To Nathaniel Barrell

    New York City        11 August 1788

    My friend—

    It was my intention to have called upon you on my way from Biddeford to Boston; but circumstances would not permit—Mr. [Daniel] and Mrs. [Louisa] Davis were in one Carriage, Mrs. [Sarah Savage] Thatcher & Miss [Mary] Scolly in another—myself on horseback composed our party—Our designe, when we left my house, was to have got to York, in season for Mr. & Mrs. Davis to have taken Lodgins, for the night, at your house—And the rest of us to call and breckfast with you the next morning But there falling some rain that day detained us on the road, that we did not get to York till it was too late for Mr. Davis to go up to your house—Mrs. Thatcher & Miss Scolly were very desirous of seeing your family, for whom they entertain the warmest sentiments of esteem and affection—And Mrs. Thatcher has it in charge from me, as well as led by inclination, to make a considerable visit, at your house, on her return from Boston—And I really wish I could accompany her there; but I think there is no probability at present—As I see no prospect of my Returning soon enough to be of Mrs. Thatcher[’s] party—When I came from home my determination was to tarry till here till the New Congress under the new Constitution should convene, supposing that would be as early as December at the furthest; but it now appears probable the Congress under the new Government will not meet before the month of march—And tho I wish to be present at that time—to see the funeral of the old—and the inauguration of the new, Government, I believe I shall risque an absence in the month of November or December—Five or six months is full as long as I am willing to be absent from my Family at a time—

    The place for the future Congress to convene at is not yet fixed upon—This City and Philadelphia stand in nomination—New-Hampshire Massachusetts Rhode Island, Connecticut, N. York—N. Jersy & South Carolina are in favour of this City—The other States press hard for some place more southerly, & seem to agree upon Philadelphia—

    You percieve there are seven States in favour of N. York—this is sufficient to fix it there; but there is a difficulty with the Delegates from R. Island—relative to their State not having adopted the Government—They have some qualms as to the propriety of voting to fix that Government which their State have refused to adopt—This leaves the States equally divided—And for the present nothing can be done—The Delegates from Rhode Island went home last week—and I flatter myself they will return, in a few days, with their Qualms removed, and chierfully join the Delegates of their Sister States in fixing the Congress at this City—which is the most salubrious, perhaps, of any in the United States—if not the Center of real convenience for the United States—

    I dont know, but I have wearied your patience by this time, and therefore will only inform you, that Continental Securities have appretiated from 2/6 to 4/6, & 5/ on the pound some time last winter—And ’tis the general opinion they will still continue if to increase in Value—

    I have long since been of the opinion that if [the] new Constitution should take place, and opera[tes to] general satisfaction it will restore Continental Securities to their nominal Value—And, at the same time, I have had strong apprehensions that it would have a quite different effect upon State Securities—I dont see what fund the States can look to to enable them to discharge their private Securities—after the Impost & mo[re] productive excises are drawn into the federal Chest.

    But this we will leave for future experiment to determine—

    I am, my friend, with sentiments of friendship to your family, your friend, & humble Servant

    * * *

    ALS, Barrell Correspondence. Addressed to York; franked; postmarked 12 Aug.