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Title: Rev. John Orr, Portaferry, To John M. Orr, [Chicago?].
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileOrr, Revd John/100
SenderRev. John Orr
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationclergyman
Sender ReligionProtestant
OriginPortaferry, Co. Down, N.Ireland
DestinationChicago, Illinois, USA
RecipientOrr, John M
Recipient Gendermale
SourceCopyright Retained By John McCleery, 80 Circular Road, Belfast,BT4 2GD.
ArchiveThe Ulster American Folk Park
Doc. No.9702162
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLTE
LogDocument added by LT, 10:02:97.
Word Count1085
TranscriptPortaferry, 29th December 1847.

My dear John,

In commencing monthly letter I shall begin with
conveying to you the Comp.ts [Compliments?] of the Season,
And wishing you a happy new year. Happy I trust in the
continued enjoyment of health, happy in the selection of your
partner in business, and of friends in a land far from home,
happy in the success of your enterprise, and above all,
happy in the enjoyment of the love of your Heavenly
Father. I hope it is unnecessary, tho it can do no harm, to
remind you of the deep anxiety felt by your parents for your
welfare both temporal and spiritual, - and that no night
passes in which at the family altar you are not remembered
before the throne of grace: Oh! that our family prayers may
be heard and answered; then both temporal and spiritual
blessings will be yours; then you will be kept from
temptation and delivered from evil; then you will not merely
becoming to Christ, or be near Christ, but be in Him here,
and with Him hereafter. Oh! that these wishes may be
realised, that these petitions may be granted, and true
happiness as each consists in being in Christ; for then
'all things are yours.'
Frequently at dinner or tea, the question is put
what is poor John about now? We have come to the conclusion
by the study of Geography that we are about 5 1/4 hours of
time in advance of you, and that consequently, when we are at
tea you are going to dinner at One O Clock. On Christmas day
William Henry was wondering if Johnny would have any
turkey or plum pudding at his dinner. Maybe it will be like
last Christmas - he'll go out and shoot till the dinner be
These Christmas times here, while they have given
temporary enjoyment to some, have been sad times to others.
A horse race took place on Monday last on Cloughey sand,
between a horse of Hugh Wilson's of Dirry [Derry?], and one
of Wm [William?] [Faloon?] of Craigaraddin. I did all
I could to prevent it, but without effect. I foretold the
consequences both privately and publicly, but I would not be
heeded. And what was the results? 1st Doctor McGreevy thrown
from a car of James Mouland's, the horse having run off, so
that he had to get four stitches in his face, besides his arm
& knee hurt, 2nd - [Kamie?] of Ballyridley ridden down on the
sand, and his shoulder dislocated, 3rd - Smith of Portafogie
[Portavogie?] nearly beaten to death in some party affray,
4th Robert Caughey of Tooshilly found drowned the next
morning in Ballygelagh bay having left home for the race on
Monday morning - What a scene I witnessed last night when I
went out to see his wife and her seven now fatherless,
children. Such are some of the consequences of Cloughey
With the exception of few days at Christmas we have had
uncommonly severe weather - viz - wet and stormy, for we have
scarcely had any frost or snow yet. This day while I write
is very wet and blowing from the South - There has been awful
disasters at sea - as you will perceive from some of the
newspapers - On Friday morning the 10th Inst, we had five
vessels ashore in this neighbourhood and one a few days
previously - The European 900 Tons - on the north Rock
a complete wreck - she was going from, Liverpool to greenock
in ballast. She gauges 1000 Tons, at the Green Island about
half a mile further north from Liverpool to New Orleans,
chiefly in ballast. She is dismasted. One with herrings -
opposite Portavogie, a total wreck. Hugh Wilson's 'Isabella'
on Gun's Island with Indian Corn for Newry. Two in Dundrum
Bay - One of them 'The Lola' - all hands lost, 6 in number.
The Steamer Sea King, Capt Gowan, I think in Augt. was lost
at the Copeland Islands in a fog.
I think it was on the 30th Oct. that I sent you a
letter of credit from the Belfast Northern Banking Co. on
Messrs Browne Brothers & Co. of New York for $954. I hope
that you receive it safe in due course, and that it has been
duly honoured; and that thus you have been relieved from
some of your difficulties. I expect that by the next mail,
we will have your acknowledgement of it; tho perhaps now in
winter you may not have received it in time for the next
mail. I perceive that when your letters bear the Chicago
post mark of the 23rd of any month they are in time for the
Mail that leaves Boston on the 1st of the following month.
I think that during these four winter months the packets
sail alternately from Boston & New York every fortnight. If
you write only once a month you can send a newspaper by the
intermediate Mail.
Jane Ellen told you in her last that your Uncle Robert
had received a severe hurt by a fall from his horse. He was
ill hurt; but I am happy to say, is now pretty well
recovered. Your Grandmother was a good deal alarmed; and
greatly fatigued for some days, but when I saw her she was
in wonderful health. William Henry is attending a singing
school which Mr Blair has commenced in the school room. He
is very fond of it. How he may succeed we cannot yet tell.
Bobby McCleery & Alex & Hugh Bowden are also pupils. A
good specimen of manageable boys! The last letter recd.
[received?] from Thos [Thomas?] Warnock was dated the 3rd
Novr. from Cincinnati. The day before he was to leave for
New Orleans. Mr Warnock and the family are all well
just as you left them. James is pretty closely confined to
the shop.
Miss Selina Miller died yesterday of consumption. I have
never yet got your account with John Warnock settled.
Whether he has settled with the sheriff I cannot tell. We
are all well. Your Mother, Jane Ellen, Margaret, Eliza, &
William Henry all desire their love to you. I intend
writing to the Whig Office tomorrow to send you the
first copy of the enlarged impression.
Your affectionate father
John Orr.

Mrs Welsh is just come in, 21st Dec.
Is happy to hear of your welfare, and
sends her best respects.

Where was your partner Mr
Bentley 'raised'?