Letter from Charles Binns, Charlottetown to James Cantelo, Cedar Rapids, IA., 1886


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Transcribed by Marilyn Clay Adair, marilyn.adair@sympatico.ca


Letter from Charles Binns, Charlottetown, 1886 to James Cantelo, Cedar Rapids, IA.

TRANSCRIBERS NOTE: In the following FRANK CANTELO (1844-1903) is recording a letter written in 1886 by CHARLES BINNS (the husband of his {Franks} 2nd cousin ELIZABETH ANN BETSEY CANTELO and an attorney and barrister-at-law in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada) on behalf of JAMES EDWIN CANTELO (1823-1892), a resident of Dundas, Kings County, Prince Edward Island, Canada and his (Franks) second cousin to JAMES CANTELO (1800- ), a resident of 171 South 6 Street, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, USA who was his (Franks) first cousin once removed. (Page numbers refer to pages in the school scribbler in which it is recorded. The original manuscript is in the hands of Robert R. Adair of Ottawa, Ontario, a great grandson of Frank Cantelo.)


Charlottetown, 1886

A Copy of a Letter written to my Cousin JAMES CANTELO of Cedar Rapids, Iowa.:

On 13th last month Mr JAMES CANTELO of Dundas in Kings County in this Isld (a son of the Late Mr JOHN CANTELO) handed me a letter from you to him headed 171 South 6 Street, Cedar Rapids Iowa U.S.A. The sd JAS E CANTELO wished me to give you what information I could respecting the CANTELO Family on the Isld. I read over your sd letter. I find it to agree with much I have heard from the lips of the late JAS CANTELO and his wife and their son, the late JAMES DIX CANTELO who was

(PAGE 2) my father-in-law. I Cannot say as to time the sd late JAMES CANTELO came to this Isld with his Family but I think your uncle HENRY CANTELO is pretty correct as to date 1805.

MR CANTELO Senr. and his wife and those of his family not then married went to the U States (New York) some few yrs after their arrival here at the request of his son WILLIAM, I understand who was at that time doing a Large business there and was married.

The old gentleman and his wife not having good health in the States, After the Lapse of about 10 yrs returned here with his family some few years after his wife died and he died a short time after leaving children then surviving Viz. WILLIAM, JAMES DIX, JHON,

(PAGE 3) EDWIN, JANE, MARY, ELIZABETH, CHARLOTTE and SARAH - all of them I knew well. None of the Cantelo family here (as far as I can learn) have heard the whereabouts of said WM. CANTELO for a no of years. The last acct. I learned of him was from a newspaper some 20 or 30 yrs ago, stating he had left New York for England in search of a patent for a gun or other invention of his while absent from home he lost much property in New York by being destroyed by fire.

JAS DIX CANTELO about the year 1818 married a Daughter of the late GEORGE MABY Esqr of this town and had issue 2 daughter and 1 son viz. ELIZABETH ANN, MARY and JAS MABEY (said ELIZABETH ANN being my wife and now in her

(PAGE 4) 67th yr. We had 12 children, 4 died when infants the youngest a daughter 18 years old unmarried. We have 24 grandchildren

My wifes brother JAS MABEY died some 15 yrs ago. He left a Widow but no children. His sister MARY lost her husband about 12 yrs ago. She has 3 children, 2 of which are married.

My father-in-law JAS DIX CANTELO died about 12 yrs ago and his wife died about 39 yrs ago. She was a very fine woman and highly respected. Mr JHON CANTELO died some 12 yrs ago he lived an upright life in every way. E(D)WIN CANTELO married in the U States (I understand) whether now alive or not we do not know. JANE CANTELO married

(PAGE 5) Mr George Proctor and had several children. Mr Proctor died a no of yrs ago. His widow, sd JAN, died about a yr ago at the residence of her son, MR. EDWIN PROCTOR of Kensington Lot 19 in Prince County in the Island at the ripe age of nearly 90 yrs. She was a good Christian woman highly respected, and one who set good examples to her children who are now reaping the benefit thereof. Said Mrs. Proctor was up to a few days of her death strong and hearty. Her sd son EDWIN, I may truly state, is a very upright man, an excellent Machanic (blacksmith and Mashinest) and his said to be one of the best Mechanics we have on this Island. He has a very

(PAGE 6) fine residence at Kensington where he resides and also a farm a short distance there from.

(I happened to have your said letter in my pocket when at Kensington a few days ago, which I handed to him. He read it and seemed much pleased to know the interest you all take respecting the family. His other brother and sisters are all in comfortable married circumstances. MARY CANTELO never married. She lived a strict Methodist and died a happy death at the age of about 70 yrs. She was a great favourite and spent most of her time amongst us all. I often think of her good advice to all she came in contact with.

ELIZABETH CANTELO married RICHARD BAGNALL Esq. They had

(PAGE 7) a large family of children now all married and comfortably off. MRS BAGNALL suffered much from gout and other rheumatic pains for many yrs (keeping her bed) She died some 20 yrs ago, her husband died several yrs after. Their son, the Honble GEORGE BAGNALL of the Legislative Council of this Isld with his family left here and went to Australia some 10 yrs ago and her son WILLIAM BAGNALL Esqr. Died here about 2 months ago leaving a family who are all married and apparently in good circumstances as also the rest of the family. WILLIAM BAGNALL has been Sheriff, Justice of the Peace, etc. etc.

CHARLOTTE CANTELO married a Mr. Nellis and had 2 daughters I think. Mr. Nellis was good scholar. I went to his school for over 10 yrs

(PAGE 8). Some unhappy difference came between him and his wife after which she left this Isld and I understood she married in the U States to a Mr. McClure whether true or not I cannot say.Nellis so(o)me years after married here and a few yrs after he left this Isld, what became of him after that I cannot say.

SARAH (CANTELO) married JHON C. SIMS Esq. They reared a pretty large family. My oldest daughter is married to their 2nd son. They have living 12 children and 2 dead (what with all the grandchildren I have makes me feel pretty old. I shall be 75yrs old the 9th of this month august and my wife 67 yrs old next Novr next). Mrs. JHON C SIMS during the last 10 or more yrs of her life quite lost her sences

(PAGE 9) Her husband not only farmed his extensive farm at New London which is about 8 miles from said Kensington but also carried on shipbuilding. He sent his son JHON to England in one of his vessels and when returning home he was accidently drowned in the Atlantic ocean. On the same night he was drowned his mother being in bed at her home maintained that her said son JHON was drowned this belief of hers was coupled with noise, she stated, was made in a washbasin containing water in her bedroom. I mention the above to show how her insanity of mind was brought about.

MR JHON C SIMS was considered the most popular man we had amongst us from his manhood

(PAGE 10) to his death. He died about 9 yrs ago and his wife died about 3 yrs before. I may add that while Mrs Sims enjoyed all her faculties she was a kind and loving wife and mother and one who moved in our first circle of society. MR JHON C SIMS held various public offices here, such as Sheriff, Collector of Customs and was a Justice of the Peace etc.etc. I have given herein (in a rough way) all I can at pressant remember about the CANTELO family in this Island.

As a little space of paper here still remains I may as well fill it up. I have in my young days spent many an hour looking at the Old gentleman Mr JAMES CANTELO working

(PAGE 11) at various work in his shop such as musical instruments etc.etc. He was a great genious as also was his son JAS DIX CANTELO. He was a good blacksmith but only worked at it or anything else when it pleased him to do so. He was too well off but did not seem to appreciate it until too late. I never saw or heard of him drinking liquor but I think he might have been better off had he taken good advice tendered him from his friends of which he had many. He was a pet among most persons. He was a very kind disposition and had a say in almost everything that was going on and at the same time neglecting his own interest. We did not see him for several years before he died

(PAGE 12) He died we understood at Woodstock in New Brunswick. The farm of the late J. C. SIMS Esqr. (at New London) is now and has been occupied since his death by his son LEMUAL PROVOST SIMS, who is my son-in-law, he having married my eldest daughter BETHIA AUGUSTINA. This farm is one of the best on our Island and is situated at New London Harbor on Township No. 21 in Queens County where you or any of your family might address him at any time you may think proper. My address is

CHARLES BINNS Esqr.
Kent Street, Charlottetown
Prince Edward Island
Attorney & Barrister-at-Law


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