April 22nd, 1861

No 6 Pine Street New York Apl. 22d, 1861

Dear Brother

I intended to have written you some time ago but have delayed to this time.

I understood you designed selling the mortgage you took of Alexr Whalan[1] to Knowles[2] in order sto help make up a certain sum to enable George[3] to go into business. From what was said at the time I concluded you would hold the mortgage yourself for some two or three years at least if interest was promptly paid. I hope you will not sell it at all but if you are obliged to I hope you will take a stipulation in writing that the buyer will hold it for two or three years if the interest is paid. The course Alexand has taken will throw the burden probably on me of raising the money to pay the mortgage in order to save the farm. If you sell and cannot get the stipulation desired I hope and trust you will be able and willing to take back the mortgage and let it run a while. I do not know that Knowles would press if interest is paid, but you know that the very name of Knowles carries with it a foreshadow of grinding and oppression if any thing can be made out of it. He would probably foreclose in chancery[4] and make $100 cost. That would be a Knowles trick, of which you have had specimens. I ought not censure in advance but knowing what might be done and an inordinate desire to accumulate money I have with faith in any lenity or forbearance. Please write me on the subject.

The city is all excitement over the war news and movement of troops, the affair at Baltimore Harpers Ferry[5] &c &c. The Union Sentiment here is I might say Universal. There are now and then one who speaks against the present movement of the government but they are few and are summarily silenced by the Mob. One chap was pitched out of the crowd on Saturday for his southern sentiments and an Omnibus ran over him. It is now in N. Y. just as it is in Charleston. No one dare whisper anything disapproved by the Mob who are all for the Union here, and as in Charleston all for Secession.

The roughs[6] here are organizing and are determined if possible to have a hand to hand mele [sic] withe [sic] the roughs of Baltimore. They are arming with muskets, Revolvers, & Bowey Knives and are fairly spoiling for a fight. They want to join the Philadelphia roughs and hew cut and carve a free transit through Baltimore and if need be lay that city of mobs in ashes. And it will be done too if the scenes of last Friday[7] are again attempted. The excitement here is above measure. The whole city is one vast field of stars and stripes waving from side walk to turret. Churches displayed flags yesterday and after service the starspangled Banner & Hail Columbia were thundered from a thousand organs while the people were leaving the churches. Who would have supposed that staid presbyterians, all-underwater Baptists, Self-righteous Methodist, intolerant Romanists, “The Church,” the accommodating Universalist and all the isms and ists of Every description, I say who would have thought that all these conflicting Elements would on the 20th day of April 1861 have become all as one and on that day displayed the stars and stripes from the towers & spires of their several places of worship and poured forth from their organs national anthems & people leaving church stepping to the time of the Music. Such was Sunday in N. Y. yesterday. If there were enough secessionists in this city to amount to any thing there would be some most sanguinary and bloody mobs but there is no chance for an out break of the kind here. Now all the Sensation and Secession news papers here and in Brooklyn have been compelled by the force of public sentiment and the mob in particular to display the flag of our Union at their windows or on top of their buildings. Some six thousand troops were in the city yesterday belonging here and from New England all Embarked in the P. M. & Evening for Washington. We see the beginning but the End no one can hardly anticipate. We must have a fight and then we shall be better friends. I need not write on this subject for you see the papers of course.

Truly yours &c in haste

J Raymond

[1] Alexander Whalen was a resident of Potsdam.

[2] Washington Knowles, Potsdam’s first lawyer, married into the Raymond family and was a cousin of the letter writer.

[3] George Raymond was a nephew of the letter writer.

[4] Before its abolishment in 1847, New York State’s Chancery Court judges decided cases at equity, often about property and inheritance disputes.

[5] John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry was a central issue at the time.

[6] These were urban working-class men, often members of gangs.

[7] Union troops on their way to Washington D.C. were attacked by pro-Confederate residents of Baltimore on April 19th, 1861.

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No 6 Pine St New York Apr 22 1961 pg 4
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