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Petworth Emigration, 1832, Letter from John Caplain to his Brother

From John Capelain, late of Lurgashall, to his Brother, at Lurgashalt.

Huron Tract, Upper Canada
August 28th. 1832.

My Dear Brother,

I take the opportunity of writing these few lines to you, to inform you of our distress and trouble. After a very rough passage of twelve weeks, by the help of the Almighty God, we arrived safe to land; except the loss of two babes, Ned Luff's youngest, and Wm. Tickner's youngest child; but we then thought ourselves safe, but the Almighty was pleased to send a very great affliction upon us. In a few days after we arrived at our intended place of settlement, I lost my poor little Mary for the first; then my poor dearest wife; then my two youngest, and little Edmund; all in the space of eight days: but, dear brother, I am not the only one the Almighty was pleased to send the affliction upon: poor Joseph Kinshott was the first; and his sister, Nathan Morley's wife, were next; and, I am very sorry to inform my poor brother in law, poor Bob is gone: likewise the two young Lander's. There was 32 of us that came up into the woods together, and there is twelve of the 32 dead: the complaint was the cholera morbus: they all died in the space of a fortnight: there (was) none laid ill but a few days. Dear brother, I should like to know what my brother in law should like to be done with poor Bob's things: he had no money, I think his things to (be) worth 6.: (it) is now in (the) possession of Nathan Morley. My dear brother, I am very sorry to send you this unpleasant account; but it is all owing to the affliction the Almighty was pleased to send upon us: for I can see (a) good prospect for a good living to be got. Flour is 7 dollars a barrel, which is 3 bushels; that is the highest price: after another harvest, it will be lower, no doubt; as we shall all grow our own; and now it is brought a long way up the country. Mutton I kill, and sell out: I can afford to sell it 3d. per lb. beef 2d. butter about 9d: but I shall keep a cow, and make my own next summer. I have nothing, no keep for a cow, this winter. Dear brother, if my brother William could take the heart to come, there shall be a home for him, as soon as he comes; for I have got a comfortable house up, and 100 acres of land, full of timber; and he shall have part of it: but I will not persuade any one to come, tho' I can see much better prospects here, than in England. If he should, let him bring what ready money he can, and not provide a parcel of things, as I did; for things is as cheap here, [i.e., In the Huron Tract.] as in England, and tools cheaper. Let him bring a few onesided oats; a little barley; gooseberry and currant cuttings. My dear brother, remember me to all relations, and all enquiring friends. I hope, by the blessing of God, you are all well, as I thank God it leaves me, and the remainder of my family, at present. I hope you will write to me, as soon as you can. I remain your affectionate brother,

John Capelain.

Mrs Kingshott's (love) to all her husband's family, and is sorry to say, she has the inexpressible grief, to say she lost her dear and only friend, 29th. June, in about 23 hours; and in sixteen days after, her youngest child: she expects every day, to go to Oxford, 25 miles distant, to settle with a school. As soon as Mrs. Kingshott get to Oxford, she will send her friends all the particulars: she, and her two children, is very poorly: she wants for nothing: she meets with the greatest of friendship. I have not heard of Wm. Tickner, since we left York. He went in another vessel, farther up the lake. We have not heard that any more died, than those who came her, except Edward Luff, and he died at Hamilton. We are 100 miles from York.

Direct to me No. 13, 1st. Concession,
Huron Tract,
South Easthope, Upper Canada,
America.

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