Letters: James Logan to William Penn in 1704-1705
James Logan to William Penn; 14 (fifth month) 1704
[in part] I before advised of Col. Markham's decease on the 11th of last month; he died of one of his usual fits, and was buried very honorably, like a soldier, with the militia, &c. I have received all the papers from the widow, and we are to have the accounts viewed and examined; but J. Reignier, the counsellor, her son in-law, stands very firm to her, and they plead debts due to them for services, over and above all that can be presented against them. He is now gone to York, but at his return we are to inquire into it. The old gentleman made a will, but has left his own daughter very little, though with him. The register's office is now in the governor's own hands. We are healthy and poor; a good crop and harvest, but the most hot, dry weather that has been in my time. I shall not now add but that with due respects and sincere love to the family, I am Thy faithful and obedient J. Logan.
[enclosed?] Thy son-in-law assures me that there has not been one paper secreted since Col. Markham's death, and that every scrap he left behind him is ready to be produced: when so solemnly affirmed, and offered further upon oath, I must not mistrust it, but at the same time it falls the heavier upon the person who continued in the business so long, and left no memorial of his proceedings behind him but what can be gleaned from his scattered receipts abroad. [This is added by Mrs. Logan, and appears to be an extract of a letter addressed by Logan to Col. Markham's widow. -Editor.]
[source] Correspondence Between William Penn and James Logan, Secretary of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Others, 1700-1750: From the Original Letters in Possession of the Logan Family, Volume 9; Historical society of Pennsylvania, 1870.
James Logan to Widow Markham, at York.
Philadelphia, 12 May 1705
I have received from thy son-in-law, J. Regnier, the account, as 'tis called, between our Proprietor and thy late deceased husband, Col. Markham, but so confused, so unreasonable, and with an appearance of so much disingenuity, that I could not look it over without amazement. I would impute it to the person being a stranger to the nature of the thing and the perplexedness ofthe papers, rather than his ignorance of accounts who drew it, in making scarce any distinction that I can perceive between the debit and credit sides; but to what I must impute it, that can be called by any decent name, I know not, that from the beginning to the end of it there is not- one article of credit given for any rents he received for two years while he collected them here, except where it falls under some general account with some other persons; whereas we can prove that he received of many of the inhabitants their respective quit-rents duly as other receivers or collectors use to do, but that he should leave no account of them is somewhat surprising. Thy son-in-law assures me that there has not been one paper secreted since Col. Markham's death, and that every scrap he left behind him is ready to be produced. When so solemnly affirmed, and offered further upon oath,I must not mistrust it, but at the same time it falls the heavier upon the person who continued in the business for so considerable a time, and left no memorial of his proceedings behind him but what can be picked up from his scattered receipts abroad. It was doubtless his indispensable duty to keep an exact account of every penny he received, and to give due credit for it; but to neglect this entirely and then to have an account shewed up so fully, set out on the debtor side, and yet all those quit-rents I have been speaking of omitted on the credit, is a method of accounting that I have hitherto been very much a stranger to. However, though I mention those things, It is not that I think thyself blameable for it, being ready to believe what is so positively declared that thou makes a fair tender of all in thy hands. But seeing those scraps that are left have been so widely misunderstood, I conceive the best and only method will be to send all the papers into some friend's hands of thy own here that has an insight in affairs of the kind, and let him and me settle the account the best we can, for at such a distance 'tis scarce possible to be done. I have no end in it but that all things may be setin the truest light we can, and whatever I can contribute to clear up matters shall not be wanting on my side. I request thee to lay aside all jealousies, for none is less desirous to search or lay hold on advantages in such cases, should they even be offered there, than myself, who am in all sincerity,
Thy cordial and well-wishing friend, J. L.
P. S. - Yum' 22d.- Most of the foregoing was wrote according to the first date, but the post going before it was finished, and being soon after called to New Castle, where I have been mostly since, it has been delayed. However, I hope it comes not now 'too late to be taken in good part, and answer the end, which is to have things set in a true light, and justice done by the easiest methods. J- L
[source] Correspondence Between William Penn and James Logan, Secretary of the Province of Pennsylvania, and Others, 1700-1750: From the Original Letters in Possession of the Logan Family, Volume 2; Lippincott, 1872.
Do you want to know more?
Link to James Logan
Link to Joanna Jobson Markham (maiden name unknown)
Link to Jacob Regnier
Letters of James Logan; prepared by Pamela Hutchison Garrett for John Markham of Chesterfield website; 2015.