Trinidad. April 29, 1828. p. on a folded folio sheet, addressed on the fourth page with remains of wax seals, postmarks, and docketing. Old folds. Slight loss at seal, otherwise very good. Item #WRCAM55995
A brief but informative letter from Robert Neilson on the management of the Brechin Castle Estate, a sugar plantation near the coastal town of Couva, Trinidad. Writing to the owner, John L. Anderdon, Neilson seems to be new to the management of the estate, and is keen to manage expectations: "...with proper means I seen [sic] nothing to prevent 400 hhd of sugar been made on the Brechin Castle, but to do this, you will keep in mind that I look for your encreasing the Negro force considerably as with those to be removed from the Orange Valley. I would consider a crop of 300 hhd not very bad work, the gangs are by no means superior workers...the fact is that the work of the estate is very much in arrear, and I find that a great deal of the mason work has been left undone...by Mr. [James] Murphy [former manager], I now begin to think that he seen, that he could not keep his promise with regard to the present crop....He moved away in the hope, as I early suspected, of turning the blame on his successor." Robert Neilson (1781-1867) was a resident merchant and planter in Port of Spain, Trinidad, doing business as Robert Neilson & Co., with partners John Wilson and James Porter. He was an anti-abolition advocate and an Unofficial [i.e., Nominated] Member of Council in Trinidad. After the Abolition Act, Neilson moved to Ontario, and then to Philadelphia in 1838, where he died a wealthy man. John Lavicount Anderdon (1792-1874) inherited Brechin Castle (and several other estates in the West Indies) from his father, John Proctor Anderdon. He was a partner in the firm Manning & Anderdon, which managed their small empire of plantations from offices in London. Anderdon is perhaps better known for his writings on angling and Christian devotion.