855 | To Thomas Hutchinson

    No 39.

    Hampstead, Aug 9, 1770

    Dear Sir

    I am obliged to trouble you upon a private Business in which I want your Advice & Assistance & hope you will excuse it as I know of no one else to whom I can so properly apply upon the Occasion.

    Some time ago (4 or 5 Years I suppose) Mr Story having Occasion to pay some Money due to me from the Admiralty gave me a Note of hand for 160 pounds, part of the Money. This I endorsed & paid to the Treasurer as Cash & heard and thought no more of it; till some time in last Year, upon Mr Story’s stopping Payment, the Treasurer came to me & demanded this Note of me as an Indorser.1 I told him I was not answerable as an Indorser at this Distance of time; that as he had neglected to receive the Money within a reasonable time he would be deemed in Law to have given the Promiser fresh Credit & thereby to have discharged the Indorser: that I was sure that was Law, & would agree with him to determine the Question in any amicable Way, either by Reference to the Judges, or by stating a Case in a Plea, or by taking the Opinion of Lawyers, or any other Way to avoid an adverse Suit which I said ought not to be between him & me.

    But Nothing of this Kind was done; & I imagined by hearing no farther of this Affair that the Treasurer was satisfied some Way or other. But I now hear from Mr Story that His Affairs are grown desperate & that he is now compounding with his Creditors & desires that this Note may be brought into the Composition, tho he does not determine whether I am answerable to the Treasurer for the Remainder of the Debt. On the other hand it is probable that the Treasurer may decline accepting the Composition Money, least he should thereby discharge his Demand upon me. But it is plainly the Interest of us both, whilst this Question is doubtful, not to lose the Benefit of the Composition which at 10s pr pd will amount to 80 pounds. I therefore know of no other Way to remove this Difficulty but for to desire the Treasurer to receive the Composition Money, if he thinks it for the best, & to assure him that such Receipt shall not be made use of to invalidate his Right to a remedy against me but such Right shall rest upon such Facts & Law as it stood upon before such Receipt; & shall be left to be determined by any of the amicable Methods before mentioned.

    Mr Story writes that he has charged his Lands in Bernard, a New Hampshire Town transferred to New York, with the Payment of this Money, & that he has inserted ^it^ in his List of Debts & that we ^may have^ it at our Option to take up with either. But I should not advise to relinquish the Composition for the sake of this Mortgage the Produce of which is very distant & uncertain. I should think it reasonable to avail of the Mortgage for what will remain. And it would be for the Interest of Mr Story, in Case I should be chargeable with this Money, to give me this Security as it would give me a Right to interfere in his Claim in a Manner that might be for his Advantage.

    I wish you would talk with Mr Gray & endeavour to bring this Matter to an amicable Issue.2 The Law which I rest upon you will find in Vyners Abridgement (title Bills of Exchange, or Indorsement I am not certain); You will also find in Popplewell’s Dictionary of Trade 2 Vol large folio, a Collection of all the Cases relating to Bills of Exchange, promissory Notes, indorsements &c collected together.3 I mean Nothing but what is right; let me know it & I will submit to it.

    I am &c

    The Honble Govr Hutchinson

    L, LbC      BP, 8: 114–116.