W3659 TO REV. THOMAS BAKER from John P. Baker
Mar 9 1882
To: Rev. Thomas Baker Bold Street Hamilton Ontario
From: 312 Thames Dr. London Ontario
Rev. Thom Baker
My dear Grandpa
Having been away from home the greater part of this month so far I take this as the earliest available opportunity of answering your long & very kind letter at the 1st inst.
Minnie promised me she would write you, giving all particulars she could regarding Alice, the letter parting last week which I understand she did; since that time we have heard nothing from Paris worth communicating except that Alice still continues in very feeble health & Lottie was somewhat poorly.
I fear if Alice does not soon take a change for the better she will not live to see her little girl come into possession of the fortune which her father has left for her. Her constitution, perhaps never the best, seems to be utterly broken down since her marriage, or perhaps more particularly since the birth of her little girl. Her mind also, to me seems very weak & her judgement poor which seems the more to be regreted [sic] since she comes into immediate possession & entire control of the means which Mr Harbin left her.
It is very much to be hoped that she will act wisely in taking care of the very comfortable income at her disposal, the more so as it is quite evident that with every day that passes by our chances of deriving any benefit from the Fussell estate become less & less. The old lady Mrs. Fessell seems to have quite lost the possession of her faculties & then is every evidence that the money, which has all been removed to the Old County is being squandered as fast as possible. I think you have already learned from Minnie that Mr Harbin left about twenty four thousand dollars to be equally divided between his wife & two daughters; Alice & Mrs Hamett to have possession as soon as the affairs can be settled & little Nellie's to remain in care of the executors, invested in real estate, till she comes of age, the interest in the meantime to be given to Alice in such manner as they consider necessary for her maintenance & education. It is highly probable that if Alice be spared & acts consistently with the executors, she will have such income as can be derived from sixteen thousand, and with such means can make an exceedingly comfortable home for herself, her little girl, & Lottie as nurse & companion.
With regard to ourselves in London Minnie's health is much better & Alfred seems to grow healthier looking every day though he is not by any means stout.
My own health is quite indifferent the changes in temperature throughout the winter have been severe & very sudden. Willie is very well I think he has of late been getting on better than usual at his trade & is daily expecting the arrival of another boy to take the situation of your requested apprentice there by relieving him from many of the most irksome little [??]. We are daily expecting Lottie's return to London to undergo the operation if her health permits. In justice to Minnie I may say that five of the ten dollars which you so kindly sent her has been given by her as usual, in assisting to pay church expenses. Sincerely regretting grandma's continued indisposition & with kindest regards to all. I am dear Grandpa your affectionate grandson
J. P. Baker
P.S. Minnie and Willie & jimmie are regular attendants at bible class & Sunday school
1 See the many other letters regarding the "broken" Baker family, such as W2953 and W3168. John P. Baker is one of Rev. Thomas Baker's seven orphaned grandchildren. Rev. Baker confiscates his grandchildren from the care of their stepmother Mrs. Maria Mudge[Baker] when he hears rumors of her promiscuous behaviour.