|John Taylor, Washington City to Robert Taylor, Shanrod
|Irish Emigration Database
|Washington, D.C., USA
|Shanrod, Co. Down, N.Ireland
|The Taylors of Shanrod Co Down, Letters from America. Copyright retained by Heather Taylor, 46, Coolshinney Rd., Magherafelt, BT45 5JF, firstname.lastname@example.org
|The Centre For Migration Studies
|Document added by JM, 29/01/2007
|[A letter from John the following year describes life in Washington and gives details of his personal life much or all of which he seems to have withheld previously.]
Mr Robert Taylor
United States of North America
Washington City, D.C.
17th June 1831
Your kind letter of the [5th?] April
last, forwarded to Baltimore by Mr Sprott was received the 4th
Inst. It afforded me great pleasure to learn that you were all
in the enjoyment of good health, which blessing, I pray may be
long continued to you. I noticed the arrival lately of two
vessels from Belfast at Baltimore, and would fain have went
there to have seen the bearer of your letter, but could not make
it convenient to go. I shall avail myself of the first leisure
I have to go to Baltimore where I shall use every effort to have
Thomas Browns business brought to a final close,- the result,
be what it may, I will immediately communicate to his father.
The accounts from Ireland are of a truly distressing
character, but I fain hope much exaggerated. Something
must be done, and that speedily, to ameliorate the condition
or the result will be awful. There is a degree of oppression
beyond which, Nations, as well as, individuals cannot
endure, and from every appearance that ill fated country
is on the brink of such a crisis.
I have been favoured with good health since the date of
my last, except, a slight attack this spring of Bilious
fever, a disease prevalent in this climate, and one to
which I am very subject. I was married in the Spring of
1823 at Carlisle Penna [Pennsylvania?] to a girl named
Margaret OBrien, the daughter of an Irishman from Carlow,
who died when she was an infant. We have had three daughters
and two sons. My eldest daughter named Ann Elizabeth Paxton
(after Mother and Nancy) is now 7 years old. The next, Mary
Jane, was born in July 1825, and the next, Margaret was born
1st April 1827. They are all at school and are all the
beauties and admiration of the city. I have been unfortunate
with my sons. The eldest named John was born 15th of November
1828 and died at Carlisle the succeeding July, when I was
living in this city and before my family had moved here.
The next named Robert was born in this city last April and
died when only five weeks old. They were both promising little
babes, but it pleased the Almighty to deprive me of them. This
brief history will, I trust, be satisfactory, and put to rest
your anxiety on this score. I am still in the same situation
and am doing well, but not saving any money. The expense of living
here is enormous, I pay $200 a year for a neat Brick
House in which I live. The tuition of my children costs about
$30 per ann [annum?]. I pay $3 per month to each of two black
servants. Slavery exists here to such a extent as to almost
entirely exclude white persons from house or labouring
employment. The Blacks are preferred for such services.
I regret that the newspapers I sent cost so much postage.
previous to the receipt of your last I had sent some more
which I will now discontinue to do, unless I get an opportunity
of sending them by hand. I posted one for you in March last
which contained an account of a transaction in the post office
Department, about which I was examined before a committee of
the United States Senate - say if you got it.
I have not heard from Nathaniel or James for sometime,
the latter had a severe attack of sickness last Autumn,
and Nathaniels twins both died last October.
Last winter was very severe and cold, we had a deep snow
of several weeks continuance, a thing unusual in this latitude.
We are now all at sweatting [sweating?] with heat. Remember me
most affectionately to my Mother and Sisters, Aunt and family
and to all our old neighbours & friends.
Accept yourself the assurance of my brotherly esteem and believe
me yours affectionately John Taylor
[The following is written across the letter in red ink]
If I were to speak with the American Consul at Belfast he would
probably enclose with his dispatches to the State Department your
letters for me, when no other opportunity of sending them - he
is a native of the State of Delaware but do not now recollect his
name. Tell him I am personally known to Mr McLean our late Minister
to London and with Mr Van Buren who succeeds him and with secretaries
of the different Departments of the Government in this city. If he
does do so direct them in the usual form and they and they will
arrive safe. Tell him that I am a thorough going Jacksonman and
that may induce him.
This letter was written in considerable hurry so as to send it to
Philadelphia before the 20th, the day the regular packet to Liverpool
sails, which will account for its barrenness of news. I shall probably write
soon and shall expect several letters from you this summer yet Our harvest has
commenced and our markets have for some time been well supplied with new
Potatoes and other vegetables and fruit of this seasons growth.
[Nathaniel has not written for some time.]