Letter to Angus McKay from Albert Tate:
Letter reading "Lesser Slave Lake, Sept 29th/83 - My dear Angus - Here I am once more alive and doing, as usual down in the mouth about everything and nothing in particular. Are in receipt of yours of Feb 19th which found its way across the mountains, Kamloops I think is the place however it is just as welcome altho' somewhat behind time. We are all mourning over our old Boss Mr MacDougall and 'tis only now we are commencsing to appreciate his good qualities and to find out the truth of the old saying "You never will miss the water till the well runs dry". I (or you) never seen such a set of discontented "Growls" in all your days as the H.B. Co. fellows in Peace River District. From the cook upwards, all are in the same [?], grumbling and with good cause more or less true as the case might be. Slave Lake is yet free from the epidemic but for how long I can't say as Dr Mackay, since he got the district is perfectly unbearable and getting on his dignity with a vengeance. Things in the Dist are going to the devil as fast as the Doctor can send them there. All the clerks in the district have sent in their resignations and swear they will not serve under him. The Dr is mean in every little particular from the so called grub tot he defamation of one's character behind one's back no one has ever yet started from Dunnegan [?] with more than one days provisions on a four or five days journey and what they do get is not fit for a respectable house dog. This economy order of the day you are no doubt by this time think that the Doctor has treated me in this manner some time or another but no, on the contrary he has done me the unflattering compliment of taking me (so to speak) under his wing. One nod of approval from any other boss is worth more than Mr Mackay's flattering speeches. I despise the doctor not for what he has said or done to me (for I believe he always speaks very well of men - even behind my back but as it comes from Dr Mackay it is not worth a grain of salt in my favor) but how he speaks and acts towards his officers and men behind their back, when he is amicability itself to their faces. But enough of the old, mean, one-eyed, doublefaced, gross fabricator of the truth - "Sie iter ad astra" Amen. Mr Traill and yours truly have had some capital shooting better than ever we have had since I cam to Slave Lake. Mrs Traill and children all blooming. We have had two parties of surveyors in Peace River this summer which is something in this country to talk about. I must close my note, as the only thing I can write about is 'this' man or that horse that man's wife or daughter, this horse and that one &c &c but I hope you will write me a good long letter and give all the news as we are woefully ignorant as to outside affairs having received only one mail all summer. I remain my dear Angus Your old Schoolfellow and ever shine muchly, Albert Tate"
385 McKay - Corr Albert Tate
Univesity Library, University of Saskatchewan
1 physical item; 25.5 x 20.5 cm, folded in half
Lesser Slave River No. 124
Lesser Slave Lake
Watermark reads: "Towgood's Extra Superfine"