Letters from P.E.I. - Vickerson Family Letters, 1861 - 1875


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Transcribed by Fred Vickerson - . This is a series of letters written to and by members of the Vickerson family during the years of 1861 - 1875.

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Letter to Henry Vickerson to Lemuel Vickerson

Summerside March 4, 1861

Well Lem

According to promise I comply with your request to visit for a fortnight. Pricilla came up here my chief business has been driving the plows and have made myself a washstand and small table. Since that I have at some other work. I got a youth (?) up to take in grain but have not got much nor do not expect to get much as farmers are not inclined to sell at the current price and buyers are not going to raise it with present prospects. I have bought some timothy seed and was offered this evening a ton and a half of flour at 20/10 per peck which I think too much as some has been sold here at 18/9. Each day a portion of my time is devoted to learning the art of shop keeping in all it’s branches so that I am engaged though not doing much. That day after Jim left I bought a bedstead and set up my bed but the side pieces being too long I had to buy a plank to finish new side pieces as the room is as short also I purchased 100 feet of boards at the same time which I have worked up. The first Sunday I went to the Methodist Chapel in the morning heard Mr. William Strong Esq. and in the evening went to hear the venerable Arch Deacon Read (Episcopalian) who is a very eloquent speaker and preaches here nearly every Sunday evening. The next Sunday went to hear the Baptist Minister Mr. Crawford. Ephraim Reid Esq. of public notoriety has been before this community last Friday evening with a lecture on Universalism. He came forward to prove that the doctrine of eternal punishment was not taught in the Old Testament but was of Pagan Origin. At the close of the lecture an animated and protracted discussion took place lasting till about midnight: the opponents or rather the defenders of Christianity were Mr. Lawson son of the ex Solicitor General who is a teacher up here and a Mr. Brown tinsmith who was down your way last summer at the time of the tea party. The combat ended as it commenced each party considering themselves victorious. He is to give five lectures and will be opposed each time. I wish before you write me some of you would be in town and go to Dawson’s to see what size of glass could be got there for a show case as I want to make one. Glass about 30 inches by 20 would answer I think but whatever see what size could be got; two squares would do. Went to see Mr. O’Holleran one evening and found him very chatty; nothing about his past times on the other side of the County. The diphtheria is prevalent about these localities and the D. Mcs (?) get a good deal of practice. The celebrated Dr. Hawkins who has been instrumental in raising the dead gets his quota. I am well and hoping this may find you all the same.

I remain yours

Harry

When did Jim get home

Write as soon as possible and give me all the news you can muster or any information you can forward. Farewell


Letter from Henry Vickerson to Lemuel Vickerson-15/4/1862

Summerside

April 15, 1862

Lem,

Last evening I received a note from David Ayot informing me that Boylen has sold his farm and that it was necessary to look after him for the amount of his note. I write to him this morning telling him that you will forward the note to him by mail if you cannot go yourself which I suppose you cannot as the ice is getting bad. Send the note immediately after getting this.

Tell George not to go to Georgetown if he has not gone as I heard Millar is up to the west now. Young Acorn was here yesterday and told D. Ennian and another person told me who seen him. Perhaps he may pay me according to promise yet

Harry


Letter from Henry Vickerson to Lemuel Vickerson-4/1/1863

Summerside

January 4, 1863

Dear Brother,

I have waited long and anxiously for a letter from you expecting it in every mail but not a mail brought your epistle so now as "The Holidays" are over I’ll send one. Perhaps you will say you were waiting for me to send first but I have been very busy and sometimes when I had time would fell inclined to sit down and take it easy. I have done a pretty good business since I seen you - had the heaviest stock of goods this fall I had yet and think I will get through it all pretty safe.

The fall has been very favourable and a great quantity of oats has been shipped here and it is estimated at about 350 000 bushels. I have spent the pleasantest Christmas and New Year this year that I have spent since I came here had a dinner (?) each day. I get Mr. Green’s horse with whom I board at any time I want him. He is very kind and obliging to me although no doubt some return will be necessary. But whatever Lem "each pleasure hath its poison too" and so the world goes and another year is gone and perhaps as this is gone you and I may be mingling with inanimate dust no matter how high our hopes are.

I hope you have had a good time down with you and enjoyed yourselves well. I should like to hear from you immediately and give me all the news say how do things go with you at home and are you nearer a settlement than when I was home. Does Jim still talk about going to cardigan. I would advise to try and settle things at home if possible. Tell me is Ned married yet how is his lungs or do they bleed yet? There is a young man up here who has the same complaint but does not find it to hurt him though he works hard. The doctor tell him there is no danger. Say how is David and Jane Has Charles V Berlaw moved yet is Joseph and Matilda well George and Hannah how are they and does father an mother and the rest of you enjoy good health. I am pretty well but have had a cold nearly ever since down. (?)

Your affectionate brother H. Vickerson


Letter from Jane Vickerson to Emma Vickerson (Probably June 12, 1864 — commenting on death of Henry Vickerson)

New Land June

My dear sister Emma,

I was sorrow (?) after I let that day that I did not ask you to come down and stay awhile with us. I would be very glad of your company and I think it would be good for you as you could bathe and enjoy the sea air. It will do you good to go from home until your nervousness wares off. If you go down to Edward’s as you said perhaps they would come down while you are there.

I had laid out when I came up to stay a day or two with you, but being called on to see the last of our departed brother, I was denied other pleasures. Dear sister it is my sincere desire that we may all profit by this and dispensation for you would see how necessary it is to be prepared to die. God’s ways are mysterious and we should look at it as sent for a wise and good purpose that we may all prepare that when death comes to us in our turn that we may all meet again where parting is no more.

Our dear brother had more trials and suffering than all the rest of us put together and we now hope that he has entered that happy place where all is joy and pleasure forevermore. I suppose that Lemuel will soon leave home or perhaps already and you will only have James left and I wish both of you girls will be kind to him and I hope he will be kind to you and father. I pray that God may have mercy on him and turn his heart. Bear as you can with father and be good to mother. Father told David that he might come down this summer. Perhaps he would bring you and leave you awhile.

I hope that this will find you well, but I wish you would write and let me know how you are recovering from your fatigue and unhealthy confinement. I hope to see you and I hope I will not be disappointed. We could talk about things if we was together,

Hoping to hear from you shortly, I must close.

I remain your affectionate sister Jane

PS we are all well. Give my love to all my friends.

June 30th


Letter from Lemuel Vickerson to his brother (probably James Vickerson)

Summerside February 21st, 1870

Dear Brother,

I intend to go to Charlottetown on Friday week the 4th of March and I would like to go out to see you if you would be so kind as to meet me in town that day or Saturday. If it would be a fine day and the roads good I would be up early enough to go out with you the same evening, if you come on Friday you will find me at Mr. Brown’s immediately after I arrive in Charlottetown. Saturday would as well for you to come as I want to go out to see Mrs. Goff and we could go that way. Don’t send anybody else come yourself if you can. We are well, Henry has been up at Bedeque the last six weeks, Tell Emma to be ready to come up with me when I go down.

We had a tremendous thaw yesterday and it has left me 18 inches of water in the cellar. Pickle I may say for there is 10 bags of salt dissolved in it.

Yours L. Vickerson


Letter from Lemuel Vickerson to his sister Emma

Summerside January 27, 1872

Dear Sister,

After a long delay I am now able to enclose your father’s pictures which I received some ago from Mrs Mclure. I have got it very copied on tin types could not get a photograph. It is now so long since I received your letter that I forgot what is in it to answer and at present I cannot lay my hand on it. I have nothing much to trouble me this winter now nobody now but yourself and therefore am enjoying myself as well as the cold weather will permit.

I thought that you and James or you and J Tweedy would be up this winter (I think Mrs T told me she could not come) are you coming and when.

I have today written to Mr. Mclure and enclosed his father’s picture copied new. How is Edward and his family. Have you heard lately. What about fish speculation. Charles Hayden and Barbara how are they getting on have you seen them since the funeral. Write soon and if you have nothing else to write about try politics. Will Edward Palmer be elected in your district. Tell Jim and George to do all they can for him. If you have any influence at Forbes use it in Mr. Palmer’s favour by the by. I have been told Mr. Forbes senior is in favour of the Government. Is it true and how will the boys vote in case of a general election.

Yours affectionately L. Vickerson

Tell mother that I would write to her now but I think Harriet is writing to her. We are well.


Letter from Lemuel Vickerson to his Mother

Summerside April 15, 1873

Dear Mother

Yours of the 16th received. I am glad to hear that the new house is nicely painted and hope you will soon be in it and may long enjoy it. With regard to me going into politics I explained the reasons why I did so to James or George at the time. I notice your doubts about my qualifications. All I got to say is there are great many bigger fools in the House of Assembly than I am. I have not resigned my office yet and don’t think I will. I don’t see any use in doing so. I would just as soon they turn me out. Office holders only resign when they know they cannot hold it any longer. Mr. C.W. Strong who boards with me is likely to get my office. There are five or six applicants for it. Hard to say who will be the successful one. I expect to go out next week. The harbour is not yet clear of ice yet but it is breaking up fast. Harriet and the children are well, your good advice will not be forgotten. I trust through Gods grace while battling with the world not to forget the more important things of the world to come.

Your affectionate son

L. Vickerson


Letter from Lemuel Vickerson to his Mother

Summerside July 16, 1873

Dear Mother,

I had a letter from James some time ago and I think I missed it and therefore have been looking for a reply but as none has yet come I begin to think that perhaps I am owing you a letter. Matilda wrote me that herself and Mrs. McLure intended coming up this summer but I have not seen them yet. I am now nine years in Summerside and although I have seen in their own homes every brother and sister I have yet only three of them I have has been here to see me. So as far as family connections are concerned I am alone here and enjoying as I do as much domestic happenings as generally falls to the lot of the man. No wonder that I care very little about visiting my friends in the eastern part of the Island and were it not for yourself my visits now few would be fewer still. I never expect to see you here but if we both live I will see you at Brownston next winter. I cannot leave in the summer but Harriet and her sister Lottie intend visiting you in September. Kate has gone to Portsmouth New Hampshire NS and will be away for about two months. There was a great Prespryterian Tea in Bedeque yesterday. Harriet went with some friends. In the middle of the tea the rain came down in torrents completing drenching everybody and spoiling all the procession in fact rendering the tea a complete failure.

The railroad is progressing hourly but we are enlivened by the locomotive whistle and have the pleasure of seeing the trains arrive and depart some four times each day. I was out on the train about 12 miles towards Charlottetown two weeks ago. They are now commencing to lay track westward and when that is in operation the trains will pass our door as near as the barn from your house.

We have beautiful growing weather this summer and I understand the crops look well. Write soon and tell me how James is has he any returns of the complaint he had in the spring. Harriet and the children are well with the exception of little Martha who is not as well as usual since the hot weather set in.

Your affectionate Son

L. Vickerson


Letter from Lemuel Vickerson to his Mother

Summerside Oct 21, 1873

Dear Mother

I received your valued favour (?) in due time. I had noticed the death of L Tweedy’s children before your letter came. I cannot tell how I felt when I seen that they had lost no less than three in so short a time. It is a very severe stroke indeed. I wrote them immediately after I heard of their trouble but have got no answer yet.

I notice you did not know that I was sick till I was well. Perhaps it was better. I think I may now say I am as well as ever. Mr. Strong only commenced work yesterday. He was nearly seven weeks from his work while I was only three so I ought to be thankful. Mr. J. Wright went to the States for Kate about the last of August and got home two weeks ago. Kate was away over three months and the worst of it is she comes home very sick. Her father was down for the doctor today and says she is worse. She is very weak and I believe they are uneasy about her.

Our little Martha is sick also. First she had a slight attack of congestion of the brain and now she has a very sore throat. The doctor says it is not Diphtheria. I think she is not in much danger although she is sick enough. All the rest are well. Harriet is tired waiting on the baby looses a good deal of sleep.

We will try and get a picture of Herbert and send it to you but you know it is very hard to get a child’s picture. He is talking first rate. Henry is learning very well but it would make you laugh to hear how he mixes it up sometimes.

Yours L. Vickerson

Write soon


 

Letter from R. B. Rowe to James Vickerson (re: the death of Lemuel Vickerson)

Charlottetown P E I

To James Vickerson Esq.

From R B Rowe

My Dear James

You must be deeply impressed in the death of your much beloved brother. Surely time is short while life is very uncertain; and that Christ in the heart the hope of glory is a "pearly great price"

It was yesterday evening I heard of the very sad intelligence of the death of dear Lemuel. Last summer when in Summerside I took tea with him in his house and I felt myself quite at home. Monday Morning before leaving the town, I called on him to wish good bye. He was the last one I shook hands with in Summerside. He very kindly ask me to call to see him again when I came. I promised to do so. O how little did I think it would be the last time. But it appears it was.

I hope through the grace of God to meet him in heaven.

Dear James do be admonished by this very unexpected stoke. Do begin to pray. Pray to God to pardon your sins.

I hope you know that by nature we are sinners and unless we give our hearts to God we are not His.

Only for a moment consider, what you have done to help forth the cause of God; and then think you are not converted, and if you die in your present state you could not be saved. I ask you most affectionately – Is not this a serious matter? Surely you will say It is.

Dear James you know enough of me that I am a plain man in that I say what I mean and mean what I say.

I am very anxious that when you have done with earth that heaven may be yours at last. I am very sorry to hear of Mr. Joseph Tweedy’s sad loss. The dear children are better cared for than earth could give. Jesus said "Suffer little children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of heaven." Give my regards to your brother George & family. Also to Pricilla and to all the friends while you will please accept the same yourself.

From yours affectionately R. B. Rowe

NB We are all pretty well

January 2, 1874


Letter from R. B. Rowe to Mrs. Conrad Vickerson (re: the death of Lemuel Vickerson)

Charlottetown

Province of Prince Edward island

To Mrs. Conrad Vickerson

From R B Rowe B. C. No

Madam

Allow me in this the hour of your keen bereavement to offer a word of consolation. The loss of your youngest son must bear very heavy on you in this hour of your last days.

We have grown to hope that our loss is his gain. Surely God’s ways are past finding out.

We sometimes wonder that the hand of providence does these things; but underneath the mystery there dwells the certainty of a hand unerring ever the hand of Jehovah. If you look at the matter in its true light you have cause for rejoicing, for considering the Lord to have taken him home, then he is in heaven as an installment of yourself. He is gone before you and soon you may meet him again. In this the hour of trial just put your trust in God the God who has promised "My grace is sufficient for thee. His dear partner must feel it the greatest trial of her life. I trust she will look to the strong for strength in this her hour of need.

When I think of the happy days they had at the time I visited them last summer and then think that death has entered that happy family and taken away even the husband I am slow to believe it. I am led to ask myself-Can this be true? Is it possible that M Lemuel is gone? Giving credence to human testimony the answer comes-Yes. But the word of Jesus are "He is not dead but sleepeth". And he who said that is able to change this vile body that it may be fashioned like His own body even the body of Christ. The scripture said "Them who sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him".

My Dear Mrs. Vickerson what a blessing this is that if we do the will of God on earth we shall be taken home to heaven where death never comes where tears never flow where old age is never felt but heaven in all the glory which Christ has prepared shall be ours for ever. Glory be to God

Dear Mrs. Vickerson

It may be that I am too free in writing you these few lines this morning and if so you must conclude that I did it in the time of uncontrollable sympathy.

I fell for you most deeply and while I thus write, I cannot refrain from tears, but in the midst of it I pray God to give you help to bear it all with the fortitude of a martyr, concluding the less of earth the more of heaven.

This life is but a span long. The scripture saith most truly "There is but a step between as our death" Is it not our highest wisdom to be found ready at all times. "Be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye think not the son of man cometh".

It might be that we may never meet again but in conclusion let me say – Spend your last hours in contemplation. What Christ wasWhat Christ did What Christ is. He was with the father before the world was made – He did die and shed His blood for us. He is our mediator now at the Father’s right hand. Thus contemplate and your last days shall be your best days.

Mrs. Rowe unites with me in kind regards. R.B. Rowe


Letter from Harriet Vickerson to Pricilla Hayden

Centreville

Tuesday Nov 9, 1875

My dear Pricilla

You will think I have forgotten you altogether but I have had so much to do since I came home and have had such a bad cold that I did not fell like writing when I had a few spare minutes. I do not forget you though. I think of you all so often and would like so much to hear from you. Do you know I have not heard from any of my friends since I came home. Perhaps I was rather tardy in writing after my return home but I could not very well help it. But I should have had an answer from most of them before now. How is Uncle Jim? Is he as well as usual. He might have written to me. Herby is going to write to him I suppose. Aunt Hannah is herself again. I hope they are all well. Give my love to them all. I will write Annie a note if I have time. I suppose you are nearly ready for winter. We have had a very stormy fall and for my own part I prefer winter. (Excuse bad writing) and spring rather than the storms and mud of November and October. I think this the most dreary season of the year. I have been busy sewing for the children and though they are now presentable and comfortable. I have still a good deal to do I am going to change my sewing machine for a new one. I expected the agent along last week but something occurred to prevent him. I hope he will soon make his appearance as I need the machine very much. Mine is not in working order. Neither is the one they have here and they expect the agent to make it all right when he comes along. Our girl is away now for a fortnight – Lottie is laid up with neuralgia and her back. The children are very well. They often talk of you. I wish you could hear Martha talk. She is a glib (?) little thing and so old fashioned. I have not been in Summerside but once since I came home. There has been a great deal of sickness and a great many deaths. There so many of my friends taken away so suddenly. How are Mr. and Mrs. Treshale – I often think of them. Remember me to them when you see them. Now dear Pricilla I want you to write soon. Tell me just how you are doing. Any thing from Brownston will be interesting. I look forward to your visit this winter and hope you will not disappoint me. Well love to Jim and all the rest not forgetting yourself. I remain your loving Aunt Harriet


Letter from Jane Vickerson to James Vickerson

Newlands, Dec 20th, 1875

Dear Brother,

I am quite ashamed that I have never been to see you since Mother’s death, and for not writing. I can make no apology. We intended to have been up in the fall after the frost set in as David had some business in Town. But time past on and we did not. Now I thought I would write for fear the weather might be so cold that I could not go. But if it is favourable I surly will. I often think about you and wish I could run in and see you. It would give me so much pleasure, you know. I am down here all alone and seldom see the face of any of my Brothers or Sisters and I often feel lonesome. I have no news to tell you. The best thing is that we have got is a new Minister. He is a young Anglican from Pictou. He will be placed about New Year. He was with us a few weeks in the fall. We like him well and I do earnestly hope that the Lords work may proper among us and as his labours begin with the New year that those among us that are called Christians may renew our diligence to serve the Lord with full purpose and heart and may sinners be converted there in great revivals in other parts. I hope that Murray harbour may be blest with a revival too. Now Dear James let us be in earnest to serve the Lord if we are to be spared to see another Year better than we have hitherto. The last two seasons may well impress us with the necessity of being prepared to meet those dear friends that are gone before. You have lived all your life with a praying Christian other and you have witnessed Her Death or I should rather say falling asleep in Jesus for so it was. Now I pray God that our ? end may be like hers. I hope that you pray yourself and your praying friends pray for you. Do not neglect the one thing needful. Perhaps I may see you soon, in the meantime give my love to all George’s family and Pricilla and a large share for yourself. Wishing you all the compliments of the season. Your affectionate Sister.

Please give the enclosed to little Ida.


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