USA, Canada

September 21st, 1896


My Beloved Angee,

Your welcome letter dated the 10th inst. Reached me at New York last Saturday the 19th and was a great cheer to my spirit. I well know how you miss your head nurse as you style him and I can assure that his experiences so far lead him to wish to be back in that situation again. The hot weather has tried me very much although through mercy I am in good health in spite of wet shirts &c. I can hardly describe to you the magnitude of the difficulties I have had to face every day. If you and Mrs Brittan, Mildred and Clara had to clean up in every house in Barnstaple once a week that would not be more appalling to you than the job I have in hand. The outdoor work is not all of it either for the writing occupies me hours afterward – I am talking with the trade all day long and seeking to find some practical method of recovering our lost business in this country. Our name is better known than H&P's and there is no reason why we should not be doing a fair business for high class goods. I fear the fault lies at home – it is there at Drummand Road where the lack of judgement is, not only for the home trade but the foreign too. I do trust there may be a recovery as I really am not happy to be spending their money as I can for nothing unless they are prepared to follow it up by sending a smart young fellow to reside in New York and take up the whole work in earnest. This I have advised them to do and I shall soon hear what they say. I left New York this morning at 10 and reached this City at 12 and after a meal I started off with a porter to carry my sample and have nothing to complain of in the way of kindness and courtesy from everyone and I am promised by some of the merchants to see my sample tomorrow and they appear disposed to do business. But I must not reckon the chickens until they are hatched. I have left about half my baggage at New York and just brought what I should require to visit this City of Baltimore and Washington. The Lord gave my heart great joy and comfort among the saints yesterday – I had thought of going over to Brooklyn to spend the day with them there – our brother Whelpley inviting me to dine with him but when the morning came I did not feel inclined to travel the distance so went to the New York meeting again – that is at 85th Street about 3 miles from the hotel but a car soon runs over it and the fare is only 5 cents about 2/2d of our money. There was present a brother from Toronto called McHare who remembered me on my first visit and had just  heard from Mr Lowe that I was gone to America. Just before the meeting commenced you may judge of my surprise and joy to see a dearly beloved St Austell brother walk in called Brewer a shoe maker who came here it appears about 6 years ago. We could hardly believe our eyes and the joy was mutual – it was an unexpected cheer and the pouring out of his heart in worship told how the grace that had sought and saved, had not failed in sustaining him. We soon had each other's hands in real brotherly love and greeting after the meeting was closed. I was very thankful to have gone that morning. There was also a sister (Scotch) called Agnes Sproat who once lived as a governess with Charlie during dear Lizzie's life and who enquired for his girls and Darby – she had not heard that Lizzie had gone to be with the Lord. After a little rest in the afternoon I started for Brooklyn and reached dear Whelpley's house a little after 5 where I had a warm greeting. We had the evening meal called supper at 6 and left for the room about 7.45. I wanted to be a listener but others wished me to speak and the Lord helped me and we had a time of refreshing. They have a nice room and it was well filled – many had come over from New York too. I reached my hotel soon after 10 and was soon in bed and asleep. It was a day of gladness spiritually. The saints are very bright and numerous – well I am turning in to rest now and shall add a little more D.V. before mail day.

Baltimore, Sept. 25, 1896

I reached this City last night the 24th and have had a long and hard day's work and I expect some results tomorrow D.V. – I had some encouragement in Philadelphia, opened with 3 of the best houses – dropped in to the prayer meeting on Tuesday evening and was glad to find I was remembered by many dear brethren whom I saw 10 years ago who reminded me of what I preached from. Dropped in at the end of a prayer meeting here last night too soon after my arrival and saw Dr Wylie who remembered me and also referred to the subject of the Word I spoke from when here before in a time of deep snow. It is now 11.0 pm and I have been writing about biscuits and blackening beef tea and pickles right away for 4 hours and shall have to spend another hour or two tomorrow to finish up. The weather is fine and cool and thro' mercy altho' I am working hard every day and walking many miles I feel well. My boys would be amazed to see me and my nigger[1] carrying my samples – I have to gird myself to it in real earnestness and I am feeling in a little better form for the work than last week and the weather is more favourable for me. Am ready for meals when the time comes and for bed too and the sleep is very sweet I assure you – I rise at 7 breakfast at 8 and start work at 9. I am hopeful that I shall be able to do P.F. some good here after all only they will have to get a smart man to follow up the work or it will be labour in vain. Arundel will remember my going up into his workshop in 70 High Street some years ago and making a model of a biscuit stand for 16 tins some of which he made – I saw one of his make when at Cape Town, but I was much interested y'day at Philadelphia to see one made exactly as mine – copied in every detail and here again today. Some firm in New York are making them for $20 (dollars) and H&P are giving one or loaning it to all dealers who are handling a full line of their goods. They are made here in light wood but in every detail exactly as Robert made them for Arundel.

Sept. 26th 1896

Mail day has come once more so that I must bring my letter to a close. I am glad you wrote to me without any address – please always write to the last when a fresh one has not been received – I called P.F.&Co. y'day Boston and you will probably get that on time for this week's letter. The political excitement here is at fever pitch and I shall be glad to get into Canada for a few weeks until it is over.

I see Mr Gladstone is arguing the Government to declare war with Turkey – it will be a serious time for England if she does. God is over all and He will fulfil all his counsels for the glory and honor[sic] of His beloved Son and those the Father has given to Him and for whom He has given His Precious Blood to redeem them to God. Give my kind love to dear Arundel and all his dear children and Mrs Corley – dear Harry & Emma and their dear children & Margie – dear Martha and all enquiring friends – Mrs Brittan and Mildred your companion not forgetting Clara. And now my beloved Angee I commend you to the gracious care of God our Father and am always praying that He may comfort you on all sides and preserve you in every way. Kind love too to Eunice & Eliza and Mr & Mrs Shapland – I hope he is quite restored and with much love believe me.

Being very affectionate Husband

I dare say the boys will be interested to see what the American Grocer says of their father.


[1] We recognise that this is an offensive term today. However, Edward Petter used the term "Nigger" as a neutral term to refer to black people. It is clear from the context that no negative connotation is implied. The use of the term on this website does not condone the modern usage. See further here.

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