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Title: Henry Neill, Burlington, Iowa to Samuel Neill, Co. Down
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileNeill, Henry/10
SenderNeill, Henry
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationworks in the mercantile business
Sender ReligionProtestant
OriginBurlington, Iowa, USA
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientNeill, Samuel
Recipient Gendermale
SourceDonated by Hilary Murphy, 45 Ava Avenue, Belfast BT7 3BP
ArchiveCentre for Migration Studies
Doc. No.0611009
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
Word Count1109
Transcript[Page 1]

Burlington Iowa Sept 2nd 1843

Dear Father, Statements of my Brothers (Jas [James?] and Matthew)
concerning the say so of some of my relatives in Ireland
displaying a disposition to disbelieve my statements concerning
my situation in this country, has doubtless operated on my feelings
so as to cause me to be more negligent in writing than otherwise
might have been.

However knowing that you will be always glad to hear
from any of your Sons here I now write you these lines hoping
they may find You, My Mother, and all friends, in good health as
they now leave me and mine in this place, I have been in this place
nearly five months, during which time my wife and I have enjoyed
excellent health we are both well pleased with this place. We are
now living on Water Street in the House which I got with my
wife. Since I came here I bot [bought?] some other property as I
am doubtless settled here for life, the Mercantile business of the
place is all done on the Streets adjacent to the river and on the
back Streets (as we call them) are private dwellings &c [etc.?] Some
time since I bought a House and Lot back on the Sixth Street from
the river which is a handsome site for a residence though at
present I both live and carry on business on Water Street (right on
the River bank). Since I came here I have bought a most beautiful
farm of 160 acres within eight miles of this place. I have it rented,
the man who farms it finds his own farming utensils, seed and all,
and I receive one third of the crop. There is under cultivation of
this farm about fifty acres the balance mostly Timbered land. The
place John and I bot [bought?] in Partnership we have divided. I
hold 100 acres of the best and most improved part of it and He had
140 of which he sold 70 leaving him now 70 acres where He lives
it is his intention as soon as he gets a house built on 40 acres
which he owns within 2½ or 3 miles of this place to move to it.
Brother James is still living on the land

[Page 2]
which he got with his wife
(240 acres) about five miles from town. He appears to be doing
well. Brother Matthew is yet in Louisville at a Salary of $300. this
year tho [though?] I think he also will ere long move to this place.
A few days ago I bought (at Sheriff Sale) 80 acres of land
adjoining my 100 acres for $200 the owner has the right of
redeeming it within two months by paying me my outlay together
with 5 [per?] Cent that is $210 in all. Most of the neighbors
[neighbours?] say He will be unable to redeem it. If so I will then
have a good farm there of 180 acres the other I bought of 160
acres and two Houses in town in all four situations in any one of
which I can live better than that of my best prospects had I staid
[stayed?] in Ireland, tis [it is?] true I am in debt about $500 but I
have more property not speaking of debt owing to me than would
pay it all without touching any of my Real estate.

In the proper place I should have told you that we have a
law in this country concerning property under execution, before
the sale it is valued by sworn appraisers, who give it in to be worth
so much (which by the bye is generally too low) then at the sale it
must bring two thirds of that value, else it cant be sold. But any
person bidding ? or more gets the property the owner having the
right of redeeming it in a specified time by paying the purchaser a
high interest which by the bye they are seldom able to do.

Dear Father if any of your acquaintances should enquire
concerning this country I would have no hesitation in
recommending Iowa as best adapted to the interests of those wishing
to settle on Farms of any place. I have been in the United States, it
is easy getting land here at least more so than in any of the Older
States though it is fast advancing in price and near towns it now
sells pretty high.

[Page 3]
Land around within from 1 to 2 miles of town is
worth from $15 to $40 [per?] acre according to quality and
improvements within say from 5 to 8 miles is worth from $5 to
$20 varying according to the situation and improvements of the
land and By going back to the new purchased (a tract lately
bought of the Indians by the United States) you may get land as
low as $1.25 [per?] acre which is the congress price though in
most cases a stranger will have to buy the claim from the Squatter
and then pay the Dollar and Twenty-five cents to the government
(this I think I described to you once before).

As to our produce markets the farmers are paid here for
Pork $2 per 100th wheat 50 cents [per?] Bushel corn 18¾ oats
16 to 20 Potatoes 25 cents cornmeal 31¼ Flour $4 [per?] Barrel
or $2 [per?] 100-- [th?] Butter from 6¼ to 8 cents eggs 5 [per?] dozen
chickens from 50 to 75 [per?] Doz [dozen?]. An [stained] their
groceries &c [etc.?] they pay for Sugar from 6¼ to 8 cts [cents?]
Coffee [Stained] Tea from 87½ to $1.25 Rice 8 cts [cents?] Whiskey
25 to 50 [per?] Gallon, English Broad cloth are higher here.
But then the country people can make a Fabric called Jeans part
wool and part cotton which looks nearly as well and equal in comfort
and durability they most all keep sheep and spin their own wool and
buy the cotton yarn which we sell them at 20 [per?] lb and
thus they get up their clothing good and cheap it in most cases
being females who weave. I have often when travelling through
the country seen both old women and maidens engaged at this
occupation tho [though?] I seldom saw a man weaving. From this
it might be thought that the females have the drudgery to do in this
country but it is decidedly a false impression, the condition of the
females compared with the males is most certainly fifty per cent
better than in the Old Country. For want of space I now stop short
of my subject and aim whilst I remain Your Distant Son