Main content

Title: Alexander [?] to James [Stavely?]
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginShip Swafia (Liverpool-Queensland, Australia)
DestinationBallyboyland, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
Recipientposs. James Stavely
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 1835/27/5/3: Deposited by Greer Hamilton and Gailey, Ballymena
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9309329
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by C. R., 01:09:1993
Word Count1239

D 1835/27/5/3
Presented by Greer Hamilton and Gailey.
High Street,
County Antrim.

The Public Record Office of Northern Ireland.

D 1835/27/5/3. Letter from Alexander [?]
on board the "Swafia" Mailship, from
Liverpool to Queensland, to "dear James"
[possibly James Stavely, Ballyboyland].

On Board "Swafia" Mailship
from Liverpool to Queensland
December 1 1860.

My very dear James,
Our mutual friend William Kirkpatrick will
have advised you of my safe arrival in Liverpool, at one
o'clock yesterday. The previous night was dis[------?] and the
"Waterloo" for speed and accommodation is rather behind the
age. Mr Peoples, of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, kindly
Mr Peoples, of the Reformed Presbyterian Church, kindly
met me at the boat, and interested himself very much in
getting me an mim [and Mim?] safely conveyed to Harrington
Street. The day was "dirty" as the night had been however time
was short and I endeavoured to [------?] it. Before going to
Mr. J C's house, I went with W.P. [?] and visited a family
for some years in connexion [connection?] with my family in
St. John. I refer to a Cabinet Maker - Mr. Wallace, and his

wife and children now residing in Liverpool. They gave me a
cordial welcome and it was a source of regret to all that our
interview was necessarily so short. Returning to Mr. JC's
office I went home with him to [----?]. Shortly afterwards he
and I started to make some calls. We first visited Robert A.
Shunn and Son to the sixth Mayor of Slany [?], [----?] of his
Sisters - most amiable young ladies - reside with him. They
received me most affectionately. How much affection; shall I
not call it love. They accompanied us to the house of another
Sister, Mrs. Robert Patterson, where two other Sisters
[------?] unmarried, reside. My old and valued friend William
Shunn was sent for. As he resides at a short distance from his
children, he came at once and I found myself in the midst of a
greatly attached family group, where a day and even days could
have been most pleasantly spent in bringing up, it might be
for pleasure or it might be for pain, the recollections of
other days. I feel grieved because that I had not an
opportuntiy of at least exchanging kind wishes with Dr.
[Doctor?] [?] John [-?]owie, Mrs. Maria Wilson, the Riffands,
and other old friends but under the circumstances this could
noot be done ..... I stopped last night with William
Kirkpatrick, had breakfast there at 7 o'clock then to the
office, then with the luggage to the Fender [?] for the Mail
Steamer. We had called yesterday at Mac Ivers office, and got
the ticket for Boston. This man of business, Mr. Burgess,
kindly promised as there were a few births [berths?] secured to
get me or [---?] me one of the first Saloon State Rooms. This
he did on board, through the kind introduction of Mr.
Kirkpatrick today. I do not expect any one will interfere with
my appartment [apartment?], and it is A.1. containing a full
length sofa, two mirrors, and every thing a [as?]comfortable,
as even you could desire. We seem to have some fifteen or twenty
respectable men in the forward Cabin. There are four of these
I already recognise to be Ship Masters, and whilst I write they
are spinning a [-----?] good yarn. One belonging to Yarmouth
[--?] has been from his wife and family since January. Another
proposes that he should have a second marriage and send him
some of the short cake. Our [----?] is most bountifully
provided for. Roast Beef, Roast Pork, Beef Steak and for dinner
today Lobster - [-----?] - Apple sauce and such like fixings
for Tea. Our Saloon is about double the length of that in the
"Waterloo", but only about half the breadth. The "Swafia" is
certainly a maginficent Steamer. The discussions respecting her
today go to say that although scarcely so fast, she is in any
other respect equal to any other on the line. I feel that I am
too particular in my details and at present a few lines will
wind up my remarks. This night is dark and stormy. I now write

at 8 o'clock, and although unaccustomed to sea sickness I could
with a very slight effort out [sic] myself in this unenviable
My dear James I have had a "Malliture [Multitude?] of
thoughts" since we parted respecting the dearly beloved
friends. Soon to be left behind It will not require absence to
make the heart grow fonder. You have all laid me under
unspeakable obligations by the innumerable acts of kindness
since I arrived in my native land. If my deep felt gratitude is
worth any thing - friends in Glengall Place Belfast - Church S.
[?] Ballymoney - and though last not least Lavin Cottage, have it
in a superlative degree. I could scarcely say who has been most
kind and attentive but this I believe could have been more of my
loved relatives could have been more so than they were [sic]. I
hope it is not to much to hope that I may see you all again.
[------?] is still dear to me very dear to me.
"When I roam whatever lands I see
my heart untroubled [?] [-----?] turns to thee".
Under any circumstances, if spared in health I expect to
re-visit my native land in four or five years. I think that no
consideration will ever induce me again to attempt crossing in
any other than a Mail Steamer. You cannot conceive how fully
every arrangemnt is made here for the comfort of passengers.
We have two Gentlemen, acquaintances of Mim [?] from New
Brunswick. One James Smith, Builder of the "Marco Polo" - is
in the first, another Mr. Smellie is in the second Cabin.
Whether we leave at Halifax or go on to Boston, if safely
carried over, will depend on the state of the weather and the
then mode of transport in the provinces.... I cannot now write
connectedly and will just in conclusion jot down a few
scattered thoughts. My regret now is that I was able to make
such a feeble return to you and the other attached relatives
for your valuable kindness. I hope however to give you all as
you have given me some more substantial memorial of my
gratitude than I can put on paper.
Our Brother Mr. Hugh Hamilton kindly sent with me a C[---?]
for Margaret for which I feel very thankful although I have
failed to acknowledge in [-------?] terms. Your own gift to
her will likewise be regarded on the other side of the
Atlantic with much interest and respect. Ann's blanket or rug
or whatever you call it is a much appropriate [?] gift, it
will give me comfort when in need of more heat either by night
or by day. -- Should I get home safely our wife and bains
[babes?] will be delighted to see me, and oh how much more
than ever will they delight to speak of friends and
relatives they have never seen, from present memorials of their
affection, and all their kindness to me.


We are not parted from the friends we love
Because between us rolls the broad salt sea
Parting is of the heart and not of space!
Advise friends of my departure. love to your family, to
relatives in Ballymoney and Lavin Cottage, especially to my
ever dear parent, I cannot add.
A word that must be and has been
A word that makes us linger
Yet Farewell --
Your ever affectionate Alexander