Peter to Caroline, Ottawa, July 4–5, 1888 No. 4


4th July, 1888

My dearest Wife,

I wrote you a short note from Montreal, yesterday, and now I am able to report my safe arrival here. The train left at 4:30 arrived at 9 – every seat was occupied & the passengers down the center of the carriage were crammed with passengers – the heat intense, it was a most unpleasant experience.

I think I omitted to tell you of my annoyance with regard to baggage. At New York I chequed what I could not take into the Carriage – 5 pieces in all – fancy my dismay when we arrived at Montreal to find that the black box was missing & all I had to show was my cheque. The people at Montreal said it would be sure to come by the next train, & that it would be forwarded immediately: it is now and it has not turned up. The Collector of Customs has sent an order to his officer at the Station that the box is not to be examed but is to be sent to me at once. You will remember the trouble we had about our baggage when here in /83.

This has been a scorching hot day, I should have been glad of the light suit but cannot get it.

After breakfast I called on Mr. Vankoughnet, and remained with him till noon. I then went to the buildings to see Sir John. After a little time her Ladyship arrived and carried him off to keep some appointment. I had half an hours conversation with her, she inquired very kindly after you Puss & Frank. She intends going to Victoria either this fall or next spring & she said she hoped you would have returned to B.C. before then. I had no business talk with Sir John – he said he wanted to see me, but was not sure that he can manage it tomorrow as he has a great many appointments to keep: this looks as if I might be here till Friday – the train passes at midnight – I will try to get away that day. — Lady Mac told me they hare having their house Earnscliffe furbished up and an addition put to it, she is living in lodging close by to enable her to superintend the workmen she is lodging at Mrs. Mays a mile apart – strange arrangements is it not? ——- It is settled that “Ned” is to be Minister of the Interior & Ind. Dept. What will happen to Jim Win? I have telegraphed to him to know if I shall see him.

You will be glad to hear that I have stood the journey very well but the heat of the past few days is trying. Tomorrow I dine with Mrs. Vankoughnet they have both pressed me much to stay at their home, but I have declined as they live a good distance from the offices & it would be inconvenient as I shall be here so short a time.

____ Thursday 5th July

The box arrived this morning, but in a most dilapidated condition, torn & broken the inner braces broken & bent evidently it has recd very rough treatment. it cost $5- to have it repaired here. Is it not too bad that property is so wantonly destroyed?

I have been all the day in the offices had a short talk with Sir John – but am to go to his lodging at 10 O.C. when he says he wants to have a long chat with me. Mr. Burgess was very kind – & Mrs. Van K. came her today to try to persuade me to go to their hous but I have declined. I dine with them at 7-30. We have just returned from a drive. This is all about myself, but my thoughts are with you all & I long for news of you – perhaps I may get some before I leave Ottawa.

[written vertically over top of above]

Dewdney has gone to N. Wesminster to see about getting returned to the Commons for that place. If he can make it all right, Chisholm will resign & be appointed Senator. This is of course private for the present – I must conclude as I want this to got to you by the “Etruria”, she sails for N.Y. on Saturday & the mail will [?] immediately – My love to dear Frank & Kit – May God Bless & Keep you all Always your affectionate loving husband.

Not a moment to spare. P.O’Reilly


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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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