lee
not sent

March 1813

My anxiety my dear Sir cannot be expressed for the Event of the approaching Elections in Virga and Carolina I feel more and more convinced that Peare or a continua of this disastrous hinges on them: the Mediation of Russia and the Disposition for Pear weigh nothing with me as soon as the people are cheated out of ther Votes we shall probably hear that those Elections evidence the general Sentiment for War - I am so from giving Credit to Professions that I believe the Resolution of the Executive the Heads of Departmts and the organized Corps in Congress will persist as long as they can get Money or Credit and that they had rather stand uppermost on the Ruins of their Country than what to save it - There appears to me no Way to save our Country but by witholding the Means of Supporting it even that as far as the well organized Congress could give up has given up deluded People! Ad blind folded to Destruction though warned of the precipice cursed be Intrigue and cursed be the Obstinacy of Party. How should I rejoice to hear that Virginia had resumed her Dignity and was again animated with the Spirit of those who sleep in Peace - she still has many Sons of Honour Wisdom and Patriotism but as a State she seems bound by the Snares of a cursed _____ - What has become of Mr. Giles's Observation that the People are by instinct opposed to Taxes - if you have the Means do my dear Sir supply an aching Heart with a Drop of Comfort or does it lie only in ceasing to think

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