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Title: J. A. Smyth, Ontario, to Liza Smyth, Co Tyrone
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/31(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, Castledamph, Plumbridge.
Doc. No.309004
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 02:09:03.
Word Count1449
TranscriptEnvelope Addressed to:-
Miss [Liza?] [Smyth?]
Co Tyrone

Postmark torn off on Front of Envelope:-

Postmarked on Back of Envelope:-

Essex, Ontario;
May 24, 1904,

Dear Sister
Your letter of April 27th to hand
last week. I do not wonder at you
thinking that it is a long time
since I wrote. I think it was some
time before Easter. Well I keep
putting it off from day to day.
I intended to have written on Saturday
but some thing prevented me. One
thing that makes me delay my
writing is the fact that since I
have been boarding in one house and
rooming in another I am not in
my room much. For instance
I leave my room to go for breakfast
about 8 oclock, when I get
my breakfast I go to School, then
after four I hardly ever come
near my room again until ten eleven or
maybe twelve at night. Then I ll say
"I will write tomorrow" and so on,
Now to-day, being a holiday I
just made up my mind I would
write before going out. So it is now
8 oclock A.M. while I am [spinning?]
of this work, I ll finish before
anything takes place to amuse me,
In the first place there is no celebration
in town this year, Generally there has been
one here every year since I came, We are
going to have some tennis games in
the afternoon. So that s about all
that is transpiring here to-day. I had
a letter from Mary on Saturday. She
was saying she was going out to
a place called Port Stanley.
We are having a good [many?]
sudden deaths here this last while.
A Mr. Cougdon farmer, was found
dead in his field yesterday about
half past five, His farm is about
half a mile or so from town here.
One of his sons is in my Entrance
Class, and his daughter was in
my entrance class of 1902, That is
she that is sitting on the outside
third on my right. I understand
by the way in which he was found
he died [hard?]. Then on Saturday
evening another farmer was
killed when unhitching his horses
from ploughing. One of them
kicked him on the side of the
head breaking his neck. This is
the Country for sudden deaths.
Many a time I think of [Mrs?]
[Sleins?] prayers Lord save
us from accidents and from
sudden deaths .
Well that brings me up to
talk about the subject of
preachers. I suppose you
have been reading the Free Press.
If so you likely have noticed
that our Minister Mr. [Fleming?]
has left and gone to the North
West. You have likely seen our
farewell for him. We gave him
a purse of $200 in gold.
Well now we are having men
here preaching for calls. I suppose
you know what that means. Our
first man was a Mr. Joseph
Hamilton. He is an Irishman
and has been in this Country for
about nine years. I had tea
with him one evening and we
had quite a talk on Old Ireland.
In regard to writing letters he
was saying just what I notice
that you loose interest. He says
the old country don t seem to know
to write about little things. Things
interesting to those who are away.
That is actually a fact I have
noticed [it?] time and again.
Really there is not one letter in a
hundred that mentions any thing
that happens around the fireside. If
I were to judge from your letters
I would come to the conclusion that
there is never a soul in the house,
that you never converse with each
other, when in the house. Nothing in
your letters indicate this.
The man Rev. Hamilton was originally
from Co Down. He is a fairly aged man,
but he might get a call. He has a
fairly good brogue . We had a
young man from Toronto on last
Sunday. He did fairly well. There
are several more coming.
The subject brings up another
subject matter. I was speaking
to a young green (accent on the
green) Irishman yesterday evening
fresh from Ireland. He is a
nephew of a Mr. Wortley another
Irishman who stands second to
none in the whiskey drinking here.
Mr. Wortley is not very highly
respected in this community
but he is chief cook and bottle
washer on the twelfth of July parade.
Well this young man seems to
be coming to him. He left the
Green Isle on the 13th May. He
was telling he (sic) passed through
Newtownstewart a week ago Friday.
He comes from Armagh.
This subject of leaving Ireland
makes me remember that 13 years
ago to-day I landed in this Country
What a lot of changes since
Thirteen years since I came here
and I am not $13 better off.
financially Of Course in
appearance at that time I may
have have (sic) looked liked (sic)
that young Irishman I saw last night
but financially I am no better off-
There are a great many changes at
home and abroad, Changes are
absolutely necessary there should be
more of them at home.
I cannot account for the fact that
the Irish that come out here are so
innocent. In fact you can almost
make them believe anything. You
ought to see that young fellow laugh
last night when I would ask him
questions to draw him out. I was
just finding out how much he
knew. I tell you that you can t talk
that way to the American boys.
Well I think Mary has decided
to go home. I would have gone
myself but I doubt whether I
will have money enough to spare
to go as far as New York. Money
is the only reason I am not
going. I have spent quite
a bit of Money on Mary. It
was just as I have been
speaking. I thought Mary pretty
green and to smarten her I
brought her here. Of course there
is no use in my saying how
much I regret that she did not stay
with me in place of going to
St Thomas. That is all past
now. She has not learned much
of the social side of life. She
couldn t. She had no one to
go out with and no one to take
her out. She got her own way.
I have had mighty little of her
company during the three years
I don t suppose that I had
more than 40 meals with her.
I was very anxious that she
should have seen some of the
social life and then she could
have instructed you girls
in it but no use crying
over spilt milk. Now when
she does go home she wont
any more (sic) about me and my
acquaintances here that I
can tell you in a letter. She
has got her own way and that
of her Cousins and [let?] her
[lahe?] with it. I was down at
St Thomas at Easter and
as far as I noticed she did
not get much of a fine
time. It is not to be wondered
at either as people who have
no music in them are not
likely to be feeling comfortable
with a violin going most of
the time, I think she did
not find St Thomas such
a leisure-loving place as
they led her to believe. At any rate
find the man father or brother
who will pay out money and
have very little done as he
wanted it like I have done.
I have kept her for the past
three years and nine tenth of the
time she did what uncles
people would say and the
opposite in what I would say.
yet I cashed out just
the same.

I just mention this as it is all
about over now. I have been
with my nose at the grind stone
ever since I came back [ie?].
as far as money matters are
concerned I don t think that
she has seen much of this
country either, That is another
thing The sights that are to see
and I have seen a good deal
I will try and take her around
a little before she goes yet
Give me all the address (sic) of
every body that you know in
New York and Philadelphia,
I am going down with her
that far and by next year
I may be financially fixed to
go back myself.
I will try and send her on that
new steamship Columbia Anchor
line. I had the consular giving dates but
I cannot get it just now. Well I will
write regular from this on.
J [James?] A [Alexander?] Smyth

It just took me about half an hour to race this "off"

Transcribed by Elizabeth Prentice

Verified by Mohamed Souissy

Validated by Lorraine Tennant