Jas. Chisholm, B.A.
Office Victoria Chambers 31 James St. South
W1647 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from James Chisholm
Jun 20 1888
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten [New York City]
My dear Doctor,
I duly received your favor of 13th inst. & was somewhat disturbed at the contents. I had proceeded so far on what I thought was a settled basis between you & Mrs. McQuesten1 that the receipt of a letter from you expressing dissatisfaction with that basis was necessarily somewhat alarming. As you are aware I have been paying off the small creditors at the rate of 50 [cent sign] on the dollar--the only claim outstanding was the S.P. Sawyer claim & Frank was expected over here to settle that. I had written to S.P. Sawyer & had been so advised by him. In my letter to him I set out the proposed arrangement between you & Mrs. McQuesten and advised him of the settlement being made with the other Creditors. I hinted at the possibility of an arrangement with him of his claim on the same basis or on a transfer of the Ontario Worsted co. stock as security.2
Frank was over here the other day and through his solicitor Mr. Jones has written me stating what his father is prepared to do. I enclose herewith a copy of Mr. Jones' letter.
Unless this claim of Mr. Sawyer's is arranged, it will be impossible to get his execution removed & proceed further with the settlement of the estate. I have done what I have on the understanding that you were to take the [Alexandra] Arcade Rents and assume the annuity of Mrs. Dr. McQuesten the Homestead remaining free save for taxes in the hands of Mrs. McQuesten.
In stepping in to pay off creditors Mrs. McQuesten is not making anything, rather losing the interest on money which she might have invested at 6%. These trust claims secured on the Ontario Worsted Co. Stock were bearing interest which she wished to put a stop to. For the money which she has advanced she was to receive an equivalent by taking over the orchard lots and the Bold St. house. The latter is empty & she will have to go to same expense [sic] in making it a suitable house to rent with a proper tenant. The lots may remain same time unsold & are at present a source of expense only. if there is anything realized from Victoria Mutual Judg'ts [sic] that can go towards buying Arcade taxes well and good. Then there is that Wood note coming due in the Fall. Besides you are underestimating receipts from the Arcade. We will save nearly $100 on the Caretaker. Gallagher wants to get the Caledonian Hare by september [sic] I think we can get $200 from him for the Hall instead of $100 from the Caledonians. All he asks is two door ways to be cut through which he says are provided for in the wall as it stands. He says the Y.M.C. Assoc. have offered him a flat in their new building but I don't think he will leave. Tell me what you think of an arrangement with Gallagher. Then as to the amount you receive from Harvey & McQ.,3 you can invest this at 6 or 6 1/2% here & so increase your income.
I saw Davidson today & asked him if he had made your cheque payable to you & what he had done with it; he said he had sent it to Walker & thought they had a power of atty [sic] to act for you.
It is impossible to sell property to advantage here now; everything is very dull. Before I can arrange with Mr. Sawyer then there must be a definite understanding between you & Mrs. McQuesten & you must consent to the transfer of the Ontario Worsted Co. stock in the way proposed to secure Mr. Sawyer's claim.
Kindly advise me as soon as possible so that I can get the matter arranged there was a loss in the working of the Ontario Worsted co. last year of $281 & the prospects are not encouraging. It may come to a winding up of the [case?] in a years time if matters do not take a turn for the better.
Edwin sends the endorsed stamps which he has procured; prices of others mentioned he has written for I will forward shortly.
Send me any instructions necessary in connection with your money from H. McQ. if you wish them invested for you.
1 In this letter Chisholm refers to two Mrs. McQuestens. The first is Mrs. McQuesten, Dr. Calvin Brooks's step-sister-in-law, and the second is Mrs. Dr. McQuesten, Dr. Calvin Brooks's step-mother, who is Dr. Calvin McQuesten's widow.
2 See W1645, W1652.
3 This refers to John Harvey and Calvin Brooks' brother Isaac McQuesten who were partners in operating the cotton and wool mill at Hespeler Ontario in the 1880's. The mill failed with $900 000 in liabilities. For more on this venture, see W2652.