27 Apr 1883 New Westminster, B.C. 4pg Marcus Smith letter to wife
Lot 87 in our auction Saturday 30th April 2022

                       New Westminster B.C.

                                  April 27th 1883

My dear Nannie

                       We had a rolling passage from San Francisco to Victoria 700 passengers – and room for only 400 – women and children lying on the floors of the cabins and stairways all seasick – two nights the steamer rolled so we could not lie in our berths and had no sleep – but it might have been worse – for just as we got into the strait, the wind changed to a South easter, and before we got into the anchorage (at midnight) near Esquimalt it was blowing a hurricane like that we had at the Cape in 1865 – and when we awoke in the morning there were four vessels blown ashore total wrecks. Had we been 12 hours later in getting in we should have had hard times. I am very thankful it is my last trip as the ships are old tubs unfit to run anywhere else, and really not seaworthy –

However the Northern Pacific Railway is to be opened in the fall so I shall not have to go on the ocean at all when I come home – but will have only one day on the water. Puget sound which is only a salt water lake.

They had remarkably fine summer weather during all the month of March – but from the time I arrived it has been cold and rainy which was snow on the mountains I have been over most of the line got a thorough drenching one day in a canoe – and the result is a bad cold and a stiff neck which I am trying to reduce with “St Jacob’s oil” which is really only spirits of turpentine and camphor and of course very good .

Tom is looking well and everything is going on well here – great numbers of immigrants coming in and going away again – no lands except at high prices and on the railway there are no boarding or lodging houses built so white men will not live in thin tents in a wet country cook their own food and work all day as well – Onderdonk does not seem to care having any one but Chinamen though on this section they have only earned about 40 cents a day and he is paying them a dollar. I suppose he makes it out of their passage money from China. and their feed principally rice and pork –

 I wish you would send me a copy of the Music of “The peer and Peri” price I believe one dollar charge it to me or Letty you know I am saving up for her ring and no doubt she is doing the same

Love to all.

                                  Yours ever

                                      M. Smith