|Title:||Stewart, Frances to Atwood, Annie, 1866|
|Collection||Revisiting Our Forest Home_The immigrant letters of Frances Stewart [J. L. Aoki]|
|Origin||Douro Township, Newcsatle District, Upper Canada|
|Destination||Gore's Landing, Ontario, Canada|
|Transcript||1866: May 2046|
To Annie Atwood, Gore's Landing, Ontario
20th May 1866
My dearest Annie
I have just heard the dreadful news of your great misfortune, but no particulars. I know too well how great a loss it is to you & dear Clinton.
Indeed I have not thought of any thing else since I read a note from Joan
this afternoon which was the first report which came to me, & I hoped
there was some mistake or exaggeration in what she had heard. But this
evening I had a letter from your sister, Kate, who mentioned having
heard from you, and that indeed it was too true. You cannot doubt my
dear child how deeply I feel for you both. I fear also the effect on you &
your dear little children & Mr. Atwood, tho' last, not the less in my mind,
Oh, I long to know more about you all. Kate said your letter was short
& did not enter into particulars. So that all I know is that it happened
on Sunday night & that nothing was saved but lives, & that you had no
clothes but your night things! Oh, how you must have suffered, where
did you go to! & how did you manage. Is not Mr. Paiges a good distance
from you, some miles. Last Sunday night here it rained, but I don't think
the wind was so high as it has been lately. But I have great fear you may
have caught cold. Kate said Mr. Atwood was ill. I trust he may not be
seriously ill or injured in any way. I feel for your dear Mother too. I am glad to hear her health has been better this spring than usual, tho' she wrote in very low spirits & mentioned having been much troubled lately in mind & seemed indeed to have some heavy accumulation of trial, but did not enter into any particulars.
They are busy now preparing poor Walters outfit for the Nor'
West. This must also be a great trial to your poor Mother, though it can
hardly be so bad as parting with Willie, who I am sincerely happy to hear
is getting on so well, and not yet disgusted with that sort of life. I hope
Walter may get on as well, poor fellow. I am sure it would now be a great
comfort to your Mamma to have you with her for some time, & also
be pleasant for you till you have some house to live in. Your Mother or
rather Kate mentioned that they were going to make up some things for
you. I wish dearest Annie to send you a mite towards providing, but as
I don't know where you may be now and expecting you will be with her,
I think I had better send it to your Mother for you & if you are not with
her she can send it to you.
Kates letter this evening was full of bad news. She also mentioned
the death of Mrs. Ellis, Charlotte Stewarts Mother. This was the first intimation I had of it, & both together have given me quite a shock, & I feel my senses quite confused. Poor Mrs. Ellis's death was very shocking. In some kind of fit, she fell down stairs & was killed!! Is not that dreadful. I am very very anxious about Charlotte who can ill bear such a shock as that. So dear Annie I hope you will make allowance for this very incoherent sort of epistle, which I fear you will find almost illegible, but I wish not to lose a day in sending you my best love & sympathy, & hoping you or the other dear children may not have suffered from the exposure, & that I shall soon hear some tidings of you.
I was just intending to write to dear Jane Bird this evening as Kate
mentioned that [Pet] was soon to be married, but all this sad sad news
has put all my ideas into fire, smoke & death, but I hope to be in a more
settled state in a few days. Bee & Kate join with me in most sincere sympathy & sorrow, & desire their fond love to you & Mr. Atwood.
With your ever affect' Mamma Stewart.
Oh, I wish I had enough to send you what w'd really help you.