LETTER-BOOK OF CAPTAIN ALEXANDER McDONALD,
ROYAL HIGHLAND EMIGRANTS
To MR. McADAM.
Halifax 10th June 1778
I have recd Yours of the 12th ffeby & 11th 12th & 16th of March and observe their Contents. I do very well know how inconvenient it is for Merchants to Advance Money at any time without effects in hand and it is entirely owing to the Irregularity of Exchange between this place and New York As well as the Want of Opportunitys that I had not put such sums in your hands as wd be sufft to answer any Demands our Offrs. in that place may have occasion to make. I had not the least Idea that the Money Agents at New York wd refuse them their Subsistance as it became due from one period to another well knowing that Such Offrs. drafts on me for the Same wd meet with due honor They had no need to be so very punctual with this Battalion. Major Small's delicacy and my own having made us keep within very narrow Limits.
If we are allowed the same as all the rest of his Majestys established Regiments we have Short drawn and Government Stands in our debt the 24th of this Month Seven thousand Six hundred & odd pounds wch if we dont receive I will take Care it will go in no other pocket but Government's. I have indeed with some difficulty got a bill from the Deputy Agent in turn for a hundred pds. Sterg. wch I send you here with inclosed. The Reason, he says, he cannot draw upon them, is because he has Their Orders not to draw so long as he Can raise Money in this place.
I will however Get him to write Messrs Crowder & Gordon to advance you wth. little sums any of our Offrs. at New York may have occasion to draw As they cannot well afford to pay Interest or Commission Altho' I know very well you have a just right to Charge these things for yr. trouble and advance of Money yet I will have a vast Deal of Difficulty to persuade them that they ought to pay it especially Such of them as are entirely ignorant of Business.
I understand my place upon Statten Island is totally ruined and as the affairs of America stands at present I dont think its worth while to be at any trouble about the place till they are finally Settled. As to My Accot. agst. the 71st I have taken Care to have it Settled here Wch. I have already wrote you & Captn MacIntosh must receive his information from Corpl Campbell who knows every article charged in the Accot. and who received it I had a good deal of trouble with them without any sort of profit.
I only acted as I Wd expect any officer of that Corps wd do to any of our Men in a Similar Situation.
I approve much of Your keeping a Separate Account of my private affairs from that of Regimental Business.
I Desire you will Advance no money by any means without orders from me as I dont Chuse to give any Orders before I know you're in Cash to answer them. I am myself already in Advance abot. 3 or 4 hundred pounds wch. I dare say You'll think too much for me in the situation our Regiment is in but I Expect to make matters very easy about the 24th. Of this Month there being a Years Arrears Baggage & Forrage Money due at that time.
I beg leave to trouble you with the inclosed for Genl Robinson Wch I leave open for Your perusal. I also beg leave to inclose you a letter for Captn Allan Macdonald of Kingsborough in case it Should Overtake him there & Should he be Straightened for Cash you May venture to endorse his bill on me for any sum within or about 100Gs. I should imagine that Crowder & Gordon Should have no Objections to advance him that Sum as I have already paid their Deputy here £160 wch they had advanced to the Same Gentleman before.
If you yourself or any my old friends at New York has anything to do in this place wherein I can be of Service to them or you You may freely command me. I have no manner of News to give you from this Quarter. We are daily expecting troops from home and probably we Shall see the Major along with them I have not received a Scrib of a pen from him Since He left this place.
Mrs Macdonald is very well who joins me in kind Complimts. to Mrs McAdams Mrs Shaw & yourself & I am Dr Sr Yrs.
To MAJOR GENL ROBINSON, [ROBERTSON.]
Halifax 12th June 1778
When I was at head Qrs two years ago, I gave in a short Memorial to the Commander in Chief, and I was told by Captn Mackenzie his Secretary that it was kindly recd. & that I might depend upon some thing being done for me long E'er now; But whatever it has been owing to, I find myself hitherto Neglected. Now as there is a new Commander in Chief wth. whom I have not the honor to be in the least Acquaint'd I most humbly beg leave to throw myself upon Yr. patronage & beg for your kind interposition in my favor. The Exact Copy of the afforesd. Memorial wch. will Shew my Claim of long & faithful Services, I beg leave to inclose for your perusal to wch. may be added My great Losses & Sufferings having Forsaken my wife Children & all I had in the world, to Serve my King and Country leaving them for the Space of 16 Months to the Mercy of a Cruel & ungenerous Enemy & notwithstandg the many insults & threatenings that my wife recd during that time She still persisted with an undaunted Spirit to do every little kind office in her power for Government and the friends of Government. This I believe Governor Tryon who experienced some parts of it can testify & who, I hope, Will not be backward in giving his Interest to Accomplish what I now wish for to wit the Majority of this Battalion if it be true that Jno. Small is Appointed Lt. Colol Commandt As we are told. To this No other man living has an equal Right I have in a great Measure been the first Founder of the Regimt having proposed it to Major Small in October 1774 Who proposed it to Genl Gage & had my plans & Schemes being adopted and Supported there wd. not have been a better Regt for men & discipline this day in the British Army but in place of that we have been thro' ill timed jealousy Crushed & in Spite of that We are not ashamed to appear with the Army to morrow if it was so Ordered.
Before I left New York with my family for this place I put one Mr. Campbell a Gentleman from Scotland & as I understood a Lawyer bred, in poss'ion of Mr Robt Gilbert Livingstons house he was bound to pay rent for it in proportion as house rent went thro' the town. This I thought I was intitled to do As I have a Claim upon Mr Livingston equal to three times the Value of the House On Accot of my Wife & her family and that it was at any rate Making the best use of it for those that are best entitled to it when Matters are Settled. I was Sorry to learn from Mr. Campbell that he was turned out of the house by yr Orders and that you was pleased to tell him I was indebted to Mr Livingston in place of his being indebted to me. Give me leave to Assure you Sir who ever gave that Information told a very great untruth. I never recd. Money from Mr Livingston but when I was in trade at New York I wd. Want little money on particular Occasions As all people in Business, who dealt so large as I did, do & sometimes Got him to join in a bond for Small Sum of £500 that Curry & for wch. he took care to be secured by the Old Woman My wife's Grandmother and the last Settlement with him I believe there was a ballance for wch he was Answerable & for wch he had effects in his hands & has still now for three times the Value over and above my Wife's proportion of her Grandmother's Estate so that I am not under the least Obligation to Mr Livingston much less being indebted to him. I am sorry to be inforced to trouble a man of yr Rank & Station in life wth these matters but I could not do less in justice to myself and I wd wish to Secure as much of Mr Livingston's Estate as wd Answer for the one half of Mrs McPhedris's Estate or Fortune wch can't be less than £7 thousand pounds that Cury for her Share from the list of Bonds that I have got in my possession My Wife's Sister is now a Widow in a Strange Country without friends or money As I am informed Captn McLeod died in Canada last Winter I most Sincerely beg pardon for giving you this trouble & believe me to be with great regard & esteem Sir, Yr
To JNO OGILVIE ESQR
Halifax 30th June 1778
The above is Copy of the 1st Instant since wch nothing Extraordinary has happened. We heard Commissrs. indeed had arrd at Philadelphia but I believe they might as well have Staid at home the people of America are now so intoxicated with their Success and
their alliance lately formed with the perfidious courts of France and Spain that nothing but independency will do for them. I wd not indeed be Surprized as the Americans in General are more eminently possessed of art Cunning and Cichanery than any other nation whatsoever that they will keep these Commissrs in play untill a Spanish and french fleet of men of War will arrive in the Mouth of Delaware and secure the whole British Army Commissrs & all together and very likely force them to a second Convention the thoughts of these things are so Shocking tho' they may very probably happen I cannot have patience to write any more upon the Subject the honor and Grandeur of Great Britain were never in a more despisable situation than the present owing entirely to the Misconduct of the Villanous Minority and I hope in God if the Army is obliged to leave America that the first thing they will do when they land in Britain is to Scalp every son of a Bitch of them.
In order to replace the money you was pleased to advance my Sister I send you herewith a bill of £400 Sterg and to answer what more Articles the officers of the Regimt may have occasion to send for I will write to Genl Maclean by this Opportunity in Case he should have gone home in answer to a letter I recd from him dated in Quebeck the 21st May and wherein he sent me a long list of debts agst some officers in this Battalion the One third part of wch I am not able to find out as some of them totally denies their ever receiving a farthing from him. However I shall give him as satisfactory an Accot of the affair as I possibly can. Its not possible that this will overtake the Major in London therefore will not write to him and conclude Dr Sir
Yr Friend & well wisher
To Wm McDONALD ESQR
The above is Copy of the 1st Instant and tho' we are here in a Corner of America you will much Sooner know the proceedings of the Army to the Southerd in your place than we can here. We have indeed heard about six weeks ago that commissrs were Arrived from England to treat with the American Congress and I am convinced they might have as well Staid at home those people being now so highly elevated with their Success agst Burgoyne & their treaties of alliance with the Courts of France & Spain that nothing but independence will serve them and that once granted them and they left to themselves in five years time they would have a Navy & Army Superior to Great Britain and will Certainly Join these two perfidious Courts to Annihilate and destroy the power of Great Britain & Ireland wch once completed there is no doubt of their placing the Yoke of Slavery upon their own Necks and without the peoples Eyes can be opened so as to see the bad consequences of their present Alliance I dont see how its possible to reduce the Americans now to their former Obedience & allegiance all wch. has originated from the Villanous conduct of your Minority & the want of Unanimity & Spirit in the Grand Council of the Nation.
There is not the least doubt but that all the Misfortunes that has happened is owing to the Misconduct of the people at home from the very beginning.
The people of America in General are possessed of as much Art and Cunning as any people in the World & I wd. not be Surprized to hear that they wd. amuse these last Commissrs & keep them in play until a french and Spanish Fleet of Men of War & may be a large body of Troops wd arrive in the Mouth of the Delaware and make our whole British Army Commissrs & all prisoners of War without even entering into a Convention wth them.
By the last Accots. from New England we are told that Genl Gates is on his way towards Albany with 15000 men where a great many more are to join him very likely while the Congress are Amusing the Commissrs. to strike a blow & possess themselves of Canada from what we have hitherto seen what have we not to expect & fear what has Great Britain to trust to now but the bravery of her few Troops Who Wd have certainly finished this unhappy Contest before now had they being properly Conducted & laid on. I dont blame so much Their Commanding Officers As the unhappy Divisions in both houses of Parliament & I fear the Constrained and limited Orders Sent them Striving in vain to reduce Rebellion by Lenity whereas it should be nipt in bud wth the Utmost Severity.
In Short I'll say no more I am mad to see how Matters have and are likely to turn out.
I Send you inclosed herewth. my first bill for £400 Sterg. & all I beg is that the Greatest Care may be taken of my two boy's Education being all the Estate I believe I will ever have in my power to leave them. My Compts. to Mrs Macdonald & all friends & I remain Dr Sir
Your Most h'ble Servt.
To GENL MACLEAN.
Halifax 5th July 1778
I have the Honor of receiving Yrs of the 21st May wherein you referred me for particulars to a long l're you wrote by Cap tn Allan Macdonald who is not yet arrived.
I also recd yr. Long list of debts and will use my utmost Endeavors to serve you but I am much afraid there will be a deal of difficulty before you recover the most part of them in the first place Orders has been sent to stop all the Subsistance or pay drawn by me for Captn Neil McLean; and that no Subsistance will be drawn for the future for Offrs or men that are prisoners until they join the Regiment. I have however drawn the Subsistance of Captn McLean & will endeavor to secure it until I find out the pson that has the best title to receive it. I am informed that Captn McNichols is appointed to that Company and very likely will be ordered to receive this Money. As for Cash Advanced Ensn or Lt Jno McDonnell You know yourself I had never any Connections with him or never drew Subsistce or pay for him but from the 9th of Aprl 1777 as Lieut & his Arrears as Ens from the 14 June 1775 to the 9th Apl 1777 & as Lt from the 9th of Apl to the 24 June 1777 & Since regularly as Lt. You may remember I paid you £78 ,, 3 ,, 4 for that Gentleman wch brot him in my debt the 24 June 1777 £46 : 3s : 9d besides some small Bills he has drawn upon me its true I have his Subsistce & Arrears in my hands since that period as the Exchange between him & Lt. Maclean is not allowed to take place.
Lt Lundin totally denies he ever received a farthing from you &.Says he will not pay your £98 3s. 6d - FitzGerald's £43 : 19 : 4 I'll endeavor to secure for you without he has unknown objectns wch very likely may be the case.
Captn Lt Robertson's £60 . 8 . 8 I know nothing of I never drew but for One Captn Lt to whom I paid all his dues & demands Rond Macdonald the Adjut whose Accot I herewith transmit you & will clearly Show the State of his affairs & that he is in my debt £210 Sterg. Ronald's £22 ,, 6 ,, 7 1/4 per cent Dr. wch was the Money I Stopt from him on Accot of the Cash he recd in Canada I will secure the Balance after deducting my debt agst him of £2 . 2 : 11 at 4/8 pr. Dr. for you as will appear per his accot. Curt Also transmitted.
The Cash you Advanced to Captn Allan Macdonald & his 30 Recruits I know nothing about havg never heard of it before now I thought you had no more demand agst that Gentleman but wt. I paid you in this town.
Voluntr Patterson is dismissed the Regt on Suspicion of being Guilty of Theft. I never had any Connections with him nor ever had any money of his so that I am affraid you will be obliged to look for that money in Edinburgh if he is worth as much. Your Nephew Captn Jno Maclean is willing to pay the £74 . 13s . 4d tho I am sure it will distress him.
In Short every farthing that I can recover for you Will be remitted to Mr. Ogilvie agreable to your desire how soon I am informed that my drafts in your favor Captn Allan Macdonell meets with due honor.
This is the first time I ever heard of the above debts havg never recd any Accots of them before as you mentioned they were transmitted to me a Copy of this L're I'll send to Mr. Ogilvie by the 1st Opportunity in Case this Should not find you in Canada.
Not a word yet from Major Small. I Suppose you must have heard from him by the Quebec fleet tho' he did not think proper to write me. Murd. McLean is at head Qrs. & I have not heard from him since Mr. Macquarie came here who will inform you of all that was going on at Philadelphia at that time & by whom I dare say Captn. Murd. has wrote you. We have some flying reports here that the Commissrs were Arrived and that a Cessation of Arms had taken place but this I cannot say for certain as it does not come from the best Authority. I'm only affraid that the Artful Americans will amuse & keep our Commissrs in play until very likely a Spanish & french fleet will arrive with 20 or 30 thousand men block up the Mouth of the Delaware & give us an Opporty of having another honble Convention. I'll write no more I am distracted mad to see the Situation of our Affrs. by the Misconduct of I dont know whom. My Complimts to all Your Gentlemen.
I have the honor to be Dr Genl.
Your most Obedt. & h'ble Servt
To LT BLISS.
Halifax 5 July 1778
I had the pleasure of receivg yours dated St Johns Decemr last. Also a L're from Captn Pringle to Major Small & a Lre from Mr. FitzGerald wherein he endeavors to Accot for his Misconduct however I shall say nothing upon that Head till I see himself As I am determined then to bring him to an Accot & I desire that you will on Rect hereof Send him wth whatever No. of Recruits You may have among you to this place by the 1st Safe Conveyance. This is the 1st Opportunity I had since your departure Else you Wd have heard from me oftener. There is no doubt of the Bills being Answered that I gave you so that I hope you are in no distress for want of money & I wish to God the Governor if he is Arrived wd order you and the whole Company to join the Regimt. I had indeed some thoughts that Major Small Wd embrace the opportunity of Comming out with Adml Montague But I have not yet heard from him nor know any thing of his proceedgs at home. Should you be in want of any Money for your own the Offrs & men under your Command for Subsistance you will be pleased to draw on me & yr bill will be duly honored & paid either in Cash or a Bill You takg Care that the Sum will not exceed the Subsistance as above directed to the 24th. Augt next & that Yr Order on me will be for such a No. of Drs at 4/8 Pr Dr. As the Bill upon London must be calculatted at 4/8.
You will be pleased also to bring Mr Fitzgerald to an Accot for 800 Drs I gave him for the Recruiting Service when he left this place Admitting of no extra Charges Only the Bounty & Subsistance of every Unexceptionable & Good Recruit his Instructions. had been to inlist none but such & tell him he was not sent there to inlist men for Mr Callbeck But for the Regt he belonged to. I have no time to write any more. The Gentlemen of the Regimt joins me with kind Respects to you as does Mrs Macdonald. My Compts to all friends I remain Dr Sir
P. S. The inclosed I recd last Winter over land from Quebec I had no Opportunity of forwarding it.
To Wm McADAMS ESQR
Halifax July 22d 1778
Since my last of the 10th June I have nothing New to Acquaint you with havg recd no Accots from Britain Nor heard the least hint from Major Small What's become of himself or the Regiment.
We have a Certain Accot from yr Quarter of the Army & fleet leavg Philadelphia & a French fleet havg Arrived in the Mouth of the Delaware Superior to all the fleet we have on the Coast of America by all Accots and we think it a happy and a very fortunate affair that our Army and Navy quitted that River before their Arrival there and we're also happy with the thoughts that Admiral Byron with 15 Sail of the line is by this time with Lord Howe if so its to be hoped that the french fleet will never recross the Atlantic wth french Colours. For God's sake let me hear from you and know the truth of the Situation of our Affairs be it good or bad As the Rebells of this province insist that we have been drove out of Philadelphia with great Slaughter wch by the bye we don't believe.
If you see Captn Murdoch McLean, Captn Allan Macdonald, or any of the Offrs of our Regimt there, pray let them know that I am very much Surprized that I dont see or hear from them considering the No. of Men of War and Armed Vessels that are backwards & forwards & in the prest. Situation of Affairs its very proper that all Offrs Should be with their Corps with wt ever recruits they could bring along with them - I assure you that Genl Massey with his little Army here has done as much as can be expected from their Nos in so Short a time & put the place in as good a posture of Defence As it can possibly admit of havg mounted near an hundred peices of Cannon on difft Batteries within these three Mos & those extremely well finished & Notwithstanding this is the fourth or fifth war in wch Genl Massey has been an active Offr there is not a young offr among us more alert Active or Stirring than he is.
The inclosed three L'res were sent me by Genl McLean from Quebec One for yr Self & the Other two you'll order to be delivered as directed he is Surely the most passionate devil in the World I had such a L're from him as I dare say you never see anything equal it. The Reason was some articles of Clothing arrived here from London wch this Battalion stood in great Need of & I know they were sent for by Major Small & as they were sent here I had not the least doubt but they were designed for this Battn Accordgly I Issued them out to the Men as they wanted them he insists upon that I knew they were designed for him he Curses he damns he swears & Says that I said in my own mind when I got the Cloathing I'll take care of this Battn. Genl McLean & his Bn may go & be damned I expect he is on his passage to England by this time where he'll receive my Answer to his Angry L're wch I fear will put him Stark Staring mad As I am Determined to Answer him in his own Stile, I Beg my Compts to Mr! McAdams Dr Middleton & all friends & am Dr. Sir
[To GENERAL ALLAN McLEAN.]
Halifax 10th. August 1778
I had the Honor of receiving Your Agreable L'res of the 1st May 30th June & 6th July -
I am sorry I was not in Condition to Accept your bill for want of Effects - for my own part I not worth of the World at present wherewith to pay the 1/6 part of the sum having only my bare pay wch I am well able to spend in this place, and about £60 a year for being paymaster wch I contrive to spare and to remit for the Education of my two Eldest boys -
Whoever imagines I have cash by me is Mistaken & knows little of our method: for Major Small's Delicacy & mine to avoid what perhaps might be Seemed improper, or give handle to our Enemies to hinder the Establishment of the Regiment made us take care to draw pay for no more than the Number we had present nor if we had attempted to do more wd we have been indulged in it for this purpose at the beginning of every muster I order the officers Commanding companies to give a signed list of their Men's Names & Sirnames and agreable to Major Small's Directions, According to wch I make out the distribution and abstracts - so that it is impossible to draw a farthing more than is to be paid out immediately to the Soldrs & Offrs present or to be kept in readiness to answer the Demands of abst Offrs nor are we allowed to draw for men or Offrs that are absent prisrs with the Rebels an Order signed Wm. Howe having arrived in Spring last to the Contrary -
This is our Situation in regard to money Matters - If you have drawn for your Battn Accordg to the full Establishment as you directed me to do here in Novr 1776 and if yet you are losers in your money Transactions As you say, how much the greater losers this Bn. must be I leave any one to Judge
In your very Extraordinary & I may say very indecent letter of the 30th May, you say, the Money I advanced the Offrs of 1st Bn. Shall be accounted for but that it was doubly wrong in me to draw bills on you - had you been pleased to bestow a second thought on the Subject it wd have Occured that 3 of them had been drawn by other people & that the rest of the money had been payd to yourself & other Offrs of yr Bn & You had it in your power instantly to order Your paymr to Charge them Offrs with their proportions and it is impracticable for me in my Situation to have these matters lying unsettled I must Still think it was right in me to draw on You. The protesting the bills was as proper as the drawing of them. Had you died soon after they were presented to you and no protest appearing I might be the Sufferer -
You said it was impossible I could be Ignorant of Lieut Lunden having recd a years pay from you. I could neither know or even Suppose it, as there was no order from me to advance him any money nor should you have advanced any to him but for his draft on me and that sent to me by the 1st Opportunity that I might charge it to his Acct for want of wch precaution on yr Side that Gentln drew all his money out of my hands by bills from New York last winter before he joined this Bn. My being informed of his holding Employments in Canada led me also to imagine he might well be able to support himself witht taking up money on the foundation of his Subsistance & You are not ignorant how explicite the Articles of war are agst agents & paymrs detaining the pay of Offrs or Soldiers witht Authority. Therefore on receipt of your I wrote Mr Lundin his Answer I think imports that whatever he was to get for his Extra Services is Still in the hands of yr Qr Mr Genl & that he had suffer'd severely by losing all his Baggage for wch he was not paid. I can do no more in this Affair & wd advise you to Secure whatever is due him on these scores that you may be no Loser -
In Regard to your paying 11 Captns. the inclosed Accots are a full answer to it also to the Supposed debt of £900 agst us the Copies of Accots & ca. &ca. &Ca are likewise answered by the inclosed
If you are more loser in your Money affairs than we are I fancy it must be because you have more Indulgence -
The money for the Offrs Clothing amountg to above £600 agreable to Captn Murd. McLean's Accot Major Small gave me a Written order to pay it to him as he was going home wch I did & has his Order and rect therefore I was obliged to draw the £300 Out of Mr Ogilvie's hands. Major Small wd not Suffer the Camp equipage to be Stoped wherein I think he acted well until the Regimt should be established -
In wt manner You and he has settled the Accots of your Clothing and Offrs Clothing & off Reckonings it has been thought proper to be kept a Secret from me. Therefore have nothing to do with it only as the off reckoning have been recd the men will Certainly have their Clothing £8000 ,,0 ,,0 lastg at New York & 5 or 6000 now at Quebec.
Thus far have I answered the proper Articles of Business in your L'res - that of the 30th May Wd demand an Answer peculiar to itself.
Could I so far forget what I owe to myself - after assuming all the Air & liberty of Expression with me that could be no more than admissable was I yr Menial Offr Servt or Clerk instead of being yr Brother Offr. tho' in an inferior rank, you take upon you in plain Billingsgate terms to Charge me wth Roberies, falsehood, even inventing false Storys to Support Sinister intentions and wth. conduct unbecoming an Offr a heavy Charge indeed -
Friends and Acquaintance such as you and I have been might with propriety take great liberties with one another we might one another in the Wrong we might Expostulate accordingly without exceeding the bounds of decency & at last come to understand one another - but Such expressions as you use in regard to me tends intirely & directly to break off all intercourse & Connection - they are unbecoming your rank, & to me an honest man, a Gentleman, & an officer they are intollerable nor shall I put up with them you shall by the first Opportunity make a Sufft Apology or else I Shall expose that infamous Composition of yrs to the World & if ever we meet Hereafter I shall not fail to put myself in a situation for resenting it.
I Sir have Sustained the Character of an Offr & a man with Approbation - from what Source then could you take the liberty of addressg me in such a Manner is it because that from the innocent misfortune of my predecessors I have not been able to begin life with the Advantages wch might otherwise have placed me in a rank in the Army equal to yrs. - You was once the last man in the world from whom I wd dread the Cruelty of taking advantages of this Circumstance - This must be it & no other cause for in point of personal and mutual obligatns (since you necessitate me to say it) we are on an equal footing -
But to point out more fully the injustice you do me - to put you in mind of points wch you either do or is willing to forget - & consequently that I am not chargeable with Roberys on you please recollect that the 1st Clothing that ever I recd was sent by Major Small from Boston in Winter 1775 and disposed of accordg to his orders the 2d arrived under the immediate inspection & Care of Captn Murd. Maclean and you was here before it was opened and to the best of my remembrance was disposed of agreable to your orders what belonged to the 1st Bn was marked for them & was Sent Accordingly Your 1000 men's Clothing & 1200 Bonnets hose were settled by you and Major Small without any knowledge or concern of mine - if you wanted to have them or any part of them why did you not order them when the rest went you never found fault with me on the head till now nor for ought I know with any body else. If I may be allowed to suggest my opinion I fancy the fact is that you had not much Occasion for them having had a year or two's Clothing for nothing an advantage wch Major Small had not - You say to make up for the Difficiencies in those small articles that you had ordered a small Qty. to be Sent out to Canada directed for yourself and that you recd the invoice & L'res of advice long ago - You may remember Sir - when you was here on your way from London in 76 that I reported to you the Difficiency of those Articles in this Bn and that you told me you wrote from this place for them for both Bns. - from these circumstances it wd have been the most rational conclusion that the last articles recd here were designed for this Bn. you writ Sir its very extraordinary I should have recourse to a false Story of my own making to conceal the truth from you give me leave to tell You that you are most egregiously wrong & that I am as far above being guilty of those base actions as ever you was, for the truth is that these Articles arrived in the Royal George Captain Hill a Ship of 20 Guns Chartered by Mr Watson of London to carry out the fall Goods for this place and was expected here three mos before she arrived and what is still more strange the Captn of the Vessell knew nothing about them farther than seeing so many casks and Packages mentioned in his Cocket directed for Colol McLeans Corps nor did he ever sign a bill of Lading for them or so much as know he had them on board till they were tumbled out in the Course of landing the Goods - As these very Articles were wanting for this Bn. and as you told me you had wrote for them & as you look upon yrself as Colo Commandant of both Battns how could I think but you wd have the same regard for this as for the other. Therefore it wd be (as already said) have the most rational Conclusion that the whole of the articles were for this Bn. alone - The only thing that could raise the least doubt in my mind was not having recd a L're of Advice as you have observed but from the manner in wch they were shipped it might be supposed that that L're might have Miscarried - I therefore wrote to Major Small an Accot of such things havg arrived here and inclosed him an exact return of them desiring he wd inform himself from Mr Ogilvie in wt manner they were sent that he might act accordingly.
The Articles from New York were Shipp'd there by Captn Murd. McLean & directed for Qr Mr Macdonald in this place without the least directions whether for this or the other Bn. As to Mr Macquaries telling me they were for yr Bn he did not or else they Certainly wd. have gone to you - The Articles from London I never wd have sent in anything less than a frigate if I had been sure they were designed for you or if we had not the least use for them knowing how the Coast was infested with privateers from Cape Sables to the Bay of Saluere. In Short I have done what I think was consistant with my duty as an Offr & as a friend consistant with your Interests not a word from Jno. Small nor of Genl F McLean or the Reinforcement that was expected here from Scotland nor news from the Southward but wt you will hear from the Newspapers. I have paid Captn Jno McLean as Capt Lt from the next day after the Date of your Commission & if you will insist on Getting that £60 it owes to be Stoped from him & I think you have Stoped from him at once for his deserving of more than he has I have the Honor to be Sir Yr
P. S. It will be needless to say more on this head. That you may blush I send you a Copy of yr L're & will also send one of it & of this to Major Small not knowing but it may as yet overtake him in London - That he may be no Stranger to the affair or your abuse of me -
Halifax 11th August 1778
Tho' I have not the honor of your Acquaintance I beg leave to trouble you at this time to let you know that I have sent by this Opportunity a large Pacquet directed to Genl McLean or in his absence to you containing a full answer to some Accots Genl McLean had or imagined to have - against this Battn As far as they were just or Consistent with my knowledge I have given him credit for and the Balance I will order Mr Jno Ogilvie of London to pay him as I understand he is gone there.
The sd Pacquet contains an answer to a L're from Genl Maclean to me dated at Quebec the 30th May last the most infamous rude & indecent that ever came from the Pen of a Gentleman as you shall see if the Pacquet falls into your hands.
There is a poor man of yr Bn. that came here from New York One Cameron and Says there is above Two yrs pay due to him from yr Regiment & that he belongs to Captn Donald Robertson's Comy He is rendered for ever unfit for Service I believe having lost the use of his right Arm - pray let me know what is to be done with him as he is not fit to go on board by this opportunity. We have a poor old man in our Regiment whose Son went from hence a Servt with Lt & Adjut Ronl McDonnell. The poor man has lately lost the only son he had and begs for Christ's Sake that that boy may be allowed to come to see him. We have no news to give you from this part of the World but wt the public prints will inform you. Not a word from England since the 20th of Apl last nor of Genl Fras. McLean Major Small or the Reinforcement that was expected from Scotland here We are all very well in this place and, with my most humble Respects to the Gentlemen of your Corps & other Acquaintances I beg leave to Assure you that Im Sir
Yr Most Obedt & most humble Servt
[To REV. DR. JOHN McDONALD.]
Halifax 18.h Augst 1778
I recd yours of the 24th Apl last wch gave me more pleasure and Satisfaction than any L're I ever recd before as it contained an Accot of my two boys being safe arrived with you. I am affraid you'll Scold no less on rect of this than at the other L're wth Wch you are so much displeased on accot of its Shortness but you must excuse, me I have the whole Charge of this Regt. on my Shoulders & a great deal of Writing by this Opportunity going for London & Quebec.
I am happy Donald is so wise as to gain yr Affections & I hope that Both of them will do that in the Course of their Acquaintance & Stay wth you. Donald is a kind generous open hearted boy & Alec is a little more close and Sulky in his disposition wch may be owing to his being brot up with Angus McDonald Tullagh's son who always humord him in every thing he was pleased to Wish for But I hope Nevertheless will make a fine fellow.
You complain of my leaving every thing to yr Self in regard to the training of the Childn. I wd not venture to prescribe in those cases to One so far my Superior in these Matters of Knowledge & one who from Natural Attachment & Connection I know wd do everything in his power to serve them And its my desire youll let them want for nothing that you shall think proper to Accomplish a Complete Education wt ever Money will be wanted for that You'll receive from Mr Wm Macdonald of Edinburgh.
As to their principles of Morality & Religion teach them to be what Mr Pope Calls the Noblest work of God, that is honest Men, learn them to fear God, Honor the King, and to observe above all things the greatest of all Commandments that is to do by all the World as they wd wish to be done by and if they will observe all these things I dont Care what name they will give to their Religion when they are able to judge for themselves what you wd wish them to profess is not so much for their worldly interest in the Dominions of Great Britain how far it may be for the interest of their Souls I leave to the Supreme Maker and Judge of all things and them entirely to yr Government & Direction only I Strictly forbid any Attempts to be made to make them Clergymen of any Denomination whatsoever.
My wife cryed for Joy when She recd your L're & Donalds Scrole. She is quite happy to hear they are once arrived safe in Yr Possession and desires to be remembered to you in the most tender & kind Manner wishes to know any of the produce of this Country you may wish to have.
If Poor Macleod is within your Reach let him know he shall be handsomely rewarded for his Fidelity & please to give my most Sincere thanks to the Gentlemen & other people of the Country who has Shewn so much Civility to my boys. I Shewed yr L're to Captn Jno who has promised to write you Such long L'res & so often that he will make up all Defficiencies & former Neglects. Capt Allan Cullahie is here with me now but his wife & two Daughters are Still prisrs wth the Rebells. All your friends in the Regt are in perfect good health & well. Lt Jas Macdonald is a fine fellow & will make a very brisk good officer he has promised to write by this very opportunity to his Mother & Says he will be happy to open a Correspondence wth you. As for the Rebellion & State of affairs in America I Can give you no better Accot than you will have in the public prints. I'll Endeavor to Correspond with you as oft as I can. In the meantime give my kind love to all friends and believe me to be Dr Brother
To JOHN OGILVIE, ESQ.
Halifax 18th Augst 1778
Since my last of the 30th June in wch I inclosed you a bill of £400 Sterg I have nothing extraordinary to Acquaint you with Only that Colo Maclean with the 70th Regimt the Duke of Hamilton & Argyle's Regiments Arrived here a few days ago all well and in top Spirits wch puts this Garrison in a respectable State of Defence. Wt. our Navy and Army are doing to the Southward you know better than we do. The whole country is fully bent upon Independence and they have treated yr Commissioners with the utmost Contempt & disrespect so that there is Nothing left for you to do but to decline their Independency or find Sufft force to Subdue them. If they are left independent Great Britain will be Scarcely able to withstand them & the house of Bourbon's forces & if Great Britain is Annihilated the poor blind Bougers of America will become at last the Slaves of France & Spain & all these Misfortunes proceedg from Divisions at home & Misconduct abroad. I have nothing more to say but pray God the Outers may meet their just reward. I send you inclosed the Second of that Bill of £400. I am Suspicious if I don't forget the 1st & 2nd differs in their Numbers but I dont know & hope it will make no odds as I am sure they are of the Same date.
I recd a most infamous & indecent L're from Brigadr Genl Maclean Charging me with the most base falsehoods that ever came from the pen of a Gentleman about some Articles of Clothing that arrived here last
Winter. Copy of it with that of my Answer I have sent by this Opportunity wch probably will fall into your hands and by wch you will be able to judge who is to blame. Pray for God's Sake let me hear from you & Send me a Sketch of our Accot how matters Stands between you & me & believe me to be Sir
Yr Real Friend & h'ble Servt
To Wm Mc ADAM, ESQR.
Halifax 21st Augst 1778
Since my last of the 2d July Arrived Brigr Genl Maclean with the 70th. Duke of Hamilton & Argyleshire Regimts in No. about 2200 of wch we Stood greatly in need havg but a very weak Garrison before two other Vessels from London Arrived since wch brot over Mr Hughes Commissr of the Dock Yard & Lt Governor of this Province and wth whom we expected Major Small; but neither himself nor the Scrape of a pen from him has appeared notwithstanding we have Certain Accots of his Rank & the Regimt being Established. Captn Jno. Hall, who will deliver you this and whom I Daresay you are well acquainted with & if you are not he's I assure you worthy of your Acquaintance being a man of Sense & great Honor Havg been Genl Massey's Aid de Camp will be the better able to give to you a more particular Accot of wt has been done in this part of the World & ca. I dont write to any of our Off'rs there thinkg it would not overtake them. If Capt Murd. McLean or Capt Allan Macdonald Should be there tell them as I have said before its very Surprizing wt keeps them there that I will Certainly Stop their Credit from receiving any more money if they dont join the Regt or Assign Sufficient Reasons to the Contrary.
My Compliments to Mrs Mac Adams & all friends & believe me to be Dr Sir,
Halifax 21st August 1778
After Wishing you a Speedy and Safe Arrival at New York I beg leave to trouble you with the following Hints in Case you might have an Opportunity of a private Conversation With the Commander in Chief to wit that I have been now going on thirty two yrs. in the Service all wch time I have done my duty witht being found fault with by any Superior Officer that I have been during the last two Wars On all Active Services in Europe & America, Was very Severely wounded at the affair of Major Grant now Genl Grant at Fort Du Quesne in the year / 58, that I did Execute the most Daring piece of Duty that ever an Officer was sent upon by Order of the Same Genl Grant to Attack a log house Within a pistol Shott of the Walls of Fort Duquesne the Night before the Action Major Grant being informed that said house was full of Indians & Canadians. My orders were to save One or two white persons & to put all the rest to the Bayonet, that upon Coming to the house I found it empty Contrary to expectation and tho' I was so near that I heard the French Centinels talking to one another I waited till I Struck up a Fire & set the house in Flame to Convince Major Grant that I had done my Duty & that I call upon Major Grant now Genl Grant to Witness if he did not see me (after being Severely wounded) rally the men & endeavor to make a Stand tho' almost fainted with the loss of Blood till at last all hopes were over I made my escape I dont know how.
That I was the first that proposed the Raising of the Corps & offered my Services the first of any that were on half pay in America that if Matters are going wrong & America left Independent its impossible for me to assertain my Losses the Many and large Tracts of Land that I had in the Province of New York being very Considerable & impossible to declare their Value at this time. In Short that I am Stript of all I had in the World. Upon the whole I think myself Cruelly used after such long and faithful Services to be so Neglected. If Major Small is promoted to the Rank of Lt Colo Commandant of his Bn I think no man living has a better title to be Major to them than myself at Least I think the Commander in Chief Might put me upon the same footing with Captn Nairn of the Ist Battn who was & is allowed Major's pay (as oldest Captain) since the Commencement by Genl Carlton but its not the pay I want so much as the Rank, altho' both Wd Suit my poor distress'd family very well. I am besides all these Claims the representative of an old antient family & in estate wch was sold about 8 or 9 yrs ago for £40000 Sterg & of wch my Grand Father was the last in possession tho' he did not leave a Single sixpence to my Father or me. This, My dear friend, is no Ostentation but a real Fact & I hope that you, as my friend & a man of honor, will make a proper representation of it I mean wt you think will be most for my Advantage. In the, mean time, I am Dr Sir
Your most Obedt & very hble Servant
To GENERAL MASSEY.
Halifax 25 August 1778
I am extremely sorry to learn from Doctor Jefferies of your excellency's indisposition. I did myself the honor to wait upon you Yesterday morning, to ask a favor not for myself but for another person whom I think worthy of to Wit if the Grenadiers of each Corps here should be formed into a Battalion I wd recommend Lt Lachn Maclean of our Grendr Comy to Act as Adjutant to that Corps. I Believe he is Capable & I am Sure he is Worthy of any little Addition of this kind that can be made to his pay and it wd be obliging me As Much as if it was for myself As I know perfectly well he wants it.
I also wish that all the men of our Regimt on outposts Should be relieved As all the men on board the Spry East Battry & George's Island are included in the No. Supposed to be under Arms at Windsor when I arrive there wch is 4 Captns 4 Lieuts 5 Ensns 1 Adjut 1 Surgeon's Mate 18 Serjts 17 Corpls 13 Drumrs and 213 privates Qr Mr & Chaplain must be left behind in this town & the Surgeon is absent by leave at Head Qrs
Earnestly wishing for your Excellency's Speedy Recovery I beg leave to Assure you that I am with Sincere regard & Esteem your Excellency's
Most Obedt & hble Servt
P.S. to Genl Massey's L're dated 25 Augt 1778
I was Surprised this morning to learn from Major Lyons that the men up on the Eastern Batt'y & Geo. Island were not to be relieved after yr Excellency told me two days ago that they Shoud. I need not point out to you Sir the inconveniency attending the Scattering of a Corps in so many Difft places its attended with ruin destruction and Confusion Altho I wd be very happy to Oblige Major Lyons in every respect yet I wd not by no means ruin a Corps I have the Honor to Command to please even my own father or Brother especially as there are other people to replace them as Genl McLean told me last Sunday he had about ten or twelve old Soldrs in his Regimt wch he wished to dispose of in such places I must insist upon old Frazier to join the Regimt at least as I intend to replace him a Corpl as he was formerly and indeed I beg the whole may be relieved as otherwise it will be attended with difficulties & Confusion.
[To DUNCAN CAMPBELL.]
Halifax 25th August 1778
I recd yours of the 23d late last night as I was going to bed & I Suppose the Express I sent you wd have been with you soon after you sent that away As I did not delay Acquainting you Soon after the order was issued out. I acquaintd you in that L're that you might have your Choice either to go to Annapolis or Corn Wallis As the Genl leaves it intirely to me to Detach such men and Offrs as I shall think proper from Windsor.
Orders are sent up to prepare Barracks at Cornwallis for a Compy from Whence a Subaltern is to be Detached to Horton I insisted the Barracks to be made for 60 men in Case of Need & I believe it will be so.
The Interview you want at Mrs Montgomery's I am as fond of as you possibly can be and I will Endeavor to be there before 12 oClock next Sunday. If I can bring Colo Campbell or Dond Balanabey along with me I will do it. I'll be glad of this Interview to Consult what is best to be brot up from this place till then with my Compts to all friends believe me to be Dr Duncan
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