|Stewart, Frances to Beaufort, Harriet, 1822
|Revisiting Our Forest Home_The immigrant letters of Frances Stewart [J. L. Aoki]
|Cobourg, Newcastle District, Upper Canada
|friends (ex-pupil - ex-governess)
|family life, description of the land
|[1822: September 11]
To [Harriet Beaufort], written from Cobourg
I have seen several crows and wood peckers & Eagles flying far above my
head but we came too late to see Humming birds, of which I hear there
are numbers in summer.
You asked me in one of your letters if there was any thing I wanted.
No thank you dearest. My wants have been fully supplied by all my dear
good friends already. But indeed any newspapers would be a great pleasure
to us & I fancy could be sent by post open at the ends. But you could
learn this from some one conversant in the rules of the Post office.
Apropos, Col. Foster advised me to tell my correspondents to pay
the postage of all letters to Quebec as it would make their coming more
certain. Then we pay the inland postage up here & from this I always pay
the postage to [ ]. You cannot think how comfortable I found the wrappers on ship board, nor how often I thought of dear Bess & Anne who made them,
At York, I wore ray puce sarcenet every day & my beautiful cross barred
washing silk when I paid visits. I take care to be always dressed nicely &
am so well supplied with beautiful clothes that I should have no excuse.
I have just made up a grand assortment of very nice caps I assure you
with lace borders or quillings. I hate to be caught untidy at home. Since
the weather has grown cold I have begun to wear my pretty purple bombazine.
I am very careful of it. I have a great deal of work to do, such as
baking & other such operations not fit for such a pretty gown. On those
occasions I wear one of my wrappers....
We are in treaty for a cow. We have got a goose & gander to make a
beginning & a little puppy dog for watching & keeping the wolves away
from our cattle, for there are some wolves always in the woods when
settlers first go into them, but they soon retreat. There are a great many
Deer at Douro I hear. We are laying in salt pork & pease & various sorts
of provisions for our winter store. But I hope by next winter we shall
have them of our own....
There are very pretty roads here, pretty to my mind from the novelty.
There is such a wildness in the general appearance of the country, the
cleared part open at each side to the road, like & common, then wood
again, then a part of it half cleared with the stumps sticking up & fallen
trees lying all about. The roads are in many places, where the ground is
swampy, made by laying trees across, close together. Those are called
corderoy roads, & you may imagine what jumbling ones bones get in
a waggon bumping over these trees. In general the roads are made by
clearing a passage thro' the wood, & if it wants repair it is just ploughed
up & then harrowed & left for driving on. So you may guess what bogs
these roads are in wet weather & then in frost all rough. But when snow
is fairly on & frozen over, then they are delightful for sleighing.
Yesterday Tom, the children & I took a nice walk of above a mile
along the lake. The shore is very pleasant. It is smooth hard sand. The
view of the village & its white houses & church made me wish that I
could make a little sketch to send you.