Main content

Title: James A Smyth, Ontario, to Liza C Smyth, Castledamph
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/3(2)
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationschool teacher
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
RecipientSmyth, Eliza C.
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, Castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth.
Doc. No.0604129
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
Word Count1347
Transcript[Front of Envelope]

Miss Liza C Smyth
Co, Tyrone

FE 12



[Back of envelope]

FEB 12

10 0
FE 23

[FE 12?]

[Written sideways across envelope]
Putting in
April 23rd
finished Bray
Head field

[Page 1]

Essex Ontario

Dear Sister,
I suppose you are wondering
why I have been so long in writing. It
seems since I got old [sic] country visit over
I have not done much writing. In fact
I have not done much of anything. I
am not as contented as I used to be.
I am really sorry to hear of the accident
which has happened to John. I had a
letter, from him Saturday and he
informs me he will have scars for life.
That’s the worst part of it though if
the Doctors had been careful and
used a very fine needle and fine [gut?]
there should not have been much of a
scar. That young girl that I attended
at the operation is all right again.
Operations are very common here, I was out
with Dr Brien last Sunday night and
he lanced a mans hand, a [felon?] was the

[Page 2]
In reference to accidents one gets accustomed
to them in this country. About a month
ago there [sic] 40 killed on a railroad accident
at Sarnia not far from here, It was at the
Xmas holidays and some families had
three and four killed. Another railroad
two weeks ago killed about 30 and then
right here in Essex there has been about
eight the past year. The enclosed clipping
will give you an account of the last one on
the 27 January. In fact during the Boer war
there were killed and wounded over 22000
men and during that time the United
States railroads following peaceful pursuits
killed over 23000 people. So if we as a
family have been exceptionally fortunate
in reference to serious accidents and
deaths we should remember that there
are hundred [sic] and thousands of others
who had to bear such things I just
refer to this as mother may have taken such
an accident more than in the ordinary
way. Men who follow mechanical etc pursuits
must always expect such things and when they
do come we should, be prepared to bear them
with fortitude,

[Page 3]
It may seem rather strange but the
night before I got the letter informing
me of his accident. I was quarrelling
with John all night in dreams, I was
trying to prevent him from going on
the navy, The affair bothered me quite
a bit and I said something was going
to happen at home, At dinner time I got
the letter, In case of a serious accident
or worse like that you should send out
a cablegram, are you aware that we could
have the news in half an hour or so after
it happened? I am really sorry that he
will be so badly scared [scarred?].
Now in reference to his going on the navy
I intended to write about that and then I
changed my mind, Is he aware the class
of men with whom he would have to
associate? Is he also aware or does he know
how many people ever [marry?] any money
by joining the army or navy except those
with a good education who got up to up[sic]
to be officers? Would he have to be always
at sea? If so he better take a 6 day
trip across here and back again and

[Page 4]
that may settle him, He can do that by
working his passage, I would go into
no business where I had to work for
a salary unless there were great chances
of promotion, If he had the education
to go in for a mechanical [or?] electrical
mining or civil engineering, then if
he spent ten years before he got through
there would be money in it at the end,
If he has got the head for study
thats what I would do, I had nobody
to advise me or I never would have
been in the business I am in to-day,
I could had any of the others for the
same outlay, and just remember this
you folks who are afraid to spend money
on your children when there [they are?]
young, [that?] no position is worth
having unless it has cost time and
money to get it,
However the great thing in this country
today is business There [sic] lots of money
in it.
I went down to Woodslee last night and it
snowed all night so I had to walk back again
today. I just gothhere at 7. o.clock. I did not
go to

[Page 5]
Church, Mary & Mrs Wigle went and are just
come back again,
Mary is wearing her white silk waist
tonight and I wish she would wear something
like it all the time, Mary is not particular
enough [in?] her dress. She should remember that
she in [sic] one of as stylish places as in
We had another dance in the town Hall
Friday night. Mary was at the last one, What
did she think of it? We shall have another one two
weeks from Friday night, There was quite a lot of
strange ladies in [Friday?] night. I wish you girls
were as stylish, but you can [sic] expect it and [slave?]
around wash tubs pigs etc as you do,
I am sure Mary got her eyes opened that night I
took her out, And I have seen many parties here twice as
stylish as that, It was to see this side of life I
brought her out but I have been quite a long while
in getting her prepared for it, Of course one
has to have a little mo
[Page 6
I suppose I might give you a little idea of my
finances, I have still that $100 $20 to pay uncle
yet, otherwise I am square with the world and I
may say I never know what it is to be without money.
I get paid once a month, sometimes £10, sometimes £11,
I bought a new suit last Xmas £5, a black one something
like that one I was wearing when home, Now I am boarding
at the hotel and rooming here. I pay 17 shillings per
week, for both, Mary pays £0.10,6 per week, and 3
shillings for music,. I pay 4 shilling [sic] per night
for these balls, then concerts. which are usually
3 shillings for [us?] [and?], rent of horse and
sleigh. a few dollars now and again take the most
of it. I just give Mary $20 per month,. If I could
get ahead $100 I would be square with the world,
on the account of us two my expenses are just about
as much as my income
I have asked for an increase of salary of $100,
but I may not get [sic]

[Page 7]
This position that I have now used to pay $700, at my
rate I have hard work now, Quite a heavy class for
Entrance work It keeps one studying half the night some
times, This town is such a funny place as far as religion
is concerned, Our church is rather weak at the present time
and I think if I were a real good Methodist I would have
no trouble in getting my $100 increase. If they do not
give it and if I had about $200 in cash. I would hand
them my resignation and let them try and get some other
person for that money. It is too much work and worry for
the money. Just think of [it?] five teachers under me
and 300 pupils to look after for the paltry sum

[Page 10]
of one hundred and [ten?] pounds, I have been offered
last week £15 per month and expenses out and back to go
to New zeland [New Zealand?], as a Traveller but I am
not sure whether I could do the business or not
But that shows you what money is in business, one
young fellow in town (Draper,)was offered $1200 £250
per year and? £5 per week expenses a short time ago,
Really I often think if I had the nerve to [quit?]
teaching I could make a good [deal?] more. This will
do for tonight
Yours truly
James A Smyth

Transcribed by Mohamed Souissy