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Emma Crosby Letters

[Letter, Emma Crosby to Eliza Douse, May 9, 1877] Crosby, Emma, 1849-1926 1877-05-09

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 Fort Simpson, B.C.  May 9th 1877    My dear Mother,   Another of your welcome letters came to hand yesterday, and I feel as though I have so much to   say to you in reply.  So many things occur that I should like to write about but when I am at a letter   my time seems so short that I cannot write all I wish.  I wrote you from Victoria acknowledging my   father's letter.  I am sorry to hear he has not been well.  You must have work enough with your   housekeeping indeed it seems to me you must do quite too much.  I think you should do just so much work   as you find necessary to keep you interested and no more.  There are plenty of poor people in Toronto, I   am sure, to whom it would be a charity to give employment and you ought to make your life just as   comfortable as ever you can.   It gives me great comfort to learn from your letters that one and another of the good Christian   people at home are praying for us.  More and more do I feel the need of sustaining grace and long to be   upheld by the prayers of those strong in faith.  There are difficulties at every turn while the work   continually grows.  We are very sorry to find that a change is to be made in the management of the H.B.   Co.'s store here.  Mr. Morrison is to be removed to an out of the way place down the coast - while a   stranger comes to take charge here.  This latter is very unpromising.  I fear he will be no help to us.    His wife is a Spanish half-breed from the interior who cannot talk any English.  Mr. and Mrs. Morrison   have been a real help to us and have had, I think, a very good influence on the Indians.  Mrs. M. has   improved wonderfully.  Her house is kept as nicely as anyone�۪s need to be, and they live like people of   refinement and good taste.  They have decided, I believe, that Mrs. M. and the children - two little   girls - are to remain here with her brothers & mother, while Mr. M. goes to his new post - only   temporarily, I think, until he is prepared to return here to carry on business for himself.  I must tell   you about the latter part of our visit to Victoria.  It was really a great pleasure to me, and the   children improved very much while we were away.  The people of Victoria were very kind indeed.  I was   kept busy visiting and the children met with universal favor.  The Dist. meeting was held while we were   there.  Thomas, of course, was full of schemes of extension and had set his heart upon having a   missionary for Naas, while word had been sent from the Mission rooms that no new work could be   undertaken except by local effort, on account of that troublesome debt.  When the appeal was made to the   meeting this was how it was met - the sympathy of the ministers was roused and one promising young man   was ready to go - but no money.  Thomas came away, heavy in heart - even his own travelling expenses in   visiting these people could not be allowed him - and feeling he could not say to these people that there was no one to take them the Gospel, and they begging for it - still hoping that some way would be   opened.  That (Saturday) evening he went to a small praise meeting held in a private house comprising   perhaps twenty Christian people.  Here he told his feelings about this matter, and a marvelous sympathy   was felt.  Then this young man, who was also there, declared his readiness to go and the tide rose   higher and another young minister who has hitherto been very successful declared he was willing to go.    By and by a colored man got up and said he thought they ought to do something practical.  He thought   fifty dollars might be raised that night. At once some one else said he would give half of that himself   and subscriptions of fifty, twenty five, ten dollars & a few less were offered until in a few minutes   between two and three hundred were promised without one being asked for anything.  It was a wonderful   time & those who were at the meeting seemed to think they had never felt anything like it.  The next day   other sums were promised, one poor & very old colored woman giving one dollar.  At the Sunday night   prayer meeting Mr. Crosby spoke again, but without asking for money.  Again there was a strange and   blessed tide of feeling over the meeting.  It did one good to know that the hearts of the people were so   much with us - as one and another got up and expressed their sympathy with this work and their purpose   to stand by the workers.  After the meeting several entire strangers - rough men - came to Mr. Crosby to   add their subscriptions, and the amount was still further increased solely by spontaneous offerings till   the result was the people of Victoria pledged themselves to support the Mission themselves for one or,   if necessary, for two years.  Monday morning Mr. Crosby went again, thus fortified, to the Dist. meeting   and succeeded in getting the recommendation of a young man for Naas, which we think cannot but be     sanctioned by the Committee.   This is really a very promising place for a Mission - albeit there is fierce opposition to be     encountered from the English Church Mission some fifteen miles from the place selected for ours.  This     Mission is on the same plan as that near to us but the village numbers only about a hundred - all the     Indians are invited to leave their own homes and come to this new village to live.  This the Indians     decline to do.  The Missionary is also a trader and cannot command their confidence, and they urge that     a Missionary be settled with them.  Some of the things done, by the heads of these two missions, and by the Indians under their care with their sanction you would scarce be able to believe.  Their bitterness     towards us is most extreme.  Mr. Crosby has visited Naas since we returned and is more than ever     encouraged.  Yesterday he left again for Wrangle, where he felt he must go as soon as possible, to     oversee the work there.  He went by the steamer and will likely be back in two or three days from now.      Here he has kept up a school & services by having young men from here staying there for the purpose.      This has been at his own expense chiefly though some money has also been subscribed on the spot.  We are   hoping that soon some permanent provision may be made for this place.  Mr. Crosby has promised also to   make a visit this summer to a place 150 miles south of us.  I do not think I told you of this before.  A   young man of this village - which is called Kit-a-maht - having attended the Indian church in Victoria   came home & began services among his own people.  He is known as Charley.  Not long before we went to   Victoria he, his wife, and two other young men came all that distance by canoe in a time of the year   when it is difficult & dangerous to travel on this coast, to see Mr. Crosby and tell him that their   services & school were creating much interest among the people and to beg that he would go to see them   and "make their hearts strong."  And of course he could not refuse.  Thus the calls multiply and while   it is a trial to me every time Thomas goes away, yet what can I say?  And then I know you are all   praying for us.  But I must go back - I forgot to tell you about the end of our visit to Victoria.  We   went to New Westminster for a few days but had to hasten back to get ready for the "Otter" which we   found was to sail much sooner than had been expected. Mrs. Russ urged that I remain behind with the   children but I scarcely liked to take the responsibility of bringing them up alone.  We had strong winds   on the way up and all of us but baby were quite sick, but we got on very well, and were heartily glad to   get home.  We brought a lot of preserved fruit cakes &c., the gifts of friends, and best of all an   excellent cow - so now we have lots of milk and make about six pounds of butter a week.  Our garden is   looking much better this spring than last & I believe in time we shall have quite a pretty place.  The   children are well.  Jessie is learning fast to talk now and baby has two teeth.  She is such a fine   baby.  I am quite proud of her.  I have just begun to feed her twice a day.  We have got a nice baby's   carriage for her which is a great convenience.  I wish you could see them both.  Gracie will, I believe,   soon be as large as Jessie.  Jessie is so tiny and yet so bright.  I sent you their photographs from   Victoria.  I will enclose another of Jessie now, but it is not good.  I had one taken too, but by a poor   artist.  It is not worth sending, I think.     I received by this mail a parcel of stockings for which my most affectionate thanks are due you.    Tell Papa Thomas' Policy of Insurance is here, if he thinks best we will send it to him.  Mr. Crosby's   brother-in-law had it but sent it to him some time ago.  We are really under great obligation to you all   for your kindness in many ways.  The Lord keep you.  Miss Knott appears to have borne her solitude very   well, but was heartily glad to see us back.  She took charge of everything most faithfully while we were   away, and conducted the Sunday morning service always herself.     At present I have a hired woman to preside in the kitchen.  She is clean & very trusty but very   slow.  We have also a young girl with us whom we found at Nanaimo.  She belongs to this part of the   country and it was for her good that Mr. Crosby brought her up.  Now, I have written a long letter.  I   like to tell you all I can about our life here but I write much more fully to you than I can to anyone   else.   Our sincerest love to both yourself and my father, and Believe me, dear Mother    Your affectionate daughter     Emma


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