The mice got at this letter but left enough for me to transcribe! It is from Mary, the youngest daughter of Charles and Bessie Kaine. Even though she had not seen Aunt Bess for many years, Mary seemed to have real affection for her Aunt. She also has a fondness for her brother Charles who is the fellow who went to Brooklyn, New York and Peru.

Page 1 Letter from Mary Kaine to Aunt Bess Feb 16, 1865
Page 2 Letter from Mary Kaine to Aunt Bess Feb 16, 1865

21  Kaine Letter Feb 16, 1865

Transcribed from the original by Kerrin Churchill January 4, 2020 Mary Kaine to Aunt Bess from Bluevale to Freshford, Kilkenny, Ireland

My Dearest Aunt

It is with pleasure as well as gratitude that I sit down to answer your welcome letter. I was so happy to hear that you were doing so well. I am sure you are very lonesome. I would like very much to see you.  I had a letter from Charles today. Him and his wife is well. Dear Aunt we are very lonesome and I think more about Charles than any of the rest and he says that it …missing paper.. to him that I am his….sister poor Charles it ……long to see him well. Aunt I have not much to say on account of Ann writing all the news. Dear Aunt I send you my kindest love. Farewell perhaps

a long farewell

When we shall meet Oh who can tell

The joys and sorrows we may know

The sunny scenes we may…..missing paper..

The hour of pleasure the our of pane

But you and I shall meet again

I remain your affectionate Niece

Mary Kaine

Young Mary Kaine, at 16, seemed to have many accomplishments. In her last letter, her sister Anne Fraser described Mary as an excellent dressmaker. Maybe she was a poet as well. I could discover very little about poetry in Canada before Confederation so have no idea if Mary wrote this sweet message to Aunt Bess or copied it from somewhere else. Whatever the origin, it was lovely.

The only photograph I have of Mary shows her as a young matron in Winnipeg where she moved after marrying Thomas Redmond in 1868 when she was 19.

Marriage record of Mary Kaine and Thomas Redmond December 1868
Mary Kaine b 1849

Many Ontario families moved to the West in the late 1800s as there was land still available on the prairies.

The immigration boom leading up to 1914 was one of the most important periods of Canadian population growth. Significant changes occurred in Canada after 1867 that made the Prairie immigration boom possible: the construction of a transcontinental railroad made transportation and travel accessible; the Dominion Lands Act of 1872 created free and fertile homesteads for settlers; the establishment of the North-West Mounted Police in 1873 guaranteed the safety of Prairie residents; and the creation of the Department of the Interior in 1873 attracted hard-working immigrants to the region.

I will share more about Mary and what I learned about her life after her marriage, what little I know, in a future post.

3 thoughts on “Letter #21 February 16, 1865: Of Mice and Poetry

  1. Lovely poem ! Obviously everyone was feeling lonely. Starting from scratch again and again must have required so much courage and determination. First to settle in Ontario, then after a few years and a few children to settle as far as Winnipeg, again far away from your family. A sure conflict of the mind and the heart !


  2. Dear Kerrin Thank you for sending this letter from Mary Kaine. Her photograph reminds me of 19th century photos of my relatives, looking a bit stiff and standing against a prepared background. Of course photography was less instant then and maybe people dared not smile because they wouldn’t be able to hold it long enough. Aunt Bess is clinging on to Ireland, so I am still wondering if she will ever make it to Canada!

    Liked by 1 person

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