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107 Waverley Place N.Y.C March 4th, 1919 Dear Mr Torrance I am trusting that you have not censured me too severely for my delay in replying to your very good letter. A press of affairs is my excuse. I was of course greatly interested in your letter and I shall be glad to execute any commission inn this matter, if you wish me to do so. I think, however that you should hear this report before taking further steps. I had received your letter but had not even read it before Mr Anjou called upon me. I remembered having met him when I was in the employ of the Lenox Library sixteen years ago. I did not know him except as one of the many genealogists who used this library but so far as I know he is as good as any of them. But for your purposes I received little information from him during the interview. He would not allow me even a glimpse of his record on the ground that we would then be in possession of the very thing he has to sell. He did however forget a paper on which he had jotted down an outline of his record. I returned this paper to him when I discovered it two days later. I made a copy of it which I enclose. I elicited at least two facts from him during our interview. One was that he knew nothing of Aaron Torrance and had never heard of him - although he did not say so. In returning his lost papers to him I again asked him about Aaron and received the enclosed reply. A second fact, secured not only from the interview but from his notes, was that the greater part of his information is comprised of names of Torrance previous to their emigration from Ireland. As the matter now stands I would not feel justified in concluding the purchase for you, considering his terms. If I were acting for myself I should feel that truth would be more securely served by going myself to the sources or by sending an agent of whom I had more personal knowledge. Mr Anjou's terms are, he tells me, to demand payment unless the client can prove that he is wrong. This would be impossible without personal sight of his sources or through another agent after all. I should want to verify all information received. This attitude exists, I suppose, as a result of my contact with professional genealogists in the library years ago. There is such wide opportunity for mistakes to occur and wrong connections to be made when the element of a money consideration enters the lists. If you still feel like taking a chance after reading this and wish me to buy the material for you I will do so with a sight draft, as you suggested - upon receipt of instructions from you to that effect. I note from Mr Anjou's data, that one of the children of Robert and one of the children of Jane located at Chester Pa. This was the residence of many of my branch also. The fact that they settled at the same place would also suggest kinship. I shall be much interested to hear from you what your decision is after receiving my information and if there is any way in which I can be of service to you do not fail to let me know. Apropos of your researches in the Peck genealogy, I suppose you have seen the printed volume on the family. I do not know whether, in the compilation of your history, you attempt to correspond with all persons bearing the name. Although this seems rather a large undertaking you doubtless use a circular form. With the idea that perhaps you do engage in such painstaking details I enclose a list of those bearing the name in this city as supplied by the telephone book. I have never met any of them. About two years ago I received several friendly messages from a Mr Torrance, I believe his initials were *J.E., of this city. He wrote to tell me that he was an old man, much interested in his family history and asking me to call upon him at his law office on Lower Broadway. I delayed doing this for about six months - until a year ago last fall and upon arrival at his office I found he had died a few days before. Mr Anjou told me the other day that he had made or begun his searches because of this Mr. Torrance's interest. I have now to acknowledge your other most courteous and interesting letter which I received several months ago. My reason for seeming so neglectful of it was because I had no information at that time. May I now convey my appreciation to Mrs Torrance for having given a good report of one of my printed plays. With greetings and mt very best wishes. Sincerely yours Ridgeley Torrance.
Footnote by RJT 22nd March, 1999
* Script initials could be GE. There seems no suitable candidate in RMT or JST.
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