Saturday, 10 January, 1829

It will be absolutely necessary for every individual to attend to his own interest as it will not be attended to. It was very inconvenient for me to attend to the collection of a small debt due me some twelve miles from here and I had as much business promised as could attend through the day, so I gave the account to an individual going to attend the sale, as this man was about to be made insolvent. He declared he would attend to it and get it, so I was quite easy respecting it. But by the debtor making a fair promise, he made no further attempt to secure the amount. So it is all gone, and man also. Few people will attend to that which does not immediately belong to themselves. Here I would make this seemingly incalculable declaration: Trust every man and trust no man. That is, place confidence in the declaration of all, for it may be the truth; but fortify that confidence by getting good security and credible witness.