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Letter sent to Douglas Johnson Moe

Started by Douglas W. Moe on Wednesday, January 20, 2010

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1/20/2010 at 8:14 PM

Roughly typed out by Douglas Weymouth Moe on January 20, 2010:

"Orillia, January 29th, 1930

My Dear Douglas: -

Yours of the 11th inst. has been waiting for the spirit to move me: lots of letters have to be written with no regard to the Divine Afflatus: Seven such have been sent on their various ways to-day, so if the "Afflatus" doesn't evince its presence you will know "theres a reason." I suppose the question as to whether the move into New York's business circles was wise, etc will be sure to recur in your thought for some time to come: in fact, it is the question of all time - just to what extent one has to give free play to one's own personality in the choice of work, of residence and of many other matters - "No one liveth to himself," yet in the development of character there is a necessity to make choice using the best judgment one has to weigh the pros and cons or one would soon find oneself the rubber-stamp for a stranger mind: to sign on the dotted line at somebody's bidding is a most interesting life experience as a life of horribles. I am glad you like "Courage:" I have read and re-read it myself many times.

I think the Johnsons you speak of in the "Red Book" article would be the father and mother of Pauline Johnson, the Canadian Portess and interpreter of Indian life. "Flint and Feathers" is a collection of her works which I did have: somebody has it now but I'll look if its. [ http://www4.ipl.org/div/natam/bin/browse.pl/A42 ] No, so far as I know Grandfather Johnson was the only one of his own name who came to America: cousins of the name Bell had preceded him and they had settled near Bond Head: Grandfather and Grandmother with their family came there about 1844, but grandfather did not see any prospect for him in farming as the Bells did if they had fancy horses and were riding down to Muddy little York (now Toronto) quite frequently - Grandfather was on his way out to Toronto (York) to buy return passage for his whole family to return to Ireland when he was met by Mr. Osler, the rector of the English Church in Bond Head who dissuaded him from going, pointing out opportunities for a family in this New Land. Then Grandfather went into Tecumseth Township, and later moved into Grey County taking up 100 acres of bush land where the homestead now is, occupied by Will Johnson now -- I think Grandfather and Grandmother ware buried in the old cemetery near Bond Head. I want some time to go there to see what records there are. Grandfather was buried on the farm for one winter and then the casket was raised in the spring and taken for burial to Bond Head. The farm is now 200 acres, and is known as the finest 200 acres on the Graves Road between Toronto and Owen Sound. Uncle George was the only one of Grandfather's sons who remained with him. Uncle George's eldest son, George, has sold his farm and moved into Flesherton. His one child Mervyn, was ready for High School so they are in Aunt Maggies house in the village.

Geo. Wesley White, son of Hattie Johnson (Uncle George's eldest daughter) is working out at the Big Chute Plant of the Hydro Electric System on the Severn. I have had two letters from him, and I am looking forward to seeing him soon. He tells me he keeps himself occupied reading and writing: (it is deadly dull out there in winter). He has had articles in British, Canadian and American Magazines, but he doesn't tell me what sort of articles: I am quite intrigued to meet him.

The Cadet Dance is on to-morrow night at the Collegiate: all the younger fry is in excited anticipation: I expect to be there - my silver trays, sugars and creams have already gone. - I forgot to say that Grandfather's family was originally English, but in the days of the Elder Pitt, a grant of land in King's Co. Ireland was given to a Johnson for distinguished service to his sovereign: Grandfather as a younger son was oversees on the estate of the elder brother, Sir Edward Johnson. -

Well, I must close and tend the furnace, then to bed - "to sleep, perchance to dream" but I hope not. Write when you can, but you must have quite a lot of it to do. So you will have to see if dorsawn grow a nearness with me. Love and all good wishes, yours H. E. Loda"

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