Prince Arthur’s Landing Lk Superior 8 Au 1878 Marcus Smith letter
Lot 28 in our auction Saturday 3rd July 2021
#lakesuperior #marcussmith #bcsurveyor #canadianrailways #bchistory
Lake Superior 8th August 1878
My dear Wife
I have received your letter of the 28th July and Lettie’s of Aug 1st, also the old pocket book. I fear you will spoil Lettie with too many presents- however it is very kind of Tom to think of her. He is a good boy-
Lemieux did not call on me at Toronto I suppose he wished to shirk saying anything about the house. But it is not likely he will let a lease of it before the General elections and I think it would be best for him and us to hold it at least for another quarter
whose before the expiration of which we shall probably know better how we are likely to be situated- you might write Lemieux to that effect- I am very anxious about what will be the best course to take after my Mr. Fleming returns. I do not see how I can work under him with any satisfaction when I know the underhand way in which he is influencing the engineering staff against me. Besides the whole management is in such a muddle- Contracts costing half as much again as they were estimated at the letting- though quantities turning out so much larger- either from the incompetency or dishonesty, or both- of the engineers in charge- so that it gives me terrible hard work and anxiety to keep things at all creditable- But I can only bide my time till there is a change of some sort-
Meantime I am recruiting my health- by this pleasant trip which I am making very quietly- There will probably be some contracts let in the Winter and local railways in Manitoba projected next Spring as people are moving into that province by thousands- I think if I can get a fair contract along with some practical man with capital it will be better than sticking to engineering on a small salary either here or going abroad- to Europe or Asia- One of the assistants on this district whom I discharged this time last year- a very young man took a subcontract from Purcell & Ryan and has cleared $5000 in one year by it- Purcell & Ryan will make probably $50 000 a year profit- I shall find out as I go along how the contractors are managing- Whitehead has a risky contract W.15 and I shall have to spend a good deal of time on it-
The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario is here and I went over 30 miles of the line with him yesterday- I shall finish here this week and leave on Monday morning to go over the Dawson route (mostly canoeing) to Fort Francis and thence to Rat Portage- My address will be, C.P.R.-Winnipeg-Manitoba from which letters will be forwarded- If I remember right- a cheque was sent and receipt obtained for promises on my Life insurance.
Yours ever M. Smith
P.S. Love and kisses to all the children but you must spank the baby if she is cross.