Letter From Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks – 1 Oct 1855

This is another letter from my 3x great-grandmother Jane Elizabeth Fairbanks (1823-1856) to her cousin Mary Martha Fairbanks (1819-1876), courtesy of my cousin Catherine Duff.  This one was sent on 1 Oct 1855 from Braco, the Duff family home in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to Mary in Halifax.  Jane discusses some sewing Martha did for her, troubles with the mail getting delivered, and begs Martha to bring her children and come for a visit.

Pages 1 & 4

Pages 1 & 4

Pages 2 & 3

Pages 2 & 3

Pages 6 & 7

Pages 6 & 7

Pages 5 & 8

Pages 5 & 8

== Page 1

Braco, October 1st [1855]

My Dear Mary,

I intended answering the note I received from you last week, before this, but thought afterwards I would wait and make inquiries about the missing packet before visiting.  It is really so bad after all the trouble you have had with my things to have so many mistakes and when you have been at so much pains to send packets, that they should not be delivered, however this is all right, I received it this morning.  I made inquiries last week, but could hear nothing of it.  But the packet returned yesterday

== Page 2

and our boy got it from the captain this morning.  I suppose he took it back to Halifax the last trip, it was certainly very stupid when it was directed so plainly.  I am greatly obliged to you Dear Mary for making up the little garments, I liked the patterns very much, I have no doubt they will fit and am waiting until Annie returns from school to try on hers.  I am quite sorry dear Mary that we are not to have the pleasure of seeing you here.  I should have been very glad indeed to have had a visit from you.  If you had felt able to undertake either a voyage or drive, but as you say you are afraid to try either.  I do not like to urge you to come lest it should be too much.

== Page 3

You of course are the first judge of your own strength had it been warmer weather I should certainly think it would do you good to try change of air.  I would have been delighted to have had you any time in the Summer had you volunteered and, although often wishing for you, felt that we were so unfortunately situated that we could not make it either very comfortable or agreeable to any of our friends.  That alone prevented me from sending before, and then Mr. McKnight’s unexpected visit disarranged my plans.  However, dear Mary, I shall expect you to volunteer whenever you feel that you are able to undertake the journey.  You must not wait for any further invitation, or come just when you

== Page 4

feel inclined.  You may be sure we shall be pleased to have you at any time and tell Martha with my love, if she will undertake it, I shall be very glad indeed to see her and Charlie.  I am sorry to hear he is not very strong but think he will improve soon.  At his age children are so often delicate that he may soon outgrow the weakness which I suppose has been occasioned by.  Mr. Fern? Lewis was in Lunenburg Friday night and came out for a little, but did not stay as he was to go on to Shelburne the next day.  I had a note from Kate and Annie by him.  I am sorry to hear Kate so not well but think it is nothing more than

== Page 5

fatigue from moving.  If you see either of them soon, please tell them, I was to have written but fear I cannot find time.  Aunt Margaret goes away tomorrow to spend a few days with Mrs. Gow in the country, probably until Saturday and having at thus much work to be done and people to work.  I fear that I shall have my hands full as I cannot expect much help from the servant worker.  So much else to attend to. I have given up all expectations of visiting Woodside [John Eleazer Fairbanks’s family home] this year much as I should have liked it.  I feel it will be impossible now.  Your notes, even though old, contained much new to me, I am always so glad to hear from you and must thank you most sincerely for all your kind offers

== Page 6

of assistance. What you are doing will be a great comfort but really dear Mary I feel some scruples about encroaching further upon your time, you have been sewing so much for us all that I scarcely think it right to send you more.  But I do hope you will not hesitate to lay them aside at once if you find other things requiring attention.  I am sure you must have many calls upon your time and I value your kindness greatly in bestowing so much of it as well as your sympathies upon us.  I did intend making a set of Chemises for myself and as you say you will not send me the cotton I will send one of my last set.  It is a pitiful rag as you may see

== Page 7

and scarcely fit were for a pattern but I won’t apologize, as nearly all I could do this Summer was mending for the children and my own garments just went to pieces.  Take your own time to the making and purchase any material necessary.  I should feel I was really imposing upon you were it not for your expected assurances.  I have put – tried on Annie’s garment and like the shape better than any she has had before.  It sets very well but is rather large and long for her.  I think a little more than an inch less around the neck and an inch and a half shorter

== Page 8

would just do.  I like the opening and button for she is apt to tear her clothes.  Maggie’s does nicely.  I send the parcel & letters there by Mrs. Borden who has been here on a visit.  I hope it will reach you soon.  You must make allowances for my penmanship, although I am better than when I last wrote.  I have rheumatism in my head and am obliged to hold it with my hand while I try to finish this.  Annie, Margaret and the children send much love and with love to Martha and all at your mother’s believe me ever dear Mary your affectionate cousin

Jane E. Duff

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About cthomas1967

Seeking to bring my ancestors out of the shadows of history and into the light. I have always been interested in history, and at a few different times I tried to do a family tree, but wasn't able to do it with the technology that was available then. On a business trip I visited the World War I Museum in Kansas City, MO and it was a very impressive establishment. While I was there I remember thinking, "Didn't my great-grandfather father fight in World War I? And wasn't his brother killed alongside him in some famous battle? I wonder if I can find out where he died." That's what started it all. View all posts by cthomas1967

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