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Title: J A Smyth, Ontario, to John J Smyth, Co Tyrone.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/11
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationschool teacher
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
RecipientSmyth, John J. and wife
Recipient Gendermale-female
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge.
Doc. No.309008
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 03:09:03.
Word Count1320
TranscriptEnvelope addressed to: -
Mr John Jas Smyth
Co Tyrone

Postmarked on Front: -
ESSEX AP [April?] 5 ONT. [Ontario?]

Postmarked on Back: -
- HAMILTON AP [April?] 5 97
- [ESSEX?] AP [April?] 5 97

Written in ink on back of envelope:
"arrived April 16th 1897"

April 4th 1897

Dear parents
I now take the
pleasure in answering your letters
. I have not sent you a letter
for quite a while - but as you said
I need not write so often I am
not very uneasy. I received your
money order this week all right [alright?]
so I will have a gingle in my
pocket for another while.
I also received that daffodil
& shamrock ill well. I must
thank you for your trouble.
In looking over the letter I got from
you people since I last wrote I
[meet?] one from John [just?] - so I
will give him the first of my
knowledge.- Well John I notice
a marked improvement in your
writing. First you have a good
command of your vocabulary
I see many high sounding words which
only for my four year experience at
school I could hardly know the
meaning. I see you mention Daniel
I suppose you mean Daniel the prophet.
- Now don t take me with Biblical
History because I am almost
sick of History of any kind. I
got a very bad mark Friday on
an examination in that subject
secondly?] you have a very good
knowledge of late of [Rhetner?] I see
you know something about balanced
sentence (sic) & for figure of speech
you would almost excell [excel?] Goldsmith
You say ploughing will be retarded
If I had not knew [known?] latin very well
I would hardly knew (sic) this word - but -
it is good one (sic) for the subject, [latin?]
[--?] back [latin?] prepositions & [turdo?]
[arc?] [uri?] [autum?] latin verbs of 1st cong.
[re?]= back tends to check [ir?][hinder?],
correct 1/2 good boy!" I think this
is all write [alright?] again.

To Mary Smyth
I am glad to know that you have
been successful in your examination,
I only wish that I would have the
same result or good fortune. You say
John has been reading a book in Irish wit
& humour, I was wondering where he got
all his high flowing words. It is a good
thing to read books you alway (sic) profit
thereby in some way. I would advise
you go to school that is if you take up
some important subject the Higher studies
for the development of the mind. I
think they should be able to spare you
the time. You should study all
subjects mentioned in Column 1 of
that Regulation of examination
sent me. You should try & pass the
examination for entrance to training school
to Eliza. I got those C Reports
& all papers that have been sent to
me. I am sorry that you have
to mention the death of Hamilton I am
sure [drink?] brought that on.
As far as orangism [orangeism?] & the shamrock
is concerned it is an emblem of our Green Island
It is if the orangeman break the rule no worse
than wearing a shamrock we have
good of faithful men in the institution,
& all deserve the name of orangemen.
Anyhow it is just for the fun of it
that I wear it all the pupils nearly
wore green ribbons& green flowers
in that day
I am sorry to hear that you have
so very bad weather there now
I suppose the spring work will
Be hindered very much in that account.
According to your account & that [torn]
paper making roads is not a [pen?]
paying business just now. If all
the people would refuse to make the
roads. Authority would be glad to
give them their money for their work
if it is done reasonable at all.
How can they expect roads to made
[like?] [city?] sidewalks. If they were
out here they would what (sic) bad
roads are so bad that you can't
walk on them in wet weather.

April 4th 1897.

It's not very long since I sent
Jas [James?] Houston a good long letter
I suppose he showed it to you people,
I am glad to know that Uncle James
is [using?] the mountain I hope
he will make double the profits
for his trouble. He will be able
to keep more stock himself
& he will have no trouble herding
We had our last literary meetings
in connection with the school on
Friday evening There will be no
more now until after the summer
holidays & so it may be the last for
me. We had quite a good programme
a Mr. Tully & myself had a
Debate on " Resolved that capital
punishment should not be abolished
"He took the affirmative line & I took
the Negative so it was for doing
away with hanging. It was my
first time to speak before the public
and I was somewhat nervous
His chief points in support was
to protect society. Hanging most
severe example and the old law
down the ages [hung?]
My point was taking away
life without power. He referred
to [Masons?] law but against that
said we were living under Christian
[dispensation?] & if was referred to it for to
justify cap [capital?] punishment it was
authoritative for other offences
which we would not dream of [applying?]
it to (2) curtailing sinners time
for repentance (3) we should not
be deprived of life by God alone
(4) Imprisonment for life was more
severe than Hanging & also criminal
(sic) was kept as a slave to repair injury
done society (5) By hanging I
said only encouraged crime because
we did not show that we kept life
sacred by hanging the criminal
(6) Back in history they hanged for
hundred of (sic) offences & reading
was one of these & more people can read
to them then & many other points
which are too numerous to mention
Each one was given a limited time
& was not quite through when time was
called Two of the teachers were appointed
judge along with another [Min?] of Public
school and I was declared the winner
The foreman of Judge said I gained
most point (sic) & said I dwelt on a
formation of the criminal, I spoke
quite a lot In my first time
The weather is very nice here now
& [I?] [think?] [spring?] is [set?] in
the [walks?] are drying up again
Other side

I was out of money before I got
this last but it did not make make much
differences as they dont say anything if I
don't pay board weekly I said in
my last I had enough to pay almost
up to that time - but my shoes
wore out & I was almost out of a
pair so I had bought a good pair to
do me both Sundays & every day
& they cost me $ 3.50 & that was nearly
for week board (sic) & then a [necktie?] almost
made out [8/4?]

I was down at lnch yesterday they
are all well Inch has [hired?]
same man as you he went to old
(sic) country I will send you [two?] news
paper [chs?] forgot to send one
last week you will see some exam
(sic) in some of them Next weeks may
have an account of debate

[From?] Jas [James?] a [Alexander?] Smyth

P.S. I had a letter from Miss Ballantine
of United States Connecticut
she talks about going to the old country
next year

The£5=$24.35 cents so that in
Paying up what I owed for board
I have enough to do me for 1 month
yet I will send you next letter an
account of all items I have bought
since Jan 1st so that you will know
what I spend money for I have not
space in this one Keep an account
of all you send me. I think I will
write no more this time I have hurried
over this letter but try to make it
all out if possible not very good
J.A. [James Alexander?] Smyth

Transcribed by Jim Buchanan

Verified by Mohamed Souissy

Validated by Lorraine Tennant