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MVB to J[ohn] P[eter] V[an] Ness, 21 May 1802 [1803]

Best of Friends

Agreeable to your Request I acknowledge the <Receip> Receipt of your Favour of the 14th. Instant with twenty Dollars enclosed. You request me also to give you a Statement of my present wants.

Since I have been here I have Recd. of my Brother $154 & of you (before this last) $20 in the whole $174 of which sum I had the Misfortune to loose $10, & purchased Books at auction ver at a very low price to the amt. of $15 which Reduced my sum to $149 out of which sum I pd. for a Ticket, $7. Trunk &c. so that by the first of may being almost 6 months since my arrival in this place I found myself indebted about $30 above my finan resources, which requiring an Immediate Discharge I borrowed the money from your Brother, The money Recd. from you (viz) the namely last $20 together with $20 which I got of a man here for J. C. Hogeboom which I made use of under the Impression to refund it [to] him, when I went up to Kinderhook, enabled me to pay your Brother & have left something in my hands. At present then I wish to pay 1st. Hogeboom 2d. To purchase Clothes & to pay my board from 1st. of May till about 25th. June when I shall go to the Country (upon my views in doing which I will inform you of in due season).

This Upon this Statement I submit the Question [. . .] whether I have been extravagant or not. If you could make it Convenient to let me have at present or in the Course of this month about $70 which will make the whole sum I ha shall then owe you $110 and if you I will be enabled to take make out withou untill my Examination which will be in November. This however must depind of upon your Convenience But I wish you by all means to drop me a line by the return of the mail containing you[r] opinion as to the Convenience of complying to my Wishes, as This for a particular Reason, which I will hereafter explain.


In haste yours most


M. [V]. Buren

N.B. I pay my board every 2 Weeks

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Source: MoSHi Missouri Historical Society
Collection: Presidents Collection, 1802-1969 (MoSHi)
Series: Series 1 (5 December 1782-31 December 1811)