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Title: E Phelps, Moyallen to Maria Newsom, Kings County
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FilePhelps, E/137
SenderPhepls, E.
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginMoyallen, Co. Armagh? N.Ireland
DestinationEdenderry, Kings County, Ireland
RecipientNewsom, Maria
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceD 1762/47: Presented by JSW Richardson Esq, The Wood House,Bessbrook, Co Armagh
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.101141
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLET
LogDocument added by LT, 11:01:01.
Word Count3569
Transcript[Cover of Letter]


G [Gilford?] 6 Ja [January?] 6 1824
Gilford 6/7

Single sheet
Robert Newsom
Mr Wilson
Kings County [Offaly?]
for Maria Newson

[page one]

Moyallen January 4 1824

My Dear Maria

appearances are fallacious, so
therefore thou must not measure my
affections for thee by my long silence, which I
know not how to account for except from
not having any thing very interesting to
communicate sister Sally having written so lately
to thy mamma but this day week having
brought us a large package of letters from
our dear American wanderers I think I can
not entertain thee better than giving these
extracts out of them which was highly interesting
to us & to enable me to do so as satisfactorily
as possible I have taken a long sheet
of paper the coarseness of which thou must
excuse but in the first place I must thank
thee my dear Maria for thy [truly?] kind &
acceptable letter also for thy beautiful present
of [wrists?] which I [fear?] was an encroachment
in thy time indeed they are almost
to [too?] [nice?] for me but highly prized for being
thy [work?] the former [pall?] thee & wished have
been greatly admired But thou will say it
in time to hear some thing of [kindness?] the
letters are dated from Kingston the 9th of Novr
which is very quick when they were all in
the enjoyment of good health & had been so
ever since they went over which is great
blessing as it had not been considered a healthy
season by the inhabitants fever & ague
being very prevalent & fatal with [children?]
Henrietta wrote in June an account of her
travels from the time she landed at Quebec until
she wrote but unfortunately she has sent
the letter to her cousin Joseph which has
disappointed me & she gives a very handsome

[Page two, across narrow]

description of the journey on the St Lawrence
in many places but I have a letter from
sister to [H?] Richardson also from [Moyallen?]
She sent us not knowing we had received letters
with a [minuter?] account of their voyage I may
call it such being on water She [commenses?] on
their taking their passage on a steam boat for
Montreal which are fitted up in [new?] style the
first day she was able to be up to witness the
beauties of the scenery but was the [---?]
[------?] admired it greatly they met some very
agreeable gentlemen who gave them a great deal
of information about the country, Montreal
is a large town kept clean & a great deal of
business done in it they stopt [stopped?] their
[there?] a [few?] days to rest & took their
passage from that to Kingston in a [Durham?]
boat but in consequence of a great rapid
between that & Lachine a distance of 9 miles
they travelled in what they call a calash
so far, to make the boat as light as possible
she says the road seemed [thick?] they could
imagine themselves driving through a gentlemens
demesne the scenery was so delightful they had
to stop all night at Lachine the mistress a
great varago [virago?] & an Irish woman & what
was worse they had to [encounter?] bugs &
different sorts of vermins the next morning
they went on board the boat which was quite a
new conveyance they are made quite flat bottomed
so as to draw very little water the river is in
some places so shallow & they have to keep quite
close to the shore as the current is so
strong they could be carried down & dashed
to pieces, they next stopped at the cascades
where they got very dirty beds & plenty
of creepies the next night again on shore
with as bad [parts?] which determined them
to lay down their own beds & sleep in the
boat which they did for 9 nights she says
"there we were in an open boat & the only
place we had to shelter us was quite open
in the front Joseph could scarcely stand
upright in it we had three nights of
dreadful rain thunder & lightning (the
latter much stronger than at home) I can
scarcely keep from shuddering when I think
of those nights the rain fell in torrents &
the thunder seemed to break past over the
boat the nights [fortunately?] were short
& the [burning?] sun soon dried our bed
clothes my cough got daily worse I thought
I should never

[Page three narrow]

[loose?] it [we?] were dreadfully bit by
muscetoes [mosquitoes?] which fastened on
our hands, faces, necks & every where
they could even our feet landed by the shore
Joseph was like one recovering out of the
small [smallpox?] for we had no relief night
or day but to our great joy when we arrived
here we found this place quite free of them
the St Lawrence is certainly one of the most
beautiful rivers in the world but I cannot
pretend to give thee a just idea of the grand
romantick [romantic?] scenery that every here
& there strikes the eye the most beautiful
islands of different sizes & forms some thickly
covered with trees & shrubs, others with nothing
but the [rock?] that forms them to be seen except
at the top where thick clusters of green trees
are to be seen; It is here the sweet smelling
Arbor vita [arbor vitae?] grows in such
[luxuriance?] the most beautiful part of the
river is the thousand islands picture to
thyself an immense expanse of water thickly
covered with immeasurable islands vieing
[vying?] with each other in beauty I was
much struck with the village of Brookville
[Brockville?] which is about eighty miles
from this for a length of way the rocks
had been [hanging?] almost perpendicular
thickly covered with trees shrubs we went
so close as to be able to catch hold of the
branches when all [torn] [one?] we came in
[----?] of this little village [torn]
close to the waters edge we came up a number
[torn?] rapids some of which have a terrific
appearance boats have to be drawn up them
with horses oxen ours took eight & sometimes
they had hard work the last of them is a mile
in length I stood a long time on the shore
looking at the wild majestic grangeur
[grandeur?] of the scenery the water for
a great breadth running with great intensity
over immense rocks which dashed the spray
into the air to a great height, at those
places we always got out to walk we were
twelve days & nine nights in the boat & the
captain & men very disagreeable sadly given
to drink & great cursers we were all
delighted to get here I was almost worn
out, I dont think I could have passed
another night in the boat, we stopped
two days at an hotel when we took the
house we are in at present a short way
out of Kingston at 8 dollars a month with
only a yard to it, houses get very high here
I think it is about as large as Lisburn but
covers more ground it is prettily
situated close to the water edge Long island
is nearly opposite Wolfsland [Wolfe Island?]
lies between this & is they are both to be
seen from this I took a jaunt into the country
some weeks ago, a few miles out

[page four across narrow]

of town I was much struck by the appearance
of the country in some places the woods are
close to the side of of the road we came to
a sudden turn where the rest of the road was
hid from our view & nothing to be seen but
an immense forest of full grown trees as far
as the eye could reach there are frequently
bears seen in the neighbourhood of this town
there are wolves at some distance "I have
given thee a long extract out of sisters
letters I believe nearly as much as I can
spare room for it makes one indeed shudder
to think of all they had to incountre
[encounter?] & thy aunts frame so weak &
debilitated by anxiety before she undertook
it I think if people knew all that was before
them they would not not so very anxious to go
to America she says it would be impossible
for her to describe her sensations on parting
[&?] [aunt?] & her two dear children in the
cabin of the
[entire sentence illegible]
gain & now sometimes when sitting by the fire
she closes her eyes & fancys [fancies?]
herself in Lisburn sitting with them but the
pleasing vision soon vanishes & the little
probability of its ever being realised soon
vanises [vanishes?] poor thing I beleive &
am sure she suffered greatly leaving all her
friends, she makes many allusions to dear
Ireland, she says it is quite a treat to see
a genteel person to speak to the friends are
very uncouth the [they?] have not a meeting
house but meet at a friends house three miles
from town his wife had been ill of a fever
sister asked him how she was, he said
she had been quite smart but that is she had
been better but she was not so well then
they have a very singular manner of expressing
themselves if in the market what the [they?]
have to sell they say nothing but a few
notions those notions consist

[Page five, accross broad]

of fowl butter, eggs, cheese & such things &
others if you ask them what they have to sell
nothing but trick & plunder one might think
they had stolen them thy aunt regretted
greatly not taking a good servant out with
them as for not having one their linen had
to lie unwashed until the [they?] reached
Kingston when a great deal of it was mildewed
& some if it rotten which will be a serious
loss then as they got a few kitchen utensils
Henretta [Henrietta?] did all she could
bringing in a person for the day is very
expensive 2:6 [2 shillings and sixpence?] a
day & do very little, they did without a
servant [until?] sister [was?] confined,
James was cook, she regrets now they did
not leave the little boy at school which
was what we wanted them to do Thomas soon
tired teaching them & their father has
taken them in hand, the weather was
intensly hot at first [Eliza?] says
Henrietta often laughed at her & said she
hoped she had got the cold out of her bones
at last, she now prefered the cold weather
the flies are so very annoying in the
warm, lighting on every part of you, the
table where they are eating will be black
with them & they must have the windows open
to admit all the air they can the frost
had just commenced when they wrote. It is
time for me now to begin to Henriettas
letter with an account of her travels to
the half years meeting of young street
twenty eight miles above York [Ottawa?]
"She says, I found it quite different
from the meetings at home it began on a
fourth day & lasts two days it is about
as large as the quarterly meetings at
home they have meetings for business
each day after the meeting for worship
William Foster was at it also another
public friend from Indianna [Indiana?]
called George Madden, the friends all
bring their children & dogs to meeting
with them & a little boy with apples
or cakes for them sometimes they are
very noisy I think their mothers cannot
get much good of their meeting with
them when the children with them began
to sing, & the dogs to fight, I could
scarcely hear what was said when a
friend was speaking, altogether I think
it was more like a nursery than a place
of worship, there was not the least
scheming in at the women never think of
sitting the meeting out in the seat they
take when they go in, but constantly moving
about & going in & out, the first day of
the meeting

[page six broad]

was very wet, & I was really amused to
see them tieing their handkerchiefs on their
bonnets to prevent the rain from spoiling
them & putting on their cloaks all this was
done in meeting, they dress very ugly & wear
a variety of very ill chosen colours & what
suprized [surprised?] me very much was to see
one of the publick [public?] friends daughters
with two [rows?] of a necklace which they think
quite a requisite part of dress, some of them
when they come to York [Ottawa?] [want?] to know
where the town is, for they cannot see it for
the houses. The friends house we lodged at they
were very agreeable people (they were Yankees)
& did all they could to make us comfortable they
said they knew our manners & theirs were quite
different but hoped we would put up with it, the
mistress of the house invited me to go see her
when she would pay me more attention & kisses
me when we parted with much affection Young St
is two hundred & 28 miles from this as my father
wished to see several places in order to be
better able to determine where to settle
we made a long excursion of it & travelled
upwards of 600 miles we were at the for [fore?]
famed falls of Niagara which is indeed well
worth seeing a person can have no idea of
its grandeur without beholding it, form to
thyself what it must be a breadth of water
half a mile broad falling 170 feet
perpendicular making a most tremendous noise,
to look at it from the brink the water is a
beautiful green appearance running down, we
went down a winding staircase of 115 steps to
the water edge here we could not see the fall
at all for the mist & only the great noise it
made, I was wet through with the spray, it is
altogether a most sublime sight & cannot pretend
to give thee a just idea of its grandeur, we
could see the mist quite plain ascending into
the air & caused by the water falling at 50 miles
distance through the lumineer a great concourse
of people from all parts of the world the
land lord told us he has fifty or sixty
strangers every day, there is an excellent
hotel & a fine view of the fall from the balcony
of the house all through the Niagara district
there are peaches growing in great abundance &
the apple trees were bending to the ground
they are so loaded we returned by the genesse
[Genesee?] country which is part of the frontier
states the country in parts is beautifully
romantick [romantic?] & finely diversified
with hill & dale every 10 miles we came to a
nice little town or vilage [village?]

[Page seven across broad]

The people were every where very civil & wished
we would settle in their neighbourhood they took
us for English people we travelled over a wooden
bridge a mile & three perch long in many places
we went through roads ten or twelve miles long
the road sometimes so narrow the branches of the
trees would touch our faces there are what they
call log roads, the trees cut down & laid across
we got bad jolting my bones ached for some time
after we travelled in a four wheeled pleasure or
jaunting waggon the only kind of vehicle that
would answer the roads in this country "She says
the largest steam boat in Canada is here which
is a thousand tons burden [burthen?] it goes up
Lake Ontario to York [Ottawa?] and Niagara the
swell in the Lake is often as great as the
western ocean The manner of laying out breakfast
and tea is quite different from home they have
eggs cheese plumb [plum?] [small?] peach &
[rare?] apple & [?] & [?] [&?] [once?] fried
fish & three or four kinds of cold meat The
Indians are queer looking people they are of
a copper colour & wear their blankets about
their shoulders & their long black hair down
their backs they are very fierce looking & very
fond of spirits to get which they sell all they
have" I think I have now given thee the brief
contents of [those?] two letters thy aunt says
she likes the country better than she expected
that she is grown quite fat & would scarcely be
known for the way worn traveller that landed
there a few months ago she was taken for a [Gent?]
[Gentleman's?] daughter the Cannadian [Canadian?]
is thriving finely Thomas tells her she is too
fond of her I must now give thee the contents of
thy uncles letter they have not yet been able to
settle themselves to their minds they find land
so much dearer than what it is represented here
but in the course of all his travels he did not
see any situation he preferred so much as Kingston
in some places the soil may be better but then
they are so far away from a market that the
disadvantages are great which has quite decided
him in favour of Kingston which there is a ready
soil & ready money for every thing you bring to
market which is a great advantage & a place that
is rising greatly it is a thought it will soon
be the seat a [of?] government my brother was
looking at a farm he thought could answer him
nicely a neat house in it [torn] asked 800 for
it which was quite beyond his means so he has
[torn] on taking an uncleared one which he thinks
he can get for about 25 [torn] prefers it to a
government grant as he says they are all so [torn]
back & the duty & expenses are

[Page eight across broad]

nearly equivalent to the purchasing of one I believe
the accounts that come over here are very much
exagerated [exaggerated?] & none have surprised us
more than William Crothers's Joshua passed his farm
he says he has 18 acres badly chosed [chosen?] & the
stream he represented as being such a fine one you
would scarcely know where it was Peggy told him the
two years they have had it they have been barely able
to raise as much off [of?] it as would support
their family & this year they would have to [buy?]
& [they?] are 28 miles from a market over a bad road
so I think there is little doubt of Kingston being
the most eligible situation
& though it is formidable
to take a farm
that requires such hard work
I hope in time they will be
remunerated for their exertions
now my dear
Maria I think I have given
thee all the information
their letters contain which
I hope may amuse thee I
fear thou will difficulty (sic)
making it out for I am indeed
tired writing that is my
fingers I must now give
thee a little home news
poor [Susy?] Mc Donnel died
at three o clock yesterday
morning it was only the
last week confined
to her bed weakness & difficulty
of breathing was her
complaint she made a [peaceful?]
happy end she is to be
interred tomorrow her
daughters will have a great loss
Lucia Richardson has been very
very poorly weakness was her
complaint they were rather
alarmed for her but she is better
Aunt Besty came down [last?]
week none of us have seen her
yet have you heard of Joseph
Harveys illness he was seized
about a fortnight since
with a throwing up of blood
the Dr thought he burst a
blood vessel he is not allowed
even to turn in the
bed & kept as low as possible
for fear of any return his
wife is greatly to be felt for
[S?] Christy still helps up I
suppose you heard her niece
[E?] Watson is with her she is
a fine looking girl but not
handsome Sally receives very
good accounts from [Dotty?] [her?]
[boy?] James continues better
they think thy friend M Davison
also better to [too?] she is
somedays but poorly the rest

John Wakefield is
in a very delicate
state of health his friend are rather alarmed for him
his complaint is weakness & loss of appetite I shall
be sorry for his wife though I
know her this family are all well except sister S
who has a little cold but she is better & was at
meeting to day mother sisters brothers also the
children join me in dear love
to my brother & sister Lydia & the boys & not
forgetting thyself believe me my dear Maria thy
[sincerely?] [affectionate?] niece E Phelps.


Poor C Beatty
is not so well
since the cold
weather [set?] [in?] James
Crawford has got a [sore?] time


of that [family?]
are well Anne
Haughton has
got a son &
finely I
the [---?] [is?]
paid of amount
[Be?] all
set at Christmas
when thou hast an
I wish thou
would send
this letter to read which
I think she would like


G [George?] [Darley?] was very poorly after
Marys marriage but he is better she is to
live with her father this winter she went
to the [country?] for a week