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Title: John McBride, Watertown, NY to James McBride, Co. Antrim.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Filemcbride, john/76
SenderMcBride, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationweaver
Sender Religionunknown
OriginWatertown, NY, USA
DestinationLisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
RecipientMcBride, James Jr
Recipient Gendermale
SourceT 2613/14: Copied by Permission of Mrs Emily McLister, Mosside Cottage, Dunmurry, Co. Antrim.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9007108
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 25:02:1994.
Word Count1638
TranscriptWatertown January 8th 1827

Dear Brother, I wish you all the happiness the married Life affords
I now sit down to Ansr [Answer?] your Letter of the 26th
Septr which I recd [received?] on the 2nd Decr, I had been very uneasy for
a long time on acct [account?] of getting no Letters from Ireland as the
News papers [Newspapers?] of the Country were giving most miserable accts
accounts of the [Fall?] in the [Price of?] [?] and I see by
your Letter the accounts I heard were not exaggerated. I wrote to
John Blake Novr 25th and sent it to New York with Mr Gilbert
I am sorry I have not same chance to send this one.
I was glad to hear of your Marriage particularly as you say
you have got a partner to your mind and of a respectable Family
for what is Wealth to us if we are discontented in our Familys [Families?] I
I look upon Domestic happiness to be one of the greatest blessings
we can enjoy and God will bless those who live agreeable with each other
You say you are in a notion of buying a Public House, but think
you wont get the [?] for a Year from Novr and you dont know
what to do for that [?] you dont tell me what you are doing
where you are living or where your Wife lives. I think if you could
get started to a Public House you might do well enough but it
is impossible for me to Judge as times are so much altered since
I left home, as to your notion of this Country I cannot nor
will not advise you, it certainly is a great trial and requires
a good deal of resolution, to leave the Land of our Birth
and take a journey of such magnitude to enter a Land where
every thing [everything?] is so different from any thing [anything?] we were
used to see and indeed where all is strange to us, and where perhaps we
have a good many difficulties to encounter before we are any way
settled as to what we are going to do, I do not write this by any
means to discourage you, but I wish to tell you what you may
in all probability expect if you come here, and at all events you are
better than I was when I came to this Country, for if you do
make up your mind to come and one lives to see you here, you
may rest assured that I will do all I can for you; pecuniary
assistance of much consequence I could not promise, altho [although?] I am
always able to spare a little, and at all events you have a place where
you can stop till [until?] you have a chance of doing something -
but one thing would vex me a good deal if you would come away
and leave our Sisters behind you, and I wish you to let me know
in your Ansr [Answer?] to this if there would be any chance of getting
them with you if you were to come, if they were here I should
be content at any rate never think of coming here and leaving
your Wife behind you, I dont know as you have such a notion
but I Just mention this for fear you should - and what I have
said about my Sisters I dont wish you to tell my Father as
I dont know whether he would be well pleased at my writing
so - but you can Judge of this yourself.
You think I should try and get a Farm, but that I now will
tell you my mind upon. In this part at present and indeed
since I came here, Produce of every kind has been Cheap and as
I have nothing but small Children, of course I would have no
one to help me, and it takes a good deal of Labour to produce a
crop that will amount to much I certainly agree with you
that Land is most independant [independent?], you say "if you had a Farm
you could live on it would be the height of your Ambition" and
so I say, but this is not so easy done, I could get a Farm
any time [anytime?] but it has to be paid for and great many things
a wanting to cultivate it which things are dear here. I
always have the notion of getting a Farm and I hope the time
will come when I will be owner of one. I will now tell
you on what terms Land can be got and the way it is cleared
&c &c. Any place within two or three Miles of this Village
a Farm of Good Land with Buildings and well Cleared with good
Fences (the Fences are all made of Wood or Stone) will cost from 20, to 25 or
perhaps 30 Dollars per Acre. Within 6 to 10 or 12 Miles it can be
got for from 5 to 7 Dollars with a Log House and perhaps 20 or 30
Acres out of 100 Cleared, but Wild Land that is what has none
Cleared can be got still cheaper from 2 to 5 Dollars according to
the situation conveniancy [convenience?] to Roads Markets Mills &c.
But all these could be got cheaper if the price was paid down
which is seldom done, Land owners [Landowners?] give a Contract in writing
to the purchaser of the terms of purchase; some Land owners [Landowners?] give
7 Years to pay, with Interest at 7 per Cent per Annum the whole
to be paid in annual Instalments, some give but 5 Years and
require some of the purchase Mony [Money?] to be paid on taking the
contract but I know a good many who have lived from Six
to Ten or Twelve Years on a Farm & have pd [paid?] nothing of course
the Land is sold to some another person and they lose all the Labour
they have bestowed on it. The People in this Country reckon the taxes
high because they are nearly all Direct there is a State Tax I believe
of half a mill on the Dollar (there are ten Mills in a Cent and
100 Cents in a Dollar) the proprety I mean Real Estate is Valued by Men
appointed for the purpose and the Tax levied accordingly. There is also
a School Tax that is for keeping the Schools in Repair providing Fuel &c
Every able bodied [able-bodied?] Man has to Work from two to thirty Days on the
Road this is Levied according to the property those who have no property
are Taxed Two Days Single as well as Married. There is a County Tax for
the support of the Poor Two Years ago there was an Act passed by the
Legislature empowering any County that might choose to build Poor Houses
before that time the Poor were scattered over the County but now we have
a Poor House in this County whither the Poor are all sent it is about
Four Miles from this Village there is a Farm of nearly 200 Acres
belonging to the County A Large Stone House plenty of cows Hogs &c
the expense to the County will be a great deal less than it used to be
I am thus particular to give you every satisfaction in my power altho'
[although?] it would take a Volume to tell you all. The Clearing of Land is
thus the Trees are cut down about three feet from the Ground after which the
branches are trimmed off and the tree is cut into Logs of 12 or 14 feet long
Logs are piled together in heaps and Set on Fire this is called Logging [torn]
Branches or brush as it is called is piled and burned the same way, but
it takes a long time for the Stumps to rot so that the Land is clear of
them, they have Just to plough round them till [until?] they get clear away
cutting the trees is called chopping. In your next you can ask me
any thing [anything?] else you would wish to know and let me know of Deaths
and Marriages and any thing [anything?] else in the neighbourhood, the price of
Weaving &c I have not heard from Edwd [Edward?] Jones for some time but
suppose he is [stained] James Hunter and Family are Well. I had a Letter from
Robt [Robert?] Craig last Week in which he states that both his Children were
Dead the one about a Year ago and the other a Fortnight before he wrote to me
he seems to be in great trouble, he said he expected Andw [Andrew?] out - I
had not had a Letter from him for a long time before. Trade and Provisions are
about the Same as I mentioned in my Letter to John Blake.
This leaves us all in Good Health for which we ought to be thankful
Robt [Robert?] Shields is Well. I cannot tell you much about coming to this
Country as this is the first Letter I got since you were Married I can
perhaps advise better when I get an Ansr [Answer?] to this. Tell me in your
next if my Father ever has any notion of coming to this Country. Lydia Sends
her Love to you and Isabella We send our Love to my Fathers Family
Wm [William?] & Jane Phillips John & Betty Blake and all other Friends and
hoping this may find you and Isabella enjoying Health Happiness and every
other Blessing is the Wish and Prayer of your Affectionate Brother
John McBride
I hope you will Ansr [Answer?] this as soon as you can

[addressed to:] [stamped:]
18 3/4 21FF21
Mr James McBride Junr Derriaghy 1827
Care of Mr William Phillips Innkeeper
Single Sheet

23rd February 1827