Family tree

Letter from Stephen Binney to Emily Dibblee

See Emily Dibblee (recipient of letter)
Stephen Binney (sender of letter - father of Emily Dibblee)
Emily Binney (mother of Emily Dibblee)
Lucy Binney (sister of Emily Dibblee)
Margaret McKenzie (servant of the family)
Irwine Binney (Irvine - brother of Emily Dibblee)
Frederick Lewis Dibblee (husband of Emily Dibblee)

This letter was written in 1871 from Stephen Binney to his daughter Emily Dibblee, in India. She married Frederick Lewis Dibblee in 1864 against the wishes of her father. There was a family tradition that she broke with her family at this point, but the letters show this to be false, and even her father ends this letter with "kindest love to Frederick". This letter does show Stephen Binney equally against the marriage of his youngest daughter Lucy Binney to Dr. Jacobs, so perhaps he just didn't like his daughters marrying! See Lucy Binney's webpage to see what happened.

Irwine Binney seems to be sometimes called Irvine and sometimes Irwin.

The whole tone of the letter does seem to show Stephen Binney to be mostly interested in his own affairs rather than anyone else. However, he was old, and ill, and in fact, died shortly after in 1872. This may explain why this letter has been kept. It must have been his last letter to Emily Dibblee.

I have given the transcription of the letter first, and the original after, in case you want to check it.

Transcription - Page 1 of original letter - Page 2 - Page 3

Moncton 6 Aug 1871

My Dear Emily,

     I have been spared to write you once more, which I scarcely expected when I last penned a few lines, but God has graciously been pleased to prolong my life for some wise purpose of his own. For I cannot be said to be in better health, for I believe that can never be with my complaint, Dropsy. I do not suffer actual pain, but very much from shortness of breath, and am panting for it from morning till night, and all night long, being obliged to lay on my back as in my former illness, when you used to nurse me so kindly and patiently, indeed Dear Emily, I miss you very much. Your dear Mother does her best and is unwearied in her exertions for my comfort, but her age will not admit her being as active and handy as you were. She has been sorely tried, and it is wonderful how she gets through with as much as she does she is a little deaf now, and her memory fails a little. Lucy and Margaret although willing enough are of no great assistance, as you are aware. Happily, Irvine is at home earning a living now $600 a year, and with all their efforts combined, they make me as comfortable as it is possible for me to be, until I depart this life, which I await with patience and resignation.

I had always looked forwards with great hope to a happy meeting with you again in this world, until I heard of you going again to India which brought to my mind more forcibly than ever before your prophetic words, this last uttered by you on parting with me at our gate when you Kissed me and said we will never meet again.

Many thanks My Dear Emily for your affectionate letter of 24th June to me and to your mother of 6th July received today. I have also received the Madras newspaper of the 15th July.

Your dear Mother contemplates remaining here when I am gone, and I am happy to say will have the Homestead clear of any encumbrance for the reception of any of the family who may find it convenient to visit or live with her. Things go on as usual between the Dr Jacobs and Lucy, and our hope is something may occur to brake off the engagement. There can be no happiness for her in a marriage with him. He is not improved in any one particular and worse in many, and is a great annoyance to our otherwise quiet and happy family.

I am very much fatigued writing this much and must now conclude and will embrace another opportunity by and by, if my health will permit. Sometimes for a week together I cannot write at all, and have always some old business matter to fix up. I have done nothing new of any importance this year.

With kindest love to Frederick, and the same and Kisses to yourself and the dear children and the prayer that God may bless you and keep you all in good health. Believe me, as ever,

Dear Emily
Your very affectn. Father
Stephen Binney

Mrs F.L.Dibblee

Letter from Stephen Binney - page 1
Letter from Stephen Binney - page 2
Letter from Stephen Binney - page 3