|William Hill, S. Carolina, to His Brother David, Ballymena.
|Irish Emigration Database
|Abbeville, South Carolina, USA
|Ballymena, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
|T 2305/37: Presented by South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina, Columbia, S. Carolina.
|The Public Record Office, N. Ireland.
|Document added by LT, 02:03:1994.
|Abbeville [C. H.?] So. Ca. [South Carolina?] 7 July 1859
Dear Bro.[Brother?] David
This letter will introduce to you my
son Robert Emmet who leaves here directly to visit
the land of his fathers, in company with Malcom [Malcolm?]
Erwin. His health has not been good for some time,
and I have thought that a trip accross the Altantic [Atlantic?]
and a residence for a few months in your bracing
climate may be of advantage.
He is inexperienced in the world having never
been much from home, and will, no doubt feel rather
awkward in a new hemisphere, where the people, the
manners and the customs, and indeed everything will
seem so different from, what he has been accustomed to;
but you must all make due allowance. One thing I know,
that he will be among friends - for the Irish are proverbial
for friendship to Americans, and I will feel
quite easy on his account when I know that yourself, Bros [Brothers?]
John, Hugh; William McMurtry, Cg. [B?]aird, and others, will excersise
[exercise?] that Guardianship towards him, which thoughtless youth so much
require. He will be suprised [surprised?], astonished - pleased when
he gets to Ireland. His impressions will be greatly changed. He
believes - as indeed most untravelled Americans believe, that Ireland
is a poor country - that its people are a coarse, rough, untutored,
ignorant, unpolished and semi-civilized race, that nothing elegant
or refined belong to the country; but that poverty and want, rags
squalor and wretchedness reign triumphant. He has no conception
of the state of improvement, and the beauty of your green fields and
snug farms, and the contrast between here and there will shake him
deeply. His ideas respecting Ireland, and the Irish, are of course
derived from the appearance and character of the Irish here, of whom
it must be said, they are a very poor sample of the Irish at home.
It is true that most of the emigrants from Ireland are of the lowest
rank, and consequently have never had opportunity of polish, and
when they get here, and find whiskey cheap the [they?] indulge to excess,
get to fighting and brawling, and disgrace themselves, and reflect
discredit on the better class of their countrymen. We have a good
many of the rowdy class of Irish here in this little town and
neighborhood - mostly of the Real Irish, or papist stock, and their looks
and uncouth appearance often bring to my mind the Pigmen that
I had seen, when a boy in Ballynure Fairs.
My health is as good as usual and my family are all well.
As I did not know until to-day that Emmet would start to-morrow I
am necessarily hurried, and as there is no occasion for a long letter
as he can answer all questions I will conclude by remainning [remaining?]
your affectionate Brother
P.S. remember me kindly to the friends and to Mr Hay and [Leslie?] Jenny
Mary Murdoch and the cousins in Ballyclare, [etc?] [etc?]
Finally, I hope to see you all once more before I die.
W. H. [William?] [Hill?]