A word of explanation
is deemed advisable. It was the hope of some members of the family that
Thomas Cramp, Esq., late of Montreal, would prepare a brief sketch of
his father’s life for publication. So far as tender regard and needful
information were concerned, no one else could hope to do it so well as
he. He was old enough when the family left England in 1844, to be able,
in after years, to call to mind many incidents of early life. Frequent
visits were made by him, during the last few years of his life, to the
home of his childhood. Correspondence was also kept up with the friends
of the family in England.
Had he been permitted to undertake this work, doubtless many
reminiscences, which give so much of life and interest to biography,
would have been interwoven, and added great value to the record.
It required some time after his much lamented decease in 1885, before
the work could be thought of or undertaken by another. This may explain
why over six years have been allowed to pass without some permanent
record of such a useful and instructive life, as that which is but too
imperfectly exhibited in this small volume.
The work, such as it is, has necessarily been done at short intervals,
as other pressing duties could be, for the moment, laid aside. If more
time could have been devoted to it, the memoir might have been much more
worthy of him whose record is given.
Nearly all the documents and papers left by Dr. Cramp, from which
information could be derived, were in his own peculiar system of
short-hand writing. This enhanced the difficulty of the work-While it
was easily read by himself, it was sometimes difficult for others to
decipher. And the writer wishes hereby to acknowledge his great
indebtedness to Miss Cramp for her valuable assistance in this matter.
Without her aid, the task, which has been an exceedingly pleasant one,
would have been, to say the least, much more difficult, if, indeed, it
could have been done at all.
Two chapters—the one referring to efforts in behalf of the Missionary
cause, and the one headed “ The last things,” were furnished entire by
Miss Cramp, who was the constant companion of her father, during the
latter years of his life.
Valuable assistance has also been rendered by the other members of the
family. If any pleasure or profit is derived from the perusal of the
book, it will be largely due to the aid thus received from those who
justly revere the memory of so great and good a father.
The labors, as well as the attainments of the subject of the following
sketch, were so varied, and touched the world’s interests at so many
points, that it has been found difficult to avoid some repetition.
Thoughts, and even expressions and dates already found in one
connection, may appear again in another.
The hope, however, is cherished that whatever defects may be discovered
in the style of the work, the unselfish life described therein, may be
found stimulating and useful to some who peruse it, and especially to
the young student who is looking out upon life, and anxiously enquiring
in what direction success may be found.
The compiler of the following pages will have failed in one prominent
aim of his endeavour, if the reader fails to see, that whatever natural
endowments one may possess, work, honest, persistent and persevering
work, is the royal road to both usefulness and success.
T. A. Higgins
WOLFVILLE, N. S.,
Life of John Mockett Cramp here