Original Letter Written by Robert Aitken’s Hand dated Aug. 14, 1797

This is a letter written by Robert Aitken to John Nicholson which contains Aitken’s proposal to sell his printing house property and equipment, dated August 14th, 1797.  This original letter is Courtesy of The Rosenbach Museum & Library.  This letter makes me sad.



My Dear Sir,

The difficulty of the times, the tardy & uncertain payment of monies due, various loses incurred, & at present no prospect of printing work, I have been let to contemplate the sale of Ludwicks purchase, with the additional building & the whole material of my printing office______

If I could get or nearly, 2,000 pounds for the buildings____ and 1500 pounds for my printing utensils, or nearly that sum____ would it not be better for me to ease my mind in old age, & clear off all demands & give my whole attention to my trade of Book Binding, & stationary store & try to import articles for daily sale, as I find, many irons in the fire, some cool, but a loss incurred; especially when I have not a suitable fund of cash to carry on with, I must confess the printing when carried on & supported with ready money will yield something to advantage, but truly not the advantage the Public so much & often guesses at_____

It would be imprudent to be hasty in a matter of such importance, although I think, I forever, a prudent, & perhaps, a wise necessity_____ I have my Dear Sir, my sincere friend, taking liberty to communicate my private meditation on the above subject in for no other purpose, than your sound judgment & advise____please write me, particularly, what is your opinion?  After meditation on this notion of mine____will you be so kind, of which I have no doubt at all, will you direct

My Dear Sir,

Your Most Affectionate

Humble Servant

Robt. Aitken

Aug.14- 1797