1780-12-05 Daniel Roberdeau to Thomas James

Alexandria, Decr 5th, 1780
Besides my Accot against the Bald Eagle Company, which is imperfect as I know a few demands not yet made, I have also furnished you with an extract from Mr Bedwells deposition, exhibiting an Inventory of a great variety of effects which I am affeard you’ll not readily find on your arrival at the works. Therefore I would not have you depend on a paper account of the matter for anything indispensably necessary to your beginning, however the best expedient can divine for finding our property, which I doubt not is in the hands of the neighbouring Inhabitants is to prevail on Major Rob. Clugage who resides somewhere in Conyeoshick Settlement in your Rout, to accompany you, that Gentleman from his long residence at the fort, being acquainted with the articles of the Inventory and with the Inhabitants, will I make no doubt have it in his power to do his Country and our Company essential service in your inquiry, and I have as little doubt of his Inclination as he possesses great benevolence of mind, and a kind disposition particularly towards our works, therefore the prospect of reviving a dead scheme of such importance must afford him and every friend to the public cause [for] great pleasure. I think it most probable from my opinion of the Major that he has taken care of some of the most important articles I mean more particularly the Oxen and Cow, for I know the former was the subject of a letter from him to Mr Henry Esqr. of Lancaster after Mr Bedwell left the place. My Compts awaits the Major thro you, and request him in my name and for the sake of his Country not be be weary in well doing as a prospect from an undertaking, now gleams through a dark and almost dead scheme, which like a drowned body after laying some time under water to appearance dead, will nevertheless revive by skillful Applications to the joy not only of relatives, but to every benevolent breast, our plan has this advantage in the comparison, that it is of such extensive utility, that pleasure will defuse through every department in our American corner whereas the restoration of an obscure Individual wd only gladen a small circle of friends. The honor as well as Interest in view I doubt not will call forth your utmost exertion, as success will crown you wt laurels as well as riches. If you think that Joseph Fox, the best Miner we had at the works, could be of service in discovering the best places to dig I make no doubt you could obtain him by applying to Mr Cockey or Mr Owings, he lives, I believe in the Neighbourhood of the former. Your researches I doubt not will be succeeded in finding [unreadable words] of Ore, therefore be not discouraged when a vain fails, for there are so many that a temporal supply at least cannot be doubted of. — You must not fail to call upon Mr Jacob Hall at the Standing Stone for a settlement and payment for what lead he has sold, also for a certificate of the delivery of lead on my two orders in favr of the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania which transmit to me with any money you receive from him by a safe hand, such I esteem Mr Brown Esqr if you should be favored by so good an opportunity, but you must lay out for conveyance of intelligence as soon as may be Your success will gain you the assistance of the board of war and even of Congress, on that Issue I should not doubt of obtaining you a body of men to be stationed at the fort, therefore keep yr Eye on that Object, but it will be in vain without the fruits of your labour appearing, for they have had abundant assurances from me founded on the feeble means once in my power, wc nevertheless I thought good until woful Experience taught to the contrary. If you could only find a clew for discovering any of our effects, if lost, the aid of a civil Magistrate may be of service, but first make the most thorough secret inquiries otherwise the means just mentioned may be and effectual Case, for as you get acquainted wt the Inhabitants their hearts may relent and delete, particularly it will be so if you throw out that your success will most probably obtain ample protection to them, this argument which I think a very ingenious one will have great effect on the more wealthy and will probably gain you the assistance of Jacob Roller, whose further services in hauling &c you will stand in need of. Therefore it will be proper to cultivate his acquaintance. As soon as your success can attract the public notice yr letters to me will be communicated to the State & to Members of Congress that their minds may be prepared for providing for the defence of our Works. wc I have not least doubt of obtaining when substantially convinced of their importance and not only for their defence but I am persuaded you may obtain in due time any aids from the public works of Congress, for my credit there was unlimited. May success and every blessing attend yr undertaking is the natural and ardent wish of

ps failing of a proper receipt or certificate from the persons to whom the lead was d[elivere]d, get Mr Halls qualifications wt a duplicate and transmit by differnt opp[ortunit]y

Letter, Daniel Roberdeau to Thomas James, 1780, Letter Book, Daniel Roberdeau, page 256 – 257 (unpublished manuscript.)