Jas. Chisholm B.A.
Office Victoria Chambers 31 James St. South
W1661 TO DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN from James Chisholm
Jan 26 1889
To: Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten
From: 31 James Street South, Hamilton, Ontario
My dear Doctor,
Yours of 23rd to hand. Bruce failed to get anyone to take over $2000 claim on Henry mtge [mortgage] held by Davidson & the Creditors represented by Berryman & myself authorized the Assignee to demand a reduction of Bank's claim by $5000 otherwise he was to contest it. Bruce complained that I had not advised you of a subsequent offer he had made regarding the Henry mtge. It seems that Henry can sell 18 acres being the tail end of the farm for $1000 which is recognized by all concerned as a good price--no building on this piece--The Canada Life would apply $500 of this on two overdue installments of Principal and the remainder of the $1000 on the last payments of the mortgage i.e. hand that amount $500 over to Davidson thus leaving the latter's claim at $1500 which Mr. Bruce thought you could & might take over & pay out of your prospective dividend.
Now Berryman had proposed that if Bruce or the Bank could arrange to make this Henry claim cash to the Assignee, the Bank should be allowed to put their claim at and rank for $60,000. which would be a reduction of $3748.91 only & not $5000. Hence Bruce's desire to get you to take over the Assignee's claim & make it cash to the Estate. I foresaw the difficulty of disposing of the Estate's interest in the Henry mtge & thought there might be an opportunity for you to make a few hundreds honestly as I think you would be safe in dealing with it. For this reason: Henry has already an offer of $2400 for the house & 4 acres from Brodie the purchaser of the mill which would leave him 88 acres with house & farm buildings to represent a mortgage reduced to $2300, an undoubtedly safe investment.
Now if I can manage to purchase the Estate's interest of $2000 in that mtge at a discount of 10 or 15 per cent. I suppose you are satisfied to allow me to do so and if it be necessary to cash one of your mortgages to make up any deficiency there may be over ["&c" crossed out] amount of your dividend if any, & to give you funds to supply yourself with the necessary outfit for practising. Then as to sale of 18 acres you will I suppose have no objection to its being made & the money applied as above suggested.
I have prepared a statement regarding recpts [receipts] & disbursements of Arcade since I took hold of it. You will have to take a hold of it & dissect it as I have only had time to give an itemized statement of receipts & disbursements. You will notice the large a/c [account] for repair of Roof [sic] & walls $247 corrected below to $226.50. This of course will not occur again as the Roof is in good shape & the walls tight just near roof. They were in a very bad shape & had to be pointed for a considerable distance down from the roof.
You have received or there has been paid for your personal a/c's about $225 including amount sent to you today. The insurance is all paid pretty well for another year & the Plate Glass for three years. I am reducing Insurance & will get it down to $15000 next April. At present there is $18000 on besides Plate Glass. I have paid $315 on a/c of 1888 taxes leaving about $200 to pay by 13th Feby [sic] next. I also have Mrs. Dr. McQuesten's1 Quarterly pay't [sic] of $125 on 1st Feby.
The only outstanding bill is for this year's Coal & I expect this to be pretty light. The Caretaker [sic] of course gets paid as he goes along. This does not appear from the statement. Then you will see I have paid myself $100 on a/c of my services which I trust you will find unobjectionable. On the whole I think the statement will prove satisfactory & confidently hope that you will receive more in the current year than you did last. Gallagher is a chronic grumbler, so I do not pay much attention to his complaints about obscured light. I dont [sic] think he is much hurt. Note what you say as to future movements & think you are going far afield [sic]. However you no doubt know more of places mentioned than I. You will understand that of draft now enclosed for $100.00, $55.49 is charged to Arcade a/c & balance is interest on your investment rec'd [sic] to date amt'g [amounting] to $44.76 (mkg [making] in all $100.25 avg. [sic] cost of draft) as you will see by enclosed statement. I had hoped to send a larger amt. but find that pay'ts referred to coming due will push me to meet them.2
Did you hear that the old lady3 had sued City of Toronto & a Contractor there for injuries rec'd in being thrown from a Coupe4 on a street that was being block paved. Her lawyers when case came on for trial dropped the City and took $45 from the contractor paying their own costs & the costs of the City defence. Not very profitable venture, was it?
1 "Dr. Mrs. McQuesten" is Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten, the third wife of Calvin Brooks' father, Dr. Calvin McQuesten. When the old doctor died in 1885, he left all of his property to his sons, and his shrewish and manipulative widow received a relatively small annuity. See W-MCP5-6.351 for more details and links.
2 For more about Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten's legal and financial issues, see W1652, W1658, W1672, and W1675.
3 The writer is probably referring to Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten.
4 A four-wheeled closed horse-drawn carriage for two persons inside with an outside seat for the driver in front.