1886-87 - USA, Canada, Hawaii, Samoa, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Egypt
November 30th, 1886
My Beloved Angee,
I received a welcome letter here yesterday with enclosure from dear Freddy(?) and one from my dear little Daisy – I must be where I am to know the comfort a letter brings. Spent a couple of days in Pittsburgh last week and received very great kindness from Mr Stewart again. Slept at his house one night and heard all about the voyage across the Atlantic with Mr Stone who appears to have shown "Mary" their niece very great attention and kindness – the second night he invited a few friends to meet me; among them Mrs Hayes (who had previously called at the hotel with her rich son-in-law (left a card) also a gentleman I had not met before but a gem in Pittsburgh society a very wealthy gas(?) works man – very intelligent and I greatly enjoyed the conversation with him during the evening (He confesses Christ). The dinner was a regular banquet, served in the very highest style, evidently by some first class confectioner. The guests could not have had greater attention or honour. Was pressed to stay a few days longer but left early on Friday morning for this City which is in many respects the most magnificent I have yet visited. There is a very nice meeting here nearly 100 in fellowship and some of the loveliest expressions of Christ I have ever seen. The Lord's table was indeed one of deepest joy for our hearts and we had a good number in the evening for the Gospel in the evening. As a few of the leading brethren wished it I preached again on Monday evening and the room was well filled again – the Saints seemed much refreshed and this seems to be the blessed privilege the Lord graciously gives me – I have never known the sweetness reality of communion with saints as of late in my life. Am grateful to hear the dear brethren at home go on happily – my kind love to them, also to dear Miss Wilkins and I hope they will continue to pray for me. Have received another nice letter from Henry in which he refers to his engagement with Miss W. Hope it will be a source of comfort all round.
I have not received an answer to my cable on Monday, or rather on Sunday night I sent it – as it was forgotten once before I have not troubled about it – but as a rule do answer it as quickly as possible. 2 of those letters are especially interesting and voluminous, it is quite a little work to go through them – they are putting great responsibilities on my shoulders and certainly reposing great confidence in me. In their letter yesterday they suggest that probably I will call at the Sandwich and Fiji Islands and Japan on my way to Australia – my work in all parts except here and the Australian Colonies will be to do direct business, but simply to visit the merchants – show them samples and induce them to order it. To order P.F.&Co. goods off English merchants. Be careful if you speak of this to Harry, to tell him to be guarded how he refers to this to my customers, as if he did it would very soon get to Reading and indeed H & P [Huntley & Palmers] seem to be quite alive to what I am doing here and in Canada and I have been scattering their price lists in all directions. I did good business at Pittsburgh and have also done splendidly here. Tomorrow I go to Baltimore – then Washington and New York perhaps by Saturday night.
Shall require a few days there and am expecting to meet Mr Mead's(?) son who is coming up from Charleston, South Carolina on his way to England for a visit. Have had some nice letters from him and he has promised to give me some introductions in Australia &c. – If I do get an opportunity of visiting the Pitcairn Islands I should do so if it did not occupy too much time but it is not very likely such an opportunity will offer. My route from San Francisco will be governed pretty much by the service of steamers I find to the various places P.F Co. have suggested.
I am thankful my dearly beloved wife you were able to give me into the Lord's hands who so mercifully preserved me in a moment of peril. He graciously keeps my mind in great peace about it all it gives my heart to realise the strength his joy imparts so that I assure you I am a marvel to myself when I can consider it. I wrote Mr Stone a few days ago and told him my calling might very properly be designated a Commercial Missionary. Dear Mr Rubie has returned to England I hear, went last Saturday instead of next as arranged. Trust the Lord will preserve him and take him home to his great ones in health and peace – it is a source of very great comfort for my heart to hear of the splendid way dear Harry has been working and I give to God then our unfeigned thanks for His great goodness. And now with much love to you my dearly beloved Angee and our dear children, dear Eunice, Eliza and Mr Robertshaw and all kind friends believe me.
Being affectionate Husband.