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[A Sparrow letter of December 10, 1784, from Halifax to DesBarres re Procurement of New England Lumber, Bricks and Lime]

[p. 1147]

"Sometimes afterwards [i.e. post the the letter of April 28, 1785 reproduced on page 1146. Sic: DesBarres probably meant before the said letter as he would have departed Halifax in December of 1784] the following Letter was received containing proposals from Mr Sparrow, which were rejected"

... Halifax Decr. 10th 1784


I take the liberty among the many who are solliciting your Patronage And Favors of offering my Services in the Procurement of Lumber, Bricks and Lime Which I presume your Government must require a large Quantity of  - I flatter myself that through my Friends in New England I could supply any Quantity (as this Province does not furnish of those Articles much more than for its own Consumption) I am exceeding sorry that this Subject did not strike me till the Instant of your Departure as a contract would require a fuller Discussion than I can possibly enter into upon Paper and was prevented the Pleasure of waiting upon your Excellency personally from the Consideration of adding to the Number of impertinent Suitors - I cannot with any precision say at what Price I could contract to furnish those Articles at without knowing the Conditions, but it may be reasonably concluded they are worth a fifth part more at Cape Breton than here - Boards for these four Months past have been here at 4.10 per Thousand and are now at 5 - Clapboards at per M [p. 1148] per M Shingles 17/6 per M. Bricks 9 to 10 Dollars per M - Lime 8 Dollars per Hd.d of 8 Bushels.

It would be highly necessary for me to know, and indeed would affect the price whether you would permit these Articles to be brought in any Bottoms, whether British or not as it might happen (British of course to be preferred) and whether you would suffer any other than British to take back a Load of Coals - I could perhaps furnish the lime from this Province, and a small Part of the Bricks and a few Boards, but I should suppose you could not want less than 10 or 15 hundred thousand Feet of Boards and other Lumber in proportion.

I imagine it will be a great Chance whether I can be honored with any Reply from your Excellency till Spring, but even if I should not I shall in the interim direct my attention to these points preparatory to the very first Opening - If this should meet your Attention, I shall be very happy to operate in any Agency or Measure you are pleased to honor me with your Confidence

[signed] Saml Sparrow

[Source: DesBarres Papers, Series 5, M23, F 1-5, Volume 6, Accounts, 1767-1794, December 10, 1784, pp. 1147-1148]

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