Canadian Pacific Railway 5 May 1873 6 sides Marcus Smith Letter
Lot 26 in our auction Saturday 1st August 2020

Canadian Pacific Railway

Office of the Engineer in Chief

Ottawa 5 May 1873

My Dear Nannie,

I have just received yours of the 3rd instant and am glad there is nothing worse than a little exhibition of temper in your spoilt boy—when I got home I went to Mrs Pardy’s she had no room but one of her lodgers was absent for a few days and she gave me his room til I can find a place – he returned on Saturday night and she put up a little bed for me in the lobby with a curtain for door as I did not wish to go anywhere else for a week as I intend to come home on Saturday and want you to come up with me on the Monday following when we shall stay at Mr. Flemings unless you prefer the hotel Mr. and Mrs Fleming were both very kind and pressed me to stay with them but I preferred being free and I go there to dinner or tea almost every day—Forrest is sick has been very little at the office since new year and is now in a very critical state – There is no talk of any stoppage of the Pacific whatever Sir Hugh Allen and his company may do. And Mr. Fleming has asked for an amount to be put in the supplementary estimates to continue the surveys this year – The opposition are going to make an attack on the Government on account of the expenses of the surveys for the Pacific railway but I suppose it will not amount to much, so that there is every probability of my going back to British Columbia before the end of this month – This has set me a thinking what I am to do with you, and the “brats” I would not like you to stay where you are another winter even if Mrs Hargraves did not come home and to take a house and furnish it and probably have to move to a distance in less than a year would besides the inconvenience involve the loss of several hundred dollars yet I suppose this is what will have to be done and the question is where will be the best place – at Toronto or Guelph you would be near your friends but then this year I shall most certainly be home about Christmas or new year and probably be all winter in Ottawa but if you are at Toronto or Guelph I might as well be in British Columbia as here for it would take at least three days for me to make the double journey and $25 cost so that I could not be home above once a month only for a day at a time – Thus it would seem that Ottawa or some town very near would be the best place – The objection to Ottawa is this It is difficult to get a house at all and we could not afford to take a cheap house as you could not be there without some in high position calling on you and you would have to be in a fitting house because I find I have good prospects of a high position on the Pacific railway either here or in B.C. And would have to take a stand in society accordingly – but in the mean time we cannot afford to keep up such a position in two places at once- you here and me in B.C.—So that if we could in the meantime get some cozy inexpensive place where you could get the children educated well. Perhaps Toronto or Guelph might be best for this – and I might after all be only a short time in Ottawa next winter – your brother William thinks a furnished house such as they were in might be had in Toronto – You had better write him at once to look out and see what can be done there-either furnished or unfurnished—and also to your Mama or Louis at Guelph- There may be a choice of getting a house to rent cheap or perhaps to buy and let you and the family have a home and me roam about the world to get money to feed you all- I shall also look out and see what can be done here but May day is just over and all the houses are taken-still we have three months to look out and you will be very comfortable where you are for the Summer months-I shall find Edward a place when you leave till we want him again – one thing is certain we must now save money as I feel my strength failing and cannot go through the work I used to do –I wish you would write to Sawer – he only gives Yorkville as his address—tell him if he cannot run down I shall see him as I pass through Toronto –I hope he has got Roxburgh’s address I should like to take him an Edward both to B.C. if I go there and get a farm for Edward and Tom in partnership and have Roxburgh with me—Yours ever M Smith