Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library

LETTERS AND INVENTORY OF JOHN FOWLER

[Comments in italics and footnotes were provided by John Fowler, a living descendant]


JOHN FOWLER LETTERS #1

The letter is addressed to James Stothert Esq, with the original address defaced and replaced with "of Cargen near Dumfries". In the customary fashion of the day, there is no envelope; the original letter was folded, wax sealed (traces remain), and the address written on it. The front of the letter is stamped "LIVERPOOL SHIP LINE".

 

On the back is written "Sep. 7 1788 Recd & forwarded by Your obedt sert  V. Corrie "  There also appears to be a date 8/26 ("American" style ?), which could be the date the letter arrived in Britain (12 days before being delivered to the first address).

 

On partially unfolding, there is a return address : written, like the destination address, on the back of the single large sheet (16" x 18", folded to give 4 "pages" which comprise the letter), but not visible when the letter is folded and sealed.

Martha Brae
7 June & 1 July 1788
John Fowler

Followed by the date ("American" style again) 7/21 and a check mark. This is presumably when it was delivered to the ship taking it back to Britain, which would make a 36 day voyage, which seems about right.

Below the return address is the number 39 - presumably from a register or log John Fowler kept of his business correspondence.

There are 2 letters, the first is a copy of an earlier letter dated June 7, 1788, the second is dated 1 July 1788.  In transcription, the original lines, spelling, capitalisation and punctuation have been maintained as far as possible, but sometimes the distinction between commas and full stops is not clear)

---------------

The First Letter

Dear Sir

Your Esteemed favor1 of the 19th of March I duly received, the Remarks therein I pay attention to, I hope Mr Campbells, Mr. Grants, & my accounts, will reach you safe, you will then Judge of there merits, I am truly Concerned at the trouble Mr. Drummond puts you to. I Hope Justice will prevail
I Have formerly Commented on poor Mr. Campbells want of activity __ the fear of your being put to more Expence was the motive for my paying Mr. McLeod the Twenty Pounds Stl2 , enclosed is his letter ___ I do not Employ Tradesmen on any of your properties but by Contract, Some trifles excepted, I Have Sufficient Employ for your Carpenter upon the Estate this year, there is Still a demur in the Settlement of the line with Mrs. C. Connor, She is a very Tenacious Woman, I Have hitherto avoided as much as possible the Expence of Surveyors, which they wish to Involve us in, & also of Law. I have offered to Sell her about three acres of Bottom which is not of great value to you but much so to her being part of a Considerable large one of hers, & to Join in building a wall at the foot of the Hill, I hope to get this business Soon fixt ____
We finished Crop the 30th ult3 Will ship 172 Hhds4 of Prime Sugar Averaging better than 16 C5  and about Eighty two puncheons6 of Rum particulars Will be forwarded as Soon as disposed of, forty Hhds are gone to Bristol  the same to Liverpool 35 to London and twenty to Glasgow, the next ten Hogsheads go to Liverpool, then ten for Bristol and I think to Ship the rest to London. Rum sells at 2/5 per Galln " per 32/67   the weather was very dry untill the 20 Ulto by which Dundee Suffered Considerably by the Taint8 , Since then there has been very fine rains, by Captn Wilson of the Brig Favorite, I Have sent a Trunk Containing your Books with the Origl Catalogue of them deld to me by Mr. Shelton, the fourth volume of Chesterfields letters are wanting the Rum Case, Coffee pott, Soup Laddle, puncheon and Hhd of Rum the Almanack and this days Newspaper are also sent, I Hope they will get all Safe to you, yesterday I served your Negroes with Hatts Oznaburghs9 and the Check10  they are in General well, and thank God abound in provisions there is a necessity Spell of mules being purchased for next Crop the Coals Cannot be dispensed with, the flat bottom'd Coppers and apparatus Need not be sent, and I have no Complaint against the Mill, Inventory
(end of first page)

of Stores, and list of Supplys wanted Shall accompany my next
Please to order out by the first Ship from Bristol five thousand Bricks
I was obliged to borrow two thousand
I am with great Regard
Dear Sir
         Yr mo Obedt Servt
         J Fowler

Copy Origl by Brigt Favorite Capt Wilson

Martha Brae 7 June 1788

The Second Letter
(continues below the copy, on the same page)

Dear Sir

         The aforegoing is a Copy of my last, Since then I am without any of your favors, under Cover please to receive, List of Stores up on Dundee & of Supplies wanted for next year
a want of Ships prevail Here to take off the Crops, I Have however got One Hundred and Sixty hogsheads of yours Shipt, the Remaining twelve I hope also to get Shipt, this week, the Seasons have been remarkably good all the last month, the prospect for next year is very favorable, and Country provisions are plenty, the Hogshead of Salt sent from Liverpool Cost you Double what it might be purchased for here. Lumber has been as Scarce this year as it was plenty last, has been as high as 18 per M11 , I Have Sent a Schooner to Georgia12 , which I Expect to return here in August, I expect to Supply Dundee at 12 for Red Oak & 14 for white Oak Staves and Heading_________
I See no mention of Mr. Jardine13 in your books, or do I know where he is to write him. I Hope you Enjoy Good Health &
I am with Regard Dear Sir Yr Mo Obed Servt
J Fowler
1 July 1788

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

[Footnotes]

  1Note "American" spelling
  2Sterling, to differentiate from "currency", or Jamaican money. One pound Jamaican currency was worth around 14 shillings Sterling.
  3Ultimo = last month, i.e. 30th May
  4Hogsheads. A "hogshead", when applied to wine, was a very specific measure, 52.5 Imperial gallons, however the term was also used more generally for a large cask or barrel.  The 16 Cwt. contents agrees with figures I've seen for other estates, and would indicate a capacity of approximately 200 Imperial gallons.
  5The original abbreviation, a capital C with two horizontal lines through it, probably means a British hundredweight, Cwt., 112 pounds.
  6The formal definition of a puncheon was 70 Imperial gallons.
  7There appears to be missing (or understood) "and sugar for" "per Cwt". This would make a puncheon of rum worth ? 8 9s 2d (?8.46), presumably in sterling, since prices would be set at the UK port, and a hogshead of sugar would be ? 9 15s (? 9.75). Accordingly, the value of production from the estate (excluding any local sales), would be ? 693.72 for rum and ? 1677 for sugar, for a total of approximately ? 2,371.  In 2006 value, this would be approximately 100 times greater, approximately ? 240,000,about US $ 460,000 (See House of Commons Library Research Paper 06/09 13 February 2006 "Inflation : the value of the pound 1750-2005" http://www.parliament.uk/commons/lib/research/rp2006/rp06-009.pdf) As attorney for the estate, John Fowler's fee would have been approximately 6% of the gross revenue, or around US $ 27-28,000 in 2006 purchasing power.
  8This appears to have been a disease of the sugar cane
  9A type of rough cloth
  10Presumably also cloth (checkered)
  11I assume this is the cost per thousand (M) for staves used in cooperage
  12This may well have been a Fowler vessel, since the Fowler family were ship owners and merchants operating out of Bristol, and John Fowler himself may have been a ship captain prior to settling in Jamaica - in 1776 a John Fowler is listed as the captain of the Taunton, an American built ship registered in Bristol. (see Lloyd's Register of British and Foreign Shipping http://www.reach.net/~sc001198/ShipsTU.htm )
  13It is interesting to speculate if this Jardine was related to the later founder of the trading company Jardine Matheson : "Jardine, Matheson & Co. has a rather seedy beginning. It was founded in Canton on 1 July 1832, following a meeting between William Jardine and another Scots trader, James Matheson from Sutherland. In 1834, the pair sent the first private shipments of China tea to England; another big export to the UK was silk. In return, they illegally traded opium to the Chinese. Jardine Matheson's early profits were based on this trading of Indian opium into China. When the Chinese emperor tried to ban the trade, the company called on Britain to compel China to compensate for the confiscated goods, leading in 1840 to two Opium Wars". (See Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jardine_Matheson_Holdings )


LETTERS #2

Letter from John Fowler At Martha Brae

dated 30th April and 10th June 1790
addressed to James Stothert Esq., c/o Messrs Milligan and Mitchell, Merchants of London, sent by packet.

The letter contains a copy of a letter written at Martha Brae on 30th April 1790 and one written on 10th June.

Text.

James Stothert Esq MaBrae Jamaica 30 April 1790

Dear Sir,

 Since my last I received your favor of the 22nd Febry Mr Andersons provisions are generaly good, I left the quantity for you to put, I have made every enquirey to find out who Mr Hamiltons attorneys are, without effect, Longlands and Smith declare they never were, neither do they know anything of Mr Kerrs protd Bills, or of any other paper of his, Mr George Mowatt of Kingston says he has no power of attorney from him, but transacted any little matter for him, if Mr Hamiltons memory had served him, he would recolect Mr Stogdon having that year sent Miss Smith, a passenger with him, and gave this Bill for him to receive payment, but he being a transient man, Mr Stogdon required your security, I have got a letter from Mr Stogdon to him on the business, Judgement would have gone against you last court, had Mr Delaney, who was Mr Stogdons clerk, and witness to the bond, attended, he poor Fellow was sick and is since dead, So that judgement will go next court by the witness signature being proved(?) I hope it may also go against Hamilton but the want of his being represented here will I fear prevent that, I will send an exemplification of the Judgement, or the bond under the Island seal, the statement of McCarty & Sims debt is entered by yourself in your Accot Currt Book 1775. The Judgements against Matt Gallimore are not entered in your books, I found them in a list of Judgements against him, shewn to me by his widow who I transacted some business for, and if I could have Lodged Writts on them, they would have been recovered, I am sorry that the apprehension I had of your crop falling off, will prove so by twenty hogshead, the season untill the 23rd inst was exceeding dry the Canes tainted much, Since then there has been very fine rains, There are one hundred and forty four hogshead made of which twenty more are shipt to Liverpool and ten to Bristol. My accots to the 31st decr are under cover, I hope you will find them right and approve them, I have drawn upon you in favor of messrs Edie Laird & Edie for one thousand pounds which I hope you will honor, I am

 Your faithfull and obedt Servt

 

copy

 

Dear Sir 10th June 1790

 

 Since my last I am without any of your favor, it is a mortifying diapointment to me, that you have not answered my letter of 1st Janury. the crop at Dundee was finished the 30th ult, I am sincerely concerned to inform you that it has fell off far exceeding any idea that I could form of it, it is a fact that Hampden Billfield & Orange Valley, have fell off far more in proportion, although there powers(?) Are more than double and some treble of Dundee, in Negroe stock still etc There will be only one hundred and fifty six hogshead of sugar and sixty one puncheons of Rum shipt, the Seasons were Heavy all all May oweing to which the latter Canes made nothing, they still continue and the Sprouts (?) look well, I served your negroes with Osnaburgh etc they are in general well but a scarcity of provisions prevails, they must be assisted. I am sorry to inform you that Mr Flood conducts himself very improperly, he has been tampering with the Negroes, and has realy injured the exertions that were necessary for carrying on the work of the Estate, I am concerned for it on Mrs Stotherts and her good mothers account, for by letters written by the latter to him, while in Grenada, the good Ladies friendship for him is great. I discharged the overseer in consequence of the short crop and of not agreeing with Mr Flood.

 Poor William Stothert returned from New York without benefitting by the voyage. I have consented to let him go to England. He is to sail about the first of July, the Kendall Cotton &ybax(?) for him I expect hourly from Kingston where it arrived about a month ago, the settlement is made on Cargen(?) Of about ten acres planted in Cocoas, Corn Yams and plaintains walk(?) I do not hear of any other settlement in that quarter excepting Messrs Gordons, The building in the sea on your property at Montego Bay will be finished next month, this improvement is admired by all who see it and know the Bay and it is the opinion of judges of the work that Whittaker will not make two bitt p(?) day of his negroes. He must be paid next month, List of supplys shall ccompany my next

 I will ship to the care of Mr Corrie for you a tierce of sugar one puncheon of Rum and a barrel of coffee. I am with compliments to you and yours Dear Sir

 Yr mo obedt Servt

 J Fowler

 

In the Archives there is a record of a James Fowler owning three estates. Friendship, Lottery and Grange in the period about 1810/22. The record is in the Almanac for the year.

 

1822 James Fowler.... Friendship had 138 slaves
 Lottery had 133 slaves
 Grange had 115 slaves

 

John Stogdon, his heirs had
 Hague with 156 slaves
 Clifton with 124 slaves

 Johnston with 68 slaves
  Orange Grove with 70 slaves

James Stothert, his heirs had
  Dundee with 209 slaves



INVENTORY OF JOHN FOWLER

For Schedule A (list of slaves on Friendship Estate and Thatch Hill Penn), and Schedule B (list of livestock), please go to 1793 slave list.

Schedule C to which the annexed warrant of Appraisment refers being a list of Bonds, Notes, and other Obligations part of the Personal Estate of John Fowler Esq. late of the parish of Trelawny deceased.

Neill Campbell, amount of a Mortgage on the Lottery Estate and sundry judgments against him made up to the 25th February 1790----------£21,115. 9s. 2d.

William Barnett, balance on mortgage dated 13th July 1791 on Lisworney Estate. . £5019.17s. 1 1/2d.

Brady & Mulloy bonds dated 1788-1794 --------13107. 5. 0.

James Mulloy, bonds dated 1791--------------.. 3332. 12. 4 ½

Joseph Lindton, bonds dated 1790-1792--------..  1628. 10. 0

Thomas Linton, bonds dated 1790------------.     2174. 11. 6

James Hardyman, bonds dated 1790-1791--------.. 156.  0. 0.

Philip Doherty, bonds dated 1789 to 1792--------. 630. 12. 2.

Alexander Urquhart, bonds dated 1790-1792. . . . . . . 302.  1.  0.

Hugh Barnett, bonds & notes dated 1790-1792. . . . . 2098.  9.10

George Hawkins, bonds dated  1791
    bond in favor of W. Moore
    judgment Delany
    judgment Hancome
    note in favor Jos. Gerrard
   order drawn by James Weston on him
   ditto Thomas Lugg. . . . . . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2050.  7.  9

Richard Brodie, note dated 1791
   order drawn by him in favor of Samuel Burrows
   bill dated 1792. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1120. 19.  9.

Alexander Campbell bonds dated 1791. . . . . . . . . .   433.  0.  0.

Robert Marshall bond dated 1791. . . . . . . . . . . . . .    216.  3.  8.

Patrick McGibbon, bond dated 1790 . . . . . . . . . . .    252. 14.  8   

John Nicholson bond dated 1789. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114.  9.  3.

Edward Knowles, bond dated 1788. . . . . . . . . . . . . .  250.  0.  0.

Thomas Ellis bond dated 1783. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     86.  5.  3.

John Mowat bond  dated 1789 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     92.  5.  0.

Thomas Graves, bond dated 1790. . . . . . . . . . . . .       63.  0.  0.

James Stewart, bond dated 1789. . . . . . . . . . . . .       127. 10. 0.

Robert Patterson, bond dated 1790 . . . . . . . . . . .        68.  0.  0.

James Oliver, bond dated 1790. . . . . . . . . . . . . .         33. 13. 0.

Joseph Rigby, bond dated 1790. . . . . . . . .  . . . . . .    112.  0. 0.

Samuel Earnshaw, bond dated 1792. . . . . . . . . . .      388. 15.  0.

Armstrong & Stephenson dated 1792 . . . . . . . . . .   1083. 10. 0.

William Barnett, bond dated 1792 . . . . . . . . . . . . .    586.  2.  6.

John Campbell, bonds dated 1792. . . . . . .  . . . . . . .  775.  0.  0.

David McCulloch, bond dated 1792. . . . . . . . . . . .    465.  0.  0.

Urquhart Gillespie, bond & note dated 1791-1792. . . 186.  6.  6.

Benjamin Marlow, bonds dated 1792 . . . . . . . . . . .   993.  6. 10.

John Gayner, junior, bonds dated 1792 . . . . . . . . .    755.  0.  0.

Robert Thompson dated 1790 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    208.  0.  0.

James Phillips, bond dated 1790 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  64.  0.  0.

Dr. Patrick Smith judgment assigned. . . . . . . . . . . . . 231.  9.  4.

Samuel Barnett judgment at suit of Taylor assigned. . 111.  0.  7

James Brady, judgment at suit of Taylor assigned. . .    50.  7.  0.

William Brander judgment at suit of Spence

   paid James Tannin ------------------------.. 15. 19. 2.

Edward Hanlon judgment on A. Westid? 1789
    judgment at the suit of E. White assigned. . . . . . . . . 359.  9.  3.

Thomas Hanlon, judgment at suit of  Doresy?
    notes dated 1791. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 169.  6.  8 ½

John Simpson, judgment November Grand Court 1791 . 70.  0.  0.

William Davis Quarrell? judgment vs Barrett . . . . . . . . 106.  16. 8.

John Hall, judgment 1791. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 170.  1.  2

Estate of G. J. Brown judgment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. . .  382.  1.  5.

Peter Simianna?, note dated 1790 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     31.  0.  0.

John Porter, note dated 1791 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   2. 10. 0.

James Archer, note dated 1789. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11.  0.  0

John Dunn (or Dennis?), note dated 1790 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 60.  0.  0.

Colin Campbell, note dated 1790 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  617. 19.  9.

William Lee, note dated 1791 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .253.  0.  0.

Robert Colinsley, note dated 1789 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   62.  4.  3.

John Nicholson, note dated 1791. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  36. 13.  9.

William Sinclair, note dated 1789. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88.  0.  0.

Ann Poppleton, note dated 1791 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50.  0.  0.

Henry J. Gibbs, note dated 1791 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 88.  0.  1.

James Simpson, note dated 1792 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 50.  0.  0.

Isaac Ewing (?) note dated 1789 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18. 16.  3

Sylvester Cotter, not dated 1790 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .96.  0.  0.

Samuel Farmer, note dated 1791 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  40.  0.  0.

Miles Berwick, note dated 1786 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  22.  7.  9.

Cleaver Taylor, note dated 1785 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  59. 18.  9.

Thomas Dunn, note dated 1792 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160.  6.  7 ½

Charles Schaw, note dated 1791 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .    400. 10.  8.

R. V. Willon(?), note dated 1790 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .     55.   0.  0.

John  P Leydon acceptance of Henry W. Gallimore . . . . . . . . .  208.    0.  0.

Henry W. Gallimore bond dated 1791 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .201.   0.  8

John Longmore acceptance of Michael Rivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20.   0.  0.

Thomas Cooper acceptance of Michael Rivers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .   7.  5. 11

Thomas Alves acceptance of John Hall's order on him .  . . . . . .   73.  9.  5 ½

Order in favor of James Wedderburn dated 1791 . . . . . . . . . . . . . 280.  0.  0.

Acceptance in favor of ditto dated 1789 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  170.  0.  0.

William Wilson, balance attested by Dr.,  201.  4.  5 ½

Thomas Thompson ,   15. 14.  1 ½

Ann Williams, 25.  0.  0.

Matthew Jop acceptance of Henry Baker?, 21. 18.  4.

Thomas Betterton, 37. 10. 0.

Simon Lau. Lawrence, 18. 10. 0

Bryan Edwards, 123. 10.  9.

James Virgo, amount with John Ingram's note, 52. 16.  0.

John Atkins, 46. 7.  0.

Mrs. Armstrong, & Miss Cooper,  424. 18. 0.

The Estate of  Gosley? Hall, 245. 10. 2.

John Franklin, 1120. 2.  5.

Robert Lovejoy, 286. 17. 9.

Estate of  _ Greenland, 106. 7. 6.

Walter Buchannan, 605. 11. 10.

Alexander Wilson 46. 16. 9 ½

John Reid's P Bond dated 1786, £138. 14. 1.

Andrew Fowler, (including 4 new Negroes), 1030. 2. 10 ½
    ditto 311. 0. 0.

Montague Vaga, note and orders, 128.  7. 9 ½

James Kitts Wilby, lent him in London, 230.  0.  0.

Alexander Spens, 17. 17.  9.

Thomas Reid junior, note dated 1791, 250.  0. 0.

Reid & Thompson, 1800.  6.  6.

Dugald Clarke, judgments, 420.  0.  0.

Mary Coult, 90.  0.  0.
_________________________
Subtotal £64,148. 2. 3.

Open accounts unsettled and remain to be ascertained.  
The following sums are taken from the books and papers of the deceased
Schedule C continued:

Reverend Adrian Reid, £336. 13. 11.
Olive Gallimore, 252. 7. 3.
George Dunbar, 57. 8. 2 ½
Elizabeth Gloster, 39. 0. 0.
Estate of Honora Cohall, 221. 5. 7.
John Ward, 11. 13. 1 ½
Estate J. L. Watt, 101. 4. 8.
John James, 1152. 15. 8.
Samuel Barrett, 6 new Negroes, 469. 0. 0.
William Rose, 5 new Negroes, 391. 5. 0.
Jane Linton, 4 new Negroes, 310. 0. 0.
John Muir, 1 new Negro, 78. 5. 0.
Alexander Stephenson, 1 new Negro, 76. 5. 0.
Sarah Franklin, 1 new Negro, 75. 15. 0.
Mrs. Watt, 1 new Negro, 78. 5. 0.
Samuel Heron, 1 new Negro, 56. 5. 0.
James Fowler, 1 new Negro, 78. 5. 0.
The Estate of B. Underhill, 300. 0. 0.
John Graves Underhill, 11. 1. 11.
Thomas Lugg, 134. 8. 0.
John Lugg, 648. 10. 10.
Campbell & Elder, 2 new Negroes, 156. 10. 0.
James Foster?, 625. 13. 0.
__________________________
Sub-total £73,254. 9. 5.

The following Bonds on Judgment August Grand Court 1783:
    John Franklin & John Hodges, bonds, £560. 0. 0.

James Stothert, amount current, 560. 10. 7. ½
__________________________
Total £74,374. 19. 6 ½

JAMAICA SS:
By virtue of the warrant of appraisement hereunto annexed we have inventoried and appraised all and singular the goods and chattels rights and credits which were of John Fowler late of the Parish of Trelawny Esquire deceased as they were shown unto us by Andrew Gardner Joseph Linton Andrew Fowler and James Fowler his Executors . .. and find the same to amount to the sum of £88,722. 19. 6 1/2 current money of Jamaica . . . this 7th day of January 1793.
(signed and sealed) Alexander Hawthorne
                                James Galloway


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