Sunday, 5 October 2014

15 Dec 1820

Barbuda Decr 15th 1820
  Your letter of 3rd Octor I duly received by the first Packet of that month; and lost no time in giving notice of the protest for non-payment of Robertsons Bill, he unfortunately had left Antigua for England; I therefore gave the notice to his Attorney, who was not a little surprised that the Bill should return to this Country under such circumstances; & I must confess I felt the same, he having on my presenting the protest for non-acceptance shown me O’Connors letter in which they promised to pay the Bill on the arrival of the vessel which took on sugars expressly to cover it. Mr Robinson is also their Agent in Antigua, & I understand loaded all their vessels last year. The Attorney in Antigua not having received any instructions respecting the Bills would not take it up, but has promised to write Mr Robinson informing him that the Regular protest for non-payment has been presented and has given no reasons to suppose that Mr Robertson will pay the Bill with all expenses if called upon in England, he has given me his address which you shall have at the bottom of this. As Mr Robinson’s stay in England may be uncertain, & as there is some risk at this time of the year on returning the protest &c, I have been advised not to send it back, more particularly so as in the Country you will be entitled in the first instance to damage of ten per cent on the non-payment, as well as an interest of six per cent from the moment it became due. Mr Robertson is in possession of four Estates in Antigua, & I understand has gone to England to endeavour to purchase another the property of the late Mr Karly. I can force nothing till the opening of the Courts which take place in March, when not a moment shall be lost unless the Bill is taken up of course you will not receive the amount in England unless both damages & Interest are paid. Robertson is very good for the money, and I exceedingly regret the Bill was not paid in the first instance, as I assure you I thought myself fortunate in getting it to forward to you. The damages will be fifty pounds Sterling on the purchase with than Interest of two pounds ten shillings every months it remains unpaid, I therefore trust you will think I have done right in keeping the protest and: particularly so as I am uncertain if you can recover the damages in England. Robertsons address, is
Charles Robertson Esqr at Messrs Thomas Daniels(?) No.4 Mincing Lane London.  In giving you the state of the Island I am happy to say the weather is still favourable, and for the time it has lasted things have done well, but the long continuance of the last dry weather through us back much, & which we have not yet been able to make up. From the low state in which the stock was at the recommencement of the rain I have not yet been able to get any Beef fit for sale but I hope soon to do so, I have sold only a few Heifers for the last six months. The last years provisions both as to the Island stock as well as the Negro Grounds were so much injured by the Gail of 1819 that I been under the necessity of purchasing nearly one thousand and Bushels of Corn, but I am happy to say that I think after next week the Negroes will be enabled to feed themselves, & if we have but moderate following showers will do so for some months, this year I have fed them ten months.
  I have also much pleasure in saying the present Crops promise to be (letter damaged), the Corn will be later than usual when attribute to that constant rains we have had, but I has only (?) in saying it will be by far the largest crop ever granted on the island. The Hay is much more forward than usual it is already nearly half drawn, & will be a good Crop which we were in great want of, not having made any for the last three years, I had not a bail left, I hope to continue cutting the greater part of next month. I am
                     Your Most Obedient Humble
               (signed) John James
Robertson’s second Bill you must have in your position which will I should suppose be sufficient to recover the amount from him.

Reference: JJ270 Robson Lowe collection on microfilm 24995, University of Texas at Austin, Nettie Lee Benson Latin American Collection.

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