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Title: William Wightman, New York to Mr McNeilly, [Ireland?].
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileWightman, William Jr/12
SenderWightman, William Jr.
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationrecently arrived in the USA
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNew York, USA
RecipientMcNeilly, D.W.
Recipient Gendermale
RelationshipMr. McNeilly worked in the Wightman household (see
SourceT 1475/ pp.47-48: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9, Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9006068
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 01:09:1993.
Word Count923
TranscriptNew York
4th September 1846

My dear Mr McNeilly,
We arrived here on the 29th of August, and we left Liverpool 25th
(Sunday) of July, so that we have just been five weeks in coming, which
is rather a long passage for this time of the years. The length of
our passage was occasioned by our having contrary winds most of the time,
and also some very calm weather which retarded our progress very much.
But I think on the whole we did pretty well, as there was a vessel called
the Gladiator which sailed on London from the 15th July, and only arrived
in New York an hour before us. Our ship had to stop in quarantine for
24 hours all the cabin passengers except ourselves left her, and went on
to New York in a small steamer, as for us we did not know where to go. The
shops and stores were all shut it being Sunday, and we only knowing where
the persons to whom we had letters of introduction to, had there [their?]
stores or offices, so we thought it better to wait in the George Washington. All vessels whose number of steerage passengers exceed 45, even although there is no sickness on board, have to remain in quarantine for the space of 24 hours. The number of our cabin passengers were twenty two, and of the steerage 76. The quarantine ground is about 8 miles from the city. We had to be towed out of the Mersey the day we left Liverpool, as the wind was against us, and also we had to be towed into New York after the ship had undergone quarantine, as there was no wind at all. After we
landed I went immediately to Mr. Robinsons office, but it was closed, I
left the letter of introduction however in his office, and then returnes
[returned?] to the ship, and as we did not know of any other place we went
with the Captain to the City Hotel, where we remained only to the morning as Mr. Robinson whom we saw after breakfast, took us to boarding house where we have remained since. We like it very well, and it is situated in a
very pleasant part of the city named Bond Street. We went to the store
of Messrs Doremus Suydam & Nixon to hear if John was in New York. We
heard there the melancholy news that my cousin Isaac Simpson had been
drowned in a creek at Florence, which we were all very sorry to hear. My
Mother received there a letter from John, in which he mentioned that it
was not in his power to meet us in New York, and that on account of my
Cousins deather [death?] neither my Uncle nor Aunt Simpson would be here.
Mr Doremus and Mr Robinson are both very kind and attentive to us. We dined
with Mr Doremus on Thursday. Mrs Doremus has also been very kind in taking
us to parts of the city which are worth seeing. She took us to the
Panorama of Rome,and the falls of Niagara. I was extremely well pleased
with that of Rome it being far more like a real city than any Panorama.
I had every before seen. I was also very much pleased with the Falls of
Niagara but not near so well as with Rome. Mrs D. [Doremus?] also took us to the City Hall, in which there are some very fine paintings of American
Presidents, Generals and other distinguished men. After we had examined the
paintings, we went up a long flight of stairs, until we reached up the
top when we had a very fine view of New York. The alarm bell is placed

on top of this building as being one of the most central places in
New York. There are not a great many fine buildings in New York the
Custom House which is built of white marble. The Exchange and other
Buildings built of Granite and having large pillars of solid granite also
a great many fine churches, hotels, and a great many other public buildings.
I was greatly disappointed with Broadway, expecting to see from its
name, and hearing of it so often, a fine broad street. It is scarcely as
broad as High Street, but there is a great deal of bustle and stir in
the day and night, far more than I saw in any Street in Liverpool.
Its length is about three miles, and it has very fine shops in it. Most
of the streets have trees along each pathway, which improves them very
much, but they are kept very dirty; people being allowed to throw things
out in the street, without any notice being taken of it. Pigs walk
about the streets and perform the office of publich [public?] scavengers,
which I suppose you would think strange in your part of the country. We had
a very pleasant passage, none of us being sick any part of the time while
all the rest of the passengers were sick for a week or two at the beginning
of our voyage. We will be leaving this about Monday morning, for
Philadelphia, having been about a week here. My Mother and Ann, join me
in love to you, Mrs McNeilly and Miss Widdell, and when you are writing
to Belfast, remember us to all our friends there, and also in Hillsborough
as I am not sure whether we will have time to write to Mrs James
before I leave this City.
Yours ever truly
William Wightman.