A very intriguing letter, 3 pages, 9.5 x 8 inches, Philadelphia, June 18, 1821. Written to Richard Wharton, Esq., providing him with a translation of a letter originally written in Italian, by a person jailed in the United States on suspicion of forged papers, in part: "...My dear friend Philip Barber - I beg you will tell some of my friends that I am in trouble. I have been taken and they have told me 'La Tarocha' is not signed, that the seal, writing and signatures are not genuine, that the Notary's signature is not true...and they have taken it from me...Therefore, Philip Barber, I beg you will make this known to some of my friends; they will oblige me much by going to the house of the Notary to speak to him...and get a certificate stating that he signed the papers; it will be enough for me. You shall be paid for all when I come out; otherwise I am here for a great while, for I must wait the sitting of the Supreme Court, which will be in August. If I am here awhile - it will do me much harm; the country where I am is called Williamsburg, Ohio." Du Ponceau then explains to the recipient: "This is all I have been able to translate of this ill written and worse spelled letter...and, if more is wanted...the Honorable W. de Abbate, Consul in the City, will do all he can to aid the police of this City." Lightly chipped and edge-worn; very good(-) condition.
French-born linguist, distinguished attorney, and philosopher who at age 16 came to America with General Baron von Steuben, serving as his personal secretary, Aide-de-Camp and live-in companion. In 1791 he became a prominent member of the American Philosophical Society.