|Extract of a Letter from Philadelphia.
|Irish Emigration Database
|Philadelphia, Penn., USA
|The Belfast Mercury 28th November 1783.
|The Linenhall Library, Belfast.
|Document added by LT, 02:06:1994.
|Extract of a letter from Philadelphia, to a merchant
in Belfast, Sept. 24 1783.
"I have not experienced much civilities or attention
from any of my introductory letters here
this however you must not think singular as I am
not alone in this remark, it is the treatment almost
every Irishman has received. Hospitality and friendship,
the former characteristic of America,
has fled the land. The merchants are jealous
of evory [every?] person that comes here who has the
appearance of setting among them, and it is incredible
how reserved they are in conversation,
and with what duplicity they guard themselves
on any matter of trade. I despise them for attempting
to discharge their army without paying
them three years arrears now due, or making
any provisions for those disabled in service. The
soldiers took the alarm and rose to pay themselves,
but where [were?] quelled by fair promises, which
perhaps may be their only reward at last, in
short the wealthy part of the people are a selfish
"It is very distressing to see so many of our
brave infatuated countrymen of every description
crowding here daily, in expectation of making a
fortune in the land of liberty, almost on their arrival;
but, poor deluded wretches! did they
calculate right, they would find that living here
runs off with the extravagant wages they receive,
and a stranger coming here runs a risk of starving
if his purse is light, before he meets with employment.
The exportation of servants from Ireland is shocking;
they can have no choice in their matter, and very
often they are treated little better than
negroes during their their servitude;
for a master may, for the smallest offence, put
his indented servant into the work-house and feed
him there during his pleasure on bread and water,
without the servant having the smallest
redress; In short, if a man has prudence, he may
live better and enjoy more real staisfaction on
100l [?] a year in Ireland, than on 500l. [?]