|Stewart, Frances to Atwood, Annie, 1869
|Revisiting Our Forest Home, The immigrant letters of Frances Stewart [J. L. Aoki]
|Goodwood, Upper Canada
|Gore's Landing, Ontario, Canada
|1869: September 17
To Annie Atwood, Gore's Landing, Ontario
17th Sept'r 1869
My dearest Annie
You don't know how great I was disappointed in not seeing you when you
were in Douro. You had been some days in our neighbourhood before I
heard of your arrival & then I hoped you would be able to give us at least
one day before you left, but by a letter from your dear Mother I found
you were kept in a state of great anxiety almost during your whole visit by
the illness of your children, which grieved me very much. I hope they &
yourself have been much better since your return home & that you were
none the worse of your short & anxious sojourn at Lakefield & found Mr.
Atwood quite well & all your household affairs prospering on your return-..
I have nothing to say of ourselves but a list of sickness. Here at
Goodwood seems the only part of the country exempt from the sad trouble
of illness. Four of my daughters in law are now ill & under medical
treatment, Anna who will I trust soon be better but dear Ellen is a great
sufferer & has had some severe pain in one of her eyes, in addition to her
usual state of weakness & suffering from other causes. I have not seen her
for some weeks as I never go out now & she has not been able to drive so
far though she is out every day for a short drive on smooth roads. Mary Dunlop was with us for some days lately which was quite a treat. She is a
very nice companion.
I am very much grieved that we are so separated from my dearly
loved friend, your dear Mamma. It seems so strange never to be together
now but some way we have never been like our ojd Selves since our burning,
& also having the school in this house makes a difference at least for
the mornings as the drawing room is occupied by the music pupils & the
dining room is the school room, so that I sit generally in the hall.
It seems long since I have heard from you. How does your dairy succeed
this year. Have you made much butter or have you any sale for it
nearer than Cobourg. It is a tolerable price now. Have you many sheep
and lambs & how has your wheat turned out. You know I am always
interested in your rural affairs. Have you a good servant! If you have you
are better off than we are for ours has gone home to help her father &
poor Kate has had such a creature as I am sure she w'd have been better
almost without any, except that she could milk & churn but she could
neither wash nor bake or [ ], & she broke & wasted more than her wages
could repay. So at last Kate sent her away & she is far from able for the
household work as her baby is very restless & cross....
Indeed dear Annie we think of scarcely anything now but illness, so
many are suffering. Louisa too is very ill but I hope with care may be
restored in time. So you see it is hard to make out a cheerful letter & you
must forgive this vile scribble written in haste & if you can spare time
indulge me with one of your interesting letters. With kind regards to Mr.
A. & all my friends in your neighbourhood. Believe me as ever, your own
old loving Mamma Stewart....