Letter from William Hardisty to Miss Davis, November 29, 1869. Manitoba Archives.
Nov. 20th, 1869
My dear Miss Davis,
After a tedious voyage of nearly three months from Red River, most of the way cramped up in a small canoe, on the 29th of August I reached Fort Simpson where I found my wife and children enjoying good health and such comforts as the far north affords. We have now quickly settled down for the winter with a sufficuncy (sic) of the ordinary comforts of life for which I ought to be thankful, but we, at least I am never satisfied – for I sometimes detect myself sighing for the superior comforts and advantages of the civilized world.
I hope this will find you and my boy Richard in good health. I have to thank you for the trouble you must have had with him. It is very difficult in this District to keep the children away from the Indians who are always about the house and my children labour under this further disadvantage that their Mother has no education. I am generally absent from them all summer, and at intervals during winter, so that they are to be pitied more than blamed for their mischievous — habits. I hope therefore that you will excuse them if they are not so good or so well behaved as those who have educated Mothers to instil (sic) virtuous habits into them from their infancy, and to teach them the rudiments of their education and thus relieve the Teachers of the most troublesome part of their duty which is with beginners.
I am willing however to recompence you for the extra trouble that you have had with my children. I can never thank you or pay you enough for your kindness and attention to my little girl – whom I fully intended from the first should have finished her education under your direction – had her health permitted, but I thought the climate of Canada would do her good which it did and the superior medical attendance that she received there soon restored her to good health, tho’ she still coughed occasionally and it was because the Dr. advised me to leave her in Canada for a few years that I did not bring her back to you. Richard I daresay will soon be getting too big a boy for a girl school. I will therefore thank you, to place him on the lst June next under the care of Archdeacon McLean to whom I have just written to receive him on that day, so that his education under him – for convenience – may commence at the beginning of the fiscal year. In a year or two I would like to send you my boy Frank if you are willing to undertake the trouble of teaching or rather breaking him in for a couple of years, but I must warn you he is a much wilder boy than even Richard. Please let me know by first opportunity and in the meantime with best wishes and kindest regards,
I remain Dear Miss Davis
Yours very truly