AMERICANREVOLUTION.ORG

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


FROM MESSRS. GORDON & CROWDER TO
WILLIAM SMYTH, ESQ.

SIR. New York 8th Septr. 1777.

In our Letter of the 31st July, we forgot to inclose you Captn. McDonald's Accot. of Subsistce. due the Highland Emigrants to the 24 June 1777, but wch. we now do. In this Accot. Captn. McDonald charges the full pay of the Officers prisrs. with the Rebels to the period, he has charged that of the other officers; from this you will please deduct £116, 9, 3d, already paid by Captn. Mackenzie to Major Small as pr the inclosed.

From Captn McDonald's Accot. you will also deduct the Subsistance drawn for the following Officers: Captn. Neil McLean, Captn. Lt. Jno. McLean, & Lt. Jas. Lundin. Except from the period they ceased receiving their Subsistce from the 1st Bn., as if the 1st Bn. has any demand for pay of Officers, wch. belonged to the 2d, it will be the properest Mode, that the Application be made to us.

The Subsistce. for Colol. Goreham's Regimt only commences the 25th June 1777, every thing prior to that period, the paymr. Mr. Sutherland who is now here, will settle wth. Captn. McKenzie.

We beg you will pay no money on Accot of Contingincies, or any other Accot. except Subsistance without Directions from us, as every other Charge must be Approved of by Sir Wm. Howe before it can be allowed.

Every two Months, the paymrs. of the different Regiments will furnish you with a pay list certified by the Commanding Offr. & Muster Master, & Care must be taken to deduct for the provisions the Regiments may have had agreeable to the Commissary's Return.

If the Arrears for the offrs. of the Emigrants to the 24 June are demanded, pray inclose us the Accot for inspection, before you pay it.

By the first Conveyance, we shall be obliged to you to send us a List of the Offrs. of the Young Royal Highlanders Emigrts. Agreable to the Rank, they hold in the Regimt., with the Dates of their Commissions, & we are, Sir,

Your Most Obedt Servts
Davd Gordon
Wm. Crowder
Wm. Smyth, Esqr.

A true Copy.


To MAJOR SMALL.

Halifax 10th. Sepr. 1777
DR MAJOR

Since my last of the 25th Augst. I had the pleasure of Receiving yours from on board the Millford off Cape Sable & I was very much vexed at the tediousness of your Voyage for we all flattered ourselves that you had been by that time at or near the object of your Destination. We are still so sanguine that you are by this time on your return after finishing every thing to Yr. Satisfaction. It is my earnest wish this may be the Case but for my own part I don't expect You are upon your Return as yet.

Since your Departure I have got Harragan & Carroll two Deserters brot. back by three Countrymen from Cobequid its to be hoped that the Reduction of Crown point & Ticonderoga will have a Wonderful effect upon the Inhabitants of that place this being the only instance of their loyalty Wch. they have Shewn Since the Commencemt of this Unhappy Rebellion. Corpl. Bricey & Esau Snelling deserted & I detached a Serjt. & Six men after them as soon as they were missed, Who pursued them so Close that they were once within a mile of them on the Road to Cobequid but the Villains no doubt suspecting there wd. be a party after them Changed their route & took their road to Poicteau

I Got the Governor to order his Secretary to write to the two leading Magistrates at Cobequid to use their utmost Endeavors to secure sd. Deserters or any others who may be found Stragling the Country without a pass. I also advertised & Offered a Reward of five Guineas for each of them & I rewarded handsomely the 3 men that brot in Carroll & Harragan if the Country people will once begin to take up deserters I hope it will be the Means of putting a stop to Desertion & I thought it was very proper to encourage them wch I hope will meet with yr. Approbation whatever way we Shall be able to recover the Money.

I have the pleasure to inform you that I have made out the Contingent Accot. one Year's Arrears for the officers & King's bounty for the Regimt from the date of your Commissn. to the 24 June last this was the most difficult As I was obliged to mach such another Magna Charta as you made last Year Accounting for the Numbers Intitled every Month but in place of Reducing the first Accot. I augmented it £70 odd in Short it was made out so much to Captn Hall's Satisfactn. that he desired me to call for it to morrow when the warrant would be Signed.

The Day before Captn. Mowat Sailed from here he came to me almost wth the tears in his Eyes Complaining of the bad usage You as well as himself had met with After you was both promised that he should be sent after you with the Utmost Dispatch in place of wch. every Obstacle was thrown in his way to retard his getting to sea & when, at last he got his Vessell in readiness, A positive order was sent by Mr. Arbuthnot to Cape Barcklay desiring that Captn. Mowat wd. be ordered to Canso wch. was done accordingly.

The Flora Frigate Captn Brisbond & the Lark Captn Smyth in 14 fourteen days from Rhode Island & in a very Shattered condition having lost & diabled almost all their masts in a Gale of Wind Such (they say) as they never Saw before. Nothing a
Single word of news by them More than we heard before nor did them at Rhode Island know wt. became
of Genl. Howe more than we did.

Lieut. Bliss arrived here yesterday in the Martin Sloop of War who is much Disappointed at not finding you here he has positive orders to return by the Same Conveyance he & I will endeavr. to Settle to our Mutual Satisfaction before he departs All they Brout us from Newfoundland is Sixty Rascally Yankey Privates as an Additional trouble to the Garrison to keep Guard over them - Lastly the Recruit you mentiond. in your letter has made his Appearance & Entered upon the lists agreable to your Orders but had like to cost me dear As his Mother was Seized three Nights After She was Delivered with a violent cold fit Something like an Ague & exquisite pains all over her body Especially her head with distractive hysteric fits wch. rendered her life doubtfull for ten or twelve hours. Doctor Jefferies came very Speedily to her Relief & I believe him to be a very able Clever fellow in his Business As She has found a good deal of relief from his skill & Attendance so far from being yet out of Danger I hope however She'll get thro' if she should not I shall be a miserable Object. We intend to honor the Young Hero with the Name of John. All the Gentlemen are well & I dare say you will be well pleased to hear that your worthy friend Captn. Hall is considerably better in so much that he is able to ride about. - My kind love to All the Gentlemen & believe me that none can wish more for your prosperity & Interest of all of you than he who ever was & will be My Dear Major

Yr faithful friend &
huble Servt

P.S. Adml. Montague has made a Requisition to Genl. Massy for the Captn. of the Comy that is at Newfoundland. Genl. Massy Applyed to me wch Application I answered in a letter Setting forth that the Captn of that Comy Was by leave of the Commander in Chief at head Quarters & That his Excellency Admiral Montague should apply to Sir Wm. Howe to order that Captn. to Join his Company at Newfoundland it being impossible for the Battalion to Spare another Yours with 3 Captns. being on an Expedition & your Return incertain one Captn to Command at fort Edwd. 2 Captns. prisrs. with the Rebels One with Genl Burgoines army who never joined & only I left here with three Ensigns to comd. wt. remains at headQrs with the Battalion All wch. considered Makes it impossible to send any there Except the Compys. own Captn.


[To GENERAL MASSEY.]

Halifax 11 Sepr. 1777

SIR.

I have recd yours Message concerning his Excellency Admiral Montague's requisition for Captn. Alexr Campbell of our Battn. to join his Comy. at St John's Newfoundland.

You know Yourself, Sir, that Captn. Campbell has been always at head Qrs. by leave of his Excellency Sir Wm. Howe & from the Dispersed situation of the Battn. it is entirely out of my power to replace him by another Captain & wch. Wd. have been the Same was Major Small present who, you know, is now on an Expedition agst. the Rebells & three of our Captains with him & Whose return is altogether incertain. Captn Duncan Campbell is detatched from the Regimt to Command at Fort Edward two Captains prisoners at present with the Rebells One at Canada who never yet joined the Battn. I only Remain here with three Ensigns to Command & take care of wt. remains of the Battn. at head Quarters. All this Genl. Massy himself can certify to be a real fact & I don't see how the Admiral can get a Captain to Newfoundland but by Application to Sir Wm. Howe to order sd. Captn Alex Campbell to join his Compy without loss of time I am Sir

Yre Most Obed & huble Servt


To ADMIRAL MONTAGUE.

Halifax 19th Sepr 1777

SIR.

In consequence of your Excellencys request that Capt. Campbell of ours Should joine his Company at St John Newfoundland, Genl. Massey sent to me to know the reason why the Capt was not with his Company, to which Message I return'd an answer in writting which no Doubt will be forwarded to your Excellency and I hope will Give Satisfaction

Major Smalls absence from the Battalion renders it absolutely necessary for Mr Bliss to Waite his return having Bussiness of the outmost Consequence to Both to Settle with him. Mr Bliss urg'd that he would rathere run the risque of his Commission then miss Seeing the Major - therefor I sent the Only Lieutt I had who arrived but a few Days before from Canada he is a man of parts and abiltys, having been bred to the law, on that acount and his knowledge of Newfoundland I hope he will Give your Excellency every Satisfaction as he is a Very Good officer.

All the officers of this Regiment as well as the Major are under the Greatest Obligations to your Excellecy for your kinde patronage and protection to Mr Bliss in the Execution of his Duty particularly in Geting men for the Regt for which we Shall ever Entertain the Highest Sence of Gratitude and thankes and hope for the continuenc of your Goodness.

Lieutt Fittz-Gerrald will Entain your Excellency with all the news from Canada as well as this place - I remain with the Highest regarde and Esteem Sir

Your Excellencys Most Obedient and
Most Humble Servt

A M. D.


To LIEUT. FITZ-GERALD.

Halifax 19th Sepr 1777
My DEAR FITTZ

I would have Gone on board the Martin to introduce you to the Capt and recomend you to him tho' an Intire Stranger to him, but being on a Generall Court Martiall had it not in my Power to leave the Town a moment - your own pollite address and former knowledge of Capt Chamberlin will be a farr beter introduction then any thing I Could Saie - Inclosed you have a leter for the admirall which as I left it open for your perusall you will be pleased to Seall and Deliver

I Sende you herewith a parcell of attistations & Certificots which may be of service to you Should they Doubt your Signing of the Certificots you may tell them the Commanding officer will Signe them on their arrivall at head Quarters

I wish you had enquired of Mr Bliss the State of the Companys acounts before you went off - but he tells me he has left Credit with Ens Hawkins to Sattle with the Company to the 24th October 1777, however you will keep Clear Accompts, commencing 25th October inclusive and I will Endeavour to Sattle the Contingent men in your favour from 24 August, but this I would not have you Depend upon, as I may be overrul'd in Court In Short you may believe I will do every thing in my Power to please you here and there and believe me to be Dr F.

Your Sincere ffriend
& well wisher

A. M. D.


To MR. JOHN OGILLVIE.

Halifax 20th Septr. 1777
DR SIR.

I Beg once more for God's sake to let me hear from you, as I have not had the Scrip of a pen from you in answer to all my Letters I wrote you from this place and you may very easily believe that I am much concerned and very anxious about the bill of £305.6.8. wch. I sent you last fall and wch. you never Acknowledgd the Rect of. It should have remained in your hands in part paymt for the Offrs. Clothing Arms & Accoutrements of this Battalion if they had allowed their arrears to go for that purpose but they were so much in want of Money that I was oblig'd to pay them their Arrears and then the bill became my own property however I have now a years Arrears ending the 24 of last June wch I am determined to stop & remit to you by the 1st Safe conveyance Especially if an acknowledgement of the Rect of the 1st bill will come to hand wch. I wd be glad to have before I wd remit any more money being Apprehensive that something has happened to you on Accot of your Silence If your letter has not miscarried wch I am much affraid is the case As I have often seen heaps of Letters careless thrown down upon a window or Table at head quarters if there was no friend to take them Up Any body may take them up & put them in their pockets & do as they pleased wth. them I beg when you write you wd. Endeavor to deliver them to some of the Gentlemen of the Navy or Army Coming to America who wd. engage to forward them Safe to me or deliver them out of their own hands should they be coming Straight here I am Dr Sir
Yr most Obt & hble Serv't.


To LADY MARGARET MACDONALD.

Halifax Nova Scotia 12th October 1777
MADAM.

I fear much that your Ladyship will Charge me with Ingratitude & neglect for not writing oftner than I have done - but as I have wrote two long letters to Mr. Archibald on the Subject of American Affairs &c. I thought it was the Same as writing to you to neither of which he vouchsafed to make me an Answer tho' I am pretty sure they must have come to his hand as I sent them under Cover to Mr. Jno. Ogilvie My Agent Conduit Street. I am at a loss to guess the Cause of his Silence I am sure I never sayd or did any thing to affront him & I am sure I am not like Allan Knock a disgrace to the Name & I flatter'd myself that hearing an Accot of the Rise & progress of the Rebellion in America wd be very agreable especially as he is now a Member of parliament; from Such an Accot & from a person on whose Information he might depend he might gather some useful hints whenever he had occasion to speak in the house of Commons on such a Subject. I am determd. not to trouble him any more till I hear from him Nor have I any news to trouble your Ladyship with being placed here at such a great distance from the Grand Army that their proceedings are sooner known in England than in this place. I send however inclosed herewith a Copy of a long letter I have wrote to Lord Amherst representing my own long and faithful Services going on three & thirty Years & my just Claims on Government for the Same as well as indeed all the old Offrs. who compose this New raised Corps & whose claim for Establishment rank & pay is equal to any corps of Officers in his Majesty's Army tho' not yet announced to us, & as your Ladyship has always been the Best friend I ever had I beg you will use your Interest with those in power to represent to the King the Inequity & the Shameful disgraceful Injustice that wd. reflect upon Government to place us old experienced Offrs. & faithful Servts. to our King & Country on a footing with Rascally provincials among whom are to be found Numbers of Villains & Thieves even bearing the Commissions of Captns. & Lieuts.

I beg your Ladyship will Shew the inclosed to the Earl of Bute & Such others as you can judge to be of any Service to promote our Interest & let his Lordship know who I am the Representative of the old family of Ardnamurihan whose history I dare say his Lordship knows well altho' the Misfortune of my predecessors has buried me in obscurity all my life time

We made a trial to get his Lordship's Son Major Stewart of the 43d Regimt to be our Colol. But finding that nothing has been done to carry that affair into execution I mentioned it as your Ladyship will see in my letter to Lord Amherst.

I am like a Fisherman throwing my hook in every hole till I meet the Fish that will take the bait. I wish it may be as we first proposed. I am now here Madame with a wife and five children Vizt. four boys & one Girl & what is to come of them or me after these troubles are over & after losing every thing I had in the World Not only by the Rebels But by our own Troops such destructions being unavoidable in a Civil war where the innocent & the Guilty often Suffers alike I say Madam after all these things my long Services & now fifty years of age to be turned about my business without Rank or half-pay is a dreadful and gloomy prospect..

I shall say no more but that I am with the highest regard & Esteem Madam

Your Ladyship's much obliged
& most h'ble Servant


To MR. OGILVIEE.

Halifax, 13th October 1777
DEAR SIR

I had once form'd a resolution to writt no more till I heard from you, being aprehensive that Some accedent has hapened which prevents your acknowledging the recept of the number of leters I have wrott you but Could not miss this oportunity of a man of warr, and send you inclosed the acount of our officers Cloathing and had you acknowledged the recept of the Bill of £305-6s:8 which I sent you last year, would have sent you by this oportunity a bill for the Ballance.

Capt. Hamilton who Commanded the Ship that Brought over Coll. now Genll. McLean last year, had two Negro Slaves from me which he was to Despose of in Jameca and was by my orders to Deliver the neat proceed to you on his arrivall in london I never heard a word about them Since he is a Very Genteell man & I hope he will never make me think otherwise

I am in heast,
Dear Sir,
Yours Sincerely
Alexr McDonald.
Mr Ogilviee.


To Wm. McADAM ESQR.

Halifax 16th October 1777
DR SIR

I have the pleasure of receiving a letter from you some time ago in Answer to mine of the 14th of last June. I am a good deal Surprised that Major Gordon wd. hesitate a moment to pay the Money for the Subsistance of four men of their Regimt. whose Accots. I have sent you in that letter As I am convinced they have been drawing their Substance all the time of their absence If they pay it to Capt McKenzie or the paymr. General it is all the Same As upon a settlemt with them we must Charge Governmt with these men's Subsistance Since they were not allowed to stay with us.

The 71st has no pretence in the world to refuse paying the Money advanced to their Men as it was Cash advanced out of my Pocket for which I never drew Sixpence. If they persist in refusing to pay this Accot. I will apply to Genl. Massy for a Warrt. to get the Money here & the Accot. will be sent to the paymr. Genl. at New York to stop it out of the Subsistance of that Regimt.

I am sorry for poor Sandy McDonald of Princetown & Yet I think he might have acted better than he did. People that will endeavor to keep in wth. both parties in a Controversy like this betwixt Great Britain & the Collonies allways runs a risque of being despised by both parties in the End, I am mad with him for Suffering his Boy to go as a drumr. in the Rebell Service after giving him a College Education. As for his Suffering by the Kings troops it is no more than wt. a great Many other loyal Subjects will Suffer It being impossible to prevent it in an Enemys Country where the troops can't possibly discover the innocent from the Guilty. The most inveterate Rebell in the Country will declare himself a faithful loyal Subject when he sees his fortune & Self in danger please give my Complts to Mr. McDonald & tell that Matters will turn out very ill Or I will have it in my power to requite all his Civilities with Interest.

As to Mrs. Grossbeck's affair its nothing to me I was told when I was upon Statten Island last August it was a Twelve month that She was forced to take Congress Bills in paymt. for her bond much against her Will. In Short every thing will be Settled Shortly please God how soon Peace is restored & the laws will take place.

I have often wrote to Captn. William McLeoud but never could hear from him wch Surprises me a good deal. If your time will permit I will be happy to hear from you All the News & how matters are like to Go on with all the Troops.

The Major will write to you by this opportunity & Expects to see you in a month or two. Mrs. McDonald joins me in kind complimts. to you & Mrs. McAdam. She is now thank God perfectly well recovered after being brought to bed about a Month ago of a fine Thumping boy please to remember me kindly to all friends & I am Dr. Sir

Yours Sincerely


To MR ALEXR McDONALD.

Halifax 16th October 1777
DR SIR.

I recd. your kind letter by the Greyhound I am much obliged to you for the trouble you take about my house. I am sensible that it stands in need of Repair & you may order Such as are absolutely necessary to be done. I have recd. the money you sent, by Adjut. McLean & I have drawn on you per this opportunity in favor of Mr. Wm. McAdam for one half yrs Rent of the house - To whom you will be pleased to pay the Rent as it becomes due Sav'g. only what is absolutely necessary to be laid out for Repairs. We have no news from this Remote part of the World to send you Only that all friends are well I hope to hear of Mrs. McDonald's safe arrival to You & pray dont miss of an Opportunity of letting me know all your News & how matters are going on believe me to be Dr Sir - Yours Sincerely

To Mr Alexr McDonald
Conductor of the Royl Artillery New York


To MR GILBERT MEYER.

Halifax 16th Octr 1777
MY DR GILLY

I am much at a loss nt to write to you as you are go neglectful in letting me hear from you how Matters stands with yr.self & place. I am sorry to hear that the Barn is burnt when the Jersey people paid you a visit but this is a trifle in Comparison to other things you Should make it your business to write every Month an Acct of every thing that passes & wt. you wd. wish to let me know Leavg the Letters with Mr. McAdam in New York who will not miss any Opportunity of Sending them. If you will wait upon Brigadier Genl Campbell, Col: Campbell Colols. Coote & Skinner I am sure one & all of them will give you every Assistance you can require. Your Sister is very well & has lately brot me a very fine boy the Children are also very well & makes often mention of you Your Sister is going Crasey for Oysters Apples & Syder & if you can by any means in the world send a Small Qty of each it wd. oblige her very much. She joins me in kind love to you & all the rest of our good Neighbors on the Island. Once more I pray let me hear from you & believe me to be Dr Gilly

Yours Affectionately

To Mr. Gilbert Meyer
Staten Island


[To CAPT. ALLAN McDONALD.]

Halifax 18th Octr 1777
Dr. Cousin

I am Extremely happy to hear that you & Yr. Son were safe at New York. I hope to have the further pleasure of seeing you both soon here in Case you should have Occasion or be at a loss for want of money I send you Inclosed the State of your Accot. from wch. you can see how much you may Venture to draw for. If Major Donald McDonald is there yet pray give him my kind Compts. I should have wrote him long before now if I did not think he had Gone to England when Genl. McLean left that place. I have seen a pretty lad here a Son of his Lt of Marines. You may tell him he was very well & Expected soon to be in England. I dare say Ronald will write to you by this Opportunity they are very happy at the thoughts of Seeing you soon & for Gods Sake dont Stay long Come to us before the Winter sets in & bring all the fine fellows you possibly can get along with you but dont venture in any thing less than a frigate. Give my kind Compts. to Sandy tho' a Stranger & am Dr Cousin
Yrs Sincerely

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