Robert Williams' Business Reverses

 John Shoebridge Williams wrote,

“My father is said to have been wealthy, but several causes contributed to lessen his fortune, until at the time of his death, in 1790, a few weeks after my birth, his estate was considerably embarrassed. A great storm at sea seemed, as I have heard, to put the first check to his success. Then the failure of an extensive house in London, then the Revolutionary war, and the reception of continental money. This he kept, in dependence on the Government, until it was nearly worthless. The breaking out of the Revolution (1771), which was concluded in 1775, added to other considerations, determined him to retire from mercantile pursuits, which he did, to a fine estate in Carteret County, N.C., chosen with reference to its value for timber and water power. He built a fine milling establishment, both flouring and sawing, breasting against a dam, which held an inexhaustible supply of water in a pond of from six to ten miles in circuit. Scarcely was this done till the whole dam and all went down stream into tide water, which flowed up the mill-tail."