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Emma Crosby Letters

[Letter, Emma Crosby to Eliza Douse, July 10, 1875] Crosby, Emma, 1849-1926 Jul 10, 1875

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 Fort Simpson, B.C.   July 10th 1985    My dear Mother,   I was delighted yesterday when we received our mail & found two letters from you - the last dated Castleton June 16th.  I had been wondering very much what you & my father were going to do about your place of residence, and indeed, yet, I have no decided idea.  Annie says in a letter of June 21st that Georgie is going into an office in Barrie - in which case you will scarcely leave, will you!  But I shall likely know all about it by next str. Wherever you are I hope you will make yourselves thoroughly comfortable.  Just make up your mind to have things easy.  Have the house always warm and cosy with nice carpets & comfortable easy chairs &c. so as to really enjoy it.  I don't see any reason why you should not - and do not undertake to do much work yourself.  You ought to have a good girl that could do everything.  Now do go on this plan - no one will be any the worse off for it - and your children & friends will all be the happier for knowing that you are comfortable.  I hope Georgie will do well wherever you are. I am sorry to hear that you were feeling uneasy about my letter not coming when you expected.  If they usually come early in the month it must be by accident, for there is no certainty as to the time of their reaching Victoria, and from there the letters are usually sent to Portland, Oregon, and overland to San Francisco - instead of waiting for the fortnightly steamer.  Indeed a delay of that kind should not be thought of anxiously, at all.  There are so many possible ways of its occuring.  I was very glad to get the photo you enclosed.  Thank the girls very much for it.  I want to write to Sally as soon as I can.  The parcels you sent came all right - many thanks.  The little socks I was especially glad to get.  They will be just the thing for baby very soon.  As yet she wears little woolen booties.  I made her short clothes to cover her feet well, so they are warm enough at present.  Indeed we are having quite warm weather just now - and very fine.  We find it warmer where we are now - a little away from the water - both summer & winter than it is in the Fort which is built close to the beach.  Still you would not call this warm weather at home.  I still wear my flannels the same as in winter - only in outer clothing have I made much change.  Baby - our little Jessie - does grow so fast and is such a fine healthy little girl. I would give so much if you could see her.  She has such a lot of very curly brown hair and such a bright little face.  She is full of fun and mischief as can be.  She wakes in the morning with a laugh & a coo and is merry as the day is long.  She is just the sunshine of the house, and such a comfort to us.  Her father, of course, is very proud of her ̱ they have fine frolics together.  We feel very thankful indeed that she is so well and good.  She is a blessing indeed to us.  I began a few days ago to feed her a little once a day - more to get her accustomed to a spoon in case it might be necessary to feed her in that way than for any other reason - but it is only a trifle she takes.  I tried corn-starch once - but sago seems to agree with her better.  We are going to send to Victoria by this boat for some vaccine.   The church building is going on very well indeed.  But it is a great undertaking.  However most of the difficult work is over now, but it is only by the most persistent, plodding energy that it is carried on.  Then there are worse difficulties than the building to contend with.  I sometimes think surely this Pacific coast is the wickedest place on earth.  White men living unmarried with Indian women is perhaps the chief evil.  There are none in the village - but some not many miles away who come to the village & decoy away the young girls.  It is dreadful.  Of course my husband gives no uncertain sound on this subject and that is bringing him, and I suppose will continue to bring him in contact with these men under not the pleasantest circumstances.  However duty is plain here - they are a craven lot of fellows too when there is an opportunity really to face them - but they can find ways to annoy and to hinder our work.   Our household arrangements have undergone no change since I wrote last but I find there is so little for three girls to do that I fear their getting into bad habits on that account.  We think of sending one away - though I do not like to do it.  If we had a house arranged properly we might have things more on the plan of a school and let them take turns in the kitchen - but as things are now that is impossible.  Then the expense of keeping up such a family is not a little - perhaps more than we ought to undertake.  One thing I must not forget to record - I have actually seen some white ladies!  Two or three weeks ago on Sunday morning we saw a str. anchored in the bay and were surprised by a visit from Gen. Howard of the U.S. army & staff who had been on a tour of inspection up the Alaska coast.  The Gen. and another officer came up very soon to the house.  They had come in for the purpose of attending church and on reaching there we found quite an array of uniforms & children and two ladies.  The Gen. and a Capt. had their families with them.  Then after service there were all the Colonels & Captains & everybody to shake hands with and talk to.  They had to re-embark immediately after the service so we accompanied them to their boat on the beach, and with some "gushing" and, I believe, not a little really kindly interest we bade a mutual farewell.  The Gen. is a very philanthropic and religious man, and your son-in-law is "hale fellow well met" with every one.  I believe he would ask the Prince of Wales to the house if he visited the village - and with equal cordiality would he offer the hospitalities of our home to the poorest miner.  Another stray str. visited us a few weeks ago ̱ a U.S. revenue cutter having on board a U.S. Indian agent looking up Indian curiosities for the approaching Centennial Exhibition.  He took dinner with us & I should say was a fair specimen of the U.S. Indian agent as reputed to be - not inconveniently high-minded.  But on this same str. there was a Lieutenant who visited us & whose visit was a real pleasure.  He is a Methodist and after taking tea with us joined us in the class-meeting that meets in our house.  He grew so fond of baby too!  I liked him for that, of course - but indeed, everyone notices her.  The Capt. of the Otter brought his wife up with him this trip.  She took tea with us.  On their return they are to call here again & then I shall likely have another longer visit from her.  She brought us some cherries which were a treat indeed.  We had green peas for dinner today too - some a man brought who came on the str.  We miss fresh vegetables & fruit a good deal.  We have had some radishes from the fort - but nothing else from the garden.   Did you get the box I sent by last mail?  I have got a lot of shells lately far prettier than any I had to send to Auntie before but I am half afraid to send them.  I will enclose five dollars which will perhaps cover what I may be owing you and Susie.  As I have written so long a letter I must ask you to send it to Susie.  I fear I shall not have time to write her much.  Best love from Thomas to you all.  My love to my father & brother & Auntie & Sallie & all and especially yourself dear Mother.   Yours as ever    Emma

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