|Title:||Stewart, Frances to unknown addressee, 1854|
|Collection||Revisiting Our Forest Home_The immigrant letters of Frances Stewart [J. L. Aoki]|
|Origin||Goodwood, Upper Canada|
|Genre||family, family life|
|Transcript||1854: August 1|
To [ ], Ireland
Goodwood 1st Aug. Tuesday 1854
I believe I never answered your last yet I think I could not have delayed
so long thanking for all your tender prayers & wishes on the anniversary
of my birthday, only think, 3 score years.
It seems strange that I have been allowed so long a portion of time
& so large a portion of happiness when I am so useless & unworthy but
it ought to rouse me, though late to redeem the time, & try to do more
good. I have so many blessings & sources of happiness & indeed my heart
is most thankful for them. I don't know any person who has such great &
numerous blessings & mercies as I have. Health, one of the greatest, has
been much better this summer than at any time last year. Asthma comes
occasionally but is not so very over-powering as it was last year nor so
constant. My mind is much more at ease than for many years back, as
I am free from the responsibility & exertion of managing the establishment
at Auburn to which I was quite unequal.
My dear Frank, who was far far away from me last year & about
whom I was in ignorance then is now settled down into a steady respectable
member of society and established in his proper place & grade of our
society. I am thankful to say that there is a respectability which seems to
attend on & belong to our family which all my sons are likely to keep up.
Even in Toronto George & Charlie seem to inherit the regard & interest
of many in the highest classes there who were acquainted with their dear
father & who till lately we had little or no idea of recollecting us. They have proved themselves kind friends to the sons of one who possessed
their respect & esteem, & where memory is still revered & cherished in
their hearts. This is very gratifying to me.
My leaving Auburn has been advantageous to Willy as he now does
more there than he would while I remained. He is doing a great deal now
& the fields & every thing look more thriving & promising than for many
years back. I go there very often. I love Louise & Wm. very much & they
both always seem to wish to make me comfortable.
Malone has been very full but now they are alone again & dear Ellen
is looking much better & growing fat again. She is too apt to forget herself & do too much when she feels well & then she [ ] back pains &
swellings & other ailments which require care & active remedies to set
all right again. I spent 3 days with her last week as George came to spend
a week or ten days with us & he made Malone his head quarters. He has
now returned to Toronto but there is a prospect of his coming to reside
in Peterboro & opening an office there as Engineer. There are some new
arrangements making but of course he will be guided by the advice of his
friends, & by circumstances.
His leaving Toronto would be a great sorrow to Charlie who has a
year & 3/4 still of his time to serve with Mr. Tully. Mr. T. seems to have the highest opinion of Charlie & places the greatest confidence in him leaving all in his charge when he goes from home.
It is expensive to push young men forward but it fully repays one
to find them so deserving of all that one can do to help them. You may
laugh at me for praising my children but I just write my thoughts as
This has been the hottest summer I have felt for above 25 years. We
are all nearly stewed to jelly. The Therm'r has been up to 96°-98° & one
day 106° in the shade.
That very day poor Charlie had a slight sun stroke I think. He had
been allowed a holiday & went early in the morning to spend the day
with Mrs. Turner, mother of a fellow pupil. They were hay making. He
joined them but was overcome by the heat & not sensible of any thing
more till he found [himself] on the sofa in Mrs. T's drawing room &
all the family anxiously watching him & bathing his head with cooling applications w'h they had been doing for 5 hours!! However, in the evening
he was able to go home but had a Dr. to attend him & every day at
the same hour for several days, severe head ache & high fever came on.
He was quite well, however, when George left him & I hear from him
every week. Cholera has been very bad in Montreal & Quebec but there
have been only a few cases in Toronto & Peterboro.
Annas little flock are quite well, Barbara a nice fat smiling dark
eyed thing. They all say she is ridiculously like me. They are all fine
Mary Dunlop is very tall & looks much healthier & better than she did
when she first came back but she has lately had a pain in her right side. It comes & goes & is worst at night when lying down. Ellen thinks it is from her liver. She is a fine little girl & wonderfully little spoilt, considering.
Bessy & her little boys are very well. They are very healthy & run
about & are in all sorts of mischief. Bessie has a great deal to do but is
never in a fuss & just goes on through her course of daily work & duties
like a little Steam Engine & it is wonderful what a great deal she gets
done in the day & yet never seems in a hurry or disheartened.
My little Emily is a good child & her arm is rather stronger but I fear
will never be of use. She has to dress herself.
I think I have given you a family history but I have not done yet for
I must tell you about my new daughters. I told somebody that Frank &
Joanne had removed to a temporary dwelling at their own place. We
all went to spend an evg there while George was with us. They have a
nice little parlour, small but neat & snug, a sofa, & Rocking chair (an
American comfort which [ ] but Americans enjoy). It looks really comfortable & was nice & cool. It opens into the new house. Their bedroom
is next the parlour & at the back is the nicest little kitchen you ever saw, like a kitchen in a child's baby house, floor, table & shelves are all so clean, all the shelves filled with [ ] & the walls hung with Tin utensils all bright & a nice little stove in proportion to the size of the house. Several people came in unexpectedly so that in a little while we were quite a large party, all connexions. Oh! what do you think, Frank & [Joanne]
have just come to spend the day & have interrupted me. Good bye, I had
much more to say. Love love to all dear friends
A long & violent thunderstorm all yesterday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
I hope this dreadful heat is over.