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[Written vertically across the text on the first page:] if ever you make it convenient to come and see us we will be much pleased

[P.S. Written vertically across the top of the letter:] John has arrived and little Alfie the baby is poorly I feel sorry for them John has been very hard with us but he is my poor Alfred's child and I feel for him he talks of keeping house again. I hope he will.

W3137 TO REV. THOMAS BAKER from his daughter-in-law Maria [Mudge] Baker
Feb 4 1878
To: Rev. Thomas Baker, 3 Bold Street, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Burwell Street, Paris, Ontario

Dear Father,

Your very kind and welcome letter came to hand safe containing fifty five dollars for which I am very thankfull1 I was very much in need for the last you sent me I had not much left after paying my rent and finish paying for my stove I had John and baby two month and minie [Minnie] seven weeks2 I have not received one cent from John yet when he went away he did not say anything about paying he might have forgot it I cannot say we received a post card on satturday saying that he would be home on satturday night or early in the week I supose he thinks this is his home we all agreed very well we gave him good board he likes to live well John has not given minie any thing yet and I do not think he intends to as he will not let her have what his wife gave her before she died he says he need all he has got himself I do not think mrs. Tuck has sent for minie since before christmas minie left here on the 13 on Sunday and went to her uncles Puckridges [.] She has been home three times she always says she wishes mrs. Tuck would send for her so I am certain she does not want her yet mrs. Puckridge will be glad to have her I am certin I got her a few things so she is not suffering for any thing.

You spoke in your former letter of the older ones doeing something to help the others I can truly say that neither of the three ever done any thing to help the rest [.] Poor minie would if she could but she has always got so little she never got much at her uncles and then not a great deal at mont bridges I belive she got five dollars a month for a while in the sumer Alice is much surprised that any one should expect anything from her she has all she can do to cloth herself on sixty dollars a year yet still expects a great deal of me with what I have I often thought if Alice had been so very anxious for Hattie to go to school she would Lent a hand at home for she has very little to do at mr. Harbins

I should have answered your letter on satturday but I had so much to do but hope it will not make much difference I am quite poorly again I was very well for a while I felt so much encouraged I would be so glad if I could get well I could then be a great help for I can do all most any kind of work but I feel again as though I must be a burden all my days to some one I am much troubled about my mother I fear she will not live long she is very sick

The children stood their examanation well the reason I did not speak of lettie [Lottie] she was not up for promotion she was promoted at the last term at summer hollidays they are doing well [.] Maud's books cost me three dollars and thirty two cents all the books the books cost over five dollars again every time they ar promoted they get new changes and the old ones no use

I am much pleased and very thankfull for the five dollars you sent me for the benifit of the church I am glad to think of all your kindness to me I have felt very much to think I could not do more for the church for they have been so kind to the family and I believe it a great benifit to all we all attend there minie and all I am not able to go all the time but the rest go rain or shine William I had to keep him home a few sundays he had no hat I got him one on satturday so he will not miss again he is doing well at school they are all well and seem very happy

the children all wish with me in kindest love and many thanks for your great kindness, to us all we wish to be remembered in your prayers for we have much need of them.

I ever remain your Affectionate and thankful Daughter in law.

Maria [Mudge] Baker

1 The original letter contains many spelling and grammatical errors which have been preserved during transcription. Any punctuation added is indicated by [ ]. For ease of reading, we have added paragraph breaks and removed the [sic] indications for errors.

2 Maria (Mudge) Baker is the second wife of James Alfred Baker. She is the step-mother of his seven children from his first marriage to Charlotte Puckridge who died, most likely after 1864. James Alfred died in 1876 leaving Maria to care for his children. This letter demonstrates that Maria was not able to care for them financially, and Rev. Baker decided that Maria was not morally capable after finding out through his grandson John P. Baker that there were rumours circulating about her (see W3155). Rev. Baker became responsible for arranging for his grandchildren's education, care and training elsewhere.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.