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Title: Stewart, Frances to Atwood, Annie, 1871
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 Count694
Genrefamily, family life
Transcript1871: July 17
To Annie Atwood, Gore's Landing, Ontario

Douro, 17th July 1871

My dearest Annie

I am sure you think I have given you up as a correspondent so I think
I will take up my pen and try to prove that this is not so. Besides, it is so long since any tidings [afar] from Rice Lake have reached me that
I really do want to know how you all are. I suppose Mr. Atwood as all
other farming gentleman is now busy at his harvest & I hope all his crops
are turning out well. It is wonderful how well all seem in this neighborhood, notwithstanding the sad want of rain, which for a time made
everything look brown & dried up & spoilt all the meadows so that hay
will be very scarce this year. But the other crops all seem good tho' the
straw is short....
Bessie was to have gone to spend some days with your dear mother
on the following Sunday but little Harriet was taken ill with a feverish
bilious illness which has been going through Kates family which put an
end to poor Bees plans & anticipated enjoyment. The next week Mary
Brown was laid down in the same way and so Bessie was again disappointed
& now she don't know when she can go as Mary is far from
strong & Bessie don't like to tax her strength too heavily by leaving all
the responsibility & work of the household on her shoulders as she is still
without a maid. It is impossible to get any now to come to a farm. They
all hire in towns where they get $6 or $7 per month which is beyond dear
Bessies means. It makes such a difference to her not having the farm. The
[ ] (in produce) goes but a short way. Now her children are all grown into
men & must have suitable clothing &c. But this farm is a perfect "show."
It looks so nice & well doing. We have not a stump to be seen in the fields
& all looks smooth & neat. Robert has indeed done his nephews justice
in putting the land & fields all into the best order. I often wish it was not so far from all our friends, This is the only drawback for the house is
most comfortable & convenient & the air pure & particularly healthful
but we are sadly shut up from our friends & Society in general & during
the last 18 months, since I have had no horse of my own, we seldom have
a chance of going out except on Sundays. As Bee has not the farm I cannot
afford to keep a horse, so I just manage to fill up my time between
reading, writing, knitting, & sleeping. I am knitting a quilt, a great piece of work. I have not much sewing now so knitting takes its place.
I wish you were able to write me one of your nice letters telling me
about everything, your home concerns & cows, horses, sheep, pigs, &
fowl, & also potatoes, wheat, &c. Have you had the "Potatoe Bug" & are your potatoes good. The fields are rapidly changing colour now. Today
Rob't is reaping at a neighbors with his reaping machine. It [ ] much time
& labour. He has a mowing machine also & does a great part of the work
now by horse work more than man work. Kate is, I am very happy to say,
very well. She is better than for three or four years back but is thin & not very strong but able to do all that she requires. She has an excellent servant which is a good help & thank Goodness! no baby on hand which is
best of all. Now dear, Goodbye. My time is up, so forgive [ ] & with kind
regards to Mr. A. & love to the children & other friends, Believe me as
Ever Your fondly attached Mamma Stewart, FS
If you see Jane Bird tell her we are looking out for her — love to them.