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Title: Stewart, Frances to Atwood, Annie, 1869
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 Count1028
Genrenews, family
Transcript1869: March 18
To Annie Atwood, Gore's Landing, Ontario

Douro, 18th March 1869

My dearest Annie

We are always most happy to see you & Mr. Atwood & all your small
appendages whenever an opportunity comes. But as it has turned out
in the present instance I fear had you come we could not have enjoyed
your visit as both Bessie & I have been entirely occupied during the last
two weeks attending on dear Kate who was confined of a son on the 5th.
She had a very rapid time & her recovery was progressing rather slowly
when on Friday last, Just a week from babys birth, she was taken ill quite
suddenly with alarming symptoms which continued for several days. We
had both Dr. McNabb & Dr. Burritt in consultation & I am most thankful
to say she is now better but still very weak & requiring constant care both
night and day. We are most fortunate in having both Louisa & Annie
Stewart so close as they assist Bessie & "take turns" in night nursing. But
it may be some time yet before dear Kate can regain strength enough to
be able even to sit up which she has never attempted yet even in bed. Her
two youngest children are staying here (not the baby) & we have little
Bertha Brown also here for the benefit of attending school.
Arthur Mathias has also returned to us till he meets with some
employment so that we have a full house & indeed these are such anxious
times that I fear, if you should be able to pay us your intended visit,
we should hardly be able to [enjoy] it as Bessie has her mind & time &
hands all loaded at present. The Dr. says all depends on unremitting care
to keep up Kates strength & to prevent the slightest excitement as her
heart is very much affected and the slightest start or excitement might
bring on those sad faintings again. She does not know I heard from you
as we talk to her as little as possible but I am sure when she is well she
will be rejoiced to hear of & from you & to see you if you can come some
fine day in summer, for I fear we shall hardly feel at liberty to have you
during the present moonlight or even in sleighing, for I suppose as this
warm sunshine increases our snow will go & the roads will be very bad. Our new baby is a very fine large strong little fellow & quiet too, not- •
withstanding his poor Mamas illness. He is very like both Cecil & Helen.
Only think of Kate having six children! I have been wishing to write to
your dear Mamma some time back but really have not had spirits or time
as when I come home at night I am lazy & sleepy....
John Stewart has gone to the States to look for a farm & to try to raise
some money as many farmers have gone from this neighbourhood &
succeeded much better. The seasons are more moderate for agriculture
& the crops fine & labour not so great as in Canada. But prices are high &
some expenses are greater than here. When John has time to look round
& judge better he will let us know more about it all as many here seem
inclined to emigrate there. Have you any lambs yet. Robert has three
within the last two days & so far they seem strong & well, poor little
things. Our hens are not laying at all regularly. We only get an egg now &
then but Louisas are laying very well & Kates pretty well. I think Louisa
has geese but Robert has such objections to them that Bessie has not
any nor has Kate I believe. They destroy the grain crops so much. I don't
know how he will like Louisas if they trespass. They are very profitable
as they sell well & the leathers are so nice for Pillows, &c, but if there is water near I believe they don't go so much into the fields. Annie & Louisa are both trying to make rag carpets. Poor old Betty is now taking care of Louisas house & family as she is obliged to stay so much with Kate & cutting & joining the rags is nice work for her.
We have been quite shut up with drifts lately. The River road was
quite impassable for some time & is still very bad. Dear Ellen has gone to
Toronto as she has been very poorly lately. I don't know if Mary has any
of her young friends staying with her as we have had so little intercourse.
Anna Hay too has been suffering from erysipelas in both her arms & a
large boil on one which she fears is gathering again. It has been a tedious
& painful trial to her and interferes sadly with her household cares and
duties. I was much disappointed not seeing dear Kate when she was in
Peterboro but our horses are very busy always as we have only three.
Robert has been reducing his establishment & certainly his expenses
every way he can & has not had any hired man for some months as Archy
has gone on a farm of his own. Stewart {Bessies son) is able to help his Uncle a good deal & so is Franky but he goes now to school till the spring
work requires him again. Edward is in Toronto & seems to like it very
well. I think he is a very steady good boy.
I have only heard yet of the arrival of one of the copies of the Wild
Flowers sent to my friends. Mrs. Rothwell [has] hers quite safe & is
delighted with it which I am impatient to tell your Mamma. And now
dearest I must conclude. Bessie is at home tonight & sends her love to
you & kind regards to Mr. Atwood in which she is sincerely joined by
your affectionate old friend & Mamma, F. Stewart.