The Island Register - Letters from P.E.I., written by Malcolm Blue to his daughters in N.B. ca 1867 to 1871
Transcribed by Mae Saunders, [email protected]
Letters written by Malcolm Blue to his daughters in New Brunswick ca 1867 to 1871
The following are letters written by Malcolm Blue to his daughter Betsey (Elizabeth) Blue Gibson who was married to John Gibson and to his daughter Grace who was married to Ben Lutes. Both daughters were living at Harrisville near Moncton, N.B.
These were transcribed from copies of letters obtained from North Cumberland Historical Society, Pugwash, N.S. and written by my gr gr grandfather Malcolm Blue, ca 1867 - 1871.
Although they were written from N.S. to his daughters in N.B., there is a connection to P.E.I. in that Malcolm m. Flora Munn and leased 100 acres Lot 62 and their children were born P.E.I.
They are difficult to read and some words were indecipherable, but I hope to have been as accurate as possible.
January 8th, 1867
May the Spirit Truth lead you well forth and take the things of Christ's answer unto you and bless you in soul and body.
My Dear Daughter believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you shall be saved. Do not forget the one thing needful. As concerning our health we have no reason to complain. We should thank God on all things. We have a nice place here now. I bought more land from Saltar. My line fence is almost to Hector's1 house.
When James is home we are working on the piece of Government land near John McLeod's2 place.
As you spoke of selling your farm there and coming to Nova Scotia,we are all glad to hear it. It would make your mother happy if you are within twenty miles of her.So if John would come through in the summer he would see the country. But I will be looking on. Do not sell your farm until you have another one in view.
Since I began to write this letter a man the name of John Campbell came from River Philip and he told me that he knew a farm of 70 acres of land to be sold with a house and barn on and cuts 20 ton of upland hay. He says the land is good and in a convenient place not far from River Philip Bridge and 14 mile from us. He asks 100 dollars for it. He will give time for part of the money. But he want to sell before the spring. Dear Daughter I would like you to come nearer to us than what you are. But I want you to get as good a place as you have before you leave where you are. I do believe myself that the farm is Sprock Top is a good place and a good bargain because the house is on it and so much hay on it and in a rich part of the country. But we should ask God to guide us in all things. My love to your husband. If I was as young as him I would have seen him before now.
God bless your little boy.
1 Hector: Hector MacMillan married to Malcolm & Flora's daughter Mary.
2 John McLeod: another son-in-law married to their daughter Janet.
Letter #2 :
Note: This letter is to another of his daughters, Grace, who married Ben Lutes and lived near Moncton, N.B. as well. There was no date on this letter.
The Blessings of the Holy Ghost may rest upon you and your family.
Dear Daughter Grace: I hope if the Lord will deliver you from this sickness that you will not forget to praise His name and be more diligant to make your election and your calling sure.
I wish to be with you this day and I continue my _____ with black and white
As for the portion of this life I have no reason to complain. I bought 100 acre of land 7 mile up the River (pay for it last November) and got the deed of it. A little prairie house on it and about 17 acre of cut down fronting the main road very good land but nobody to work it. We have 3 cows 2 steers 14 sheep no team this winter. I got the oxen to pay for the land.
We had a letter from the Island last week is in middlen good health. Hector McMillan is very poorly in health. I think it is a very good time we left that place.Instead of getting better is getting worse.
Yours truly M.B. F.B.
We had a letter from friends on the Island lately, your grandfather and grandmother is for Yeat? But your grandfather is very frail. He is looking for the Messenger of Death every day. I do believe that he will live with Christ after he is gone. A son of John MacDonald3 and Grace is working the farm for them. Your Aunt Effie** McNiele side and son of John Liveston High Bank and son of John Shaw the same place was killed at the job digging with a blast of powder lately.
Your brother John has left ____land and went up to Canada4. He is living at Toronto. We had no letter from him lately. John McLeod5 and family is well. Hector McMillan6 and family are well. But Dear Daughter there is one thing needful we ought not forget the Salvation of our Souls have a saving faith in Christ and then our happiness is sure. Whatever our lot in this world wheather we are poor or rich. Do not forget to pray to God daily and await for to pardon your sins through Christ.
Your affectionate father Malcolm
Dear Sister: I am glad to hear that you was talking of coming to live here. I will be with you when I can.
Dear Sister: Mother was very sorry when she hear of your trouble there last year but you might thank God for blessing in taking _____mother was sorry that she was not with you neither.
Dear Sister Betsey: I have nothing to say only how I would like to see you and the baby __ ___ to know how he looks like. My love to him and to you and John.
Letter #3 was not dated but was for Betsey Gibson in NB and written prior to deaths of James and Elizabeth Munn, PEI. James died 1868 and Elizabeth died 1873. Both are buried in the Wood Islands Protestant Cemetery.
James and Elizabeth MacMillan Munn were the parents of Flora, Malcolm Blue's wife.
3 John MacDonald was married to Grace Munn, a sister of Flora. They lived on P.E.I.
4 Effie was Flora's aunt, a sister to James Munn and married to James McNiel.
5 Ontario and Quebec were referred to as 'Canada' prior to Confederation
6 John McLeod was married to Janet Blue daughter of Malcolm & Flora
7 Hector MacMillan was m. to Mary, daughter of Malcolm & Flora
The 3 notes were written by 3 sisters living home with Malcolm & Flora. They were likely Flora (1851-1869) Sophia (m. George McLeod 1870) and possibly my gr gr grandmother, Catherine who m. John McMillan 1874.
Letter #4 :
April __, 1871
Dear Children: It happened well that you did not leave your home this winter.
Do come and see us for it was a long cold winter. If you are spared to come in the summer do come for I want to see you both next summer if it is God's will.
The news of John's8 death brought us down very much and again no account of James9 since last June. But we are waiting with patience on the Lord for He will deliver us his own way for often the darkest part of the night is near daylight.
May the Lord God Almighty bless you and all your family my Dear Daughter for the Lord is good and His mercy endureth forever. A long and suffering God is ready to pardon sinners. I've no pleasure in the death of the sinner but always ready to pardon us if we turn to Him.
We are waiting to hear how Grace10 is. Although you are a long way from us in body you are always on our mind.
As for our health we have no reason to complain. Mother's health is failing a great deal faster than mine, but both of us are getting near our journey's end.
8 John is the son of Malcolm & Flora. He was b. 1831 and according to this letter d. 1871 likely in Toronto. No death record found.
9 James, another son, b.1847 was listed in the 1871 Census (taken early 1871) as a seaman. I wonder if he was home then or did Malcolm just include him in the count? Have found no further trace of James.
10 Grace was a daughter of Malcolm & Flora She was b. 1842 d.1913. She m. Benjamen Lutes and lived near Moncton,NB.
Malcolm died 1874 and Flora lived until 24 Feb. 1897. Malcolm is buried in Knox Cemetery, Wallace, N. S.
His headstone reads :
In Memory of Malcolm Blue Died Nov.4,1875 Aged 76 yrs
Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.
Flora's name is not there but I am sure that is where she is buried and no one got around to having her name inscribed on the stone. Their daughter Flora 1851-1869 was buried nearby in the same cemetery. Flora's headstone was moved because of land erosion.