Aaron Burr March 3 1812

For March 3, 1812, Aaron Burr in London wrote the following entry in his private journal:  
3.         Slept very sound, and rose at 1/2 p. 8, after being twice called by Eliza. At 11 to J. Bentham's, where, you know, I was to meet R. Morris. J. B. came down to secure me for dinner to-morrow and to have explanations about my default last Wednesday. The truth is, that I read his note sans lunettes, and either did not read or not comprehend that part which  invited me to dine. R. Morris came punctually. He told me the most extraordinary story about Miss E. A. C., who, at 18, married on the Continent an Irishman named M., then about 50, and who happened to have then, and now living, another wife in England. E. A. was very beautiful, and the parties became extremely attached to each other. M. became suspected by the French government, and was taken upand put in prison. She favored his escape, and he got off; on which she was put in prison, and kept a whole year on black bread and water, and, in prison and among felons, was brought to bed. Soon after this, and about six months ago, she was released and came to England. M. had gone to sea and was drowned; but he had taken good care of his A. By the most extraordinary villainies, he bought and loaded a ship to the value of 90,000 guineas, which he sent off to Philadelphia, and had there vested in her name. He got the ship insured there for her full value, not in his own name, and procured such full testimony of her total loss that the underwriters paid the amount of the policy without suit, and soon after it was discovered that she arrived safe in Philadelphia. But then the ship and cargo appeared never to have belonged to M., but a person of a different name, by whom the assignment was made to E.A., and all without her knowledge. She is now just 21. Am to meet her to-morrow, and then shall know more. From R.M.'s story, her sufferings and her fortitude are the most surprising. He was two hours in relating it. One of the parties to the fraud, a very elegant young man, has lately been convicted and hanged here. But that fraud was the expedition in which M. was lost at sea, and by which he had intended to make another90,000 guineas. Now, what they want of me is to show them how E.A. may get and keep the 90,000 guineas, about $400,000, which are deposited in Philadelphia. R. M. paid me nothing, and I suppose E.A. is not in condition to pay, for she and her mother support themselves by making straw hats. From J. Bentham's to Dessaules's. He had done one piece very neatly indeed. Very lucky he had not done them both, as I had not a sous to pay him. Onto Gonin's.  He had perfectly succeeded in the piece on which we worked yesterday, and I left him the other, and proposed to pay him when that should be done. Tried, on my way home, at several places, to pawn your picture-watch, which ought to be worth 50 guineas; butthey would not give more than 3 pounds, which refused. As I approached my home, ruminated how to get dinner and supper (coffee), for I had neither bread, butter, cheese, nor sugar. Fortunately, M. of herself discovered all these wants, and also candles, and bought them all. D. M. R. came in at 5, and partook of my potatoes, to which was added the mutton I bought some days ago (for I eat no meat), and a pint of ale. My drink is still toast and water. Before he came in, however, I had completed the draught of a power of attorney for E. A., to be sent off by this packet. I wished to have written you by the same opportunity, but the 4 shillings and 6 pence requisite for postage is a fatal objection. D. M. R. having four three shilling-pieces, lent me two of them; but one proved a counterfeit. He was in good spirits, having met one of his country acquaintance some time ago who "was delighted with his principles on wheel carriages." This is certainly very nearly allied to insanity. On coming in this P.M., received a note from Madame Thorpe, dated yesterday, inviting me to come and pass the evening with that same late governor of Sierra Leone, Mr. Browne, who had before expressed so much desire to meet me. I regretted that the note had not come sooner to hand ; but this is a misfortune which must happen in this circuitous mode of communication, for my address to her, and to all at the West End, is at Q.S.P., and J. Bentham transmits notes and cards to Mr. Arnot. Walked off in the rain to Madame Thorpe, Foley Place, about 2 1/2 miles. Took tea, and passed a very cheerful hour with the family. Have agreed to go with them on Friday to the exhibition of an orrery and an astronomical lecture to be given at the Haymarket. Am to dine with her on that day. Got home at 10. Being very dark, and the streets very badly lighted, got lost, and wandered a good deal both going and coming. To-morrow is pay-day. You must stir yourself,  Monsieur Gamp, or you go out doors.

No comments:

Post a Comment