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Title: McCance, John to Orr, William, 1861
CollectionOceans of Consolation [D. Fitzpatrick]
SenderMcCance, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationgold-digger
Sender Religionunknown
OriginVictoria, Australia
DestinationGrey Abbey, Co. Down, Northern Ireland
RecipientOrr, William
Recipient Gendermale
Relationshipold neighbour
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1358
Genrenews, labour
TranscriptChewton July 23rd. 1861
Mr. William Orr
Dear Sir
I write these few lines to inform you that I Received your very welcome
letter of the 18th. May and we were very glad to hear that the small
sum come to hand safe, and also that our friends were still mostly alive
although the news of my Fathers illeness is not very joyful to me and trusts
before you Receive this that you will get another of the same. And I certainly
feel very much grieved that the offering is so small but this is the
very hardest time with me as my family is all now got up, and is a great
deal worse to Keep than when they were small, and none of them is begun
to make much yet. But I must try and get them something to do as they
are now getting up to men and women but still they have maid very little
yet, nor I have maid very little indeed myself for this very long time. But
as our country is very changable and we still hope that things will change
for the better, but at any rate every year now will make us better if our
family has any grace at all as if they dont do much for me they will be
able to do for themselves and I will not have them to Keep, and I certainly
feel very thankful for what you have just told me. And if you be so Kind
as to look after the old couple I will surely not forget your Kindness, and
as we all must die sooner or later it is possable that some of them may
drop off and if so you will see that the are interred in a decent manner. I
will surly reward you for all your trouble if I live and if not as we Know
not what a day may bring forth some of my children surly will.
I have just been writing a letter to Mr. John Patton, announcing the
death of his son William, a very fine young man indeed and very much
respected by both me and all our family, and you would have thought that
you could not see a stouter abler young man. But alas he is no more, so
you see that we Know not what a day may bring forth. I do feel very
thankful to Almighty God that we are all as a family at present in very
good health, and sincearly trust that this will find you all as it leaves us
my parents and Brothers & Sisters also, but when four score is atain'd our
strangth cannot be great.
You have not said whether there is any word from Mr. John Jeffery
latiey and I have not heard of him this long time, but we feel very much
for him on his parants acount that he was so foolish or rather thoughtless.
I have had a few lines from Mr. Robert Byers. He is now at a place called
Huntley neat Bandigo, and he says him and his mates is doing pretty well
up there. When Nathaniel was up at Yandoit he said he saw a man who
said that he was a son of Mr. Wattsons of Ballybolly but my Mrs. thought
that it could not be so. He also said that he heard that Mr. Robert Hutton
was up there also, but for the truth of this I cannot say. James Bailies son James of Baliygarvin call'd in John McMillins and had dinner some time
ago but we did [not] see him as he was on bussness and I think that he
was allowing to call again. He was in good health at that time. I think he
was living with a man of the name of Glass from Portaferry.
I think I have been telling you before about falling in with a man
called James Gibson. He is Sisters Son to Alexander Seedses wife—but our
coming to Know each other was rather singular as I had work with him
for a whole summer and we did not Know each other, nor till nearly a
year after when I ventured to ask him where he was from, when he said
from Belfast. Oh I said we all hail from the same place, and when I questioned
on at last he said he was born in Inishargie, and I said you had a
friend called so & so and so & so. I cannot describe the stare of his eys
when he said you surely did not Know them. So you see we might be living
long enough along with our nearest neighbours and not Know them if they
did not wish to be Known.
If you be talking to Alexander Seeds you can tell him that he told me
that his Father had behaved in a very improper manner to him (A S) for
his Kindness to his Mother and family of which he form'd a part on leaving
Ireland, as he had plenty of money and would not pay him, but that he
had maid a vow to his Mother that if God would spare him to be ever
able to do so that he would Reward him for his Kindness as he had not
forgot it yet. And he declared to me that he certainly would but he had
not seen any of his people this 14 years but if any of them was writing to
Amarica they might tell his Mother that he was still alive and in good
health as he never writes to them himself. And although he intends to return
to Amarica or home as he calls it he does not intend to go near them.
James McMillin saw Mr. Thomas Brooks about a fortnight ago. He
was about six miles from This and returning to Melbourne, but he was
very poorly in health at that time, and thought that he would have to give
up his situation but we have not heard of him since.
My Mrs. is very thankful that you never omit sending her word of
her sister Mrs. Dorrian but if you chance to see her you might tell her that
we think it strange that she does not send us her son Jameses address if he
be in this country or if she gets any word from him. We would also wish
to Know if she or you ever hears anything of her Brother James McLeod
as he is still her Brother and as we have got no word from him this some
time, and was in ill health the last word we got. If you wrote before May
I never got it although we looked for it very anxiously every mail.
As to the seeds I have not collected colonial ones as it is generaly
home plants or flowe[r]s we wish for and as this is our dead of winter we
must wait till Summer to collect them.
If you see Mrs. Leackey you might ask her if she got a letter from me
dated 5 or 6 months ago the answer to which her husband is very anxiously
waiting. And I went not very long ago in person to a friend to borrow 70
or 80 pounds to send for her and family and her father also if he would
come and offered his deeds as surety for he had laid all his money in
property but I did not succeed if [?and] have not seen him just latly.
I supose you are aware that one of Mrs. Boyces Doughters is dead
since they come hear and one was married some years ago to a man from
county Antrim. I think the other has got a Cornish man I hear or a man
from Cornwall in England. Though I have never seen him I have heard
yarns told about him but I have no certainty nor I have never seen
anything. He seems very uneasy about his children but I must finish. Your
ever the same friend
John McCance