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Title: Henry Neill, Kentucky to Samuel Neill, Co. Down
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileNeill, Henry/134
SenderNeill, Henry
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender ReligionProtestant
OriginLouisville, Kentucky, 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.611002
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
Word Count1271
Transcript[Page 1]

Louisville, Ky. [Kentucky?] Oct 16th 1839

Dear Father, Yours of the 6th April last came duly to
hand at which time John wrote to you and as He expected an
answer before He left, I must say He was rather dissatisfied at the

He left this place on saturday last on board the steam boat
Wacousta bound to St. Louis from thence He will go farther up
the river and probably into the interior of the Territory of Iowa.
Our calculation is for him to buy a tract of land there or should
He fail in that as soon as the winter sets in He will most likely go
down to New Orleans and from thence to the republic of Texas. I
have for some time past known but little of a country life being
closely confined to the City but from [any?] information I can
gather the farmers in this country are by far the happiest and most
independent part of the community.

And as I know you would wish to know something of the
new countries, those to which the principal emigration is now
progressing, are the states of Illinois Missouri Arkansaw
[Arkansas?] together with the territories of Wisconsin & Iowa &
last though not least the new & thriving Republic of Texas.

The price of Land in this country is fixed by government
at one dollar and a quarter [per?] acre, but in addition a stranger going
to a new country has to pay the squatter for His right the price of
which vary according to the location and improvements (if any), to
explain this I may say that these adventurers or what we call squatters
go back into the new countries and settle upon a tract of

[Page 2]
land and live principally by hunting, then when the land comes to be
sold by government orders, they having the preemption [pre-emption?]
rights (if they wish) can get the land by paying $1.25 [per?] acre
in preference to all others, but often the squatters not wishing to
keep the land or probably not being able to pay for all they have
claimed, sell their right of one portion to enable them to pay for
the other [&?] sometimes sell all and go farther back and squat in
another track &c [etc.?] but to return to the new states, Illinois is a
free state as so will Iowa when it becomes a state (all new
territories are admitted to the Union as soon as they contain a
certain population.)

Missouri is a slave state and therefore those emigrating to it
are chiefly from Virginia and some others of the old slave states
with some french and spaniards &c [etc.?]. Those going to Illinois are
from the eastern States with many [-------?] Irish &c [etc.?] so
with Iowa, this like many other names in this country is of Indian
origin and means in our language Home or sweet home.

Texas is a vast extent of country adjoining the United States
it was formerly under the government of Mexico but the inhabitants
revolted and after many bloody conflicts have declared
Independence and formed a constitution similar to that of the U.S.,
every male migrant to this country (conforming to the
constitution) receive a portion of the public land Gratis.

Your O’Connell has made a bold effort in the British House
against consenting to the independence of this republic, but had it
not been taken from a Popish Government He would likely have
kept silent on the subject slave system and all.

[Page 3]
I recd [received?] a letter from John Arnold on Saturday
last just in time for John to see it before He started (they are all well).
My health as well as Johns has been extremely good since we left
you neither of us being confined one day for a short time last
spring I was rather delicate at which time I took a trip to
Cincinnati, Ohio since which I have been perfectly healthy.

James Dixon is married. He and his Brother and their wives with
Mr and Mrs McKee who came out last season are all living in
Pittsburgh. Isabella Ringland is in Philadelphia and Abram [Abraham?]
still in his old situation with Myers, I send you some of this country
Newspapers from which you will see some of the divisions
amongst us in politics &c [etc.?] Here the two great parties are one
who calls themselves Whigs and calling the opposite party
Loco- focus of course we belong to the Locos in Pennsylvania
and many parts of the [missing] the great division is Mason and
Antimason and in many parts [missing] Abolitionists (of which I
could be willingly one in number but that would be folly in Kentucky)
are setting up opposition to the slave system (I heartily wish them
success as I am assured slaves are a curse to any country although
the peoples here place great store by them and think they are their
principal wealth a young lady here if she is possession of a few
negroes she is thought not common but rather above the ordinary
class though in my estimation being raised with those negro
attendants is the very thing that renders her worthless, so much
for the Maiden of Kentucky
whilst the Ladies of the sister states Indiana or Ohio only separated
by the Ohio River have by good healthful exercise working with their
own hands acquired a far more

[Written perpendicularly across previous writing]
healthy [----?] and appearance and are [missing] [-----?] with [faded]
industry with well worth the slave holding better with all her [----?] of
Africans. I wish you to write as soon as this comes to hand as most likely it is
the last letter you will ever have to direct to Louisville.

My engagement here which [----?] $25 [per?] month will
be up on the first of April next at which time I intend to leave
unless I get a liberal advance in salary or something else unknown
may occur. I would therefore wish to hear from you before that time
expires and I shall again write to you as soon as I can give you any
information concerning the success John may have in his voyage
or where he may have settled as he will write to me as soon as he
can give me any satisfaction. I board [and?] Lodge with the family of
James McCrum so did my Brother until within a month or so of
his leaving us.

The times are rather worse here than some time ago as was
expected for some time the Banks have again stopped paying
[-------?] for any of their notes they had suspended some
time before we landed in this country and again resumed some
time after I came to Louisville and have this day for the first again
refused to redeem their notes.

[Written perpendicularly across Page 2]

There are in this city several churches two Episcopal three
Presbyterian to the first of which I belong Mr L. Breckennedge is
our minister last summer they built a splendid new church so did
the Episcopalians there and also Methodists Baptists and many
others yes it would take a volume to describe all the different
Religious denominations in this City. Although I verify [-------?]
not more than two thirds of the population attend any church or
religion at all. Hoping this may [faded] find you and all my enquiring
friends well as it now leaves me and wishing to hear from you
soon as convenient.

I remain Your distant Son
Henry Neill