Item - 1890, Jan 29 – Letter to Marion

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1890, Jan 29 – Letter to Marion

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    • January 29, 1890 (Creation)

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    Four (4) sheets of lined paper + envelope

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    Biographical history

    Medical doctor, pioneer, and politician. Dr. Patrick is credited with suggesting the current boundary between the provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan.

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    Place: Saltcoats, N.W.T.

    From: Alf [Thomas A. Patrick]

    To: Miss Marion Griffith, Byron, Middlesex, Ont[ario]

    Delivery: Canada Post, postmarked

    Details: 8 pp + envelope; note on envelope “No. 260”

    Notes: In a letter to his fiance, Marion Griffith, Alf [Dr. T.A. Patrick] describes traveling across open prairie in winter to reach sick patients. Alf, Mr. Paulger, and Mr. Boake (liveryman) traveled more than eight hours to reach the ill Mrs. Paulger. Upon returning to Saltcoats, Alf found a telegram calling him to Kinbrae to treat the wife of Mr. William Rowland. After spending a mere six hours in Saltcoats, Alf and Mr. Boake set out at midnight to reach Mrs. Rowland. After more than seven hours they reached Churchbridge, where they rested their team of horses and ate breakfast. They finally reached Mrs. Rowland at 4 p.m. to find her suffering from typhoid fever. Returning to Saltcoats took less time as Mr. Rowland was able to set the men on a more direct route to Churchbridge. Alf chose to take the Friday freight train from Churchbridge back to Saltcoats. Along the way, the train stopped and waited as Alf treated the child of the section foreman at Bredenbury.

    Much of the rest of the letter concerns financial matters, including an explanation of fines applied to wood cut illegally from government lands.

    Writing at a later time, Alf acknowledges receiving Marion's letter in which she describes her grandfather's worsening health.

    Writing a day later, Alf is in receipt of the mourning envelope containing news of Marion's grandfather's death. He expresses his condolences before approving of Marion's suggestion that she and her sister Annie begin their journey to Saltcoats on February 28. Alf then worries further about financial matters, "For I feel sorry that in asking you to marry me I ask you to marry a man whose future is mortgaged." But he looks forward to their marriage, writing, "Do not hope or expect any near approach to perfection in this future husband of yours, Marion. He has many faults but it can truthfully be said that he is always very much better when his Marion influences him."

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    Last page has two holes where the folds intersect.

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        2010.042 Box 11. Bruce Peel Special Collections is part of University of Alberta Libraries.

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