A 19TH Century Canadian Time Capsule

Postal Service Snapshots:

…”she saw a small wooden box standing on the table. Her father told her to look at the box, she did so, and was surprised to see, ‘Miss Grace Severn, care of George Severn, Esqr.’ painted in large letters on the lid”
“To-day is not Christmas day, my dear father”…
“That box arrived by the English Steamer, this morning”…
“she ran down stairs for the little hammer, used on such occasions. Grace’s father lifted up one side of the lid with the hammer, and the little girl saw a letter lying on the top of some smooth brown paper”
“Before George went away, he had ruled several sheets of paper for his sister, and on one of them she wrote”…
“I would have sent down my soldiers to the mail-boat every time it came in”

Family Matters:

Since Miss Grove didn’t have a video camera to record the family relationships for our time capsule she once again provided us with vivid literary images:
“her father and mother were conversing, and she knew she must not interrupt them.”
“Oh! George, said Grace in the evening, when their father and mother were engaged with some visitors, ‘my mother has been telling me something”

“But that is not all the letter, is it Sir?” spoken to her father Grace told him (George) she wanted to have a long talk with her mother, and advised him to go out of doors for a walk or ride. We will not follow him in his gallop along Tower road

Little sister ‘advised’ older brother to go out for a ride, and he readily galloped off. The matter-of-fact nature of Miss Grove’s writing frequently seems to present a feeling that this would be a normal relationship.

“And now, good morning, Grace-I have no more time for you this morning; Nova Scotia past, must yield to Nova Scotia present.”

“At this moment Grace caught her mother’s eye. It was time for her to go to bed. She was very sorry; but, accustomed to cheerful obedience, she went at once.”

…”when Mrs. Severn had come down stairs, and was preparing to make the tea for breakfast, Grace rushed into the room, and, without even remembering that she had not yet seen her mother, and given her the usual morning salutation”…

“Miss Martha looked at her watch, saw that it was half past four, and she gave each of the party a cake and an apple, and told them to be as happy as they could”… “Here comes the urn; we are going to have breakfast.”
Breakfast for Grace consisted of milk and raspberries, while for her older brother it was broiled salmon and potatoes.

…”what were the resources of this country, and he mentioned potatoes and cod-fish first of all.”

“Grace, who had claimed her place at her father’s side, and securing one hand for herself and one for Jessy, led the way towards the little bridge.”
“The others followed in pairs, and the three ladies walked last.”

“Miss Martha got up from her seat, and taking Grace by the hand, she walked away from the boat, through the open gates and up the hill. The others followed in pairs, and Miss Susan came last, leading little Miss Mooney by the hand.”