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Emma Crosby Letters

[Letter, Emma Crosby to Eliza Douse, July 27, 1874] Crosby, Emma, 1849-1926 Jul 27, 1874

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 Fort Simpson, B.C.  July 27th 1874    My dear Mother,   We have just heard that our good ship the "Otter" is at a landing some distance away and will be here tomorrow about noon.  It is half past ten now but I have several letters to write before she goes out tomorrow and might get at least one written tonight.  The only trouble is there is so much I want to say to you, and my letter cannot be very long.  Well, Mother dear, we are really settled in our own home.  To be sure it has but three rooms in it, but they are not small, and make a real cosy, pleasant home though the walls are boarded and great beams run across the ceiling.  The largest one, which serves as dining room, and for a great many other purposes, is after this wise - the floor is covered with cedar mats - I did not want to put carpets down in this house - the walls hung quite profusely with pictures & maps and other little things.  It contains four tables, the melodeon, a rocking chair &c., an old-fashioned fire place, that comes away out into the room - though not very beautiful in itself, when there is a bright fire in it is the making of the whole.  One of Auntie's large rugs lies before it.  I was afraid of the cinders on my best rugs.  The kitchen has the ordinary furniture in it, brought from Victoria.  The bedroom is laid with mats & rugs, contains the bedstead, washstand, bureau, two tables meant for our parlor, a set of shelves for the glass &c. and numerous pictures &c on the walls.  Your photo & my father's hang over the head of the bed.   I have that Indian boy to help me every day with the work.  He can do pretty much everything, except some of the cooking and with that I have got on better than ever I thought I should at first.  I had some trouble with yeast at first, but have had bread since that I am sure even Auntie herself would not be ashamed of.  We have venison, salmon & halibut in abundance.  Shall have other things I suppose after a while.  For breakfast this morning we had fried venison & potatoes, toast & coffee.  Mrs. Morrison of the Fort has very kindly supplied us with enough milk for the table every day - and many little things also from their garden.  Our cow however is on the Otter now I believe, and some other things we sent for.  Provisions are dear at the store, and some things we shall have to get from Victoria. The berries about here are not very good.  Every day little girls come with gifts of berries for me, but very few we use.  The morning school of about seventy children I am teaching.  In the afternoon Mr. Crosby has about as many grown people.  It will be impossible for him to keep this when the church & house are under weigh as they will be now immediately and likely for a while I shall take both.  There really ought to be a teacher here immediately.  There is so much to be done besides.  Mr. Crosby has to visit & dispense medicines to the whole village.  This is part of the work of every day.  There is a great deal of sickness.  I have made quantities of gruel & numbers of mustard plasters.  Then hour after hour has to be spent in talking with them over their difficulties and troubles.  They have to be cared for and dealt with like so many children. It rains nearly every day & is almost always chilly & cold.  We have a fire in our sitting room all the time pretty much.  This so disagreeable, but we are getting used to it now & never think of staying in on account of the rain, only I shall soon want new rubbers I am sure & waterproof & umbrellas.  The people are anxious to learn and though they live in much wretchedness I hope they may show improvement before long.  The young people are ambitious & promise well.  I wish I could tell you more about them but it is really impossible.  I did not get this letter finished last night after all - some letters were brought in, sent on from the Otter in a canoe and they must be read and then there was bread to be made up.  There was no letter from you.  I am in hopes of that today - surely there must be one by this time.  There were letters from Eliza, Annie, Susie & the college.  I am very anxious to hear from you.  And now, Mother, let me assure you that isolated as we are we are yet very happy and comfortable.  Our neighbours Mr. & Mrs. Morrison are as kind & friendly as can be.  They often run in in the evening and sit a while with us & we always enjoy their visits.  They were here for tea the other evening and also Mrs. M's mother a fine intelligent Indian woman who is quite a celebrated nurse about here.  She is from the English Church Mission near by.   You would see by the Guardian I suppose that there is some opposition from that quarter to our work - however, the people are almost all of them with us, and I don't think we shall be hindered much by it.  I thought I should easily get letters written to Auntie & Sallie for this boat, but shall not do so now.  Give them my very best love.  Thomas would write to you but it is really impossible just now.  You can scarcely think how our time is taken up - people are coming constantly.  We are scarcely ever alone.  I feel just as content & happy as can be.  We take a world of comfort in our own home.  I never feel lonely.  I only wish you could see us here.  Love to my father & yourself & Georgie.  You have, be assured, the prayers & affection of both my husband and    Your affectionate daughter,    Emma     It may be a month or longer before we have another boat so do not be uneasy if you do not hear again very soon.  Please send this at once to Susie. 


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