W-MCP4-6.230 TO DR. CALVIN AND MARGARETTE MCQUESTEN from their cousins John and Catherine Fisher
Dec 20 1838
To: Dr. Calvin and Margarette McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Hamilton, [Ontario]
I have rec'd yours of the 13th which from the postmark was delayed, probably at Lewiston as the communication was prohibited for a day or two--I have delayed 2 days this answer to learn what I can do in obtaining hides--In the first place I will say that Janes has left this place probably never to return. He left with the pretense of going to Brockport, but since he left we learn that he has sold out every dollar he owned excepting his furniture which was at once seized on an execution--I had kept our a/c square with him till the first of Sept. but since that he has had a considerable amount for which I have no security--I apprehend you will think I have done wrong in this. I have only to say that Janes has attended to his business better this fall than he has done before and I doubted not it was for his interest to stay and continue in his business--I have been severely censured by a number here for requiring of Janes security for all the castings he had. About the first of Oct. Janes prepared making over some notes he held as security but I was engaged at the time and when I called he was not at the shop--I have repeatedly called since but he was either engaged or absent--We have not had a hard word since you were here. I believe if he will keep away and I never obtain a dollar for the unsettled a/c in 2 years we will be the gainers--He must have taken money with him for he has left debts here to the amt. of at least $2500.00 some of which is money he borrowed within a few days--He took notes of Clarke the man who bought him out to the amt. of over $1000--and he held other notes to the amt. of a number of $100. We hear nothing where he is gone, but think to the [west?]. He has not sent Backus anything it is likely he never intends to pay him--I thought he might send him his notes, but he may not--His wife is here there is not anything here now to be had which belongs to him. His house and lot he had never paid for and he has no claim for it till paid for.1
If he has called on Backus I should like to know it or if his father's in Rochester--I intend to follow his wife when she leaves hoping that I shall find him on the lines. The 20 Tons Coal are on the Wharf--I shall not take them unless C. & P. Will make some arrangement in relation to putting off the payment till exchange can be had--the 10 Tons from you arrived a few days ago [healthy now?].
Since at Wellington Square--10 Miles from this--The Bay is frozen over--Your Charges $189. Freight to Toronto $50--to Wellington Square $40--To Hamilton some $28 with Wharfage--$307--Weight here 9 Tons about $34 per Ton--We are at work again and will endeavour not to be caught again in this respect. We are making Ploughs--have not rec'd any Iron from Long Point--you hand 15 Tons [?]--have sent our team to L. Point which is to bring this winter 10 Tons.
I have the promise of 100 Hides from our [Butchers?] at 4 1/2 cts. per and shall pay the amt. of $120 tomorrow and in six or 8 days $100. I could have bought 4 weeks ago for 4 cts. but others are in market for Hides for the same purpose.
I think our troubles are over for this winter. The greater part of the town are daily doing military duty--I have been drafted, but not called as yet for actual service.
[P.S.] I can purchase 200 Hides without a doubt--I will purchase at 4 1/2 cents per [?] enough to send what funds you want. I shall have [$200?] bought before you can send for them.
[Attached note to Margarette B. (Lerned) McQuesten from Catherine (Blanchard) Fisher.]
You see that Husband has left me but little space to write. We are all well. I am at times very very lonely how it would rejoice me to see some of our friends from the States. I have not heard from Sister Mary for some time feel very anxious to hear from her. Do you ever hear from Sister [Wilkes?]. Why can you not go over to Lucy and visit her, do [?] your husband to take you there. If you have an opportunity, please write to sister [W?] tell her you have heard from me and that I wish her to write me immediately every particular about Mary. I heard very little [?] but what I have I can assure you is very good. Canada is in a deplorable state, little hope now.2 Healthy, write soon, affectionately your cousin,
Catherine W. Fisher
1 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.
2 This may be a reference to the Rebellion of Upper Canada in 1837 & 1838 led by William Lyon Mackenzie and quelled by Col. Allan MacNab of Hamilton. See also W-MCP4-6.193, W-MCP4-6.190.