2. Letter from Alexander Loghrin to his brother-in-law Samuel Nelson Monteith
Dear Nelson¹, Eramosa March 13th 1877
I was indeed pleased to receive a note from you & hope that now that you have got the ice broke (and) that you have made a start you will continue to write regularly. You may be sure that anything you write will interest both Fannie & I. I would repeat to you what was so incessantly held up to me when at school(;) try in writing a sociable letter (to) "write as you would speak." What a good time of it you must have at school. I remember when I was your age I wished I was a grown man & now how sincerely do I wish I were back to boyhood for I tell you that this manhood with its cares, duties & responsibilities is not what I thought it was(;) it is like the harvest time when we hurry & work to gather all we can before the winter of age while boyhood seems like the season that we wait in joyful anticipation while harvest ripens - but I am beginning to preach to you.
You won't have had much skating this winter(;) those big skates will be well kept for another year.
I was pleased to hear your new horse is doing well(;) give more particulars of her next time. I offered Mrs. Chambers that horse I spoke to Jane about for $90 but they did not take him but bought another horse, a 7 year old, for $80. I would not take $20 & trade(;) I did not want to sell him but I thought he would suit them(;) I could get another. You will find selling hay a poor affair (as) there is so much labour in teaming it & it brings such a poor price (-) in Guelph it is only worth 9 to 10$. We have more than we will want but it is unusual for it to be that low price in Guelph that I do not think I will sell it this year. We are done with all our teaming & are chopping wood for another year. Mrs. Chambers is going to work the farm for another year & Jas. Wilson is going about the first of April to live with her as we have got our work well forward last fall. I think I can do with one man until haying. Jas. Wilson's absence will make but little difference as he has got so stiff he is really very little use.
You speak of breaking into the water when skating. You should be very careful of colds for it is no trifle to get rid of them sometimes. A day or two after I came home from Stratford the last time I took a severe cold & as you will see from the item enclosed I have not got over it yet(;) during the last two months I have been very hoarse & often that I could not speak above a whisper but I never felt sick or ailing just loss of voice. The night of the debate I spoke first & (for) about an hour ¾ of that time I spoke easily enough but the last 15 minutes it was very hard on me.² The house being crowded it became fearfully warm; when I sat down I was sweating freely. The doors were opened. I cooled quickly & when I rose to reply I could not speak at all. Johnston's men were both teachers (but) mine were farmers with few ideas & still fewer words. I have been urged to repeat it when better but I hear that Innes & Massie M.P.P., if at home, intend to be our opponents &, as I believe that Protectionist is only another name for Conservative & not being prepared to turn my coat yet awhile, I am going to decline. Protection is creating quite a sensation here. ¾ of the farmers are protectionists but they have an especial horror of the leaders of the conservative party & if there wasan election next week I believe they would sink their sympathy for protection & vote for reform & free trade rather than be identified with the conservative party.
Sam & Fannie both first rate. Sam was weaned about 10 days ago. I do not see any difference in him only that he sleeps better at night. Fannie is getting fat (and will) soon be as stout as her Ma. Sam sometimes walks if not in a hurry but when hurried goes on all fours yet. (He) has got eight teeth, little hair, (a) good appetite (and he's) noisy but cheerful. Jane says his native air cured him(;) the air in such a smoky hollow sort of place as Stratford would certainly prevent a speedy recovery. In speaking of J. W.'s³ children she says that size is considered the great beauty of childhood. We were pleased to learn that she was studying the most favourable types of children. As devoted admirers are scarce here, she had better leave J. Rankin to enjoy hers but, should the devotion of that admirer cool as the weather becomes warm, bring her down (to Eramosa)* &, if that priceless individual the devoted admirer cannot be found here, perhaps absence will make hearts fonder. Jane says she is going back in [sic] her writing & proposes to begin again at pothooks. I would recommend that she just resume or continue that manuscript I seen [sic] about a plain girl aged 16 (with) no particular talents, etc.
Remember us to J. C. & wife**. Tell Jane I have such a bad memory I brought the envelopes she presented to me but forgot the paper. Write soon & long. How is Tom?^ How many lambs have you? How many cows are you going to keep, etc., etc.?
Some of you will be down pretty soon we hope. Fannie of course will go up once or twice this summer. She tells Jane she will write pretty soon. You will see from this we are in the best of health & spirits(;) hoping this may find you all enjoying the same in spite of your impure atmosphere.
We are yours as ever. A. Loghrin & wife
¹ Nelson was Fannie's younger brother and was 14 years old at this time.
² Alex's son, Sam, was a member of the Literary Society and a debater when he attended the Ontario Agricultural College in the 1890s.
³ Who is J. W.?
* Alex, Fannie and family farmed in Eramosa Township north of Guelph; the Monteiths lived in or near Stratford.
** John Charles Monteith was another brother-in-law of Alex's. John was Fannie's older brother and married Elizabeth Gibson Monteith.
^ This name is unclear.