|James Humphrey, Upper Canada, to his family in Coagh.
|Irish Emigration Database
|keeps a tavern
|Coagh, Co. Tyrone, N.Ireland
|writes to his family
|T 3534/2: Copied by courtesy of Dr. H. W. Goodwin.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Action By Date Document added by C.R., 15:10:1993.
September 24th, 1824.
Dear Father and Mother and Sisters:
I take this opportunity of writing to you to let you know
we are all well at present, thanks be to God for all His kind
mercies to us since we left you.
At four o'clock on Saturday morning the 12th of June we
weighed anchor and had a fair wind. The next morning we took
our departure from Derry Mountains and saw no more. We had
one hundred and seventeen passengers. They were almost all
sick, only myself and a few others. Margaret was sick for
three weeks, my mother-in-law was sick for two weeks, and my
father-in-law had not an hour's sickness since he left home
and is quite mended of the old complaint. Samuel was but a
few days at sea until he got well. My William was not sick
since he left home and he can talk very well and is fatter
than when he left you.
On the 16th of June we lost our mast and got up another.
On the 18th our brig fell on her side and it was wonderful to
hear the shouts of the passengers for about five minutes. On
the 24th of June we had high winds and snow and on the 27th
of June we lost our mast again and did not get it mended
until we landed. On the 5th of July we passed mountains of
ice as high as the mast of our ship. The wind blew and we
were driven down to the North that night. We saw Newfoundland
but it was the north part of it and our course was to the
west and on the 9th we passed Cape Ray and entered the Gulf
of St. Lawrence. The Gulf is four hundred miles from when we
first see land to Quebec. We had contrary winds from when we
first saw Newfoundland.
On the 12th of July there were twenty six Orangemen
dressed themselves and walked three times around the deck and
gave three cheers for old Ireland and went and brought four
gallons of rum and parted in peace.
On the 29th of July we landed all in perfect health after
a passage of seven weeks, thanks be to God for it.
We stopped two days in Quebec. It had a black appearance.
There are full fine stores in it. I saw John Egnew, he was
very kind to us . I saw James McCana, he is very well and
going home. He and Edward McAnaway, they were very kind to
us. We then took a steamboat to Montreal and stayed two days
there. Mr. Richardson went to Benjamin Workman and left the
letter for Robert Workman. He told us he was there about two
weeks ago and that he would be back in about eight days and
that they were well and doing well.
We went and hired a wagon and went out nine miles to
Lachine and there took a steamboat one hundred and fifty
miles to Prescott. The first I saw was my sister Mary and she
took us to her house and we stayed all night in her house and
then we took the steamboat sixty miles to Kingston and we
stopped there six days. You may let James Baylen know that I
went out and saw George and he is well and he told me he
would send his mother six pounds. Kingston is a good town and
is very rich. Mr. Twig lives miles out of the town and
William and I were out and he has a beautiful place. You may
let Mrs Johnson know that her brother Will Cranis is well and
has a full fine shop. We went and got a steamboat and sailed
to Fort George and found John and Robert Gilmore there and
they were all in good health when I saw them. It is a
beautiful place, the Yankees are on one side and the British
on the other and the sentries about eight perches apart.
John Humphrey's Joseph is dead, he lived but two days
after he landed in Fort George. The Steamboat stopped about
eight hours and then we went away to York. We landed on the
25th August and went to John Richardson's place. He has 200
acres of good land and a house on it about two perches from
the road. Two days after Margaret had a young daughter and it
lived three weeks and I called it for my mother. I took a
house three miles from their place and set up a tavern. It
is a very pretty place, there is a river running past the door
and there is a sawmill on it and a flour mill within two
perchesof my door. I can buy rum at two shillings in the
gallon and sell it for eight shillings. There is a licence
here as well as at home, I pay eight pounds per year. This is
a better place than at home, labouring men get twelve dollars
per month and found [food?]. A girl will get five dollars per
month. I would not advise any person to come here for the
road is very dangerous and if anything would happen to them
they xwould blame me. But I don't rue it. Weaving is doing
very well. You will get 7 1/2 d. [pence?] per yard and
plenty of it to do. there is nothing here that you will work
at but you will get paid for it. The land is better here than
at home. My brother Joseph wrote to John Richardson on the
12th July and got word of us being here and he said that he
and his sister wanted to come. I wrote to him but get no
You may let my sister Elisabeth and my brother Andrew
Carson know that I was sorry I did not see them before I came
away. Give my love to them and to my sister Judy, to my Aunt
Nancy Johnston and other enquiring friends. Flour sells at
2d.[pence?] per pound, beef at 5d.[pence?] per pound, and
potatoes at 1sh.[shilling?] 3d.[pence?] per bushel. So no
more but remain
Your same James to death.
P.S. I will write you in the course of three months. When you
write direct to Mr Patrick, watch and clock maker, to his
care for James Humphrey, Highland Creek, York, Upper Canada,
and surely send your letters to New York for the letter that
Henry took for Mr Richardson to Belfast cost him two
shillings and the one that came from Quebec cost him seven