Letter 15

P.O. Dept, Ottawa,       
27 Apl. '92                    

My dear Lighthall

     I saw Mr. Matheson1 about the lost Savings Bank Book, and find that there is no index of any kind kept.  Mr. Matheson will have another search made, but would like to know at what office the book was issued, and as near as possible the date.   There is no reason that I can see why the account should not be found.  The accounts of even five or six years standing now remaining open in the ledgers of the Savings Bank Office must be comparatively few in number and even if the office of issue were Montreal I should think it could be easily found.  Please let me have the particulars required if possible, and I will see Mr. Matheson again.

     My wife desires to be remembered to you and yours, and I am sure that my baby2 would express deep interest in yours, if she only knew how.  She is not yet old enough to jump anywhere, but she has managed on one or two occasions to tumble out of bed, without apparent injury to herself, but much to the dismay of her parents.

     Are they going to hold the meeting of the Royal Society3 this year in Ottawa?  Nobody of my acquaintance seems to know.

Yours most sincerely      
A. Lampman                  

  1. David Matheson was one of five Superintendents of the Post Office Department, and was in charge of the Savings Bank Branch, a service described as follows:

    The extension of the Railway system has enabled an increase to be made in the number of Post Offices where monies can be deposited or withdrawn on the Savings Bank system.

    Deposits of not less than one dollar or of any number of dollars can be paid into a Post Office Savings Bank, but not more than $1,000 can be paid in any one year ending 30th June, and no deposit must exceed $3,000 exclusive of interest at any time.  Interest at the rate of 3-1/2 per cent, is allowed and calculated yearly to the 30th June, being then credited in the Depositor's book.

    On each anniversary of the day upon which the Depositor first opened an account the book must be sent to the Postmaster-General for comparison with the books of the department and the addition of the interest due (The Star Almanac. . . 1893, 65).

    Lampman had been appointed, initially, to a junior clerkship in the Savings Branch of the Post Office in January of 1883, but had been transferred to the office of the Secretary of the Post Office Department late in 1884.   At the time when Lampman was writing this letter William Dawson LeSueur was Secretary of the Department.[back]

  2. Natalie Lampman, the poet's first child, was born on 11 January 1892.  In her later life she married Thomas Loftus Maclnnes.[back]

  3. Lampman was elected to the Royal Society of Canada in 1895, joining two other fellow poets of note on its roster, William Wilfred Campbell and Charles Mair. Lighthall was elected in 1905, and became President of the Society in 1918.[back]