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London 9 September 1799
In a letter which I received lately from Mr W A Douglas, an Officer under my command at Cape Coast Castle, he thus expresses himself; "You will afford "me much pleasure if you could make it convenient to "see my Brother in Law, Mr Joseph Strutt of Derby, as I " am certain what a gentleman of your experience and "integrity might say to him would produce a good effect. I have lately received a very handsome Letter from " him, offering to become one of my Securities when I get a "fort, and saying he should be happy to assist me with "goods which he enumerates, but they happen not to be of "the right kind for this country. However, as by this proposal he shews a disposition to serve me, I about a month" ago sent home an Indent to him for about two thousand "pounds worth of India Goods, such as are not subject to "that fluctuation which many articles are; which "should Mr S. be pleased to send out, at a credit of twelve months," I should be able to clear a considerable sum by the ad"venture and make the payment within the Credit.
"Now, Sir, I have to inform you that I cannot make it convenient to wait on you personally at Derby, although it would give me great pleasure to render a piece of service to Mr Douglas, of whom I entertain a favourable opinion and whose views I am much inclined to promote. During the seven years of my acquaintance with him he has supported a fair public as well as private character, and I am not apprehensive that he will ever give me cause to withdraw my confidence and regard.
To what extent you ought to forward his prospects, it is not for me to judge and much less to dictate; but whether you are inclined to comply with his request in whole or in part, I am ready to lend a helping hand to render the adventure more productive. A ship in which I am deeply interested is shortly expected from the W. Indies, and,if all go well, will sail for Cape Coast about the end of the year. In her, I mean to return to my post and shall, with pleasure, not only take charge of such consignment as you may find convenient to make to your Brother in Law, but likewise convey it to his hands freight free. The little time which I have to stay in England will prevent me from superintending the selection and shipment of the goods; but from the conversation I have had with our mutual friend Mr Samuel Douglas, I flatter myself that he may be prevailed upon to facilitate these operations. In expectation of receiving your favorable answer, I am, Sir Your most obedient Servant
PS Since I wrote the foregoing I have seen Mr Samual Douglas who declines assisting as I had proposed, his own business fully occupying his time; but I have no doubt that I shall find some other friend to do the needful AD
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