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Letters and papers of the Anderson & Gilmour Families


16.  J & M Anderson to James Anderson    Skellyhill November 9th, 1849   Postmarks: Kilmarnock Nov. 13; Liverpool Nov 14; NY Packet 1 Dec 24 “Paid” - on back, large childish signature ‘William Anderson.’  

My Dear Parents, I once more through the Favour of Providence address a few lines to you and that we are all in some ordinary as when I last wrote you, for which we desire to feel thankful to God who is our rich rewarder and not only to us, but to all who seek his face in truth, hopping this will find you all in like circumstances.  From Katrine’s Letter to sister Mary we were made acquainted with Mother’s illness, but at same time was glad to hear of her recovery and fondly hopes through the Blessing of God it is continued to her.  Sister Mary’s Family are also about their ordinary - Little James ankle is still troubling him now and then but he has been most of the summer at school.  The rest are well; Brother George and family are also well.  They have got another addition to their family to wit a son James by name.  He was born about two months ago.  You will see from T. Young’s enclosed note to you that we had both a visit and a Day’s Preaching from him which in both he gave me great pleasure.  We have had him twice or thrice before, but if we were well pleased formerly, certainly at this time he exceeded all our former anticipations of his abilities and rapid improvement.             

He 2 weeks ago got through all his trial discourses for License, which he got Tuesday was a fortnight.  The first Sabbath after license he preached to us in  Newmilns.  Tho’s Young gives you in note referred to an outline of the 2 discourses most masterly delivered but I leave this to T. Y. note to you.  I formerly mentioned to you that in our Church a scarcity of Ministers compelled them to employ Students of Divinity who were tallented to officiate in vacant congregations; this is the reason you will recollect why George has preached before he got licensed.  I am happy to state there is no danger of him not getting a charge as I understand several applications have been made to him that is trying to bespeak him in time.  He must serve a year as a probationer before he can be ordained with freedom.  I write to you he is much sought after in the popular churches of Glasgow & Paisley and in country charges where he has officiated, he is very much esteemed in fine as a theologian and orator.             

He has thrown himself upon the home department, that is in place of being placed upon the roll of the Presbytery’s probationers, as this would cause him frequently and far from home, where as the other way he can in the City and for 30 miles or more, by steam he can be transported forward and backward on Saturdays afternoon and Mondays forenoon.  Thus in mean time he intends to pursue as by doing this he can still retain the school, and since he has had daily work in preaching he has had 3 assistants.  His school last accounts when here numbered upward of 300 scholars.  William Young was one of the assistants for 4 weeks when he got the offer of a school in Camlachie, which accepted and is now at Colidge.  Also be assured George has had hard work of it this long time and will for some time to come yet.             

Hareshaw folk are much the same as when I wrote you last, no prominant signs yet of our Cousins of the feminine gender mingling with the sons of men for the laudable purpose of enlarging the number of the tribe.  Uncle George and James folk are also ordinary as when I last wrote, Cousin John Donald <Coupland> has taken to himself a wife of the name Miss Morrison Daughter of Cornygroats and has taken her into the Room and as yet works away as formerly.  Our Cousin James Findlay I am glad to say is making it better.  He has a good crop this year and his cows has done well too.  You may let Cousin William Mitchell know I was at Mauchlan [=Mauchline] Fair yesterday and that I saw some of his Uncles and that his Brothers and sisters are all well.  I stopped a night and that was with John Breckinridge.  I was to be sure to send you his best respects and good wishes.  He still speaks a little of going to America.  He told me he had lately received a letter from his son John who was in good health - he had traveled away about 200 miles I think to Torronta [?Toronto] but he had returned to his old place.  I had also when over at Mauchline Fair the pleasure of visiting with Margret Manson.  She is healthy but greatly changed, wants most of her teeth, lives all alone in a house about 1 mile from Tarbolton.  She kindly enquired for you.  All Beasts sold very cheap - good farrow [=open] cows £4 to 6, stock cows much the same.             

I now come to your old Neighbourhood Loudon moor.  So far as I recolect there has been no deaths nor maredges since I wrote you, neither births except Mist’r Tho’s Watson of a son.  Things are not drawing so well about Langmuir as could have been wished.  George & Gavin leaves at Martinmas and the old woman as soon after that as they can get arrangements.  Robert is tacking in Allenton [beside Darvel] and she speaks of going there to keep his house or retire to Darvel to stop with her Mother.  Griefs seem to multiply upon her.  Did Mist’r Nesbit always use old granny with a motherly affection.  Lochfield has got a splendid steading of new houses.  Broadley’s is complete but John Wilson’s is still more splendid.  The new steading is just on the west end of the old one.  Winshall [=Windshields] has also got mostly new houses, also And’r Smith <Carlinscraig> and And’r Gilchrist additions.             

From the above you will perceive the proprietors are not going to let their tenantry be at a loss for accommodations, to enjoy them though means there must be short from from heretofore as we do not look for markets to rise but rather decline, and the pith for asking long rents is not weakened in the least but still on the increase.  Robert smith <Hole> gave up his Farm as being too dear, being by the laird sequestrated for backgaves, but John Stewart <Overmuir> has taken it at a little reduction in rent and Robert Smith has commenced briskly to work preparitory to a crop.  Should not be surprised if he should get one of said John Stewart’s daughters to make the cheese.  Robert Findlay <Bankhead> could not take a renewal of the lease but And’r Dunning has taken it at a higher figure.  Robert has not succeeded yet in getting a place and knows not yet of any.             

We had a very cold spring and now & then on cold side all summer, but we had a very dry frosty Harvest.  I commenced harvest upon the 18th of Sept, and got all finnished the 8th of Oct, a tolerable good crop but on the moor edges owing to the frost there will be but little meal and no seed corn amongst a great number of them.  Markets are at present Oat Meal £1/7 per load, cheese 8/ and 8/3, beef 8/ to 9/ per stone [=14 lb], potatoes 5d per lb imperial.  There is not the amount of disease this year as formerly which is a great blessing.  Our cows have milked very well this year.  I expect a larger produce than any year since I came here.  You wished to know if the old man’s death would make any alteration with regard to the farm: there is no difference yet as I have taken it for two or three years at the old rent.  Indeed there is no set time for a lease; I did not know till yesterday old Mist’r James Steel died about a year since.             

I may have mentioned the decease of John Campbell’s Bachelorship which took place nearly 2 years since he got some how - as often I cannot say how - entangled with a decent braw soncy fair dame.  She first blinded and then led him off as a captive.  They live in Glasgow happy and content - as far as I know she has given him one proof of their conjugal affections.  M & Mist’r Young send their warmest regards to all.   [Down center]  Trade is wonderful brisk, more so than ever I saw it.  All kinds of work advanced a little and some a great deal, and some new kinds - good wages are to be made.   [Along back folds of letter]  Now sister, seeing their is a little room for a few lines, I feel gratefull to you for your letter and was most glad to hear of your coming on so well and of things prospering so well with you all.  I was also glad of Mother getting so quick round again and I fondly hope that she is enjoying good helth since and you all.  We milked seven cows which have done very well.  Isabella is serving us for a woman summer & winter; Mary and Hellen is close at school; Mary got a prize of a fine testament in summer for exceling in the class.  Kathrine if spared will go to school in spring; Marion is geting a sturing litle girl; she is fair haired, a litle tender eyed.  

The Doctor says it is her teeth.  As for your sister, as she is going to write herself I forbear mention anything about them as when she writes she will give you all information herself, how they are getting on.  I would be glad to see a letter from you when convient as it is the only way we can speak to each other now.  I have said nothing of your brother George but you see by what is written within that he is persevering and doing well, gave very kind compliment to Mother and all inquiring friends.  I expect you will write as soon as you receive this and let me know how you are all getting along and of course if James has got a wife yet.  I think brother John might write me a letter soon, and may the Lord bless you all is the earnest wish of your affectionate son & daughter, J. & M. Anderson.            


17. from John MacKendzie,    Craghall   12 May, 1851             no addressing at all - perhaps sent in envelope.   Craghall, 12 May, 1851.  [Possibly part of the estate at Craigie, south of Kilmarnock, from which several New England Calderwood families emigrated about 50 years earlier.]   Mr. James Anderson.               

Dear Friend: I now after long delay sit down to write you a few lines to let you know how we are all since I last wrote to you.  We have had a very sore turn of trobble: my daughter Grace took the influency about 12 months ago, and she fell into a dropsy, and was unable for work all summer, and the whole family had the influenca but got all soon better again except Mathew who was unable for work all summer till harvest, but he got well then, and Agnes took the fever about the 1 of September, and one after another till the whole family has had it.  We had 7 months of the fever, one taking it and and another getting better, but there was for 6 weeks that there was six of them lying close and there was for 5 months that the wife never had of her clothes except when she changed her shirt.  But things are all better now, except Agnes, and she has been close confined to the bed for 33 weeks without being able to sit 5 minutes out of it at any time without fainting, but she is a great deal better than she was, for she was 12 weeks that she could not lift her head of the bolster, but she can sit up a little in the bed now, and Grace is not very strong for any work yet, but she is still able to go about and do some little work.  So you see that we have had a very sore chastisement but still it is the will of the Almighty and why should we repine at it for it is very seldom that a family has all the fever so long and as large a family and comes all through with it but I still have little thoughts of Agnes getting better for I much doubt that she is falling in to a consumtion, as she is gradually making it weaker every day.             

I should have wrote you long before tis time, for I received your very good letter of date the 10 of November 3 weeks after date, which informed me of your welfare and your family all being well which I was very glad to hear of, and I was very much obliged to you for your very kind offer to us in offering to give us a cow to commence with.  You gave me a cow to commence with when I came here, and you took no intrest for the money altho you wanted it for more than two years; however, I hope you are none the worse of it this day.  It is said, He that giveth to the poor lendeth to the Lord.  I believe you have known in the course of your life time both was it was to have plenty and what it was to have little.  I believe that you will as long as you live remember the years 16 and 17: the year 16 was a very hard year on you and many others, and I may say that the end of the 50 and the beginnings of the year 51 has been the sorest year that I have put over my head on me and us all.  But still through the long sparing hand of the Almighty we have it to say that we are all here, altho as I have said before I do not expect that Agnes will get better, altho the fever is left her six months ago, but she is very content, and I think fully resigned to whatever is the will of the Almighty.             

I saw a letter that came from you to your son James, and you spoke of a young man who called himself John MacKendzie came up on the coach from Burlington with some of your neighbours, and was enquiring for you and Mrs Anderson, and he told those neighbors that his mother’s name was margaret Todd.  I had two letters from him since that, but he made no mention of being in that quarter, but there is little doubt but it was him, for he has been following the lummbering for two or 3 years, and last summer he came from the Clare Lake in upper Cannada down till Quebeck with a raft of timber.  They arrived at Quebeck in the month of September, and he wold be on his way up again when he fell in with your neighbors comming up from Burlingtown, altho this was not the direct road that he should have bone back, but he may have gone that way to look after some business or other.  I cannot say what might be the cause of taking him that way, but I am very much surprised that he did not come your way when he was so near it, but I will write to him about it and enquire the reason that he was so near your place and did not come to it.  My oppinion is that he might not have clothes with him that he would like to come with; if that be not the reason or want of time, if he had to be back at a certain time, which of those or if any other reason I cannot say, but he was back at Atonabu by the 2 of October or rather before that.  He is employed with a Mr. thomas Short in that place, but it was a wounderfound kindness of your son Gaven and David Cameron to go all the way, 15 miles, to the tavern where these neighbours left him, to enquire for him.  Give these two young men both my best respects and tell them that I am very much oblidged to them for their kindness to him in so doing.  He is on his way this year again with another raft, and will very likely be at Quebeck about the same time this year, and I will mention to him of the interest that you and your family tuck in his welfare in going so far to enquire for him.             

Now sin I have told you so much about my family and I will now speak about other things.  As to my coming to America, I cannot say anything about it at this time owing to the state of my family, but still I have as good an intention to come as ever I had, but what we have come through at this time has rendered us a great deal unabler for it than we were last year, but still if our family suffers all stout, I hope that we will be all able yet to see that land, and John our son has offered to assist us in paying for a farm if we can have it in our power to go to America, but in the meantime till see what comes of Agnes, I cannot say any thing further about it but if I do ever come to that country, I will endeavour to see you and I will never forget the kindness that you have shown to us both in past times and at this time.             

If we had come out this year - and I will give you John’s address.  It is John MacKendzie, care of Mr. Thomas Short, Atonabu, county of Pitintionnaw, District of Newcastle, Cannada West + and if you have as much time, you might drop of few lines to him and write him to call on you when he was a Quebeck this year if he be supposed to arrive at that destination.  Your son george Anderson was ordained, that is placed, at New Cumnock on the 14th May, that was Wednesday, now a 8 days.  He has got an exlent situation; it is a large congregation and the people is all very welthy, and I saw one of his hearers last Wensday who heard him preach the Sabbath following and he told me that he did well.  He was 3 times a little overcome in his sermon in giving an advice to his hearers likewise his talk [appears ‘dalck’] to them, but he said that he gave great satisfaction to the whole congregation that day.  And I am of oppinion that he has got a good situation, and they have got a good minister, which I am certain will be a great pleashure to you to hear of.  I intended till have been at the placing, but was inevitebly detained from going to it so I cannot give you all the particulars of that day’s procedings.  But as your son James and Thomas Young is going to write to you, and the were both present, they will give you some account of it.             

I may now mention to you some of the deaths that has hapned in this neighbourhood since I last wrote to you.  Mr. Billy Campbell of Netherplace is dead being the last of that family.  They have all dyed without issue, so the estate goes to others.  Connell Hamilton of Cornhill has got it and the money goes amang some of the other relitives, some of the servants is left so much, some to friends, and some 20 and the foreman Mungo Brown I think gets about 100, besides some of the family 20 pounds.  It is not yearly but just the sum.  And James Mann in <Parckneuk> is dead this spring and old John Goldie <Mauchline> and John Ladge <Friendlesshead> died this spring.  Adam Galt is still alive yet, but is comming down very fast.  George Mitchel <Mickle Blackdyke> is left it this year and is gone intil the ald manse at Mauchline, and has taken up the flesher business.  I cannot say how he may succeed [sp. suckced].  The <Barboich> family has given up their farm this year and has gone to America: they have gone to Upper Cannada.             

This has been a very open winter.  We have had little or no snow, and we have had a good deal of frost, but not long at a time, and the spring at one time appeared to be very early, but is now farther back than was thought to be at one time, but still it is farr from being a late one.  I think according to the hasel blossom that the harvest will commence about the 8 of September, if the ald saying be true, the lenth that the hull blossom is.  I think if the weather be favourable now that they will be in full bloom by the 8th of June, and as for the markets, meall is 27 shilling per load, and best flour is from 30 to 32 shilling, and baxnell flour is 24 shilling per barrell, and potato is 1/ per sack Kilmarnock measure.  Cows are selling from 5 to 10 pounds according to Quality.  This is a short description of the markets and chese is about 10 shilling per stone trone weight.             

And as for my trade, I am getting along yet about the same as when you left this country, only I have been a great deal detained with the trubble that has been in my family this year, but I have Mathew and other two men, both working with me, and we have yet plenty of work which is a great blessing.  I still do a good deall to the Loudoun Mains people, but I am of oppinion that a great deal of the farmers has been for some time looking hard up and will continue to be, for there is no appearance of the land comming down.  For if a tennant gives up his farm, another steps forward and bids more for it and so in that way, till the whole of them be ruined, it cannot come down.  But in the end it must inevitably come down after all is ruined - but there is always some one who thinks that he will do more good than his neighbour and steps in and bids the ald rent or more, and so on till they put it out of the question to make it out of it.  I think the tennants on the Sorn Castle estate is very hard up, and on the <Gilmerscroft> [=Gilmilnscroft] Estate and Auchmannoch, but on the Duke of Portland’s they are doing better.  I cannot say how the are doing on the Loudoun estate.             

I must now enquire and give you some account about the Mitchells.  I hear that Hugh is at the copping with James Anderson, and Margret mist a good situation of being married.  I hear that William has sold and bought another farm, and I supose that Robert will be with William and there friends here is all well.  You can let them Know that John Mitchell their cousin in Knowhead has rouped off his stock and is going out to America - he is intending to go to Upper Cannada, and there is a great deal of people from all quarters going away to the different parts of America.  This year I think perhaps the greatest year for emmigration that has been since you left this country.  I need say nothing about the people in Loudoun Mains, for I think that your son and Thomas Young will give you all the particulars, but I must yet in conclusion write a few lines to your beloved wife.  Ald Mety Anderson, my wife has her best respects to you all and particularly to her new Tibby.  I just write a few lines to you, for you were always a good friend to me, and I expected once this year till have seen you in America, but owing to the truble that has come in our family, I cannot now say when I will see you or if ever - for our time is short here and it is very uncertain, but if ever we do come to that side of the Atlantic, I will come a long way to see you and your husband, for you were the two best friends I ever had in this country, and I hope yet to see you in that side the Atlantic.  Yet for my son Mathew is intending to go out next Spring if none of the rest of us goes, but he has waited this year till see what comes of his sister Agnes.  Give my best respects to David Cameron and Kate and to all the rest of your family, and to David Gilmour, and if my son John comes your way this fall when he is at Quebeck, be shure and give him a good advice to do well.  Now Matie Anderson, I must bid you farewell in the present hopping to hear from you soon.  Now James, I must conclude and when you find it convenient, you will write and let me know how you are all, and I will again write and let you know as soon as any alteration takes place at Agnes.  I have been a long time writring this letter.  Your tuck, John Mackendzie, Craghall, the 25 May, 1851.   I will expect a letter from you some time on or about the Fall.            


18.  Memorandum  [undated, on 9 1/2 x 15” folded pale blue bond paper embossed with stamp “Carson’s Dalton MS” which may be predecessor to Crane Co.]  

Mr. Boardman   Sir;      As there is a man in this town and me who has had considerable trading, and I have not found him upright in some of his dealings, and particularly in one which I will mention unto you.  I bought his farm from him upon the third of July, 1842, and lodged in the house along with him through the winter, and in the spring following, he was verry anxious for me for to buy his sugar buckets, kettle, and holder.  I told him that I did not know anything either about what they were worth, or how to use them, as I am a Scotchman.  He always insisted that I should buy them, and said that he would give two years for to pay them without interest, and he would take the half of the pay in sugar, and he would help us and shew us the way to make the sugar.             Well, I agreed for to take them upon these terms.  We.., I got a man, and he got John H. Hill, and they valued the kettle and buckets, and I accepted of them at the valuation.  Well, Deacon Bliss wished for to have notes of them before he removed, and he wrote two notes of which I will give you a correct copy:             

Glover, March 23, 1843 -- For value received of Ziba Bliss, I promis to pay him or his Order nineteen Dollars and fifty seven cents worth of good marchantable sugar two years from this Date.             

The other is: Glover, March 24th, 1843 -- For value received I promise to pay Ziba Bliss, him or his Order nineteen Dollars and fifty eight cents two years from this date.             

The next time I saw the notes, the concluding sentance of each was “with annual intrest.”  Well, I did not mention unto Deacon Bliss what I swaw, and before I paid them I enquired at Mr. Hill if he had told him any thing about the bargain, and he said he did and likewise a nephew of mine had both the notes before I signed them.  He thus had addes “with annual intrest” unto them both after I had signed them.             

Now I will give you a correct copy of Mr. Hill’s and my Nephew’s afadit [! = affadavit]: “This is to certify that Mr. Bliss took me up unto his house for to value a Kettle and sugar buckets unto Anderson, and he told me this bargain was one half of the price was to be paid in sugar, and the other half in money at the end of two years without interest.  Signed: John H. Hill            

My Nephew Says: “This is to certify that I had both of the notes that my uncle gave unto Mr. Bliss, and I am clear for to give oath before any court that the word ‘intrest’ was not in any of them.  Signed, James Anderson.”             

I knew before I paid them that by adding these three words that he had forefeited his claim unto payment of the notes, but I thought although he had done wrong, I was not to follow his example, and at about the end of the two years, I paid him in the presence of Mr. Simonds, and I held up the notes in his face and asked him how these three words came to be there.  He said they were there when I signed them.  I told him they were not, as I would never have signed them.  He said he would [give] his oath they were.  I told him that a man that would forge would lie, and a man that would <work such in court.> [lined through, unclear]             

Then I gave Mr. Simonds this affadavit for to read.  Then he felt warmed up and said he had made a mistake and would drop the intrest.  I would write you long before, but Mrs. Bliss had been a number of years confined unto bed, and I thought if it came unto her ears, it might hurt her - but now she is dead.   NEW ITEM:  Bill of Sale dated Albany, 8th March, 1872.               

Sold this day to me G. M. Jerome, by Enock Rowell of Albany & Guy E. Rowell & J. B. Freeman of Barton.  Five Hundred Sap Buckets, three Sap Holders, & two sap pans, for the sum of one hundred dollars, which are now in the sugar place this day conveyed to me by Deed from sd. Enoch   G. E. Rowell & J. B. Freeman.             

Said Buckets, Holders & Pans are to be & ramian the property of said Rowells & Freeman until the said one hundred dollars is paid in full.   Giles M. Jerome.

    ITEM THREE:  Receipt on 3” x 6” folded slip of paper.                        

 James Anderson Jr to H. M. Lellan [or H. M’Lellan?]             1846               TO:            19# roll                   .76             do            15# do                    .60             do        2#  do             .08              to also 15 1/2 yds gn  1.28               2.72   Received Payment Nov 21/              Hiram M Lellan


19.  Estate Receipt by Garvin Anderson [at Glover, Vermont]             On lined blue notebook paper    1857   Garvin Anderson Executor of the estate of James Anderson - to Probate Court D’s         1857,                   Apr 15     Pd   H.H.Earle for publishing notice ... Proof of Will  2.08                   Nov 5                 “.........................”..............”......of.....”    Settlement                  1.60                                     Postages paid                  .18           Receiving Will and Decision, Order Notice, Order appointed time minutes.....         Certificate Rec’d of Order, copy certif’s .........        1.50         Proof notice letters bond Probate of Will, rec’d of Probate ......         Appointments - Executor App’r Court Warrants Blanks..............      8.58         Record  &c, &c. .....                     copy of Will and Probate Certif`        1.13         Order accepting Ex’rs reports, Order rec’d Min Certif Rec’d        1.44         Order accepting App[raise]rs report, Order rec[orde]d, Min Certif Rec’d        1.19         Order accepting Court Report, Order Rec’d, Min Cirtif Rec’d        1.66         Proof Notice Order Continuation Minutes        .59         Settlement Accounts order recvd Min Certif..........        3.80         Judge & Register to  1/2 day in appearance of adverse party ..        1.50        $25.21   By Cash --  --  ---  -  -   -    -   -   -  -  -   - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -           $20.00           Balance                        5.21


20.  Two Notes of Garvin Anderson   A.  Paper: 8” wide by 4” high             

Endorsement: received on this within note thirty dollars December 15, 1873   November 1, 1873   I, Garvin Anderson of Glover in the county of Orleans and State of Vermont, promise to pay James Ryan of albany County and State aforesaid Three Hundred and twenty five dollars and ninetyfive cents with interest when the said James Ryan deed to me the East half of Lot No. one hundred and six (106) in albany free and clear of any encumbrance whatever except a Mortgage held by Dyan Bill [2” torn from lower right hand corner].    

B. James Ryan Note    $650.00    1865             

on lined paper approximately 5” wide by 8” high   $650.00 for value rec’d,  I promise pay Dyan Bill or bearer Six Hundred fifty Dollars with intrest annually fifty Dollars one year from Date and Fifty Dollars untill they are all paid. Albany 9th Feb’y  1865 Berton G. Pike                            

James Ryan + his mark This note secured by Mortgage on Easterly half lot 106, mortgage stamped.   [in purple ink below, faint & unclear] 1872 Dec’r 8th Ryan & Garvin came hear lookd all over with intrest settled book and I found ballence left on note due $735.51 and was perfectly satisfied.  [Deduction showed] $150 - $585.51 Leaving due & dm/72, [+] 6 months 22.06 int to this date, $607.57.  [penciled below] am’t due  Nov.5-76  $629.41   [reverse in black ink, below docket endorsement listed as headline.] 1867  Sept 18  Rec’d  Twenty Dollars 1867  Oct’r 6  Rec’d  Twenty Dollars 1868  Sept 22  Rec’d Sixty Six Dollars 1871  Dec 4  Rec’d Forty Eight Dollars}  [in purple ink] 1872  Dec 9 Rec’d by Garvin [?]  $150 }  [purple] 1873  Oct 21  Received one hundred twenty five dollars   Nov 9th 1867  Rec from Anderson on this for $500.00 gave receipt.   [This appears to be Garvin’s assumption of Ryan’s mortgage, which he seemingly paid an installment of before the note was executed.  The final date seems wrong - perhaps 7 & 6 reversed?] 








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