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Title: James Wray, New York to his mother & brothers, Coleraine.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileWray, James/72
SenderWray, James
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationclerk by trade, now a schoolmaster
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNew York, USA
DestinationColeraine, Co. Derry, N.Ireland
Recipient Gendermale-female
Relationshipwrites to his family
SourceT 1727/3: Copied by Permission of Messrs Wray & Baxter, Solicitors, Coleraine, Co. Londonderry.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.8903069
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 15:11:1993.
Word Count1498
TranscriptNew York 3rd April 1817
Dear Beloved Mother & Brothers
With every sense of Gratitude & affection. I take up my pen to write
you that I am well & doing as well as possibly I could expect, I have
every reason to be thankful to the Almighty God for all his mercies towards
me for since the day that I Sailed from Ireland I never had one hours
sickness hoping Dear mother & Brothers that these few lines will find
you & all my old friends in perfect health. I could fill almost a whole
Quire of paper in writing to you the Kind of a Country this is & the manner
of living that is here, But I Shall Content myself by writing you following
Dear Mother & Brothers, I arrived here on the 21st day of november after A
passage of 27 days which was a very short one but Indeed we had a very
rough one during the whole we had either a Calm or a Storm. Dear Thomas
when you parted with the ship we sailed a little but the wind began to blow
fair ahead & we were three days & nights insight of land expecting every
minute that we should be drove against the [tow?] Banks we lay on our Broad
side for some minutes, you may easily Conceive how we all felt there was
not a passenger [Spared?] but what was seasick but three & myself I never
had the least touch of sickness all the passage. I never enjoyed Better
health in my life than I have since I left Ireland & thank god we arrived
here all in perfect health Dear Mother & Brothers when we landed times in
this City was & is best very poor I boarded three weeks in the House of
Mathew Clark from Coleraine I tried to get a Situation as Clerk but Could
not there was too
turn over
many Clerks I did not know well then what to do business of all kinds so
very dull & paying for ones board three Dollars & a half a week soon takes
away money so I got an offer to go up to Hide [Hyde?] park one Hundred miles
above New York & I took the Steam Boat & went I gave four Dollars for my
passage to Hide [Hyde?] park where I lived with an old Gentleman for three
Months I was engaged to teach two sons that he had to write & Cypher, I then
got an offer to teach school neighbouring where I had lived before which I
accepted of & has been engaged now this four weeks back I have very good
wages it is equal to fifty pounds British money a year found in every thing
& how my washing & mending [they?] are very particular in A school
master he must be examined by three men appointd for that purpose which if
the [they?] think him Capable the [they?] give him a Certificate where he
may go any place that he chooses & teach the [they?] are very very strict
about the English language. The people here are mostly all dutch where
the [they?] have a great Enmity to the Irish for the [they?] think that
they are Drunken Quarreling sort of people - But if that you Conduct
yourself well & is steady at your Business no matter what it is you
will be respected by the best in the place & will do a great deal for
if the [they?] find him steady & a person Coming to this Country ought to
Conduct himself in the best manner or if not you may depend
that he had much better not Come atall a to come for he is only
a Disgrace to himself & his Country Money is not so easy made
here as people Imagines it takes a man to work very hard and
to be very saving if he can save much money permit me to say & I would
advise all persons that has anyway of a good living to stop where the
[they?] are & if the [they?] take the same manner of living as the [they?]
do here I could almost say that they could live as happy as the [they?]
can [here?] this Country Indeed is not oppressed with Taxes a [as?] the
[they?] are in Ireland a farmer owning two Hundred Acres wont pay more than
twenty Dollars of a tax a year - Provisions here is midling [middling?]
reasonable butter is two Shilling per pound Beef 5d flour is 15 dollars a
Barrel eggs is eight for a Shilling Cabbage here is very high the [they?]
sell at 16d & others articles is mostly as the [they?] are in Ireland,
This has been a very cold Winter it has not been so cold this 37 years as
it was this winter, some days so Cold that it would freeze the ink in the
pen when I was Writing. Dear Mother do not grieve any thing about me
for I am quite happy & I hope that in the Course of a few years I shall be
enabled to go over to see you all & I am in the hopes that I Shall be enabled
to make a recompense for my past Conduct if God permit any Concerning my
Conduct when I think on it makes me almost Crazy it is a Serious
reflection there is scarce a night that I go to Bed but it Costs me
[Tears?] when I think on Ireland. Dear Mother I could send you my
Heart but must Content myself by sending your tears of affection &
Dear Brother [?] of my Mother & treat her with every [?] of kindness for
you do now know the worth of her as I do & Dear Brothers content
yourselves at Home & make the best of your time that you Can until that I
see more about this Country its expected that times will mend & if I think
that you can do well in this Country I shall write to you for to Come. Get
however a perfect knowledge of Grammar a good scholar cannot be beat in this
Country it is the best thing that the [they?] can have But I must Conclude
write to me the first opportunity & let me know you are all doing & give me
every Information that you can let me know how that have got my affairs
settled as I feel very uneasy to know let no Opportunity escape but write
& I Shall do the same neither the Distance of Country or being absent from
you ever shall draw away my affection from you I would have wrote long ere
now but being so far Distant from you I had no Opportunity when you write
Direct thus for Mr John Wray to the Care of Messrs Stottenburgh & Teller
Merchts [Merchants?] Hyde Park Post Office Dutchess County State of New
York America
Dear Mother & Brothers as long as you are living together let no Dis [?]
between you but live in the Bonds of unity & peace there is nothing in
this world [?] afford me more pleasure than just seeing you all but God
knows if that ever [?] maybe but may we all strive to meet on the right
hand of the Redeemer on high shall meet never to part Give my love to all
my old friends & neighbours but in particular to James & Aunt and family
& to Catherine McCaul & to little John dopherson [?] that I shall have
it in my power to do something for him yet.
While I remain Dear Mother & Brothers your own True & loving Son & Brother
until Death.
[I?] have seen a Great many of my old acquaintances I seen Nancy & Betty
Laurence. [Jas?] Gribben & mary Gribben edward McCall [?] [?] [?] [?]
Richardson is dead & Mathew Clark & wife is Gone to Baltimore. I stop
in M. Orr the Cabin passenger that came in our ship he has set up [?] in
N York I intend going to my [?] at [?] park I came down for my Chest &
Clothes I left them in N york when that I went up & M. Orr [?] Com [?]
to you.
I called on Mr David Graham from Coleraine Concerning the money that he
is owe you he was displeased & Demanded my authority he would pay me if
that I would produce the note that he gave I said then I would find
authority so That you think proper to send me the note & the power of an
attorney I shall proceed against him he is able enough to pay it he has a
good school & lives in Great splendour do not delay if that are going to send
JW [James Wray?]