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Title: William Porter, [Illinois?] to his sister Mrs Brown, Ireland.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FilePorter, William/17
SenderPorter, William
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender ReligionPresbyterian
OriginChebanse, Illinois, N.Ireland
DestinationCo. Armagh? N.Ireland
RecipientMrs Brown
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceD 1152/3/23: Presented by Mr Charles Best, Mullaghglass, Bessbrook, Co Armagh.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9011025
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by C.R., 02:12:1993.
Word Count1020
TranscriptTo: Mrs Brown

From: Chebanse, [Illinois?] Oct 29 1871

Mrs Brown

Dear Sister
I now sit down to answer your kind
letter which I would have done before this but
I had just written to Thos [Thomas?] Ledlie and I knew
you would hear from him how we were all
here but since I wrote last there has more of
what I call misfortune happened to me but
perhaps it is for good after all for many
times what we think a great loss is for our
good undoubtedly you have heard of the
great fire of Chicago for who has not well
in that fire I lost 2000 dollars more &
with 2000 dollars of land and cost making
4000 or 800£ you will think that I am
now reduced pretty low it certainly would
break me but still I can live for I have
3000 left and the law leaves me 2000
clear after all if I am worth so much as a Homested
[Homestead?] I lost in Chicago 2 Houses on pearson
St [Street?] that you will see on the map I will send to Thos [Thomas?] with this letter and my daughters lost all
there [their?] concern on Van buren St [Street?] which is
also marked I have a house and lot yet in the
part that is safe with about 1200$ and that
is all I now in Chicago nor will I build
there any more I had no insurance I loose [lose?] 400 rent
well now I own 40 acres worth 50 dollars an acre where
I live a house and lot in Chebanse worth 800 & 2 dollars
(sic) lots in Chebanse worth 600 dollars with a house
that I bought at 800 yet so I will
have to manage with that now and if God
spares me it will be enough to keep us yet
so this is part of troubles here now I will
describe what else I can think of to begin
we are all in our usual Health here at present
viz here and in Chicago my daughters & there [their?]
Husbands is both gone to keeping house again
and the [they?] sent to me for a couple of teams
so Joseph went with a team of Horses &

one of the mules to work at clearing out the
debris to commence anew to build again but
it does leave me without help for Joseph was
at Home helping me Husking corn or what you
would call Harvesting so now I have no one for
it is impossible to get Help for all the Hands is
gone to work in Chicago at cleaning out and
building up again so I have just to do what
I can myself I can gather about 20 bushels a day after
Mending the things about the house and at that rate
I would be about 40 days but there will be plenty of
help by & by You were saying that Thomas was not
well but I hope that before this he is got quite
well again I wonder very much that Mother stands
it so long and her health being always so bad
there is not a letter that comes but I expect to hear
of her death she must be very frail indeed and
not easy to take care of my own health is none
of the best although I still get around and work some
I still have palpitation of the Heart especially at
night with sick headach [headache?] in the morning but
now it is so common that there is nothing thought
of it you were wishing me to sell out and go
home to die in Ireland that I will never do
for now I could not live in Ireland at all
nor would I if I could for here we are better in
every way you also want to know if my brother
and his family are all buried together they are
all side by side within a gun shot of where
Ann lives and within 1/2 mile of my House
She is now better off than when Joseph was alive
for she has 2000 dollars at interest and gets
12 per cent for some of it and has a good place
to live in with 1/2 an acre of a garden you also
wish to know about James Duffy and I cannot
tell you much about him for he left here a
year or so ago and went about 60 miles
farther south to work on the railroad as boss or
head of a gang of men but he is all right
and Heading every toss and will be rich in
wordly [worldly?] stuff one of these days You also wish
to know where Josephs daughter is She is living with her
Husband a few doors from where her Mother lives and
has a place of entertainment for those that come to
town also my daughter MA [Mary Ann?] She has no more family
nor do i think she will for She has been bad sometimes
quite ill with some disease in her womb she was here

lying for two weeks on her way to Chicago from where
she was all summer going there to consult a doctor
and now she is some better but I did not hear from
her since the great fire but that her and Sarah
was going to live there for the present we have had
great fires all over the County with great loss
of life the Season is so dry that everything is
like tinder I would send a paper but there is none
since the fire for the places were all burnt up
I will send this to Thomas Ledlie for I forgot your adress
[address?] I will now close Hoping this may find you all well
both in Mulaglass [Mullaglass?] & Dysart
I remain your affectionate Brother
William Porter

I will sent a map of
the part of Chicago that was
burnt 5 miles long an [and?] 1 mile
wide with 100 000 people
left Homeless more than Newry
armagh [Armagh?] dundalk [Dundalk?] and Banbridge
contain only think of it