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Title: J A Smyth, Ontario, J J Smyth, Castledamph.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/14(2)
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.0410074
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 26:10:2004.
Word Count1256
TranscriptEssex. Ont [Ontario?]
Mar, 4 1900

Dear Parents,
I suppose you are all
waiting for letters from me as I have
neglected writing for several weeks.
I wrote you last week Just as I was
going up to the city. I came back
again on Sunday noon.
Since then we have heard good news
from the war. Kimberly relieved and
also Lady smith. I expect that
Tommy Hay was in the besieged town
as his regiment is reported as
being there during the siege.
On report of Kimberly relieved, the
town bells rang, factory whistles
were blown, and all the town was
decorated with flags.
In the afternoon the schools were
closed and we had a half holiday.
The High School students had
a gay old time parading the
town. There are a good number
of Canadians killed, see yesterdays
Globe for pictures of them, I send
it to you.
I tell you everybody rejoiced, also
when Ladysmith was relieved there
was a great noise with bells
whistles etc.
We have one of the largest
snow storms that has been for
about 15 years. On wednsday
[Wednesday?] the trains were unable to
move along the road and it has began
[begun?] to snow this morning again
so that all traffic will soon be
suspended, unless it begins to thaw.
The snow is very deep and it is
hard getting in and out.
I hired a hose [horse?] and cutter
and had a sleigh ride yesterday
My school is getting along fairly
well. I had the inspector visit
me one day last week. He found
it very unsatisfactory not of course
in regard to my teaching but
he found much fault with the
previous teacher, and he and
the trustees do not agree very well,
on the manner of running of
the school. Trusties want two
exams per year. He says one
is enough and as a result of
two exams there are pupils
promoted who are not fit and
this results in a class of pupils
who are weak in the different
subjects. However I shall pull
them along as best I can, but
I am afraid they will not make a
[again?] July examination.
There is considerable trouble in
the manner of discipline. Many
are inclined to be talkative and
I put the strap to a few on Friday
for speaking. I don't know
whether I am going to be cross but
I do some strapping.
I know one thing teaching is
not much of a snap, it is hard
to control oneself sometimes.
I think I mentioned in my
last letter that I did not wish
any more money as I think
my salary will keep me now,
I got £9 from you since Jan,
and £6 for month of Jan, as salary
and that is all gone. I also
got a check [cheque?] last night for Feb.
salary £6 so that I have enough
money to keep me going.
It takes a lot of money to keep
one going somehow. I bought
considerable clothes and I had
some debts to pay from last year.
It cost me $3 per. week for
board and washing and it
also cost something to keep
up in style.
I told last week about the party
I attended, well on Monday morn [morning?],
I got another invitation by Mrs
Laing and Mrs [Wisiner?] This
one was all dancing and there
were quite a few here from Windsor
and other place (sic). Dr Dewar and
Crown Attorneys Clakes [Clarkes?] wife
and sister from Windsor and several others
It was a swell affair, and
everybody was not invited either.
The music was furnished by
Ziekel orchestra of Detroit and
Ruthven Windsor one of best
violin play (sic) in this part of the
country. The music was something
grand. I suppose it would cost
about £7 or £8 for the night. As
this was one of the nights of the
snow, trains were late and it
was about nine o clock when the
musicians arrived.
The invitations said 8 oclock I
was there about half. past. eight.
and as you entered a little boy
stood at (sic) door and directed
to the dressing rooms up stairs. The
stairs divided about half way on
first floor and ladies took the
right and Gents the left.
Then as you came out of dressing
room a little boy stood at top
of stairs and gave each gentleman
a copy of programme.
and a little girl did the same on
ladies side. As this was the
first time for me to be at such
a swell affair I hardly knew what
to do with these cards. But I soon
took the hint and therefore went
along as though I had been used
to them all my life. Some people
think because our people are pretty
well off in the old country that
they have always been used to these
stylish gatherings but they [there?] are
none of them around Castledamph.
Well when you went down stairs
you met the host and hostess and
then you had to take your programme
which was tied by a little string
to upper buttonhole of coat and had
a little pencil hanging to it and
visit the ladies and secure each
lady for whatever dance you
wished her for during the night
If she wished to dance with you
for no 3. say and was not engaged
for that one you put her name
on your own card at that number
and put your name on her card.
and so on around until you
had filled all the card or at
least all that you wished to
dance. Of course some ladies
would not have very many on
their cards. I think I'll send
you my card pencil and all.
Supper was served after no 14
There were about 100 present and
a good many did not come because
it was lent ie Eng. [English?]
church people. All girls were in
full dress and a good many men were.
I danced nearly all but I am
not very good on these. Mrs Dr
Brien gave me a few lessons on the
waltz and twostep also her sister
Miss Rutherford so that I was able
to do a little at these dances.
The dances in the old country
ie around home are out of date
I learned quite a lot by going
to the one on Friday night but one has
to pretend they knew it all before.
I was down at Woodslee yesterday
morning. only stayed about 15 min
[minutes?] as I had to get the train
They are all well.
I suppose they would not
dance at all but I don't think
it is any harm. One must
have some fun. Of course
it always involves some expense
in getting ready. I think all the
parties are nearly over for this
winter. The bachelors of the
town . ie those young men who have
been invited to the other parties are
thinking about getting up a ball
in return for all those who have
asked them out. The great trouble
is that there is no place in town
where they could hold it. If they
get up one I expect to be in it
and of course bear my share of
the expense
I think I have written enough
to make up for my long neglect.
So good bye for present
N.B. I was sorry to hear of Uncle
Chas [Charles?] loss hope he got some
JA [James Alexander?] Smyth