United States, Canada

June 8th, 1900

S.S. Alberta, Lake Superior, Canada.

My Beloved Angee,

I left Winnipeg at 4pm – had a comfortable night in the sleeping car, arriving at a place called Fort William where we embarked on board this steamer – all that is needful to make the voyage pleasant is given to us – a good ship – a good table and fine weather, also rather a numerous company, it being a very favourite route for Canadians. I dare say you remember enough of your geography to know that this Lake is the largest fresh water expanse in the world longer even than those great Nyanzas[1] in Africa. We have been out of sight of the mountainous coast for some time now and there is no sight of land in any direction – just as if you were in mid-Atlantic. In the morning we pass through a canal and river into Lake Huron and there is a waterway into the great St Lawrence River. Indeed our ship was built in Scotland and came out in two parts and put together on arrival – the promenade deck is the finest I have ever seen, nearly the whole length of the vessel on the roof of the boat but well guarded by rails – I walked up and down once this afternoon with the Captain just to have a look at it – but the air was too keen to stay with the clothing I had – inside is rather too hot to please me. The Captain tells me that it can blow as hard here as in the North Atlantic, so it is necessary to have pretty strong vessels – I hope we may not have any boisterous weather. All is well so far thank God.

On the train I have to pay a dollar for every meal and 2 or 3 for the Pullman every night – this is in addition to the cost of a first class ticket but I was surprised and agreeably so to find no charge either for cabins or meals – all free. The C.P.R. are very liberal – I expected to have had to pay extra on my ticket to go to Montreal via Toronto as it is not on the main line, but my ticket was changed and nothing extra to pay. This is such a relief to my poor puzzle purse! And will give it a little chance of recuperating, for the few days of the privilege.

June 9

Lake Superior was like a sea of glass as we passed over and inside there was nothing in the way of motion to indicate that we were off terra firma. Thro' mercy I had a good night's rest and felt refreshed in body and enjoyed a nice breakfast. As I looked out of the window in the early morning, there was a beautiful view of the American coast – everything looking so fresh and green – if my cabin had been located on the other side of the ship, Canadian territory would have been in view. The Lake narrows as we near the Southern end - about a mile or so – then we enter the Lake Huron which is 17 feet below the level of Lake Superior which is always therefore flowing into the other and it is a grand sight to see the rapids as they are called – so swift a river that nothing could navigate through it. On either side of this – that is the Canadian and American, a canal has been cut with locks. This was most interesting and a fine piece of work – our steamer entered this canal on the Lake Superior level – then the locks behind us are closed and those in front of us opening into Lake Huron are opened – in about 10 minutes our ship has been let down 17 feet and the locks are thrown open we steam out into the lower level lake. Then we crossed to the American side and stopped an hour at a fairly large town called Sault Ste Marie – commonly pronounced the "Soo" – I walked up and called upon two of the leading grocers and hope we may get one customer there. I did not expect to call so had no samples that I could show or I might have done business. We then steam down a narrow river dividing the two territories for 5 hours – beautifully wooded and lovely looking dwellings dotted about which are far more numerous on the American than on the Canadian side. Many additions to our company were made this morning at "Soo", so that only one, out of ten tables, each seating 8, were empty during our last meal. Some nice people among them and I have talked with many believers. My steward or waiter I found knew Devonshire well through having his mother and grandmother constantly talking about Barnstaple, Chittlehampton and Chittlehamholt – their name or rather their grandmother's name was Rice. It was rather amusing to hear about Chittlehamholt on a Canadian lake steamer. We reach the end of Lake Huron in the morning (Sunday) and land at a place called Owen's Sound, where a special train awaits us, running direct to Toronto – we hope to reach this City at 1 and I am purposing to call on dear Mr Gausby in the afternoon and may add a little more to this scrap before posting on Monday.

Toronto, June 11th – Monday

Our steamer arrived at Owen's Sound y'day Sunday morning about 7 – it is a fine harbour perhaps half as large again as Queenstown which you have seen – the green fields and trees all around were simply lovely and the weather just perfect – our sea of glass lasted out for the voyage right through the two lakes nearly 500 miles. A good breakfast was provided on board which, one you know enjoyed very much – the C.P.R. carriages were alongside the wharf and at 9 we started for Toronto – a few minutes after 1 - I was safely landed in the Rossan House Hotel where I was specially well served on my last visit and found the same capacious and comfortably apartments were again at my service, having written to request that I may have them if convenient. My mail was here and my heart was made glad in reading your welcome letter of May 21 to find that you were feeling so well and enjoying the change so much. Harry's letter enclosed gave my heart sorrow but I was not surprised. Well it is very humbling for him and for us all and I can only continue to pray for him. There seems to be always a lion in the path, no matter what he takes up. One thing is evident that he has no ability as a salesman and I wish he would for ever abandon all thought of getting a living in that way. He has never written me a line since I left England.

I was quite ready for a meal y'day as you may suppose – I had a feast of another kind on the journey up in reading and meditating on the epistle to the Ephesians so that the outward and the inward man were both refreshed by that which a creator and redeemer had given to nourish in His infinite goodness and mercy.

After a little rest I went out to see dear Mr. Gausby and with him and his dear wife I had the joy of sweet fellowship – they knew I was somewhere about the North American continent but hardly knew when I might be in Toronto. At 7 Mr G and I went to the room and the Lord helped me in preaching the gospel and I had a warm welcome from all the dear saints who were not a little surprised to see me at the room. This evening I go to a brother's house to tea and for a reading after and others are arranged for two following evenings. What a mercy thus to find a company called out in sovereign grace to delight in the one who is all God's delight – the son of His love and to be able to sing together "One Spirit with the Lord".

This morning I have been out calling on a few of the leading merchants and for your comfort my beloved I will tell you what one of them said "I never saw you looking so well".

I must now close my letter again commending you and all our loved ones to God and His Fatherly care and mercy and with much love to them all and your own dear self believe me my dearest Angee ever your very affectionate Husband.


[1] Nyanza is the Bantu word for lake, e.g. Albert Nyanza.

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