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Nathaniel Barrett to John Adams

2 Oct. 1786

Sir Paris Octo 2d 1786

The Friendship which you have formerly profess’d for me, & the repeated proofs which I have had of it—induces me to ask the favour of intrusting you with the Conduct of a Matter in which my future happiness & that of my family is involved.

When my Brother was in England he took up a Quantity of Crockery ware on a joint Acct of himself & me—of Warburton & Randall on the Arrival the same was sold \on Credit/ & my Brother got security for his part the person who bout it faild without paying me a shilling—we gave joint Notes amg to About 400—£ I had paid abt 83. on my part of the notes—but they disposed of them without makg any allowance therefor to Mr Robarts when I heard of their failure in England I securd the payt of this Debt in the hands of Broome & Plat so that Mr. Robarts may rest assurd of that sum & for further security I put into the hands of Mr C. Gore all my Effects & Debts—amg to within about 100£ of what I owed—for the security impowering him to pay as he recd. all my Creditors in proportion to their Demands, & after receiving the most ample Testimonials from them embarked for England France—on the Business which I communicated to your Excellency the last–winter I gave in my Debt to W & R—only the part due from me to them—MrRobarts sent his Notes to America & Mr Mason calld on my Brother for them—as equal Misfortunes have attended him—the Notes are returned back—& I this day received Advice from Mr Robarts that he expects immediate payment from me—As you will see on perusal of the inclosd to him, this is impossible—On my late Tour thro America, I have been assurd that a considerable part of the Consignments from thence shall come to the Address of Mess Le Couteulx & Co—upon my giving my Attention to the return Cargoes from hence—I have in this Business a prospect of securing a present subsistance, & in future of accumulating some property—these Gentleman give me their Countenance & protection upon the Letters which I have from America—they know I possess no property—but Give me Encouragement that in Time, I may—But sir—should Mr Robarts execute his powers against me—all my prospects are at an End—Mrs Barrett has been very ill ever since our Arrival—this stroke \has/ added to her Trouble—I wish—& may I ask the favour of you to send for Mr Robarts, as soon as you receive this—& \after/ letg him know I have opend the Affair to you—use your Influence with him to consider the Matter in its proper Light—& to wait—after recg what may be in the Hands of Mr Gore—till it shall be in the power of my Brother & myself to discharge his Debts—If he determines not to do this I will give up all my Hopes—& come over to England & surrender myself—leaving a most deserving Wife & Child to the Misery of suffering all the Horrors of Poverty in a foreign Country— —

Let me beg of you to keep this Matter intirely to yourself—& give Mr Robarts a Charge (whatever may be his determination) to do the same—& favour me with a Line as soon as you receive this—

I am with the utmost Respect / Your Excellency’s / Most oblig’d & obd Servant

Nat Barrett

P.S. Mr Gore had payed my Creditors 6/8 in the pound when I left Boston, & expected to make another dividend soon

RC (MHi: Adams Papers).
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