Letter, 1829 JAN 12

Letter from Lachlan Grant to his brother, Lewis Grant, 12 January 1829
Transcription by G.B.Grant, November 1938
Revised by Hugh Campbell, May 2003

Aberlour North Britain 12th January 1829

My dear Brother

The last letter we had the happiness to receive from you
is dated October 1827. Since that time I have written twice and this is my
third letter. I have often thought you must be dead -- and yet it is
highly probable, in that case, some of your family would have let us
know. I hope you are still alive and well, and to hear that you are so,
from yourself, would be one of the greatest consolations that I could
enjoy in this world. You are my only Brother and my children's only
Uncle----and though we have been very long separated & are without
any reasonable hope of ever seeing each other again in this world --
and though I am surrounded here by numerous near relatives of
high rank whom I highly respect and esteem -- yet I prefer you,
my dear Lewis, to them all, and to all the world except my wife
and children, and to hear from you again will make me as happy
as it is in the lot of human nature to be. I almost daily read in the
periodical prints, with which I am well supplied, of the rapid improvements
and great prosperity of your Colony, and my heart is sad to think
I there have an only Brother with whom I have no correspondence.
A few years ago I thought the distance between Britain and Canada
very short -- and then I should have undertaken a voyage thither
with less preparation than I now require to visit a neighbour. Such is
the change made in me by age, infirmity and long peace. Having
now a family to support on half pay, I cannot afford the expense of
a long journey -- I am pretty well pleased where I am because the
climate seems to agree pretty well with my broken constitution and
precarious health -- but were I in better circumstances, I think I should
yet try your hemisphere -- though my habits of life render me incapable
of doing any good there or bettering my own fortune. My choice of
an habitation there would be below the great fall, in a country well
peopled, on the bank of a Salmon stream on the British side of the river,
where I might enjoy uninterruptedly my aristocratic principles and follow
my favorite amusement of fly-fishing, for I cannot and will not work -- and

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-- yet I know idle droons like me fill 'la morgue aristocratique' & of no
manner of use to society are the least esteemed of all men among you.
When I wrote you last we were all beginning to recover from a long
and most severe illness which carried off many of our neighbours and
greatly embarrassed our very limited pecuniary circumstances, but we
have since been blessed with good health, except my never ceasing
rheumatism, and our finances are improving, and if no other calamity
overtakes us, we shall be again square with all the world, perhaps, in
nine months. I have a very frugal and industrious wife, who with
her maid-servant, makes a great part of our clothing from wool & flax &
puts no article out to make, except my dress suit and our shoes and hats.
My Boy will be eight next June and can read and write & can account
to multiplication, but though in good health is very tall, thin & delicate.
Our two girls are stout & perfectly healthy & can read. In a word,
never were parents blessed with better children. I am their teacher --
but never before having been accustomed to teach, it is hard & unpleasant
labour -- and we are thinking of removing to Aberdeen where there are
better seminaries for youth of both sexes than in our neighbourhood.
As we have nothing to leave our children but an old Coat of Arms
handed down to us for 600 years, of no other use than to please a vain
fancy & procure Johny a Commission, when others must purchase,
we are firmly determined, while we live, to give them the rudiments
of a good, solid & virtuous education, of which in Johny, the
foundation is already firmly laid, and then the world is wide &
before them -- let them shift for themselves.
My friend Iam Grant died at the time of the great snow, two
years ago last November, and left Betsie with F30,000, the richest widow
in this country -- and Mary is reported to be the richest old maid, but
nobody knows what she has. That event put a stop to my intended
and long delayed lawsuit with Iam -- and now nothing whatever
can be done according to my principles. Just after the burial I wrote
my Sisters a most friendly letter of condolence & offered to visit them
if they acknowledged the receipt of it, which they have not done. Their
ill will was not at first sincere, but habit has settled it into morbid
implacibility Iam was as much a body without soul as any human

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being could be -- and his influence has been all powerful on them -- He did me
the greatest injuries -- I most cordially forgive him and I hope he is now
happy in a better world where money will not make people quarrel with and
hurt their friends. Iam and I ever erred on opposite extremes -- I always
despised wealth beyond the necessaries of life, never saw a fellow creature
distressed without relieving him to the utmost of my power and made no
provision for old age -- Iam grasped at wealth as if it had been heaven,
and with F30,000 did not live so well & so comfortable as I do on 5/ a day.
Our sisters now live as [??] in the way they have been [???]
without any acquaintance and correspondence so far as I [???]
and great relations who surround them -- I suppose you [???]
our nearest relations being the Noble families of this cou[??] [???]
the sixteenth descendant of King Robert II and the fourth [???]
of Gordon & Roxburgh & of the Earle of Seafield, Fyfe & [???]
[???] well informed of such matters, having [???]
[???] left the country young and poor, I will [???]
[???] your Genealogy from the [???]
[???] in Grant Castle -- And sent [???]
[???] [??]table descent may be useful [???]
[???] to your posterity and even to you [???]
[???] in your very remote corner of the [???]
prudently employed. Your last Governor, Lord Dalhousie [???]
with your family, and if you made yourself known [???]
with proper credentials, he could have obtained Commission [???]
& befriended you in other ways, and would have most [???]
a better man & a kinder to his friends never existed. [???]
Brother, to belong to the order of Gentry under an aristo[??] [???]
form of Govt. such as ours is really something [???]
satisfaction in any society to be honestly come of good & virtuous people
who have been rewarded for great services by a grateful & generous
country. Last winter we lost one of our best, sincerest & most powerful
[bounds?] Lady Anne Grant of Grant. Lord Seafield has since removed to live
with his brother at Cullen House. We now have nobody at the Castle & society
is consequently rather dull at Strathspey. Having now little more room, I am
to assure you once more that to hear that your family are well and happy will be
one of the greatest possible pleasures to us all. Many enquiries are made about you
by old friends & by some who never saw you, but who respect your ancestors' memory.
Yours truly affectionate brother, L. Grant

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In the list of persons present at the Earl of Dalhousie's farewell dinner at Montreal,
I read one of the name of Grant and I hope it was my brother. In your last l[??]
you said you would write one letter more to the people of Glad-Hill. I hope and trust
it brought an answer but from what I know of that quarter, I fear it might
have contained matter prejudicial to our friendship. If that be the case, you
have been imposed on as much as were many persons in this country before my
return home -- but my residence among them, my sentiments & my habits

Lewis Grant Esq.
Edwardsburg by Prescott
Upper Canada
North America

of life have exploded all unfavorable impressions and convinced all my friends
here that matters had been most grossly missrepresented. What fools men are
who injure their own conscience & their friends reputation for nothing. It may
indeed have originated in a prospect of something, but once obtained,
there spite & hatred ought to cease. None can have anything from me---I am as
poor as a church mouse -- but Government will provide a decent maintenance
my family & we are tolerably happy and would be very completely so if you were friendly
with us -- perfectly so if we could procure the good will of our sisters & we have done much for
that purpose.


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