In the center, May 23, 1782
It was necessary, dear Sir, for Mr. de Champloy to
see Mr. Moreau in order to obtain the instructions that
we need. In spite of his efforts he could not succeed
immediately but brought them to me later. Here they are
included for your information. He indicates a square
area of 150 carreaux and lists its borders.
He describes in detail; the various buildings that
are more numerous than I had told you.
He states 60 negroes instead of 70 and lists the num-
ber of animals of all sorts. There are more than I
had thought originally. He writes of a potential water
milland of its price.
He explains how the estate came into the hands of its
owners, and comments on its division into parts by the
said owners. He deplores such division on principle
but he does not know of any other owner besides Mr.
Lemmens; he says further down that this partition of
the property is 26 years old, was official and in favor
of the heirs since in view the non established
part for which Mr. Oschiell was compensated with the
amount of 43,653 pounds. He says that the error must not
hinder any transaction; I believe the same. He says that
the partition should be respected, it would be the wisest
thing to do.
I think as he does that the heirs will sell
of the Mineurs-Lemmens on the mother's side the
Mineurs or at least I think that could be explain-
ed by a lawyer. However this estate comes also with some
.furniture He burdens the property with 98,643
pounds; he also counts his own expenses at 30,000 pounds.
He admits I do not see why the amount of 25,000
pounds should be due to the present agents (Messrs.
Delmas & ) considering that they do not give any dis-
count, make no repairs and pocket all revenues
He estimates the estate at 447,000 pounds omitting by
mistake an amount of 60,000 pounds on the 120 carreaux
estimated at 2,500 pounds each and making a total of
300,000 pounds instead of 240,000. It is certainly a poor
estimate of this land value. It is worth more than that.
The 60 negroes minus the 30 or 35 who work, he says, in
the garden are negroes with skills as sugar makers, sugar
carriers and barrel makers; they should be estimated at
more than 90,000 pounds; the cattle is worth what he
says but the farm buildings, according to the details he
gives on them, are estimated way below their true value
at 60,000 pounds. According to him the estate is worth in
its totality 507,000 pounds. However he says that it could
be bought at a more reasonable price of 377,000 pounds of
which 100,000 could be put as a down payment, then 98,000
pounds would be paid that are, he says, due, and the re-
mainder would be paid in sums of 70,000 pounds each. It
is incredible,dear Sir, that such an estate as he describes
can be on the market at such a Idw price as 377,000 pounds;
even at 500,000 pounds it would be a steal. So much the
better for.us if we can have it at one of these two prices.
We could propose a price around these.
I doubt that with 35 or 40 more negroes, 19 oxen and
12 mules, the watermill dug and one additional wing to
the main house built one could produce 3 to 400,000 pounds
of sugar; greater expenses would be necessary to reach
such a production; one hundred negroes at least would be
needed. But considering the spaciousness of this estate
one could bring the number of negroes to 150, and then
produce 600,000 pounds of white sugar. The transportation
would cost hardly anything, the estate being so close to
the town. The exploitation of the estate would.be easy but
you would need also a greater number of animals. Therefore
let us ask for more fields still in savanahs.
Rest assured of my strong interest in this transaction.
[Lemmens.] Two Autograph Letters (in French) Signed relating to the sale of estates in St.
Domingo. Cayes, May 16, 1782 and May 23, 1782.
Folio, 3 leaves, 5 sides covered (in French); top right corner chipped and stained.
4to.; one leaf folded to make four pages, all sides covered (in French).
Two letters giving detailed description of the plantation "Mineurs Lemmens" in St. Domingo.
Plantations seem to have been readily on the market at apparently low prices that year. "The 60
negroes minus the 30 or 35 who work, he says, in the garden, are negroes with skills as sugar
makers, sugar carriers and barrel makers; they should be estimated at more than 90,000 pounds."