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Title: Stewart, Frances to Atwood, Annie, 1868
CollectionRevisiting Our Forest Home, The immigrant letters of Frances Stewart [J. L. Aoki]
SenderStewart, Frances
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginDouro Township, Newcsatle District, Upper Canada
DestinationGore's Landing, Ontario, Canada
RecipientAtwood, Annie
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count777
Genrefamily, financial troubles
Transcript1868: January 2
To Annie Atwood, Gore's Landing, Ontario

Douro, 2d Jan'y 1868

My dearest Annie

My first letter dated in the New Year to you! I hope it may find you better
& more comfortable than you have been for a long time as I heard you
had got into a part of your house. A part of a good house is better than
the whole of an uncomfortably small one. I have often thought of you
my dear friends and only regretted I had not in my power to send you
some useful little present as a help towards the new furniture & a proof
of love and remembrance at this season. But alas dearest Annie, I believe
I must deny myself much pleasure in that way. I need not [enter] into
particulars for I am sure you know how many members of my family are
so reduced by adversity & loss of property from different causes, so that any money I have seems to melt like the snow in sunshine & slides away
in small divisions.
You may always be sure I regret it has been out of my power to prove
my sympathy & sincere affection both for you & my dear Mary under
such trying circumstances in any way more substantial & effective than
mere words & professions. But I still hope if I am spared a little longer
that times may mend & no more fires or storms come to destroy property
to the degree we have felt during the last year or two. But I feel how very
wrong it is to allow my complaints to rise when I can see so much mercy
& so many great blessings as we possess still. But I am making this letter
too gloomy & serious & forgetting what 1 should have said first of all, my
hopes & wishes that you have had a pleasant & cheerful Christmas & a
happy New Year, making a better beginning of 1868 than on former seasons
& that it may be the beginning of many years of health, prosperity,
comfort & domestic happiness to you & your dear husband & children.
I long to hear how dear Kate got down. I was sorry I did not see her
before she left Peterboro but she had been gone two days before I heard
she had been there. Since that, your Mamma & Mary were at Annas
for a part of a day. Ellen Dunlop met them & said your Mother looked
very well & seemed in tolerable spirits which I was very happy to hear.
I am sure you are enjoying having your own Kate with you. She is such
a pleasant companion & a kind & considerate assistant. I am also very
much rejoiced to find you will have your Mother with you in Spring
when you will have such great comfort in her tender care & experience.
Your dear kind letter gave me great pleasure & tho' so long delayed I
hope you will accept my sincere thanks for it. Indeed dear Annie I always
do enjoy hearing from you. I feel a warm interest in all your home pursuits
& arrangements & all the little domestic details of your household
I wish I was near enough to you to help you with your sewing and
knitting but I know dear Kate is excellent in that way & quicker than
I am now for I have become very slow in performing every way. I am
often in want of work as I have little or nothing to do for myself, & Kate
& Bee use the sewing machine so much that they have nothing that I
can do. I often grow tired reading & writing, my sight not being very good now. I have a constant [inundation] of books coming to me as
some of my good friends at home often send me books by post & our
little Reading Society goes on prosperously by which we have a regular
course of books coming round monthly. And the newspapers are interesting,
not from the [ ] which I never read, but the state of affairs all over
the world. I suppose you know the Lakefield news better than I do, &
of Peterboro I know very little. The last news I heard was the death of Caisse, the Hotel keeper. I must write a few lines to dear Kate. Bee joins me in kind love to you & kisses to the children, & with every kind wish of the season to you &
Mr. Atwood. Ever dear Annie, your own old Mamma Stewart....