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Title: Robert Shaw, Illinois, to James Smith, Ballynafoy, Co Down
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileShaw, Robert/33
SenderShaw, Robert
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationjust arrived in the States,
Sender Religionunknown
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientSmith, James
Recipient Gendermale
SourceCopied by Permission of Heron & Dobson, Solicitors, Banbridge, Co. Down. #TYPE EMG Robert Shaw, Jacksonville, Illinois, U.S.A., to James Smith, Ballynafoy, [Co. Down]. 1874.
ArchivePublic Record Office Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.8809077
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
Log08:09:1988 GC created 14:12:1988 PG input 10:01:19
Word Count2011
TranscriptWednesday 15th Oct 1873

I left Lisnalurvy at 9 am. this morning for Newry arrived in [?] at 1.30 pm. took my passage at 4.30 by the S.S [Dewey?] of Newry for Liverpool she
steamed out of Albert Basin at ten minutes past five pm. six pm. entered
locks 6.30 left locks 7 pm. passed Warrenpoint 8.30 [?] & passed
Carlingford bar light house.

Thursday 16th

The night was fine and calm. Some of the crew very [drunk?] and some of
the passengers [?] [?] continual rowing all night and one fine man got
his [nose?] knocked off 6.30 am. formby lightship & entered Clarence Dock
Liverpoll police came on board to [care?] for the drunken fighters while I
left for my friends in a cab thinking I had been long enough with such
people from this day until the 23 I was visiting my friends and old
shipmates & [c & C?] which would not suit to pen down here nor yet would
it be interesting to the reader.

Thursday 23rd Oct, 1873

Left in a cab for the Prince's landing stage went out on Inman steamer
tender to the inman steamship city of chester carrying her Majesty's
mails lying in the river Mersey got on board at 8 am. as passenger for
New York United States of America passed the [doctor?] and Custom House
officer about eight hundred steerage passengers and one hundred & 40 cabin
on board and weighty loaded with freight sailed from Liverpool at 12.30 pm.
for Queenstown, Ireland light Westerly [?].

Friday 24th

Slept well last night arrived in Queenstown harbour at 8 am. at the
entrance to the harbour in the convict prisons it is a [safe?] harbour for
the largest ships the surrounding hills and mountains covered with trees &
[shrubbery?] private mansions lend to giving it a most beautiful appearance
a short distance up the river is the city of Cork. A fine city composed of
fine strong buildings. [?] Inman landed here having come from Liverpool took on board fresh water and provisions [?] two hundred steerage passengers and forty cabin came on board here. Four pm. received mails & latest dispatches [c&c?] lifted anchor and proceeded on the way for New York amid [hearty?] cheers at 4.10 pm. All well. Passengers amused themselves by parading along the deck to music until bedtime. [10pm?] [arrived?].

Saturday 25th

Last night was very strong in consequence as great number of the passengers
were seasick one woman being so sick lay on her infant child and
smothered it was buried at sea at noon. 5 pm. heavy rain came on and the
storm abated [?] [?].

Sunday 26th

Calm & clear divine service held in the saloon at 10.30 am. the captain
J. Kennedy read the church service passengers singing hyms & psalms other
dancing & singing songs

Monday 27th Oct 1873

Last night was very rough and continued all day the engines were stopped
four hours. Last night [very?] hot some of the women got afraid and began
to shout last night. Oh my God did you bring me and my poor children
here to be lost. Oh Pat you [villian?] did you bring me here to be lost
will you not come and speak to the children [at?] [self?] at the same time
Pat was trying to [turn?] his [inside?] out [?] to stand on his feet
the woman could be heard saying the priests blessing & God's blessing
will be with us. High cross seas continued all day 6 pm. got calm
10 pm retired to bed.

Tuesday 28th Oct 1873

Today fair and clear nor westerly swell. Passengers much better today one
child born last night sighted three sailing ships bound east passengers
danced and sung songs to night retired to bed at 11pm.

Wednesday 29 Oct 1873

A day fair and clear and calm sighted three sailing ships bound east.
Some dancing and singing and other playing cards while others were
praying and singing hymns. All seems to be quite happy. 9.pm retired.

Thursday 30th October 1873

Calm and [?] 11 am. clear sou westerly winds [?] pm. nor westerly winds.
[sighted?] [five?] sailing ships all bound east 4 pm. [?] all went on very
nicely today. Passengers all well. 9 pm retired.

Friday 31st Oct 1873

I could not sleep last night it was so warm and the noise kept up singing
and dancing [3 am?] westerly winds and [?] 8 am. clear and light breezy
11 am sou westerly winds and [showers?]. Passengers enjoying themselves
best [they?] can.

Saturday 1st November 1873

Got no sleep last night being to warm and am: strong westerly winds 8 am
clear and sunshine two pm [?] pilot from boat no 1 Passengers all seemes
glad to know they were as near the land of the [free?] and the home of the
[brave?]. 3 pm. strong westerly winds 11.45 pm signaled company steamer
city of Montreal and white star steamer and two French boats all bound

Sunday 2nd November

Few passengers went to bed last night arrived at Sandy Nook at 6 pm. All
well. Quarantine 7 am. landed mails passed the govenement doctor and
steamed up the river to [opposite?] pier [45?] north river 10 am. landed
cabin passengers & baggage steerage passengers [not?] get off until
tomorrow the passage from land to land viz from Queenstown Ireland to [Sandy Hook?] New York was made in seven days and fourteen hours. Engines being [stopped?] [four?] hours would bring the passage seven days & [ten?] hours.

Monday 3rd November 1873

Passengers did not sleep much last night. Docked at 8 am Passengers got on board the tender at 11 am got into castle garden at 12 noon went through the [regulation?] [forms?] and my baggage in the railroad waggon and proceeded to the rail road cars in West St., left New York at 7.20 pm. and proceeded on for Indianopolis Indiana no passenger can go astray as the emigration officers are very attentive in Castle Garden as to where you are going and every information is free. However you had better keep your eyes open.

Tuesday 4th November 1873

Last night was very cold & hard frost stopped at several stations during
the night stopped at [Utica?] at 11 am. for 20 minutes for refreshments.
The country looks very pretty along. Perhaps I had better state here
that I am travelling by the New York central and Hudson river rail road
we arrived at Buffalo at 5 pm. we passed over the Niagara falls [here?]
Here the [?] gets a feast of scenery to hear the water [?] rush in head
long down the [precipice?] Buffalo is a fine rail road depot train after
train from there with [pork?] [yarn?] [cotton?] & cc for New York [for
shipment across the nighty deep to Europe. Changed cars here at Buffalo
at 5 pm. we proceeded for Cleveland.

Wednesday 5th November

Got a little sleep last night arrived at [Cleavland?] at 6 am. went to the
refreshment rooms had breakfast at [table?] come in three large steamers
ply on the lake the water seems to be as restless as the sea large waves
coming splashing up against the quays. It is very pretty to look at left
cleveland at 8.30 am. the country from still appear to be a great many trees to be cut away stopped at a great many stations 7.40 [pm?] arrived in the city of Indianopilis engaged an express waggon and got my bunk and
proceeded to Aunts residence and arrived there at 8.15 pm. where I was
well received quite tired after my long journey by sea and land but I
must say it was a very plesant journey throughout the trains in America
they are called rail road cars there. They are much superior to the
trains in Irealnd as far as the comfort of the passengers are concerned
the doors are in the end of the cars and a passenger can walk from the
engine to the guards van when the train is going [their?] is only 1st class
[their?] is a smoking car where the gentlemen from the other cars go to
smoke you can get a ticket- [by?] it something cheaper theit is sleeping
cars and parlour cars & by paying something extra you can go by them. The
seats are reversible you can turn two seats together and sit or sleep if
you like they are all [evenly?] cushioned and a stove in each car and
plenty of cold water and a water closet in each car you can buy fruit
crackers Books & cigars in the cars and a bible two [too?] in each which
you can read if you feel so inclined I need not say any more at present
so much for arough sketch of my travels from Erins Green Isle to the
Land of the free and the home of the brave.
I stoped in Indianapolis with Aunt Sarah from Wednesday 5th November
until Friday 12th December and during that time I had plenty of fun [ ? ]all round the City, seen the house, I was born it is a nice little frame
wooden house there are twelve [Presbyterrian?] churches in the city and any
amount of other churches & three roman catholic chapels their is no [psalm?]singing in the Presbyterrian churches [?] u.p. church psalms are sung in and that is all the neither rise singing nor praying the sit from the go in until the rise to leave the church their is room for improvement I should think and I might state their is a big [organ?] burning away [ ? ]to the Presbyterrian

Friday 12th December

I left Indianapolis this evening at 8 pm. by the Indianapolis & Bloomington
rail road, arrived at Danville junction at midnight changed cars and
proceeded arrived at Springfield at [?].30 am. arrived at [ ? ] at
[?] a [?] walked up to the deaf and dumb institution went to the engine
house and enquired for Wm. Smith the engineer their on duty took me into
the institution and introduced me to the baker & said he would go and tell
Wm. to get out of bed the baker introduced me to the cook & the cook
introduced me to my breakfast the best friend I had met that morning
during the time I was at my breakfast Wm. came in and the knew one at
once I would hardly have known him if I had met him on the street he
showed me around a little and had to go to work fiting steam pipes he
has other engineers under him he is a chief engineer their has been a big
addition built to it this summer. Uncle Marshall came in and we had
dinner with Wm. in the institution left in the evening & came out here to
Aunt Eliza in the country Wm. & his cousin John MacCallin were out
here all day on Sunday and we had a very plesant day of it I was out with
uncle John yesterday in a fifty acre field shucking corn the fields are
long here some fields two and three hundred acres. It has been warm
here since I came at least the say it is. But it is hard frost and snow I
have endured colder weather at home, the say harvest season [had?] long time
I have got no situation as yet:-
Every thing is very dull here in the states just now owing to the money
panic but I am informed things will open up in spring. I hope the will
however I am getting used to the country when I am doing nothing I am going
up to Springfield about Christmas to see Mrs Dowrie, the are all well
and very proud of the dress you sent them for baby please read this letter
to uncle Alex.r Wm. is in good health at present Aunt Eliza & Uncle John
send their kind love to you all Aunt [ ? ] it is time you were married & not fool any longer about it. Write to me when you ahve time you have plenty of time at night I will finish writing I have wrote you a long enough letter such as it is. You may ever look all [?] xxxoooxo