Main content

Title: John Hall, Pennsylvania to Lytle Black, Chicago.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileHall, John L/45
SenderHall, John L.
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationdaly labourer (coal mine)
Sender Religionunknown
OriginMcDonald, Pennsylvania, USA
DestinationChicago, Illinois, USA
RecipientBlack, Lytle
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 2041/13: Purchased from J. A. Gamble Esq., 44 Taunton Avenue, Belfast 15.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9311003
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by C McK., 02:11:199
Word Count787
TranscriptTo: Lytle Black,
602 W. [West?] Adams Street,

From: John Hall,
Washington County,

Washington Co.
Pa [Pennsylvania?]
14th Septr 1889

Dear Lytle
Your very welcome letter received this morning and
indeed I was extremely glad to hear from you as they wrote me
from home that you had my address I wondered you didn't write
me before now; However I am glad that you are in good health
and like this country as well as you seem to.
You want me to tell you what kind of work I am engaged
in-- Well to tell the truth it is very little of any kind of
work I can get here; but when I do get an odd days work it
labouring (sic) around coal pits at 1 pound 35 pence per day
and I cannot even get work half time so without me telling you
any more you can form an idea how things are with me. I am not
one to growl all the time, but of course don't want to keep
anything from you as I expect you won't carry it further nor
would I care how hard I had to work if I could only keep
things moving; but I got stuck here and never could get enough
ahead to get out of it I made some hard struggles to save a
little so that I could get to Philadelphia or Chicago or some
town of importance but just as soon as I would begin to get
square the work would stop & I was put back into debt again--
Indeed for the last five months I have been living in a little
room by myself doing my own cooking as it was impossible for
me to pay board-- you can guess how it is here when I tell you
that in the last seven weeks I have only earned $10.50 and
that was digging a cellar -- of course you know how it is in a
small mining town like this where there are nothing but
labourers and a few unimportant stores -- There is no chance
for a person of my class to attain any progress at all; but I
am confident if I got to Chicago or some other place of note,
I would have no difficulty in raising myself in a very short
time, for, I flatter myself that I am endowed with as much
ability as any other individual -- there would be a chance of
using an education in Chicago a thing which is of use here --
the highest one can attain here is the pick and shovel so there
is not much in it besides not having been accustomed to
manual labour it is pretty hard on me; but one must keep life
in even at the expense of health. If I were any place out of
here where I would have a chance of a start it would be all
right and I do not want to put in another winter here if I can
avoid it for there will be no work at all. Last winter the only
work I got was splitting pit posts in an old cut wood where one
could not make as much as would keep you alive.
I had a letter from home the other day and Susan said Dada had
written you to send for me so I had been living in hope of
getting out to you, so if you would assist me in that direction
I could soon repay your kindness when once there, as I could
soon make it at something You say if I had my papers here I
could do well at the Law -- Well of course I cannot practise in
this country until I am a citizen -- I have my Certificate and
other papers with me; but they are no good at present unless to
get one a position in a Lawyer's office. I wish you would look
around and see if you can find an opening for me at anything
Perhaps if you saw Mr David Anderson he might know something
suitable, so like a good fellow help me to get out of here & I
will make a deparate [desperate?] struggle too, and perform the
part of the "Good Samaritan" and do me the greatest favor you
could think of in a lifetime.
You say if I "kept steady" -- Well I may tell once for all
that I have been doing the strict "T.T" [teetotaller?] for some
time and intend continuing so in future it is by far the best
I am glad you are in a situation and at work steady --
Write soon again as you are the only one I have to communicate
(sic) in this country
Sincerely yours
John Hall