Main content

Title: W. Stavely, Pennsylvania, to J. Stavely, Belfast
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileStavely, William J/1
SenderStavely, William J.
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationsales supervisor
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNatrona, Penn., USA
DestinationBelfast, N.Ireland
RecipientStavely, James
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD1835/27A/2/5: Deposited by Greer, Hamilton & Gailey, Solicitors
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9909223
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 21:09:99.
Word Count916
TranscriptNatrona, Allegheney County, P.A. [Pennsylvania?]

January 13 1862

My dear James

Since the month of May last I
have only been favoured with a short note from you
but receive newspapers with much regularity, for which
you have my best thanks. My object in now writing
is merely to inform you, and others, we as a family are
yet in the land of the living, although wars and
rumours of war exist in our borders, fightings without
and fears within, yet we enjoy comparative peace in
our humble dwelling, we can go out and come in
none daring to make us afraid. What great reason
have we to thank God, who has vouchsafed to us
his loving kindness every morning, and his faithfulness
every night. I have received very lately from
you a Belfast paper, which announces the marriage
of your eldest daughter, Annie, to Mr W. McFarland.
I can only in all sincerity say, their union may be
productive of peace in time and happiness in eternity.
Most cordially congratulate you, on the wordly [worldly?]
prospects of yourself and family. And although others
will consider an opinion, much less an advice from me
as foolish, yet would I suggest, you now in the
day of prosperity, to prepare for a dreary night of
adversity. The British Isles, and the nations of
the world in general shall soon be swept with the
[besom?] of destruction, your [M..ch p..ces?] shall be
reduced from affluence to want and in their
destruction you and thousands besides may lose
the hard earnings of half a life time. Do not think
this as imaginary on my part, any ordinarily
intelligent man, who will take the Bible as his
guide, and compare its teachings with the state
of affairs all over the world, must admit, we are now
entering on a mighty conflict with the powers
of darkness, and in which the things which can
not be shaken shall remain. Even now the Father
fights against the Son, and the Son against the
Father, in the Confederate and U states armies,
a man's enemies actually those of his own house.
In all this is not scripture literally fulfilled.
It would not do for me to say so in this land of
my adoption but to you I may. I was well pleased
England assailed her honour in compelling (peaceably
tho' it was) this government to give up the Confederate
Commissioners. The sword is sheathed, for the
present, but the people say when we get the
rebellion settled we will give John Bull such a
whipping as he has never before got. The United
States as such may now be blotted from the map of the
world - the rebellion does not appear settled,
neither is it in the power of the so called
U.S. to settle it with the sword.
On the day before Christmas all my children
went to Allegheny city - John returned on the
Saturday after, the others only on Friday last,
in their absence I was very lovely. On Friday when
the [they?] returned it was a wet and dreary day -
Although John had on good fires and the house was
comfortable, yet the little ones felt lonely.
I made the most of a bad case I could, but it cut me
to the heart to see them unhappy when it was out of
my power to make their situation more congenial to
their wishes.
They have now become more happy, and are at
school today. By a letter recently received from
Philadelphia goods are advanced there in price
from 30 to fifty per cent since I was in that city.
I went to Pittsburgh on Wednesday night and returned on
Friday morning - there aso I find goods extravagantly
high, much above the price the masses can afford.
In this store we have tasted stock up to first [lust?]
we have over fourteen thousand dollars worth of goods
at least $13,000 are new and good. The having such a
stock was my doing - for once I hit the nail on the head.
We have advanced our prices, by order of the Company,
while the customers, generally very poor, complain morning
noon and night at their being charged higher for goods,
and their wages remain as usual, only 87« cents per day
for labourers men, and upwards in proportion to
their ability, to tradesmen. In consequence of this
difference of opinion, my lot at present is not so
happy as it might be.
This has been the warmest winter I have seen in this
or any other country - we had no snow until about
the 23rd. Dec. Now it is gone, and for the past few
days - we have had rain incessantly - yesterday the
birds were singing - the weather is unusually warm
and those who have winter gloves and over coats may
box them up until another year. In the works here
we outsiders think the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturers
are making money - they turn out 108 forty gallon
barrels of refined oil daily which with the other
manufactured goods commands a ready sale - I sent
you a newspaper last week, will write you next month.
I wrote my father in December, and intend my next
shall be to him. With best wishes to Anne, yourself,
and the various members of your family.
I am, most sincerely yours
Wm. [William?] Stavely

P.S. Since the above was written
the mail has arrived, bringing
a Belfast newspaper of 28 ult.