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Title: Elizabeth King, Goodwill, to Isabella Allen, Belfast.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Fileking, elizabeth/38
SenderKing, Elizabeth
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginGoodwill, Canada?
DestinationBelfast, N.Ireland
RecipientAllen, Isabella
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceD/1558/1/2/54: Presented by the late F.D. Campbell Allen, Esq., 15 London Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, England.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9804176
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 08:04:98.
Word Count1132
TranscriptGoodwill Dec 3, 1849.

My dear Isabella,
I was very glad to receive by last
packet your kind letter. People cannot know the true
value of letters who have not been separated as I am
from their nearest and dearest. You can scarcely
imagine the almost overpowering interest with which we
watch for the arrival of the post from home and the
fear and trembling with which we open our letters.
Once a fortnight we receive them and the interval
seems very long. You ask about Jermaine. It would
take a long time. I describe its glorious scenery
and no words could convey any idea of the luxuriant
magnificence of its vegetation, glowing with all the
splendour of a tropical sun, or more softly becoming
with a moonlight warmer and mellower than ever
illumines own northern landscapes. We never feel the
heat oppressive within doors, as it is always relieved
with a most delicious breeze, blowing during the day
from the sea, and at night gently breathing from the
mountains. The ther.[thermometer?] at present
commonly stands at 69ø at daybreak and at 80ø about
two o'clock. I am keeping a register of its
variations. Our mode of life is very different from
what it is at home. We rise when the first streak of
dawn appears in the sky while the stars are still
shining, and quickly robe ourselves in dressing gowns
for our morning airing. The carriage is at the door
before sunrise, and we drive for an hour and a half
along one or other of the wild and beautiful, though
unfortunately very rough roads in our neighbourhood.
The freshness at this early hour is quite enchanting.
Every floweret and every blade of grass is glistening
with dew and sparkling showers drop from the trees.
Thousands of convolrouluses of every line decorate the
hedges and the magnificient night blowing Lyrines
rears his head among the rocks and stones. The forest
trees seem as if decked with garlands for some festive
occasion from the multitudes of flowering creepers
that twine about their trunks and drop in festoons
from their branches. At present we enjoy all the
brilliant tints that at home we admire so much in
autumn: but here they are not caused by decay and have
no sad associations. The unbrageous mango trees are
putting forth their young rose coloured leaves and the
tender yellow of the buds on the cotton trees contrast
beautifully with the deep green of the older foliage.
Truly here it may be said that "universal Pan knit
with the Graces and the Sours in dance Leads on the
ternal Spring. Sometimes we drive to the seaside a
distance of four miles. The beach is smooth white
sand and the water ripples on it in tiny summer waves,
the coral reef breaking the force of the great
Atlantic swell. Eliza King and Maggie bathe and their
dressingrooms are leafy bowers for the grape trees and
mangroves grow quite to the edge of the sea. We
return from our drive in time to rest a little and
dress for breakfast. The forenoon is passed within
doors with closed jalousies and in the evening we
again venture abroad sometimes on horseback. Even
Maggie takes a little ride a black servant leading her
horse. We do not remain out after sunset as the dews
are so heavy as to be dangerous. This is a privation
for the moon and starlight are bewitching. About
Kingston there is no dew and there we had many evening
drives by the sea shore such as I can never forget.
After tea Dr. Miller reads aloud while Eliza, Mrs
Miller and I work. Last night he finished Wilde's
Narrative of a voyage to Madeira and the
Mediterranean. My forenoons are chiefly dedicated
to Maggie. She now reads pretty well, even words of
four syllables do not puzzel [puzzle?] her if they be
simply spelt. She is getting on very well with
Geography and picking up general knowledge very fast.
Sewing is the greatest trial of her life. She wishes
she had been born grown up for then she would not have
needed to learn to sew. She is quite a little Creole.
The other day she read of a rug at the fireside and
she exclaimed rugs are laid before beds and not before
fires. She asked me what does hearth mean Mamma and
she has no idea what snow is like. She says ice is a
clear thing for putting in water.
I had been trying to get shells before you wrote,
but the fishermen are so extremely indolent that I
have small hopes of obtaining any. Though they find
them often about the reefs they will not take the
trouble of bringing them even for payment. I mean to
drive to their houses however and perhaps by
perserverence I may succeed in getting a few. Those
that may be picked up on the beach are weather beaten
and valueless. Indolence is the besetting sin of the
people. Food is so easily obtained and other wants
are so few that they have very little spur to
exertion. Although slavery is abolished, its curse
still hangs over the lands and I fear it will be long
before a healthy and prosperous state of security can
exist here. Gross immorality prevails. The
missionaries have done great good but a vast
uncultivated fields still call for labourers. How
much we shall have I speak of when we meet. We have
to compare notes about America and the stupendous
Niagara. Anna tells me that your little Bella is a
sweet and lovely child. What a treasure she is to
you. I have often while here thought of you and her
indeed of all your family circle. Very often I wish I
know something of Rosa and her little ones. I was
greatly grieved when I heard of the death of her
eldest little girl. There are such trials for all who
long are pilgrims here. I now dare to look forward
with hope to the prospect of soon seeing all my dear
friends you among the number. To feel myself as I am
now in health and strength would at this time last
year have filled my heart with bounding joy in
thinking of coming home; but now this feeling is
changed for sadness, and fear.
I have written a much longer letter than I intended
and I am afraid it is scarcely legible. Will you
remember me to Bella's mother and tell her I hope both
she and her little girl are well. Remember me most
kindly to your father. I often think of him with
great affection. Give my love to Margaret and Eliza,
and to Rosa when you write, and kindest regards to
Miss Knowles. I am ever
My dear Isabella
Your affectionate friend
Elizabeth King.