Roger Lewis Kinsey's Dead Letter

One of the more intriguing persons in the Kinsey family tree has to be Roger Lewis Kinsey. Roger was born in 1861 at Redhouse in Llandinam, Wales to Roger Kinsey and Eliza Anne Lewis.

By 1880, Roger L. Kinsey has immigrated to Manitoba, Canada to find work and a new life. After his time in Manitoba, he works as a prospector in the Yukon. He would work his claims in the summer, and then spend the winters in British Columbia. It is during these years the following article appears in both the Manitoba Morning Free Press and the British Colonialist on the same day, the 6th of January 1899.

The Envelope Mystery

Do Yukon Residents Use Manitoba Government Stationary?

There is a mystery in the attorney general’s department. A couple of days ago W. W. Cory, the chief clerk received a letter from the Victoria branch of the dead letter office. Inside was an envelope bearing the colored crest of the attorney general’s department and written on the front in lead pencil was the address, “Mr. John J. Coutet, Rossland, B. C., Canada. It is not the custom in the public department to address letter in lead pencil. The letter enclosed was written in Dawson City on September 23 by Roger L. Kinsey. He gives in graphic ascription of his trip to Dawson and refers to several private matters, but gives no clue as to the probable place of residence of Coutet, who evidently left Rossland. What the officials want to know is how Roger L. Kinsey, of whom they have never as much as heard, living several thousand miles beyond the outskirts of civilization, secured possession of an attorney general’s department letter. The second question is of minor importance. Do all post office officials hold the letter for a month without seeing the name of the sender, should that happen to be on the back?

The envelope has accumulated quite a collection of post marks, also much dirt. It is stamped Dawson City, N. W. T., Sept. 28, 1898. Victoria, B. C., Nov 1. Rossland, B. C. Nov. 6; D.L.O., Ottawa & Rossland, Nov. 6, D.L.O., Victoria, Lee. 27 and 28.

Likely, the envelope is related to his years as a homesteader in Manitoba; However, nothing is known about the addressee in Rossland, British Columbia. Also, as much as known there is also no indication of he ever having been married or having any children.

What is known is that Roger passed away in San Francisco, California in 1950 at the ripe old age of 88.


Popular Posts