W-MCP4-6.168 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his cousin, John Fisher
Oct 20 1836
To: Brockport, Monroe County, New York
From: Hamilton, Upper Canada
Mr. Tonnicliff 1has worked for us 9 days, made 11 large wheels. None got broken--he made with what help we had 4 Tons of Castings--he is better worth $2. Per day and board than any other man we have had is $1.00 and find himself [sic]. We now have a man by the name of [Staal?] he is not as good a workman as Tonnicliff but I think we shall be able to get along with him.
Tonnicliff stated to me that he would come and work for us a year after his time was out at Albion. It will be our best course to engage him if we have to pay more than 10 per day.
I have not been at Buffalo and know not whether the money $250.00 is there or not--but I expect it is there--I shall go over in the course of a week. I receive no Bills of Iron but when the Iron is landed I hear of it. I have weighed the Iron thus far–Have now [?] a statement of it:
From Ogdensburg.....Sept 23 6647
From Rochester Ohio "..... 3948
From Rochester Tailsbury "..... 1812
The last lot from Ogdensburg is on the Wharf with the following charges--Schooners charges $32.14, Wharfage $7.10, Other Charges not specified $70.88, which must be duties--This is too bad--The Deputy Collector at this front stated to me there was no duties on Pig [Iron]. The Last lot they charged me $10. Duties--It was sent across and entered at its full price at Prescott and the amt. Of duties charged there--the last lot was probably entered in like manner at Prescott whereas the first lot was brought directly here. Should we purchase any more Iron in the states we must send it directly here and it may be we shall save the duties--As yet they charged us no duties on coal or on other lot of Iron from Rochester--Is our furnace insured. If you think best I should like another partner who has not less than $2000. Cash.
Our payment for Iron will fall due soon as I expect and I shall not be able to raise much out of our business here more than to pay what I have promised on this side. I have to pay Van Norman for 10 Tons the last of Nov. and the first of Dec. I do not receive but little money for machines--I have to sell them for part in the Spring and part in a yea--I could have sold them for much more from 1st pay had our castings have been good--now I sell to every man who will run the risk of the trouble of send[ing?] the machine back to be repaired in case it should break--There are many who would have bought Machines had they held who will not now buy. I should like to know the amt Backus charged us for the Cupola Bellows &c. If he charged for the old Timber it is worse than duties on Iron--Some ten dollars freight we paid on the old frame for the bellows to stand on that were not worth a farthing--I should like a good Partner on two accounts--first Capital--2nd--one who at least had some judgment and could spend part of his time here--I cannot attend to all which needs attention. Our books are not [Paid? Posted?] nor do I know when they will be--I have not one hours time to do anything at it at present.
We have sold 11 machines--Janes has had 10 Mills--9 Mill remain. I still think that I shall sell the rest. I hold nearly all the notes that Janes has for Machines he has sold I mean to keep them till I am safe $42.00 on each &c. We should do well I think to employ some person who could and who would have a desire to learn the trade in the furnace who might be engaged for 2 or 4 years and who would take hold of any dirty job which comes to hand--I am willing to do it but if I have all to attend to some part will be neglected. I can hire no one to work for us a--our hands do not want to do much dirty which has to be done and of course I do it myself.
Did Backus agree not to send machine to Cana--the 10 he send over has lost us the sale of at least 6 and we should not have had to have sold them on 2 years as [Geymant?] did. It was a most mean transaction in GYCo. I send you a draft for Backus of $100. I shall probably send $150. more to him in a week. There has not been a $1. paid on his notes from Whitby nor that quarter. He gave me no orders but he will receive more money in 60 days should he have all the notes now due left in Tiffany's hands without saving them he will [in?] 120 as they now are.
I have a 2nd son, all well.
Janus Hall has been here. Wants Mr. Backus to write whither the suite may be stopped by his paying down one half and the remainder in a very short time--did not specify the no. of days. I did not see him in regard to it or I should have requested him to state precisely the time he wanted to pay the dollar cost. He left word it should be all paid soon without delay--1/2 on demand as soon as Mr. B. consents to staying Execution--he will pay all costs. Mr. B. will instruct Esq. Tiffany--Execution if not delayed will come out about the 15th of next Month--Hall will given any security Mr. B. may require. I hope you have [ink blot] send 6 or 8 Tons Coal. I think of no [m?]. The first of Jan'y I will send you a statement of all our [costs?]. If you cannot come out before we have enough to do at present. As our [ink blot] here it will be unfortunate if we have to lay still for Coal.
I remain your
1 Elsewhere spelled Tunnicliff by Ransom Tunnicliff himself.
2 For more on John Knox Fisher and the McQuesten foundry, see W-MCP5-6.240