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Robert Delap to John Adams

24 Feb. 1786

Sir Fleet Prison 24th. Feby 1786.

The number of years that have elapsed together with the various important objects that have engrossed your attention during that period have very possibly obliterated the remembrance of so insignificant a person as me; but cannot I flatter myself that of my late Father Mr Saml. Delap of Bourdeaux with whose house under the firm of S: & I: H Delap you have had considerable connexions during the american War.—Presuming therefore in the reciprocal respect that always subsisted between you I humbly take leave to solicit your assistance in the unhappy Situation to which I am fallen.

Not to trespass on your time Sir, it will be sufficient to inform you that notwithstanding the Known extensive property of our house thro’ the unforseen Misfortunes of it’s connexions it has become Bankrupt; and in it all my fortune is involved—the consequence of which has been that after struggling with inexpressible difficulties, I have been arrested, and thrown into the Fleet Prison, where I am at this time confined, overwhelmed with every accumulation of Want and Distress, fatally experiencing the frowns and neglect of those whom I considered and who ought to have shewn themselves my friends.

In this unforseen distress I am encouraged from your generous character, and the former connexion that existed between you and your Brother Mr. Saml. Adams with our House to sollicit such releif from you as you may think (upon inquiring the unhappy State of my Circumstances) proper:—assuring you at the same time that it shall be repaid to you so soon as the affairs of my Brother’s House shall be arranged, which there is every reason to expect will be ’eer long. But by this at the same time I would not have you understand that by this I wish to solicit any greater assistance than what may afford me a temporary releif.

I have the honour to remain, / with the utmost Respect / Sir / Your most hble & obedt. Servt.

Robert Delap.

Answer.

 March 3. 1786.

Mr. Adams never had the least Connection of any Kind with the House of S. and I. H. Lelap of Bourdeaux directly or indirectly that he knows of.

RC (MHi: Adams Papers).
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