Victoria, Vancouver Island, BC

Monday, November 14, 1858

My Dear Parents,

<>Your letter of Sep. is at hand.  I assure you I am incapable of expressing the feelings of joy.  I (exp    ) on receiving a letter from home.  Especially when they are so favorable as the last. I arrived in San Francisco in good health after a pleasant passage of 60 days.  We called at Sandwich Islands spent 9 days very (happily) there.  I saw the orange tree, the pomegranate, the cocoa, the banana & numerous other tropical fruits & you need not ask if I eat & how I did wish I could (find) you all a cart load. It would not cost more than 6 dollars.  The inhabitants are a healthy race, dark complexion, a little prone to indolence as the inhabitants of these tropical regions generally are (there).

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(They) know no winter.  It is common for them to go in the water everyday as it is to go to bed.  I frequently saw the mother with an infant in the water.  We also passed close to Society Islands.  They are equally pretty. Then (next) came California.  There I found the Miners with their blankets, pick & shovel en route for Frazer.  Of course I must go too so (of).  I starts & finds myself again on British soil.  By the time I got here there was bad news coming down the river boat load of miners. Every day as quick as they (alighted) on the wharf thousands of men would besiege them put a thousand questions.  Some said the Indians were killing every one they could catch.  Others no such thing.  Some say plenty of gold others no such thing & (   ).  I am going up the river in a week or so.  It is very expensive going up to where I am going. Every pound I take will cost me ten pence or 4 pound sterling per hundred weight.

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It is up to the (highest) mining point as yet but I think people will go higher next spring.  You will see that a reaction has taken place but I think that next spring will there will be a rush here again. The climate is something like England on the Island.  I think there will be a great colony built up here very soon.  I see (that) Parliament is taking it up in earnest.  We have a good many commissioned officers here-came by the last mail.  I would much (rather)  chance this place than Australia.  I feel very pleased with Bro John’s letter.  He is (learning) fast.  I am sorry I did not call & see him instead of going to Australia.  Bro James is getting very proficient.  I will write him & Bro Joseph in 6 weeks.  I am glad (Martha   ) is so good a girl & so fine a weaver.  (Elyann) I  suppose is weaving too.  I hope they will be better girls & boys than we older ones were.  I hope

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I hope James is more comfortable than he was & my little brother Thomas.  I would like to see him.  I hope he will knock the shine out of some of them.  I am very glad to hear of cousin Henry’s good luck. Tell all my cousins I like to hear of them. Say to Uncle Joseph that he is very silent of late.  Tell the rest of Uncles & Aunts that I often think of them & wish To see them.  Don’t forget me to Friends, Cousins, & Family.  I am very sorry that I have been unable to send you so few papers, but you will get one regular every two weeks  The San Francisco Bulletin in future.  I will write Mr. Nuttall a letter as soon as I hear from I. Sherwood. Remember me to all friends & believe me your  affectionate son,
>William Kirkman

 

When You Visit

The museum is open on Wednesday through Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm and on Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm. It is also open by appointment.

Admission is $7 per person or $25 for a household. Admission is free to all NARM and ROAM members. Kirkman House is also a Blue Star Museum that welcomes current servicemen, armed forces veterans and their families.