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Title: Alexander Robb, Nicola Lake to his father, [Dundonald?].
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileRobb, Alexander/20
SenderRobb, Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNicola Lake, British Columbia, Canada
Recipient Gendermale
SourceT 1454/6/9: Copied by Permission of Dr J. C. Robb Esq., M.B.E., M.D., M.C.H., Cambourne Park, Belfast.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9405201
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 09:05:1994.
Word Count986
TranscriptNicola Lake July 8th 73 [1873?]

My dear Father
Last mail but one brought
me three letters from home, one from Eleanor one from
Susanna and one from yourself. I need not tell you how
much I was pleased to hear from yourself directly once more
but I suppose it is my own fault that I do not hear oftner [more often?]
as I know that I have been writing to my sisters much
more regularly than I have to you. You ask me my dear
Father whether I ever think of home? If you had been as
many years as I have been away from home you would not
have thought it necessary to ask the question. Since
the day I left Dundonald until now, there has never one
day or scarcely an hour passed but I have thought of
home and the dear ones who live there. Situated as I
am, in a wild country, with nothing but mere acquaintances
around me, is it not natural that my thoughts should
continually revert to those places where I was once so happy
and that my heart should cling to the people whom I love
and who I believe love me perhaps much better than
I deserve. For your kind offer to assist me in case I
should think of coming to see you, I can only say that
I am deeply grateful and if I can manage it at all I
will try and avail myself of it. I think it would make
me feel ten years younger to see you all once more
I had intended to try and come home a year from
next fall, and with the assistance you offer me I
have no doubt that I could manage to do so, but for
one thing. The fact is that I am afraid I will have
go to Victoria this Winter. I have not been so well as
usual these four or five months and I am beginning
to think that I want change of air. I have now lived
eight years in this high altitude and I think that
I want a sniff of the salt water to put me to rights
again. Victoria is the Capital city of this country
it is situated on the sea side [seaside?] and enjoys a beautiful
climate and I have no doubt but a month or so down
there will make me all straight again. The only
thing I am sorry about is that it will take money which
I had intended for a better purpose. I mean I meant to
see you with it. I am almost sorry that I have told you
anything about this matter as it may make you uneasy
and I can assure you there is no ocassion [occasion?] for feeling
so, as I am actually not sick. I only feel not so
robust as usual.
Times are very dull here this Summer and farm produce
when it comes to market is likely to be very cheap, even
if it can be sold at all which I greatly doubt. We
were expecting the Canadian Pacific Railroad would
be started this Summer which would have made things
quite lively, but the way things look now it is not likely
to be started for a year yet if then and every thing [everything?] has
fallen in consequence. Bullocks which last year would
bring twelve pounds cannot now be sold for eight the
few which are sold fetching not more than two pence
halfpenny per pound dead weight. This is quite different
from the price you mention in your letter, but they would
pay very well here even at that figure if we had
only a ready sale. It costs little or nothing to raise
cattle here and one can keep an almost unlimited numer [number?]
Lots of people who started ten or twelve years ago with
only a few head of stock have now from one to four
thousands each. It would do you good to see the stock
in this valley now. Not that the land is anything extra
but the Condition is surprising and the abundance of feed
makes them grow very large. I sold a two year old bullock
last year which weighed between 900 and 1000 lbs of beef
sinking offall [offal?], and I never fed him one pound of anything
from the day he was calved. We have had a very backward
Season for so far. Very cold, and what is more surprising
a great deal of rain. This last week however has been
fair and very warm and everything is growing very fast
The grass is better than I ever saw it and when
I tell you there is about seventy miles long and ten
or fifteen miles wide of it for a few hundred cattle
to run over you will agree with me in thinking they are
not likely to starve to death, mine now can scarcely walk
they are so fat. I mean to start haying tomorrow.
The hay we get here is a natural grass which we call
rye grass it is however nothing like the grass of the same
name at home. It grows very tall from 5 to 8 or 10 feet high
and it is awful hard work to mow it as the stems are almost
as thick as pipe shanks and very hard and tough. It makes
pretty good hay when cut in Season and keeps cattle
in the winter even if not cut, as the stems are so strong
that the snow cannot break it down and cover it
Tell Susanna that I have not been getting any papers these
last few weeks and that I am going to write to her and
scold her about it. Supper is just ready so I must
finish Give my love to John Eleanor and all
at home and believe my dear Father
your affectionate son Alexander Robb