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Title: Stewart, Frances to Noble, Maria, 1854
CollectionRevisiting Our Forest Home, The immigrant letters of Frances Stewart [J. L. Aoki]
SenderStewart, Frances
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginGoodwood, Upper Canada
RecipientNoble, Maria
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1070
Genrefamily, family life
Transcript1854: April 11
To Maria [Noble], Ireland

Goodwood, Tuesday
11th April 1854

My dearest Maria,

I am sure I need not tell you how I have longed for home letters since
I received your last dated 2 March & which reached me the 23d, but
none have come since except one from Catharine to Ellen in which
there was no mention at all of your dear Aunt's illness. In the very letter I had before that from our dear Mamma she mentioned her own
declining years & requested me not to be shocked or to grieve for her
if it should be the Lords will to call her to Himself. We cannot help
grieving at losing even for a time the social connection with members
of our own family whom we have ever loved & revered from our earliest
I feel deep sorrow for poor dear Bessy Rothwell. She has been wonderfully
supported but I know that the time which immediately follows
a bereavement like hers is not the worst. At first one feels a necessity for exertion which keeps one up & there is always so much to be done &
arranged & ones situation altogether seems so changed that there is an
excitement which actually keeps one from feeling so deeply. But when
we feel ourselves alone & obliged to think & act without the friend to
think & act for or with us, when we look around & see all others happy
& gay & that each possesses some one friend who makes them their first
object & that all have some tie, then we who are widows do feel our desolation.
We then feel ourselves drawn closer to The One Friend whose
love never fails, who we can never lose unless by our own forgetfulness.
Oh what should we do if we had not this Friend to fly to who is closer &
whose love is more lasting than any Earthly friend.
I can't help seeing a great similarity between Bessy's situation & my
own for indeed my ever dear husband was all to me that hers was to
her. He was the centre point of the whole circle to whom all turned &
all looked for guidance & I may say, for happiness. Rich & poor alike
looked up to him & always found him a ready friend & councillor. He
was the life & spirit of every company & yet his influence ruled & regulated the whole country around us. In our own family & associates he
ruled most strictly but at the same time so judiciously that he never
gave offence & seldom appeared harsh till the last year or two when the
state of his affairs evidently affected his own stretched & over wrought
mind & feelings & actually his brain. But this was "The hand of the
Lord." His heart was always inclined to religion & his adversity seemed
to draw him closer to God & induced him to study the Holy Scriptures
for edification and light. And he did receive light & shewed it & tried to
lead others by it & to it... All this winter I have been very idle about letter writing. I have not been as well as usual & never have been good in spirits & I felt that if I wrote it could only be in either a restrained way or else a history of my own little troubles so I just wrote as little as I could. Now I am better & hope my mind will return by degrees to its own tone. I have been staying with darling Bessie & Edward for the last four weeks & enjoy myself greatly. I feel here as if care & sorrow were left behind for this is a happy little place & I have not seen Bessie so well & so like herself as she is now.
Her eyes are bright & her heart seems light & her health is good & tho'
her little twins & her little adopted daughter, Mary Brown, add to her
cares & very much to her trouble & work, yet she manages them all wonderfully
& never is in a fuss or out of patience or temper. The children
are very healthy & very interesting of course as all little children are to
their parents & Grand mammas but I don't think either Bee or Edward
make too much fuss about them or think them anything wonderful as
many mothers I know do.
I have not been able to get out for three weeks, I mean to see anybody,
for I walk everyday, but the roads are nearly impassable for any
conveyance that ladies could join. So we must wait for some time longer
tho' I am longing to get down to see Anna & Ellen & Kate & Louisa &
all my friends. Frank is living at his farm & working steadily making
preparations for adding to his house as he hopes to have his little wife in
some months from this. I am truly rejoiced to say her father is now on
the best & pleasantest terms with Frank & I hope all may go on smoothly
& happily. John is to be married very soon as he has fitted up a loghouse
for the present, & as he must study economy more than indulgence he
wishes to settle down at once as he finds it "does not pay" to go every
week or ten days to Grafton 25 miles off to see Anna & besides it will be
much more agreeable & better economy to have a housekeeper for good
& as her parents have consented I believe they think of concluding all
matters on my Birthday, the remembrance of which will be preserved by
several weddings.
John is a very industrious steady fellow but he has nothing to
depend on but the work of his hands. Anna has no fortune but she is
very prudent & a good manager & is active & industrious. If they have health I have no fears. Frank's wife is also a very good manager but is
rather [incomplete]
Pray give my love to James & all your little flock & the Rockfields &
Athboys and to any of my old friends who care for me or that you think
I love. Goodbye dear.
Your ever Affect'
Fanny S.