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Robert Treat Paine Papers, Volume 4

From Jeremiah Allen
Allen, Jeremiah RTP
Nantes Janry. 5 1782 Sir,

I1 find by Mr. Williams acct. that the Julius Cesar, was full and could not take the Goods I purchased for your acct. & my own, altho the Captain had promised me. Therefore as my Bussiness called me to Paris, he prevailed on Capt. St. Barbe to take a part of yours to the amount of 437.10 & Charges, the remainder that I purchased he shipt on my acct. on board the Dauphine bound for Baltimore, which, unfortunately was Captur’d 14 Days after sailing and I being at Paris had no Insurance the goods purchased for myself being bound for Boston, but turn’d in that 184 way.2 At present there is the Brigt. Hety Capt. Roberts who will sail for Boston in about 14 Days. I have Wrote to Paris for the Articles that comes Best from there, and shall Compleat your order. Am very sorry for your & my Disappointment.

I am Sir your Most obedient servant Jeremiah Allen

RC ; internal address: “Honble. Robt. T. Paine Esqr. Boston.”


Jeremiah Allen (1750–1809) was at this time European agent for the family merchant business and later high sheriff of Suffolk County (Andrew Oliver, Ann Millspaugh Huff, and Edward W. Hanson, Portraits in the Massachusetts Historical Society [Boston, 1988], 9).


The Dauphine was apparently recovered eventually as its sailing for Baltimore was reported in a letter from Nantes, Dec. 5, 1782 (Independent Gazetteer [Philadelphia], Feb. 25, 1783).

From Nicholas Pike
Pike, Nicholas RTP
Newbury Port Jany. 27th. 1782

Honble. Sr., Tho’ I1 have not the Honor of a personal Acquaintance with you; I take the freedom of acquainting you with an application which Abel Sawyer Junr. has made to me, desiring I wou’d write you on the Subject. He says if you will give your Word that he shall be admitted as a State Evidence, provided no one, except Rand, can say that he ever had in his Possession or passed any counterfeit Money; (& if any one, Rand excepted, will say it, he will not wish for the favor before mention’d;) That he can & will expose a long Chain of the Counterfeiters of the “new Emission” money of the united States. That he has an appointment with one of the principal of them at his house Zechariah Lawrence2 by name in about a fortnight, who has had near half a Bushel of it, & he will give me such notice, that I may be able to apprehend him, for he lives out of this State & is to come disguised on a particular night. Furthermore that a Man unknown to him, came to him this morning, &, after enquiring if his Name was Sawyer; asked him if he wou’d be concern’d in making hard Money; Sawyer told he wou’d, for he had a forge, anvils &c. The man said he had all the Tools for the Business & that he wou’d be there again this week. Sawyer says he will also produce this man & his Tools. I am far from pretending to dictate to you Sr. what ought to be done in the Case; But I apprehend 185 it might be of Service to the State to admit Sawyer as an Evidence; as by Rand’s Confession to Mr. Parsons & myself, he knows but little of their Proceedings; and as he wish’d for the same favor that Sawyer Requests; he solemnly declared that he told us the whole that he knew, upon our promising that what he shou’d tell us, shou’d not operate to his damage.3 As I am a Stranger to you, if you will give yourself the Trouble to apply to General Titcomb,4 or Moses Frazier5 Esq. at the General Court, either of them can give you my Character. Wou’d you give yourself be kind enough to write a Line soon on the Subject, & you wou’d oblige, Honble. Sr. your most obedt., & very hble. Servt.

Nicolas Pike

P.S. I had forgot to mention that Sawyer says Major Wm. Coffin of Newbury a Gent. of good Character, & another Person whom I have forgot, will swear that he told them, before there was any noise about the Counterfeit money, that he was determin’d to detect these Counterfeiters, & he was then prosecuting a Plan for that purpose.

RC ; addressed: “Honble. Robert T. Pain Esq. Boston.”


Nicholas Pike (1743–1819) graduated from Harvard (A.B., 1766) and was active in the town affairs of Newburyport as town clerk, selectman, and, from 1776, justice of the peace. He unsuccessfully petitioned RTP for the position of clerk to the Supreme Court (see Nov. 1782, below) and is best remembered as the author of Arithmetic (1788), which was republished many times (Sibley’s Harvard Graduates, 16:406–409).


Zachariah Lawrence of Hollis, N.H., was not presented for any counterfeiting charges but was found guilty of fraud at the Apr. 1783 Supreme Judicial Court held at Concord and sentenced to spend an hour on the pillory “with the Words A Cheat wrote in large & legible Characters on Paper or Paste Board & fixed on his Brest” (Supreme Judicial Court Minute Books, Middlesex County, Apr. 1783. Massachusetts Judicial Archives, Boston, Mass.).


On this case, see Theophilus Parsons to RTP, Oct. 18, 1781 (above).


Gen. Jonathan Titcomb (1728–1817) was a brigadier general of the militia, served in the Provincial Congress in 1774 and 1775, and at this time was in the middle of his term as representative from Newburyport to the General Court (1778–1783). He was later naval officer at Newburyport (Herringshaw’s Encyclopedia of American Biography of the Nineteenth Century [Chicago, 1898], 935).


Moses Frazier (1741–1800) was a Newburyport merchant who held various public offices, including selectman, Committee of Safety member, and at this time representative to the General Court (John J. Currier, History of Newburyport, Mass., 1764–1905 [Newburyport, 1906], 1:531 et seq.).