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Title: Mary [J?], Ontario, to J. A. Smyth, Ontario.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileW, Mary J/13
SenderW., Mary J.
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationteacher
Sender Religionunknown
OriginPort Hope, Ontario, Canada
DestinationEssex, Ontario, Canada
RecipientSmyth, James A.
Recipient Gendermale
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth
Doc. No.505042
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 25:05:2005.
Word Count1389
Transcript[Front of Envelope]
Mr. Jas. A. Smyth.

[Port Hope?]
MR 16

[Back of Envelope]
[MR 17?]

[Page 1]
Monday Eve. [Evening?]

My dear James Alexander:-
In spite of a wounded finger, I am
going to try and write you a few lines. If
this epistle is more illegible than usual-
remember the lame member of [my?] right
hand and be merciful. A week ago I went out
“bussing”; as they call it here - and going
down a steep hill, to prevent a tumble I hung
on to the edge of the sleigh. The runner turned
and caught my poor finger - It certainly hurt
but I finished the evening out. Since then.
I have had to let all [scribing?] go –
and carry my finger in a sling, otherwise
you would have heard from me sooner.
Perhaps you are not sorry that the accident
happened -.
Well anyway “bussing” is good
sport, the company was not extremely exciting
but answered the purpose - The fourth formers
and a few “third” lights with myself as
chaperone, later assisted by Mr Trench.
They are a set of sensible youngsters here at
least this crowd was - so I had a happy time.

[Page 2]
They were of course good to the teacher - but
the respect is marvellous [marvelous?]– I agree
with you that any slackness is most deplorable
- children are so precocious now, that things
are quite consciously misinterpreted by them,
to satisfy their humors - I have heard elsewhere
reports of the E.H.S. [Essex High School?]
to that effect - Tis a pity surely –
that the report should start – though
‘tis likely it is quite foundationless.
Here I keep quite apart from the
students (one lesson I learned from the
old days) except on very special occasions
and so far all goes well - They are very
well-behaved youngsters - the majority older
than the E.H.S. [Essex High School?] members
although the members of the Fourth form lack
such seniority as yourself and Mr Simpson etc.
Most of my work I trust will be
finished before Easter in both Forms. The
English will be easily covered by them –
The French and German in form four also
much better you see than last year –
but Form Three they are a bit slower –
but will have covered the Grammar anyway –
likewise the German - so my work should
come out pretty well by June.

[Page 3]
To-day I received the programme
for Easter Convention - It quite aroused
my enthusiasm and recalled last year's
proceedings - which were fun. - n'est-ce pas?
I expect to go up this year again - I have
not quite formulated my Easter plans -
Saint Thomas has no place in them of course
Mildred wrote for me to come to her - which I
would like to do but fancy I shall forego that
pleasure this time - I may go to Lindsay to
my college chums - for from Thursday to
Tuesday, then go to Toronto for the rest
of the week.-
Are you going to be down this way? –
Shall I see you at Easter - if not I
fancy we shall not have a meeting for many
a long day - You see father and mother
have closed up the house and gone West
for an indefinite length of time - to the
“Peg” [Winnipeg?] - then to Alberta and
through the warmer parts. Father has been
very wretched since Christmas so they
decided on a change - Anna came

[Page 4]
home for ten days then they all went out
together. Father will improve they hope –
but he was in a bad condition - They went
to stay at least three months - possibly
six and perhaps longer - so now I am bereft.
Anna came down here from Monday until
Wednesday and what a happy time we had!
Everyone was so good - that her visit
though short, was a most delightful one.
Had she not been going to meet the people
in Toronto that night, she would have
stayed longer-
I expect Joe – “mein – Bruder” [my brother?]
this week to see me “en passant”- He went
to Toronto to see mother and the rest
off - so after finishing business there –
He will look in on his “Soeur” [sister?]
at least so he sends word. -
Will [William?] wished to send me
transportation for Easter to the “Peg” - but
the time was so short that I knew I should
dislike coming back - So I declined his
kindness but shall likely go in June – unless

[Page 5]
other things happen.
Don't these Spring days put more
vigor into you - they are perfectly
glorious here and makes one glad that
one is alive. Today we walked out to
“the Gardens” - two miles out - I thought
of you, knowing your fondness [for?]
walking - pardon the sarcasm, But
oh! it is pretty here - so many hills
and clumps of trees - unexpected dales
and nooks-
Saturday last - the staff
“in tolo” was invited out to the Walkers
five miles out. Two children attend
the P.H.H.S [Port Hope High School?]-
as Mr [Suider?] knew the father
in days gone bye - hence the visitation.
We started at three - a party of seven
and such fun was as we had! – We drove
the long way around arrived before five -
such a reception and such a feast!-
never did I see anything to equal it.
After supper we played [enchree?]-
and danced. It was a mammoth

[Page 6]
house - with huge rooms - hence the fun.
The drive home was delightful too - It
was really quite a happy outing- Do you
remember the first Essex staff expedition
to Leamington - your disgust-!
I half intend to go up to Toronto
on Friday to see if I can replenish my
rather depleted wardrobe. Spring sunshine
shows up all blemishes and makes one
long to have everything fresh and new.
I am showing quite a line of industry
this year in sewing - you should just
see the blouses that I am turning out
Such is the force of example. Tis rather
fine too.
And Wednesday will be
the seventeenth of March - Living in
our Irish household - we are to have a
St. Patrick fete here. Miss Murphy just
called in to know if I'd make a fourth
at bridge - I said “in a minute”. Then
she asked what I was doing - I said writing
to an Irishman - she proceeded then to bid
me - invite you to our Wednesday Eve party.

[Page 7]
She continues to be a, - such fine and
so good to me. I suppose you would say I
am terribly spoilt - but what’s to be done–
and I certainly have a happy time. Really
she is such an understanding person - and
would do anything or everything for me. For
some unaccountable reason - she conceived a
peculiarly strong likeing [liking?] for this
fortunate person - and so – I am favoured.-
I have a real, genuine shamrock-
which arrived straight from the old sod-
a whole plant of it,- So I can celebrate
in proper style.-
Yes was not that Kincade
murder - a most diabolical thing? –
We all have our theories - It seems
rather uncharitable to suspect where
one has no definite grounds but
certainly that Florence is telling
a trumped up story – I fancy that both
she and the mother know more about it
than they want to tell - But time
will tell.
By the way - to change the subject

[Page 8]
Where is your dog? -dead-sold-or still
with you. Bill and I are inseparables
He ruins my clothes but is such a “dear”–
that it all goes-
Surely you are not adding to
your [adver?] dupois – don’t – please -
if I am to see you again -
But now I must go - Miss Murphy Says to
tell you that she envies you getting
this letter from me - she little knows
James Alexander - what a stoical
Irishman this is - she pictures
the typical ardent enthusiast of
the “Emerald Isle” - while this is
quite an unusual kind –
n'est ce pas? [Is it not?]
Well anyway I must say
'Au revoir' now - you will tell me
if you have made any Easter plans
will you not - because as ever, I am
Be good
Very sincerely yours
Mary J.

Transcribed by Greg Floyd