Letters from P.E.I. - William Cooper, December 5, 1837

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Transcribed by Ed Cooper, [email protected]

Archive #6-A 1837, 5 Dec (copy)

To the Committee appointed to report upon Mr. Wallers Letter.


Herewith you will receive my Book of Accounts with the Right Honorable Lord James Townshend, as his agent for township Number Fifty Six, which you may compare with the enclosed abstract of my accounts. But as Mr. Waller has thought proper to use my name to Her Majestys minister and before the public as a discarded Agent clafsed with advocates of spoliation, I trust through your means the truth will be made to appear in the same quarters and as it may serve you in your deliberations, furnished with some of the particulars of my agency, the following outline is respectfully submitted, and I shall be ready at any time to afford you any further information which you may require.

I was in London when appointed agent for the Right Honorable Lord James Townshend, and I understood from His Lordships conversation, that the settlement of the land and the kind treatment of his tenantry were his principle considerations. I was promised £ 30 sterling salary, the use of the Red House farm, my traveling expenses, and whatever Marsh Hay I might want for my cattle. The accounts of the former agent were placed in my hands to receive the balance due, as no remittance had been made, but no objections were made to his charges, either by His Lordship, or Mr. Hutchinson, who handed the accounts to me. After my arrival in the Island, and some time spent to come to a settlement with the executors of the former agent, Mr. Waller, who was then in the Island, advised and commenced a suit in Chancery against the widow, which continued 5 or 6 years, and consumed in expenses a considerable portion of the rental without any beneficial results.

I was directed to correspond with Mr. Hutchinson, No. 3 Lincolns (?) Inn, who was duly informed of the necefsity for a mill being built within the Township, with sufficient time to have prevented it if there were any objections on the part of the Right Honorable Lord James Townsehend, and it was with the consent of Mr. Hutchinson that a vefsel was built to make a remittance, which being Built in the year 1825, when labour and materials were at their highest rate, and the vefsel sold in Bristol when shipping were at their lowest value, a considerable lofs was sustained ("Hackmatak").

When the vefsel (a Brigantine) was sold for £ 320-0, I handed over to Mr. Hutchinson £ 300 for the Right Honorable Lord James Townshend and waited in London with my accounts for settlement, and met Mr. Waller, who had returned from the Island, who was very desirous to dispose of his farm at Indian River, and in my being prefsed to take it, a Bargain for ready money, I asked how I should pay Lord Townshend. "Let His Lordship whistle for his payment" was the reply. When I waited upon His Lordshop by appointment at Mr. Hutchinsons Chambers, Mr. Waller was there with a report upon my accounts. He said the mill would be no profit, but an expense to His Lordship, as the mill dams were liable to give way with the hard frost in this climate, and the wooden buildings of the country, when exposed to the wet, would not last long. That as I was not exprefsly ordered to build a mill, His Lordship was not bound to take it off my hands. I was willing to take the mill provided His Lordship would grant me a lease on the same terms he had granted a lease to the former agent. My 500 acres of land and 25 acres of Marsh for a term of 400 years at a rent of £ 8 Sterling per annum. Mr. Waller strongly opposed this, but His Lordship said he would give me an answer in a day or two, and we parted. As I had no opportunity to see His Lordship again, any further applications were made to Mr. Hutchinson by letters, which now appear were handed over to Mr. Waller, and consequently, failed. This appears to be the refusal to which Mr. Waller alludes in his letter, and he is fully entitled to the credit of it. The leading item to which Mr. Waller has pointed as being at the head of Fraudulent Accounts, will be found dated February, 1822, under the following entry:

Detained in Town from the 6th of Feby until the 6th of March by the Court and Quitrent meetings, and the road being choked up with snow - - - - - - £ 10-10

The case was this: the proprietor and agents had taken the alarm, as it was understood the Quitrents were to be demanded, and my being an agent, I was sent for by the rest to take part in the proceedings then going forward, which ultimately led to the removal of the governor, and my being in Town some time before the Sitting of the Court, I was summoned to serve on the Grand Jury. I could only have time to go home and return before the Sitting of the Court, and as the roads were bad, I might as well remain in Town where I was. This, with some further meetings after Court, detained me a month. The time charged appears to be at the rate at 7/ 2 � per day, and if the Grand Jurors kept up the entertainment that sefsion which they were accustomed to do upon such occasions, it is more than likely the sum charged did not near cover the expenses.

Two or three years after I was superceded in the agency, and at the same time that Mr. Dalrymples visit to the Township, was followed by the sheriff. I had a writ served upon me at the suit of the Right Honorable Lord James Townshend, for the amount of the rents which I had received during my agency. I had always found Mr. Haviland very affable and gentlemanly, and I could not suppose that he would commence a vexatious Law Suit, on account of the part I took in the proceedings on the Escheat Question. I therefore waited upon him with my accounts, and offered to submit them to Himself, and if he would say that anything was due to the Right Honorable Lord James Townshend, I was ready and willing to pay it, when a conversation to the following effect took place; "Mr. Waller has written to me to proceed against you for a considerable sum, he only admits remittances to little more than £ 130 Sterling". "Sir, I have not admitted Mr. Wallers report, but I gave up a sum which I was justly entitled to from the Red House farm. I have had to take the mill at first cost, and there is Mr. Hutchinsons receipt for £ 300 pounds, the proceeds of the vefsel, and there is the last of a set of Exchange for £ 75 pounds, the first and second of which were forwarded to Mr. Hutchinson. These are remittances since Mr. Wallers report, and will leave a balance in my Favor". "But you have charged a great lofs sustained by that vefsel, and you were not authorized to build a vefsel on His Lordships account". "There is Mr. Htchinsons letter wherein I was authorized to build a vefsel to make a remittance". "But you have charged a premium in that bill of £ 75". "There is the receipt for the amount of the premium signed by Mr. L. Page, who is not far off (Mr. Haviland examining the documents produced), it appears very strange, but Mr. Waller has written to me so very positive, I rather think the suit will have to go on". "I trust, sir, you know yourself better than to follow Mr. Wallers orders in such a case as this, which will be no credit to you, and is merely intended to injure me". "I shall write to Mr. Waller and see what he says". And so it remains. I am not so much surprised at the proceedings of Mr. Waller and Mr. Haviland, as I am at Mr. Hutchinson. He appeared to me to be a man in the first line in his profefsion, doing businefs for many of the nobility, and it is strange to say that he has not answered my letters. To say whether he holds the money still, or has paid it to the Right Honorable Lord James Townshend, but I trust the day is not far distant when truth and justice will prevail in this case, as well as in others of more importance.

Meanwhile, I remain, gentlemen, your most obedient and humble servant.

Sailors Hope, 5th December, 1837 (signed) Wm Cooper

(reverse) copy of letter to the committee on Wallers Letters


  1. Wm Cooper � of "Sailors Hope" farm � Kings County Commissioner � agent for Lord Townshend 1820 to 1829 for Lot 56, PEI
  2. Lord Townshend � inherited Lot 56 (20,000 acres), Captain of HMS Aeolus.
  3. Mr. T.H. Haviland � Provincial Secretary � at Newfoundland (?)
  4. Mr. Waller � secretary to Lord T (?) � wanted to sell his farm at Indian River � caused Wm Cooper much grief � started Law Suit against widow of E. Abell (?) � started Law Suit against Wm Cooper.
  5. Mr. Hutchinson � secretary to Lord T. (?) � handed Abells� accounts to Wm Cooper � authorized the building of "Hackmatak" as remittance.
  6. Grand Jury/Court/Quitrents � at Charlottetown � ended with removal of the sitting governor � 1822 � Wm time spent here as basis for fraudulent billing to Lord T., untrue.
  7. Law Suit � because of Waller? Because of Escheat meetings after 1930? (Wm no longer Agent) � served with writ 1931-32
  8. Committee appointed/Waller letters � appointed by whom and why?
  9. Mill � suggested to build one � Waller solidly against building � Wm ordered mill stones 1824
  10. vessel "Hackmatak" � built 1825 as a remittance to Lord T. � sailed to and sold there at England for £ 320 (a loss), £ 300 went to Lord T. Authorized by Mr. Hutchinson � 72 ton Brigantine.
  11. Rent proposal by Cooper � his 500 acres and 25 Marsh acres at £ 8/annum (same kind of deal made with former agent Abell) � Waller turned it down.
  12. Mr. Dalrymple - ?
  13. Red House farm � owned by Lord T. � built by E. Abell � 500 acres in Lot 56
  14. Mr. L. Page � signed receipt of £ 75 premium

Transcribed by Ed Cooper [email protected] 1-3-2004

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