Letter No. 2, New Westminster, July 29, 1867

No. 2. July 31st
P. O’Reilly Esquire
Care of J.C. Haynes Esquire

My own beloved husband

I am angry with myself that I have not continued this sooner for I feel so unwell to-day that it is with great difficulty I can write. The late dinner I find very trying they gave me indigestion & a headache. I have been disappointed at not getting any thing of you. My beloved a fortnight has passed since you left me & seems a long, long time to be without any word from you & I can’t hear until the end of the week for the steamer did not go up the river on Saturday. Of course there is but one subject of must here the state of affairs in Cariboo. I send all the scraps of papers relating to it that

I can find. & I will also give all facts at least as far as I know. I finished my (No. 1) letter to you on Tuesday & walked into town with Mama & Julia to post it. Joe came in on horse back & he took it with the office also Mr. Farland’s letter & a note to Mrs. Seymour in which I told her that I proposed to be with her on Saturday. I had already as I told I heard that they might come up the next day Mr. Good said that the Governor had written saying that he Mr. S would be up on Thursday. Wednesday Mama & I spent with Mrs. Dewdney it was a very hot walk into town & will returning it to us very oppressive & I went to Mr. Cave’s & got out my dresses every thing seems to be in good condition & I thanked him for taking care of all. I can’t help fancying that there has been a row de dou (down) there since

Mr. D returned. Mrs. Glennie came for a few moments in the afternoon to see Frank & it is certain that no greeting took place between her & Mr. W. 7 from something that dropped from Mr. W. We think she is only waiting to hear from her brother before announcing her engagement to Mr. C . She said she has told him Mr. C. , not of come to the house until she had an answer from her brother. On that day the mosquitoes began to be very annoying & they have become a perfect pest. Thursday evening about 8 o’c the Enterprise arrived. She came up to the Camp & Mr. & Mrs. Seymour also accompanied by Mr. Young landed. The letter came up soon after with Joe who had gone through to the pier, to meet Arthur. The next day, (Friday) the up river boats arrived before 11 a.m. bringing dispatches came with all particulars. And it was thought the H.E. would hold an Ex C (Executive Council) but he did not. In the afternoon we went over to call on Mrs. Seymour. She was very friendly & said she hoped I would pay her my visit here

instead of Victoria that is should she decide on remaining here in the event of Mr. S going to C (Cariboo). Of course I replied that I would do so with pleasure & she said we must talk it over. We stayed some time & had a little chat. She appears to me to be decidedly in an interesting state & Mr. Hayman has, I believe told someone that she is five months in the F.W. (*3) We afterwards walked into town all the way to call on Mrs. Pritchard she has been ill & is looking quite changed. I thanked her many times for the strawberries & cake. He came in & stayed & had a glass of wine. I was very tired when I got back & was obligated to lay

down. I had such a pain in my back it quite frightened me & I have not felt well since. Saturday was very wet. The Council, met early & after recess met again in the afternoon. Mr. G. B. Wright & a Mr. O’Hara both just from the spot, were examined & I believe it was decided that the Govr. Was to go to C & he asked Joe to go with him. The consequence of the Enterprise bringing no freight to the boats did not go up. Mrs. Young has been very ill with rheumatic fever & Mr. Y was anxious to return to her but the enterprise waited till 1 o’clock he could not leave & is still here. A guest with Mr. Kerr. This morning there is another Ex. C. they have been there since & it is now just 2. I hope

there is no worse news of course I will tell you to-morrow. Yesterday was very fine. We went to service in the little church & I prayed earnestly for you my own darling. I try not to be anxious about you but to have faith in our Heavenly Fathers care but I cannot always get rid of the thought of the dangers you may be in. I am however most grateful that you are not involved in any way in this disaster affair & hope Mr. Ball will proved to be contended for I think I should go mad if you were sent there on your return. You see how quick my fears are & I don’t think the Govr. at all likes the idea of going & it will be a trial to him to leave his little wife especially in her state of health, but I do not anticipate that he will be in any danger from mob violence. It is sad to think what results have attended Mr. Birch’s conciliatory policy. There is I believe but one opinion in that this is the consequences of the acts, etc. which he allowed to go unpunished last year when the Judge was insulted & also of the weakness of the Government in allowing the act to be succeeded and appears to have taken out of the hand of Law. I greatly fear that this is not the end of the trouble. It is very trying to think that poor dear John will be one of

the losers if they decamp with the gold but my great fear is that they will come to fighting. You cannot realize how thankful I am to Providence that you are not there. Mrs. Hayman went down on Wednesday & her husband, staying at the Govt. House. Mr. Mannsell I suppose doing the town. I am well & glad I had not gone down for I should not have liked to be left here & at the same time I do hope she will not stay here for the mosquitoes are most troublesome. They bite dear Franky & me terribly. I cannot sleep at night & everyone say thing will be worse as the river is just starting to go down.

Tuesday and Wednesday Mr. Edmonds came to see me for the purpose of telling me that Cunningham Bros. were desirous to rent the corner lot next their store. The lease to run for 15 to 20 years. They want the whole side & also the bottom corner which would have disturbed Diety & Nelson & I told him I was really at a loss to offer an opinion but that I thought it was a pity to turn out good tenants who have paid out for so long. I saw him again on Friday & he said Cunningham would be content with the upper portion which he had told them he would rent at 50 cents a foot for 5 years with power to continue at increased rent in case property increase in value, but it appears that they are not decided. & it is contingent on their disposing of the lot they now hold from the bishop. They want to build a brick

store because they wish to insure their goods. The brother from Nanaimo has again come to settle here. Mr. Edwards said he had $200 in hand which he would pay into the bank. The Council lunched with H. E. yesterday. Julia & I went over in the afternoon to see Mrs. S, but we were too late as Julia would go to Mrs. Ker’s first. Mr. & Mrs. S were just going for a walk but she made us go in & stay a short time. She is in great troubled at the idea of Mr. S. going to Cariboo & actually talked of going with him but I don’t doubt for an instant that she will. In her delicate health it would be madness. She said she is strong it would not hurt her more than the anxiety she would suffer. I greatly fear she will remain here & that will be a great trouble for me for the mosquitoes are really terrible. Dear Franky’s legs are badly bitten

& last night he cried for more than an hour in the night with the irritation of them & one is obliged to keep every door & window shut it is so close & hot. I have never seen them so bad as we have now. Since I sat down to write I have killed six & where they came from I can’t think. My legs are sore with them. I suppose dearie that you are just now in the midst of them & that they are much worse with you but you can hurry thro them. Oh! I am so longing to hear how you are getting on, give our fond love to dear John. I enclosed a letter from Mr. Dewdney to him. I cannot write to him this time as I am writing a letter to dear Emily. Joe goes with the Govr. & if Mrs. S goes to Victoria, Julia & Mama would go also, one to see Mrs. Pearse & the other, Mrs. Stahlschmidt, but if I stay here with Mrs. S, they will

remain. I believe Barnard is to have a wagon to Cariboo so they will not be away more that three weeks but I will keep you informed. It seems to me a difficult question as to what they are to do with these rebels when they get (them) Mrs. S said yesterday she wishes the telegraph had come a few days sooner before Mr. Birch left, that he might have had the task of unravelling the problem that every (one) said was of his making. Julia & I are discretely made no reply. Mr. Young visited here last evening he is as pleasant as ever. Mrs. Young is better. Mrs. Saunders was up on Saturday she is thankful to get away from the mosquitoes. I have not seen Mrs. Dewdney since Wednesday. I must go this evening if I can but these pests are so tiresome it is a trial to go out & walk. I have been writing as much about myself I Have not

said anything about your dear self but how can I when I known of nothing of where your are. I shall hope & expect to hear about each member of your party. How is poor old Penny?(*4)  I hope he will return all safe & that Hector boy will improve in courage & conduct. Tommy also is I hope doing his duty. It is now fortunate for Cotson that you did not take him he will go with H. E. The Gardener is discharge. Mr. Birch it appears told Mrs. S that he had had some Mrs. In to sleep with him & in Mrs. Seymour’s bed. I don’t believe it! However, he is gone. & Cotson(*5) is established in charge. Mrs. C & her children living in the cottage Youngs had. Mr. Birch’s

Cottage is occupied by a sick gray dying man James Brown from Clinton. You know all about him and now I must tell you that the darling Fuddle has by no means forgotten you. He often says “Papa” & “Missing Papa”. He kisses your picture every night & morning & when I ask him what took Papa away he says Poom!!, meaning the steamer whistle I am sorry for Mrs. S to-morrow she will know what I have felt when the steamer takes away her beloved but not to the same extent for he will only be a short time & she can hear by telegraph every day. I hope I may have the happiness of hearing from you on Friday I feel a good deal better to-day

I ate little or nothing yesterday. Franky has been much troibled since we came here with his old difficulty & one day he was very bad but I am glad to say He is better again I gave him bread & milk & prunes for his supper instead of bread & milk. He is very sweet & loving. Last evening after we left Mr. & Mrs. S passed along the bottom of the green Mary & Frank were playing on the grass & they stopped & called for him, Mary took him & Mrs. S asked him to kiss her which he did. Then she said “Kiss the gentleman” H. E. laughed & said “I don’t kiss young gentleman” so she then said “Well kiss me for him” & Franky immediately complied. He learned to kiss so sweetly he

does not wish to open his mouth, but makes a sweet kiss himself. I wish my own darling that I could give you a sweet kiss now. I already long for you very much. They do not go till 12 to-morrow so, I shall add a line in the morning. Good bye darling love for to-day.

Wednesday only a moment &

Good bye darling love your devoted wife



*3 F.W. Family Way, a polite term for pregnancy
*4 Appears to refer to a dog or maybe a horse.
*5 Appears to be a staff member for the office.

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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.

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