|MacArthur, Robert to MacArthur, John, 1802
|Shenango, Penn., USA
|Co. Donegal, Ireland
|emigration, life in the colonies, politics, neighbours
|Shenango November the 4th 1802
152401206500Brother John, If these comes to your hand they will inform you that I am in good health at present and has enjoyed the same since the last time I wrote you. I have not Received any letters from Ireland this year as yet which prevented me from writing to the last moment [.] We received the lettters sent in the care of James Gamble and James Wark which was the latest account we have had from Ireland [.] the linnen sent in care of James wark I understand is lost. He has not come to this part of the countrey as yet, the last account I had of him he was in York County the hats I belive is save[.] I do not know exactly how the linen was lost but report says it was when the passengrs arrived in this Country a number of them was sickly and was put into the hospitall their goods being put into a Store and some of them getting well before the rest was able to make a Start took along with them the property of others and by doing so, Compleatly broke the last great precept of the Morral Law, which says you shall not covet anything that is thy Neighbours. But as there [is a Class of mankind which stoops below the dignity of of [sic ] the human Specious [species] in many respects as well as Covetousness we need not wonder at such things, but just Conclude, that was the way [the] linnen went.
Mr Gamble has been often telling me that he saw you diffrent times before he left that country, and that you could give him a very good de[sc]ription of this part of the country, which I was very glad to know you was so well acquainted with the history of this new Country. But as you mention that you have a desing [design] in coming to see this part of the world I think you will be able to give a more accurate account of it to your friends when you return, but Indeed Brother John, that is a journey I could not advise you to undertake, as it would be attended with a considerable expence, the loss of time, and the danger of crossing the seas, although if it was the case that you were to come to this country I should enjoy as much happiniss in the visit as any person in the world, but I think if you come to this country you will not return in haste or at any rate not so soon as you expect. I know this was the case with respect to myself when I came to this country. I thought that certainly I would be in Ireland before this time. (But I am here yet). When a man settels in any country it is not easy for him to rise up and embark for another when he pleases although he had a very Great mind to do it, and more so in this part of the world where the people arem partly purchasing their Estate by Actual Settlement although the price of lands were very low in the first settling of this country [.] again the purchaser recons [reckons] all his costs truble and expences it will stand him something considerable and as he was by his Bargain to settle on the land he could not omit living in the country and that five years. But the first settlers of this county has no reason to regret their coming to this parts, although many are the disconveniences incident to the settling of a new countrey [.] as to my own part I entertain a a very good opinion of this part of the world and it appears the longer I live in it I like it the better [.] this may be from the Rappid progress it makes in improving which surpasses my first expectations very much. There are severall natural advantages that the people of this part will enjoy, and receive considerable benefits by and that of Navigation in particular [.] although this is an inland country and a great distance from the sea yet every farmer can have a watter cariage for every produce he has to dispose of very near him and a great many from their door. It would be too tedious for me at present to give you as decriptive an account or this country in general as I would wish to do therefore I shall content myself to some other opportunity. As with respect to politcks Ihave nothing particular to mention at present only that the Republicans seem to bear the sway and carry the elections by a great Majority, both in this State and throughout the Union, our present Government dismantled and Repealed several Laws that seemed a grievance to the people. The Sedition law, Stamp Act and excise law is entirely done away. So the distiller can work his Stills or let them stand idle as he pleases. So much for the distillers and the Allien law Repealled in such a manner that a foriegner who has been five years under the jurisdiction of the United States and one of them years in the bounds of that State he now lives in, by going forward to any Court of Record in the county he lives in and making the proofs requisite he shall be admited to take the oath of naturalization and have all the priviledges of a citizen. All this I have done, so much for the poor Irish that was Alliens and that of the worst kind, as the firm Federals allowd them to be.
I have followed Distilling this two seasons past & Intend to be at it again in a short time, the Grain is not plenty enough in this new country to Carry on the Distilling all the year but I can get as much as I can still in the winter season so I make allittle whiskey in the winter and farms a little in the sumer and and [sic] so makes out to live as well as my Neighbours [.] you informed me you had not taken new leases which I think must be Good for you at present as I Understand Markets has taken a wonderfull turn of late[,] it is perhaps a happy thing for [the] poor But how can the farmer live that pays such an uncomon rent for his land and taxes high in proportion to the Rents
My Father Mentioned to me that there was some of my honest old Neighbours speaking of me when the times were at the worst with them and that if I had been there I wold be of use to them but If I had some of them here I could be of more use to them than ever I had it in my power to be there and willing I would be to serve them if it lay in my power but likely that is what never will be but still I am glad to think I still have the good wish of my old acquaintances
Brother John I hope you will write every oppertunity as there is nothing more pleasing to me than hearing from you and the rest of my Relations and freinds in that part [.] Joseph does not write as often as I think he might do and I wish you would tell him so [.] I would write oftener but my oppertunity of Conveyance is not so good as I wish
Brother Wm. And And. is both well. Moses Scoot is well the Rankin’s & Wm lata and his family is well in short all our Neighbours from your
part of the Country is well. Brother Wm Starts for the Senate in a few Days he will forward these letters I expect by a save hand and he will have an oppertunity or writing frequently which I have charged him not to neglect [.] there is a Mr Willson a friend to the Rankins perhaps he will be the Bearer of these letters.
Brother john I must draw to a conclusion but it is for want of time and more Blank paper therefore I Beg to be excused for any Blunders or Bad writing as there is not time to coppy.
Be so good as to remember me to my Father and Jean Joseph Rebecca & Moses Scott and Uncles and Aunts my Couzins in Burt and in short Give My best Respects to all my Freinds ad Neighbours that wishes to inquire for me...
So no more But Remains your [?]ond Brother
Robert M c Arthur
These for John McArthur
Addressed: M' John McArthur Junior
Care of Mr John willson