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SAMUEL SPARROW ~
18TH-CENTURY CAPE BRETON ISLAND
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|Evan Nepean Esqr.||
London October 28th 1788
I take the Liberty of addressing you on my uncommon and distressing Situation in consequence of the Payment - being with held for [those] Supplies Issued by me to Governor Des Barres ___
I am tempted to this Short recital by the affable manner in which you was pleased to attend to my enquiries Some time back, In full assurance that you will Sympathise with me; And in some Hope that you may be Influenced to help me ___
When Mr. Des Barres Came over to his Government in the year 1784 __ (being then of ten years Establishment as a Merchant in Halifax) I was to unfortunate as to be the person he applied to for the purpose of Supplying his Government with the Necessaries of Erecting Public works at Cape Breton towards establishing a town and Settlement, Such in Consequence I supplied him with building Materials Provisions and Money to pay workmen to a Considerable amount, which purchased with ready Cash, Charging merely a Commission for my trouble, And for a part of which I have his bills on Government Now unpaid which with Interest and Charges amount to upwards of four thousand Pounds - In Consequence of which I have been obliged to abandon my Affairs in Halifax, to Seek the payment of these bills. In doing which I have made Vast sacrifices on my property upon leaving that Country, as well as the violent hazard and necessary Loss that must happen by leaving the collection of very Considerable Debts to persons, whom although perhaps well disposed Cannot Sufficiently attend to my Interest ____
These things Sir ~ when taken Collectively form a great Amount, The produce of Thirteen years [unsalaried] Industry besides the Capital upon which I began to Trade. I will not tire you Sir with long details which your very Important concerns will not permit you to attend to, but shall only observe my Astonishment when I perceived that a British Subject ~ who has given Credit to a Man who came out to a Colony with a Commission for representing the first Person in the British Constitution Does it at the peril of Losing what he has parted with upon Such Confidence.
As I am one of the Council in that Island and acquainted with most of the transactions of it, I am surprised that I have not been Called upon by some of Government either to Justify Explain or Condemn the actions of Mr. Des Barres as truth and justice shall dictate, ~ for I shall suppose the testimony of his own Clerk to be nothing ~ And on which no man of any delicacy [should] wish to [ground] his claims.
My Situation Sir, is truly wretched being [thrown] entirely out of my train of business, and deprived of all support such as great a Loss I have Sustained through these Circumstances that if all my bills were paid My losses [should] not be so little as Three Thousand Pounds besides my Expectations.
As the Delays in the accounts seem to be without Determination, and my Situation truly grievous may I be permitted to Hope for relief by any such appointment as may be adequate to the State
of my case, and wherin my abilities may be serviceable to Government.
In which, however Imported or otherwise I fully trust my Conduct [should] justify the measure.
I have already trespassed too much, and for which I have to Sollicit your Indulgence.
National Archives of Canada, Colonial Correspondence, Cape Breton, Volume 64, October 28, 1788, p. 435.
Nova Scotia and Cape Breton, Original Correspondence (CO 217), Colonial Office, Cape Breton "A", Macarmick, 1788, M.G. 11, C.B., Vol. 5, October 28, 1788, pp. 155-158 (Col. Cor. C.B. Vol. 64, October 28, 1788, p. 435.)
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