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Title: Lowell Emigrant to Landlord.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfactory worker?
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNew York, USA
Recipient Gendermale
Relationshipwrites to his former landlord
SourceThe Armagh Guardian, Friday, 4 September, 1863
ArchiveThe Central Library, Belfast.
Doc. No.9311897
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by C.R., 30:11:1993.
Word Count1537
Lowell, July 4th, 1863.

Honored Sir, - I hope you will pardon me for the liberty
I now take of sending you this long epistle; my motive
for so doing is merely to let you know the kind of a
place this is and my views of this wooden world. I
landed in New York on the 27th of April, after a weary
voyage of five weeks and four days, much the worse in
every way from storms and all other ship usage the poor
emigrant has to encounter; however, in the forenoon of
the last day's sailing, I stood on the beach a poor
exile of Erin, and a very poor one too, for neither D...
nor could I muster one shilling; passed into the office
in Castle Garden, met Mr. --- of Leitrim, a clerk Dave,
and as old looking as --. He showed us all the kindness
in his power where he was, and gave his number, but I
refused to call, but - - would have a week's work in
our poverty. I rested for a few days, and met friends
plenty from - ; and my son sent me as much money as
brought me here, where I am now employed; and my work
is to press after seven or eight girls in the day,
after all the misfits, which is a troublesome part of
my trade. I am paid 1 pound 5s. per week, and now from
this day until the winter trade commences, I shall
have little or nothing to do. As this is the celebration
day of the freedom of America; it is a day of much mirth,
excitement, drunkeness, and here and there an odd knock
Honoured Sir, this is a most beautiful country, and I
wish you were here to see its situation, I mean this
part where there are splendid rivers and canals, and
some great waterfalls with wood hanging along the edges,
where the sound of the axe was never heard, with here
and there the beautiful wooden house rearing up its head,
and brick chimney, and it painted white or brown, as the
case may be, with its green windows and porch supported,
as would seem by stone pillars, its garden filled with
all sorts of fruit. The whole country, as far as a man
could see, is covered with these cottages, with a rood
or an acre, as the case may be, of wild wood, or
planted, one of the two. The soil is loose and sandy,
and requires manure as well as at home. They sow no
crops here, nor cannot before the end of March, and
sometimes the end of April, from the frost and snow.
I have never seen so fine potatoes as some that are here
- a large round one with many eyes, and the most

healthy that I ever saw. I hope to bring you a sample
some fine day yet. Next, there are as fine horses as
I ever saw; not like the English or Scotch, a slighter
make, but light and hardy, and very fleet. They have
races here, not a horse, but a gig race, and the gig
will not be six stone weight. You would wonder how it
would stand a race, with the spokes of the wheel no
thicker than your marking rule. They are four wheeled.
Indeed, it is truth to call it a gig race, for it is
next to flying. The cows are not so good at home, nor
near - dry looking, hard, ugly ones. Plenty of goats,
and some of very curious shape, almost like a sheep,
with no horns; and as for pigs they are the ugliest
in the world. I saw no sheep yet. I saw perch taken
in the river, and pike, and eel, and other chaps called
horny trout, having a kind of feeler or horn near the
nose, which he erects when taken, and should it stick
in the fisher's hand it will swell up and be much
pained for a week. He must be skinned before cooked,
and is a delicious fish. The women here are slender
and handsome, full of intelligence on any subject, and
too full on many. They are all tailoresses or factory
hands, earn plenty of money, dress rich and feed well,
and drink plenty. The men are generally thin or hardy,
and are never satisfied at the knowledge of one trade
or two; lively and smart, the greatest rogue is called
the smartest man, by way of merit. I had the honor to
hear Major General Butler made a speech on behalf of the
poor of Ireland, to which he contributed 250 dols., or
50 pounds. He is a low, stout, lively little man, and
was only an attorney here. There is little or no
concern in the people here about North or South: They
say the war has become a matter of traffic and don't
seem to heed about it.
Now, honored Sir, my description of this place is
over, and I send you my grateful thanks for not giving
my field to - - or any other man, and did confide in
you for that; and I knew I would be safe. I hope,
ere long, to pay you what I owe you, and I hope,
further, with God's blessing to see you in good health
in - - again. I am in good health, thank God, but
very lonesome. Mr. - - , in order to pain my family
said I was cleaning huts here. I wish he would let
me alone - he was often at meaner work. Wishing your
honor long life, and to Mr. John and all the honorable
family, I remain, ever your faithful servant, -
I shall bring you a musket, the best that ever was cast

here, and I send you a ring made at Bull's Run the day
before the battle.
Honored Sir, - I have forgotten to give you an account
of the towns here, as far as I have seen them. As a man
comes first in view of America, the first place he sees
is a place called Sandybrook ; it is a place out from
New York, in shape like a hook, and all sand with trees
growing in the sand, and a large fortification building
on it. The view would seem to a stranger as if a forest
was after a great conflageration, [conflagration?] that
would burn all the underwood, all the trees just like
recovering. Passing on to New York in through a narrow
winding channel between two small hills on each side,
commanded by strongholds, mounted with heavy cannon,
and on any elevated spot near a town, here it looks like
a town in a wood, the streets are all wide. I know the
principle one, and on each side of them are trees, within
ten or twelve feet outside the footpath. The footpath
or side walk is shaded from the side wall of the houses,
and the trees hang from green foliage down. Near the
ground all their branches hang down as if to shade the
sun beaten labourer after or during his toil. They are
a kind of oak, but quite different from any at home,
and there is a kind of red sally that lets its foliage
down like threads, and on the ends are tufts of leaves
which look very handsome. I hope to bring some cuttings
and rooted plants to you, if you would wish them; at
night with lamp light they look splendid, as these side
walls are thronged with richly dressed folk - for all
the delight of people here are dress and good thing,
nothing about God or religion of any kind. When a man
thinks well a lawyer will divorce him for a couple of
dollars, and the ladies make the most applications .
In one or two cases, after a separation of four or five
years, the same man and woman marry again. The week
before last Genetal Butler's steward hired an Irishman,
a new commer, like myself, and put him to make sewers
on the General's farm. The General came in some time
after the steward was gone, and he says to Pat, "What
are you doing here, Sir?" "I am making drains, don't
you see" was the reply. He did not know the general.
"No, you rascal, but you are spoiling them; get away
out of that." "Musha, I'd see you d--d; wait till
the gentleman that employed me finds fault." The
general grew hot, seized him, and threw him in the
sewer. When he got up he collared him. "You damned
bit of a Yankee," he says. "I'll dirty your breeches

too!" and he puts the General in the drain. When he
got up all dirty he swore if he had his pistol he'd
shoot him dead. "Oh well, you hadn't " says Pat, "for
if you fired your pistol at me I'd run you through with
the log." After a short time, when the temper cooled,
the General told what occurred, and brought him a new
suit of cloths. I hope you will pardon me .