PAGE 5 - until about 12 o'clock when we all separated to spend the night the best way we could. Isaac and me retired to a berth to sleep if possible, but picture sleep in such a place if you can. Underneath you the mighty power of the steam engine confined by the art of man and seemingly trying at every moment to regain its liberty and send its factors hurling into eternity, making the boat shake from stem to stern. The next moment the bell would startle you, and if a stranger to such proceedings, you would form a hundred conjectures what was wrong. In [an] instant you would hear such a tremendous rush making the whole boat tremble you would be sure that you was on the way to the place where steam engines never went, but it was only the boat stopping [to] take in or let out some persons travelling by the river. So accustomed are they to it, the darkest night they can stop anywhere or at any place and the noise that would scare you so would be the steam escaping that they did not want, and stopped by the simple turning of [a] screw. But however, after a few hours, we arrived at the wharf. We soon found the way to the Temperance Hotel although it was only about 2-1/2 o'clock. But, being acquainted with the house, we soon found a bed without disturbing the occupants where we got a comfortable sleep, free from the horrors I have related. In the morning when we came downstairs, I was kindly welcomed by my friends here, except the landlord who was sick of the measles,

PAGE 6 - who paid every attention to us that our wants required. It almost seems like home to me to be here. The little girl that I told you about reminds me of Lucinda very much and even while I am writing, often comes running to me and gives me a kiss. After breakfast, my first impulse was to see that which was to be my home for the next four or five months, so we immediately set out for the city. We was not long in finding her. She lay, the little bark, completely rigged above deck, a vast difference from the last time I saw her. Her masts was all up, spars slung and her sails all furled, but all was in confusion below. Numbers of carpenters was on her decks, in the saloon all busy, several men was stowing the provisions in the hold, some the water, some painting. All seemed agreeable and doing their utmost to get her ready as soon as possible. We learned she had been deferred sailing until Wednesday. The next thing to my attention was a letter to George Wood from Joseph Armstrong which I delivered which got me an introduction to him and be has used me very kindly, making his house a place for me to leave what things we get, as it is close to the Brig Australia. The afternoon set in to be very rainy, so we returned to our lodgings to spend the afternoon in house, but I lost sight of my friends. I had not seen them since we parted on the boat, until today, Saturday. This morning I went over to the

PAGE 7 - vessel and met them on the wharf, which pleased me very much. I soon learned that they stopped at the City Hotel and Mr. Alexander had taken a passage in the Australia for a distant land. Although I felt somewhat sorry for the young lady, but I must confess I was secretly pleased at the prospect of having him for a companion. Miss Alexander, as we strolled along, expressed a wish to see some of the city. I immediately offered to accompany her and once more we were conversing like old acquaintances. I found her cheerful and agreeable but modest, but rather discouraged at the thought of losing her uncle and having to go home alone. So, after strolling round for some time, I left her at her hotel, promising to call tomorrow and accompany them [to] the meeting which we understand will be held on board our vessel. I, having several errands to see to, so ended the day.
Indiantown July 31st, 1852

To Miss Magdalene Tompkins
County Carleton

(Signed) Joel Tompkins


Regrettably, the first four pages of the letter from Joel Smith Tompkins (1828-1904) to his sister Magdalene (1831-1894) have been lost. The last three pages were preserved and kindly given to me by a distant cousin, the late Miss Mary S. Grant of Saint John, New Brunswick, a grand-daughter of Joel's sister Maria (1845-1908). On page 6, Joel mentions a Lucinda - this was his youngest sister (1847-1932). The Isaac mentioned at the start of page 5 was probably Isaac Sherrard (pass. #81) who may have accompanied Joel Tompkins downriver for their trip to Australia; their homes in Carleton County were just a few miles apart.

For the purposes of this transcript, I have corrected as far as possible the spelling errors, but have left the grammar intact. A few words I've had to guess at; I have added or altered odd words - shown in [ ] - in the interests of clarity. The placename immediately before the date at the end of the letter appears to be spelled INJENTOWN - I have "translated" this as Indiantown, which was the terminus for the river steamers.

(Transcription by Allan J. Tompkins).