Letters from P.E.I. - Letters from P.E.I., Jarvis Family Papers - 1836-1843

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Transcribed by Gary Carroll, [email protected]

Public Archives of Canada MG 24 B13 Microfilm M 1963 - Jarvis Family Papers From Edward James Jarvis, to William Jarvis, Saint John, NB

Charlotte Town,
13th May, 1836.

Dear William,

I believe neither you nor I are fond enough of letter writing to volunteer an epistle unless there is some particular reason for writing. I attribute it to this cause that so long a time has elapsed since I have heard from you, nor do I know that I should muster up resolution to undertake this letter had I not a particular commission to trouble you with at present. I am about furnishing my house & we have concluded to get the furniture from St. John - & as I know you have much taste & judgement in these matters we call upon you for assistance. Maria wrote to her sister some time since about it, & she may probably have been looking out for us, & may have occasion to consult you & Robert upon the subject. What we require is as follows - viz - Paper hangings, Carpets & Curtains for 3 rooms - as follows -

1st Drawing Room - 18 by 20 feet - 11 feet high including cornice & base - Doors & windows similar to your Drawing Room - Sufficient paper, glazed, ground of
any light, delicate colour (not green or blue) - bordering of gilt moulding preferred - Brussels carpet & hearth rug - bell pulls or ribbons.

2nd Dining Room - 18 feet by 19 feet -heighth, doors & windows same as Drawing Room. Paper different from Drawing Room (but not green or blue) Kidderminster
Carpet, best quality - hearth rug - Bell pulls or ribbons.

3rd Parlour - 18 feet by 15 feet - 11 feet high - one door - Paper, ground or pattern green - bell pulls or ribbons - yes green lining for the window curtains which we have.

5 pieces embossed moreen for window curtains for the Drawing & Dining Rooms - Cords & tassels for curtains for the 4 windows.

2 doz. brass eyes for stair rods (not those with a screw shank).

A lock & handles for the sliding arched doors between the Drawing & Dining rooms. -

A vessel has just sailed from hence for St. John & will return direct. She belongs to Mackay of your place & would be a good opportunity to send the things. As
I formerly mentioned this business to Robert, & as Maria is again writing to her sister about it, your joint opinions would be desirable & I will thank you to ommunicate this letter to them both. As there will be much trouble in the packing & shipping, if you three will make the selections, you can transfer the laborious part to any person who acts as a broker & will see to the shipping, insurance, &c. & be paid his commission for it. Robert will answer the pecuniary demands.

We are in daily expectation of seeing our new Governor Sir John Harvey - an important event in our small community.

I suppose you are deeply engaged in replacing the loss of your ship by another. I was glad to learn that you were not a great sufferer by the loss of the Anna Maria. I see by the papers that you still keep the Tinandra running.

The appearance of Spring is cheerful after such an unusual length of winter - as I now call myself a farmer I feel more than ever interested in its approach.

With our best regards,
Yours afty.
E. J. Jarvis

From Miss Mary Boyd to Mrs. William Jarvis, Saint John, NB

Charlotte Town, Prince Edward Island
Friday, January 6th, 1843

My Dear Caroline,

I cannot express to you the heartfelt pleasure I experienced on Tuesday when Henry came in with your welcome letter of the 24th of November. It is very tedious to be shut out from all intercourse with other parts of the world as we have been for the last few weeks. Such immense quantities of snow fell during the latter part of November and whole of December that some of the roads were rendered quite impassable and the mail carrier could not accomplish the task of crossing the Straight between Cape Tormentine and Cape Traverse until last week although he made several attempts to do so. There were three New Brunswick, three Nova Scotia and two English mails due. The English Papers were brought over and the letters were left at Cape Tormentine. And to my great regret the St. John mail which contained your letter was also left. I consoled myself by reading the New Brunswick Courier of the 3rd and 17th of December. I was truly glad to see that our dear Brother William's name was omitted on the first pages of the latter. I hope that business was settled to his satisfaction, and that his prospects are more cheering than they were when I left you. If I were rich he should soon be released from his difficulties but none of our family can boast of wealth, "Wisdom and worth are all we have"!!!! But I should not say all we have for are we not possessed of those invaluable blessings kind relatives and good health for which we cannot be too grateful. I was very much disappointed that William did not receive the appointment that B. H. stepped so snugly into, but I still hope indeed I have a pressentiment that he will still receive an appointment with a comfortable salary attached thereto and I am sure that if he does that he will conduct himself in an honourable and upright manner. Poor fellow his spirits were very much depressed last year and it was no wonder they were. It was very discouraging to write so much without deriving any profit from it. I hope both he and dear Emma are quite well. Will you give my love to them and kiss their darling boys for me.

I forgot to say that when your letter made its appearance it was nearly worn to tatters but I made out to read every word. I was trulyglad to hear such good accounts of dear Albinia and that she has so fine a little boy. Will you offer my congratulations to her and to my dear Brother. I hope their other boys are well. How much I should like to see the four little brothers together.

We were very much shocked to hear of the death of Mrs. McDonald. It appears by the newspapers that she lived only four days after the birth of a little girl. What a sad affliction for poor Mr. McDonald. He must feel his loss very much, particularly when he looks at his little children deprived so soon of a Mother's care. They poor little things are too young to feel their bereavement. Is the infant living and is it a fine child?

The Chief Justice received a letter from Amelia by the December Mail. It was written at Banff on the 26th of November. They were all quite well and expected to leave in a few days for Armagh. Mr. Jarvis desired me to thank John for his letter which he received on the 3rd inst. He also wishes to know if you received a letter he wrote to you some time since. I think it was written in November. I wrote to dear Jane on the 12th of December and hope she received my letter and will answer it soon. I think Mary mentioned in her letter to little Amelia of the 26th of December that we expected Mr. & Mrs. Peters to dine with us on that day, and that the Miss Grays, who took their Christmas diner with us were to remain here until the next day. Poor Mary has had a very severe cold which confined her to the house for several days, and two days to her bed, but she has quite recovered. She could not go to church either on Christmas or New Years day which she regretted very much. Dr. Poole attended her. The Chief Justice and I remained to the Sacrament on Christmas day and on New Years day heard an excellent and appropriate sermon preached by Dr. Jenkins. Miss Gray, Munson, Henry, Willy and I took a long walk on Christmas day. It was a lovely day and we enjoyed it very much. We walked a short distance on the Hillsborough. Dr. Poole and Mr. Young called while we were out. The next day Miss Stukely Gray and I walked into town after breakfast to enquire for our letters at the Post Office, but were disappointed on hearing that the Mail had not arrived. The walk home seemed twice as long as it did when going into town, for our hearts were heavier and the Royalty being blocked up with snow, we were obliged to both go & come through the Farm which nearly doubled the distance. However we both came home with good appetites for our luncheon which proved the walk had been beneficial. At six o'clock Mr. Peters came to dinner, but with an apology from Mrs. Peters which we regretted very much. She is in delicate health at present and was I suppose afraid to encounter the cradle hills on the St. Peters Road. On Tuesday we took the Miss Grays home in the new sleigh. By the bye I have not told you that the Chief Justice has had a sleigh built. It is very comfortable. It has Buffalo skins lined with scarlet and has scarlet runners. New Years day was bitterly cold. We were all glad to come home to the fire and did not go to Church in the afternoon. We had not any visitors on that day and dined alone. The next day Mary was so much better that we thought a drive would do her good particularly as the day was fine so she wrapt up warm and went into town with her Papa, Henry & myself. We drove for about an hour and then we heard the Chief Justice tell Henry he had better come home he thought Mary had been out long enough. Mary and I exchanged looks of dismay, but said nothing as we thought it most prudent to come home. Henry came into the room a little while after and found us laughing at the idea of being whipped home in such a hurry and he said "Why Aunt if I had known you wished to stay out longer I would have driven in again in the double sleigh, but if you will go I can soon have a horse put to the other sleigh. I consented and we (Henry and I) drove for another hour. On Tuesday Munson drove Unicorn. Mary and I accompanied him and we
called for Miss Palmer who went with us. She is a nice unaffected girl and is a great belle. Mary and Willy have had their likenesses taken by Messrs. Hodgkinson & Butters, they are both very good, but Mary was obliged to sit eight times and Willy three before they were taken to our satisfaction. The first that was taken of Willy was the very image of him, but the man thought it overdone. One half was quite blue. He said it was burnt. Mary & I were there from eleven o'clock until half past two on Wednesday. Miss Palmer who went with us at out request went away at one o'clock. She was engaged to drive with Miss Haviland, Captain Capel & Dr. Alexander. They intended to call at Mount Edward had we been at home. Mary had two likenesses taken in a black dress and three in a green dress with gold
ornaments, one of each she brought home for her Papa's opinion. She changed her dress at Mrs. McDonell's who lives next door, and we lunched there. When the Chief Justice saw them he said they were not at all


like her, that the eyes looked like fishes eyes &c. so we went again on Thursday at ten o'clock and she had three more taken two of which she has kept. The only objection to them is that her gold ornaments look like silver. The three likenesses cost four pounds ten shillings. The Chief Justice asked me to have mine taken, but I thought I was not beautiful enough to accept of his kind offer. Miss Gray went with us on Thursday and we lunched there. Munson called for us at two o'clock and we drove with the Club. It was a beautiful day. We and Sir Henry drove a pair of horses, Mr. Montgomery four in hand and Captain Capel and Mr. Davison of the Rifles tandem. The Lawyers were all engaged in court which opened on Tuesday and will not be over for a fortnight. We dined at half past seven yesterday. There was a dance at Mr. Young's last night, we were invited but declined going. Munson went. There were only six ladies there who danced and between twenty & thirty gentlemen. The Youngs were disappointed in not seeing several persons they had invited. There was a dance at Government House the week before which was said to be by far the pleasantest party Lady Huntley has given. Munson went, we said no. I am sorry on Munson's account that we do not go out this Winter. He says he would enjoy himself so much more if we did, but for myself I should feel wretched in a Ball room. There is to be a grand Ball at Government House on the 24th of the month on the meeting of the House of Assembly. Monday. 9th. Yesterday was a most beautiful day. The thermometer stood at 42. We went to Church in the morning and heard Mr. Higgins read prayers, and Mr. Roberts preach an excellent sermon. There were such deep holes in the roads caused by the rain which fell in the night that we did not venture into town again, but at three o'clock took a walk in a field near the house for the sake of exercise. It is quite a treat to take a walk as we seldom go out except in the sleigh. We had on our India rubber shoes which kept our feet quite dry. Mrs. Fanning has been very ill with inflamation of the lungs, but is recovering. Captain Cumberland enquired for Amelia the day I saw him and asked me to remember him to her when I wrote. Will you give my affectionate love and a dozen kisses to my darling Willy and thank him for the pretty letters he wrote for me. I love to look at them and can fancy I can see his dear little fingers tracing them, they are remarkably well formed for so young a child. I hope he will write to me in all your letters. I can fancy him looking very pretty in his Plaid Pelisse. I hope poor Jane is not waiting for an answer to your question relating to Mrs. Dysent. The mail will leave tomorrow for the frst time since I received it. Our dresses are very well made and so well sewed that not even a hook or eye has ripped off. The trimming on Mary's is so much admired that one lady borrows the dress and another the tippet to have it imitated. We can scarcely go into the house of an acquaintance without seeing a dress made a la Mary Jarvis. Tight sleeves are very much worn. Those which have the frills above the elbow are in my opinion the prettiest. Will you send my uncle John's address to me. I should like to write to him. Have you heard from him lately. I wonder he does not write. I should not have said anything to him about erecting a tomb in memory of our dearly loved Mother, without first consulting my Brothers. I hope dear Cornelia is very well & all her family. Does little Gordon grow fast. Pray give my love to them all and kiss the baby. I think I asked Jane in my last letter to thank Mr. McDonald in Mary's name and mine for his recollection of us and to offer our regards. Poor man he little thinks how sorry we are for his loss. The Chief Justice did not give me any message for him and he is now at the Court. Had you not better say something for him. Lieutenant Rylvington of the 64th who had his head so much wounded in Halifax when moose hunting is said to be engaged to one of the Miss Inglis. We have had sleighing since the 24th of November. This is a very mild day. Was the death of Mrs. Thomas mentioned in the papers. The Courier of the 24th of December arrived here on Saturday a week after it was printed. I hope Mrs. Botsford is recovering. Mr. Young often enquires for his friend Jane and begs to be remembered to her. Mrs. Young and Randal McDonnell send their love. Mrs. Barrow always enquires for you. How is Mr. Goldsmith, will you remember me to him. The Chief Justice, Mary and all the boys send their love to Amelia. Willy looks the picture of health. He has not had a bad fit since he came home and the others are not so frequent. I
hope he is outgrowing them. He's a dear boy. I hope Mr. Wm. Jarvis is very well. Will you give my love to him. I often think of his kindness to us. Tell dear Jane that I often wish that she were here she would enjoy driving so much and I should be so happy to have her with me.

Good bye, believe, your affectionate Sister,

From Edward James Jarvis to William Jarvis, Esq., Saint John, NB

Charlotte Town, 27th March 1843.

My Dear William,
Robert writes me that Blackslee has gained his advantage, if any, under the provisions of an Act passed in 1841 which requires Memorials of Judgements to be recorded every five years, otherwise subsequent mortgages will have the preference. Robert says he was not aware of this act until now - having given up all attention to legal matters since 1838. It is indeed to be regretted that a Law of such vital importance to our interests should have remained nearly two years unknown to any of us, & been only discovered by its fatal effects. Robert was awaiting an answer from Bliss Botsford, but I much fear that Blackslee has taken too good care
of himself to leave us any chance - nor do I see how Blackslee is to be blamed if we sleep over our own interests. Prince would seem to have acted the part of a thorough rogue. I hope this and all the other matters may now be speedily brought to a close, for these things are vexatious in the extreme. The loss is bad enough, but the manner of the loss agravates the evil. As Robert has so unfortunately for us withdrawn his attention from legal matters I think it would be well that you have either Robert L. or some other professional person to refer to on every occasion - this case shews the necessity of it.

Your afft. Brother,
E. J. J.

My Dear Caroline,

My eyes cannot afford to give you a separate sheet of paper. The necessary calls of business upon them leaves but little strength for letter writing & I must economise my resources. I am happy that my little Amelia gets on so well under your kind care, indeed, too well, for the little puss threatens to be unwilling to return
home. I am sorry her ardour for drawing has cooled. The dancing school I fear had something to do with this. I had no objection to the dancing school if it did not
interfere with other things, but I think it unnecessary as she had previously taken lessons. If Drawing is really against the grain with her it would be useless to continue it, but otherwise I should be sorry that she gave it up, for it is a pleasing accomplishment. Her friend Fanny Hodgson pines for her return to Mrs. Hobbs - she says it is the only event she has to look forward to with pleasure. Robert engages to answer all the little pecuniary demands you may have on her account. You have probably heard of the unfortunate accident the two Daguerotype men (Hodgkinson & Butters) met with in attempting to cross the Gulf, in being badly frozen - one of them had both his feet amputated a few days since, & the other is to undergo a similar operation. What appaling accounts from the West Indies! We hear nothing from Sir Charles Fitzroy more than the papers given us, that the Govt. House is destroyed - the visitation has been a truly awful one. I have never yet replied to John's letter, but I know he will excuse me from the serious undertaking it is for me to write. My health is, I think, generally improved but I have had of late great fatigue both of mind & body in going the Circuits, which very nearly took me off my legs - but I have now rallied again. We are all as well as usual. The two Mary's & all the rest join in love to you all, not forgetting our little friend Willey, who is I hope as thriving as ever. Kiss my dear little girl for me & believe me, Dear Caroline,

Yours affectionately,
E. J. Jarvis.

P.S. Mary thinks that Amelia must have had the hooping cough, & from her description I think there is no doubt of it, altho' not severely. Your sister Mary's love & she will write next week. E.J.J.

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