Philadelphia, September 20, 1798. Quarto. Item #019127
2 ALS. John Hazelwood began as a merchant seaman sailing between London and Philadelphia in the early 1770’s. Once the American Revolution began, he became the commodore in the Pennsylvania navy. When General Howe offered him a chance to receive the king’s pardon and a position, he refused notifying Howe he would "defend the fleet to the last." Charles Wilson Peale, the accomplished American artist, painted Hazelwood as one of America’s notables. The painting was purchased by the city of Philadelphia and placed in Independence Hall. Clearly, he had fallen on hard times as this poignant letter reveals. He died less than two years after this letter was written. Letters on the Bank of North America (America’s first national bank) on important figures are rare. A very nice copy boldly signed by Hazelwood. "Sir, I have been so disappointed in not receiving Money from tenants who are gone in the country withought [sic] leaving me the rent that was due me that I am in want of common necessaries [?] for family use I have two notes from good men and cannot get them discounted by any private hand and the Brokers are all out of town The drawers are both good pay one of them Informed me he has money due from the Publick for casting Ordnance That is Peter McIllwham [?] whose pay is sure, besides I have two or three hundred pounds to receive this fall my self if those persons should fail in taking up the Notes I by that time can take them up my self, I wish to leave the City with my family for a few weeks but I am with out money at present for the want of discount which I hope will be granted me at this Distressing time If I thought this was any danger of the Bank’s lossing [sic] by me I would not ask this favour but I am sure I shall from my Incum [sic] be able to pay it should the notes not be taken up by those men or I would not apply to the Bank The notes are for 60 odd days but I mean to Take them up in time I hope the time will be no objection at such a distressing time as this is It will be my doing me a grade kindness and runing [sic] no risk of any loss for If their was I would not ask it of the Directors on any consideration whatever. If it can be don it will much oblige & relieve me & family from the distress--situation that I am in at present. I am your most obedient Servant. John Hazelwood" Note underneath by bank Returned the two notes mentioned herein under cover to John Hazelwood 11 October in [undecipherable].