Three and a half months have passed since John Kaine wrote the letter to Aunt Bess in which he provided her with detailed information on how to travel to Canada and what to bring to set up her new life. It appears that Aunt Bess made the momentous decision to emigrate and let the family know that she was coming to join them. However, she did not turn up when they expected her as indicated by the comment, “He is very uneasy afraid that you started and that anything happened you.“
15 Kaine Letter Dec 12, 1863 Transcribed from the original by Kerrin Churchill January 3, 2020 John Kaine to Aunt Bess from McKillop to Freshford, Kilkenny, Ireland
My Dear Aunt
I came down to see my Father yesterday and I find that they are very uneasy on account of not hearing from you or seeing you by this time. My Father got your last letter in which you stated you were coming out-he did not answer it because it was only about a week before he got it that I wrote. He is very uneasy afraid that you started and that anything happened you. You will please if the Lord spares you to receive this to answer it at once. We are well. Charles is working in Buffalo
The minds of the family must have been filled with images of all sorts of dire fates that may have befallen their aunt on her journey. Had her ship been wrecked at sea? Had she been set upon by robbers? Had she fallen ill?
John obviously wrote this brief note and sent it in haste to find out what had happened to his Dear Aunt Bess. There were no rapid methods of communication like the telegrams or telephones of today to help him uncover the mystery of where she was.
Stay tuned for my next post for more on the fate of Aunt Bess!