Letter, 1823 FEB 22

Letter from Lachlan Grant to his brother, Lewis Grant, 22 February 1823
Transcription by Hugh Campbell, 31 May 2003

Aberlour N. B. 22 February 1823

My dear Brother,
When I had the happiness of receiving your kind & welcome letter
I lost no time in writing to Mary as affectionate a letter as I was capable of composing
& received an answer of a line & a half to ask your address which I immediately
sent. There our correspondence ended. Of course you have heard from them.
The Minister Wm Grant called on me some time after & said Tom Grant had often
written & that his letters were all returned marked "_dead_". [??] impossibility. Tom
is ashamed --- some sign of amendment.
I intended to have written in November but waited the news of our
unfortunate cousin's illness. He died in apoplectic fits on the 8th of December.
In him, I have lost the most sincere disinterested faithful friend. I have now
very few left. During his confinement we found his half pay rather more
than sufficient for his support & a balance of a few pounds saved remains in
our Agent's hands. This sum, however small, would be of much service to me,
in present circumstances, but I cannot receive it. You are the nearest heir living.
If you make oath to that & send it with a Power of Attorney to me or to my Agent,
Wm McInerheny Esq. 8 Adelphi Terrace London, the money will not be lost.
I suppose stamps are not requisite in your country, & in that case, postage will
be all the expense. The deceased was Lieut Lewis Grant R.N. [Royal Navy] son of the brother
of our Mother. A braver officer, a better man & a more faithful friend never
existed. I feel his loss severely.
My wife is well. I have been very ailing since August. My constitution
was quite broken by hard service eight years ago. My poor little Boy is now
twenty months old, thriving, & speaks very distinctly. He is handsome & a
truly interesting little creature. His mother has taught him to speak all his
cousin's names as if he was acquainted with them. I am unhappy when I
think I must leave him before it will be possible to give him the groundwork
of a good education, & to make the misfortune greater, we have the prospect
of another in about three months. We are struggling with difficulties but
still happy enough. We have got our cottage pretty well furnished with
some difficulty & some debt which we must pay in time by frugality. Our
halfpay 5/. a day would be enough with economy, but I had never saved a
penny until I married, & we had all to do at once. In a pecuniary point
of view, my family will be full as well after me as with me & that is some

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consolation, my wife's pension being established at F50 a year with an allowance
for the children. We have taken the dwelling house of Rinnachat with a cow's
grass, and as I cannot work, I amuse myself sometimes [??] a dinner
by taking salmon [??] Spey. I also cultivate a little garden. With all our
industry & economy, I fear we shall never be with enough to have a little
farm. Notwithstanding which we are happy, & shall be still moved, if ever
we live to be square with all the world.
Let your children know that you have a brother & he a son & when my
boy can write he shall correspond with them & speak for himself, & probably,
at a future period, they may meet the friends as they are relatives. We are
I believe all that is left of two highly respectable families. Children abroad
ought always to be told of where they are descended, because separated
families may always meet. My wife is averse to her child's serving
the King, which he must do at 14, or lose his allowance from Government.
Should he be bred to a civil employment, my wish is that he join his
[??] in America --- he will soon leave hardly any, or none, in Scotland.
This country is worn out in every respect --- Yours is flourishing & must
improve for ages to come. If I was only ten years younger, I would
remove to it, & were at present, had I a few hundred pounds to lay
out in land, I might be tempted to go. As matters stand, I am best here.
Our Father must have died rich. He owed nothing had a farm well stocked, with
F900 in Sir Jos Grant's hands & a few years before his death received F1760 by the sale of the estate
of his brother Lachlan, & yet Mary has nothing & lives on the bounty of Thos Grant who
is said to possess F20,000. This astonishes every body here. Capt. Alex Cameron & all
my friends have endeavoured to persuade me to institute an inquiry respecting the state
of our Fathers affairs at his death, but it is what I never shall do without your concurrence.
I never suspected unfair play until I found they had not written to you & reported you
dead --- Now I am convinced all has not been right. I heard of his death by mere accident
near four years after. With respect to the Estate I alude to the sale of, it was left to me
but the will being supposed bad, I was sent to our uncle James to confirm it, which he
did, being heir at law. During my absence our father represented himself to be heir at
law & got it. By virtue of his Power of Attorney I managed it four years & put it
in a way to pay its debts in time. Tom persuaded the old man to see it for a
trifle, when had he kept it seven years it might have brought F10,000. I lost six years
time looking after it which prevented me from being now a Post Captain, & received
for all my trouble F140. It was our Father's intention, no doubt to have given me the
property according to his brother's wish, but Tom overpersuaded him in his dotage.
At length when they had agreed to sell the Estate, the purchaser refused to conclude the

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[Losses in paper folds]
bargain unless it was first conveyed to me & by me to him. [??]
arrested & imprisoned for the Estate! [??], some of which I had costs [??]
my own account. To get out of prison, on the commencement of a [??]
& received F140 as a remuneration. Now, my dear [??] this is
with Tom, & if you doubt any [??] of the situation, you may [??]
Father's lawyer, Robt Apple[??] Eight Lincoln's New Inn, London.
Any lawyer in your neighbourhood will tell you how [??]
Letters of Administration is to [??] Power [??]
If it is, you ought to make [??], not to me, because [??]
money in his own hands.
In hopes that you all well & happy, & that you may [??]
my wife & child join me most cordially in kindest wishes
and I remain, My dear Lewis,
Your truly affectionate [??]

Direction to L G Esq
Royal Navy at
Aberlour North Britain

Tom Grant's story of the letters being returned marked _dead_, long before the war
began is ridiculous. The war lasted but three years. Had you been dead the
PostMaster of U Canada knows every proprietor in the Colony & would have
sent the letters to your family or executors on your property.
When I last saw our Father he showed me a Will, which he never intended to
alter, leaving his property between you & Mary, with considerable legacies to [Betsy?]
& me. The same will he showed & read to our cousin Lewis, & afterwards, to another
friend a very short time before his death. Everybody that I have spoken to in this
country thinks that Tom Grant acted a dishonest part. I have been one of the last to
think so but now cannot doubt it. If there was no will, as he has pretended, you
are the most proper person to see justice done to all parties & your distance from us

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[Losses in paper folds]
[??] Mary possessed the property I should be happy, but be assured
[??] . Tom is master of her farm by virtue of a new lease, &
[??] Mary. Mary is weak & [??] [abits?] of constraint renders
[??] by me [??] for yourself, & if you
[??] opinion say nothing in [??] on this subject & I shall
[??] you again.

Let us know what sort of a country you live in & whether you have any
neighbours from Strathspey. Are you still fond of shooting & do salmon run
up as far as your residence? I had a friend Capt Alpin Grant, with his
wife & two fine accomplished daughters who went to Montreal three years ago.
This country is depopulated to people U. Canada & the inhabitants of the
Grampians are now sheep! Where regiments were easily raised 20 years ago,
we could not now raise a company. The morale of our peasantry are likewise
much altered for the worse, but they live & sleep better than formerly. Spey and
Badenoch are where they were but manners & morals are quite changed. The face
of the country still [??] me & I have but a short time to live. Adieu God bless you.


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