From Henry2 York.
Dear friends, I now take up my pen to inform you that we are now living in the township of St. Vincent, boardering on Lake Huron about half a mile inland from Georgian bay, witch puts up out of lake Huron, on a hundred acres of land that I hav bought of the govermant agent, called Clergy land.
I have ten years to pay for it at ten and sixpence per acre and expect your money. Have five pounds 5 shillings to pay down, the rest in nine yearely installments with interest. It is a capitell lot, and could not have been bought at less than 15 shillings if it had been owned by aney private person in so good a localaty, being close to the sawmills and less then too miles from the town plot and grist mill.
The town itself is in it infincy, being only about half houses on it beside the store and post office, but there has been hundred and 2 lots for building sold sinse last May, and they talk of doing wonders next spring.
After I wrote you last winter, I had a felon on my finger, lamed me six weeks, and prevented me from choping, so I bought another horse and harness and drew cord wood to Picton. I sold out the crop I had in the ground, and set out for this place the 17 of March last, and arrived here safe after 12 dayes hard traveling, and my team prete well used up, as the pharse is, the roads being in a terrible state, neither fit for sleighing nor wagons.
Some places we had to draw the sleigh over bare ground and stones, and made the fire fly out of the runners, and tired the horses greatly. Then we had to go into the back townships where there was more snow, and more hills, witch made me rember what J. Litchfield told me. He said there was deficts in this country, like mountauns to look over, and here I found we had both lakes and mountouns to get over.
Some places we had to draw the load up hat twice, other times we carried part of the load on our backs. The land was so uneven that I would not live here if they had gave me a farm for nothing.
About the 22, it rained very hard and wasted the snow, and thought our journey was at an end, but next morning it cleared off and was a slight frost, so we thought it best to push on. We came to Rice lake about noon. The rain the day before, and the wasting of the snow, had caused the water to stand on the ice nearley a foot deep, but thay told us that the ice was safe and there being now alternative, over I drove and was glad enough when I put the whip on the horses to get up the bank on the other side.
We arrived here about the last of March after travling a roundabout road of about 3 hundred miles in twelve days.
Her I might mention that I brought up with me, Mr. Barber daughter and her husband. They sold a colt to pay their expence on the way, and put the money into a store keepers hands to keep till they were ready to go, and he cheated them out of it, and they being in a difficulty, could not hire a team, so I brought them up with me.
So what with my own expence a the team and theirs, you must expect that I was run out of money when we reached here. However, I had one old English soviering, and a five dolor bill. With the bill, I bought some flour and potatoes I brought with me and got ten hundred of hay on credit for the horses.
This you may think was a small begining, but some begin without sixpense and suceed, and has it was the main object I left home for, I was determined to try.
My first job was to haul forty logs to the saw mill. They saw them for half, so I had plenty of boards and plank to finish my house.
We chopped and burnt off a piece all round the house, and planted potatoes, corn and garden seeds, turnips, was to late for spring wheat. Then we had to work out to get provison. Fredrick had five dolors a month, and myself half a dolar a day - had to take it in flour and butter, and things. Could not get money.
Mr. Barber came here in July to see hi son and daughter. They was living with me, and as we both wanted to work were we could get money, we went back with him as far as Barre, the district town here. I called at the land agent office, and had to pay 5 dolors for the valluing of the lot. Here I parted with the last sovering and next day I parted with the last shiling on the road. This was the first time since I left home that I had been without money, and it made me fell rather low and poor.
The day after, we got work at three and ninepence a day, and stayed 2 months, then returned home. Found the children all well. Had left them and a barrel of flour under the care of Mrs. Juniper.
Mr. Barber daughter has too hundred acres in the lot, and I let them have the other hundred, and they are now building a house upon it. We went out to earn this money to make the first payment on the land. I earned enough, but was obliged to pay for severall little matters since, witch leaves me one pound short of the sum required, and I realey do not no how to get, as it [h]as to be paid in soon. If I could raise this payment, it would secure the conc for ten years, if I was not able to pay aney more.
I are very sorrey to inform you that I have not had the box you sent for me by Barber. I expected to hear of you by him, and waited till he came here in the latter part of June. When he came, he said the[y] had sent my box to Clear end to a person name of Watts under a mistake with oen he brought for him. Watts had wrote back to him, saying the box was for me, and Barber promised me most faithfuley that he would get it back when he left me at Barre, and though he has repeatedly wrote to his daughter, he as never said one word about it.
I was unwilling to write to you till I tell you something about it, but he as quite tired my patience, and I think yours to. So I thought time to let you now the reason I did not write when you write. I wish you to let me now what was in it, so that if ever I do get it, I may now wether aneything has been took out of it.
After we had been here a few weeks, the best horse broke through the floor of an old mill I used for a stable, and killed himself. The other I kept till latter. I traded him of[f] for a working ox, and too calves, and 13 hundred of hay. The calves I traded, and four pigs I had, for another ox, to mate him and Fred has to work 2 months more to pay for him, so I have a good team again. They will get fat in the woods, were horses will starve.
I have now yoke of oxen, 5 pigs, sixty bushel of potatoes, a lot of Indian corn not husked, a few fouells, 5 bushells wheat and a good piece of land chopped, so that I shall be able with the blessing of God, to raise one hundred bushells of wheat next harvest. With a proper portion of other things then I think we can begin to live without working for other people.
The children are all well, with myself, and desire ther love to you all. They are all grown verey much. Marey is as tall as her mother was. Sarah is living with some Quakers, and likes her place well. John is getting quite handy, and can drive the oxen verey near as well as I can.
Henery is a stout little fellow. They call him the old man. You would have been suprised to have seen him caged on the sleigh in a little place, just big enouf for him to sit in, when we was travling, singing or whistling when we was in the graitest dificality getting through mud and mire, uphill or down, it was all the same to him. He was as unco[nce]rned as possible, and hardley willing to be lifted out at night.
The person I was aquainted with below, was worth some little property, but she did not like to leave her friends to come so far. So that I am single at presant and likly for all I know.
If David or George should think of coming next spring, I should be able to help them after harvest, and get them through the first winter. They might do well here working at their trade. They would be better paid, and not put half the work in the shoes as they doe at home.
If any of my former acquaintance should come to me, I would putt them in the way of getting land, but it is getting taken up very fast, and newcomers will have to go farther back in the bush. I now of too lots I could keep if I were sure of there coming, but it would be to hard work for David or George to chop and clear off land. They might get a small piece.
Their [h]as been a dreadfull calamaty amongst the Irish emegrants this sumer, and through a grait part of the country were they have settled, and were I was at work when I was out, but it has not reached here. This is a very healthey place I think, owing to it being contigent to such a large body of clear fresh water. The [h]as not been aney ague here for since it has been settled.
I have been making a net for fishing. Junipers found the stuf, and I done the work, and we have just began fishing, and have caut 30 salmon trout weighing from 6 to 14 pounds. It is one of the finest fishing places in Canada. This is one advantage of living near the lake.
Give my respects to Mrs. Lydia Robinson. Tell her that I have been twenty miles along the Yarrafaxe line from Owen Sound, and could not find George Cleaver. It is nessary to now the number of the conssion and lot. There are three lines running in the same direction, one each side the main road, about two miles deep in the woods. This is the way the country is generely settled.
Give my best respects to Mrs. Badcock. The children well rember the young ladeyes coming to see them at scool. My respects to cousen Dickens. Would be glad to hear if she better. Also to Mabbitts, Mr. Robinson, Mrs. Warren, Charles Meacock, T. Russell, Mr. Timkins, Eadons and brother William wife. W be glad to hear how thay are doing.
Give my love to brother Tomas and Samuell. Was glad to hear they had both been home. You did not send me Thomas direction. My Richard and John Hall received UR letter. Would be glad to hear of them or from them.
And dear Ann mother, though time [h]as blunted the first sensations of grief, I still feel her loss and my lonley state.
My respects to all brothers and sisters, father and mother, and all acquaint. I do not witch to forget any and believe to remain,
Your afectionate son, Henry York.
Pleas to write as soon as you can. Direct to H. York, St. Vincent, Simco District 7 Concession, 20 lot, Canada West. My love to T. Smith. I am obliged to him for the book if I never recevice it No the g.
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