Cape Breton's Magazine

> Issue 32 > Page 33 - A Letter From Big Bras d'Or, 1830

Page 33 - A Letter From Big Bras d'Or, 1830

Published by Ronald Caplan on 1982/8/1 (1160 reads)
 

and they would wish to know is this. This country is good for poor people, produces good crops of potatoes, oats, wheat, barley and anything you think proper to sow or plant--in summer the weather is mild and pleasant, the climate more warm than with you at home, the first year we came here we went through many hardships for want of provisions for our support, but we had "some help from Government, but now we are well off. We have plenty potatoes and oats to our wish and in a short time we will be pretty well off, not to say we can get any money here. No! Money is very scarce here, but those that has it get any thing they want. It is a great pity you did not come along with me, as you would have land near me but now occupied by others, land near the sea is getting scarce here but plenty lots a little distance from the sea is e- qually good if not better--you are entitled to 200 acres, if single 100 acres--I wish you would still think of coming here I know it would be better for you than being at Tunk or in any part of the Lewis or Harris --you could have land here forever for yourself and children forever without any compensation whatsoever only paying sur? veying and Grant in all near 20 pounds and most likely you pay the Grant 20 years hence. Should you come I will give you a house and part of what I possess till you find a place to (illegible word) with or should you stop upon my land forever you are quite welcome--If you come mind bring with you a good store of wool, clothes, leather, herring nets and lines, big saw, and every other article you can, or if you have not the spirit to come send me one of your herring nets, or hemp. Fishing is plentiful here, any person having plenty of fishing materials is sure of fishing well here. You sister desires you and her mother to send her some wool if you don't come yourself. We have an excellent house here and we are quite happy for coming here. Barbara is well pleased for coming but she regrets much (illegible) see her parents or you, or never hears from you-- John and Alexander are quite well. Alexan- drina is now a fine child, unlike very poorly when you saw her. (Illegible) lost a child, a girl since we came here and Barbara is now pregnant--I write you as fully as I can but paper is getting short, so I must conclude with best respects to you all of your family, in which my wife joins--she entreats you to come here and indeed I would be very happy if you could come but if you come mind to bring what I mention, otherwise you will find it a want --I remain Dear Sir, Yours Truly Donald Campbell (Additional note:) I wrote you Donald when (illegible) came (illegible) nothing of him or what he is about. Young Donald Morrison would (illegible) with him and he would D. McLeod--If I had a good herring net here I might catch plenty herring and mangrels you cannot believe how good this place is for fishing. If you see any people direct from Stornaway bound for here, mind send the net. Care of Post Master, Stornaway Mr. Hugh McKay, Tenant Tunk Near Stornaway Lewis G. Britain , When you write address Donald Campbell N. Side Big Bras d'Or Lakes By Sydney Cape Breton N. America is letter was sent from North Side Big Bras d'Or (New Harris). We don't know what kind of a response Donald mpbell received from his brother-in-law. Campbell's descendant, Nora Wadden of Glace Bay, told us of this let- r. Her grandmother, Catherine Campbell (Mrs. John MacLeod, pictured above) is the unborn child of Barbara re- rred to in the letter. Catherine had said of Donald Campbell that "he came from royalty" but that he lost his tie when "he married the maid." She said that he had been educated in Edinburgh, and that he was disinherited and came to Cape Breton. Mrs. Wadden says all this is unverifiable family tradition. But the letter remains value- able to us for the details of joy, hardship and specific need among pioneer Cape Bretoners. We would be grateful to find more such letters and diaries • evidence of emigrants speaking for themselves. If you have such items re? vealing early Cape Breton life, please write and let us know. Or contact Dr. Robert Morgan, Archivist, Beaton In? stitute, University College of Cape Breton, Sydney, where a copy of Campbell's letter has been deposited. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION PUBLICATIONS Education Act (as amended by legislation up to and including that of tlie year 1982). Cost $2.25 post paid. Included is the School Boards Membership Act, also updated to 1982. To order by mail, please indicate the title requested, along with a money-order or certified cheque for the appropriate amount payable to the Minister of Finance, and send to: Nova Scotia Government Bookstore P.O. Box 637, Halifax, N.S., B3J2T3 Nova Scotia Cape Breton - a Bibliography. This publication provides a comprehensive list of publications, to the end of 1976, relating to Cape Breton. Cost $2.70 post paid. Department of Education Hon. Terence R.B. Donahoe, Minister Gerald J. McCarthy, Deputy Minister
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