Letter No. 1, New Westminster, July 21, 1867

No. 1 July 4th
P. O’Reilly Esquire
Care of J. C. Haynes Esq.

My own beloved husband

It seems already an age since we parted nearly a week since I have seen your dear face or heard you dear voice. I was very glad to get your little note from Hope & I hoped that I might have heard something of or from you on our way down, the wind was blowing so hard that the boat did not stop. Capt. Irving was afraid that she would not get out from the bank. I must begin regularly & tell you all relating to me and & the Fuddle(*1) day by day. I was very frightened to see you in that, shall canoe it seems so heavily laden & your changing to another in the middle of the river seemed to me very hard.

I was relieved & thankful when I saw you on board the “Forward”. Oh! my darling do be careful of yourself what should I do if any thing happened to you. To the care of our Merciful Father I commend entreat his favor and petition for you many times every day. I set to work directly you are quite gone & both Mrs. D. & I found plenty to occupy every moment since we left. I put away your clothes that were about. In the small black portmanteau on opening it I found two towels that I had long missed, also a pair of dog skin gloves which I think you searched for, a small sponge. I put you boots & trousers into it, & the remainder are in the drawer in the little room. There are also boots & other things in the square portmanteau in the loft & 7 pairs of

socks & a pair strong boots in a basket, also in the loft. Tuesday was very wet and we worked all day Mrs. McKay called & asked us to drive & spend the next day which we finally agreed to do and she worked at the sewing machine for me & made some breeches for Franky such little things they are. Mr. M. sent me your note in the evening & he gave us an account of your start from Hope. I am afraid it rained very heavily & you must have had a miserable night for your first camping out. I thought very tenderly & sympathetic of you darling when I laid down in my comfortable bed. Mr. McKay said you would be sure to have fine weather on the other side of the mountains. Mary had a great day at home as
Francis went with us & she had a great wash. The Chinaman helped her. He was most useful & Coffee was very attentive. On Thursday morning the steamer brought me notes from Mama & Julia both which I send you & I thought them sufficiently satisfactory to authorize me in going to the quarters. I hope dearie, you will think so too. Thursday we devoted to putting away & finishing the packing. I hope & believe that nothing was forgotten. All the silver was cleaned & put into the closet with the wine & the dishes etc. Into the one in the dining room & of this last we gave my key to Coffee for we saw the mouse twice in that cupboard & it ran thro into the other & we set the trap but he had not been caught & Coffee
was to watch for him. I was very tired when I went to bed but every thing nearly was done and stored & tho the hour of the boat’s starting

was very early at 8 o’clock we only kept her waiting a few minutes after the third whistle blew. Mr. & Mrs. McKay came down to see us off & Mr. Elliott was on board & was very polite. He came up to the house the evening before & handed me the money from Mr. Trevor. When the express came in Mr. Currie had brought up your letter to me & asked me to tell him if they contained anything relating to the business of the office, so I opened them which I otherwise should not & it was fortunate I did for the one from Mr. Dewdney contained a letter for his wife & the one with the bill I send

them all on to you, but I think I had better keep the money order, it is drawn in your favor & the money cannot be touched without your signature. I am afraid to risk sending it after you & I really don’t know what is best. You must not be angry with me, if I make a mistake but I fancy Mr. Ellis may be anxious about it & I think I will write him a few lines & say that the order is safe in my hands. It is unfortunate if they want to use the money is it not but, I can’t think that any time would be saved by my sending it to you & of course there must be risk with letters traveling each a long journey.

Indeed my own love may heart often fails when I think of the fatigue & difficulty you will have to encounter but must try to keep up my courage. The trip down was not unpleasant except that there were many children on board & they cried & made a great noise. A family named Dustin from Cariboo & some others. We had boarded at ½ past 12 & as we arrived here a little before 4 o’ c we had no dinner on board. Capt. Irving kindly put in to the Camp for me to land & Joe came down to meet me, Mama just after. It was

the day of the Rifle match at the Barnette Bridge & he had been out there & hurried in when he heard the steamer. He was kind to me & Franky & welcomed me kindly. Julia also was quite gracious & it was a comfort to me to come here. We saw the Volunteers march past soon after the Victorians victorious! Mr. Good is much depressed as he hoped to reap the principal laurels! Joe told me that the Governor was coming up in the Enterprise & he did arrive. Mr. Mannsell in attendance. It seems that there had been some bad news from Cariboo by telegraph & came called up to hold an Ex. Council!

Monday, of course we have heard nothing from Joe with regards to what is the matter but there is a paragraph in the B.C., which I will send if I can. Mr. Mannsell came up after dinner & he said H.E. (*2) had gone to bed to think over the bad news he had from Cariboo. The remarks Mr. Dewdney makes sense to me to throw some light on the affair for certain it is something serious for Mr. Ker told us this morning that it is probable he will go to Cariboo. He left in the “Leviathan” for Victoria last evening, but is to return on Thursday. All spells mystery, with the next Express but I imagine that there has been a row between the two companies of course I shall tell you as soon as I know anything. Saturday was cold &
wet & we could not get out but I did not feel well, my head troubled

me all day & I could do nothing The late dinner does not agree with me. Sunday morning. Mr. Ker came up to tell us there would be a service at the Camp as Mr. Cave was very ill. Well as is it was raining & we did not return to town but it cleared in the afternoon & I walked with Mama to see Mrs. Crease. The Fuddle went also in his buggy. We had a very pleasant visit the young Crease is a fine baby & promised to be good looking. I asked Mrs. C about the plants & she said her had some ready & would send them to Coffee. We came back to evening service at the little Church. Mr. Hayman want down with the Govr. It seems that Mr. S. mother is anxious about her & has caused their doctor at the home to write to Mr. H. for a professional opinion & he is down to report. I fancy it seems very funny and not very delicate to make

so much parade when every [one] knows what is the matter with her. it would be dreadful I think to be so circumstanced each & I believe firmly, that if she would banish the thought of such contingency & go out take air & exercise she would again strength & then she might have a better chance. But the Haymans are bent on getting her back here but I should not wonder if he persuaded her to return at once particularly if the Govr. goes to Cariboo. At last the weather has taken a turn & to-day is fine. I am writing now on Tuesday for I was interrupted yesterday by a visit from Mrs. Holmes & Mrs. Dewdney & Mrs. Wright also came & invited us to an early dinner to-morrow when I intend to call on Mrs. Pritchard and thank her for the cake & strawberries

I also must go to Mr. Caves & get some things out of my box. Mrs. D says her mother & sister & Dr. Black are delighted with her appearance & thinks that Yale has done wonders for her. Joe tells me that Mrs. Glennie has behaved most unkindly towards Mrs. W. & has caused a great deal of talk & cruelty Mrs. W is looking pale & sad & I shall try to give Mrs. D a hint to be kind & loving to her for she must feel very lonely now her brothers are away. We went yesterday to see Mrs. Ker & had a beautiful walk in the garden, eating raspberries etc. etc. We made our way into the Freehold Estate & found plenty more but not as fine I told Julia to have them picked if she wanted them, so she sent James for them. She is going to make raspberry cordial for the winter. I have not much more to tell you about the Cariboo affair.  The “Forward” came down last evening

but I got no news of you my own darling. I am already anxious to see you I am indeed thankful that you did not go to Cariboo this year. Joe talked a good deal to us last evening & explained all the circumstances attending the GCF & beginning at two years ago so that was after you left. it seems that there is an idea abroad the Mr. Begbie has reversed Mr. Ball’s decision if he had the power which he says he had been deprived of by the change of the Act last session and he is reported to have made some very injudicious remark so it is a nice embargo. I have not said a word about John but you must give him my dear love & Friendship & say I will write to him & account to him for his properties left in my charge &
tell him exactly where he will find them should he return before I am there which however, I hope will not be the case. Mamma I think is writing to him this time. It is a fact that Mr. Young is Act of Col Sec, Joe had an official signed by himself. I only hope that he may be able to make himself agreeable to H. E. Mr. Ker was present at Esquimalt when the Honorable A.W.B. departed Halifax He gives an amusing description of the grief of the two fair & distinguished two sisters. They went down in a carriage & he stood at the door each one

holding a hand & weeping bountifully. I paid the Butchers & Bakers bills this amounted to $50 from 1st May to the day I left 18th July which left me only $50 but the same evening of came the $160 from _________ I should like to settle a part at any rate of Mr. Holbrook acct. I was so taken up arranging my parcels that I forgot to settle with the Steward of the “Forward”. I shall write to Mrs. Seymour to-day & tell her that I shall hope to be down on Saturday & I trust we may have a fine day & the “Enterprise” to go on. I have not told you anything about the dear Fuddle. I talk to him every morning about you & he knows quite well that the puff puff took you all away left Mama very lonely & sad. We have your slipper
now with us & he carried them about & _________ them. He is a good child & cries little. Uncle Joe plays with him & took him for a little ride last evening. Mr. Farland wrote a letter addressed to his mother which I will post by the next mail & prepay.

And how dearie, I will say good bye in order that I may be on time to send this packet with Joe’s letter. With much dear love & many prayers to the all Merciful Father that He may keep you safe & well I am as ever-your fondly devoted wife

Carry O’Reilly

Mama sends her love to you also Joe & kind remembrances from Mrs. T.


*1 Pet Name for Frank
*2 H.E. appears to stand for His Excellency, in this case Governor Seymour

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This collection of letters has been digitized from an earlier transcription project and is for informational purposes only. This transcription has not been verified against the originals. Researchers interested in these letters should consult the original documents housed at the BC Archives.


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