Jabez Penniman to Ira Allen, Westminster, July 12, 1802


I received yours by Mrs. Allen, in which you observe that you had not the most distant Idia of Tuttle claming by a lease under me—I know not what claim he may set up or pretend to in his defence—but am sure he can show no lease from me or the appearance of one—nor any man living but David Russell—That I not only showed you but left a Copy with Joseph Allen according to your desire—-you again observe that the letters of Guardianship must be given up and you appointed—You and I profess ourselves to be republicans—pray why this contradiction in the first principles—let the Legislative be a check for the Executive and the Judiciary on them both—you are administrator which gives you great power, and why Guardian, is as to be accountable to no one—I am far from wishing any part of the property of the Heirs might come into my hands—but wish it put into the charge of a third person—that no reflections might hereafter be cast either on the Administrator or Step-Father, both being unpleasant situations—

The Widow of Your Brother is most certainly intitled to her Dower in all the real Estate left by him at his death let the debts be what they may; and the Law points out that it shall be set off in Sixty days—if not she has a right to apply to the Judge of Probate—the property then was clear from all encumbrance—has not fifteen years almost elapsed and it is apparently no neigher a close now then at the first moment?—why this unaccountable delay? what must be the feeling of those concerned? let any candid reflecting man think for a moment—think yourself and for Mrs. Allen could she be placed in the same situation Your Brothers Widow was at his death, without property, dependent and those that aught to be Friendly to her ware full of detraction and malevolence. Besides she had three young Children to feed and school […] the air and Cloth from what she could spear from her own little stock—

Had your Brother lived some longer, this would not have been the case with his Widow and could his Spirit brake it’s Iron bonds and fly from Heaven, he would have done her Ample Justice long before this—

You remark that you have done too much for your Nephews to be treated thus—I can only say—that very little has been done for the benefit of the Son’s and Daughter of Genl. Ethan Allen either in your private capacity or as administrator—since my connection have paid neigh a hundred Dollars for their board and other expences which ware due before that period—and stand charged for considerable more—have since made every exertion under many embarrisments and done all in my power, to cloth support and school them in the best manner I could, however deficient it has been—I have given Credit for all I have ever received from Ward, Blanchard, or by the farm myself the same as Ward did—I want not a farthing from the Estate more than is my honest due—that much I claim and shall pursue—

The Bond from the Estate of Mr. Brush against the Estate of Mr. Brush against the Estate of Mr. Allen is five hundred pounds of Mrs. Pennimans private property of her Mothers Estate and is an honest debt to her from Mr. Allen’s Estate.—I took the Bond to save a suit from the Heirs of Mr Brush against the Heirs of Genl. Allen—and have keept it seven years myself notwithstanding I might more than once have disposed of it to my advantage and much to your disadvantage—and what is my reward? To get it if I can I suppose—hard—cruel—indeed Mr. Hathaway, soon after he purchassed from Genl. Hull came to me and Mrs. Penniman and offered to take charge of the Heirs of Genl. Allen—to Board Cloth and school them at his own expence—he has several times since offered it—but the Mother was far from wishing the Sons of Genl. Allen should depend on charity for a support—but if they are flung off by the administrator—who has their property—who ought to befriend them—they must depend on Strangers or their own industry—I have spent a great deal from my own hard earning to push them along—and have now a number of small Children to provide for of my own

I have last night received a letter from Hannible in which he says he has not recited a lession for near four weeks for the want of proper Books and he seems almost discoraged wishing to leave College and go to the Law.—

I shall write to Colo. Hay immediately, who I consider as my Guide and without whose advice I wish not to act—he being your friend as well as mine—wish you to see him—perhaps some settlement can be made and I left out of the business—

I intend to go to Burlington as soon as possable but can fix on no time certain—

I am—Sir—with respect your humble Servt

Jabez Penniman”