Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library
The Letterbooks of Duncan Campbell 1766-1797
Extracts from letters to various persons in Jamaica on personal and business affairs
I take the opportunity by Capt. Neil Somervell to return you my best thanks for your kindness in taking a part of this ship. I hope he will be grateful to you and his other friends--she is a compleat little ship and well calculated for the trade--and if she has quick dispatch and the Capt. Frugal we shall not lose by her, you may be assured on this side of the water the greatest economy shall be used. I have in my letter to my Brother expressed my wish you would make your share a 1/16 it is now a 1/24 & £25 more will not break squares, I mean to hint the same to my cousin Crooks--I have made insurance on your share of the ship 'Orange Bay'.
[a similar letter was sent to James Crooks]
Please see more letters from Duncan Campbell from 1766 to 1771.
--the account of the last voyage of the 'Orange Bay' cannot be made up till I have the sales of Cargo from my Brother - the Dividend for that voyage is not included in the account now sent but you will find it in your next--from some hints that Capt. Somervell let drop I find your intentions towards me are friendly and sincere for which I beg you will accept my best thanks whenever you think I may have in my power to be of service to you here--
Though I cannot obtain the favour of a few lines from yourself yet I am not altogether uninformed about you & family's welfare. I cannot impute your silence to any other cause than that which generally prevails with old married men in your Island I mean something like indolence. When you can shake that off I doubt not but I shall hearing. Inclosed a state of your account--of course the Dividend for [the Orange Bay] is not included--
I have agreeable to your advice given Mr Dickson Credit 1 Nov £1000 by his bond in your hands the interest is due in Jamaica will it be proper for me to make an annual charge of interest in my account or will you receive for me? I have written to him pretty freely from the house and repeated in private letter--on the head of his having exceeded so much in his calls upon the house; when all his effects are sold he will owe us a balance of £800 which I think was straining my good will towards him rather too far & was it not I had a feeling for his situation I would have let his bills find their way back again--I fancy what I have said will induce him to be more cautious for the future and occasion his taking every step in his power to lessen his debt without loss of time
--I approve much of your intended conversation with Dickson & Crooks, for your government I have just looked into the state of their accounts in the Co. Books and find that without any charge of Interest the Balance of J. Dickson is now with credit for all his sugars £791.1.5. J.C. £241.0.6.
--[my] brother carries with him Miss. Douglas and my Eldest Daughter whose bad state of health has induced me with my brothers persuasion to try what a sea voyage will do - Indeed I am led to believe that the most salutary effect as may be expected there from. I need not doubt that but she will meet with a kind reception and every mark of civility from all my friends amongst whom I may venture to place you--
--I have within these last few days settled with Mr Stewarts Administrators & have taken upon myself your debt to the company which amounted to £1,192.6.10--I beg you will receive my best thanks for your friendly offices with Mrs. Newell. Mrs. Campbell joins me in kind wishes for your health.
I had a letter lately from your brother complaining greatly of your silence, but, I hope by some of the ships lately arrived from your Island you have relieved him from his anxiety on that score.
--Insurances £350 and £120--I have applied to Mrs. Brissett to take charge of your daughter but I find she does not return to Jamaica this season, if any other favourable opportunity should cast up I shall give your Brother timely notice to send her here in proper time to get ready and Mrs Campbell will take care she is equipt with what is necessary for her outfit. In consequence of your brother's application I have permitted him to draw on me for use of your children £60 he was very pressing and tho I had no authority at that time from you I could not refuse him. I have written to him that you had decided I should advance him £30 if it was requisite for your daughter coming up to London. I have not yet sold any of your sugars. I have been offered 36/ for those on Orange Bay I stand for 37/--your bills to Neil Malcolm £234. 10.9 and James Spence £112.19.4 have appeared and as they are drawn at so long time after sight I declined accepting them knowing that capence can fall upon you till they become due before which time you may be able to provide for them by your further remittance, your annual bill to Hibberts & Co. for £500 shall be duly honoured when it appears but I must request the favour you will not continue to draw so largely as you have hitherto done for you must be sensible I cannot afford to continue in so large an advance and on this hand I have already written to my brother to converse with you. My regard for your family will naturally lead me to do you every service in my power and as I trust yours is reciprocal I flatter myself you will spare me as much as you can. Mrs. Campbell joins me in thanks for your kind information about the passengers in the Britannia.
Your brother advises me by a letter that he wishes to have his daughter sent out with Mrs. Brissett and desires me to let you have as far as £30 in case you want it to fit her out from Scotland. I find Mrs Brissett is quite undetermined as to her going out. Mr Neil Malcolm who is now here is much against her going this season to Jamaica and as that is the case I should advise you to defer bringing or sending up Miss. Dickson till we can find a prospect of some family going out that will take charge of her--
I am extremely obliged for your intention of shipping soon 25hhds to my address. Mr Dickson has not advised as yet what vessel they are to come in
PS Please to tell Mr Dickson that I have written for his daughter to be sent up to stay with us till a proper conveyance offers for her going out--
by [Capt.] Darling I wrote to my brother & desired him to acquaint you that Miss Dickson was with us--she is much improved in her health and looks since she came here and you may be sure that Mrs. Campbell will give proper attention to her in all respects I wish she may be able to tell that she met with as much when she had a greatest right to expect it. Mrs Campbell has settled her with what necessaries are wanting, when she came here she was indeed very scarce of all sorts of cloaths--Miss Dickson is now in the country for a few days with Mrs. Campbell else she would have written to you--
Miss Dickson is well and is preparing for her voyage. I purpose her going out with Capt Dunn to Montego Bay, he has a fine new ship and a Mr & Mrs Bennet & family Capt. & Mrs._______ go passengers in same ship which I think a good opportunity for her. Capt. Dunn assures me he will sail the first week in June and you may expect her a very short time after the receipt of this.
As Miss Dickson goes with Capt. Dunn for Montego Bay and will sail in a few days I shall defer writing you fully on Business till that opportunity, meantime it may not be improper to tell you that I approve of your intended settlement with Dickson which I would not have you postpone a Day for Delays are dangerous
for your satisfaction I send you a state of your account up to this day in which you will see that I have given Credit for your Bond granted by my Brother there and that there is a balance due you on your Currt Acct of £79.16.1. I beg you will accept my thanks for your good offices with Mrs. Newell and I flatter myself with a continuance of them. This will be delivered you by your Daughter who goes out with Capt. Dunn in the Friendship, from the ship Capt. & Passengers I think she bids fair to have and agreeable voyage and I sincerely wish her a happy meeting with you and her other friends. As to all matters concerning her while here & in Scotland I refer to herself who considering her Age and the small Pains which she appears - - -- to have been taken with her I think can give a more discreet & sensible account of all matters than could be expected. She really is an exceedingly well disposed Girl & from her uncommon Headiness for a young creature I think you will find her a most useful and Diligent Child. I dare say her account of her treatment while in my hands will answer your expectations in the fullest sense.
..your brother has drawn upon me for £80 upon your account his bill met with due honour as it is for your childrens necessaries but you must not take it amiss if I should decline accepting your other draughts if _________ is considerable as I have with candour told you your advance is more than I can afford. I commend your intentions of bringing up your sons so as to enable them to support themselves by some business or another & the sooner they set about learning their several occupations the better, you are certainly right I having your eldest son sent by way of Glasgow it will save a considerable expence. I am extremely sorry to se your favours in the way of consignment so much reduced & the more so from the account you give of the fortunes in your crop. You have always my best wishes for your success in all your undertakings as I am indeed.
PS as the crops in the Leeward Islands being short is confirmed to the sugar buyers by a number of the ships returning home not half loaded I think it will have a favourable effect on our markets & therefore I shall defer selling your sugars for a week or two.
--our markets are in so disagreeable a state that I have not made any progress with the sale of your sugars since my last, when I do I will not fail to advise you
PS inclosed you have invoice and bill of loading for the necessaries you order shipt on board the Dawes--amounting to £21.4.4 at your debit.
Same as John Dickson
--I was in hopes by a letter I had from Mr. Newell of having 11 more hhds sugar from Hopewell, perhaps you had no ships to take them. I congratulate you on your daughters safe arrival, my family join in compliments to you and her.
--the continuance of the Dismall state our sugar markets have been in for months past occasions your sugars to remain on hand but as the buyers begin now to make their appearances I am in hopes that in a short time I shall be able to dispose of them--I have not heard from my Brother since his letters from Kingston early in Janry. Nor have I had any Letters from Somervell or Ogilvie owing I suppose to a tract of Easterly winds which keep the homeward bound ships out.
--I am much pleased to find my conduct with C.C. meets with your approbation. I shall through the sale of that business endeavour to conduct my affairs to avoid blame to you or me in case an amicable settlement does not take place. I hope I shall--see your observations on my stating of your account with C[ampbell]& S[tewart] upon which I wish much to know your sentiments--.you take no notice of Dicksons affairs about which I am somewhat anxious, nor do you mention what is like to be the outcome of my letter to Mr. McLachlan, however I doubt not your next will inform me fully on these heads--
I have at last sold your 31 hhds sugar by the Friendship and Britannia as follows 4at 38/ 2 at 35/ 16 at 32/6 & 9 at 28/. These last were really shocking--my own opinion is that under the circumstances it will be much more for your interest to sell your sugars in the Country than to send them to any of our markets on this side of the water but of this you will judge for yourself--I have repeatedly written of its being inconvenient for me to supply you with as large an advance as I am even now engaged in..
--I am extremely sorry to find by your letter that you were obliged to ship your sugars in the manner you have done. I commend your resolution of disposing of your estate I think with such a family as you have it is a proper thing & I wish you success in the sale. I thank you for the offer you make me of buying it, but the same reason applies with me / a large family/ and leads me to decline investing so large a part of my little fortune in Landed Estate. I am obliged for the hope you give me of receiving soon payment of your debt, it will be very inconvenient for me to be deprived of so large a sum for any long time--sale of your 10 casks sugar--proceeds to your credit £323.13.1 A state of your Current Account to this day by which you will see there is a balance due you £470.18.8--.this will remain a very considerable balance due onyour tow bonds Viz £1825
PS pray accept my thanks for the good offices done with Mr. Newell
--I pray you will accept my cordial thanks for your good offices in my behalf with your neighbours. I shall attend to your hints about Mr. Bucknor James--the Manner you write about my steering clear of Embarasment in my settling with C.C. is most kind, be assured I shall make a proper use of the Latitude you there gave me--your letter on Brown of 25th May is before me and your caution accords entirely with mine, I shall be guarded--
With this you will see my letters to Mr Crooks & Mr. Dickson in which you will find a state of their accounts which after perusal please seal and deliver, and regulate yourself accordingly. Mr. Crooks talks of drawing largely--I cannot afford to go much further for his divided consignments. I am sorry to see how Mr. Dickson is obliged to ship his sugars I am glad you declined indorsing any Bills--you will see there is still £1830 due on his bonds and it seems I am to expect no payment this year; this you must suppose is no small hardship at such a period too. I approve much of his selling his estate for obvious reasons. As to your leaving £1000 of my Debt for the Consignment I leave that matter to your direction but more I would decline on even that it falls into very agreeable hands & I am sure A[lexander]C[ampbell], if he becomes the purchaser, and I never could agree, therefore I should wish to keep clear there at all events. I think you should have a mortgage of our Debt, it seems to me the only certain means for safety but I submit to you for godsake promote the disposal of the estate with all in your power it will have from what you have said pleasing consequences to you & to me of course. As to Blagrove's money I find by D.J. that is almost all drawn out so near as £2000 so little can be done by that means with C.C--.Poor Miss Dicksons fall gives much concern to my family but I hope things will turn out better than you seem to hint, time will wear of these symptoms which seem so alarming.
Please accept my best thanks for your annual presents, but above all for the yams which has been of excellent service to poor Jack who has laid upon them ever since Millar arrived--
--I am exceedingly glad to find by a letter from my Brother that your Daughter was perfectly recovered upon which event my family congratulate you and join in compliments with one.
[received copy of letter of 21st June with an order for sundry Necessaries for Mr Crooks estate--it gave me much concern to find a few lines from your Daughter that you was so much indisposed as not to be able to write yourself--I hope that this will find you in perfect health--[account] I hope your friendship for me will lead you to relieve me from such an inconvenience as soon as possible may be.
I had lately a letter form Mr Newell telling me you have written there was made 120 hhds at Hopewell & that he had directed all but 40 to be shipt to me--60 casks all that I have received. I hope you will rather favour than withhold his kind intentions towards me--
I am very glad for you and your family sake at the favourable account you give of the situation of your fortune & of there being so handsome a reversion. I will join you in opinion that a sale of Salem is the most elegable plan, you say if you do not sell your Estate you will make me safe I really cannot afford to let such a Balance as that in your hands lye for interest and therefore I flatter myself you will fall upon some steps to pay it off this next Crop. If I could spare it you would be welcome to the use of it but my brother can inform you of the situation in american affairs added to several other engagements on my hands make my want of such a some very inconvenient at this time.
The 10 casks J.C. landed, the sale of these sugars I shall transmit to Mr. Crooks via New York. Your bills in his account to Malcolm & Co. £79.15.5 to Fr. Clark & Co. £153.4.8. and to John Jarrett £70 have all been met with due honour.
--request the continuance of your good offices towards the dispatch of the Orange Bay Capt. Somervell by who this goes. If Mr. Newell should be pleased to continue his favours to me & could with conveniency ship his sugars earlier I think it would turn out to his advantage.
--I have sold your 7 casks the Friendship at 31/ a very poor price indeed but really these sugars were of Very mean quality and I can assure you were well sold even at that--
--I am sorry to see from the tenour of your letter your Expectations of support from Mr. Newell seems in some degree to have diverted your intentions of disposing of Salem it is my opinion no plan you can from will be so much for the benefit of your family as the getting rid of that property--if you could dispose of your property in Scotland on the terms you mention I think it would be a very prudent step but could not that be done without so expensive a jaunt as you propose. Go to work as cheap as you will find & keep Home a great charge.
Before this time you will have received your account curt. Which will enable my Brother to comply with your desire touching the discharging so much of your bond--on Mr Crooks business--what you mention about your bills on his account astonishes me. Mr Crooks wrote to me before he left the Island that perhaps his attornies might be obliged to call on me for £1200 which he requested I would honour. Even that sum I thought a large requisition but you tell me you have already drawn for £150 and was for to draw to Dr. Spence for a sum that ought to have been paid.. you ought to have sought an indulgence rather than put me to so disagreeable an alternative of refusing my friends Bills or myself in inconvenience. I thought my Brother was joined in this Attorneyship, perhaps if you had consulted him before you made this promise he would have advised you to be more sparing at this juncture. I am extremely glad to hear so favourable an account of the prospect for next Crop on Mr. Crooks Estate. I hope he means to make a more equable consignment tome next year otherwise I shall have much cause of complaint he shipt me only 78 casks of this Crop. I return you my best thanks for your good offices with Mr. Newell to whom I request you will present my best respects and to his lady.
--I am glad to find by your Letter that your Bills for Acct. of Mr. Crooks Estate was not equal to the sum you advised me would be drawn for; you may make yourself easy on the score of these Bills returning, they have been met with due honour--I am sorry to find you make no mention of your own affairs speaking on that subject may be more proper on another occasion this being calculated for business with you as Executor to Mr. Crooks. I return you thanks for the condolence on the distress myself and my family are reduced to, they join in Comps. to you, Mrs. Crooks & Miss. Dickson
--Orange Bay--being safely moored in the Thames my Brother and Daughter came ashore in perfect health to my great satisfaction. I thank you for your consignments from Salem by that ship. I am much obliged for your good offices with Mr. Newell and Mrs. Crooks I hope Mrs Crooks will see my conduct in a very different light than she seems to have done when she wrote to me last--whoever has given her a contrary opinion has done me injury & her no good for--my conduct must shew such suggestions were ill founded. Estate Account Current--besides the bond for £1200 £604.28
--the great importation from the New Islands Glut our Markets & will I am afraid henceforward keep the prices of sugar considerably under their former Value. My new ship Saltspring Capt. Ogilvie sailed 25 July and goes by his old rout to Maryland for Lumber but whether he will be permitted to take it on board is a matter of much doubt.
--By a letter my Brother had from you he says you have a prospect of selling Salem to advantage I think that event would have very agreeable consequences to yourself and friends but take care to be made secure of your payments when the instalments become due. I refer you to my brother for further particulars on this head I will certainly comply with whatever promise he may make touching an advance.
I beseech to give a helping hand towards the dispatch of my ships this year your assistance will be the more wanted by my Brother's absence--you know I have no Owners except 3/16ths in all my ships & that my interest in their success is of course an object of no small importance I therefore flatter myself this circumstance will be some incitement to you promoting their dispatch.
Your bill to Hibberts & Co. £400 met with due honour. My young folks join in compliments to you and Miss. Dickson.
--May I hope that you & Mrs. Crooks will find it convenient to increase the consignments from that Estate this year. I doubt not your good offices in that and every other respect.
My Brother is now in the country I expect him in Town tomorrow. I doubt not he will write you & to him I refer we have both been in expectation of hearing further from you about the disposable of Salem we sincerely wish a good purchaser may soon appear for that purpose. I shall always be glad to hear of your family's welfare--
--I flatter myself that by this time this reaches your hands my ships Saltspring & Blagrove or Orange Bay will be on the point of sailing & I shall be glad if you have largely shipt in the first ships as our Sugar & Rum markets have taken an unexpected favourable turn.
I have learnt by your letter to my Brother of the Marriage of Mrs. Crooks and of the Death of poor Mr. Newell. The inclosed is to congratulate Mrs. Brown which you will please forward. These two events will I must suppose give you an opportunity of exercising your good offices to my interest in greater Degree than before and I flatter myself that if it is so you will not withhold them. As my Brother writes by the same conveyance I beg leave to refer to him.
--I am extreamly glad to find you at last sold Salem so well & your payment is well secured. You surely have got price enough. I observe you mention about the terms of continuing the consignments of those sugars to me & I am much obliged to you for your kind recommendation but as you promise to be more full on that subject I shall defer making any reply till my Brother or Self hear again from you. I shall agreeable to your desire write to you on the business of J.C. I am very sorry to find I am not so happy as to have the favour of Dr. Browns correspondence. I should have done all in my power to give him content I am nevertheless equally obliged to you. Your sugars continue to be considerably stronger than they were two years ago but the colour has fallen off quality. I sold likewise 10hhds of my Brother's so low as 31/. My brother is now up in Scotland and I expect him in Augt. when he will begin to purpose for his voyage to Jamaica.
--Orange Bay and Blagrove--I have the pleasure to inform you are now safely at their moorings--I am very sorry to acquaint you that our Rum has fallen much beyond expectation from the very great and unusual quantities brought from the Leeward Islands--the [insurance] premium is now up to 20 Guineas--we have accounts daily of capture by American privateers.
I observe what you say about an advance to Mr. Tomlinson if he expects me to advance him money from hence or in any other way than by one of the instalments for payment of the Estate I shall chuse to decline it but of this as soon as my Brother returns from Scotland I shall write you more fully--Please accept of my thanks for your kind offices towards dispatching my ships.
--I take this cordial opportunity of returning to you my best wishes for your civility in giving my ships the preference to carry home the sugars for this port from the Estate of the late Mr. Crooks which Mr. Dickson has complyed with in every respect.
--my Brother and I went a few days since to Bristol & had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Newell & her little family all safe after their voyage. She told me she had ordered some Bricks from Bristol & desired I would also send out 20 thousand from hence for Hopewell which I shall ship in the Blagrove, Capt. Campbell--when you are distributing your draw to England for plantation necessaries for the Estates in your care I should be glad if my ships were taken into consideration. You rightly help them considerably without injuring the proprietors of the goods.
--I am in hopes there is a further consignment from that [Crooks] Estate otherwise my expectations will be greatly Baulked. Mr. Crooks always gave reason to expect 100 casks at least of course I have some cause of complaint. I doubt not however that a considerable part from this years consignment is intended to reduce the Debt to me in proportion thereto this I am sure from your and Mr. Browns friendship and candour you will think a reasonable expectation.
As my brother purposes embarking on that ship [Saltspring] I shall refer all matters of business to him--inclosed you will find Bill of Loading for 20000 Bricks shipt in the Blagrove by order of Mrs. Newell for Hopewell--they lookt well here I saw them myself. I have the greatest relyance on your good efforts in that Quarter.
PS We are now in Dayly expectations of the arrival of the August Fleet, some of the out port ships which parted with the Convoy are arrived, we dread the American privateers which are numerous.
--I have this day a letter form Mr. Dickson on 25 July with order for necessaries for Hopewell and Crooks Estates which like Mr. George Brissetts are come too late he tells me he will Draw for £400 to Dr. Thomas Brown for his wife's needs--Dickson says "Mr. Tomlinson writes you by this Fleet he has proposed to ship to you. Mr. Brissett and I have agreed to let £2000 Sterling stand as an advance for his consignment, that is £1000 of the first and one thousand of the second, Bonds" he says in his next he shall be more full; speaks in general of the intended insurrection, says that there is above 100 Slaves in Custody at Lucea and that they contrive to take up more--three of Crooks' are amongst them but not a word of yours being concerned, he is to write you soon.
Serocold's house have stopt, some say they will be supported by subscription but this I _______ much. I am told they will require £150,000 to enable them to go on, this is not easily obtained & I fear the worst, I am in him as near £400 by their note for freight. Mr. Ma____ has also stopt it seems owing to some Bills he gave Currie which he was to take up--I am told a Commission is Docketed for Currie already there is to be a meeting of his Creditors tomorrow night but for what purpose I know not know--by Serocold's stopping I meet with a Disappointment I did not expect and I fear one likewise from John Hope, under all these circumstances it behoves me to be very circumspect in my engagements which I mean to be--
--hope these goods will arrive safe and meet with your approbation you will discover the articles in the Different Invoices much increased in price owing to the great Demand and Scarcity. As my Brother is now on board the Orange Bay on his way to Jamaica--I shall beg leave to refer you to him and these letters on the head of Mr Tomlinson's advance and all other matters in Business
--inclosed invoice of sundry necessaries shipt on your order on account of the Estate of James Crooks Esq. Decd. On board the Saltspring Capt. Ogilvy--your bills to John Paterson on the same account £121.10.0 to Grant & Co. £50 to John Campbell £300 & £100 have appeared and met with due honour.
I am sure you will consider the advance I am in when you have the shipping of next years crop in Contemplation--return you thanks for the assistance given to my ships & interest last year. Mrs. Campbell joins me in Compliment to you and Miss. Dickson.
--I have not sold your remaining 20 hhds but you will think it strange that I have this day refused 63/ per cwt. for them--the rise has happened within the last ten days as unexpected as to nothing. The capture of a good many of the last fleets from Jamaica and the Leeward Islands is said to be the occasion of it but that I think is not the cause, there is a spirit of speculation amongst the monied Buyers which seems to me to be the chief occasion of such a sudden rise in the sugar markets. I send you inclosed Dicksons letter which will regulate you as to the state of Crooks Debt, he ordered insurance on 15 hhds each Saltspring and Blagrove and sent me but 20 in two ships; now he complains of the want of ships--you likewise have a letter to Dr. Brown, Neil Somervell persuaded me to comply with his order else I had my doubts on that front; he has recommended a Mr. Orr of St. Elizabeth--I am much surprised at James Spence having drawn upon me to Moses Nunes for £300, pray who is this and what can it mean? I have no letter of advice. Inclosed you will receive an invoice for your order in the Orange Bay the £733.14.8 is carried to your Debit.
--I received your Bills on the account of Mrs Newells Estate & your own Bill to Lewis Vassal was duly paid--I beg leave to introduce Capt. Currie who being strongly recommended to me I have given command of the Tayloe; he & Capt. Campbell both go with this convoy, I entreat your assistance--with the dispatch of both. Our sugar markets are at present very high, no doubt there will be an alteration for the worse on the approach of next crop coming home, but nevertheless those who come first bid fair to come to very good markets. This I have hinted to my friends for their government.
I trust and hope that this year you will give me all the assistance you can from Cousins Cove.
--I am extremely sorry to hear so unfavourable an account of your own & Neighbours crops, which perhaps may affect me also unfavourably in more ways than one; but I rely much on your interference to protect me in that respect--I have a long letter from Dr. Brown wherein he attempts to explain his recommendation of Mr. Orr as a correspondent, which is a very lame performance, he says there is a good prospect at Cousins Cove, Dickson says not, he expects to ship for his share between 60 & 70 hhds but whether to me or not does not say--I have much doubt about this gentlemans candour & from some information I have received. I pray you to be explicit about him he owes me nothing nor do I mean he shall, except I receive a favourable account from you
Our Fleet under Admiral Keppel have very lately taken two French frigates and sent them into Portsmouth, which will as I apprehend, be shortly followed by reprisals on the side of the French, and in consequence of War.
--I am much obliged by your ready assistance to my ships this year. Mrs. Rankin has taken a house in the country where she means to inoculate her young folks for the small pox under the direction of a relation of Dr. Paterson. They were all well very lately.
I have sold 5 hhds & 1 Terce J.C. @ 46/6 and 10 hds & 10 Terces @ £48/6
--I have much hope our sugar market will improve--as the French and we have now granted letters of Marque & Reprisals that commodity will probably be of more value--I hope to God your island and its trade will be properly protected, my Family's Dependance now rests chiefly there for I see little hopes at present of their receiving any benefit from my Large property in America. As this is owing to a publick calamity they and I must submit to our lot.
I had much pleasure in being informed by your letter of the 1st Instant that you and family had arrived safe at Liverpool; I shall attend to your directions in settling your coach hire with Mr. Lewis.
I shall be glad how soon you send me the amount of supplies wanted for the Hermitage etc.
--Cus: Peter shipped me less than I expected but he too makes his excuses that disappointments oblige him--the supplies sent for J.C. this year amount to £372.12.11 I hope Mr. Dickson will consider that sum when the bills to be drawn on those sugars are in contemplation such a hint I have given him. I have before requested your opinion on Dr. Brown, he has sent me I believe most if not all his sugars from that Estate this year & from what he writes I may expect bills to a larger amount than these will produce; do you think I may advance him £250 or £200 with safety in case his bills should so far exceed his remittance--your answer will be my sole guide.
--It gives me concern to observe that Mr. Brown & you do not seem to have a cordial understanding as the interest of the estate under your joint management. I hope however his regard for Mrs. Crooks children & justice will prevent him taking any steps that may prove hurtfull to them.
I hope that at this time the Orange Bay and Saltspring are in Green Island Harbour and that my letters to you & supplies for Cousins Cove got safe to hand--the remainder of J.C. provisions in the Fish River, Capt. Currie--My Brother gave me hopes that it would be in your power still to encrease the consignment form Cousins Cove if it is I flatter myself you will not be unmindful of me--which will perhaps be the more wanted as Capt. Campbell's present ship is considerably larger than his last.
I beg leave to refer to my letters for matters of business--under a separate cover you will receive accounts of sale of your  casks sugar--I send a sketch of your Acct. Currt.
I flatter myself I shall soon hear of your & family's welfare, by the fleet which we hear was to sail from your Island in all the month of February.
Our sugar market continues much the same as for some time past if it keeps up to that standard I think the planters will not have much cause to complain.
My Brother's letter conveyed to me the satisfaction of hearing that Mrs. Brissett yourself and family had all a happy meeting & also that Mrs. Lawrence was soon after safely delivered--Inclosed you will receive a state of your Currt. Acct. to the 1 April Balance due to me £950.16.7 which upon examination I hope you will find right.
I here inclose you a state of Currt. account of the Estate of James Crooks Esq. by it you will observe a balance due to me the 1st April £398.0.2 which I hope you will find right. Your bill to Grant & Farquharson £70 has since appeared will be paid when due & is so much to be added to the above Balance. I trust & hope the remittance from that Estate this year will through your means bear a proportion to the advance--As the little balance due me on your private account £38.10.7 may have escaped your memory you will I am sure pardon me for taking the liberty of reminding you of the same--continued good offices towards the dispatch of my ships--
--I hope and trust you have no sugars on the Dawes which--we have much reason to believe is taken by some American privateer off the Banks of Newfoundland. The consignments this year from Mr. Crooks Estate are indeed very small but I hope more will arrive. I shall shew the young ladies you mention every civility in my power when they arrive but am pleased to find that Mrs. Rankin has said she is to take charge of their Education. I hope this will find you happy in the recovery of your daughter from her indisposition in this Mrs. Campbell joins with
Inclosed you will find account of sale of your Fustick and 20 pun: Rum proceeds carried to Credit of your account. Your mahogany per the Royal George still remains unsold as does that per Orange Bay but the Spanish war will I hope mend the price of that commodity and enable me shortly to send you sales of the same. The continuance of your good offices to my ships will much oblige.
inclosed you will receive accounts of sale of the ten hhds you were pleased to consign me per the Orange Bay. Should you think of trying the market again I beg leave to make a tender of my best services.
I have sold your 12 Puncheons Rum by the Blagrove @ 3/5 and as soon as may be able I shall transmit you account of sale of the same. By application of Mrs. Rankin I have paid for your sons cloathing £11.11 & to Mr. Gordon for ¾ years schooling £27.6.0
I intended myself the pleasure of seeing you at Enfield this week in order to know your intentions as to the Miss Crooks but am unfortunately confined by a sprained leg. As the period is now drawing near for the meeting of all the schools, you will no doubt think it right that these young ladies should lose no time; you are the fittest judge how to equipt them & I have only to repeat that I will pay the expence untill further instructions on that score arrives from Jamaica. Ihave not heard whether the vessel with the childrens cloaths has made its appearance perhaps Lady Clerk has receiv'd them; I shall send this day to enquire about them.
I deferred acknowledging the receipt of your favour of 17 with bill on Coutts & Co. £169.6.11 till I could send you a receipt for your Rum--I am very happy in having been able to assist in obtaining so much for you. We wait only for the wharfingers account to furnish the sales of your mahogany so that you may expect it in a post or two. With many thanks for your trouble about my bills.
Miss Crooks tells me that it is hear as well as your earnest desire that she may go to school with Miss Rankin to Mrs. Long's as I trust my own children to that Lady's care I can have no objection on that score but Mr. Brown having pointed out Mrs. Stevenson's school I do not think myself at liberty to alter from his choice, however as Miss seems to place the loss of hers sister as a reason for her wishing to go with Miss. Rankin & that you have approved of that reason you will please to signify the same to me in writing for my justification--When it is convenient I shall be pleased to see you at Mincing Lane.
Being informed that Mrs. Rankin has not yet written to her nephews the Mr. Crooks who I understand are in your care I thought it highly proper these young gentlemen should be advised through you of the Melancholy Event which has lately happened here. The two Miss. Crooks arrived here on the 20 December a few days after they went to spend the holidays with their sunt Mrs. Rankin at Enfield about ten miles from hence. On the 17 Inst: Miss Nancy Crooks was there seized with a violent putrid sore throat and fever the virulence of which was so great that notwithstanding she had the best assistance it carried her off on the 20th. She was buried in Enfield Church yard with all becoming respect--I doubt not but you will open this subject to Mrs. Crooks in a proper manner.
--I purpose putting a pretty neat tomb stone on her [Nancy Crooks'] grave the cost of which will be something about £20. I am sure you and the other Executors will not object to this mark of respect. I have written to Dr. Brown and my Brother on the subject to whom I refer you for a more particular account. Inclosed you will receive accounts of slae of the proceeds of the 30 hhds shipped from the Estate of J[ames] C[rooks] the proceeds of these being £596.7.10 will not discharge the Debt due to me--should Mr. Brown determine to alter the correspondence for that Estate I have no doubt but he will in justice consign me sufficient this year to discharge Mr. Crooks Bond. I did not think this a proper time to write him on business when his mind must be too much distracted--but I referred him to you.
I paid the balance of your account to Messrs. Mure & Co. £517.7.5 with £44.8.7 Int: therein together with £561.16.0 carried to your debit. I have paid Mr. Fell the taylor for sundry accounts for cloaths for yourself and three sons £30.13.1 he has shipt them in the Blagrove.
I have paid Messrs. Wilkinson & Co. for your sons education £21.13.6. the expence and great distance of his present school from town gives me thought of moving him next holidays to Enfield, this Mrs. Rankin seems desirous of doing both as to him and her son. I refer you to a copy of a letter from Messrs. Crooks tutor in Bristol which I have sent my Brother.
I received your letter of 6 February & most sincerely condole with you on the very sever loss you have sustained; from the accounts I had from time to time received of Miss. Dicksons ill health, I was the less surprised at the event; which however when it was confirmed did not fail to give me real concern. My former letters will make you easy to the payment of your sons schooling etc. I am sorry to be the cause of so much altercation between the Executors of the Decd. Mr. Crooks; I am sure I do not wish it, and I have written to my brother requesting that you, he & Mr. Brown would meet & put an end to it in such a way as may be most agreeable to yourselves as I willingly relinquish any benefit rather than be the means of disagreement amongst you. I saw Mrs Rankina few days since she tells me your son was very well. Mrs. Campbell joins me in compliments to you.
Miss. Crooks is in perfect health she with my young folks are coming home tomorrow for the Easter holiday.
--I see you are settling your son Joseph on your new Purchase I sincerely wish him health and prosperity in the Enjoyment of it. I was in hopes of receiving your order for insurance on the June fleet but no letter from you has come to my hand on that score.
I am much pleased to find by your letter that Mr. Brown is now so well disposed towards me--but Mr. Brown says that it has been agreed that he shall charge the Estate with one half of the Nett proceeds of the sugars shipped from J.C. to my address, you say 1/3: is there any mistake if there is please advise me. I lately saw your son he grows a fine boy he is now with Mrs. Rankin for the holidays & is to go to school at Enfield after these are expired.
I have received your several letters--I have read them with attention though I see some severe strictures yet I was happy to observe there was still in them a kind Intention towards me. I can easily perceive that misapprehensions and misinformation have been the cause of the little differences of opinion between us poor Dickson I see has play'd his game very awkwardly to say no more. I promise you that in our future correspondence I will endeavour--to prevent any cause of complaint.
On the receipt of your letter I apply'd to Mrs. Stevenson touching Miss Crooks immediate removal to her school but she told me she could not for want of room receive her till after Bartholomew holiday recess when Miss. Crooks--will be remov'd to Queen Square. The intermediate holidays she will spend with Lady Clerk and with me. Your hint about Mrs. Rankin shall be strictly attended to, had I known Mrs. Browns wish sooner--I should have acted accordingly--no time has been hitherto lost in Miss. Crooks improvement she really is disposed to learn, & I have taken care that no pains are wanting at her school. Her cloaths at last have been receiv'd as has poor Stella's--
--your letter of the 2nd of April. The accounts therein of yours, Beckies & Jacks Welfare together with the safe arrival of my ships was most acceptable to me, I thank you cordially for your attention to my boy who must benefit greatly by your Instruction. I have great hopes of him turning out a clever fellow. I thank you for your interposition with Mr. Brown whose letters to me contain'd no less than 13 pages full of altercation & strictures but concluding with a friendly disposition & advising that his sugars as well as those from the Estate intended for this port were to come to me. In my letter to him I wave entering into his arguments I only take notice of his kind intentions in future answering such parts as relate to the Business of the Estate. I find my Mr. Brown's letter that Dickson has been playing a double game but tho' he is desirous of knowing the information given me by J.D. of his withholding the sugars from me I have waved the doing so not wishing to make the breach wider between them. However well disposed at present Mr. Brown may be I see by the sample I have had he cannot be an agreeable correspondent. I must therefore hope you will keep an Eye to what he is doing. I am very glad to find you have so good a prospect of remittances this year for my outstanding debts on ships accounts. The state of these matters I am much at a loss for.
I am sorry to hear you have been so much indisposed I hope however you are long ere this restored to a perfect health.
Mr. Brown in his letters in his letters of a later date than that mentioned in my last says he will charge the Estate with 1/3 only of course that of the forme was a mistake. I am pleased to hear so good an account of Mr. Crooks Estate as that it will be able to discharge my demand by next year's crop.
Your son with Mrs. Rankin's boys are now at school at Enfield & I shall continue to pay his schooling in the hopes that you will from time to time remit me sufficient for his expence as it becomes due. I shall always be glad to hear of your welfare.
PS your bill to John Dickson junr. £50 has appeared & met with due honour.
I have not yet been able to sell your Logwood but I shall embrace the first favourable opportunity that offers for the disposal of it. I beg leave to recommend Capt. Currie and my ship Blagrove by whom this goes.
I could not let the Blagrove go without dropping you a few lines in addition to my last to--tell you your son is well; as you will of course hear from Mrs. Rankin concerning him, I refer you to her letters on that score. I have agreeable to Dr. Brown's desire sent him a state of J.C. account which no doubt he will shew you. The consignments this year from that Estate are still small tho' I see by Dr. Brown's letter he meant 20 casks more for me had he been able to procure ship room. I congratulate you on the great reinforcement arrived at your Island as well as the good news from Carolina.
a few days I received your letter of 19 Aug. Mr Brown desires me to pay Lady Clerk's demand for Miss. Crooks which shall be done. But I have written to him as I do now to you & my brother that my advance is much more than adequate to the consignments from Mr. Crooks Estate & that I cannot afford to continue it. I hope & trust therefore that the Exrs. will think me intitled to a large share of the consignments and even then reduce my advance for it is now more than double what such a consignment is worth.
I beg leave to recommend the Orange Bay Capt. Ross to your good offices.
Your letter of 28 Octr. I received about ten days since giving me the melancholy news of the dreadful storm which had so severely visited the Western part of Jamaica which you will easily conceive affected me very sensibly.
Agreeable to your desire I am now shipping on board the Wiltshire Capt. Swan, who goes to Lucea by the first convoy, 4 puncheons Beans & 10 Barrells flour for your use. Though you nor Dr. Brown have given no orders for anything for Cousins Cove I have taken upon me to ship for that Estate 6 puncheons Beans & 2 puncheons flour. I hope in this I shall have your approbation. Your son George is well with his Aunt & I hear a very good account of his progress at his books.
I beseech you to use your interest in giving my ships all the assistance possible from Cousin's Cove as well as form any other quarter you can. By doing so you will much oblige yours.
I have paid since writing the above £22.10.1 for your sons schooling my next will convey a sketch of your account.
I have now only to inclose to you Invoice & bill of Lading of sundry supplies shipped for your account in the Wiltshire amounting to £62.9.2
The same as John Dickson
Invoice amounting to £186.9.9
The same as John Dickson
Invoice amounting to £123.11.2
Inclose Invoice & bill of lading of sundry supplies shipped by your Brother's order for the use of your Estate.
Permit me to request the favour of your good offices towards the loading of my ships; the situation of the sugar corps in Hanover this year will require my real friends to shew themselves, otherwise I fear my ships may not be so well filled.
Both your Brothers are I perfect health & as I understand they write to you by this fleet I refer you to them for all particulars.
--I understand by my Brother that the difference between you and Mr. Dickson prevented a remittance being made for the Bills drawn by him as Executor to the Estate of Mr. Crooks which I paid for honour of Dr. Patterson--I should suppose that Mr. Dickson's act binds--the estate to me. I should be sorry to be obliged to have recourse to Dr. Patterson which must be the case if you decline the payment of those Bills etc. I am exceedingly sorry to find by your letter that Cousins Cove has suffered so much & the more so as you seem to have intention of drawing bills on me--as soon as you can conveniently procure a Correspondent more able to assist the Estate with such advances as your and its occasions may require I am desirous of resigning all my title to these consignments. You may rely nevertheless that no slur shall be thrown on your or Miss. Crooks credit with Mrs. Stevenson whose Bills shall be paid most punctually. I need not tell you that her expence is very considerable, but that is a matter for your consideration. Mrs. Campbell joins e in compliments to Mrs. Brown & yourself.
--I understand that [your son Joseph] means to return by the next convoy to Jamaica which will probably sail in all this month. Your son John is often with me. I take it for granted that he will write you and acquaint you that Mr. Malcolm & I have bought him a Lieutenancy the charge of which with his expence of new Regimentals cost £201 half of which I paid & charged to your account the other half Mr. Malcolm advanced him. I have sold your remaining 10 hhds per the Orange Bay @ 56/ & 5 hhds per the Tyne 58/6
I understand form Dr. Brown he intends a visit to Britain when I do suppose an End will be put to the correspondence between the Estate of Mr. Crooks and me, a circumstance I shall not much regret. I hope however for your assistance in obtaining a just and amicable settlement, as well as any other good offices in your power.
--by a letter from Dr. Brown I can see the hint given in my last touching the connection between Mr. Crooks Estate & me is likely to take place. I must here repeat my request that you and my Brother will not suffer the consignments to be taken out of my hands without discharging the Debt due to me, when that is paid I shall relinquish them with pleasure. Since I wrote I have paid £22.13.1 on account of your sons Education & cloaths--
By this days post I had the honor of receiving your letter of yesterdays date, and am really sorry to find by it, that your present occasions2 may lead you to require an advance fully Equal to what your influence and consignments intitle you to, and I am much the more concerned on that score, because tho' you do not name the whole sum, requisite to gain a Consignmt. from you of only two hundred and fifty hhds. yet I can easily conceive the amount to be beyond my powers. Indeed a partial and circumscribed Correspondence seldom fails of producing comparisons & jealousies & which of course makes the permanence more precarious. Under these Circumstances & my confined abilities,3 which may perhaps make me put as great a value on One Thousand Pounds as some of our Rich Merchants would do on two, I have only to return you my most Grateful thanks for your friendly intentions and to wish sincerely that you may get yourself fixed in a Correspondent who has the power to give every aid your honor and Interest Deserve. I must envy him; but I shall ever have pleasure in subscribing myself
I pray you present my best respects to Mrs Blagrove in which Mrs Campbell begs leave to join & to yourself likewise.
1 Nephew of John Campbell of Orange Bay, Hanover, who was cousin to Duncan Campbell. Blagrove owned Barbican in Hanover and later inherited Orange Bay from his uncle
2 A hurricane in October 1780 had destroyed plantations in the west of the island; owners of plantations in Hanover had no crop during the 1781 season and faced a shortage of money.
3 Duncan had put yet more money into the Saltspring estate after the hurricane
I have written to [Mr. Brown] that the expence attending Miss. Crooks Education is of a magnitude beyond what I think the Estate can afford & prayed him to comply with her desire of returning to Jamaica which is the more proper as she grows now a young woman.
Yesterdays post brought me your letter of the 10th Inst. With its several inclosures, I am much obliged by your attention in shipping the herrings the invoice & bills of loading for which I shall be glad to receive as soon as may be. Your bill upon me for the amount will be met with due honor. The account you give of the dissolution of your Partnership I had heard before from Mr Thompson.2 I am glad to find by yours that that Mr Buchanan & you are likely to form a connexion; but as to your becoming an underwriter, he & you are better judges of the prospects than I can be; one thing I can assure you both of, that is that nothing has been made here by underwriting the Glasgow risques, but the reverse. Much money has been lost by the adventures, perhaps you keep all good things to yourselves.
I observe what you say about taking a journey to London; I should at any time be glad to see you, yet in your present situation3 when every expence should be avoided if your money is solely for the purpose of having my poor opinion on your future plans, it is not worth your trouble & expence, & even such as it is I can convey to you by letter whenever you may think the matter ripe for communication. From the very good character and situation of Mr. Buchanan your being connected with him in an established business must be desirable, but if it is a plan of new Adventure & at this time to any part of the West Indies, it will require to be considered by you both before it is undertaken; by your own experience you can tell how far golden dreams may mislead; and if mine can be any guide to you on the news I am at this moment wishing and endeavouring not only to reduce my West India concerns but if I can withdraw from them all together. In short, at present any little certainty at home I should prefer to more extended views by foreign adventures, but of this more when you state your plan. I am happy to hear poor Henny4 & her little ones are well. We desire to be remembered to her & you. Dear Sir
1 Duncan Campbell's son-in-law
2Messrs Thompson & Campbell advertised in the Cornwall Chronicle from 1776 to 1781 a Dry Goods store in Montego Bay, importing goods from Glasgow
3Duncan had already lent his son-in-law £1,000 payable 'at convenience'
4 Henrietta Campbell, Duncan's daughter by Rebecca Campbell of Saltspring, Hanover, sister of John Campbell there.
--[your son] the poor little fellow has been for some time past in a very indifferent state of health; has been a good deal troubled with the fits. I have had him to a physician here who has given him who has given him a prescription & regimen, he has not had a return these three weeks & I sincerely wish they may wear off as he grows up; at present he is unfit to be at school & is with his relation Mrs. Millar who seems very attentive to him. I certainly will not see him want for any necessary but you will excuse me if I say I think you have been very remiss in your attention to him & meh He has not had a letter from you in a long time. I realy think a voyage to Jamaica & the sea air might have a good effect on his disorder. When his health is confirmed it will be time you was to think of some employment for him, he realy seems a well disposed boy.
Inclosed I send you a state of your account to April last--the balance then due to me was £187.5.6--
PS 2 July 1782 your son has been since the date of the above constantly with his Cous: Mrs. Millar & has improved much in is health nor has he had a return of his fits.
Upon my return from Portsmouth yesterday where I had been for a few days past I found your very polite & kind letter of the 9th Inst. I am sorry to learn by its contents that you have fears of a Dissappointment in Remittance from Jamaica,5 and I am the more so that I cannot conveniently relieve you. The consequence of the late dreadful storm6 on that Island with the Delays has made a very material change in my Currt Cash at this time of the year; if I say from 10,000 to 15,000 pounds from what it used to be, I shall not over rate it. I thank you for your kind wishes for Saltspring's7 safe arrival. But Alas! his niece my beloved child8 died above twelve months since I am under great anxiety about the arrival of my Brother, who is passenger in my Ship Saltspring9 one of the missing fleet. I have little hopes of her getting into a British Port if my poor Brother is but safe I shall be contented, tho' in point of Interest her loss will add to my inconveniences.10 I beseech you to present my very affectionate Compts. to Mr and Mrs John who upon every occassion I should wish to oblige
With great respect and regard I remain
5 A consequence of stormy autumns with unusually dry weather in between affected pens as much as plantations
6 A hurricane in August which stripped plantations and pens in the east and north and also destroyed much of the fleet assembling at Port Royal with consignments for home.
7 John Campbell, Saltspring, Jamaica, Duncan's cousin and brother-in-law
8 Duncan's daughter, Rebecca, had died at Saltspring in September 1781
9 The Saltspring was captured by an American privateer and taken to New London, Connecticut where John Campbell died
10 Duncan's ship Orange Bay foundered at Port Royal but was eventually saved. He reckoned a trading loss alone of £4,000 for the year from all his ships.
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