Jamaican Family Search Genealogy Research Library
LETTERS FROM DUGALD CAMPBELL AND WILLIAM SAMUELLS
LETTERS FROM DUGALD CAMPBELL
[Marked above address "Year of Mrs. Johnson's death"]
James Boyick Esq.
Great Queen Street
Saltspring, 13 March 1813
My Dear Sir,
I have now before me your favour of the 7th January acknowledging the receipt of my letter of 20th 21st October and under all the uneasiness which the accounts they conveyed must have occasioned I cannot fail to observe the friendly anxiety you felt for my welfare. From my subsequent letter you will have learnt that the effects of the storm have not proved so ruinous as at first apprehended. Instead of a third I now hope the deficiency in my crop will be better now than a fifth and I am glad to find the canes make good sugar. I have already 120 hogsheads & 20 terces made and if the canes yet to cut yield as well as them which have been cut I shall make 60 more. Of sum I shall make a good proportion as many of the canes which were unfit to make sugar have been pressed and the liquor sent to the distilling house. Still, however, the loss will be considerable and the charge for provisions will add to my contingent expenses. On the other hand the prospect you afford me of good prices is encouraging - should they continue for a year or two with favourable seasons the situation of the planter would wear a more pleasing aspect.
Circumstanced as I am at present it will no doubt surprise you to hear I have given thought of visiting England yet I have strong inducements to undertake the voyage - It is recommended to me for the benefit of my health - both my constitution and spirits are indeed much impaired but the consideration I must acknowledge is not my principal motive, otherwise than it makes me anxious to arrange my own affairs, and to acquit myself of a trust which has devolved upon me jointly with yourself by the death of poor Susan. Her loss is a severe affliction to me & tho' in humble life she was a most faithful and affectionate companion for nearly nine and twenty years that our acquaintance subsisted, she never once intentionally offended me. In sickness her friendship and attention to me could not be unsurpassed nor were they without effect to soften my vexation and disappointments. Her character and conduct were singular - singular too were her sufferings.
You will pardon I hope the liberty I took in introducing your name formally with my son as one of her Executors and Trustees. To this I was led by the great confidence I have ever had in your friendship & the kindness which you have always shown to her children. In case of accident to me I felt opined of having them a protector, to whom they were known and could apply. The will of which I trouble you with a copy, was with some little assistance drawn by myself but insofar as respects the disposal of the property entirely by her own directive - and I find from the manner of wording it that your concurrence & assignation will be necessary to any conveyance of the Trust property which is directed to be sold - in this respect however you can act by attorney but I shall hope to benefit by your advice in respect to the investment of it. The whole amount, taking into account the value of thirty one Negroes specifically I would say be about £10,000 this Currency provided the land at Cave Valley can be disposed of for the sum at which it was bought - one fourth therefore of this will be the share of each of the children. The greatest difficulty with her respecting the 18 Negroes who have been for several years kind to myself and two or three now servants who were about the house that I should be sorry to part with. In the same predicament are eight Negroes of George's - Ann's portion is not indeed immediately payable but I am anxious to separate it from my own affairs which I doubt not you will think right - this matter has been I feel it impossible to discuss by letter and therefore I have thought of returning home in the June fleet for a couple of months and coming out again with the first convoy in November. In the execution of the plan I hope to write better upon - except the s______ I must make of commission in my absence. This the friend to whom I mean to confide all my affairs I believe would readily d____ with but it would be accord with the character I have supposed to admit such on correspondence - Dr. Scarlett is the friend to who I allude. Whilst on the subject of expence allow me to remove the impression you seem to have entertained that my style of living has continued to be expensive. My invoices it is true have been better reduced but in other respects my establishment is on a much more economical footing. I am however willing to submit to whatever my circumstances may require and to tell you the truth I often think of retiring to some small cottage on your side of the water. In this I wait for the advice of my friends and I hope they will not think me imprudent in seeking it in person.
The enclosed letter communicates the melancholy intelligence of poor Susan's death and to prevent any sudden shock to Susan and Ann her daughters I pray you to have them prepared for it: and lest Mr. Smith should abruptly open his letter in the presence of his wife could you not get it handed to him by someone who might caution him respecting the contents. I have not written to Mary as I really found my spirits fail me on such a subject but the letter to Susan is addressed to them all. Tho' on such an event I have too good an opinion of their feelings to imagine any pecuniary consideration could mingle with them yet after a time someone might engage that attention to them and I have therefore at once intimated that they are not to count upon the continuance of some allowance from me.
I have written to George but from his last letter I am under the apprehension that his disappointments to obtain any salary or prospect of advancement to come as he expected may have induced him once more to return to Jamaica which would now be more particularly unfortunate. The sale of Cave Valley and the Negroes attached to it would shortly perhaps enable us to pay his portion which with the value of his own Negroes would afford the man of entering into business in an acceptable way. Both to him and to Susan I have told the probability of my taking a trip home, but I am obliged to let this packet again go without any letter to my brothers or sisters to whom I beg you will impart my purpose that they may be cautious in writing to me - letters by the May packet in England are the last I can receive if I sail in June but I shall have particular doubts to have any others returned unopened.
I have nearly filled my second sheet without replying to what you have written on business but there seems to be nothing material to note. The oatmeal and flour I hope you will be able to send and the butter can be always disposed of it not to advantage without loss.
The sales you advise of are highly satisfactory. I have already advised you of my intended shipments by the Alexander 80 hogsheads 20 terces & 30 puncheons from Saltspring & 30 puncheons from Content but some alterations have been made in my arrangements for other ships - that with Captain Robson indeed excepted - namely 10 hogsheads & 15 puncheons. In the Carolina I am to ship only 20 hogsheads as Captain Hodgson cannot take any more from me. The remainder of my crop if it is secured in time will be shipt in the London but as I have some doubt if all the sugar will be ready for him I will thank you to answer the insurance by that ship to the value of 30 hogsheads and 10 puncheons from Saltspring and 20 puncheons from Content.
I pray you make my kindest remembrance to Jack, Duncan, Mrs. Willcox & Mrs. Glover of the last of which I am particularly anxious to hear & explain my letting another packet sail without writing.
Accept my best wishes for your own happiness and believe always.
Yours most sincerely
I pray you to send Mary what will be sufficient to decent mourning & to give Susan and Ann what is necessary for the same purpose.
Captain Douglas is quite well, I have said nothing of his proceedings as he has written to you himself.
I send this by the L________ frigate & I shall write only a few lines to go by the packet which is to sail at the same time.
Great Queen Street
Saltspring 1st May 1813
My Dear Sir,
I wrote to you on the 18th of last month by the packet and have now better to add on general business. what I said respecting my crop I really do not recollect but I fear I estimated it higher than I should have done. My memory has lately been rather confused and till three days ago I imagined I had ten hogsheads more to ship than I have. Your goodness will however I trust excuse this or any other inconsistency in my letters. But so great a deficiency is matter for serious consideration to us both and much staggers my resolution to undertake the voyage to England ____for so short a visit. Inclosed you have the bill of loading for 80 hogsheads 20 terces & 30 puncheons per the Alexandria. Bills for what is shipped in the P________ & Carolina are sent by those vessels and duplicates of them all by the Man of War. 30 hogsheads by the London and 15 puncheons of rum will complete my shipment this year making only 140 hogsheads & 20 terces sugar and 70 puncheons rum sent you. 5 hogsheads as usual I have shipped to Bristol and I believe thee will be 14 hogsheads for the Connells to pay for coals, herrings etc. On the latter I beg you will make insurance by the Jane Captain Wilson. About a hogshead I have sold in barrels at 60/ currency per 100wt and if your market can afford me an equal price for the sugar and for the rum which I have sold here, 6% over proof only at 5/ per gall: or above £25 Sterling per puncheon the proceeds of my crop short as it is would not be £500 Sterling below the average estimate in good years which I sent you. Such flattering expectation however I cannot indulge and I therefore hesitate much to take any step which must unavoidably add £500 more to the deficiency. Yet the motives which impel me to go are strong - and I am inclined to yield to them.
The death of poor Susan has so involved the interests of our children with my own that considering this embarrassed situation I feel it my duty to endeavour to separate them or to secure them when it is now so much more my province to protect from loss or inconvenience arrangements for this purpose I apprehend could not be made here without great delay. The sale of all their Negroes would perhaps be the surest means for the security of the children but not so for my interest or for yours with withdrawing those who can be established on Saltspring would be prejudicial in reducing the crops, and would necessarily affect my l________. In this respect therefore the interests clash unless such arrangements are made. The support of my credit indeed is not a matter indifferent to them - it may be used for their benefit. I am induced to trouble you with these observations because in case of accident to me you are the person to whom they must immediately look for the conduct and protection of their affairs & I feel a perfect confidence of your goodwill towards them. Do not therefore imagine it proceeds form any doubt of your disposition that I conjoin you in such an event to be a friend to them. I have also another request to make - that you will send out a plain marble slab of a proper size for a tomb stone to be laid flat supported only by three brick pillars, the same as one I have shown to Captain Douglas in the burial ground, to be placed over Susan's grave with an inscription to the effect of her memorial. I inclose the wording of which Jack perhaps would take the trouble to amend. The letters should be large & cut deep otherwise in this climate they are soon effaced - Engraving of this sort on the stone is worn out in a few years - on Mr. Affleck's little monument which I believe you sent out there is now a word scarce legible - and even the inscriptions on marble to the memory of my late sister & uncle will in a few years be indistinct owing to the smallness of the letters but it is a relief to my mind to think that I have committed it to one who at all events will have it executed. Let me therefore only mention further that the slab must be thicker than that sent for Mr. Brissett which rests all round on the side of the monument.
I have already sent you a copy of Susan's will and I now trouble you with another in case of miscarriage of the first. In the beginning you will observe a few words omitted which are of no consequence & better left out. In your copy they might easily be scratched over in case it should be necessary to take any advice upon it for reasons you will readily conceive. If you have received the former copy pray forward this to Mary with an apology for my not writing - I also send a copy of the appraisement of her Negroes & other formality from which may be seen the value of the Negroes specifically devised to each of her children - I meant to have sent a duplicate of this paper but it has been omitted. I therefore by you will communicate it to Mary & to Susan. Another copy I will bring with me or send by the London. In my last letter I believe said sufficient to remove any surprise respecting the amount of Susan's property and to show you more clearly how it has been acquired. I send you a sketch of my account with her when it was balanced by Mr. Brown's bill in part payment for Cave Valley and it is yet to be paid her the hire of Negroes to the time of her death and the invoices and allowances to Mary to be charged to it. Exclusive of what appears in that account she has never received since the commencement of it in any shape to the value of a hundred pounds except the annual supply of cloaths from yourself. However singular it may appear in such a connexion this I pledge my honor to you is a fact. Her Negroes indeed at Cave Valley have ben sometimes served with herrings & such etc. at Xmas but were I to give credit for the pasturage of my cattle and mules then it would bring the balance against me after deducting also some charge I have ___ as in keeping the pasture clean. Her attachment was never influenced by such motives and much have I to reproach myself when I can trust my treatment of her with the affectionate attention which in health & in sickness I ever received from her. It may appear to be a weakness to dwell so much on this subject and by most people here, whose opinions are perhaps not unjustly formed from the general conduct of persons of her cast, would be treated with ridicule. Fearing I may have exhausted your patience if not incurred your concern also I shall conclude with referring you to Douglas respecting my future plans for Susan & Ann and for George. To Douglas I feel much indebted for the very kind concern he has shown for the loss I have sustained and for his attention tome when I have been bad company for anyone. He has enjoyed good health since his arrival here and I hope it will carry continuous. To him I commend this packet and with the warmest wishes for your health & happiness I remain my Dear Sir most sincerely yours.
P.S. I had nearly forgotten to advise of a bill which I have drawn upon you in favour of Captain Douglas for £134.6.9 and to him I hope you will excuse to comply a draft. Permit me to trouble you with the distribution of some barrels of sugar and a few other articles all which I can this year send...Peppers & Tamarinds.........
Great Queen Street
Saltspring 30th April 1814
My Dear Sir,
Having written to you fully by the packet on the 18th January I have at present little to communicate. The chief purpose of this letter being to cover the memorandum of supplies for the Estate & myself and bills of loading for the sugars and rum shipped to your address in the fleet now about to sail in all 165 hogsheads &10 terces sugar and 70 puncheons rum from Saltspring. Sixteen hogsheads sugar remain to be shipped in the Carolina which with two hogsheads I sent to Glasgow & five to Bristol make the whole of my crop - so much has it fallen short of the expectation authorised by the appearance of the canes. Similar disappointments have been very general and I understand the whole quality to be shipped from the island will be much below an average crop.in this parish the deficiency will be less than in most of the others and the falling off in my own crop is at least one half attributable to the negligence and want of judgement in my overseer who from the illness of Dr. Scarlett in the beginning of the year and my own impediment with gout has been left to his own direction. Indeed with regard to the order in which the canes were to be seen I did not expect Dr. Scarlett to interfere. That is a matter commonly left to be determined by the overseer who is supposed a competent judge. Unluckily for me Mr. Reid has a better judgement on industry and yet I cannot immediately remove him. Monday expectation [ha]s been valued @ 250 hogsheads at £40 per hogshead to what estimate the opinion so generally prevalent have almost inclined me to extend my calculation would at once have made me come particularly easy. I am however thankfull for the prospect of relief which even now my crop affords me, and I will at a future period write you particularly expecting the appropriation of it about £700 Sterling will _____ to be paid to Mrs. Brissett out of this _________ after payment of this sum I am particularly anxious to settle the balance due to the estate of J.B.[?] and to pay my brother Duncan.
Another packet is due in a few days. I shall probably know certainly what has been George's determination - it is possible tho' I fear not probable that he may have yet been induced to change his resolution of returning here - such a fickleness of disposition affords small hope of his succeeding anywhere and I am much at a loss what plan to propose to him - I must however endeavour to find employment for him & if he fails I cannot help it.
I was glad to learn by letter from Douglas that he had recovered his health and entertained hopes of getting a ship next year. I shall be glad to see him & I have no doubt he will again be well received by all his old friends - I beg however to be early advised of his engagements. Of Captain James's conduct and attention I have already expressed my opinion and I hope to be able to give him also some assistance in case peace should bring us more ships - a short time must have determined that point with respect to France and from the quick dissatisfaction at the circumstances of the war expressed by the most Northern States I hope we shall also settle our differences with America. Should it _________ otherwise I hope you will send me a supply of puncheon pucks from 20 to 100 according to the probability of the war continuing and also three barrells of the best port for my own use with as many of second flour for the use of the estates by the first fleet - any further supply for the second fleet we shall have time enough to think of. One piece of Oznaburgs was much inferior to the last and the other piece was not all of equal good quality - a hint to this effect may perhaps lead the men who ship them to look more attentively at what they receive. The thread too was very coarse, pray attend to my observation of the _______ respecting the iron hoops which are too short for puncheons of the size we now make them - a few you will notice are smaller than was right from packs borrowed before my arrival. In my own memorandum you may observe some articles such as stationery & haberdashery omitted - this is on account of the last year's supply being used. From the papers I learn that some staples bound for the island had reached Madeira & were to sail with the March convoy so I hope to receive my wine. I am now quite out of _______ and I regret that it was to be packed and for exportation...........................much obliged to you to request Mr. Mann to look out for a butt for me as I can always dispose of what I do not want - Dr. Scarlett is to have 10 gallons of my port wine which is very good and I shall keep the rest - it will always improve.
In this packet or under a separate cover I have returned to you the Account Current which you sent on the Portsmouth and with it a copy of Messrs. John & Archibald Campbell's engagement to pay by instalments the judgement so long due from their father's estate. I also beg leave to trouble you with a memorandum of presents which you will oblige me in distributing as usual.
White was with me a few day ago and perhaps I may see him again tomorrow. He is very well but is want of education is much to be regretted. I have said a great deal to him on the subject - he listened apparently with attention and I hope will give more application when he is with you. Wishing him a safe passage and that he may meet you and his brother and Miss. White in good health. I remain My Dear Sir
P.S. I have to make many apologies to you to say my garden seeds had been omitted - I was in bed when they arrived & tho' I was particular in my enquiry about the seed - they were, from the circumstances it seems of their being this year packed in paper instead of a box, overlooked and put away in a drawer with stationery - the unpacking of which only four days ago discerned the mistake. My gardener is now hard at work trying luck to plant & we have plenty of rain to make the seed grow. Another supply too I look for daily by the Jamaica.
I have always forgotten to say I promised to make a present of the Spectator to Susan & Ann & by way of int____ I shall be obliged to you to send with the Spectator the Guardian's and Blair's Sermons.
Mortgages on Cousins Cove and Williamsfield Estates in Hanover, 1784.
Letter from William Samuells to his brother John in Jamaica
Bristol 7th December 1784
John Samuells Esq.
I hope this will find you in good health, I am sorry to say it leaves me very ill indeed, and I have been so for sometime past. I desire you will immediately upon receipt of this, make out a correct list of all my slaves and stock upon Cosens Cove and Williamsfield Estates and transmit the same to Thomas Adlam Esq. in Kingston, one of Mr. William Miles's Attorneys for transacting his business in Jamaica, in order that the same may be properly recorded in the Secretary's Office of said island, together with a mortgage I have granted to him on those Propertys. I beg no delay may attend this business and I remain your loving brother.
Letter from William Miles, merchant of Bristol to Thomas Adlam in Kingston.
Bristol 7th December 1784
Thomas Adlam Esq.
Herewith is a mortgage of William Samuells Esq to me dated 23rd October 1784, you will be so kind to immediately put on record. I shall be obliged to you to write to George Brissett Junr. Esq. to apply to John Samuells Esq. brother to William for a correct for a correct list of all the slaves and that the same be transmitted to you to annex to the mortgage as you will see necessary on your reading it over. I have not time to add the wind being fair.
I am, Sir
Your Most Obedient Servant
PS/ As also the number of cattle, mules etc.
Inclosed is a letter from William Samuells Esq. to his brother John Samuells, to desire him to transmit to you a correct list of his slaves & stock upon Cosen's Cove & Williamsfield.
Sent original and copies of those letters to Thomas Adlam
Per Druid, Capt. Powell & Exeter, Capt. Tuss in Decr. 1784
It is hereby agreed by and between the parties within written at the time of the execution of the within written Indenture of Mortgage and the within named William Samuells for himself his heirs executors and administrators doth hereby promise consent and agree to and with the within named William Miles his heirs etc. that the within written Indenture of Mortgage and the plantations lands slaves habitaments and other the Mortgaged premises therein comprised shall stand an d be as a security to the said William Miles etc for all the sum and sums of money that do or may at any time hereafter advance lend or pay to or for the said William Samuells etc with interest for the same respectively and after the rate of £6 per cent per annum from the respective times of advancing lending or paying the same And the said Mortgages shall not be redeemable but upon full payment and satisfaction of the sums paid out and the interest on the same as of the within mentioned sum of £2857. 2. 10. and the interest thereof. In Witness whereof the said William Samuells hath hereunto set his hand and seal the day and the year first written.
[Signed] William Samuells
Witnesses: Jacob Mogg Junr. and George Biggs
[Notes written by Pieter Dickson:]
George Biggs was an accountant in Bristol
Jacob Mogg was a gentleman landowner in Somerset, and a forebear of the family Rees-Mogg. William Rees-Mogg, born in Bristol, was editor of the Times of London 1967 to 1981 for which he still writes occasionally.
William Miles was a member of the Society of Merchant Venturers from 1783 and died 12th March 1803 aged 74 having been born in 1728/9. As a shipowner and merchant he had strong financial ties to Jamaica, with the Tharp family in particular.
From his papers, in the Bristol Record Office, some other properties mortgaged were:
Cacoon, 1786 Joseph Brissett & Mary Poole [to William Miles, John Tharp his uncle, & others]
Batchelors Hall [Lucea, not Green Island], Prosper, Richmond, Dolphin Head Penn, 1778 Edward Chambers [to William Miles]
Rhodes Hall & Abingdon 1766 William Rhodes James [to Beeston Long & George Drake]
His successors, Philp John Miles, Philip Miles and William Miles junior [George Hibbert was agent with them] eventually resigned the Tharp account for Jamaica produce about 1853. [By 1823 the estates were already in debt to them for £22,800Stg. plus £5,000 current bills. P.J.Miles & Hibbert then suggested that the Tharp family indemnify them for the debt, put profits received from their English estates towards maintaining the Jamaica plantations, and sell £5,000 of other securities to cover further bills. The proposal was rejected and litigation in the English courts followed Hibbert to his death in 1838].
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