Sunday, June 15, 2008

Kate Stewart, Home Child's Letter to Brother in England 1885

Dec 11th 85 [1885]

Dear Brother Johnny,

I received your letter & was very pleased to hear from you, & hope you will write again soon & tell me any news of mother & all that you can – I hope you are doing well. I am very well – & very comfortable going to school now again regularly.

Mrs. Phillips was very sick a long time & I had to stay at home to help her. Next Wednesday is our examination at school. Our teacher is going to leave this Christmas & next year we are to have a gentleman teacher. We had a large party on 3rd November.

Mrs. Phillips niece was married here – we had about 50 guests. I had a splendid time. They were married in the evening about half past 8 o’clock. I have a good time. Mrs. Phillips is very kind to me – we have plenty of apples and all kinds of fresh fruit especially raspberries & lots of ducks, chickens, turkeys &c. I help Mrs. Phillips with all kinds of work. She wants me to grow up useful.

There is a ‘Home’ near here called the ‘Guthrie Home’; the children come from Mr. Middlemore’s home at Birmingham. One of the girls goes to school with me. I know a girl who came from Miss Ryes some years ago. Now she is grown up & gets 7 dollars
a month & is such a neat tidy girl I hope I shall be able to get such wages some time.

Can you tell me when my birthday is please?

I give my love to all & with love I am your affe sister Kate.

Notes: Kate Stewart was a home child brought over on the SS Parisian in April 1882 by Miss Rye. She was placed with Dan and Mary Phillips of Westminster, London Ontario - an elderly couple who took in other home children. Kate would have been 13 when she wrote to her brother Johnny, 17, back in England. Johnny, my great grandfather, lost touch with her and always regretted failing to maintain contact. Kate is lost to the family forever... unless someone out there knows different.

Submitter: Paul Barton

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