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Colonial and State Records of North Carolina
Letter from Isaac Edwards to John Williams
Edwards, Isaac, fl. 1765-1775
July 20, 1773
Volume 09, Pages 678-680

[From MS. Records in Office of Secretary of State.]
Letter from Isaac Edwards to Colonel John Williams.

Newbern 20th July 1773.

Dear Sir

Agreeable to Your request I have made enquiry respecting the price of Mahogany and find that any Quantity of it is not to be purchased here for any price; no more being brought in generally than serves for the consumption of the Neighbourhood.

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Inclosed You will receive a Sketch of the fences you desired both the Chief Justices & my own, but I am not certain that I have mechanical phrases enough to convey to You a distinct & clear explanation of them however I will try. In the first place then the Chief Justices is shown by that part of the Sketch marked A, for His is all the same Figure, beneath the chinese work it is planked with plain Boards horisontally directed to the Bottom without either a Bricked Wall at the Bottom or Rails instead of the planks as is represented by the figure of the Gate, which Rails my whole fence is done with as well as the Gate, My Fence has also a double figure represented by the whole Sketch and in each panel there are three parts, Two of one sort Viz. those distinguished by the Letter A. & one of the other distinguished by B. and in the panel adjoining there is two of B and one of A. The Brick Wall shews 12 Inches above the Ground. The next part is 22 Inches and the Chinese work 16 Inches with the three Rails of 4 Inches each makes the Fence 5 Feet two Inches high—The pieces that compose the chinese work are five eighths of an Inch thick and an Inch and Three quarters Broad, the Rails, or if you will pales are an Inch & Quarter Square and are mortised into the lower and middle Rail. The posts are five Inches Square and the panel from the inside to inside of the posts is seven Feet two Inches. The Gates (double) are Six Feet six Inches wide, three Feet each gate with a piece of three Inches fixed to the Gate posts to hang the Gates to, the Gate posts are Fourteen Inches Square, Seven Feet high above Ground with a Ball of Twenty Inches high on the Top. This is all of my own, the Judges differs in several respects—his is a single Gate the proportions of which I don't exactly remember, his is much less expensive but I confess I think not near so elegant & if You propose making one at all You may assure yourself that the difference of the expence is abundantly compensated by the additional Beauty & elegance of the work, therefore dont let a principle of Frugality prompt You to spoil a piece of work which only becomes valuable by its neat, light airy & elegant look.

What are You all doing in these Times—I suppose You, who have money enough, are amusing Yourself by the Improvements of Your plantation, to which You have now leisure to attend, but what does other people whose Barns are less plentiously stored & Coffers not so sufficiently replenished do. If I may judge of them by myself the prospect before them is not the most flattering, nor is

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the plentiful harvest, which must at some time come, I fear so near at hand as we wish it. The Mother Country has not of late discovered any great desire to promote the wish of her children, much less to mitigate or relax the mandates of her Sovereign & Supreme power, & if I judge aright her children in this our dear Country have too sacred a regard to what they esteem their unbounded Birthright, tamely to surrender it to the Command of any Tribunal under Heaven. What is to become of us requires deeper penetration than mine to discover but I am apprehensive it will be some Time before matters are accommodated to our Wishes. Terms I fear on the one hand being expected at least, if not exacted, or perhaps I may reverse it & say exacted if not expected, which on the other on constitutional principles cannot I apprehend be relinquished. As yet nothing is known certainly about it. We have nothing scarcely stirring among us, every thing is still, & I am happy to find that in our Neighbourhood the distresses of the Times are as little felt as can possibly be expected in any place under a suspension of Judicial proceeding. Remember me affectionately to Mrs. Williams and Miss Agga, also to Mr Henderson & his Family, what does he do with himself now a Days—I am fearful, tell him, He will grow so domestick an animal, so fat & lazy that He wont be able to work hard in Harvest Time.

I am Dear Colonel with much Esteem
Your Obed hble Servt