Letter #62

English suggests that a local bank might prove a profitable investment. At this time, the planters, most of whom were heavily in debt, were in need of capital to pay their newly emancipated slaves. In the event, banks which set out to meet this need usually failed. 

No date at head, written at Demerara 29 August 1836 

I was much disappointed at Mr Glen’s to find that my letter, after writing with all possible dispatch, was too late for the return mail boat, but must reconcile myself as the Eliza Bayley sails tomorrow, and to fulfil my promise this shall be dispatched by the sugar ship. One of the 69th, younger son of Capt Mundell, Paymaster, is a passenger by this vessel going home on sick leave, the youth having outstriped his constitution rather by too rapid growth and probably shooting & boating at Berbice. This climate soon tells in such cases. A Brig from Barbados yesterday brought me a friendly letter of Col Tyler’s regretting that I had not joined there before but I suppose he knows not why or wherefor more than myself. He gives me all the chit chat. Sir E McGregor is not expected for two months, Sir Lionel Smith sails for Jamaica on the 20th, Sir Charles F Smith to comd the Forces, all which I believe I told you before. He commences his letter, ‘17 Augst 1808 Anniversary Battle of Roliça, our first fight. I was in hopes to have seen you long before ere this. Should have been delighted to have sent the Duke of York for you but she is done up for the present, and must go into the Careenage on Tuesday next to be examined. Capt Goss reports her not sea worthy & her trip to Demerara would be attended with danger, therefore I should not like to lose you. Mrs Tyler has made friends with her monkey and does not wish to have another.’ (What do you think of dat? FE) ‘I hope you have not purchased one &c &c.’ A pretty commission you will say for an old fellow like me to execute – I’m well out of it. ‘I see your son of the 35th has his Ltcy – no news, you will say. Yours &c.’ I have now sent off all my Estimates, notwithstanding Sir Com’s  vexations and troubles, therefore expect the final order to proceed at all event so soon as poor Victor has gone over them all & for the other Colonies which, I have no doubt, Sir Charles Smith has detained him. You must not think me extravagant. I have drawn 30£ dated 27th Inst at the usual period, 30 days after sight. They are forming a Bank here for the Colony of Demerara. They 6 or 8 pr cent will be the Interest at 50£ a share. I am half disposed to take a couple. The Govr has 35 shares on, the principal people some 200 shares. It is supposed that the shares will advance rapidly in value. I have a quire to write to you but am always hunted about so at the critical moment. I never can give my time as I could wish to writing to you my dear Kate. The Levée or black monday which I have named it is just over, the Govr endeavouring to come round me a little but he has had such Goose on my account and is so treacherous that I have no doubt it is with a view of trapping me into some Cul de Sac. He say I do not treat him with proper respect. However, I still hope to get away with whole bones. If my order does not arrive shortly I shall pay Berbice another visit to cheer up Mr Molesworth that he may steer clear of Rocks. It’s no trifling matter to stand between two such men as Sir Charles & Sir Com, only that the former is a straight forward manly fellow, the other a very weak vain man. My Orange grove, pets, to which I have added a Bill Bird or Toucan – you have the skin of one – a very nice fellow, are all well. Toby & the 2 Cats, the Maroudie bird, are my constant breakfast companions. With the Cols & Regt officers I am rather popular, but that goes for little. However, they [word missing] have had the best of it & have only be actuated by a strict sense of duty. Moreover the G is not a favourite, nevertheless how happy I shall be to quit. T Naghten dined in compy with me yesterday. He passed most of the morning here eating bread & Jam – the rogue. He tells me his mother is charmed with you all & thinks mine a delightful family. Oh, that I could judge for myself & get from this vile duty. God bless you dear Kate, I must not lose the chance but can hardly consider this a letter, I have been so interrupted. Love to all. I never was better. Regards at Catisfield & to my brothers & sisters. Kiss all round is not too numerous and believe me your afft Fred E

My Mos net is nearly done for. These vermin think nothing of eating a man’s leg off in a night.