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

Victoria Vancouver
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.
Yours ever,
M. Smith