|M. A. Beggs, Kingston, Canada, to a Guardian of Dungannon Union.
|Irish Emigration Database
|Dungannon, Co. Tyrone, N. Ireland
|The Armagh Guardian, Tuesday, 24 February, 1846.
|The Central Library, Belfast.
|Action By Date Document Added by Susanne Mehrer, 2
|We give the subjoined extract from a letter, in compliance
with the request of a gentleman, a Justice of the Peace, and
a Guardian of the Dungannon Union. The writer was a pauper,
whom the Board of Guardians sent from the work-house last year.
Storrington Township, near Kingston,
January 14, 1846.
My dear and very worthy Master and Mistress,
I embrace this opportunity to write a few lines to you hoping
you and your family are in good health, as this letter leaves us.
We had a very rough passage for the first three weeks, but the all
wise God took care of us. I never saw a man act with more attention,
activity, sympathy, and wisdom, than the mate of the vessel. He was
just like yourself, and acted on board as you do in the work-house.
On the 2nd May we saw the first iceberg, as large as a little village,
and when we came to the Gulf of the St. Lawrence the icebergs were as
thick around us as stacks in a meadow, and had God not wrought a
miracle we never could have got into America. On the 19th May the
pilot came on board, and the next day he ran the ship on a sand bank,
where we had to remain until the tide and wind came to our relief.
When the Doctor came on board and examined the passengers we were
detained in hospital six weeks, during which time we saw Quebec
twice on fire; the first fire was on the 28th of May, when four miles
of the suburbs was burned, and five the second time. Quarantine
on Grosse Island is a small island in the river St. Lawrence, 30
miles below Quebec, and has on it a Church and a Chapel with clergyman,
Doctors and Caretakers for the sick. We were detained there three days
until the ship was cleaned. On the 8th of July, we left the hospital
and came to Quebec, in a steamboat in three hours.- On the 9th we
took the boat and landed in Montreal on the 10th, where we saw some
of our acquaintances and heard from the rest. The Minister of Grosse
Island recommended us to situations in Montreal and sent letters with
us, but when I heard how the inmates had exposed themselves by
boasting of the large house they had left, I did not forward the
letters, but set out for Kingston, and hired here for 10s. per month,
Margaret Anne for 5s. and Wm.James for 7s. 6d. Strangers here must
work hard and get no time for school. They are fed like lords and
worked like blacks. Sir, I believe this to be a good country,
and my children join me in returning our sincere thanks to the
honourable gentlemen of the Union for releasing us from a prison-house
and sending us to a land of freedom. I pray that the Lord may
Your obliged servant
M. A. Beggs.