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Title: T. A. Emmett, New York to Robert Simms, Belfast.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileEmmet, Thomas Addis/25
SenderEmmett, Thomas Addis
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNew York, USA
DestinationBelfast, N.Ireland
RecipientSimms, Robert
Recipient Gendermale
SourceT 1815/4: Copied by Permission of the Presbyterian Historical Society, Church House, Fisherwick Place, Belfast.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.8809103
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 01:11:1993.
Word Count1471
Robt Simms Esq
T.A. Emmett
New York June 1st
My Dear Friend
With very great pleasure indeed I received yours from Belfast, & I am
gratified that I continue to [preserve] that place in your esteem &
friendship, for which I shall be even solicitous. You judge rightly as to
the motives which induced me to leave [france?]. I there saw enough to
comfirm me in the opinion I always maintained, that a permanent & useful
union between virtue & vice is impossible that the virtuous & honest will
always be deceived & injured by permitting any attempt at each a Union to be
made. France is the Head Quarters of fraud, deceit & despotism, and under
its present Rulers, no Nation or People that love Liberty need look for its
honest cooperation. Wishing to doubt this truth, I remained there as
long & went as far as my principles would permit, but when the
opportunities I enjoyed both of observation & information, convinced me
that if a french force even landed in Ireland its influence & strength
would be employed to eradicate every vestige of republicanism, to pervert &
corrupt the public mind, & then by a mixture of force, fraud & delusion but
always under [colour?] & pretext of the public will, to establish a
Government which should be modelled after that of the protecting Country.
I use language that had been used to myself & in order the better to
support that fabric, to profit by a Catholic Establishment, which the
arrogant & self opiniated [self-opinionated?] destpot & his minions,
obstinately & in the teeth of every evidence that could be produced,
supposed would be highly gratifying to the Irish Catholics at large when I
became satisfied that these views were entertained, if even it should
become physically possible for the french to land a force in Ireland &
that men or rather a man would be found who had laid the first foundation
of a very unjustly acquired reputation by asserting the impolicy of any
religious establishment, but who would now (to adopt the expression
respecting him, of one who ought to know his secret compacts) make
terms; & who after having disavowed his even having been Republican, in
a pamphlet & which appeared with his name, at the very crisis that
Bonaparte was declaring himself Emperor would I am convinced be selected
under the Auspices of the Protecting Country, to be a greater man than
Schimmelpennick is likely to be in Holland & to revive the ancient title of
O Connor King of Ireland when I perceived all this I determined to fly from
the Sanctuary of [Crimes?] & as I am incapable of compromising with the
English Government, the constant & bloody [oppression?] of my
Native Land, to retire to this happy Country, where Liberty is triumphant &
cherished & where the principles to which I have sacrificed so much,
would be a kind of portion to my Children. I write to you what are my own
sentiments of England, france & Ireland, without adverting to what yours
may be - because I should do the same thing to any friend or to any enemy,
were he even a member of the English or Irish administrations, if I did not
dread that he might pervert the terms of abhorrence in which I speak of
france to something like [soliciting?] an amnesty or reconciliation, & from
my soul I detest the English tyranny - but in truth I wish my sentiments to
be known to my Countrymen at large, & I should long since have given them
greater publicity, but for fear of the imputation I have mentioned, & of its
being supposed that I wished to support the Dominion of England in Ireland.
What your political sentiments may be I do not presume to know. I only
write for the purpose of expressing my own, & I write them to one, of
whom private friendship, abstracted from all political considerations I am
confident. From my coming to this Country unaccompanied by any of my
political friends, you might suppose that the opinions I have stated, are
not entertained by them, & if you think me right, you would be inclined
to censure them but would do them very great wrong. Many of them were
entangled with situations they has entered into under the expectation
of being useful & could not pursue any line of conduct as promptly as I
have done I can say however that those, whom I have been in the habit of
esteeming & loving coincided with me in every particular. That when the
idea of a catholic establishment for Ireland was first broached in france,
the Irish Catholics there of any consideration reprobated it in the most
marked & decided manner & that my resolution of [quitting?] that Country,
was approached on principle, by those who were so circumstanced as not to be
able immediately to adopt the same conduct. I have the pleasure further to
add that many of them have withdrawn from a military life, from the same
motives, and devoted themselves to other pursuits - James Joseph McDonnell
(whose name you must unquestionably heve heard of) arrived from Bordeaux on
the 26th of May & he informs me that Mc Neven & Swiney were there, preparing
to come here, & that Mc N's new stores were ready. I expect that others will
follow them - & even of those who may remain behind, do not suppose that
they all approve of or will endeavour to effectuate the views of france
respecting Ireland. Some men there undoubtedly are, for whom I would not
say so much, but (with the one exception) They are very little known or
thought of at home. I rejoice My Dear Friend to think that the resolution
you have taken of setting yourself & family here will withdraw you from
scenes which I cannot but suppose must be extremely irksome, & from a
Country, the future prospects of which appear to me extremely gloomy -
believe me it is with pain I find that you are determined to defer your
voyage for one year now. The determination to quit one's native home,
natural connexions & ancient friends is so serious and important, that I
would scarcely venture to advise it to any man, but you have taken the
resolution & as your choice is made, I may say I do not believe you will
even repent it - & I may [urge?] that every moment which you unnecessarily
delay the execution of your [?] is so much thrown away out of
your happiness in this country. As for myself, you will I am sure rejoice
to learn that my good fortune here has been so complete - The exertions of
my friends have procured me the permission of following my profession here,
tho' [though?] an Alien, & not qualified by performing the usual
preliminaries studies within the State. And my prospects in business are
to the full as good as my most sanguine expectation even conceived. Within
this fortnight or three weeks I have received a very large & troublesome
addition to my family by the arrival of my three youngest boys from Dublin.
They are in perfect health, & so much the harder to manage. I am now
surrounded by eight children, equally divided as to sex. The three
eldest, [your?] old fellow prisoners, are extremely well & very fine
children your favourite Margaret tho' [though?] [inferior?] in beauty is
perhaps the best & most valuable. They all remember you with very lively
affection. The little Scotch lassie is a great beauty & a greater pet &
the eighth is a brave American girl of only [two months?] old. I had
another lovely little [Girl?] who died of the Chin Cough shortly [after?]
we left France so much for my children - Mrs [Emmett?] who is as eager as I
can be to see you, & desires the most affectionate remembrance to you would
be very [tolerably?] if she did not perseverve in nursing, which never
agreed with her but we are at this moment also labouring under the most
crying grievance of America - the badness of Servants of which & the
enormity of their wages you can scarcely form an idea. This in addition
to [nursing?] has [?] & [?] was here When you come out, if there be any
servant really attached to you & your family, that would accompany you
from affection & not from speculation. [Jump?] at the proposal. Be so
good to present my respects to Mrs Simms tho' [though?] I do not enjoy the
pleasure of her acquaintance personally & to your Brother, who I hope has
not forgotten me & believe me My Dear friend very sincerely yours
T. A. Emmett