AMERICANREVOLUTION.ORG

LETTER BOOK OF CAPTAIN ALEXANDER McDONALD,
OF THE
ROYAL HIGHLAND EMIGRANTS


To MR. REILY.

Halifax 14th Feby 1777

MY DEAR REILY.

My last to you of the 25th Jany Covering a power of Attorney giving you sole power to Act at your pleasure Regarding my Interest on Statten Island wch I do hereby Confirm in that letter. I beg of you to send me an half dozen of Casks of Superfine Flour and was you able to load a Vessel with flour and Indian Corn you would make an East Indian Voyage thereof. The prices for these Articles are here 7 Dollars an hundred for flour and 6 Piasterens & an half per Bushell for Indian Corn. According to the last prices in the New York papers this would almost Clear One half. At any Rate I wd be glad to have an hundred Bushells for my own use And as many of Oats if they could be had. I should imagine that Gilbert Meyer Could Spare some Corn from the Farm. If a Convenient Opportunity Should happen I wd be much Obliged for two or three thousand of the best Oysters properly packed up in large Casks As Mrs McDonald is almost going Crazy for some as there is none to be had here. If Matters are going well with the Army as I hope in God they are I should be glad you would repair the Farm if you Can possibly get post & rails at a reasonable Rate to repair all the fences. I should be also well pleased if three or four Thousand Cedar posts of 13 feet long & of about 6 Inches thick at Bottom could be had. These I Mean to fence in the Gardens with. They are to be placed by Making, a ditch of three feet deep, As close Side by Side as they can Stand with Sharp points at the Top and well fixed in the Ground by Stamping the Earth around them taking Care they stand perpendicular & of an Equal Height a strong Lath to be Nailed within side three feet from the top to each post; for all this work keep an Exact Accot and either draw upon me or I will Send you the Money in hard Cash by a Man of War. All this to be done however only in Case you see peace restored upon a permanent & Safe footing. So that we may have a Chance of Reaping the Benefit of it. For God's Sake fail not to write me by every Opportunity and be at pains to know how Matters stand & like to go on. Mr. McDonald joins me in Compliments to Mrs Reily and all our Worthy good friends. Little Robert has been Innoculated & is now perfectly well as we are all together & Remain Dr Reily yrs.


To GILBERT MEYER.

Halifax 16th Feby 1777

DR GILBERT.

This Serves in the first place to let you know that we are all very well. Little Robert has been innoculated & perfectly Recovered thank God. Your Sister wants much to be back upon the farm again if once more it pleased God to restore peace & good Order to that distracted Country. You must upon all Occasions follow such directions as you shall receive from Mr. Reily to whom I have sent a power of Attorney to take the Sole Management of all my farm & every thing else into his own hands Because I have the highest opinion of his Integrity and honor and I have given him directions to go to the Expence of Repairing all the Damages on the farm that is in Case Matters are going right & the Country in peace and I hope that you will for yr. own honors sake, My Interest & also yr own, do everything in your power to keep things in good order and make the Farm turn out to the best Advantage until I have the pleasure of Seeing you wch will be soon after Matters are Settled. I am Sorry for poor Mr. Duffy please to give Mrs. Duffy My Kind love & tell Captn McLeod I wrote to him three Times without Ever receiving the Scrape of a pen from him. Remember me to all good friends & I am Dr Gilbert

Yrs.

P.S. Suekey desires her love to you & that you take good care of Big Bett & her Children.


To JAS. McDONALD.

Halifax 16th Feby 1777

SIR.

Your'e to take Charge of the Majors Compy Mr. Hamilton told me he had Settled with them to the 24th
Octr & left them all Completely Served in Shirts &c. which does not agree with the Necessary Accot you sent by Cape McKinnon he told me besides they were all out of dept except a Trifle wch some of them owed to him & Which I paid him Amounting to £3 13s wch is charged against them in the Abstract & I send you
inclosed the Accot he left me that You may be able to Stop it from them. Captn. McKinnon will deliver you the Abstract & the Balance wherein you will find You have Credit for the Contingent men from the 25th October to the 23d Feby. 1777 inclusive.

I have taken up your Accot & paid it to Mr. Allan & Charged the Whole to you. The five pounds for the Haversacks you will have credit for how soon you will inform me to Whom they are to be Charged or how I am to be Reimbursed. I have also pd your draft of £10 favor of Mr. Jno McMonagle as you will see by your Abstract. We expect the Colo here very soon & the whole to go to Canada next Summer. Captn McKinnon will give you all other news of which we have none at present. I hope you & Captn. John has condescended on a Method of Settling your Accot in a Manner that will be agreeable to both parties I am Sir. Yrs


To JAs McDONALD.

Halifax 16th Febry 1777

MR. JAs McDONALD.

I am sorry to inform you that every Accot I receive from Windsor is very unfavorable in regard to you. Your cursed Carelessness & Slovenlyness about your own Body and your dress Nothing going on but drinking Calybogus Schewing Tobacco & playing Cards in place of that decentness & Cleanliness that all Gentlemen who has the least Regard for themselves & Character must & does observe. I am afraid from your Conduct that you will be no Credit or honor to the Memories of those Worthies from whom you are descended & if you have no regard for them or your self I need not expect you'll be at any pains to be of Any credit to me for any thing I can do for you. I am about Giving you Rank agreable to Colo. McLean's plan & on Accot of your having bro't more men to the Regimt than either Mr FitzGerd. or Campbell You are to be the Second in Command at that post Lt. FitzGer'd. the third & Campbell the fourth. And I hope I shall never have Occasion to write to you in this Manner again. I beg you will begin now to mend your hand to write & learn to keep Accots. that you may be able to do Some thing like an officer if ever you expect to make a figure in the Army You must Change your plan & lay yr. money out to Acquire such Accomplishmts befitting an officer rather than Tobacco, Calybogus and the Devil knows what. I am tired of Scolding of you, so will say no more but that I Sincerely wish you well & remain your friend & h'ble Serv't

A. M. D.


To JOHN OGILVIE.

Halifax 5th March 1777

SIR.

My last to you was the 19th Jan'y Since which I had no accounts from head Quarters but are in Daily Expectations to see the Coll. or hear from him. No doubt you have heard from him Since his arrivall at New York with a more particular account of the proceedings of the armie & whatever you would wish to hear.

I have Drawn on you of this Date for fifty Eight pounds Sterling, in favour George Turner Esq'r, Deputy Pay Mr. Genl. for the province of Nova Scotia to repay a Bill Drawn by Capt. Duncan Campbel of our Regt who was prisoner with the rebells at Philadelphia; when you Pay this money you will be so good as to take up Capt. Campbells Bill and Sende it to me as my Vour. for Charging it to his acount. The Gentleman who will Deliver you this is one Mr Gray of this Town who is to return to this place after a very short Stay at London.

If you will have any Commands for me he has promised me to wait upon you a few days before he leaves London. I begged of you in a former Letter to let me know if Counsr. McDonald had received the Letters I wrote him or rather if you had receiv'd them Yourself as they were sent under Cover to you.

I could at this time Send you a bill of £500 upon a house in Dublin whom as I am unacquainted with & that the Negotiating the bill in London w'd be of some trouble to you I chuse to wait a little Longer being in some Expectations of Getting a Government Bill soon & may be for a sum more Considerable than this as I am determined to lodge wt money I have of my own in your hands till the aff'rs of America are Settled. I & all the Rest of our Off'rs are full of anxiety Concerning the fate of our Regimt. Whether or not we are as yet Established of wch I hope yr first Letter will give me a Satisfactory Acct I am Sir

Yr h'ble Serv't

A. M. D.

P.S. You will be pleased to make Enquiry If any such thing has been or can be done As taking out a Brevet as full Captain from the date of the promotion in 1771 for those who were Captain Lieuts. a Considerable time before. You'll see by the Book of Quarters the date of my Commission was the fifth of August 1762 if so I beg you wd take out a Brevet for me wch Indulgence I think Myself intitled to having - served one & thirty years thank God hitherto without a Blemish.

I have some thoughts of sending home my oldest Boy but is not yet Determined whether to England or to Scotland. Would be glad you wd give a hint of it to Mr McDonald & let me know his opinion & yours Whether I should send him to England or to Scotland. My Meaning is to give him a genteel Education & then bring him up to the Law Especially if Mr McDonald wd. take any Concern in him as I have wrote him twice without receiving an Answer therefore dont chuse to trouble him till I know the Reason of his Silence.


[To CAPT. ROBERT McKENZIE.]

Halifax 19th Aprill 1777.

SIR.

I send you inclosed an Exact Coppie of the acount you gave me of the arrears of our officers which I believe you will finde contains a great many Errors in regard to both Capts & Subaltns they Expected to receive their full arrears without Deduction that is 2/6 pr Day for the Capts. Ltt. 1/2 Ens. /8d adjt 1s'/Quarter-mr. 1/2 Surgn. I/ Do mate 0/6d. I was obliged to shew them your Accot to Convince them that I paid them wt. I had recd. Young Mr Morden Complains much because he says his Commission was dated the 14th. June 1775 & You can plainly perceive the Errors in some of the Captns. Accots. Who has the Same No of days tho' a Diff'ce in the. Sums. I wish you wd send me the third Bill of Ex'ce - As I can'ot sell the 1 & 2 d without the 3d Tho' I can Raise Money upon the Strength of it at any time. Colo McLean nor Major Small are not as yet arrived nor none of our off'rs that we expected from New York. It was Colo McLean's orders to me to have always drawn for half the Establishment every Muster which Includ'g the Warrant men & non Effectives for the Commanding officer Agent's Widow's & Recruiting Funds would amount every muster for our Battalion to Fifteen hundd .Eleven pounds ten Shills & Seven pence besides our Supernumarys or those that are prisoners with the Rebels. However I have hitherto drawn agreable to the Monthly Returns. I send you inclosed a Contingent Accot for your perusal and approbation & to Correct whatever part you think unjust or that we have no right to Charge & hope you will be pleased to send me an order to receive the Rest. Also an order to receive Six hundred pounds for Cloathing that I bought the Regimt last year if Colo. McLean or Major Small has not already received it.

I will be infinitely obliged to you to let me know upon what footing this Regiment is I mean this Batt'n of ours who is to take Command of us and whether we are to remain the Halifax Guard or any Appearance of Going upon Service any where else. If all the officers belonging to the Batt'n Will join this Summer & that there will be no danger of an Invasion in this province I hope his Excellency Sir Wm. Howe will have no Objections to my Going to Statten Island to look after my place which I'm told is totally destroyed rather more by our own troops than by the Rebels. However I shall know a little more about it when Colo. McLean comes. I cannot help been a little Chagrined at my own hard Fate after spending all my life time in the Service of my King & Country to see Boys who neither Served the Qr. part of the time nor undergone the Qr. part of the Dangers, Fatigues & hardships that I have undergone jumping in to Majorities & Lt. Colos. tho' I'm not at all sorry for any Man's good Luck. I will not encroach upon yr. time wch I know is precious only to let you know that I have the Strongest reliance on yr. good offices & friendship we have no news only what you will hear from Genl. Massy the Devil is to play at fort Cumberland Either the one or the other of the 2 field Offrs. must fall &
Captain Collett says by God he w'd be ready to take the Majority. I shall be happy to have the pleasure
of Hearing from You, I am Sir

Yr Much Obliged & Most humble Servt


To -----
SIR

Inclosed you have an Accot of the Money you drew upon me Amounting to 137 Dollars & 1s 8d over Making in the whole at 4-6 pr Dollar is £30.18 Stirling wch You'll be pleased to pay to Colo. McLean Agreable to my Draft on you of this date in his favor. In the hurry of Business I had no time to look for your bills wch are carefully laid by Among other papers but this & the Colos. Rect. on the back of the bill will be your Sufft. Vouchier or Discharge I am Sir

Yr most obt huble Servt

P.S. Captn Jno. McDonald desires his best respects to you.


[To NORMAN McLEOD.]

Halifax 6th May 1777.

My DEAR NORMAND.

This is the 1st opportunity I have had for many days to let you hear from me. I have only time now to let you know that Sueky the Children & my self are all pretty well. After being 16 Months absent from her & She all that time At the Mercy of the Wild Rebels I got Genl. Massy's Leave in August last to follow the Army & to see if she & the Children were alive for I was really affraid they wd have destroyed her & the Children on Accot of their Inveteracy Agst me. But thank God I found them alive & well & indeed her own Relations were her greatest enemys. General Howe wd not permit me to enter upon Service with him As I had none of the Regimt along wth me & more especially my being pay master to the Regimt He gave me a Month's time to prepare my self & family to embark in the 1st Ship for Halifax.. I Arrived here the 24th of October last & are now all very well thank God and I hope in 3 Months hence to let you know please God that Sueky will be safely delivered of a fine boy or Girl. She is very Anxious to hear from you & her Sister As well as myself and I hope you will favor me with a letter as soon as you receive this. Every thing you wd wish to know Concerning the proceedings of the Rebels you will hear from Colo. McLean who came from New York & the other Gentlemen with him & who are bound to your place. I understand Sir Jno. Johnston is going to have a 2d. Battalion' I hope you will have Interest enough to get among his first Captains or to be his Major. Pray let me hear from you & with my best wishes for yourself & Lenoch & my sister I remain my Dear Normand.


To MR. McKENZIE.

Halifax 6th May 1777.

SIR.

I had the honor of receiving Yours the 12th Apl .with the Accots & receipts wch I have signed agreable to Your directions and return to you inclosed herewith & will continue for the future to render you the Abstracts of every muster deducting the Rations & with the proper receipts as you desire.

I have not yet drawn the Muster ending the 24th June as Colol. McLean carries with him to Canada an
hundred men & the prisoners with the Rebels are ordered to be cut off our Strength therefore I will not
draw this Abstract untill the Compas are levelled & our exact Numbers properly assertaind after wch. I hope
every thing will go on Smooth and Regular at least as farr as it depends on me will endeavor to give you all
the Satisfaction possible & will be always glad to receive your instructions wch will be always attended to.

I sent you pr the the Hope Captn. Dawson a long contingent accot. all together agreable to Colo. McLean's desire before he left this town in Decemr last. I will not however venture to certify it upon honor & put my name to it untill it had passed your inspection & what ever part Of it you think our just due I hope you will send me an Order here to receive it. You will be very likely surprised at the Expence of the hospital but I can declare to you upon honor that I have paid every farthing of it & can produce vouchers for the Same we had above an hundred men Sick all winter & almost lost as many yet not Withstanding all that & every other disadvantage we laid under we passed a Review before General Massy & after a Strict examination he could not see a man unfit for service but two & I wd wish to God his Excellency Sir Wm. Howe would send for us to pass a review before himself & very likely he wd. think the many reports that goes from here in regard to us were not well founded. In Short Genl. Massy was extremely well pleased & I don't doubt but he will make a just Representation of the State of the Regiment and I suppose Major Small will do the Same.

Notwithstanding the prisoners with the Rebels being cut of our Strength if we had not given so many to the 1st Battn. we wd be over & above complete.

I would not trouble you with long Letters by the 1st Opportunity after this I will send you an exact State of this Battalion wch. you may depend on to be exact.

I think when Commissions are going so fast My Eldest Son Might have been thought of. I was promised by some friends that Application Should have been made whether it is so or not you know best and if you with your usual goodness and humanity will be pleased to consider him he may probably one day or other be able to give you Satisfaction & thank you for your Kindness & wd. greatly add to the Civilities already conferred by you I am Sir

Yr much obliged & very hble Servt

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