On July 18, 1884 William Chaffey wrote a scathing letter to
C. N. Ross. Because it is so juicy, I thought I would include the body of the
Reliable parties inform us that you made statements which no
gentleman much less one with whom our relations have been so friendly would
have uttered and we are at a loss to understand it. What right had you to
accuse us of being swindlers? Did we ever swindle you in any way, or have we
ever taken any mean advantage of you?
Unless we hear from you, about this matter and you apologize
we shall be compelled to…have you do so in a way which will not be very
I personally suggest reading it out loud in your most
intimidating voice. Unfortunately, I have no context for what happened before
or after this letter explaining why C. N. Ross called the Chaffey Brothers
swindlers. I am hoping that as I continue to go through these letters this
mystery, as with all the mysteries I have found among these letters, is solved.
The more I read about the Chaffey brothers the more I
consider them as pretty ruthless business men. The possible allusion to
litigation is also interesting to me–were the Chaffey brothers planning on
suing C. N. Ross? Or was something more nefarious going on when he wrote “we
shall be compelled to…have you do so in a way which will not be very
These are the letters I am most excited to read. They break
up the monotony of everyday business transactions but they also inspire me to
continue to ask questions.
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