|Stewart, Frances to Atwood, Annie, 1867
|Revisiting Our Forest Home_The immigrant letters of Frances Stewart [J. L. Aoki]
|Douro Township, Newcsatle District, Upper Canada
|Gore's Landing, Ontario, Canada
|: March 25"
To Annie Atwood, Gore's Landing, Ontario
Monday 25th March
My dearest Annie
Though you have probably heard from your Mamma or Kate since their
arrival at Belleville yet I think you may like to hear the latest accounts I have had which reached me on Saturday night & were posted at Belleville
I think either on Thursday or Friday last. I would send you the letter but
as it is on thick paper I should fear additional weight with these few lines as my envelopes are also thick, but I can copy what she says:
"You will be glad to learn that my dear son is better than when I
just came down. He had been alarmingly ill on the Sunday & Monday
previous to my reaching Belleville but though extremely weak, he was
quite composed on Tuesday evening & has since been improving, tho
slowly. Dr. Hope tells me that there is now no immediate danger unless
the Diarrhea returns in excess. He still suffers from it but not so as to
prostrate him entirely. The cough which was so bad last week is somewhat
better too. He is able to be dressed and to lie on the sofa or to sit up
in the rocking chair. I attend entirely to him myself, so that he is [never
suffered] to be alone or to want for anything & this is a great comfort to
me & also to him as his wife is more at liberty to attend to other matters.
I no longer grieve or mourn over my beloved one. We hold sweet
counsel together, nor does he fear to think of the certainty of death
which he knows is but a question of time. As he says, it may be soon or it
may be later, but Gods will is best, whichever way it is. I am in the hands
of my Saviour, and blessed be the Lord that his faith grows every day and
day by day stronger & it is founded on the best of all foundations, the
Word of God which becomes more precious, so that whether he live or
die, I trust it will be well with him.
My dear Mary was confined on the 16th of a very lovely little girl. It
is the prettiest little thing I ever saw, a perfect picture, not very large but as fat and fair & a dear little face like a wax doll & it is very good beside.
As to Kate, she looks upon it as a prodigy of goodness & baby beauty. I do not think my dear girl as well as I could wish to see her. She has had fever & chills alternately & much pain especially in that hip that she hurt when she fell before baby was born. I have just returned from seeing her this evening & nurse thinks she is better & only wants a good sleep which as yet she has not had since before the little one was born. I trust to see her better tomorrow morning. I was afraid of [milk-] only that baby keeps
down the milk very diligently.
I was not with Mary but Kate was & she had a good nurse & skilful Dr."
I think dear Annie this is most of the first part of your dear mothers
letter, but afterwards she added a few lines more, which I will give you
on the other side. Some days later date but not dated:
"I missed the post more than once having been much occupied &
leaving my letter to others, it was forgotten. This is nearly a week since
my first date. James is not so well as he was & my dear Mary is making
This dear Annie is the last part of the letter & I am sorry it gives no
better acc't of both poor James & Mary, I feel very very anxious & I do
hope the next accounts may be better.
I was just going to write to you on Saturday evening when her letter
came & I determined to write to you as yesterday (Sunday) but some
visitors came in & prevented me. And now I am so sleepy I fear you will
be shocked at this scribble. My pen is not a pleasant one to write with.
My ink has thickened in the tube so I must bid you goodnight...
Tuesday Morning 26th March
My dearest Annie
I am ashamed to send the other blotted scribble but were I to wait to
write it better, I might miss the chance of sending it and in these times
opportunities to town are rare as the roads are now in a bad state for
either sleighs or wheels. You see, my pen is not improved by a nights
rest, nor can I get any that will write well. My ink also is bad as you may
perceive. I long to hear more from Belleville. Still I cannot expect your
dear Mother or Kate to write as both must be fully occupied. I hope dear
Mary may soon be well again & able to nurse & that the little daughter
may thrive & do well. Our dear boy Stewart has been very ill for some days with pain in his side and high fever. We sent for Dr. McNabb & heard he had gone to Belleville on some Court business as a witness, so perhaps if he has time he may call to see your Mother. But I am sure he will not delay an hour longer than necessary as poor Capt. Rubidge has had an attack of paralysis & he has many other patients awaiting his return. This has been a very sickly season. We have all had colds here & Bee now has an obstinate
cough but I have [ ] off with a very slight share which I am surprised at as I generally have a severe cold at this time of year. Dearest Annie, excuse this horrid letter, bad in every way you can take it, but bears sincere love to you & yours in which Bessie unites with your Ever affect' Old friend & Mamma,
Kind love & remembrance to dear Mrs. Bird & all her belongings.
No time for more at present.