Realized $1,430 in Auction #1264 6th June 2020
Lot 90 Victoria, B.C. 12 Jan 1873 4 sides Marcus Smith Letter to his wife
#canadarailways #railwaypioneers #sandfordfleming
BC 12th Jan 1873
My dear Nannie,
All the Engineers who have been engaged on the surveys here and who live on the east side of the rocky mountains- except three (myself and two others) leave for home tomorrow by steamer to San Francisco.- I was in hopes that I should be able to leave in a few days- but I got letters from Mr. Fleming two days ago- asking me as a personal favor to go into the accounts and endeavor to get them into such a shape that they will pass the audit of the Dominion govt. I believe they are in a sad mess through incompetence or neglect or both of the parties in charge there has been over half a million of dollars short (more than half of it uselessly) and Fleming has had to enter into heavy bonds to account for it all- this will detain me some time longer here but it cannot be very long before they will be telegraphing me to come home as I hear the company for constructing the line is about to be formed at last! It will hurry me fearfully as I have not yet written one line of my report and I shall have to work day and night when I come home- still I am longing to come and see you and all the little ones. I did not feel this so much in the Summer when every day’s work was a study and I did not know where I might camp in the evening or what adventures or difficulties I might have during the day- However I have got through safely and I hope satisfactorily and am now in robust health, have made plenty of friends here but am longing to get home- I see by the newspaper that you have had some very cold weather- I will thus get rid of at least half of a winter- the snow that fell here two days before x-mas went all away in a few days- we have had a good deal of rain and dull weather since- just as in England- but bright days now and then- and no cold weather I have only had my light over coat on a few times when going out in full dress to dinner or evening party- today is very mild and warm- all the children here ad young ladies have such rosy cheeks just like English people- I am glad you have at last got a servant and a governess that suits-
I believe this railway will now go into the hands of the company and be carried out by them in the same way as the grand trunk was- this govt. may probably have a few inspecting engineers- I don’t know what chance there is of my getting employment either by the govt. or the company- but this knowledge I have got of the country will give me great advantages- there is a report that the lieut govt. here will throw up his commission and go in as director or contractor- he was one engineer and I am on very good terms with him-
Love and kisses to all the little ones.