W3759 TO REV. THOMAS BAKER from his son John Orange Baker
Jan 13 1883
To: 3 Bold Street, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Seattle, Washington, [U.S.A.]
My dear Father,
Your letter would have been answered sooner, had it not taken a tour southward, and arrived here via New England and I am much obliged to you for the trouble you have taken to procure the Lancet for me. I have for years taken the American reprint, but it is only an Epitome of the English version. I hope soon to receive it. The Globe arrives regularly, but it has greatly deteriorated since Geo. Brown's death. The Canada Lancet also reaches me regularly. I have handed the $10.25 to Julia according to your request. She desires me to express thanks to you, and wonders how you understand her weakness so well. Business with me is slowly but steadily improving and I hope bye and bye to write very good.
You told me of the successful operation on Lottie's palate, when you write me again let me know whether her voice is much improved. I have seen many very capital results as far as the operation was concerned, but the voice still remained harsh and nasal from want of flexibility of the palate, the result of tension, consequent on the operation. I hope hers may be an exception. I still believe a competent Dentist can remedy the loss of voice better than can be done by operation in most cases. Surgeons and operation mongers, the last by far the largest class here as well as elsewhere.
Seattle is more than three times as large and populous as when I first came here, but prospects for the future are good. Several new lines of railroad are contemplated and in a year or two our area and population will double again, we have over thirty physicians, who are like the verbs described in Lindley Murray's Grammar, regular, irregular, and defective. I only affiliate with three of them, the rest are too much below par, consequently I am pretty handsomely abused. I was arrested and taken before the Police magistrate some time ago and fined two dollars and costs, for non compliance with a City ordinance regarding the registration of births, with the provisions of which ordinance I refused to comply, first because the City had no authority to make such an ordinance, and secondly, if they had, I was not called on to pay any attention to it, without adequate remuneration. I appealed the case to the District Court and gained my suit at a cost to me of fifty dollars. They have passed another ordinance allowing 25 cents remuneration. I have disregarded this also and am waiting to be fined again, on the plea that the remuneration is inadequate, so there is more fun ahead.
It seems to me that Alfred's children are now old enough to take care of themselves, or at least of one another. I would [now open?] endeavour to wean them by degrees, and make them self supporting. I believe there never was a Puckridge who would refuse any amount of abasement & degradation provided it could be in the end coined into drachmas or drachmae, just as you like to express it.
Give my kindest regards to Isaac and Mary, tell them I am concocting a pamphlet which will soon be in print when I will send him a copy. The rain with us so far has been very fine, not more than half as much rain as usual but the streets are in a horrid condition, some streets are being graded at the present time and the mud is so deep I have given up riding altogether, and do all my business on foot which to me is extremely annoying.
How Isaac can attend to Law and so many other things at a time I do not know. I find that after I have attended to business and read the Medical Journals, and daily papers, there is very little time left for novel reading. I should hope none of his [mind?] will be burnt. I believe California beats the world making blankets I have some that cost $30.00 a pair and have seen some at $60.00 per pair. But if Isaac's woolen factory turns out good Canada gray I must have him send me enough to make a suit by mail to Victoria. I have a friend who will smuggle it over for me.
Hoping my dear father you are enjoying life as well as you can wish, and with much love from me and Julia to you and all the rest, I remain,
Your affectionate son
John [Orange Baker]
P.S. Tell Miss Tiny when she writes me a letter herself, I will send her a pretty present.1
1 "Tiny" is young Mary Baldwin McQuesten (born in March, 1874).