W3108 TO REV. THOMAS BAKER from his daughter-in-law Maria [Mudge] Baker
Oct 2 1877
To: Rev. Thomas Baker, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Paris, Ontario
We receive your letter to day containing fifty dollers for wich we are very thankfull1 I can not tell you how thankfull we are I do not know what we would do without it it is but little I can earn my helth is so bad and it takes nearly all my time to cook and work for the rest.
I am sorry to hear mrs Baker is so poorly but hope she will soon recover and be quite well again we have been expecting you for some time I should have liked to have seen you and had you see the house we now live in they have raised the rent on me rent is up much higher than it was so the charge me six and a half now I should have writen to you and asked your advice about it had I not thought you would be up it is a comfortable house and I do dread moveing my things are very old and shaby looking but when I have them put up and [fixed?] they look very well and answer my purpose very well and then I cannot move without it costing me several dollers wich will make the difference in the rent but if you think I had better move I will you can let me know when you write again I belevie it was Minnies intention to come home to stop awhile she was home last sunday her and Alice minie is not very well but I do not know what she entends to do now wether she entends keeping house for her Brother as not Alice and minie is booth there at Johns it is a great loss to John if he has scence enough to consider but I think him a man void of feeling he may have feeling for himself but I am sertin he has not for others any man that could treat his poor father as he did and then to abuse his Fatherless and motherless Brother and sisters as he has done and still doeing I can have no symphy [sympathy] for and I think [Hariette?] poor girl made a grand escape2 I do hope her peace was made with god I have not heard any thing about her death all I know is she is gone and hope with god Dear Father I do hope you will beare with me and not feel hard for what I write it is nothing but the truth the way John treated me at the time of his father death and ever since I was maried to poor Alfred I did not feel the treatment so ill when his fathor was here as I do now he never sent me word when Hariette died he came to Paris and never came near the house I was away at the time she died I was at my sisters he could easy let me know but did not I sent word several times if we could do any thing we would be glad to he said he did not except [accept] favours from people that lived on charity he also said he did not want one of us to come to his place him and Hariette was down and and [sic] was very nice and I promised to let the children go up and help them they were to go on monday but did not get there untill tuesday morning he gave them five minutes to get of the place and since that he has been very mad at us all I should feel very sorry if I should hurt your feelings in the least bye sending this to you but Father I have no one else to speak to and I feel much hurt for god knows I have tried hard to be a mother to all even poor Hariette for I knew she needed it I have any faults which are many but it is not in lack of tring to make my family comfortable. I hope you will forgive me if I have spoke to plain.
the children all unite with me in kindest love to you and all we still ask an [?] in your prayrs that we may all be saved at last,
I am Dear Father, your thankfull and affect
Daughter in law,
Maria [Mudge] Baker3
[P.S.] I pay the rent every three months enclosed you will find the [receipt]
1 The letter contains many errors in spelling and punctuation. The transcription is true to the original. For ease of reading, we have omitted most of the [sic] indications for errors.
2 Maria is probably referring to the death of John P. Baker's wife Harriett.
3 Maria (Mudge) Baker "inherited" seven stepchildren in 1876 after the death of her husband, James Alfred Baker. Her father-in-law, Rev. Thomas Baker, provided her with financial support as she was still caring for the most of the children. However, in 1878, her eldest stepchild, John P. Baker, reported to Rev. Baker a rumour that Maria was keeping gentlemen callers for undue lengths of time and, as a result, the Reverend removed the children from Maria's care. See W3155 for details.