W-MCP4-6.183 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his cousin John Fisher
Mar 11 1839
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Hamilton, [Ontario]
I received yours of the 20th Feby [February] on the 27th Inst. and should have answered it before but the Books were not posted and I am now obtaining materials for 20 Thrashing machines throughout and 30 Thrashers--I have a man at work at the Horsepowers he makes 20=12 of the new kind and 8 of the old--I am to pay him $150 for making the 20--I have another at work on 20 Thrasher Woods--I pay him $3 per each for making the entire Wood Work as good as the Brockport machines. Mr. Dike makes the Cylinders at $7 each.
I send you a statement of the estimate of the Cost of a machine--800 [?] Castings for Horse power--$28--Turning & Drilling 1.00--Lumber 2.50 Work $950 Wrought Iron Work $15, 28--Mill--$38--[?] $1.25--Which is not far from the cost 31.25 ["8 [?] 25" written beneath "31.25"] excluding rent and interest--This machine is well liked and I have thought of selling them for $160 cash or enclosed note at 90 days or $185 on one year credit with interest. I shall not be able to sell all on the same terms, but I think it will be best to make $25 difference between cash and a years Credit. The old kind at $150 cash or $165 on credit we cannot raise on them without injury--
We have made one hundred and ten Ploughs they do not sell near as well as last spring I have sold but few as yet--[Wiard?] has been at work at [ploughs?] all winter, he supplies most of his old customers--There are a large number made at [Panís?] I have one hand, Douglass at work in the furnace with Lorenzo--We are making Thrashing machine castings for the most part--I take care of the Cupola and I may say that I have not been so much engaged for 4 weeks since I have been here as for the month past.
Our sales for the year past excluding stoves (I have not settled with Deckerman yet) amounts to $4412.55. Nov & Dec we sold but some $127--1839--January 492.46 Feby $459.44--If we are not further interrupted this year we shall have as much to do next fall as we can attend to and I should very much like to have you come over and see to our business--I cannot do justice to out doors affairs and work in the shop.1
I am not purchasing any hides at present for others are paying 4 ĺ per & 5 [cent sign] [per ?]--I shall send the last month of [?] to have Backus paid $150--what I fall short in hides I will send a Draft for--If you should want some money I will try and send you $150--but I have ways for all the money I collect at present. Janes going away as he did has very much disappointed me--the notes he left with me he was to have taken up the first of Jany [January] and paid me the amt. in cash--now I must wait and collect them as I can, but I think I shall have none of them for the [maker are?] all responsible so far as I know--Janes wife has left for Detroit and I expect you have heard more of him by way of Mr. Seymour than I have--I have heard Seymour obtained the notes against Clark who bought him out--amt. some $1000--Clark says he is not thinking of doing any thing at the machine business further than to finish four which is nearly done. I have bought 2 Shafts of [sic] him for Stationary machines which Janes bought of Backus, and I think we may [want?] some 4 more if they can let us have them. I shall get a quantity this season and have them Drying for another year.
In my next I will send you the amt. of our Debts &c--If they are to make another [?] out of the settlement of the [lien?] in Maine that will put a stop to our business this season I shall want to leave Canada.
Janes has sent back the means to pay some of his debts here and sends word that he will pay all, but I do not think he means to pay some unless he is compelled to--2
I have bought 10 Tons of Iron of J. Van Norman--Lucy is now with us--We are well--as expected our Banks will resume cash payments soon.
Money will be scarce and exchanges cheap.
1 It was shortly after this in 1839 that Dr. Calvin McQuesten and his wife Margarette (Lerned) emigrated to Hamilton. The exact date is not known at this time. See note at W-MCP4-6.163.
2 Mr. [Joseph] Janes was a business partner in the foundry. Apparently, he and Fisher had some difficulties working together and eventually Janes ran off, leaving his wife and numerous debts behind. For more details and links, see W-MCP4-6.237. For Fisher, see W-MCP5-6.240.