Open Collections

Emma Crosby Letters

[Letter, Emma Crosby to Eliza Douse, March 27, 1875] Crosby, Emma, 1849-1926 1875-03-27

Item Metadata


JSON: ecrosby-1.0006064.json
JSON-LD: ecrosby-1.0006064-ld.json
RDF/XML (Pretty): ecrosby-1.0006064-rdf.xml
RDF/JSON: ecrosby-1.0006064-rdf.json
Turtle: ecrosby-1.0006064-turtle.txt
N-Triples: ecrosby-1.0006064-rdf-ntriples.txt
Original Record: ecrosby-1.0006064-source.json
Full Text

Full Text

 Fort Simpson, B.C.  March 27th 1875    My dear Mother,   Baby is asleep just now so I take the opportunity of writing though it may be but a few minutes.  It is not unlikely that the str. may be here some time next week, and I ought, if possible, to have all my writing done before she comes, as with her we are expecting Mr. Pollard - and to provide for his comfort and entertainment will take up my time pretty fully, I suppose, during the interval between our receiving our mail and the str. passing down again.  Our mails seem to us quite frequent now they come every month.  I am hoping for answers to Febr. letters but I know it is doubtful.  There is a great deal I should like to tell you all but my time is not my own now - baby takes the largest share of it.  We are all well, I am thankful to say, and happy & comfortable.  My husband has had less driving work since Christmas and is the better for it.  Baby does nobly.  She seems to grow noticeably every day and is really fat - and is so bright.  She still sleeps famously at night, and is always nearly all morning in the cradle.  We have about decided to call her Jessie.  I enclose a likeness taken by a local artist, Mrs. Morrison's brother who has been in Victoria and obtained a smattering of the art of photography.  I do not suppose you will get a very clear idea of our daughter from it but it will at least represent her.  She was asleep or nearly so.  It would be impossible I think, to keep her quiet if awake.  Her arms especially are always flying about.      29th - Monday A.M.  I resume.  Our village is almost empty just now.  The people are off at a fishing station about forty miles away - where they spend five or six weeks every year at this season to get a very rich kind of small fish from which they extract great quantities of grease.  My husband went last week to visit them and also some heathen tribes living beyond.  He was away from Monday till early Saturday morning.  Five Indians went with him.  Having head winds it took them near two days to reach their destination - camping one night on the beach, though the weather was very cold.  He took provisions with him and mats & blankets to sleep in but of course he was in the Indian houses.  At a heathen village after a meeting of five hours & a half at which many speeches were made, he slept in the chief's bedstead with a new scarlet blanket that was lent him.  This was after partaking of a supper of potatoes & dried salmon, the accompanying grease being entouched.  Returning, the weather was very stormy.  The route is dangerous but by the care of a steady crew and the blessing of Providence they came through safely, reaching here about five A.M. after being out all night, except two or three hours they slept at a little Indian hut a few miles away.  It was something of a trial for me to have my husband go, but I saw the importance of it, though it was uncertain when he would get back - and I was the first to propose it.  We were kept all well, and I was far less lonely that I expected to be - baby was such a comfort to me.  An Indian woman, one who has been in Victoria a good deal & is very clean & nice stayed with me while Thomas was gone - for our little servant took a notion she must go off with her friends to the fishing.  For about a week I was without any one to help me - except, indeed, Thomas - but we got on very well, and now the girl we had is back.  She came with Mr. Crosby.  I am stronger now, I believe, and able to bear more exertion than ever before.     April 10th  The Otter came three days ago, bringing parcels but no letters - it must be that the latter have been delayed somewhere for I am sure you would write at once.  I felt disappointed for I wanted very much to hear from you all and get your greeting to your little grand-daughter.  I received a parcel from Barrie containing the curtaining, two dresses for baby & a pair of little boots - also a paper for Thomas.  One dress, I see, is from "Ma" for which very many thanks - and indeed thanks for all, though I do not know exactly who the donors are.  It does my heart good to know that our sweet little daughter so far away from those who would care for her & help her, is still thought of and loved.  Then there was a parcel from Cobourg containing two jackets, two pinafores, two under flannels, a bib & a dress pattern - all just the very things I wanted - especially the little flannels.  I mean baby to wear these always after she is shortened & I was at a loss for a good pattern.  Many, many thanks.  Besides these things she had sent her from Victoria - a little blue crocheted jacket, a blue & white hood, a print dress ready made and five pairs of little boots - one a very pretty pair of yellow kid to lace.  She is at present in possession altogether of nine pairs of shoes of different kinds, including one pair of tiny moccasins Mrs. Morrison gave her.  I also received from Victoria a box containing a large fruit cake, some pickles and a number of jars of preserves, the last from that peculiar lady we stayed with in Victoria last summer.  Besides these things the "Otter" also brought flower roots & rhubarb ready to plant, some of the plants in bloom, and the Chairman and a carpenter to build the church.  The Chairman has to sleep in a bed on the lounge in the sitting room as the carpenter & teacher are enough for our one bedroom upstairs, as only one is yet partitioned off.   We had baby baptized yesterday.  I wish my father could have done it but that could not be.  We were sorry that it should be when so many of the people were away but thought on the whole it was best to have it done now.  We had decided to call her Jessie but the Indians were afraid of her Indian name being quite superseded by the other & lost so we added it and she was baptized "Jessie Asseh-e-gemk."  We had a public service in the afternoon at which this took place and Mr. Pollard addressed the people, that is, all there were home.  Baby cried a little during the baptismal service but was very good on the whole.  Her father kept her most of the time and she is generally good with him.  In the evening Mr. & Mrs. Morrison came up and we had refreshments - cake, apples, little biscuits, raspberry vinegar & what I had of my wedding cake - I did not know that there could be a more worthy occasion than baby's christening.  She is growing brighter & sweeter every day and seems very well indeed.  She is very good too - and she laughs and coos so prettily.  I only wish you could see her Ma.  I know you would say she is just as sweet a little baby as there ever was.  I wish some one, perhaps Susie could do it conveniently - would send me some more flannel to make up for her.  If there is any more of that wide like I had, I would like three yards of it, also some fine cotton, and some material for pinafores with trimmings.  I would like too, some grey flannel for night dresses as here flannel will be necessary all the year round.  You would laugh if you saw how our baby is fixed up for the night - something after Indian fashion - that is, even her night dress.  I wind her in a little shawl - that old one of Ma's - brown & white - that was wrapped round something in packing - pinned pretty closely round her throat and again the point wherever it comes somewhere below her waist so that her arms, while not cramped are kept quiet & she is warm.  We believe she sleeps the better for it.  When she was very little the nurse used to roll her blanket round her in the day time so that she could not get her hands out.     We have set up a boarding house - you see - as both these assistants - the teacher & the carpenter have no other place to look to.  This will , of course, give me more to do a great deal but Thomas says we must have some one to help us - whom we shall get I do not know.  The carpenter is a dashing young fellow - the very reverse of the teacher.  We get our provisions mostly from Victoria, and mind to look ahead. I shall have to ask you to send this letter to the girls as I have no time to write to them this time.  I hope I shall have letters from you all next boat, I want to know how Eliza's baby is getting on.   Love from us all to Papa & Auntie & Sallie, my own dear sisters & brother & yourself, dear Mother,   Your affectionate daughter    Emma    We have no bills to send perhaps Susie will trust us.


Citation Scheme:


Citations by CSL (citeproc-js)

Usage Statistics



Customize your widget with the following options, then copy and paste the code below into the HTML of your page to embed this item in your website.
                            <div id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidgetDisplay">
                            <script id="ubcOpenCollectionsWidget"
                            async >
IIIF logo Our image viewer uses the IIIF 2.0 standard. To load this item in other compatible viewers, use this url:


Related Items