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SAMUEL SPARROW ~
18TH-CENTURY CAPE BRETON ISLAND
Return to the Samuel Sparrow Home Page
May 3, 1790
May 3, 1790
However powerfully impressed with the wrongfullness of Mr. Sparrow's Demands against me, [?] Regard I bear to you, and my Sense of the Value of your Attention and Time would, had the Object of Difference submitted to your Inquiry been merely of a pecuniary Conce[rn] have refrained me from being troublesome.
I had long and severely suffered for my Credibility and Suspicion did not arise until I actually found myself stri[p]it of the means to remove the Difficulties and Distress his Proceedings had accumulated .
Overwhelmed with awful Perplexities and Averse to descend into low Altercations with a disingenuous Man who persisted to refuse the fair Explanations repeatedly demanded of his Charges, which I doubted whether they could have stood the Test of Examination, and considering that even by curtailing his unjust Demands, the Enormity of the Mischief
To Sir William Dolben Bart
Sir Herbert Mackworth Bart &
George Bainbridge Esquire
he had Occassioned could in no Degree be compensated, I desisted pressing him any further thereupon, and meant in silent Indignation to have passed by all Imposture, But I have painfully experienced that my precipitate Spirit of Concession, instead of satiating, has only stimulated the devouring hunger of his Avarice and betrayed him from one false Step into another, and brought the present Crisis Turn of Affairs, in which I am reduced to the necessity of choosing out of a variety of Difficulties.
Under the wear of surrounding Aspects assailed as I am by Aggravations of the most serious nature and Tendency and those crude unfounded Fabrications he has used, in order to blast my character with Government, and the World, for accomplishing his sordid Designs of divesting m[e] of my Property, which have been but too successful with those who either had not the Opportunity, or the Inclination of considering the Grounds of them, I have however the Comfort before me of looking up, and applying to your Candor and honorable Feelings, on which I rely with assured Confidence that you will kindly, for the Sake of Justice, condescend to a Discussion rather more than Superficial, of the whole Affair, and I hope that the following Remarks, and Exhibitions of Facts, thus extorted from me will not be attributed to any unworthy personal Resentment, but alone to the indispensible Duty of Self preservation.
When I first was told that Mr. Sparrow had proposed [p. 1139] proposed his Pretensions to be inquired into, and determined by the arbitration of Sir William Dolben, Sir Herbert Mackworth, and Mr. Brainbridge,* I felt an agreeable Surprise, and was induced to think Mr. Sparrow had at length happily fallen into a Conviction that Honestly is the best Policy, and was led from thence to expect that, in the Introduction of Business, he would have set out, after ample Retractions from his past Proceedings, fairly to elucidate, and clear up, the obscure and dubious Parts of his Accounts, and Conduct - The Illusion did not last Strange Anecdotes first started a few Doubts of so sudden a Reformation And it was not long before I could discern some of his own Traits in the Maneuvre - He had imposed on Worthy Characters by vile Whispers, and artfully created an unsuspecting Sympathy, to abet his Drift - His own Nomination of gentlemen of the most liberal principles and nicest Sentiments, known to have professed a generous and friendly Concern towards me, had its Effect - it gave the strongest varnish to his Cause and, in fact, allured their favourable Idea of it - thus prepossessed, my Friends, in the next Stage were to be shockt and stunned with the Foulness and virulence of his abominable Defamations, and my insulted Honor
* a gentleman in the Commercial Line and represented as highly respected, who was, then, a Stranger to me
was to be provoked perhaps to hasty utterrancis ø in order to induce their Deafness to any thing I might attempt to offer - I was to fall degraded in their Opinion - they were never to forgive, at least, my Indiscretion, in bringing them to stoop down into a Situation so very unbearable - this, and much more, I feel with inexpressible pain; yet considering that it is not my Fortune, but my all - it is my Honor which is at Stake, I will thrust to their own Nature for qualified Pardon.
It is not a Concern of common magnitude that would have induced me to sink into a minute Scrutiny of Mr. Sparrow's miserable Accounts; far less could I have been led to assume troubling therewith gentlemen I respect and revere; He is irressistible compulsions [crossed out] which prompts me [crossed out]
That a cunning, base sordid man by affecting a Teal to forward the enrapturing pursuit of my Duty should
ø I must beg leave to appeal to your own Feelings, Gentlemen, after [crossed out] what I have long endured from, and thro; Mr Sparrows Conduct, what must have been mine, upon his low, mean and indecent Abuses of myself, and of my Administration of the government of Cape Breton, in your own presence and his grossly wretched Insinuations of an Avidity after his destable Trash Supplies attempted in order to surprise and impress an unjust Idea of their Value [crossed out]
should have obtained an un[m]esitted Share of Attention and been unsuspiciously trusted, is a Casualty, I believe, not not [sic] very strange in Situations similar to that in which I stood - But that by his own mere Self-puffing, he should practise the grossest Deceptions with Success on the Minds of Men of reputed Guardfulness, placed on a Ground infinitely less Accessible to Imposture, is to me a Phenomenon truly unaccountable and astonishing. Yet it is a Fact - To respectable Men in the City, not deemed Credulous, he has boasted and I am informed made to believe that his Demand upon me amounted to less than Eleven Thousand Pounds* - To Others that he was a Man of considerable property and Credit - that he had sustained vast Losses + ___ and
* This Mr. Taylor will explain, if required.
+ the Falsehood of this and other assertions of having been largely in advance in supplying either the necessities
of the Colony or mine, is evident, it appearing from a View of the Statement of Accounts that Mr. Sparrow was
overpaid on the 19th October 1785 - even inclusively of the unexplained charges for his [crossed out] Sundries
alledged by him to have been sent to Cumberland ..................................................................................................... £2390. 6.8
On the 31.th Dec 1785 ........................................................................................................................................................ 293.12.7
On 20th June 1786 .............................................................................£798.. 18.. 3 .. }
besides the purchase Money for my Atlantic }
Neptune for which he engaged to pay the }
nett sum of .........................................................................................5000 .. - .. } 5798.18.3
exclusively of the one half of the Surplus }
Sum it might fetch .....................................................................................................}
On 27th. July 1787 .......................................................................... 607.8 .. -
And the purchase money for Atlantic
Neptune, etc. ............................................................................ 5000 .. - .. 5607.. 8 . _
On 23d Oct 1787 the date of the }
Writ of attachment of my } 615.. 4.5 }
property in Nova Scotia .............................................................} } 5615 .. 4 .. 5
And purchase Money of my Atlantic Neptune, etc. 5000 .. _ .. }
On 31 May 1790 ............................................... £695.5.8 }
And purchase Money for my 5000 .... } 5695.5.8
Atlantic Neptune &
and been ill treated in supporting me - That he and his powerful Friends would accomplish my Ruin - That he was in the confidence of and perfectly acquainted with the Disposition of his Majesty's Minutes #- That if a Friend should step forth in my behalf, such Friend would hazard his own Reputation # - that if he was not paid all he demanded he would blow up my public Accounts δ - Etc
What his Drifts are cannot be a Question - They are analogous to the wretched practice of those low Arts and Contrivances by which he has emerged from condign * Obscurity; Nor can Ircasonably after what I have experienced from the Effects of his penuriousness, be surprised when I see him armed, in Addition to his own Scurrility, with the virulence of my numerous Persecutions, at his being prompted to the most barefaced Attempts with unrestrained Effronitry - And if I may presume here to add, he appears to assume no small Encouragement from what he has artfully been enabled, and flattered himself indelibly
# See his note to Dr. peters
# and Letter from Doctor to me
δ Mr. Wilkinson Banker
* I am informed that Mr Sparrow began his Career in the year 1776 - He was at Wapping And took a passage in a very low Station, on Board of a Brig then about sailing for Nova Scotia. He insinuated himself to a Man lately discharged from my Service going out in the same vessel with about £ 500 vested in Merchandise. Upon the Vessels arrival at Halifax, the Servant receiving the Appointment of Steward to the Hospital put his Goods in Mr Sparrow Hands to manage, by the means of Which Mr Sparrow started up, trafficked in his own name, obtained Credit, and realised a little Money. But the poor Man who had intrusted him With his property is utterly ruined. It is by Repetitions of similar Sharp-Doings that Mr. Sparrow has emerged.
indelibly to inculcate on the Minds of respectable Persons in Connection with gentlemen to whom I am so much indebted for going into this Investigation. He has abused their Humanity and unsuspecting Disposition which altho' a peculiar feature of an honourable and Heart yet has not unfrequently been a Subject of Imposition to designing Men.
Money appearing to be Mr Sparrow's primary Motive and Object it has therefore occurred to me as best conducive to elucidate the grounds of his Pretences to lay before you, Gentlemen, the clearest Account of the Money Transactions, which I am enabled from my present Informations to make out * - to which I will beg leave to superadd in this Paper apart, a brief Statement of, with Remarks on some of the relevant Circumstances in order that the respective, Merits and Demerits of the Parties be, at least so far as in molies, brought to fair Light.
Here it appears to me therefore essential to [fir]emise by way of explanatory Introduction to the subsequent Narratives in respect to Mr Sparrow's Proceedings and Conduct, a succinct Sketch of my Situation relatively to the Procuration of Supplies Etc. Upon
* vide Statement of Accounts, on the Credit Side of which at the Charges made by Mr Sparrow in his several Accounts against me (excepting only such as relate to the Affair of the Plates & Charts whereupon my remarks are submitted apart) are inserted - And on the Debit Side Mr Sparrow is charged with the Payments made on my part, and those wrongful Charges which have already been proved before the Arbitrator, or are Self evidently so.
Upon my Appointment to the government of Cape Breton in the year 1784, I had, before leaving England, endeavoured, in my Communications with Minestry to convey my presentiments of the Necessity of incurring some considerable Expence in establishing the new Colony, and carrying His Majesty's General Instructions into Effect. The Result was that the Matters I had submitted would have due Consideration; In the mean Time I was hurried off on account of Reports that a great number of Loyalists and other Settlers had already upon the first Intelligence of the Measure and my appointment, resorted to the new Colony.
When I arrived in Cape Breton, in December 1784 I found myself encumbered with People of various Descriptions without Habitation and most of them without victuals or Cloathing. There was no Choice then, or afterwards but to do my best with them, particularly in the Article of Subsistence, not doubting that when my Letters would be answered, government would do Justice, from regard to my Exertions and their own Duty and former promises, and I Accordingly used all means possible and interposed my own Resources and Credit in the mean Time. I had immediately to hut myself and the Officers from the most intolerable Weather immaginable __ Next Barracks, Magazines, Provisions - Stores, and other public Buildings were to be erected nor were [p. 1145] were the necessary Materials for these purposes anticipated against my arrival
With the Report of what I had done, I transmitted Home an Estimate of the Current Expence of my Current Plan of Procedure, and at the same time proposed sending at the End of each Quarter regular Accounts of the Expenditures and to draw for the Amount in favor of my Agent in London; and Accordingly [DesBarres] drew upon the Score of the Advancements then already incurred by me [December 1784 to 1785 in Sydney] on account thereof, for £ 3000, which Sum was paid to Mr. Roberts. - (Mr Roberts being put in Cash was to answer any Bill I might occasionally draw on him) - Subsequent Drafts were in like manner paid by the Treasury to Mr Roberts __ From this I considered that the Propositions I had offered and were approved and Mr. Robert's Letters to me confirmed it __ I believed all was right and regular __ I went on __ and the Success which attended our Exertions upon the pleasing Prospects of the future prosperity and National advantages which were opening before us, encouraging me to put the more favourable a construction on my Expectations of adequate Aid and Support from Government.
However unaccountably astonishing, Ministry deceived by idle and ridiculous Stories and the most absurd Misrepresentations, Stopt paying my Drafts.
In hopes to anticipate the fatality of such a Step I [p. 1146] I dispatched the Chief Justice Home to elucidate my whole Proceedings and Mr. Perry (who had been employed as an Examination to control the public Accounts) to explain the Expenditures they did not captivate Attention, and I was called Home.
[Crossed out] To proceed with respect to Mr Sparrow: - the first notice of his artful Designs was given me [crossed out] in a Letter of the 28th of April 1785. Vizt.
"Mr Sparrow has propagated a story in Town [of Halifax] of having contracted for a large Quantity of lumber to be furnished by the States at Spanish River (Sydney) for the building of the Town; This has alarmed our Merchants much Who are very desirous and disposed of Supplying you from this Province with what you may want, and I am of Opinion you'll ever give them a preference - Pictoo close in your Neighbourhood can furnish from 3 to 500000 Boards and could you would say something on this Subject in your next "
And Governor Parr at the request of some of the Merchants wrote to me likewise - But, as I had given no grounds (to any person whoever) for such kind of Proceeding, besides that Mr Sparrow was utterly unknown to me; I did not pay much regard to Reports which I considered only as idle and unfounded.
Some time [p. 1147] Some time afterwards 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
In the mean time a Sloop the Nancy, foreign built and navigated arrived with a cargo of Lumber from the American States which, (the Custom-house Officer not judging proper to admit, contrarily to Law, to Entry) departed [p. 1149] departed with her cargo from the Island - It is on the account of this very vessel that Mr Sparrow lately fabricated his Charge of £ 97.19.8, and shamelessly attempted to impose it - Vide account Current by him last rendered.
John Wilkinson (Super cargo) next came in With more Lumber and Board of another vessel. mention was made of Mr Sparrow being concerned therein. The Master having produced a British Register, the Vessel was allowed to enter.
The preceding Reports of Mr Sparrow's unjustifiable presumption, which I was led at first, to disbelieve, now began to wear some Colour - he was therefore undeserving of Encouragement and no Dealing with him should, in common course, have taken place.
Yet as a Number of destitute Families of Settlers entitled, by the Royal Orders, to Portions of Building Materials, and Others, in great want likewise, were pressing their Applications, on me; and there being no other Lumber then at hand to purchase for their Supply - I thought it best to afford them immediate Relief, and to overlook the little cunning Artifices. And I directed the Officers conducting, and other Persons (versant with the Object) employed in the public works to bargain for, and purchase the lumber from Wilkinson.
It had been contrieved to represent the conduct of my Agent and others at Halifax* as uncandid and treacherous - I expressed my disapprobation with unreservedness, nor could I be led to suspect that Mr Sparrow was at the Bottom and undermining every where, in order to effect ["his" scratched out] sordid purposes - This brought on a shocking Dilemma; it was every where held out that I had prostituted my Confidence on, and was captivated by a most insignificant Man [crossed out); and was sharply [up]braided for [crossed out] my supposed wilful Neglect and Distrust towards Merchants [crossed out] established Repute, conscious of the Sincerity of their [prossions] of service to me - hence arose infinite perplexities, and subsequent Evils: - All manner of Supplies were discouraged, interrupted, and stopt from coming to the Relief of the Infant Colony - My Credit was cried
* During my former residence in Nova Scotia, I had fully enjoyed the united Affection of its Inhabitants. When in the Autumn 1784 I touched at Halifax, I rejoiced in that Opportunity of reviewing the progress of a Country, the prosperity of which I had long and strenuously laboured to promote, and of seeing once more my ancient Friends - and feeling myself besides peculiarly interested in the general welfare of it as I had many years since laid out large Sums of Money in the purchase and Cultivation of Lands, and in establishing above one hundred industrious and loyal Families - On this last visit I received the strongest repetition of assurances of a friendly Disposition from The Officers Merchants Etc.- Notwithstanding that some of the Departments seemed in their Official Capacities neither much inclined to relish the New project, nor the Task I had undertaken of nursing and rearing up the Infant Colony of Cape Breton, from Apprehension which was entertained of its rapid rise, and that it would soon become [crossed out] Rival & would share with them the National Bounties, and the Favours of Government and sink their Importance.
Mr Sparrow had unwarrantably announced himself a Contractor for the Whole of our Exiginces [at Cape Breton] which prevented Others coming with Supplies to our Relief.
cried down. My administration abominably misrepresented and nothing was left untried to pervert my Motives, and render my Exertions abortive. - the Cause, which all this while worked underhanded all these pernicious Mischiefs, remained unknown to me - And it is thus Mr Sparrow went on, taking all unprincipled Advantages, unremorsed of the Distress and Ruin [crossed out] brought on thereby on the Infant Colony and myself.
Upon my Letter in which I had disapproved of his Proposals he wrote the following vizt.
Halifax 26 June 1785
"I am honored with your Excellency's favor of the 7th. Instant and am exceedingly sorry that my great Zeal* for the Welfare of the New Settlement should be so unsuccessful. At the same time I cannot but acknowledge my self obliged to you by Your wishes to serve my Interest, which has been manifested in the polite Attention Shewn my Agent Mr Wilkinson. +
I hope at least you will be able to favor so far as to take any part of the Lumber that may arrive in British Bottoms."
* This great Zeal [crossed out] in fact originated in mean penury, it ripened into [crossed out] Deceits and Impositions by [foc]wning Treacheries, and concluded in vile Scurrility and the foulest Defamation
+ this Agent of Mr Sparrow by the Complacency of his Conduct, had ingraciated himself among the Officers and Inhabitants in general - Lands eligibly situated for commercial Speculations, and the purposes of Culture, were granted to him, and personal attentions Shewn - He had transacted Business to a considerable Amount in
Having briefly endeavoured to convey an Idea of the relative Part of my Situation, and of the Train of base Artifices used by Mr. Sparrow to work himself into the Intricaces of it; I have now in the next place, to submit a few Remark, on some of the Charges in his Accounts against me.
The Atrocity of his Attempts on my character and Reputation has rendered it indispensibly incumbent on me to descend the more minutely into the tedious Investigation of his Accounts, and to follow it up, as a leading means, by clearly exposing the Uniformity of his Principle in the variety and gradations of his Frauds to throw open the turpitude of his Drifts.
Mr Sparrow having by his repeated false and malicious Asseverations, proved his Assertions unworthy of Credit, I must beg lease to hope that he may not per permitted the profligate Abuse thereof any further, which cannot
in his own name and had passed himself for a Merchant of substance and property. _
Mr Sparrow having secured all the Advantages he could, discovered at last that Wilkinson stood engaged to him merely as a clerk, nor was he invested with powers to do or transact any Business in Cape Breton but in his (Sparrow's) name, and his sole Use and Benefit - Vide Mr Sparrow Lettter dated 27 April 1786
This fraudelent Mode of contrieving a Credit without either property or Responsibility is not unfrequent among the Upstarts in America - Many, an unsuspecting London Merchant has been duped by it - This upon this very unfair Ground of arguing that Mr Sparrow has hitherto refused to explain the Transaction of his Wilkinson with Perry, which having been settled, pretending to be entitled to all the profits arising from them, but not to be responsible nor obliged to render any Accot because Wilkinson had traded in his own Name, without his (Mr Sparrow's) authority.
cannot vindicate [crossed out] any violation of natural Justice, but that by being fairly desired to produce such vouchers, or Proofs, before you, gentlemen, as the established Maximsof Equity, Law and the Usage in Mercantile Transactions, point out to be proper, and Right to demand in support of the Charges he has made, which, if complied with, by him, will remove the Doubtfulness of his Claims, and, if refused, may tend towards the Unravelment of the Motives - This Hope I am led to entertin, from my Notion of the Compatibility of those trite and immutable Maxims with the Inquiries and Determinations of Subjects of Arbitration.
Account No 1
As To the Charges "To Sunries Shipt
7th April 1785 for Cumberland ........................................£103..10..
To Do shipt 7th June 1785 ............................... 757.14 ..
861.. 4 .. _
which Mr Sparrow has constantly evaded to explain, and has hereby, and for other Reasons, rendered his Motives very suspicious, he must adouce Vouchers, or Sufficient Proofs, to support them; his saying that his Books are abroad is but an idle pretext, if not worse - It would indeed be unreasonable to believe than Any Mercantile Person, far less, so sharp a One as he is, Would make a voyage to England for the purpose, as he pretends, of settling his Accounts with [p. 1154] with [sic] me, and neither bring his Books, nor the necessary Extracts from them - the leaving his Books in Philadelphia, Halifax, &c., where he is not carrying on any Trade, Would be absurd, but he has taken a Draft in saying so- and not a fair one. He has played upon me for years, this very same old Subterfuge, and under the Shreen of it, has constantly, and on all Occassions [crossed out] evaded explaining his Charges.
He at last comes forward with a paper, as he Calls it Bill of Lading and some Letter, or Letters from Mrs Cannon in attempt to establish the shipping and Receipt of his Sundries - These his Sundries he alledges to have supplied on my account, and looks to me for Payment thereof: if so, I have an undoubted Right to call for the Bills of parcels, and regular Accounts of the prticular Articles contained in each Package - And as to Mrs. Cannon's Letters, they are proof of the Receipt - For it is an Absolute Fact that she was not in Cumberland nor near it, during the whole Course of the year 1785 - From this I infer that either Mrs. Cannon's Letters *, produced by Mr. Sparrow, may not have been clearly understood, if meant to establish her Receipt of the Sunderies alluded to, or there may exist some mystery in the matter: And indeed I have lately heard that Mr Sparrow had said he had not shipt any goods to Cumberland; neither had he received any payment for such, nor, for the Bill on me said to have been
* furnish to the indulged with Copies of these Letters
been drawn for the amount thereof, and that it was only a Contrivance to get Bills, or Money, from me.
Mrs. Cannon's Bill on me appears to be Mr Sparrow's own Handwritting - it is dated "Castle Frederick June 11th. 1785" a place 52 miles from Halifax where I have reason to believe he was not - The Sundries are charged in Account as shipped for Cumberland on the 7th - the Lapse of Time is too short to admit the Supposition of an Account of their arrival to the Place of Destination - having reached Castle Frederick on the 11th. of June.
Mr Sparow has produced only one Bill of Lading although he asserts to have shipped his Sundaries at two different periods, two Months asunder.
Mr. Sparrow has mentioned that a part or parcel of his Sundaries shipped for Cumberland were for my own immediate use in Cape Breton - A view of the relative Situations of Cumberland and Cape Breton with Halifax renders the absurdity of his charge monstrous.
Upon the whole it appears to me that he would be glaringly unjust in the present view of the Affair to allow the payment of Charges so unascertained, unexplained and unsupported , and therefore I take leave humbly to more.
1.st That he may be directed to produce proper vouches or adduce satisfactory proofs, in support thereof, whereby his claim, upon due consideration may be justly ascertained  ascertained, and Compensation (including reasonable profits) for all his Supplies, on my Accounts, which shall appear to have been actully furnished) awarded and paid accordingly
2.dly That he, having made several Observations which being evidently unfounded ought not therefore to be permitted again barefacedly to prostitute an Oath, in order to supply his want of the Customary vouchers, or Proofs, for establishing his charges.
3.dly That any Invention of premeditate fraudulent Charge in any account renders in Law, and Equity, such account and all others connected therewith, or flowing therefrom, null and void
4.dly That the Approbation, or Signing of the Party defrauded, can neither legalise the Fraud, nor thereby validate any claim in favor of the Defrauder
5.dly That when I signed Mr. Sparrow's Accounts, although uninstructed of the Particulars consistitating the Charges, yet it was done on the implied Condition, and trusting, that upon Examination and Scrutiny, of them, they would be found free of Errors and Fraud
6.dly That in order to remove, as far as possible, the Obstructions to a final, and just Settlement, Mr. Sparrow be allowed a reasonable Space of Time to send for his Books And all Such Documents [p. 1157] Documents and Vouchers which he may be enabled to procure in Support of his unascertained, unexplained, and unsupported charges: And that, in the interim, a sufficient Sum of Money be requested, on my part, to answer whatever Sum or Sums, if any, as shall hereafter upon being ascertained, appear due thereupon.
N.B: If any thing, on the Credit Side of this and the subsequent Accounts should appear objectionable (of which I am not sensible at present) I pray that I may be allowed the opportunity of explaining the same.
Account No 2
I have to observe on the Charges vizt
to 100 Barrels Flour .............
165 _ }
_ 60 Do - Pork ......................... 232.10. _ }
_ Trucking ............................. 1. 6. 8 } £ 432.2.6 Currency
_ Comn. ................................. 19.18.10 }
Insurance ........................... 13. 7 }
that, without the Bills of Parcels showing the purchase and Price paid for the pork and Flour, which have been and are again demanded, be produced no Commission thereon, can justly be claimed - And as to the Insurance on which Mr. Sparrow, in the presence of the Arbitrators, when desired to produce the Policies thereof, entered, with a wheedling assurance peculiar to himself, into a Detail of the manner  in which he used to do his Insurance at Halifax among Merchants there, which he attempted to support by alledging several pretended Names of Insurers to him: But upon the following Paragraph of his own Letter being read vizt - "it is necessary to observe that we cannot get Insurance done, therefore I am under the necessity of writing to England and have charged upon such Presumption the usual premium." it appeared he had not insured at all, and admitted the Charge thereof to be wrong.
As to the Articles charged to John Wilkinson at Sydney in the amount of £2121 ,, 7.3 Currency on £1909,,4.6 3/10 Sterling, which Mr. Sparrow has pretended to be under no obligation of explaining, and yet endeavours to represent as settled, by adducing a Paper from Mr. Perry, intruded by him, for an account regularly settled: - Upon this I have to observe, in the first place, that this Paper is in fact no more than an hasty Abstract Sketch, seemingly, purported some intended arrangement which never took place - And, in the next, that having at my Cost been led into Doubts as to the rectitude of some of the Proceedings, I have an undoubted Right to, besides that, I consider it an incumbent Object of my Duty, to get at a fair Explanation of the whole Translation; in particular, because Three of the Articles included in the said Sum are inserted in the Public Accounts of the Expenditures, which I have rendered in the Treasury viz. Lumber
Lumber ... £1117,, 4.
Do ........... 306,, 13.4 } Currency*
Do ........... 146,, _ _ }
and to make the Charge of these sums agreeable to the Rules laid down to myself, it is not satisfactory enough for me to be enabled to say that I have, bona fide, advanced them (which the herewith account Current with Mr Sparrow clearly evinces) but I ought to know also that they were justly due to those who received them.
Mr Sparrow is unwilling - perhaps he is unable also to give the Explanations - and I am warranted, by dire Experience, to suspect, if Perry's and Wilkinson's transactions have been fraudulent, that he could not be a Concerned in the Plot without sharing largely in the produce of the Iniquity. Nor am I enabled to trace in his [crossed out] Disposition the least hope of a Propensity in him to a Dereliction of the ill gotten Self Solely intent on grasping at the Booty, he now remains unqualified to support the usurpation of it - the clamorously calls to his Aid an Exhibition of my Public Accounts: in fact, he wants to collect Light from the Elucilations contained in the vouchers made out and given in by his Wilkinson to Perry, - flattering himself, thus instructed
*Whatever Deduction, if any appears proper to be made, from those articles of lumber charged and paid by me, I shall gladly credit government for the Amount refunded
instructed, to be permitted again, by his Oath, to supply his Inability and elude the Hazard, of Investigation.*
It is far from my Inclination to withhold from the Arbitrators either my public Accounts, + or any Means of Information in my power, tending to elucidate the present Object, or indeed any part whatever of my Conduct throughout.
It may be asked, I Lavished my Confidence of Men of that sort __ To this I must answer that it was the Cogency of the hard Circumstances, which reduced me to _ trust them, and risk; and not any Choice of Confidence, for such was not within my reach.
Consistently, with the Task I have in my Defence, been compelled to undertake of laying open such a variegation of Mr. Sparrow's unworthiness as is come within the narrow bounds of my information, it may not be improper to notice the pitiful change viz:
"To Cash paid for Tin Ware (Mrs. Williams) - £2,,16,,
It is notorious that his [Sparrow's] shop consisted chiefly of Tin ware
*Mr Sparrow Embarrassments leave me no doubt of his Drift, And his Attempt to forward it by The wide provocation of his scurilous Threats of blowing up my public accounts in case [crossed out] I should object to the payment of his unsupported Demands is [crossed out] [dis]picable - It is irrreconcileable also to his own solemn Art - Vide Minutes of H.M. Council for the government of Cape Breton annexed.
As to my public accounts, I can with a conscious Mind over Over What I have sincerely and constantly endeavoured to follow up the Methods which appeared to to me were most conducive for receiving them fair and just __ The particular accounts of the purchases and payments were regularly collected together, and consolidated into general statements, to show the periodical Quarterly __ Expenditures, for Transmission to England, accompanied with the vouchers in support thereof -- and the whole Business was transacted, by the several officers, at their own offices, which were constantly open to the access even of all Strangers, who might, at all Times, have been minutely instructed of the particulars constituting these general Statements.
Ware [sic] With a few other small articles viz Pins, Needles, Threads, Tapes, Shingles &c. This I am indispensibly led thus plainly to develop, because his Bombastic Attempts to puff himself of you, gentlemen, and on the world, as a Merchant of Rank and Respectability, and the [crossed out] Language he has presumed using to, and of, me to deceive you into preposterous Ideas, and as if he had ever been allowed by me [crossed out] ground to boast as having stood on any [crossed out] Footing of Familiarity whatever, I am sorry to perceive have already cast a false Light on some of the most essential Points __
As to "Perry's" Draft on Mr. Sparrow in favor of his Agent Mr. Wilkinson for [crossed out: £609] £695 Currency "which Mr Sparrow in his Account against me; wrong by States as being my own Draft, it is sufficient to observe that it appears to me to be only a Contrivance for supporting the Deceptive Notions of Mr Wilkinson transacting Business at Cape Breton on his own Bottom, the Draft being in Other Considerations unnecessary and absurd.
Account No 3
The charge "To goods (Mrs.
Cannon) pr ye Order £88,,12,,-
Comn. 5pdl ........................................ 4,, 8 ,, 8
93 ,, ,, 8
________________ought not to be allowed as appears by the following Extract of Mr Sparrow's own Letter to be Mrs. Cannon, dated "Halifax December 17.th 1787 viz:
I wrote you a short Time since respecting my [p. 1162] Account with you for those Goods, which I sent you agreeable to your orders, I also have repeatedly informed you that in Consequence of Mr Des Barres not paying the Amount, which I sollicited him for agreeable to your Orders, I have wrote off that Sum a long time since from his Accounts
your Debt is £88,, 12 ,, }
My comn 4,, 8 ,, 7 } £93,, _ ,,7 Halifax Currency
Mr Sparrow had, in the Spring of the year 1786, come, from Halifax, to Cape Breton, and represented his Fears, in consequence of some Demur in the Payment of my Bills in England - that, unless he was enabled to assure his correspondts of having Property in his Hands to cover such of those as I had drawn in his favor, and remained yet unpaid, he would be utterly ruined; pointing out, At some Time, that if I put my Work (the Atlantic Neptune) into his hands, his mind would be rendered perfectly easy, and he would engage to make any future Supplies which might be wanted.
I had just about that time dispatched the Chief Justice and Mr Perry to England to elucidate my Proceeding and explain the Expenditures, with the necessity of incurring them, and I flattered myself that a fair Investigation would have taken place; by which I had Reason to trust that my Conduct would have been evinced, in every Point of View, proper, and the Repayment of my Advances, on his Majesty's Service, towards promoting essential National Advantages, would [p. 1163] of course, have been immediately ordered, and all Demands discharged.
In this Consideration of Affairs, Mr Sparrow's Application for a Security appeared to me to be simply a superfluous Step; Yet, in order to remove the great Uneasiness he had expressed, I proposed appointing him agent of my Property in Nova Scotia, with a mortgage on part thereof; This he declined, saying that he held Landed Property in a very low Estimation. - that he estimated Money, if vested in Land, should fetch him no less than £30 and upwards p Cent, clear annual Rent besides that it was too precarious a Speculation for him, as another American Rebellion, or War, might break out, which would reduce the whole to a mere nothing - He urged that my Charts were greatly in Demand - That they were a Treasure, which laid buried - he wished to be entrusted with the Sale of them, which would procure the means of amply supporting all the Exigencies of the Infant Colony. I observed to him that I had devoted my Labours in that performance, not from pecuniary Motives, but in View, by extraordinary Exertions in the public Service, to forward my Promotion in it, as an Officer; and that I thought it incumbent first to offer the work to government from whom I would prosper, above all other Expectations, to receive even one fourth of its Cost or value, which if refused [p. 1164] I had no objection to his Proposals - Mr Sparrow replied that he intended to sail that Fall for England, and would personally wait on the Lords of the Admiralty, to make A Tender; to which I had affixed £ 5000 as the consideration and I wrote to Lord Howe, And Mr Stephens, accordingly.
The Plates and a large Quantity of Impressions - which were on the Spot, together With Orders for receiving others in the Custody of Mr Johnson, and Mr Nicole in London, were delivered to Mr Sparrow, and a Bargain of Sale was executed: Wherein Mr Sparrow bound himself to pay me for what had been delivered to him, the Sum of £ 5000, and a moiety of what more it might fetch - Mr Sparrow now expressed himself amply satisfied, And prepared to return to Halifax.
Previous to his Departure from Cape
Breton a Number of poor Labourers had been discharged from the public works - I
was anxious to pay the Balances which remained due to them, for which purpose I
entrusted him with the following Bills vizt.
"Bill No.5 on R Spiller Esq for £375 stg
" Do No.3 on Gray & Ogilvie __ 100 Do
" Do __ on Buston & Tyson £ 11.14 Curry
for the Amount of which he engaged to remit Specie upon his arrival at Halifax; but he deceived me basely indeed *
[*] I have since been informed that at the very time Mr Sparrow engaged to furnish the --
Account No 4
In this dismal predicament Matters stood, when the Schooner Swallow brought in a wretched Cargo mostly consisting of Articles not wanted nor ordered Amounting with the Charges to £692.10.4 Currency, and I was driven to the sorry Expedient of discharging so far as with it would be done the People's Demands at a considerable Loss ø - This has given pretext to the most virulent and injurious Misrepresentations of my being concerned in selling and trafficking, from whence has arisen infinite mortification and Damages to me, both in my public and private Situation.
The Articles of this Cargo are charged at very high prices - The Bills of parcels and the Policy of Insurance are demanded, without which being produced neither the charge for Commission nor that for Insurance can justly be allowed.
Specie, he was then actually collecting together clandestindy all the Specie His several retailing Traders about Sydney, whose Commissions for Supplies from Halifax he had undertaken all which he carried off with him.
This Treachery which disabled me from fulfilling my promises towards people whose Families were thereby driven to extreme want, proved the means of abetting Ingratitude Sedition & the most outrageous Acts; and of invigorating the malignant Activity of a profligate Set of Conspirators, whose misrepresentations, to promote my Ruin, however equally wretched, absurd and wicked, and supported with fictitious and forged names, yet in concussence with Mr Sparrow's proceedings, have operated such an unaccountable Deasness and Distortion in the Features of the Justice of government towards me, as to render hither to fruitless not only the Plea of 30 years incessant, faithful & distinguished Services solemnly acknowledged and recommended as meriting some Mark of Royal Faver, and approved by my Soverign; but also every other Exertion in my power to obtain only that Hearing which I verily believe has never before been denied, even to a Common Offender. Such has been the fatal Growth of Mr. Sparrow's sordid and virulent proceedings. An auction was made for the benefit of those who held Certificates of Demands on Government, and no other payment than these certificates, was admitted for purchases, by this means the Certificates were procured with money, from those who held them, by those who wished to purchase.
To aggravate the [crossed out] pressure of the [crossed out] Calamities under which the Infant Colony groaned from Mr Sparrow's perfidious [crossed out] Managements his agent arrived, from Boston, in November 1786, with a Cargo of the most pernicious kind of Contraband and some articles of provisions, of such a miserable sort as he (the Agent) acknowledged himself Ashamed of bringing to market, alledging, for his Excuse, that he had been sent with so very bad and unsaleable [crossed out] Goods to barter with that he could get no better [crossed out] the apprehensions of a Famine [crossed out] induced me to refer to the Council * the applications Wilkinson had made for being permitted to land and sell such only of the Articles, among the Inhabitants, as might tend to alleviate their Distress, in the Support of Existence - The Council advised the Provisions to be permitted to land, and that the Contraband part of the Cargo be ordered off the Island with the Vessel.
In the Spring of the year following unfaverable accounts of my Bills and Reports of my being called Home were
* Vide Minutes of Council annexed.
circulating in Halifax, though at the same time I was professed of the strongest assurances through my Agent Mr Roberts that none of the Bills I had drawn would be suffered to return back, and that Lord Sydney had actually rejected between Six and Seven Thousand pounds, due, above One year before that period, to me - In these adverse Conjectures Mr Sparrow took the Opportunity of writing to, alarming and setting upon me, those who had received my Bills, either for public Supplies, or Services, who accordingly grew extremely vexatious.
Mr Sparrow soon afterwards arrived in Sydney - The Directions* which had been lately received, from the Treasury, in respect to the Public Expenditures, and Bills, were communicated to him, in order that he might avail himself thereof, by being accommodated with Drafts on their Lordships, for the amount of such specific Supplies as had been made by him, for the public Service: which, being drawn according to the Mode therein prescribed, there was no doubt would be punctually paid, and compensate [crossed out] for the Bills [crossed out], on Mr. Roberts which remained unpaid.
* The mode which I was directed to observe in the payments of Expenditures was to draw my Bills immediately on the Lords of the Treasury in favor of the respective persons who had either made supplies or performed Services for the public account. __ previous to these Directions, the method I had at first proposed to their Lordship, and I have mentioned before, had hitherto been pursued by me.
But this did not satisfy Mr Sparrow whose [crossed out] greediness had no bounds: Encouraged by the Difficulties into which, though his Machinations, I was involved, he became audaciously, and unbearably scurrilous; and I thought best to decline all further personal Intercourse, leaving the Secretary to arrange Matters with him - His Artifices to obtain the Stewardship, and a general Agency of my Estates, and Affairs, not succeeding, and upon the nefarious Proparations which had come from him being rejected with Indignation, he affected great wrath, and threatened through the Influence of Friends, with the Ministry, to accomplish my Ruin.
In October I sailed for England overwhelmed with the most unreasonable Persecutions.
The Charge# "to sundry charges in Attaching
sundry Estates in Nova Scotia incurred
by yourself in not fulfilling the
Security promised __ £14,,4,,_"
is [crossed out] unjust [crossed out]
Mr Sparrow, in the Fall of the year 1787, being returned to Halifax, now stretched out a grasp at the whole of my property in Nova Scotia __ To abet his Draft, he threw out the most virulent and wicked Defamations against me, and having in a solemn manner dared maliciously to declare the Sum of £4041 as due him, on my Bills of Exchange protested for non payment and returned to him a writ of Attachment* against my Estates and Property was thereupon issued, and Judgment has accordingly been obtained by him.
* Copy of the Writ of Attachment
"George the Third by the Grace of God of Great Britain France and Ireland King Defender of the Faith &c To the Sheriff of the County of Hants or his Deputy we command you to attach the goods, Chattels, or Estate of Joseph Frederick Wallet Des Barres late of the Island of Cape Breton Esquire, an absent Debtor to the value of four thousand pounds, and also to summon the said Joseph Frederick Walter Des Barres, if found within your Precinct to appear before our Justices of our Supreme Court to be holden at Halifax on the first Tuesday the 17th of April next and there to answer the Suit of Samuel Sparrow Merchant in a plea of Trespass on the Case of not paying him four thousand and forty one pounds Currency due on his several Bills of Exchanged protested for non payment and returned to him the said Samuel Sparrow as by Declaration will appear, To the Damage of the said Samuel Sparrow, as he says, of the Sum of five thousand pounds; Hereto fail not, and make due Return of this writ and your doing thereon according to Law, this 23d. Day of October in the 27th. year of our Reign anno Domini 1787"
1st It appears from his own account* that the Aggregate Amount of my Bills, therein alledged to have been protested did not, together with the costs and Interest calculated up to the date of the Writ of attachment exceeded the Sum of £2051.18.7
2dbly It appears from Statement of Accounts Current, that on the 23d. of October 1787. [crossed out] the date of the Writ of Attachment (even, inclusively of [crossed out] his many wrongful Charges to the payment of which he is not, I humbly, conceive justly entitled) the Balance against him was £5957. _ .5
3.dbly It appears from his own# that he well knew a large Sum to be due to me by government, and that the payment of which was only deferred in consequence of wicked & nefarious misrepresentations, [crossed out] which when explained, the Bills, and all Demands Whatever [crossed out] would immediately, be paid off
* Explanation vide Mr Sparrow's Account of Bills drawn by Lt. Govr. Des Barres From the total Amount of Mr Sparrow's account of Bills drawn by me including Costs and Interest calculated to the 8th. Jany 1790 ..................................................................................... £3236,,6. 8
Deduct three Bills on the Lords of the Treasury viz No 20, 21, and 22 which were neither protested nor
returned at the time of Mr Sparrow's Declaration amounting to ............................................................ £962,, 11 - 11
And the included Interest on the principal Sums of the protested ones from the 23d Oct 1787
to the 8th Janry 1790 ......................................................................................................................................£211.16.2 1174,,8. 1
Remains as the total Amount of the protested Bills with the Costs & Interest calculated up
to the date of the writ of attachment ....................................................................................................................................£2051,,18.7
And this Sum of £ [blank] I must observe is mad up by inserting the Bills numbered 70, 87, 92, 75, 88, 91, and 71 which I have strong Reasons to believe were not his property, nor was he warranted, by the respective persons, whose property they were to take the Steps he did.
Vide Minutes of this majesty's Council of the 9th. May 1786 and 4th June following
Account No. 6
I will not
presume here to trouble you with Comments on the following Changes viz.t
Interest on sundry Bills of Exchange which were finally paid
"Sundry protested Bills as p acct. No. 42, 44, 45, 47, 48, 20, 21, 22, 70, 71, 87, 66, 92, 57, 59, 88, 91,
with Interest thereon to the 8th January 1790 .....................................................................................................................................£3236,,6. 8
"Pacquet postage on the above Bills .................................................................................................................................................... 4,,10, ,_
"Damages 10pct on Do. principal Sum £2783.14.10 - 278 - 7. 6
"2 3/4 years Average Interest on the above £278,,7.6 - 38,, 5,, 6,
because I trust that the Reasons
already contained in the Debit Side of this Account will be thought sufficient,
satisfactorily, [evince] that they are erroneous, superfluous, and unjust, Nor
does it appear to ne necessary to add any thing to the Explanations, and Proofs,
exhibited before you, to show the nefarious Color of the late strange
"Schooner Hope & Cargo, wrecked for which no Insurance could be made ........................................................... 337,,_ 2
"Loss sustained by the sloop Nancy's Cargo, which was obliged to be sold at the Island St. Peters ......................... 97,, 19 ,, 7
Remarks of Mr Sparrow's Account of Charts and Plates delivered by him
It appears by the Agreement respecting the Plates and Impressions [p. 1172] Impressions of the Atlantic Neptune, between Mr Sparrow and me, that he was to sell the whole, for as much as it could, in such manners that £5000 should come into my Pocket, clear of all Charges, and no less; but that the Surplus, above five thousand pounds, should be divided equally, between us, by way of Incitement, to him, to make the most of it - He was not at liberty to sell it, for less than five thousand Pounds nett, to me [DeBarres], and his reward, for his Trouble, was only to be the half of what it should produce more than £ 5000 which depended upon Contingency; and if it did not produce that Surplus, he was to have nothing.
Now by Mr. Sparrow's mismanagement
and Infidelity, and other Circumstances, relative to himself, it may be rendered
necessary for me, to resume the Remains of the Impressions, out of his hands;
And the Question is upon what Principle the price of what, he says, he sold* is
to be settled, and paid to me. and the other Deficiencies, & Damages
estimated, and compensated.
* I have been informed that in the year 1786 he had already sold more than £ 500 of the Impressions.
Mr Sparrow laying, at once, aside every Idea of the Agreement, takes his own way of giving, not only such an account of the Sale as he thinks proper, but he also brings in an account of Expenses attending it, which exceeds, by one third, the Amount of the Scales, and, in his usual manner, brings a Balance of £ 106,, 4.2 against the Account*
Surely this must appear to the Arbitrators to be a Matter worth attending to, and enquiring into - Surely they will confess they never observed any thing more extraordinary. Surely, they will expect from Mr Sparrow, some vouchers of these extraordinary Expenditures to convince them that there is, at least, some Foundation for the Charges __ Surely they will not yield up, to the Oath of such a man as Mr. Sparrow, all the Rules of Evidence, the Instinct of common Sense and [crossed out] and
[*] Suppose that Mr. Sparrow had chosen to sell the whole for £1000, he was nevertheless answerable to pay me £5000 - and the Arbitrators will keep in view the Bargain of Sale - That the absolute Sum of £5000 was to be produced, and a Moriety of the residue of what it might fetch more
the Estimate of their own capacity, and Justice, requires and these are that, in so delicate a base as the account of the Expenditures exceeding so enormously the Account of the Sales, they will exercise their own Judgment, in Competition with Mr Sparrrow's assertions, and oath; and, in a Case where one Man pretends to have laid out, for another, upwards of twenty articles of different Sums, graduating respectively from seven Shillings to one hundred and five pounds, and exceeding, in so trifling a Transaction, two hundred and fifty seven Pounds, they will require Vouchers.
I beg leave most respectfully and submissively to represent to you, Gentleman, that Whereas in other * Points of the Accounts in Question it might perhaps be objected to me, that, having heedlessly, and perhaps ignorantly, given Admission to certain accounts, and Charges, of Mr Sparrow, without examining them, I cannot now be [crossed out] indulged with any Objections against these, but What of Friends; the Onus probandi of which is incumbent upon me; yet having never directly, or indirectly, admitted this Account of Charges in Question, the same Rule does not apply to it; but the Onus probandi, of every Article, is incumbent, on Mr Sparrow, by Producing authentic vouchers to every article; if he had any Right to charge any __ I take leave to caution that the Articles are mostly, if not all, false __ I have had Information
* altho I am informed that in the Cases here alluded to Mr Sparrow is bound to produce the regular Vouchers.
Information of it, which convinces me; while the absence of vouchers is sufficient to convince you __ It is probable that one Man would expend such Sums, for another, without a Document, when the Transaction was to be respecting nett proceeds! __ I take leave, in the most solemn, and respectful, manner, to present this to you, Gentlemen, as the Rules of Evidence, and the Rules of Equity, and common Sense, which I am seriously advised, no Judge, no Lawyer, no Arbitrator, no man of common Sense in the Universe, can disregard __ I must hold out that, by the same Rule, though Mr. Sparrow is on Oath, you are equal judges of this Matter of his Oath, as of his ordinary Assertions, and that his oath does not supercede the ordinary Rules of Evidence, or, I must entreat his being discharged from further Declaration upon Oath.
Having now described the manner in which Mr Sparrow insinuted himself into the Affairs of Cape Breton __ The manner in which he conducted himself, and the Situation in which I stood, and added Remarks on particular Articles of his Account, I now take leave to conclude with bringing the whole under your Review, by a Brief Recapitulation.
I now take leave to conclude with bringing the whole under your Review by a Brief Recapitulation.
It appears by Mr. Kavanoughs Letter contrasted with his [p. 1176] his own, that he gave himself out without authority from me, for a contractor, to furnish all the Building Articles, Etc., for the new Settlement, which prevented greater Plenty and Cheapness, by discouraging others from competing with him, and, at the same time, rendered me obnoxious to the Merchants at Halifax, who conceived themselves better entitled to preference, or, at least, to an equal Chance.
It appars that having thus driven us to Extremities which left no Alternative but to starve whether with Hunger, want of Shelter, and Nakedness; or Submission to his Impositions, he supplied us sometimes with penury, according as it would answer his purposes, but always with such Trash, and, upon such Terms, * as must have been inadmissible with people in any other Situation.
It appears that, sequestered from Correspondence with the World, I had not the opportunity of discovering the Artifice, and Mischief, of this Cunning, until it was too late, Mr. Sparrow having plausibly insinuated himself, and and [sic] contrived to lay himself out for impressing an Idea that these Points, which were otherwise most calculated to startle, and to open my Eyes, had been rather the Result of unavoidable Necessity, than of any improper Views, and therefore ought to be looked over, and made the best of Specimens of which artful plausibility, I presume have not
at a price 30 to 50 PCt. higher than would have been held from others Vide Mr Reach's Letter etc.
not escaped the Observation of the Arbitrators in his Mode of stating his pretensions.
It appears that thus feeding scantily our necessities, and holding out Deceptious prospects, he procured the means of filling his Hands with my money, Bills, Credit, and Effects, under the unsuspecting Idea, on my Part, of obtaining more compleat Explanation, Satisfaction and Settlement, when we should be at greater leisure
It appears that, having carried this to a pitch which either satiated him, or beyond which it could not be further driven, he retired to the contiguous Province of Nova Scotia, the Government of which was inimical to me on account of the new Settlement, but, when I had many private Friends, and the Chief part of my property __ There je joined the [crossed out] Clamour of the Jealous, which he formerly affected to condemn, and, added to it all the Fuel he could collect; he left no Stone unturned publicly to calumniate my Credit, and Conduct, by the most false and malicious Aspersions.
It appears that, though possessed of my property to greatly more than full Indemnification, he portended having been ruined by me, as a pretence of his next Step, which was to seize my Estates, for several Times more than he [p. 1178] he could have claimed though my Property in his Hands, as Stated above, had been out of the Question. He procured out of the Supreme Court of the Province of Nova Scotia a writ for £4041, by Virtue of which my Property, and Estates in the County of Cumberland were attached, which brought on every One, disposed to trump up Similar Pretensions, to act a similar Part: The consequence of which has been that it has sunck the Confidence, and shaken the Faith of my agreements _ Many setlers who had prepared to erect permanent Houses and other necessary Buildings, have been deterred and prevented, from making the intended Improvements. __ The Tenants engaged in tilling, and cultivating my Estates have been allarmed, and for fear of being dispossessed by Mr Sparrow, ceased from cultivating their Farms, and actually ensued on the Cultivation, and Improvements, of the Estate of a Mr Baron in the Neighbourhood of my Lands - the grain, such as wheat, Pease, Oats, &c. in my Granary was suffered to remain under Attachment until it was heated, spoiled, and rendered unfit for use __ my whole Affairs have been deranged, and I have been laid under great Expense to protect them from utter Ruin.
In order to crown these Injuries, he came to Britain where, it is evident his Plan was, with Others of similar [crossed out] Disposition, to damn me with the world, and with Government, that so he might in future, exclusively, enjoy the Plunder of my Property, and, in common with them, the Ruin of my Character.
I had [p. 1179] I had been, in the mean Time, called Home to answer [crossed out] Complaints, which ministry have not yet given me an Opportunity of doing + __ Before my arrival, these Wretches had given out that I never would set a foot in this Country, They impressed on the Mercantile Houses, they were acquainted with, the vilest Representations. __ I have reason to believe that, through this Channel, they obtained the attention of Government, so at least, Mr. Sparrow presumes to boast. __ Not only this, but what above all Considerations [crossed out] wounded my Feelings; my most intimate, and esteemed, Friends have been disarmed of all Apology, in my behalf; while I proportionally indignant to approach, until I should be cleared, any, but those, whose Love had become a second Nature to me, have stood aloof, determined to rid myself from His inferior Vermin, before stepping out to assert the Justice due to me as a gentleman, and a British Subject, at the Hand of higher powers.
I have already mentioned that while he fed our necessities scantily, and held out deceptions prospects, he procured the means of filling his Hands, with my money, Bills, Credit, and Effects, under the unsuspecting Idea, on my part, of obtaining more compleat Explanations Satisfaction
+ Thought there had been ample Times to collect Facts to criminate my Conduct, if any could have been possibly produced __ yet Mr Sparrow had averred that he has it in his power.
[p. 1180] Satisfaction, and Settlement, when we should be more at Leisure _ it may not be deemed unreasonable in me to look for a Detail of the particular Articles, and the vouchers with which he has charged me by the Lump, in which I had acquiesced in, on a view of a final Settlement, _ if it was no more than for the purpose of a true and honest Charge against the Persons concerned; No honest Commercial man would refuse this, But Mr Sparrow refuses it; and takes advantage to set off, and extinguish my property, in his own Hands, at no value, under the incredible pretence of having left his Books, and vouchers, in a distant County, where he had winded up all his Concerns, and came Home, as he says, and, is too apparent, for the express purpose of terminating this __ tho', no doubt, in his own way __ Surely, even by accident, he might be possessed of some one Voucher, or other;
I must take leave to urge you gentlemen, that, though Mr. Sparrow has happened to be put upon Oath; yet, a man swearing for, or against, himself is against the General Rule of Evidence, whether in Law, or natural Equity; __ I must indulge the Persuasion that, on Mr. Sparrow's Deposition, no less than on his Conduct, you have perceived several disagreeable traits; and that his Deposition can have no farther weight than may seem consistent with the concomitant Train of Circumstances; and that it does [p. 1181] does not supercede the necessity of Ordinary Consistency, and the usual Proofs __ under any other Idea, I must have objected to the admitting it, and, under this Idea, I must entreat, and insist it may be discharged; for allowing Mr Sparrow, or any one Man, differing with another, either upon Questions of Principle, or Fact, to be honest; it follows, that they would not adduce any Thing they would not conceive to be just, upon Oath __ to depend upon the Oath of the parties were to make them the Arbitrators __ both Parties being honest would then be upon equal Terms __ this were inadmissible __ it follows that either Testimonies are necessary.
Having given this general Recapitulation of the Conduct of Mr Sparrow, who has not only egregiously imposed upon an unsuspecting Disposition in point of property; but has provoked the liveliest Feelings in daring to threaten honourable Friends of mine with Infamy, of which an Instance in his own Handwriting has been produced to you, for not acquiescing, without proofs, in his Charges __ who, under pain of admitting his unfounded Claims, failing other proofs, has dared to threaten to damn the vey public accounts, which, as one of many, he had formerly approved, in an Official Capacity, and in which I defy him, and all mankind, and who, in fine has  has already prevaricated in the manner you must have remarked, I have the Strongest Reliance that upon your candid and judicious Inquiry, Examination, and Consideration of the Several relative Facts, his motives cannot any longer remain a Mystery; And therefore, in order to avoid farther Prolixity, I will now pass-over many other Instances which might be added further to develop his Multitude of Errors; lest I should prolong the Vexation that you must feel in the tedious Perusal of this Paper, and hasten to conclude with declaring the firm Hope of Satisfaction with which I am impressed in submitting to your Award a momentous Affair in which all the superior Concern of my Honor, am my Life's future Prospects and Peace of Mind as well as my Property are inseparably involved.
I have the Honor to be with great Respect
Your most obedient and
most humble Servant
[Signed] JFW Des Barres
DesBarres Papers, Series 5, M23, F 1-5, Volume 6, Accounts, 1767-1794, May 3, 1790, pp. 1137-1182
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