This noted merchant, land speculator, canal and agricultural promoter and businessman began as a Revolutionary War patriot who acted as courier for George Washington and others; in 1779 he was sent to France with dispatches for Benjamin Franklin; by 1789 he was an Albany businessman and one of the founders of the Bank of Albany; in 1791, together with Jeremiah Van Rensselaer, Stephen Bayard and Philip Van Cordtlandt, he explored western New York to purchase land and explore the idea of a canal connecting the Hudson River with Lake Erie -- making him one of the originators of the idea of the Erie Canal. Item #24922
ALS, 2pp, 7½" X 12½", New York, NY, 1798 June 22. Addressed to "Dear friend" -- Jeremiah Van Rensselaer (1738-1810) of the influential Van Rensselaer family, a New York representative, president of the Bank of Albany from 1798-1806, lieutenant governor from 1801-04. Very good. Light age toning. Superb content, mainly concerning various financial matters. In part: " I know you have no Confidence in Perkins Points -- But Our Old [ ? ] has no Rest without their Aid every Evng. -- this is proof in Point -- So let me advise you to borrow a Set -- & have yourself Well Stroked.... The Ill Natured Mac Grigor has absolutely Refused to pay Nobles draft. But I am happy to add, Mr. Noble will be with you Next Week & will positively pay it. I am distressed to Death for Mony -- Mony -- & if I Could git the House off my Hands, I Should Risk Seriously of Quitting Here -- What think you of Hudson -- or Poughkipsie?" Intriguing, if cryptic: "Those best acquainted I find Viced [vexed?] with the utmost horror at impending Fate -- GOD only knows -- but we deserve & will surely be Severely Chastised -- Let me beg you will Still keep my old friend Richard the Prophet in Sight -- compare events & appearances with his predictions...." Fascinating if at times cryptic -- worthy of further research. Very scarce.