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Title: Diaries of James Harshaw, Donaghmore, Co Down
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileHarshaw, James/71
SenderHarshaw, James
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer?
Sender Religionunknown
OriginDonaghmore, Co. Down, N.Ireland
DestinationSt. Louis, Missouri, USA
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceD 4149/D/2: Deposited by Marjorie Harshaw Robie, 12 High Street,Ipswich MA 01938, USA
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N Ireland
Doc. No.9907089
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLTE
LogDocument added by LT, 19:07:99.
Word Count1220
TranscriptCopy of a letter of John's to his Aunt Kennedy St Louis
Donaghmore March 28th 1849

My Dear Aunt

My father desires me to acknowledge your letter that left
St Louis on the 7th Feb. last which arrived here on the 8th
March, & was very glad to hear that you & all your family
were quite well, although the Colera [Cholera?] is raging
around you. That fatal disese [disease?] is very prevalent
here at present, & has been so especially in the towns for
some time past & I hope it shall not make its appearance
in the country. Belfast appears to have suffered more from
its ravages than any other town.
Since you last heard from this country there has been some
deaths took place among your friends here. Your Uncle Alex.
Mulligan died on the 9th of Nov. last after a short illness.
None of his friends here knew of his sickness until they saw
an account of his death in the Newspapers. He made a will &
left œ700 among his relatives in Donaghmore, but forgot my
Aunt Young Wm [William?] & Billy McCague. His wife gets the
remainder of his property which is supposed to be worth
œ1000. his bequests are as follows - To Wm. [William?] Bradford
œ300, Jas. [James?] Harshaw œ200, W K Harshaw œ50 Alex McCague
œ40 Mrs English œ40, and his sister Peggy œ50. Your Uncle was a
determined Seceder to the last & when in this country so great
was his hatred to the late members of the Secession Synod that
he wd [would?] not preach in one of their houses He preferred
to officiate in the Methodist house that has been created about
3 or 4 years ago near Sam Neills house, or Joe Kidds on the bog.
It was John Martin our friend of Loughorne that took so active

a part in trying to persuade the English government or rather
the people of Ireland that the course of policy carried on
towards this country was one that was opposed to the laws of
nature and of God; and is now lying in Dublin under sentence
of transportation for 10 years. He is the best man I know, or
perhaps ever will on this earth. He was too good to live
among us. This country is brought to a sad state, nothing
but beggars liars thieves & murderers, in it. Those persons
that have the means are flying as fast as they can to your
country, & selling all they have before the poor-rate
collector & landlord takes all from them. Some person or
persons are to blame for bringing the country to such a
pass, but John Martin is free of it certainly If I leave
this country & go to yours could I get a fine large farm
free from taxes, and if so will you give me Jane. All these
people are well. My Mother is fat & pretty & active, & she
is as broad as long still. James Harshaw is living with Wm.
[William?] Magowan in Portnorris carrying on a grocery &
haberdashery concern extensively. Sarah Ann has gone to a
Boarding school there about two months ago. She is a fine
healthy thing, & will be nearly as handsome as my Mother &
you were, long ago they say. Andrew is as tall as me, but
handsomer, He attends the young cattle, & takes great
delight in rearing good pretty calves that take the premiums
at the Cattle Shows. He assists my father with the farming
operations, but he is in great repute among the ladies,
& scarcely an enemy among them. He is very gallant, &
considered a fine man for an evening party. He thinks his
Mother's waist & all of her, never was so neat & nice as
the young lady's with whom he associates now are. Willy
has served his time at Banbridge to bleaching & managing
linens, & is now at home. He talks of going to your
country immediately. Robert has been attending to his
books & has entered Belfast College for the first,
this winter. He is there at present & my Mother is
uneasy about him as the Cholera is raging there. She
went to see him last week, & it was the first time for
her to see Belfast & to see a Railway, & she is well
pleased with both, & can tell a good deal about them.
When there she got two new teeth in & looks well since.
Absalom is a delicate boy, he has a gear (sic) cough.
He attends school & runs about with a dog killing rats
& hunting etc. Jane Harshaw, her son & man are right
well. She lives near my Aunt Young. Mary Harshaw is
well, & her tall man also. She lives on the next
townland to my Mother. My father says that Absalom
alias Samuel is the prettiest, & Wessel alias Robert
is the best of them all.
My Aunt Young enjoys good health & is heavier &
fatter than my mother. All her sons are well. William
is getting on well in Sam Neill's old place. He has a
son & is very fond of him. When sitting in his parlour
you can hear the people singing in the Methodist house.
Old Billy McCague took unwell about 3 months ago & my
mother says he will never rise. There is no change
for better or worse in him this good time. Poor Wm
[William?] McCague is still confined to the house,
he is improving a little, but neither father nor son are
able to see how things are going with the farm. Alex
is rich & healthy, & the world is flowing on him looks
after his father's business as much as he can, as he lives
beside him. The talk at present is about a prossesion
[procession?] of Ribbonmen that took place here & at
Downpatrick on St. Patricks Day. The Orangmen was shot
at Ballnaferan [Ballynafern?] & two persons at
Downpatrick. There has been some sudden deaths here
latterly - a son of Isaac Bradfords died suddenly in
Decr. [December?] & Billy McKinstry (known as Pitt
McKinstry) was found dead the other morning on the
road at Donaghmore Meetinghouse. He was to be married
that day. He was in Newry the day previous, & left
Robt. [Robert?] Young's about 11 oclock nearly drunk,
& was not seen till he was found dead the next morning.
Our minister Mr Moore is living in A Marshalls place
in Buskhill. He is considered a good man, & my mother
is delighted with him. She thinks there is none in the
Assembly to surpass him. Prices of grain is very low
here now corn only 5/4 per cwt & wheat 8/0. Bad
prospect for farmers to pay high rates. My father paid
nearly œ40 of poor rates last year. The weather has been
exceedingly fine this winter. We had no snow only a little
that was the morning that McKinstry was found dead & it
fled during the day. The farmers were for sowing oats in
February, which was fine & now appears to be bad. Your
Aunt Peggy is living in her own house in Ringolish with
Mrs Sam Mulligar & enjoys good health. Marthy Campbell
was here yesterday enquiring for you. Hoping to hear from
you soon again
I am dear Aunt
Yours very sincerely
John Harshaw