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W2953 TO JAMES ALFRED BAKER from his father Rev. Thomas Baker
Mar 29 1864
To: [Cold Springs farm, near Brantford, ON]
From: Newmarket, County of York, C. W. [Canada West]

My dear son Alfred,

Charlotte's letter of the 22nd Inst. was duly received, which I would have answered immediately had not painful surprise and ill health prevented.

After having received two letters, written by John1 under your direction telling me that you were about to pay the rent, I was not at all prepared to receive the following in Charlotte's letter of the 22nd. "Dear Sir,

"I am exceedingly sorry to inform you that Alfred is unable to send you [any] money, he wished me to say that he will leave the Farm, have a sale of all he has, and send you the notes if you wish: or he will, if you please remain until the Fall, and then leave, unlefs [sic] he should then be able to pay you. He says it is of no use to promise that he will then pay what he is owing you, for he has no hope of being able to do so: but he shall then consider that he has had all he is now to have from you, and will then leave the Farm, and leave it in good order."

"The above is all that Alfred wishes me to say--he is sorry that he can not [sic] pay you, but it is not in his power to do so and he will therefor [sic] leave the place."

My dear son, I sympathise [sic] with you under all your trials, and deeply regret that circumstances compel you to leave Cold Springs, though to me a painful disappointment yet I can but approve of it, as your remaining, it appears, would only invovle you in greater difficulties.2

I therefor accept your proposition--you have my consent "to remain until the Fall and then leave the Farm and leave it in good order," without making any further payment to me, or receiving any further payment from me. We will then with such kind feelings as should exist between a father and a son, "Cry Quits," as unable to do more for each other. I pray a kind providence to watch over you and guide you, and to turn our [word scratched out] sorrow into joy.

I intend selling the farm as soon as I can meet with a purchaser, you would oblige me by letting me know what you consider its value per acre.

I am now too old to look after it: the price of it would pay a better interest than the Rental, and if rettained it must be sold immediately after my decease in order that a decision be then made. Therefor, taking all circumstances into consideration, I have concluded to part with it as soon as I can obtain a fair price for it, and this next summer if pofsible whilst you are on it and have it in good condition.

With kindest love to you, Wife [sic] & family, in which Mrs. Baker & Mary3 unite; and with fervent prayer to the Father of mercies "to abundantly blefs 4 [sic] you and yours, I am dear son

Your affectionate Father

Thomas Baker

[written beneath signature:]
Mr. J.A Baker
Cold Springs

. The Balance sheet against Cold Springs farm from Feby [sic] 1857 to Feby 1859 was on various accounts--such as money lent --building house &c. &c.
. 5 1/2 years $200.00 per annum [lofs?] [] [afford?]
. [1 Cash?] $200.00 borrowed but not charged
. Rent remitted $200.00 Forwarded [in?] [] to city of B. [Brantford?]in a title [rate??] Nov. 28 [1862?]--[March?] 29th
. J.A.B.'s present indebtednefs



I did not think it necefsary [sic] to send you a copy of the Balance sheet from Feby 1857 to Feby 1859 as I promised to you in 1859. In looking over that balance sheet I saw the $200.00 cash in interest against Cold Springs though not charged ag't [against] you therefor the charge against Cold Springs will be $4318.12. a large sum to have been taken from me in 5 1/2 years with the prospect of lefs than $100 [yearly?] unlefs paid in full which if you do what I [ask] [] [will?] not be required [but] deduct the whole and then will be a lofs to me of $3308.55. This is what Cold Springs has done for me. It has done much better for you I am thankful to say.

I have sent this to you that you may see I am unable to sustain further lofs, and the necefsity that your note should be returned as speedily as pofsible, that you must commence doing it immediately, or I must transfer it to other hands, honour repayment [then maybe?] to [sic] my feelings. I am persuaded you can [permit/present?] this [if you please?]--your last year and only pay me $100.00 instead of $356.00 but when you exerted yourself you could raise $287.33 for [your] brother according to my ledger which I aprove [sic] you gave me great pleasure--Now send me at least $115.80 the interest you promised me this must be done I expect it. Part of [property?] $200.00 and I will then reduce your note to $500.00 I hope you will consider this too good to lose--It is with much pain I have sat to the table to write this now, gladden my heart by speedily complying with my request do not delay the money must come--say this and you will [] my []

that the Lord my blefs you and yours but for time & Eternity

fervently prays your father

Thomas Baker

PS. I will return John's letters shortly--I have only one stamp for your letter

1 John Puckridge Baker, the troubled eldest child of James Alfred and his wife Charlotte (Puckridge) Baker. In 1878, after both of his parents had died and while his younger siblings were still in the care of their stepmother Maria (Mudge) Baker, John reported to Rev. Baker rumours that Maria was supplementing her income through prostitution. As a result, Rev. Baker removed his grandchildren from her care. See W3155 for more details.

2 James Alfred fell into deep debt by trying to build up and maintain Cold springs farm. Rev. Baker originally expected his son to leave the farm in the fall of 1864 but instead allowed him to remain until the following spring. However, he issued a quit notice that stated that James Alfred and family were to vacate the property as of April 1, 1865 (W2964). For more on James Alfred Baker, see W2960.

3 Mrs. Baker is Mary-Jane (MacIlwaine) Baker, James Alfred's stepmother; Mary is Mary Baker McQuesten (nee Mary-Jane Baker), James Alfred's half-sister. Mary was Rev. Baker's only child from his second marriage. He had eight children from his first marriage to Sarah Hampson who died on Dec. 13, 1847, (W4141). From oldest to youngest, they are:

Harriett Hampson (Baker) Wilkes (1820-1847) who died in childbirth;
Thomas Hampson Baker (1821-?);
Dr. John Orange Baker (1823-?);
James Alfred Baker (1825-1876), See W2960;
Sarah Orange Baker (1827-pre 1835);
Mary Ann(e) Baker (1828-1850) who married her sister Harriett's widower, Frederick F. Wilkes, in 1848 and, like her sister, died in childbirth, see W2855;
David Bogue Baker (1829-1857), who died of tuberculosis (W2896);
Martha Elizabeth Baker (1830-pre 1835).
For more information on Rev. Baker, see his Biography on this site.

4 Rev. Baker uses the now archaic construction of "fs" for the "ss" in current usage, which we have retained in the transcription.

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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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