Camp on Bird Tail River 1 Oct 1880 Marcus Smith Letter to his wife
Camp on Bird Tail River 1 Oct 1880 Marcus Smith Letter to his wife

Camp on Bird Tail River 1 Oct 1880 Marcus Smith Letter to his wife
Lot 18 in our auction Saturday 9th October 2021
#manitobasurvey #chiefengineer #secret #canadarailwaysurvey #marcussmith

Camp on Bird Tail River

Oct Sept  1st,1880

My dear Wife

                I went to Fort Ellice yesterday and received your letter of the 12th inst. – I am not at all surprised at your feeling uneasy about business matters as everything is so unsettled- I have said nothing about it but have felt all along that this is my last season with the Govt. Notwithstanding that Sir John wrote to me that “There can be only one Chief Engineer you have the substance never mind the shadow”-

If this means anything it is that I have the confidence of the Govt. yet Schreiber has done everything he can to annoy- write in the most domineering manner- but his so called instructions are so absurd that I have entirely disregarded them and I have told him so plainly If I had even endeavored to carry them out the surveys would have cost more than double and it would have taken two years to do what I have done in one season- and worse, all my time would have been taken up scurrying about the country and making plans of every little bit of work to send home for his approval

I might as well send them home to baby for her approval for all he knows about. He is an upstart Jack in office- and conducts himself to others like a navie or subcontractor’s foreman- He is entirely off his head with his new dignity However he has completely exposed his ignorance not only of the Country but of his profession and if I am driven to it I could expose him thoroughly- I hope however to have done with the Gov. and that something more agreeable may spring out of this “Syndicate” for building the line-

I had a letter this mail from Forrest the Sec. Institution of C.E. London- He will mention me and recommend me to any of the company he knows- I find I stand well with the Institution- Murdoch takes this with him to Winnipeg- he is going to be appointed Chief Eng. For the Southwesterly 250 miles of which Dr.Schultz was the Chief promoter and as they also have got the money in England they will give me a chance of a contract if all else fails. Say nothing Keep contents of this secret

Yours ever

M. Smith