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Title: Henry McKibbin, Canada to Ellen McKibbin, Co. Down, Ireland.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Filemckibbin, henry/28
SenderMcKibbin, Henry
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationsurgeon
Sender Religionunknown
OriginHalifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
DestinationPortaferry, Co. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientMcKibbin, Ellen
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceT3103/1: Presented by Mrs Margaret Orr Herriot, Co. Down.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9503145
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 22:03:1995.
Word Count891
TranscriptMiss Ellen McKibbin

Halifax Dec 15th 1813
My Dear Aunt
To you who have been my best and almost only friend, it
might perhaps be [exepacy?] to apologize for my silence but your
friendship and affection which renders me doubly culpable must at
the same time form and render acceptable that course which I do not
myself dare to offer; I acknowledge that I have been neglectful, and
apparently ungrateful but I have perhaps suffered sufficiently to
atone for that or any other offences with which my worst enemy could
[charge?] me. I have written frequently, but I have received no
replies to my frequent and anxious enquiries; from those who have
the first and dearest place in my heart I did naturally expect other
treatment and even supposing they had entertained, no very high
opinion of my feelings or my conduct they must have certainly known
that this long and studied silence and that too under the peculiar
circumstances in which I left them, must and did wound me in the
most unbearable parts, more, believe me, infinitely more there the
purpose of the worst will to which I have been at times exposed
poverty and disease. I can never believe that Isabella could have
forgotten me, nor my Mother - therefore I naturally supposed some
accident must have occurred which they have been afraid to divulge
but I would be left distressing them this suspense.
You must already have heard from Isabella many of the accidents
which have befallen me, as to her I have endeavoured to present a
faithful but not minute detail of whatever I could have supposed
would be interesting to her and to you all since then I have seen
much bloodshed and have been taken Prisoner by Commodore Rodgers; we
were carried into Providence in Rhode Island, United States when we
were detained two monthly suffering (particularly myself, much from
poverty as the allowance of our Government was extremely inadequate
to support us as Officers and in a Country where where every thing
was so exorbitantly dear - After a short period, indeed, from our
arrival met with much disinterested hospitality and were able to
borrow as much as relieved me from many and distressing [poverty?]
As a Surgeon I was not considered a Prisoner of War and was at
liberty to leave the U. [United?] States when and how I pleased but
without money, to transport myself six or seven hundred miles was
impossible. I procured a passage in a [Contd?] which has just
arrived in this place and suffered so much on the passage from cold,
hunger and other causes that I have been extremely unwell I have
lost my instruments - they were seized by the Surgeon of the
President as a lawful price, though to me, alas, they are an
irreparable loss in my present circumstances and what little stock
of [Clothes?] I have remaining is so battered that I suffer much
from the intense cold of this place, and I have no money, my
American expedition having expended my stock in refunding what I had
borrowed. We proceed in the Fox Frigate tomorrow in guests of the
Admiral Ships, for Domingo, which we expect to find at Bermuda. I
had been appointed Surgeon of the Anaconda Sloop of War since I came
in but I have refused to accept the warrant as I hope to be sent on
the home station; this however I am by no means certain of, as I
have, to my cost, become too great a favourite of the Admirals, and
he will be very unwilling to [torn] part with me, particularly as
there is [torn] a scarcity of good medical officers here and so many
Ships newly commissioned -
I could not go through what I have done, again for I have suffered
very much from bad health; but as there is no other prospect for me
at home, I must endeavour to be contented in the station in which my
for tune or rather my misfortunes have placed me. I have already
written to McCleary, & he has disappointed me; I shall now therefore
write to Willm. McCleary. I hope my Mother is happier than when I
left her; she has always been an excellent mother to me, and I am
afraid I have added not a little to her sorrow; I should have
written to her now, but that I am afraid she has left Portaferry
and I have nothing pleasant to communicate. As to Isabella and my
Child, it is a subject I cannot write upon, I hope they are happier
than I have any prospect of being, though indeed I do feel some
momentary gleams of pleasure in the hope that we shall soon meet
under more [permissible?] auspices. The delusion is transitory, it
is succeeded by real remorse and pain but you will not wonder that I
solicit the present [stained] of so pleasing an idea by every means
known in me.
Give my love to my Aunts, Mother Sisters McK [McKibbin?] but
particularly to Isabella -
I am Dear Aunt your Affect. [Affectionate?] Nephew
Henry McKibbin

Direct to me. "Care of Wm. McDowell Esq. Apt. [Apprentice?] Surgeon N. MS
San Domingo Bermuda or elsewhere to be left at the Admirals Office
The Postage must be paid to Portsmouth else they will not reach me.