Victoria 5 Dec 1872 2-page 4-sided Marcus Smith Letter to his wife
Lot 90 in our auction Saturday 30th May 2020

Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC 5th Dec. 1872

My dear Annie,

I got here from the mainland about a week ago and next day received your letter of the 10th– We had a very cold snap before I left the last night in camp it was 20 degrees below zero- by the side of the Fraser river and the ice came down so fast we could not cross so I had to return to the waggon road at the 100 mile house and then start for Victoria- we can 100 miles by sleigh- the rest by waggon and steamboat bringing all the surveying parties home from the mainland except one party- who will have to winter near Henry house in the rocky mountains- I am glad to get here I have had a very hard summer- have only slept three or four times with my clothes off in five months- weeks together on bacon and beans- no vegetables or fruit or sight of human being but Indians-

Early in summer I suffered terribly with cramps and rheumatism- lost 25 lbs weight in one month- spent one day here with Mr. Fleming first week of October- then off to the mainland again- I have been much better this second trip- all my rheumatism gone- but I am still thin and hungry. However I am fairing well here and gaining in weight rapidly- I am going out again next week exploring on the Island from here to Bute inlet- or at least to Nanaimo- but it is mere child’s play and will be like a pleasure trip- compared to what I have been doing all summer-

I am glad to hear thar the children are all well and that Tom’s health is improving- I think he had better go to day school in Brockville or some boarding school near during the spring- It does not matter much which school he is sent to he will never be good for much if he were out here he might learn to drive mules or herd cattle which require no book learning I know of no other out of door employment that he will ever be strong enough to do-

I have given all the surveyors here notice. That then engagement will cease at the end of the month, by which time most of the plans and profiles of the summer’s work will be ready and I suppose I shall have to come home with them though I have had no orders from Fleming yet-

I have to write to Fleming by this mail and have only one 1 ½ hour left. So much close. I have hardly time to think of anything, but as there a mule now twice a week over land I shall write again soon.

Yours ever,

M. Smith

PS I have just come from the service of consecration of a new church- Christ’s church, besides the Bishop of BC the Bishop of Oregon and other strangers officiated MS.

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