Decr 22, 1858.
Mess Hart & Gordon,
Yours of Dec 13, enclosing a memorandum acct of Wm H Lee & Co. against Mr F. N. Hamlin is received-- Mr Hamlin is a young man, formerly of your place and is perhaps known by you-- He does not keep a Hotel, but is partner in a shoe store under the firm name of Hamlin & Whitcher. He seems a fair spoken gentleman, does not deny his indebtedness, but says he is unable to pay, that if we sue him the partnership effects will be required to pay the firm debts, that he brought into the firm only about $30, and that all and more than all their profits thus far, were consumed by a loss of $2100, of Goods sunk in the Missouri, without insurance. He does not want to be sued but at the same time is unwilling to give his note, or make any promise of payment
short of six months, and even then he does not feel sanguine. We had another N Y claim of about $167, in which he made similar representations as also that when he contracted these debts in Piqua he was a minor.
Your claim amounts to more than $100 and cannot be sued before a magistrate but would have to be tried in the District Court in March next. If therefore you think it best to reduce this claim to a judgment, send us the individual names of William H. Lee & Co and get them to make out a Bill of the Goods and have the account sworn to & sent us, at once. A suit must be brought in all January, also send us $10 wherewith to pay the necessary costs of clerk & sheriff.-- If knowing Hamlin you are willing to advise your clients to take his note at over six months, for the claim please do so and instruct us accordingly
Sherman & Ewing