W2883 TO THE REV. THOMAS BAKER from his son-in-law Frederick F. Wilkes
Oct 10 1848
To: Rev. Thomas Baker Brantford, Canada West
From: Eagles' Nest, Canada West
Mr. F. Wilkes1 presents his compliments to the Rev. T. Baker, and begs to acknowledge the receipt of his note of the 7th instant, accompanying a part of the property of Mr. Wilkes late at Mr. Baker's residence.
Mr. Wilkes deeply regrets to perceive from the tone of Mr. Baker's note, that Mr. Baker has so far forgot himself and the dictates of common honesty as to think of appropriating Mr. Wilkes' private property to his own or his son's use, without first obtaining Mr. Wilkes consent to such a proceeding. In his apparent views as to the propriety of such an appropriation, Mr. Baker can hardly expect Mr. Wilkes to concur with him, and Mr. Wilkes therefore is now compelled to insist upon the immediate restoration of the card case, and the cloak, mentioned in Mr. Baker's note. As with regard to the latter articles, however, it would appear from the expressions made use of in this note, that Mr. Baker is labouring under the singular illusion, that being purchased by him before Mr. Wilkes' late wife's marriage, it continues to be Mr. Baker's property, notwithstanding his gift of it to her, and was returned to him as by Mr. Wilkes after her decease, Mr. Wilkes would observe that whatever may have been Mr. Baker's impression, Mr. Wilkes did not send the cloak to Mr. Baker's house with any intention of returning it to him as his property, or that Mr. Baker might resume the possession of it--and Mr. Wilkes cannot recognize at this time any disposition of the cloak, founded on any such erroneous hypothesis.
With respect to Mr. Baker's ingenious suggestion of the mode in which he desires compensation to be received for these articles, Mr. Wilkes has only to remark, that he will always be ready to afford to Mr. Baker the fullest satisfaction for any claims, legal or equitable, that Mr. Baker may have against him and declines acceding to the mode of settlement referred to, until the less imaginary and at least equally heavy claims for false imprisonment and defamation which Mr. Wilkes might urge in light of his wife and himself shall be adequately met and adjusted.
Mr. Wilkes has in conclusion to request Mr. Baker to send by the bearer the residue of the property of Mr. Wilkes now in his hands--or power--a list of which he transmits by the bearer with this note.
Eagle's Nest, 10 Octr. 1848
Mr. Wilkes returns "the Pilgrim's Progrefs" [sic]
[THE LIST FOLLOWS-3 PAGES--W2886 to W2888:]
List of articles, the property of F.F. Wilkes, Esq., and his wife, late or now in the possession of Rev. Thomas Baker, Brantford:
A Lady's Gold Watch with braid guard
Pear & ivory card case
A White crape shawl
A Green & White neckribbon
A pair of knitted cuffs & pink rosette
A green cloth cloak
A green paplier dress
A light De laine dress
A pair of slippers
A pair of scissors
A case of needles
A parcel of hair
Eight dollars in bank notes
Worked wreath pin
} Left by Mrs. F.F. Wilkes in
} a brown trunk
} Left by Mrs. Wilkes in a flat
} fruitboard box in backroom
} Left by Mrs. Wilkes in a blue
} Left by Mrs. Wilkes in the rosewood
} workbox but abstracted from it--as
} the workbox as sent did not contain them.
} Left by Mrs. Wilkes in her
}memorandum book but abstracted
} from it--as the memorandum book
} sent did not contain the bills!
} Left in the roll containing coat of
} arms & footstool patterns–but not
}sent in them.
Perforated card bookmarks--left in small box that was Sarah's.
Pocket book--left in table drawer in bed room.
Bone box--left on table in ditto.
Roll of lace & ribbon--left in handbox in bedroom cupboard.
Roll of pieces of cambric & muslim &c.--ditto.
Worked apron--workbox and contents
Boa, calico dress--Magnall's Questions
}Mrs. Wilkes at
[PAGE 2 OF LIST IS ALMOST ILLEGIBLE. It is a longer list with marginalia and commentary]
[PAGE 3 READS:]
In enumerating the articles at Rev. T. Baker's belonging to Mr. F.F. Wilkes--a small Lady's Pocket Companion, containing three gold rings. Supposed to be in the small brown Gather Trunk was accidentally omitted from the list.
Mr. Wilkes will feel obliged if Mr. Baker would add it to the list and send it with the other articles.2
1 Frederick F. Wilkes was the husband of Rev. Baker's deceased daughter Harriett Hampson (Baker) Wilkes who had died in childbirth in 1847. Rev. Baker's wife, Sarah (Hampson) Baker died in 1847 (see DHB3.4, Farmer 9, W2844). Rev. Baker and Wilkes developed a poor relationship after the death of Harriett as Wilkes began to court his late wife's sister Mary-Anne, even though "marriage to a deceased wife's sister was unlawful" (Farmer 11; also W2880). Wilkes and Mary-Anne did marry (likely in 1848); they became estranged from Rev. Baker, and then Mary-Anne herself died in childbirth in 1850. Rev. Baker never forgave her for her disobedience. See W2855 for more details and links.
2 See W2889 for Wilkes's reminder to Rev. Baker. It is not know the outcome of the request.