Saturday, April 08, 2006

Gamble Letter #7

19th century doodle of mosquito vs man by an anonymous MinnesotanI'm fairly certain the letters are now into 1880. Mary shares with her family back in Ontario their prosperity, and excitement, at building a new life in a new country. Alas, as anyone knows (and I know all too well!) who has lived in St. Vincent and vicinity, mosquitos are the bane of summer; evidently, nothing much has changed...
Dear father & mother & Maggie I now sit down to write these few lines to yous and I hope yous are all well as this leaves us at present we have been so busey that we have not time to look round us with puting in the crop and garden we have just finished the patotas this day we have three cows to milk and we get three wooden pails of Milk night and morning and we have too calves and too pigs to feed and we churn every other day I make from 18 to twenty pounds of butter a week we get 25 cents a pound for it so you see we have plenty of work the crops is looking well all over around here we got a new wagon at Seventy Dollers and a new plow at twenty dollers and a new harrald at 16 dollers the Misskittos is bad here in the summer but there could not be a better country for cattle such fine pasture every one herds there own cattle for there is no fences in this country and the herd law protects every ones crops if a beast comes along all you have to do is tie them up and the owner has to pay the damage we have put up a kitchen to our house ten by faurteen it cost about twenty dollers the children all goes to School the baby has got to teeth he is beginning to stand up there never was such emagration to any place as there is to this from England and Scotland there was a hundred families from dundee and glasgow and they new Alick people well and there is plenty from Ireland from the place you come from and from every county in Ireland and they give a hand account of the old country there is nothing particular here just now I will try and get the babys picture taken this summer and send it to you See him he is the best looking of all the children Willie put his letter in with this and you must mention it in your next letter or he will be mad I think I have told you all this time I will not be so long of writing the next time we all join in sending our kind love to you all so no more at present so I remain yours truley
Mary Ann Gamble
Mary ends the letter with a postscript, which implies this missive had a sample of the prairie contained with it - "this is sweet hay it grows all over the prairie"