Volume 62: Walter Stevenson Davidson papers, 1815-1846: No. 276
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Now please to refer to Mr. Jones's letter of 24th April 1839, and his Sheep Return of 31st December 1838, (page 104) and observe how strikingly the clear and business-like document which I obtained from my old friend and former Agent, by merely asking for it, contrasts with those I have labored for six years to extract from my late Agent.
Also my calculation of how different the results of the two Flocks (sprung so late as August 1837 from the very same source and numbers,) appear to have been, three years after the partition. I count nothing for the additional 8 months that my transfer to Mr. E. Hamilton extended beyond the date of Mr. Jones's Estimate --- viz. from September 1839, to May 1840. I happen to know also, that Mr. Jones's Sales in the interval, exceeded Mr. Patrick Leslie's. Yet, it appears that Mr. Jones's number is represented by ............................................... 11,198
and Mr Patrick Leslie's .................................................... 7,559
Respecting "the Cottage" so often alluded to in these papers, and the cost which so evidently occupies a prominent although a mysterious part in Mr. Patrick Leslie's Accounts, I will bestow a few words upon it in this place. I was never consulted upon the subject at all, and never did I either grant the most distant consent to such expenditure, or entertain a thought of so doing, feeling that such an unprofitable property as mine, and situated in so mild a climate, was amply provided with every necessary Residence, by possessing a common Log House of the Country, which might be not alone erected, but also correspondently furnished, at a cost of less than one tithe of what is believed to have been actually expended upon the Cottage, and its corresponding embellishments.
This costly Edifice, so studiously termed a "Cottage" upon every occasion, was never any affair of mine, but wholly and solely that of Mr. Patrick Leslie, and has been repeatedly so acknowledged by himself in these papers - indeed, the only statement ever hazarded of a contrary tendency is to be found in his letter of resignation at page 54, where remuneration is
spoken of in the case of his giving up charge of the property. This I declare to be purely the product of his own imagination, and I defy him to produce at tittle of authority for the bold assertion alluded to, which I am thus prepared to designate as totally groundless, and at utter variance with my constantly repeated imperative injunctions to practise frugality and the strictest economy upon every occasion, as it was natural I should do, in the case of so unproductive a property.