Transcribed by Gary Carroll, firstname.lastname@example.org
This letter taken from the Jarvis papers; microfilm M 1963 at PAC
From Edward James Jarvis to Mrs. William Jarvis, Saint John, NB, his sister in law
Charlotte Town, 22 Novr.1842
My Dear Caroline,
I have been rather dilatory in answering your kind letter, but I am able to write so little that when any business interferes I must postpone letter writing. I am glad to find from my dear little girl’s letter to her sister that she has begun her school with Mrs. Blatch. Mrs. B. had better provide her with whatever books she may require. It will be too late in the season to send her Murray’s Grammar, but she can get one from Mrs. Blatch. I wish her to be taught every branch in which Mrs. B is capable of giving instruction, & which she may have time to attend to, without over-burdening her memory - for she is very indefatigable, & it might be overdone.
Whatever she may require in the way of clothes, you will of course, my dear Caroline, have the kindness to provide her with. I cannot tell you how much I miss my little Emily - her brothers were sadly disappointed when they found she had not returned with us. I know however that she is in good hands, & much more to her advantage than if she were here. Your sister Mary supplies her place here, & her society is a source of great comfort to me - she is a kind affectionate girl & the only drawback to the satisfaction I feel in having her here is the anticipation that she may ever leave me.
I have sent to England for the Monument which I mentioned to you. It is to be of white marble, of the Sarcophagus shape, with the following inscription. "Sacred to the memory of Anna Maria, wife of Edward James Jarvis, Chief Justice of Prince Edward Island. Died 28th August 1841, aged 54 years. Affectionate and devoted in all the domestic relations of life - generous and disinterested in her friendships - strict and diligent in the fulfillment of every societal duty - she lived respected, esteemed and sincerely beloved, and died deeply lamented. This Monument is erected by a bereaved husband to commemorate the virtues of departed worth." I endeavoured to compress within as short compass as possible the most prominent features of her character - Buthers was indeed a character which might be dwelt upon to any length, for I believe few have ever comprised so much of the perfection of human nature. It is usual to write panegyrics upon the dead, but in the case of our beloved Maria I defy the utmost power of language to exagerate the truth in detailing her numerous virtues. time, as it passes away, instead of effacing seems to impress them more indelibly upon my memory - and never, whatever may be my future situation in life, never, I feel assured, will any circumstance tend to diminish the respect , the almost adoration I shall ever devote to the memory of such exalted worth. I promised you a small portion of a lock of her hair - but I find there was but a very small lock preserved - & Mary is anxious to have some of it. Your sister & I therefore concluded that it would meet with your approbation that I should send you some for your locket, only in case a little could be spared after the division made with Mary. I shall feel very desirous to save some for you, if possible.
The two Marys join me in love to you all. I take it for granted that their letters give you all the matters of local information (for ladies’ letters are always lengthy). Kiss my dear little Emily for me - tell her she must write to me. Give my love to Jane. I wrote William some time since on business of the Estate.
Believe me, My Dear Caroline,
Yours very sincerely,
E. J. Jarvis