W3168 TO REV. THOMAS BAKER from his granddaughter Harriett (Hattie) Baker
Apr 2 1878
To: Rev. Thomas Baker, 3 Bold Street, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Paris, Ontario
My dear Grandpa,
As mother has just received a letter from you that makes her feel bad I think it my duty to write and explain to you how it happened that I was away. Mrs. Mudge1 has been poorly for a long time and at one time this winter was hardly expected to live. It was her wish during her whole sickness that Mother2 would try and spare to come and stay with her if it was only for a short time.
Mother at last consented to my going. I took a lot of sewing with me and didn't go there to work only to wait on Grandma and make her as comfortable as I could. I assure you it was with pleasure I went there as I consider with the exception of you and yours Mother's relations are the only friends we have.
If Uncle John3 thought we expected or were likely to have help from England he would do all in his power against us. I am quite positive that this is the fact by what he said when Mother has mentioned to him that she thought Grandma Fussell4 should not forget us children.
No one in this world could be more anxious to have a family comfortable and appear respectable than Mother, she deprives herself of many things which she needs all for the sake of making us cheerful and comfortable.
As yet Johnnie5 has not given Mother a cent after making clothes for baby and patching and doing every thing one could do in return was not even thanked by him and except you could have heard for yourself the unkind way he talked to her you could not believe it. Mother has always used Alice6 well but she cannot appreciate her kindness but is continually trying to make trouble in the family. I do not see how Mother can be so forgiving. I think she has more than her share of trouble and I often think if I were her I would be glad to die at any moment for I don't think writing could express the trouble and cares she has on her mind.
I will now close this by sending love to Grandma, Aunt Mary and all.7 I remain
Your aff.' Granddaughter
Harriett [Hattie] Baker.
1 Mrs. Mudge here is Maria (Mudge) Baker's mother.
2 Hattie is referring to her step-mother Maria (Mudge) Baker, James Alfred Baker's second wife. Rev. Baker had been providing financial support for Maria as she was still caring for several of the seven dependent stepchildren she had "inherited" after the death of her husband, James Alfred Baker. 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.
3 Uncle John is John Puckridge, Rev. Baker's grandchildren's maternal uncle.
4 Mrs. Fussell is the Baker children's maternal grandmother. She remarried to a Mr. Fussell, who apparently was unwilling to help the children financially. See Rev. Baker's comment in W3201
5 Hattie is referring to her brother John Puckridge Baker, who seems to have had a somewhat difficult personality.
6 Alice is Hattie's older sister.
7 Grandma and Aunt Mary are Rev. Baker's wife, Mary-Jane (McIlwaine) Baker, and his daughter Mary (Baker) McQuesten.