To George Peirson

    Philadelphia        4 January 1794

    My dear Sir—

    Yours of the 21st. ultimo. came to hand by the last mail—And I hasten to reply to it by the first post, tho I have but two or three minutes for that purpose—

    When you wrote I presume you had not heard of the devastation making by the Algerienes on American Navigation in the Atlantic1—It is supposed by the best merchants in Congress & this City, that unless the Algeriens are again blocked up in the mediterranean sea & their own ports, our navigation to Europe & some other places will become extremely hazardous—if not quite destroyed—The Algerienes generally Cruise out of the Mediterranean from the first, or middle of April to the middle of November, And unless they are bought by money or detered by fear before Spring American produce that would be shiped to Europe the ensuing season must, by accumulating on hand, suffer a sensible fall in price—Hence I doubt whether it is safe to lay in any considerable quantity of either Flower or corn—If these articles are not sent off in the spring those who purchase at this time on the presumption that the retail price in the spring will be the same as heretofore must be loosers—

    New England Rum is but little used here—And the Algeriene news has such an effect on ship building that I think materials will not find a very quick market in the spring—Mr. Fitzsimmons,2 declared in the House but three days ago—that in consequence of the European news the principle Builders had discharged most of their workman—And some vessells that were designed for Europe early in the Spring could not get masters or sailors—

    By the next post I will endeavour to send you the price current of this City—

    The Hundred Dollars I told you I had some expectation of geting at N. York, I fear I must entirely loose3

    I am dear Sir, yours &c

    * * *

    ALS, TFP. Addressed to Portland; franked; postmarked.