|Title:||Alexander Hamilton, Ireland to Feorge & Margaret Ford, Upper Canada|
|Collection||Irish Emigration Database|
|Origin||Lisnatunny, Co. Tyrone, N.Ireland|
|Source||Donated by Mr Kenneth Featherston, 288 Mill Rd , #C45, Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada M9C 4X7|
|Archive||Centre for Migration Studies|
|Log||Document Added by JM, 12/09/07|
|Transcript||Fig.1: Letter to George and Margaret Ford|
July 18, 1843
My Dear George and Margt [Margaret?],
Your kind letter Dated Feby reached us in due time. I need not tell you we are all rejoiced to know that you are all in good health and that you are increasing in the abundance of this world's wealth I trust and hope that you are also labouring to increase in that wealth that will never perish 'tis this hope that helps to cheer your Mother and me now in our latter days for my Dear children we will never see each other this side of the grave, yet I trust and hope we will meet in a happier and better world. Oh how rejoiced we would be to see your
My Dear George I can plainly perceive by your letter that you have not idled your time in that Country. May you go on and increase still more and more, this is our earnest prayer. We cannot say that we are adding anything to our little property here. The times do not permit us. It would only tire and perhaps grieve you if I were to enter on a narration of everything that has befallen me since you left this. All I will say is your Mother and I live on in our own house striving still to hold half of the place. I labour as much as I can but the fact is I am not able to work as I used to. James and wife live in the upper part of the house, they have been married nearly three years, they had one child that died when about a month old and they are expecting to have another, his wife's name is Eliza Smith. They live contentedly.
Your brother Wm. [William?] is placed a place called Edenderry near Omagh, a Presbyterian minister he is married to Margt [Margaret?] Hood a daughter of Robin's. They have four children, Margt [Margaret?], Alex and Ross together with Robert. Your sister Eliza and her family are doing well. Their two oldest, like your own, are grown nearly to maturity. Robert and Matty are extremely well doing and industrious children. John himself is also greatly improved. They have besides Margt [Margaret?], Lizzy, Mary, Jane, James and Nancy.
I must tell you something about Alex. Shortly after James came home he took a notion of going to New South Wales. I did all in my power to prevent him but all was unavailing. This was a new trial for me. I had then to fit him out for his long journey and besides give him what money I was able and more than I was able. He is now six years away past in March last and we have only got two letters from him during that time. Poor good industrious Alex knew well the privations I underwent at his going away. The first letter he sent me he mentioned he would send me annually what would make us comfortable in our old days; the other letter that we got more than a year ago brought us tidings of a more sorrowful nature. He had been after a long and tedious illness which had brought him nearly to the gates of Death. Henry Robinson and Summer went with him and I have never got any letter from themm but Alex told us in his letter that they were well.
I must tell you now how Mary did. Shortly after Alex went away she made an
elopement with John McLeer from beside Bessy Bell. This was still worse and
worse and plunged me still in fresh trouble and difficulties I had to bind
myself to him for a fortune. They were married. He had a piece of land but
greatly behind in the rent. I struggled and sacrificed myself in order to give him what I could at the beginning. The first cow and calf I sent them were taken up for debt. They struggled on for some time but were unable to hold the place. What then do you think happened next? Why Mary and her little daughter came home to me - after paying her fortune every farthing. I had then to begin again to equip them out for America. This last run has put me into some debt but I thought nothing of that still thinking Alex would send me something that would be handsome. I am afraid he is dead.
Thus my dear children I have given you a faint outline of my family concerns since you left this. I must now tell you that my own health is greatly gone. The worst of all is I have lost the sight of one of my eyes. I was rolling a large stone up a little precipice. My foot slipped behind me and the stone came back on which I fell. My eyes were bruised and consequence was the top of my eye. I had also a very sore turn of sickness sometime ago from the effects of which I am afraid I will never get well again. Your mother has wonderful health considering her age. She is still able to manage our domestic concerns with little or no help from anyone. This is more remarkable because in her young days she was grieviously afflicted with asthma.
I will not have room to give you any of the news of the neighourhood, at the present but hope as soon as you receive this you will write to us again and then I will write you a long letter. Your Uncle George is dead and three of the girls have gone to the United States to Baltimore. Also two of the Daniel McMorrison's girls have gone away lately to Philadelphia. Your sister Mary and John McLeer I hear are somewhere near to Kingston in British America. They never wrote to us. The Toyemegian family are still living in a state of celibacy. Old Aunt Ross is dead and so is Oliver. He was killed with his own horse and cart. The times here
are in a bad state at present. God knows what the result may be, poverty and destitution are making the people desperate; high rents and no way of making them. There are thousands above thousands assembling daily in the upper part of this 5 kingdome [kingdom?] demanding a Repeal of the Legislative Union. What it will turn to we do not know.
James desires you to give his love to Mr. Fox and family and when you write to let him know how Robert is.
The provision markets here are very cheap but no money to buy anything-there is no weaving or spinning.
My Dear children I am rejoiced to find that you have so prosperous and good a family and that you are educating them so well. James joins your Mother and me in his love to you all and believe me to be your affections father.
Transcribed by Steven Grant