|Title:||Fife, William to Fife, Nixon and Fathy, 1860|
|Collection||Oceans of Consolation [D. Fitzpatrick]|
|Sender Occupation||small farmer|
|Origin||Drumcullion, Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland|
|Recipient||Fife, Nixon and Fathy|
|Genre||farming, news, advice|
|Transcript||[from transcription of lost original]|
Drumcullion August 8th. 1860
My Dear Nixon and Fathy
I was glad to know upon the receiving of your welcome letter on the
14th. July, that you were both well and that you were both content. I am
glad you are in the same places, as the rolling stone gathers no fog. We are
all in good health as when you left us Thank God, and all your friends,
with the exception of Aunt Nixon of the Forthill and Robert Campbell,
they are both poorly. I am afraid before this reaches you they will be no
more. There has been many friends and acquaintances to inquire after your
welfare since you left home.
The past winter here has been one of the severist in the memory of
man. Upon the 22nd. of October we has a fall of snow and there was not
one month from that until the 10th. May, but we had frost and snow, sleet
and all manner of severity. The plants were mostly all destroyed. They sold
at 1s- per hundred. I have not one plant this summer either set or dibbled, this is a rare thing with me. Straw was eighteen pence per stock, Hay was
10s- per cwt. I did not make one peck of oatmeal for ourselves, but gave
it to the cows and pigs to keep them alive. The death of cattle surpassed
anything ever known by the reason of want of fodder. We lost none Thank
God. We killed the old cow and the brown calf, if you remember it and it
was well we did so. We have only the brown and spotted heifers this summer
and they are better than the three were last year. We have the horse
yet, and old Miley is living yet at the Bridge end of Enniskillen, and likely
to live as he was seven years ago.
Turf was 5d. per crate last winter in town, and in the spring it went
up to 8d. per crate, they came from the Barr of Fintona to Enniskillen. I
got two flannel shirts and a first rate pair of Clogs half soled with an old
shovel, the same as sheet iron. I wish I could show them to you with this
preparation, and a cup of good tea. I have went to town the severist day
There never was as bad crops in Ireland as there is at the present
time, the month of May and June so wet and cold. The one half of the
potatoes are not shovelled yet nor wont now. I have about one rood in the
flat of the Now behind the house next the tocher[?] Hill unshovelled, the
rest are all good. The corn are not more than six inches long in many
places and the potatoes are not covered the ground. Our crop is good when
compared with other peoples. The blight is on potatoes as usual. We did
not cut our turf till the 5th. July so you may guess what the season was like.
Hughie Keenan has his clamped and John will draw them as soon as
they are dry. Tell Mary they are both as well as usual. They were both up
spending the evening with us and Hughie could take his tumbler of punch
and cup of tea as well as any of us, though he is complaining at the present[?].
We had a pleasant evening, our conversation as might be expected
and our hearts was also in Goulburn.
My Dear Nixon I am glad that you are resolved to act a steady part.
As for Fathy I have no fears for her with the help of the Lord, nor never
had I. She always conducted herself wisely at home, and I hope still will.
My Dear Fathy I wish you to send me word what you are employed at, or
if you have learned the work of that Country.
And now My Dear Children I am at a loss to know what advice to
give you. Be wise for time, and above all be wise for Eternity. I have not
ceased to pray for you night and morning since I bid you farewell. I am
striving to reconcile myself as well as I can about you. I could trust God
with you and why do I make myself unhappy.
William Ball has sent you two papers. John Ball is in the district of
Victoria, but Melbourne is his post office. He gives no encouragement to
go there, he paid 1s- for 1 lace to tie his shoe. William Corrigan that
went out with him and John McCabe is home again. He says it is a good
place for anyone that wishes to work, but no place for Clerks or Gentlemen.
John Mc. had 10s- per day at the harvest. That George Whittaker is
dead in America and his children in great want.
When you write get lighter paper, I am afraid you paid double postage.
A sheet the size of this is large enough only write close.
Ask Mary Keenan if she knows anything of Cleary that went out of
Enniskillen. His Sister and Mother complains of his ingratitude in sending
her any help or with a letter to her.
You want to know about Johns leg. He is as well as usual I think
smarter than ever, he is good at going an errand, and of the long bed time
be thinks nothing of going a mile or two to a Wake. He is worth it all, he
gives me the light end of every job, I need it now. Dont ask him there
unless you want to bring my grey hairs to the grave with sorrow. 1 have
got Mr. Balls old Wilkie plough that John had in the town. John can drill
the turnips without a leader and plough first rate. I have resigned the business
altogeter. Mary Nixon is up now in Drumcullion, she sends her love
to you and Fathy.
We have everything about the house as neat as usual. I have run a
wall across the pig trow and broke out a door opposite to the road and
built a wall from the stabling hedge to the corner of the pig trow, and put
the gate that was at the road in the middle of the wall to let us in and out
with the manure. We have the pigs now in a yard all from the hedge to
the back of the Byer [byre] at the end of the Barn, and we have pulled up
the potato slough[?] at the side of the wall. Two carts could come in now
in breadth up to the house. Write as soon as this comes to you, tell me
how you are doing. No more at present, But I remain Your affectionate Father