W3216 TO REV. THOMAS BAKER from Henry Hart
May 27 1878
To: Rev.Thomas Baker, 3 Bold Street, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Paris, Ontario
Revt. [sic] Thomas Baker
This morning I had a visit from Mrs. Baker she seems to acquiesce in the Girls being taken from her but refuses to give up Willie she says that no one but herself can look after him that he is quite unable to take care of himself and needs her constant care which I am sure is quite correct
she refuses to allow him to go to John Puckridges as he will be made a slave of and that from the boys infirmity when driven he becomes unmanageable the fact is the boys head is not right & if put out gets is [in?] such a condition no one can do anything with him but Mrs. B. this I know to be so.1 Mrs. Baker says that rather than allow him to go to Puckridges she will take him & earn her own bread without assistance, she has no objection his uncle Thomas having charge of him as she feels he will be patient with the boy she says that Alfred before he died gave the boy to her and
made [her] promise that she would see after him on account
of his infirmity she further wishes to know why the Children are to be taken from her and wishes to have a chance to vindicate herself as she says there is no truth in the charges John made about her.2 I can only say that the woman's manner to me when she came to me was either real affection for the boy or was the best put on I have ever had to do with but she is a clever woman and is either very much belied or is a most deceitful trap of my own knowledge I know nothing tangible more than that she bears a hard name & which she bore before she was married, be good enough to write her & let [her] know if she is to keep the boy & also if you will hear her refutation, I would say that Hattie will not board with Mrs. Best or rather refuses to and Mrs.
Hart has agreed to take her to board till she can get a
place which will suit her better on the same terms Mrs. Best was to have her on she [is] still learning her trade with Mrs. Best which is I understand quite agreeable to the young Lady with best regards to you & Mrs. Baker
I am yours truly
He. [Henry] Hart
1 Punctuation has not been corrected during transcription.
2 "John" refers to John P. Baker, Maria (Mudge) Baker's eldest stepson from her marriage to James Alfred Baker who had died in 1876. Maria and John had had a difficult relationship and in 1878 John spoke to his grandfather about Maria keeping gentlemen callers for undue lengths of time. Rev. Baker wrote to Henry Hart who was unable to confirm the rumours. Nonetheless, Rev. Baker had the children removed from Maria's care, see W3155 and W3156.