W-MCP4-6.237 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his cousin John Fisher
Feb 3 1836
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten, Brockport, New York, U.S.A.
From: Hamilton, Upper Canada
I received yours of the 21st by Mr. Bacckus [Backus]--for which accept my thanks You inform us that it is doubtful whither [sic] Mr. Hill returns to take any part
in our business at this place--I was prepared to receive
such information--In regard to takeing [sic] another person in his place I hardly know what to say at present.
Cousin Calvin I should be unfaithful to you in
particular should I longer neglect to say to you that I
am altogether dissatisfied with our situation as things
have gon [sic] thus far--You will not for a moment
believe that I have come to the conclusion that every
business transaction which does not come up to my idea of
propriety must of course be rong [sic]--not so--far from it--But I may say that from the past Mr. Janes' manner of doing business is so far from what I conceived to be for our mutual interest that unless we can come nearer to some method of thinking and acting it will be anything but pleasant for me to take any part of the
responsibility of the concerns here.1
I will very briefly give you some reasons for coming to the conclusion I have--In the first place than [sic] I cannot say in truth that Mr. Janes devotes his time to the business of the concern--I should be glad to say that he spends one fourth of his time in the shop--He says the
interest requires him to be out--but I am entirely unable
to learn from Monday morning till Saturday night ["the"
has been scratched out] any reason why he should be
absent one day of the six--I do believe Mr. Janes has
been extremely loose in his business transactions.
Mr. Janes and myself have had but one conversation
where we used anything like hard words, but he will be at
no loss to tell you that we think very differently. He
tells me desidedly [sic] that as for working in the shop he will not--Up to the present time he has perfectly Lived up to his determination--I am aware that it requires some time to do errends [sic] &c but I deny that it requires one half of the time of one person. The most of the time as Mr. Janes is absent we have much of such business to attend to--I think you would hardly justify me in absenting myself every day from the shop till after
breakfast--which we never have till 8 or 1/2 after 8
o'clock--I think Mr. Janes has been to the Furnace but
once for two months till after breakfast.
Now cousin I have written enough to let you know my feelings--I have been frank as I wish others to deal with me. When Mr. Janes and I had our difference I then told him that it would be the last time I should differ with him. We would live to gether peasably [sic] or we would
seperate [sic]--I should be happy to have Mr. J. or myself change our manner of doing business which ever may be in the rong [sic]--and attend to business as it should
be and I doubt not we shall receive a fair consideration.
Should things continue as they are at present I must ask you to come out and examine for your self.
I have no objection to your saying to Mr. Janes that unless things can take a different turn I wish to be set at liberty--although I do not wish him to see this letter at present--should he think proper to addopt [sic] new measures it may be consined [sic] to the fire--if not I am willing it should be put into his hands--So much for
the dark side of the picture--as I make it out.
I think we made our first heat the 7th of Jan'y have melted 7 [tuns?]--have sold about $[120?] worth of Castings--and $20 of other work--There is as much to be done as we can possibly attend to--and more.
We are perfectly contented with Hamilton as a
p[lace] of residence--I think I should almost be willing
[to] say, be my life long or short , I should as soon
spend it in Hamilton as elsewhere.
We shall be behind the light house with our Ploughs this spring I very much fear. I send with Mr. Janes a statement of the money expected &c--We shall want 20 tons of Iron in the spring from Carthage--or Salisbury Pig [Iron]--for machinery--
If we can obtain 10 tons at a purchase without any
inconvenience it will be best as we can then do more
towards paying for it out of our work.
Mr. Stiles will finish the Patterns on the 15th. We have the best machinery in our furnace to be found in the reach of any acquaintance.
Mr. Stiles would like take a share in the furnace if he could have things go to his mind. I have said nothing to him on the subject, but he has mentioned that he would like to have an interest here if he could [?] to his mind.
We have expended more money than we calculated--whither more than is for our benefit you will judge for
I hope to hear from you soon.
My best regards to your Wife.
I remain yours truly
N.B. As I am in haste at this time I send you the amount expended--the first opportunity I will send the items
1 It is clear from Fisher's letters to Calvin, his cousin and business partner, that he was often concerned about the practices of Mr.[Joseph] Janes and that he generally did not enjoy working with him. Fisher felt that Janes was absent from the Foundry too often and apparently the two men did not typically agree on how to conduct business. Fisher often writes to Dr. McQuesten complaining about Janes' behaviour.
In Febrauary of 1838, Janes appears to be trying to sell his Hamilton property, although Fisher believes that he is serious about moving away (W-MCP4-6.171). However, that summer, Fisher writes that Janes is behaving strangely and as of December 1838, Janes had run off, abandoning his wife and leaving thousands of dollars in debts, some of which was owed to his partners in the foundry (W-MCP4-6.161, W-MCP4-6.186, W-MCP4-6.230).
See also W-MCP4-6.215, W-MCP4-6.201, W-MCP4-6.236, W-MCP4-6.189, W-MCP4-6.183, W-MCP4-6.169, W-MCP4-6.194,
W-MCP4-6.184, and the post-script of W-MCP4-6.231.
For more on John Fisher, see W-MCP5-6.240.