Salt Spring Island
A friend McIntyre who left Canada with me is about 200 miles up the river and is connected with a slucing company who are averaging there 8 dollars per day to the man. There is no fear of a man that likes to work can do very well any where he likes to go throughout this region of country. But the place is cursed with a lot of fellows who came out after government situating who are too genteel to handle a spade and pick and useful for no purpose in a new colony. The result is many of them has met bitter disappointment coming out here and they write of losing accounts accordingly. I often meet with men who has excellent yea most aristocratical (sic) connections in Canada driving a cart, wheeling a barrow or taking lumber from a saw mill. This is the country that has no respect of persons. The Doom is work or starve. But to the man that is willing to work there is a rich reward.
It is now summer and the weather is all
that the heart can desire. The climate here is beautiful in the extreme. Seldom
does winter last longer than a fortnight and the Spring, summer and autumn is
superb. ( to the you give to the soil) I could not give you a more approximate
idea than stating that the soil resembles very much the best most lovely of Scotland
with here a range of mountains and there is a fertile valley.
I put in 64 apple trees this spring and they are all doing well some of them is grown in fat sprouts this spring already. This is the most bountiful country for wild berries in the north they are so beautiful. I have also a mineral salt spring on my lot from which this place has derived its name. I have named my place Balmoral and hopes to make it a fashionable watering place some day. I have just returned from Queensburgh (sic) or other New Westminster the capital of British Columbia being just 15 miles from the mouth of the Fraser River it is a very stirring place. Only one year ago since it was laid out and now it has so far progressed as to show the outlines of general streets, wharfs and docks and with houses occupying a good deal of frontage of the town already. There were eleven boats lying in port at the time of my arrival there.
There is nothing finer or more in the world than the scenery and grand climate here. On going back of my house a little way you can see the mouth of Frasers River and its course to the Cascade Range. That Range towering like huge giants in the distance 8 miles away. The snow is to be seen all year on them. I think I will be able to make more out of my 4 acres this year than you will out of your improved farm.
Mr Donald McKay is the only man in Canada that has taken the trouble to answer my letters and the only person in consequence with who I correspond. He informs me that in the last year that Mr Legg was just returned from Demerara and Rachel was about being married and - - - was in a uprising. Horrible to relate.
wages from 25 to 40 dollars but without board. a man and his wife can get 50 dollars
readily. A good woman can earn far more than a man in this country as a general
wage. I have just to close the mail as the schooner is waiting in the offing opposite
my door to take it on board
Original letter in Jonathan Beggs handwriting (pdf)