A Bond Held by a Tory

John Shoebridge Williams wrote,

“The most severe stroke that I remember to have fallen on my mother was in 1799. She received information that the heirs of on Sam Connell were coming on us for debt, contracted before the Revolution. At a certain time, as I have heard, my father expected three vessels from England, that he had engaged to reload with naval stores. He had the loading on the wharf, in Newbern, when a long and tempestuous storm set into the mouth of the Neus River until it was so swollen as to float off his loading. Much of it was lost, and before he could collect enough more the vessels came, and of Sam Connell he purchased to the value of seventy pounds, for which he gave his bond. The Revolution commenced soon after. Connell was a Tory and ran off to England with the bond. This prevented its settlement. After Jay’s treaty the heirs came upon us, not only for principal and interest but compound interest. Twenty-five or thirty years had swollen it to a considerable sum. However questionable the compulsion of a widow, who had not anything like her third at the final settlement of the estate, might be, mother was never the woman to think that any circumstances could justify debts being left unpaid while anything was remaining. I am proud to say that she never got into the late fashion of believing that the widow of a landholder or speculator ought to be wealthy, whether her husband was ever really worth a cent or not. The executors agreed to the take the homestead and let her have all the remaining personal property. She agreed to the proposal, and in order to enable her to remove to the Northwest Territory, she sold what the family could spare. Her personal property sold very low, as it was a time of general emigration.