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casion, as he did likewise on many others afterwards, having continued this kindness to me till his death.

About this period Mr. Vernon reminded me of the debt I owed him, but without pressing me for payment. I wrote a handsome letter on the occasion, begging him to wait a little longer, to which he consented; and as soon as I was able I paid him principal and interest, with many expressions of gratitude; so that this error of my life was in a manner atoned for.

But another trouble now happened to me, which I had not the smallest reason to expect. Meredith's father, who, according to our agree. ment, was to defray the whole expense of our printing materials, had only paid a hundred pounds. Another hundred was still due, and the merchant being tired of waiting, commenced a suit against us. We bailed the action, but with the melancholy prospect, that, if the money was not forthcoming at the time fixed, the affair would come to issue, judgment be put in execution, our delightful hopes be annihilated, and ourselves entirely ruined; as the type and press must be sold, perhaps at half their value, to pay the debt.

In this distress, two real friends, whose generous conduct I have never forgotten, and never shall forget while I retain the remembrance of any thing, came to me separately, without the knowledge of each other, and without my having applied to either of them. Each offered whatever money might be necessary to take the busi ness into my own hands, if the thing was practi cable, as they did not like I should continue in partnership with Meredith, who, they said, was frequently seen drunk in the streets, and gambling at alehouses, which very much injured ou

credit. These friends were William Coleman and Robert Grace. I told them that while there remained any probability that the Merediths would fulfil their part of the compact, I could not propose a separation, as I conceived myself to be under obligations, to them for what they had done already, and were still disposed to do, if they had the power; but, in the end, should they fail in their engagement, and our partnership be dissolved, I should then think myself at liberty to accept the kindness of my friends.

Things remained for some time in this state. At last, I said one day to my partner, "Your father is perhaps dissatisfied with your having a share only in the business, and is unwilling to do for two, what he would do for you alone. Tell me frankly if that be the case, and I will resign the whole to you, and do for myself as well as I can." "No, (said he) my father has really been disappointed in his hopes; he is not able to pay, and I wish to put him to no farther inconvenience. I see that I am not at all calculated for a printer; I was educated as a farmer, and it was absurd in me to come here, at thirty years of age, and bind myself an apprentice to a new trade. Many of my countrymen are going to settle in North Carolina, where the soil is exceedingly favorable. I am tempted to go with them, and to resume my former occupation. You will doubtless find friends who will assist you. If you will take upon yourself the debts of the partnership, return my father the hundred pounds he has advanced, pay my little personal debts, and give me thirty pounds and a new saddle, I will renounce the partnership, and consign over the whole stock to you."

I accepted this proposal without hesitation. It was committed to paper, and signed and sealed

without delay. I gave him what he demanded, and he departed soon after for Carolina, from whence he sent me, in the following year, two long letters, containing the best accounts that had yet been given of that country, as to climate, soil, agriculture, &c. for he was well versed in these matters. I published them in my newspaper, and they were received with great satisfaction.

As soon as he was gone, I applied to my two friends, and not wishing to give a disobliging preference to either of them, I accepted from each half what he had offered me, and which it was necessary I should have. I paid the partnership debts, and continued the business on my own account; taking care to inform the public, by advertisement, of the partnership being dissolved. This was, I think, in the year 1729, or thereabout.

Nearly at the same period, the people demanded a new emission of paper money; the existing and only one that had taken place in the Province, and which amounted to fifteen thousand pounds, being soon to expire. The wealthy inhabitants, prejudiced against every sort of paper currency, from the fear of its depreciation, of which there had been an instance in the Prov ince of New England, to the injury of its holders, strongly opposed this measure. We had discussed this affair in our junto, in which I was on the side of the new emission; convinced that the first small sum, fabricated in 1723, had done much good in the Province, by favoring commerce, industry, and population, since all the houses were now inhabited, and many others building; whereas I remembered to have seen, when I first paraded the streets of Philadelphia eating my roll, the majority of those in Walnut Street, Second

Street, Fourth Street, as well as a great number in Chestnut and other streets, with papers on them signifying that they were to be let; which made me think at the time that the inhabitants of the town were deserting it one after another. Our debates made me so fully master of the subject, that I wrote and published an anonymous pamphlet, entitled, “An Inquiry into the Nature and Necessity of Paper Currency." It was very well received by the lower and middling classes of people; but it displeased the opulent, as it increased the clamor in favor of the new emission. Having, however, no writer among them capable of answering it, their opposition became less violent; and there being in the House of Assembly a majority for the measure, it passed. The friends I had acquired in the House, persuaded that I had done the country essential service on this occasion, rewarded me by giving me the printing of the bills. It was a lucrative employment, and proved a very seasonable help to me; another advantage which I derived from having habituated myself to write.

Time and experience so fully demonstrated the utility of paper currency, that it never after experienced any considerable opposition; so that it soon amounted to 55,000l. and in the year 1739 to 80,000/. It has since risen, during the last war, to 350,000.; trade, buildings, and population having in the interval continually increased: but I am now convinced that there are limits beyond which paper money would be prejudicial.

I soon after obtained, by the influence of my friend Hamilton, the printing of the Newcastle paper money, another profitable work, as I then thought it, little things appearing great to persons of moderate fortune, and they were really

great to me, as proving great encouragements. He also procured me the printing of the laws and votes of that government, which I retained as long as I continued in the business.

I now opened a small stationer's shop. I kept bonds and agreements of all kinds, drawn up in a more accurate form than had yet been seen in that part of the world; a work in which I was assisted by my friend Breintnal. I had also paper, parchment, pasteboard, books, &c. One Whitemash, an excellent compositor, whom I had known in London, came to offer himself: I engaged him; and he continued constantly and diligently to work with me. I also took an apprentice, the son of Aquila Rose.

I began to pay, by degrees, the debt I had contracted; and, in order to ensure my credit and character as a tradesman, I took care not only to be really industrious and frugal, but also to avoid every appearance of the contrary. I was plainly dressed, and never seen in any place of public amusement. I never went a fishing or hunting. A book indeed enticed me sometimes from my work, but it was seldom, by stealth, and occasioned no scandal; and, to show that I did not think myself above my profession, I conveyed home sometimes in a wheelbarrow, the paper I had purchased at the warehouses.

I thus obtained the reputation of being an industrious young man, and very punctual in his payments. The merchants who imported articles of stationary solicited my custom; others offered to furnish me with books, and my little trade went on prosperously.

Meanwhile the credit and business of Keimer diminishing every day, he was at last forced to sell his stock to satisfy his creditors; and he betook himself to Barbadoes, where he lived for

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