Download Full Text (2.8 MB)
San Juan Island Mch [March] 14th 1863
My dear Brother Enclosed I send you an account of sales of the Rubber Boots & Shoes shipped me by Ashley the charges on them, are only what I actually paid out on them and nothing in the way of commissions. The shipments were unfortunate though the goods, being of such an inferior quality, had they proved equal to Haywards Boots &, Shoes that are sold in this market, I think that I could have made something upon them instead of being obliged to sell them at a ruinous loss. I had a great deal of trouble with them, and through them, almost got the reputation of being a swindler, as I, in good faith recommended, and guaranteed the goods to be of the best quality, and fully equal to Heywards, Ashley had assured me that they were so, and I did not doubt it, until I had indisputable evidence of their worthlessness. When the second lot arrived in San Francisco I did my best to dispose of them there, but the highest offer I could get was 2.50 pr [per] pair. The duties were 24 pr cent [percent], the Boots Invoiced at 3.00, so the net price realized [would have been] about 1.75 the same that I was obliged afterwards to take in Victoria. I first sold the lot of 516 prs [pairs] to one man in Victoria at 2.50, at 3, +, 6 Mos [months], but the first prs [pairs] that he sold proved so worthless that I was actually obliged to take back 500 prs [pairs] of them, and after keeping them, and bothering with them for sometime, to close them out at auction at 1.75. I feel exceedingly uneasy with regard to the position in which I
am placed respecting the $1463.21 which I have received for the goods, had Ashley not distinctly told me that I could make use of the money. I should not have done so. And [and] it was my intention to stand the loss on the goods myself as I considered that he shipped them more for my benefit than his own. I trust however to be able to commence remitting money to you soon. I do not from your, letter fully understand how that note to Bishop was taken up, did you pay it privately, or did the company do it, please to let me know in your next letter. You can never know my dear brother the amount of anxiety, deep regret, and grief, which that terrible note has caused me, Ashley has, on account of it accused me of giving coolly to work to swindle him, and rob his children, these bitter taunts, and accusation of his have distracted me, and nearly driven me crazy, when I had the utmost need of all my energies, and faculties, to carry me through what I have undertaken, and to enable me to repay him that, which as I supposed, he generously lent me out of his abundant means to use until it was convenient for me to repay it, This was certainly my understanding with him, and if I have wronged him, [him] God knows that I have done so unintentionally, but I must say, that he most cruelly deceived me, and probably himself, with regard to the abundance of his means. Could I have known his true position, would sooner have cut off my right hand then have taken that money from him, and had it not been fully my intention to return home within a year after leaving you, I should only have borrowed a couple of hundred
dollars of you, which I should have returned you as soon as I arrived here, but as I have said before, it was my intention, most fully, to return home within a year, until I found that I would, by attending to those rubber good, be prevented from carrying out my original intention, and doing that, which I proposed to do when I left you. I then made up my mind to adopt Ashley’s sugestion [suggestion], and, to look for something that would prove a good permanant [permanent] investment for Capital, as he had assured me that should I find such a chance, it would be bitter [better] for me to remain here than to return home, as he and Mr Bishops, would furnish the necessary capital, and interest themselves with me, should they approve of my plans. This was fully discussed by Mr Bishop Ashley, and Myself, in Mr Bishops office, and amongst other projects I mentioned that of a Rail Road between the City of Victoria, and, Esquimalt, which is the Naval station for this coast, and, the harbour [harbor] for Victoria the distance between the two places being 2 ½ miles, Both Mr B [Bishop] and, A [Ashley] seemed to think favourably [favorably] of it, so after I had decided not to return home, as soon as I had at first intended to, I took the Rail Road enterprise into serious consideration, and several months time and between three and four hundred dollars were devoted to it. I made a careful examination of the ground, and employed an Engineer to go over it with me in order to take the levels, and to ascertain the amount of excavations and grading which would be required and to furnish me with an estimate of the cost of the works I also went to work in a very careful, and cautious manner to ascertain what the land along the line of road could be purchased for. The route was found to be extreemly [extremely] fovourable [favorable] for a Rail Road, and the estimated
estimated cost $50,000.00. In about a year after I left home, I had all my plans and estimates compleeted [completed], and, could the thing have been gone into at that time, it could have been nearly if not quite, compleeted [completed] now, and if it were, it would even now be paying running expenses, and 1 ½ or 2 pr cent [percent] pr [per] month on the capital invested, besides, the land (which I could have purchased low at that time) has advanced many thousand dollars in value already, and in less than five years its increased value would have paid for the road, and more. In Dec [December] 1861 I acquired an interest in The Lime Quarry, &, commenced operations, intending to have them far enough advanced by the ensuing month of Mch [March] as to enable me to leave for home at that time, for the purpose of submitting my plans to yourself, Ashley, &, Mr Bishops, but in Feby [February] 62 I received a letter from Ashley requesting me to remit money immediately to take up his note to Bishop, stating that [he] it was impossible for him to do it, and that Bishop, being very hard up would sue him for the amount, if not paid soon, had a mine exploded at my feet, I could not [not] have been more surprised or paralysed [paralyzed]. It was impossible for me to send him the money which I owed him for I had invested the whole of it, and could not repay, until I could realize from that investment I tried to sell out all that I have here, but I found that I only do so at such a ruinous sacrifice that I would be unable to pay others, so I have kept on , have worked hard, am still doing so, to bring myself out of debt, which I shall certainly succeed in doing not withstanding many erroneous calculations & disapointments [disappointments]. The Rail Road that I have alluded to has now been taken hold of by a joint stock Co [company], and will prove one of the best paying things in the colony. I enclose you one of Ashleys letters, it is not the worst, but it has caused me much sorrow Every your affec” [affectionate] brother Augustin
Account of Sales of Rubber Boots & Shoes by A. [Augustin] Hibbard of Victoria V. I. [Vancouver Island] on ac [account] of Hibbard & Co [company] Montreal [C] E First Lot 18 Cases Shoes & 11 Cases Boots Sold for 1200.00 Expenses Freight from Montreal to York 15.00 Storage at New York 6.00 Custom House “ “ “ [at New York] 7.45 Freight from New York to San Francisco 173.38 Expenses at San Francisco 75.00 Freight from San Francisco to Victoria 22.62 Storage, Cartage & wfge [wharfage] at Victoria 20.00 319.95 $880.05 Second Lot 516 prs [pairs] Boots 16 pr [pair] Sold for 2.50 40.00 500 “ “ “ [pair Sold for] 1.75 875.00 915.00 Expenses Freight from New York to San Francisco 90.09 Expenses to & at san Francisco 175.00 Freight from San Francisco to Victoria 28.00 Cartage & wharfage & Storage 38.75 331.84 583.16 Net proceeds $1463.21
San Juan Island
This item was originally represented in 4 individual JPEG image(s) and has been converted to a single file PDF.
MSS2.H621 HIBBARD, AUGUSTIN GOLD RUSH LETTERS
University of the Pacific Library Holt-Atherton Special Collections.
To view additional information on copyright and related rights of this item beyond that of educational use - such as to purchase copies of images and/or obtain permission to publish them, click here to view the Holt-Atherton Special Collections policies.
Hibbard, Augustin, "Letter from Augustin Hibbard to [William Hibbard] 1863 March 14" (1863). Gold Rush Life. 29.