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Title: James A Smyth, Ontario to Liza Smyth, Castledamph
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/10(2)A
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.605022
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
Word Count1365
Transcript[Front of Envelope]

Miss Lizzie C. Smyth
Co. Tyrone

FE 5

[Written in pencil on left side]
Izzie C

[Back of envelope]

FEB 17


FE 15

[Written at top]
Arived [arrived?] Thursday
27 1902

[Written at left side]
fabuary [February?]
27 - 1902

[Written at right side]
Arived [Arrived?] Thursday
27 fabuary [February?]

[Page 1]

Essex Ontario
February 12 1902

My dear sister
Probably you are
of the same opinion as you
mentioned in my letter, namely
that I have forgotten to write you.
I am too careless in my letter
[sic] lately. Altogether too much
so. The cause is partly this, that
I take my meals at one house and
room at another, so when I go to
my room at night it is usually
cold, so I get to bed as fast as
possible. Hence I usually postpone.
Now today I brought my notepaper
to school so I am jotting this
down at dinner time.

[Page 2]
This is Valentine [sic] day and
the youngsters always take great
interest in it. They always get
the privilege of having what they
call Valentine box.
One of the boys brought a box to
school in the morning about 2ft
by 1 foot. with an opening at the
top. They put the Valentines in an
opening at the top, just like
posting a letter. At four o'clock
I shall open it and distribute
them to those whose names they
(The bell is now ringing so I
must quit for a while.)
I usually come in for a fair
share of the letters, some are
comical & some otherwise.

[Page 3]
4 PM. Just got through giving
out valentines. Got a few for
myself. Shall send some of those
that are suitable enclosed in
paper, so that you can have a
laugh. The young ones can send
a jokey valentine all right [alright?].
Mary was up here last Saturday,
went back again at night. I am going
down tonightm Mrs. McEnteer, a
lady whom I have know [known?]
in Woodslee since I came here,
was buried today. It is quite
sad as we had some fun three weeks
ago tonight and now buried. I [see?]
you have had quite a few parties

[Page 4]
Well I usually attend one and two
every week. I was at one on Monday
night, dancing and one last night
though no dancing, as they are
Methodists. The Methodists are
somewhat narrow minded in that
regard, though they are no better
than anyone else. I am sorry Mary
has not been able to see these
parties for then she could give
you ideas at home how to entertain.
I wrote Chas [Charles?] McCullagh
last week, and as our Bachelor Ball
was over then & gave him an account
of it. It was a very elaborate affair.
I had a letter from Lizzie last week.
She write a splendid letter
Writer. [sic]

[Page 5]
Well I began this letter yesterday
so I must finish today. I am now down
at Uncles now. Mary is sitting on the
chair here studying a physiology book.
As Mary is going to school it won't
do her any harm no matter what she goes
at. I don't know what she intends to do
or how long she intends to stay; but a
while in this country does not hurt
Mary is wearing that [drap?]-colored
dress today. I think she looks better
in it than in any of the others. That
dress she got made leaving home is a
poor looking affair.
It is quite an accomplishment

[Page 6]
to know what to wear and what to buy
so to make the best effect.
Talking about money, I must
keep this out of my mind because I
am worth very little and more than
that if I continued teaching I never
would. Of course in four or five years
I might have £200, but that’s not
counted money here. You always must
remember in what country you are and
the value of money.
I know men [sic] today, right in
Woodslee, who when I came here ten years
ago, were worth about £100 now he [sic]
is worth £3,400: So some men make money.
Now then this will give you an idea what
value I put on a good education. If I had kept
on working I would had at least £30 per
year. So that

[Page 7]
would left me in my ten years £300 and
got about $120 or there abouts from home
so that £420 plus £60 for two oceans trips
That may make you draw your breath, in
fact it may take William’s altogether. Now
at my present rate I could save that in
about 10 years, and then I don’t have to
associate with the same class of people.
I used to wonder in Essex when I look at
the company I’m in there to what I used
to be. I put quite a value on that, also
on seeing the world.
Now Mary is taking music lessons. This
is for her benefit when she goes home. Its
time the old country people were getting
out of their ideas, along lines of

[Page 8]
music especially in the church.
Its just this there is no pleasure in a
house where there is no music. I envy the
people here who have a piano and such
like. Sit down and play and have a good
time. Now as the violin is the usual
instrument there why don’t they learn to
play it. Why don’t they secure a good
teacher and learn it correctly by note.
Now Willie John should be at that now.
There no use in playing like I do.
I never touch it out here I can’t. I
used to wonder why people didn’t think
I could play, but I can see it now. Oh
I was green.
Mary aint the nineteenth part

[Page 9
as bad as I was.
Now you might as well say you could
argue against Joe Chamberlain in
connection with the S. [South?] African
war as to say you know anything about
My letters sometimes might lead you
to think everything was just so out
here. No that’s not so. The old country
is the place to learn these things.
And when you get the old country
stamp on you you can go anywhere.
This country people go there to finish
Mary is just practising [practicing?]
her music lesson. I expect we’ll have a
good time next time we are home which

[Page 10]
may not be long. When I get the money I
shall place a piano in there and it will
just be like the churning machine, you
will never afterwards be without it.
Aunt is just now preparing the table
for dinner so I am going to close up
I did not have any breakfast yet. Very
often I go without a few meals as I am
somewhat troubled with indigestion I think
its due to not enough exercise. This country
is no good for excercise. Just think of the
exercise I could have there shooting etc. on
Saturdays I often wish I had a good bowl of
porridge, like they have at home. No milk
either to drink.
Yours sincerely

James A. Smyth

[Page 11]
Well I was through before dinner but I’m
now going to add a little more.
Uncle is just gone out to the woods to
saw wood. Cold, cold bleak day. He has a
few young fellows with him. They used to
go to school with me but I think they never
got above second or third book. I bet you
they envy me. But I don’t envy them. The
farmers home have a nice time, can go for
a days shooting etc. and no body can speak.
Also, market days. I’m afraid they would
not like it out here. I know if I had to
go out and do what I did ten years ago,
the country would not hold me very long.

[Page 12]
In regard to sending Mary money, I would
not bother unless I had lots of it.
In my next letter I may give you an account
of my financial standing.
I have not that letter ready for you on
I think I shall write to Bella today, I
suppose she wonders why I did not write to
her before this. I shall begin [acco?] [gave?]
her and David a long letter. When I did not
have a good present to send I was lazy to
write very newsy letter Eh?
Ja[James Alexander?] Smyth