Feb. 5th 1815
Revd. & Dr. Fr. in Xst.
It is better to sell for a time, or to get your people free --- 1st Because we have their souls to answer for -- 2nd Because Blacks are more difficult to govern now, than formerly -- and 3rd Because we shall make more & more to our satisfaction. The two first propositions are evident. I therefore proceed to prove the third. The shortest way to prove this is to calculate our annual expenses in regard of our people. Having done this with as much exact-ness as I could, the amount stands thus
|Bread for 43 Blacks = 630 Bush. corn @ 80 cts. pr. bush.||$504..00 cts.|
|Meat=3468 lb. bacon @ 17 cts. pr. lb.||589..56|
|68 lbs. hog's lard @ 15 cts. pr. lb. $10..20 cts. 34 pr. shoes @ $1..10 cts. each||47..60|
|419 yds. linen @ 30 cts. pr. yd. $125..70 cts. 34 pr. stockings @ $1 each||159..70|
|206 yds. cloth @ 40 cts. pr. yd. $82..40 cts. Making up cloth & linen $34 =||116..40|
|Medicine & contingent expenses $20 - 120 chords of wood @ $2 pr. chd. - $240 --||280..00|
Now let us suppose we had 14 hired hands and no others on the land to main-tain -- no slaves -- suppose we give those hands $80 each, they find their own clothes: our expense would then be as follow
|Bread for 14 hands 190 Bush. @ 80 cts. pr. bush.||$152..00 cts.|
|1340 lb. bacon @ 17 cts. pr. lb. $227..80 cts.||227..80|
|10 Laborers @ $80 each $800 - Gardener $80 - Milk maid $40||920..00|
|Housecook $40 - Clothes for workmen, $40||80..00|
|60 chord of wood @ $2 pr. chd.||120..00|
|Total expenses of the Blacks||$1834..26 cts.|
|Total expenses of the white Laborers||$1499..80 cts.|
|saved +||$334..46 cts.|
Thus by adopting the plan of hiring we save from our annual expenses a sum of $334..46 cts. according to this calculation which I think is pretty correct. But I know that much now can be saved, for there are the county & direct taxes on slaves which I have not included. -- Besides, suppose we make as large crops with the 14 hands as we have with the slaves, in this case there will be more corn & a great deal of meat for sales. We have made 400 Bbls. corn & 6000 lbs. pork & there is no doubt but that the same can be made with the 14 hands. Then I calculate thus
|If we make 400 Bbls. with the 14 hands, 238 Bbls. will serve the Laborers & all the stock pentifully -- There will there fore be left for sale 162 Bbls. @ $4 p, Bbl.||$648..00 cts.|
|Again, if we raise 6000 lbs. pork, 1340 lbs. as said above will feed the 14 hands; in this case I can sell 4460 lbs. say at 10 cts. =||466..00 cts.|
|I then bring down what has saved above +||334..46 cts.|
|saved & gained||$1448..46 cts.|
We have about 15 fires burning, most of them consuming wood all day & all night -- Thus all our Blacks during the winter can do scarcely any thing else besides the procuring of wood & c. But if we had the 14 hands mentioned above, 6 fires to burn during the day only, would be sufficient, in which case we could manure the land, make fences & do many other things during the winter besides the procuring of wood.... Thus you see Dr. Father we are in the dark as long as we keep slaves. Should any objections be offered I can give satisfactory answers. I have weighed the matter pro & con. As to our Smith's work and mill, there will be no difficulty, as our gain is equal zero --our Smith's shop & wind mill gain nothing, all expenses considered. They are only for convenience sake. I hope your Reverence will take this matter into consideration & let me know your mind. I know the resolve of the Board concerning slaves, & the sooner that resolution is executed, the better it will be. We had no mail last Monday -- Old Nacy is ill -- I sent this day to NEWTOWN for Revd. Mr. Moynihan. His complaint is the gravel.
a curious fact
This Christmans last past a young man of good meaning ( a protestant) went to the protestant meeting house for the purpose of Receiving what they call the sacrement of Lord's Supper -- on examination he refused to receive, because he discovered that the parson instead of distributing Bread & Wine, was handing round nothing more than Bread and Cider! This fact was related the other day by the young man himself in a company of Catholics & protestants. It happened in our settlement.
By your silence you leave me to conclude that you are either engaged in the council assembled, or that I have tired you out with my repeated letters -- We now want the clover seed to sow. I hope to hear from your Reverence ere long -- meanwhile pray for your in Xst.
Jos. P.. Mobberley
Br. Barron & I have had a few charity quarrels in which he has been defeated & now seems rather ashamed of his Visions, dreams and prophetic sayings. He now tires us with his farming principles & various opinions. In our last quarral he said he should go to Baltimore in the spring to consult the Archbp. His difficulty is (from what I can learn) that God commanded him to go to the College & remain there in the society, but wishes however to be freed from his vows without sin. Answer this difficulty who can. -- He & I are friends yet.
Revd. Jn. Grassi, President
of Geo. Town College