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Letter to Daughter Euphemia Morris Norris
Trenton, May 14th 1742

My deare Child:

The post being expected every moment, I have only time to tell you that I have receiv'd your letter and the things by Farmer. The beer was sent most injudiciously to New York, for there is a vast deale, about 9 dozen & more, wanting & broke, w'ch in probability would not have been so had they been sent by way of Philadelphia as I directed; there being water carriage from thence to this place, & but one removall out of the ship to the boat w'ch would have brought it: whereas at New York, it was first landed, then carted up the broad-way, then down againe to the water side, then put on board a boat to New Brunswick, & then carted 30 miles to this place: -- so that you may Judge how likely it was that any thing of that kind could come tolerably safe. You knowing the scituation of this place so well, I was indeed much surpris'd to find beer come that way when I had desired it to be sent the other. You must have ver much forgot this scituation or you would not have sent it the way you did & subject it to 30 miles land carriage, which is very deare in this country as well as unsafe, when it might have come by water for an 8th part of the price & much safer. I hope you will not commit the like error a second time, but send by way of Philadelphia, & let the bottles be wired downe (wch these were not,) & if sent in hampers let them be of the best kind, made of wicker, w'ch may be useful here, but these are not.

I am got to ye 18th may. The post is come and gone. I shall send this by one of the conveyances that goes from Pensilvania or New York and A duplicate of it one of these wayes. Inclos'd I send a bill of Exchange for 50 pounds Sterling. It is a Seccond of what I sent before by the way of Bristoll by one Long or Lang who went hence last February & was not arivd when Farmer Left England. That 50 lbs Sterling was intended for your Sister Pearse. I then knew not of her having an allowance of 50 per annum from her husband: but if that letter is not come to hand and this doth, then out of that 50 pounds first pay your Selfe what is due to you & let her have the rest if She needs it, otherwise not. How secure She is of having that 50 pounds a yeare paid to her I know not. I hope propper care has been, or will be taken that She may not be disappointed in the recieving of it in case She leaves England & that it is Secured to be paid into Such hands as She Shall direct; for if She depends wholly on his honour in the case it is not Impossible but She may be deciev'd.

I hope allso that She may not be so weak as to be wrought upon by his Caresses in the private way he makes use of to give him back the provision he has made for her & run the hazzard of her being turn'd loose to Shift for her Selfe; wch. may perhaps be the intention of his cohabiting with her in tht prrivate manner he doth. For I can not see how he well can have any affection for her, if he believes She has been a whore to Reynolds in the manner She is represented to have been, by that set of Evidences on wch. he founded his prosecution Against her; and if She is not guilty of what She is charg'd with (as I hope She is not) I can not See how she can have any affetion for a man that has Expos'd her in the manner that Captn. Pearse has done or how She can after that think of living wth. him & bearing his slights & Ill usage & the insults of his Sisters & his Servants wch. I believe She will certainly meet with though he should live with her in A publick manner as her husband. I know not well what to Say to this private cohabitation between them; if it is likely to be productive of a hearty reconciliation in A small time *& She can be so reconciled) it may perhaps be not amiss; but, if no likelyhood of that, She has much reason to feare yt. it is intended for her destruction and She ought to guard Against it as much as possible by avoiding any conversation either wth. him or with Reynolds. That Reynolds made adressses to her appeares by her letter to betty to be too true; tho it appeares allso by that letter they were disagreable to her; yet when they were repeated She was much to blame in not letting her husband know it wch. would probably have prevented what has hapned; & She Should not have Suffred him to See her nor Seen him but in her husbands precsence. She is Still much in the wrong in Seeing of him wch. She doth and admits him to correct her letters; for in her letter to me there are Severall interlineations in Reynold's hand writing; I know not what Excuse will or can be made for this conduct wch. in the most favourable construction is highly Indiscreet. So much on this disagreeable Subject at present.
[It's fascinating that these paragraphs about his daughter Mary are NOT in the 1852 volume of the Morris papers, but only in Volume 3 of the the papers edited by Eugene Sheridan.]

18th May. I thank you for your bottles & the care you have taken in purchasing my things; but you or I miss'd in one thing, viz to get silk, buttons and mohair for my cloathes, & therefore Inclose the patternes that they may be got. There will not need about 5 dozen of coat buttons, & 4 dozen for the wastcoat, with silk and mohair necessary, w'ch the taylors can tell how much will do. I send for more than sufficient, because we cannot be supply'd with as good here in case we should want. I shall not be long in your debt, being to draw for money advancing here to recruiting officers, who as yet make but a poore hand of it. I am allso to thank you for your Eider down; I beare the severity of the hard winter the better for it. Your mother is pretty well, unless now & then out of order.

As to agents, unless the Court is dispos'd to do us service, no agent can do us much: & I cannot say our conduct seemes likely to prevaile on those at home to do us any: or that it promises ever to be such as to induce them to it should they ever give themselves leave to think any thing concerning the Plantations; w'ch, what is call'd, more important business at home has hithereto seem'd to prevent them from doing, & I suppose will do, till they can forme adequate Ideas of our consequence to them & the British trade. Till then, an agent that will deliver our letters & call for and send the answers to them, & sometimes (but rarely) employ a councill when any thing is upon the tapis in Parliament concerning us, seems all that is of use in our present circumstances to us; & the doing of this requires no great abillities to Perform, nor no great sum of money sufficiently to reward the trouble of doing.

By the publick prints the British affairs seem to be in great confusion; how or when it will end God only knows. If the ferment subsides, & the true Interest of the nation prevailes, it will be well; but sometimes partie heats produce effects not intended or so much as dream'd of by those ingaged in them. Perhaps during this hurly burly the governments in America may not be thought of, but if the ministry changes it is not unnaturall to suppose that those employ'd by the last may not be look'd on in the most favourable light by their successors, and amonst the rest such a reptile as myselfe, (tho' now treading on the verge of life & far from being an advocate for arbitrary power,) may be remov'd to make room for some new man that will think this government worth soliciting for. But as I have given no occasions for any complaints against me, so I stand so well with the people that I believe none of them are inclin'd to make any, but if any are made then I am willing to believe every ministry will be so Just as not to determine against me without hearing my defence. I desire you would learn as secretly as you can whether any body is soliciting for it, & upon what foot. I need not say more to you on this head but that, if there are any changes, you would give me your opinion whether I am likely to stand fair in theirs.

You will make the tender of my sincere regards acceptable to Sr John & Lady Norris, to whom I wish many happy days. Your mother Joins with me in praying for the same for you, the hearing of your well-fare being allwaies an addition to the happiness of, my deare child,

emptyYour affectionate father,emptyL.M.

Eugene R. Sheridan, Editor, The Papers of Lewis Morris, Volume III: 1738-1746, New Jersey Historical Society, Newark NJ, 1993; p.189-192.

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