AMERICANREVOLUTION.ORG

LETTER BOOK OF CAPTAIN ALEXANDER McDONALD,
OF THE
ROYAL HIGHLAND EMIGRANTS
June, 1777


To CAPT. ROBERT McKENZIE.

Halifax 11th June 1777

DR. SIR.

I had the honour of receiving your favour of the 28th May, in regard to the arrears & Dont. Doubt that errors will be rectifyd - as for the Capts. & Subals. Im Sorry that I must let you know that they are all Shagreend at the uncertainty of their establishment which they were taught to believe from the beginning would be the Case the Most part of the officers in this Core haveing a just title to it from their long Service and those Gentlemen who emigrated from the North of Scotland having an equal title from unfeigned Loyalty natural atachment and uncomon sufferings having left their families and interest without making any previous agreement or security with Government in their favour - I supose it is not unknown to you that the greatest number of these Gentlemen are still in Closs Confinement and those who has been thought of the least Consequence and left at home with their Diffirent families have been bound to the trees and scourg'd with hickrie rods.

I beg your pardon for troubling you with this Degrission from business but I hope it will apear to you in the same light as Does to me and that you will make a proper representation of it - Inclosed I Send you the abstract or pay bill ending the 24th June by which you See I have payd for the provetions Given this Battalion from their first Commencement under my Command till the 24th aprile 1777 being £2072.1.5 1/2 as you may see by the receipt at the end of the Acct. inclosed also three receipts of the same tenor and Date,.

In the Muster ending 24th aprile you have Credited Mr Turner £26.17.10 more then you ought to have Done as you may see by the Accts. that I have Sent You which you'l find to be £1460-10-0 1/2 being the exact Sum I received for that Muster and which I supose youl find to be very just, according to the number of officers and men that I Drew for that Muster including thirty Contingent men who are always included in the number of privats Drawn for.

In regard to the prisoners I Drew no money for them or those that were absent by leave being aprehensive that Subsistince might be Drawn for them by some means where they were -

There are some hints in your letter that I have no time to Consider or answear at present, upon the whole you need not lay any blame to my Charge. The Contingent Acct. I sent you Contain no more then what I was taught to believe to be justly Due to the Regiment but Depending upon your Superior Jugement in these Matters I sent the acct unsign'd in order to be inspiered by you and to Send me a warrant to receive what you thought was our just Due and if it is agreeable to the Commanding officers of the Regiment I have no more to Say.

I know perfectly well what other Regiments Draw in their Contingent Accts. and we think ourselves as much intitled to every emolument that Goverment allows as any Regiment in America. I am Sure we Do as much Duty as any and would have been very happy it was of another kind and on real Service with the rest of the army where I presume to say we should not be Short of any other regiment there of our numbers.

In the mean time we look upon ourselves to be in the way of our Duty wherever his excellency the Comander in Chief is pleasd to order us.

The reason of the preamble in this abstract ending the 24th june being So long is to make it as Clear as posable to you those Gentlemen who had never been Drawn for before either subsistence or arrears which youl please take notice of the next time the arrears are paid which now becomes Due the 24th Of this Month.

I am of the same opinion with you that it wou'd be much more Substantial for me to get myself promoted than geting an Ensigncy for my Son and I think it would be no more thin I have a just title to if his Excellencie Should Send me a Commission as Major to this Batalion which Certainly ought to have more than one field officer and I believe there is not an officer in the army would begrudge it to me and I have the greatest dependence of his excellencies justice and goodness and on your friendship to keep him in mind of me.

I'll encroach no farther on your time but Conclude with asuring that I am with the greatest regard and esteem Dear Sir

Your Most Obedt & Most humbl Servt.

Capt. Robert McKinzie.

P.S.

The Exact State, wch. I promised to send you, is contained in the pay bill or Abstract ending the 24th June only that you will observe the 30 Contingent men are included in the Number of Privates.

I mentioned to you in my former L'res that I should be glad to have leave to go to Statten Island for 2 or 3 Months to look after my place there wch. is totally Ruined. I am told that £1000 will not indemnify me for the Damages I sustained All my fences burned & my Woods cut down wch. render the place unfit for any use and makes me Loser Of £200 Ster. pr year wch might easily be cleared off of that place so near to New York at the Rate that Country produce sells there at present however if there is the least appearance of Danger from the Rebels making any Attempt on this province I wd not entertain the least thought of leaving the Regimt.


To ---

Halifax 11th June 1777
SIR

The Bearer hereof William white formerly of your Regiment has been with me for some time past in the Capacity of a servant being entirely unfitt to Serve as a Soldier owing to a lameness in one of his legs he now goes along with other three of your Regiment and expects to get his Clearance and Discharge from you and indeed we are entirely at a loss in this young Core for want of good Servants that I would be infinitely obliged to you for Dischargeing him and leting him return to me I will readily agree to pay five guinies for his Discharge tho as a Soldier he is not worth a Shilling as he Can neither March or Stand a quarter of an hour under arms.

I have sent Acct of these four men's Subsistence from the time they join d our Regiment till the 24th June 1777 to Capt. Robert McKenzie, Secrety to the Commander in Chief with an order on the Commanding officer of the 26th Regiment for the whole amount and his recept will be a suficient Discharge for the Same.

If you are Still on my place in Staten Island as Im. informd. your Regiment was Stationd there I will be infinitely obligd to you if youl give every possable asistence to my Brother in law in allowing your men to work in Cultivating the farm Making up the fences &c. as the place has been ruind by the troops last Summer.

If matters are going on right I hope to have the pleasure of seeing you before the fall we has no news from this quarter only that we are in peace and quietness - please remember me to the Gentlemen of your Core & I am &c Sir your Most obet humble Servt

P.S. the Sum £6.11 1/2 mentioned in Edwd Justree's Accot as Levy money was so Much Cash advanced him on Accot


[To DONALD McLEAN.]

Halifax 11th June 1777
DEAR DONALD,

I received your letter Some time agoe and I was extreamly happy to hear of your wellfare you made mention that I was a trifle in your Dept which may very likely be the Case but we must first setle Accts with the rebells before you and I Comes to Settlement for I'm not in the way of Making Money by hundreds & thousands as you are at present Selling Drugs at 5000 Pr Ct advance however Im willing to do justice to all the world and I hope to god when all these troubles are at an end I will be as able as Im willing to Do justice to all those that I am in the least indepted to.

I have no news to trouble you with all your friends in this Core are very well also Mrs McDonald and my little family. She Desires to be Most Kindly rememberd to you and would be very much obligd to you if you would Contrive to Send her one of the best Midwives in New York -- As very likely she may have need for Such within two Months from this Date: the vast quantity of fish got in this place has a wonderful efect on old grey haird. people but nott your old head neither fish or flesh Can produce any good efects from you. please to remember me kindly to all good friends and believe me to be Dr Dond

Yours Sincerely


[To WILLIAM McLEOD.]

Halifax 11th June 1777

DR SIR.

I have wrote you So often from this place without ever receiving an answear that Im Determind to write no more till I hear from you.

In regard to your affairs & mine you need not be in the least uneasie as I hope Soon to have the pleasure of Seeing you and Setleing every thing to our Mutual Satisfaction - remember me kindly to Mrs. McLeod and the Childeren when the Devil will you & I give over our foolish tricks Im told you are geting young ones as fast as any young man in the Country and my fatt frow is now within two Months of being on the Straw.

If I can obtain leave you may expect to see me in the fall in the meantime if you see McDonald of Princetown tell him to Make himself easie altho I am very angry with him for having Sent his Son a Drumer among the rebels after giving him Colidge Education.

This being all I have to say I remain

Dr Sir Yours &c & &c


To WILLIAM McADAMS.

Halifax June 14h 1777

DR SIR.

To give you an Accot of all my Transactions & Movements Since I had the pleasure of seeing you Wd be taking up your time to little or no purpose. I can only tell you that I & My family are well & that we're all in peace & quietness in this part of the World.

I send you inclosed two Accots with an order to receive their Contents & keep it in your hands till you hear from Major Small or me only if my Brother in Law to whom I left the care of my farm on Statten Island Should be any Ways successful in Inlisting men for this Corps let him have a Little money and will be much obliged to you if you will take a little Concern in the management Of that place. Should a little money be wanted for repairing the fences & other Damages done by the troops be so good as to advance it at any rate I am apprehensive that a Great Deal of money may be made on that place if it was properly managed as matters go at this time.

A poor Countryman of ours one Hugh Peebles who is going wth this fleet to New York begged me to recommend him to some person there, if you have any Employmt for him I beg you will help him as you find his merit Deserves he bears the Character of an honest man.

I had the Managemt. & Care of this Battn. Since two of them were together I had the Drawing of their money keeping their Accots Superintendg their Discipline &ca. till Major Small arrived here last month we gave an hundred men to Colo. McLean to recruit the Battn. in Canada We have forty or fifty prisoners with the Enemy We have three companies absent on Duty one at Newfoundland & two at Windsor one of wch is our Light Infantry Compy & not inferior to any in his Majesty's army we have three Small Detachments from this Garrison Yet under all these Circumstances I referr you to Major Batt for an Accot of our Appearance when reviewd. by Genl. Massy & when we were introduced to our new Colours. As belonging to a young Corps himself we don't expect he will tell you any more than the truth & as a Gentlemn I am Sure he will tell you no less. As for a Corps of Officers we yield to none in the Army. Scarce three Captns. in both Battns. but what has Served from 20 to 32 Years from our former & prest. Services we think ourselves Justly entitled to be Established & we don't Doubt but our just & Gracious King & Country will do justice to our Merit.

If you think the last paragraph worthy of a place in your Newspaper you may have it inserted but first do you & Dr. Middleton put your heads together & Dress it up a little to make proper Language of it.

Remember me kindly to him & all other friends Especially Mrs. McAdams & believe me to be yrs. Affectionately


To JNO. OGILVIE, ESQR

Halifax 14th June 1777

SIR.

I am much Surprized & Concerned that I never heard from you since I sent you a Bill of £305.6.8 on Harly & Dromond. I beg on Rect. of this you will not fail to send me an answer & let me know the Fate of this Bill - Capt. Murd. McLean is also Surprized at your Silence we are all very well & both Battns almost complete in Men & Officers not inferior to any Regimt. under the Crown. I hopes to hear from you soon I remain Sir

Yr hble & Obedt Servt

Be pleased to forward the inclosed without the Expence of postage if possible


To Wm McDONALD ESQR

14th June 1777

DR SIR.

Inclosed you have a Letter for my Brother wch I beg you will forward by the first safe conveyance after it comes to your hands. I have no news to trouble you with but wt. you have more perfect at home than I can give you we're at Such a Distance from head Qrs that all the Proceedings of the Army are much more perfect & Sooner in Great Britain than we have. Our Bn Commanded by Major Small is now Complete to a few Men & Colo. McLean's in Canada is also complete & both of them as to men & Offrs not inferior to any Regiment under the Crown wth Complimts to all Enquiring friends

I am Dr Sir Yrs.


To LIEUTT BLISS.

Halifax 14th June 1777

SIR.

I understand you wrott to major Small & I was Surpriz'd I did not hear from you in the way of Bussiness. When mr mcClower went from here Both the Major & I were in Such hurrie that we Could not writt, and I can not think you can be at a lose for want of money from the Sums you have Drawn on me; I am afraid You Will not be allowed Bounty or Subsistance but for the number that arrived here and I fear there is a Misstake in Giving Creadit for the Rations of Provision.

Mr Hatch made up an account against you for his Subsistance from his first enterance to 24th Feby 1777 and for Apprehending Desirter to the amount of twelve pounds Ster'g, in Short you will be pleased to render me an account Current for all the Cash you Received Since you took the command of that Company. You will charge for the Company compleat from 24th June 1776 to 24th august 1777, You will Charge for all the Recruitts that joined the Battalion from the Datts of their attestations to the time you Settled with them at Newfoundland Bounty Money for the same and you will Charge for all your Supernumberarys in a recruiting accpt the Eight Boys included at least as many of them as are not on the Strength of the Company you will Charge in this Genl. acount for the monney pay'd Mr McClower for the Passage, those he brought And you will also charge for your own & Mr Hawkins Subsistce. You will credit for all the Difft Sums you recd from me Specifying the Difft. Bills or by every other ways or means you have recd. Cash from me You will also Credit the Accot with all the Rations you have recd from the Beginning to the 24th of August as well for the Recruits as for the Comy. You will Require to be very exact in this particular as all your Rec'ts for Provisions will be sent to the Commissary General who will give them to the paymaster General who will pay them out of the Subsistce. of the Regimt. they will at last come to my hands & will be compared to your Accot.

The Major will Acquaint you of his own Intentions concerning the Company & believe he means to bring you from thence if possible in regard to money I Spoke to Mr Cochran who told me he wd. give a bill on Mr McClure for what I wd want that you might not be at any loss I shall get Mr Cochran to write to Mr McClure to let you have what you may want to the Amount of two or three hundred Dollars till I have recd. your Accot or heard from you further.

The Major will not trust the Clothing but in a man of war tho' we are all Sensible its much wanted we must contrive to Send it you before the Cold comes in if you remain there so long. My Compl'ts to Mr. Hawkins Mr. McClure & I am Sir

Yr most obt. & humble Servt.


To JOHN OGILVIE ESQR

Halifax 19th June 1777

SIR

Since my last of the 14th inst Capt. Murdoch McLaine applyed to me for a Bill of a hunderd pounds Sterg. which he wanted for a particullar use and which I begg you would Honor and Charge to my Privat account, as the Bill I sent You of 305. 6 8 was intirly on my own acount & no part of the Regts money, & as I have not heard of the fate of that Bill I sende you now the Seconde of the Same tenor and Date, I have Drawn on you before for £58=0=0 Ster'lg in favour of Mr. Turner that you might be able to take up a bill of that Sums Drawn on the Treasury by Capt. Dun Campbell of our Regt when Prisoner at Philadelphia but now here. Your news papers are certainly with regard to the progress of our forces in America truer than our Acco'ts. I am Sir in heart,

Yours &c

A. M. D.


To PHILLP CALLBECK, ESQR ISLAND ST JOHN CHAR-
LOTTE TOWN.

Halifax 24th June 1777
DR SIR,

I have recd. Yours of the 21st May Covering a copy of Your Letter to Captn. Boyle & Copy of Wm Ball's attestation the only method left in my power to reimburse any expences you have been at about Ball is to make you a present of him having Applyd. to Major Small who is here on the Spot for his consent & approbation of this he readily agreed. Indeed he & I Never as yet Differd in Sentiments so if this overtakes Mr Ball on the Island You are to take him a Shore to join yr Compy.

As for Corpl. Morrison he belongs properly to the first Battalion & wtever Expence you have been at with him You ought to render an Accot of to Captn Frazier who is their Paymaster & will no Doubt pay the Money to your order.

We have no News by the last Accots from New York the Army was not yet in motion. We have a Sort of an Expedition gone to the River St Johns to Oppose a Banditti that is said to be on their way to make a Second Attack upon Cumberld. this Expedition is commanded by Major Studholm.

Col Goreham's Miserable Corps are going to the Divel two of them are broke with infamy & dismissed the Service to Witt Lieuts. Blood & Willson Major Batt is going to Head Quarters with Charges agst. Colo. Goreham wch. If proved will infallibly end in his Destruction & if not in that of Batts to be Sure Batt does not Scruple in the most public Companys to call him all the Villains Scoundrels Rascals & in short the worst he can think of. I was like to forget telling you that Lieut Bodwin the Frenchman is Shot Dead upon the Spot by Lt Conner in a duel.

Give my Compts to old Mr Burns & tell him I am glad to inform him that his Son has kept himself Clear of those ugly Scrapes in that unhappy Corps. Be pleased to offer my humble respects to Mrs Callbeck tho' Unacquaint'd & all other friends & believe me to be Sincerely Dr Sir

Yr Most Obedt & most hble Servt

P: S: I believe Major Small has wrote to You himself.

To Phill'p Callbeck Esqr Island St John

Charlotte Town

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