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title:“George Mercer to George Mason”
authors:George Mercer
date written:1771-8-8

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last updated:Jan. 22, 2013, 8:16 a.m. UTC
retrieved:Dec. 1, 2023, 4:31 p.m. UTC

Mercer, George. "Letter to George Mason." The Papers of George Mason. Vol. 1. Ed. Bernard Bailyn and James Morton Smith. Chapel Hill: The University of North Carolina Press, 1970. 134-36. Print.
Transcription, Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.

George Mercer to George Mason (August 8, 1771)

Holles Street London August the 8th: 1771
I have so often troubled you on the Subject of the Ohio Company's Affairs that I am afraid even you will think I give myself and you unnecessary Employment—but as there are at least half of the numbers who compose that Extraordinary Company whom I really do not esteem half as much as I do you, I mean as Gentlemen if they can be so called and abstracted from the Affinity you used formerly to claim with me. I have made the matter extremely plain to them in the enclosed Letter which though short I assure you fully contains my Resolutions as to their Concerns: And I should hope if there is a Power of thinking left in the Majority of the Members, I know many of them always think right, they will not, I am sure ( Judgment however would be given against them in a court of Equity and good Conscience) Condemn me for demanding one clear answer to all the Letters I have wrote for eight years past to my Friends, my Relatives, my Acquaintances, the Committee of the Company, and the Company at large, concerning the Agentcy the Company appointed me to, on the 3d. of July 1763. giving me full Power and Authority to act for them as Seemed best to me, and I would appeal to themselves and the world for the Uprightness of my conduct towards them: And I may at the same time venture to say that I can prove I might have gained as good Terms for myself as I have for the Ohio Company at large, as their grant seemed rather an object of Contempt in their opponents, than a matter which merited serious Attention. And [that was] the only time I could ever prevail on the English members to go one yard to assist me, because they found my American Constituents treated me with so little respect. It was publicly declared by the opposite party in their presence, that they did not value the Claim of the Ohio Company at Six Pence, tho' they would all wish to serve me, and as I before hinted to you in my general letter, I could have procured the same Terms for myself, and should have been moreover amply rewarded for my Assistance, and discoveries of what I know of the Country and I can assure you that no step has been taken with out my Privity since the Agreement I entered into on Behalf of the Company. I have frequently represented to the Members of the Company in America, the trouble and fatigue and Expence and opposition I have encountered— and have notwithstanding never been honored with a Line of their Orders—they entered into a Resolution the 3d. July 1763. that they would repay me any Expence not exceeding £2000 I should subject myself to in Consequence of that appointment. I have wrote them Several Times, that Resolution would not procure me here 2000 Farthings on their Credits and I am obliged again to repeat that I have wrote them too, that I had expended for them near £1000 raised on my own private Credit. And I had wrote them that I had strained my Credit for them as far as it would stretch—but not one word of answer to all this—no Money, no Credit, no Approbation of my past Conduct, or orders for my future. Is this Sir treatment for an Agent, for one whom the Company reposed such a Confidence in? You give in Virginia your Negro Agents whom you call Gang Leaders Approbation, and sometimes an additional allowance of Meat or Cloath at Christmas, and yet the Ohio Company, out of their great Generosity and politeness, have never said to me well done good and faithful Slave, nor have they ever troubled themselves about repaying me the money I have put out of my pocket for them. I believe if I recollect, some of the Company know that if Money does lie in the Streets to be picked up here, that they have not been able to find out the man who would or could do it for them, and I fancy the Company in general know that their Partner H—y is not very alert in giving them Credit and I can assure them he is as Costive of his Cash to me as any man in England is, and that he has assured me a thousand times, he never will again trust them for a Shilling—how then do the Company gues I am to raise the £2000 they are to repay me on the very first notice, after I have given them Notice at least twenty times that I was half that sum in Advance, and have never been able to get 12d. in Return, or even an Answer to one of my Letters? The curse of dancing attendance on the Ministers and public Boards I have frequently mentioned though with less than a thousandth Part of the humiliating Circumstances that are forced upon the poor Wretch who is obliged to cringe and ask a Favor of them. Let the Company too, if ever they will trouble themselves to think of the Agreeable State they have put, and endeavour, nay appear, to resolve to keep me in, remember they will see an Article in my account (if they ever mean to peruse it) of £ 125 charged as so much paid for House Rent, Expenses for Clerks, Coach Hire pr year, and two Guineas pr Day for Extra Charges [which are] allowed by the English Members to their Agent here who has besides an allowance of £1000 pr Annum from them for his Trouble. And the members in America allow the same person £2000 pr Annum more, in which we are not concerned.

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