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W3146 TO REV. THOMAS BAKER from his daughter-in-law Maria [Mudge] Baker
Feb 14 1878
To: Rev. Thomas Baker, 3 Bold Street, Hamilton, Ontario
From: [Burwell Street], Paris, Ontario

[Written vertically across the top under the date:] I will not send this so you get it before Monday least it should interfere with your sabath days enjoyments.1

Dear Father,

yours from the 12th is at hand I am sorry my letter should cause you any trouble I shall endevor to answer imedately after this if I am spared [.] [T]he reason I spoke about John liking to live well is because he is so very particular about his victuals he can not take cold water for diner not even with soup I told the girls we would give him good board and have every thing in time so he could have no excuse as he had once before John understood plain enough that he was to pay for his board he was not at all ignorant of it he also knew how much I had left when I paid rent and stove I had John see if it was right he reconed it up for for [sic] me my stove was 28 dollars [.] I told him you gave me the ten dollars my old stove came to 2 dollars and 18 cents the balance I paid in John presance I lent him four dollars at the same time he knows I had wood to bye and some books for the children he said he expected some money and then he would pay me he did pay me the borowed money back and let me have three dollars and seventy five cents 3.75 an what I got for Alfred he said that was all he could do for me at present

[W]e all got along well enough untill last satturday with exceptions of him and minie [Minnie] one day when I was out he talked very hard to her and was agoing to put her out doars Alice and John are great friends she think John is right neither of them was ever friends of mine they never did like me and done all they could against me I have always tried to use them well for the sake of the other children and poor Alfred hoping they might some day see different

I must tell you what happened on satturday John was sitting looking out of the window he said it did not matter much weather wether he got a situation or not now it would soon be spring [.] I said well John it will take a good deal to keep you untill then I said I did not know what I should do unless I got something that was comeing to me he laughed and said he had that all arranged he said if the truth was known he had as right here as I had and I would find out [.] I felt very bad I went to my room and did see him untill breakfast he then wished a private talk to me I told him on monday morning I would see him but he would talk and such a charicter as I got quite as bad as he ever gave his Father it made me quite sick I was obliged to go to bed [.] I told him he must leave on monday morning when monday came he went down town came back and sang and whistled throug the house he said nothing about going I could see he entend to stop I told Hariette open my bed room doar I told him he must leave I could and would not keep him under any circumstance he then raged again told me I should be turned out doars in less than six weeks

Hariette said she would surely write and tell Grandpa he then turned on her he then picked up every thing but the baby and it close and went away he came back on tuesday took of his coat and hat set down as if nothing happened asked after mrs. Baker helth and said he was sorry I had such bad helth I did not see him but I told Harriett if [he] was hungry to give him something to eat and then he must go she told him he said nothing and went away I believe he is at mrs. Puckidges [Puckridge's]

Alice took his letter to him2 I do hope there is nothing in this letter that will grive you I do not write to trouble you but I wish you to know how he has acted with me when poor Alfred was here I bore with him I mean John abuse but now I can not stand it and I do not think I can ever horber him around my house again I wish him well for he is to be pittied what to do with little Alfred I do not unles I keep him I do not think he ever entends to pay me a dollar

I will send you a couple of acounts so that you may see how he always delt with his Father very different to what his pa delt with him I will also send you a letter he sent me when in wingam [Wingham] I answered it as soon as possible I had no money to send him and thinking he needed it I sent and borowed three dolles it was all I could get I got one doller of mrs. Hart two of miss. Mc Gill Willie and maud seen me put it in the letter maud posted it had it registered [.] [I]f he says he got the letter but no money I wished him to look after it but he say he dont beleive I ever put the money in and shall not lose it

I am the looser so far I paid them and he has not paid me while in mount bridges he wrote to Alice to try and get money or a part of what grandpa sent mrs. Baker as he had got a situation on the rail road and if he could get it would give him a start she was to tell me he would give it to me bye the fiffteenth if he should not get in he would fech every cent back to me but beshure and not let any person see the letters it was luck for me I needed it all or I dare say I should have let him have it for geting the schemes he played before to beet his father and others

I do hope you will not feel hard for my writing this but it [is] the truth and nothing but the truth but I feel it my duty as I do not expect to be long for this world and do not want the rest of the family to suffer as I have don bye him I have only given you a faint idea of his charicter and should you dout one word I say please inform me

[L]ittle Alfred is getting quite well again he has been exposed to hooping cough while away the children are all well with kindes love from children and myself to all

I beleve Hariette maud and lottie making up thir minds to become members of the church I hope it will not fall through pray for them they are very serious inclined remember unworthy me

From your Affectionate daughter in law

M. Baker [Maria (Mudge) Baker]3

1 The spelling and grammatical errors in the original letter have been preserved during transcription. Any changes to punctuation are indicated by [ ]. For ease of reading, we have provided some paragraph breaks, and omitted most of the [sic] indications for errors.

2 In W3152 dated February 15, 1878, John P. Baker mentions having received a letter and that it had the "appearance of having been opened."

3 Maria (Mudge) Baker "inherited" seven stepchildren in 1876 after the death of her husband, James Alfred Baker. Her father-in-law, Rev. Thomas Baker, provided her with financial support as she was still caring for the most of the children. However, in 1878, her eldest stepchild, John P. Baker, reported to Rev. Baker a rumour that Maria was keeping gentlemen callers for undue lengths of time and, as a result, the Reverend removed the children from Maria's care. See W3155 for details.

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