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Title: 28. From James Prendergast to his children in Boston
CollectionThe Prendergast Letters. Correspondence from Famine-era Ireland (1840-50) [S. Barber]
SenderPrendergast, James
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginMilltown, Co. Kerry, Ireland
DestinationBoston, Mass., USA
RecipientPrendergast children
Recipient Gendermale-female
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count472
Genrefamily, economy
TranscriptMr Cornelius Riordan N° 16
Pearlplace Boston
State of Massachusetts
N. America


Milltown 20th Novr 1846

My dear Children
On the 11th of August last I wrote in reply
to your letter of the 16th of July, thanking you
for your Remittance which was a relief
a relief received most timely. Since that time
We were most anxiously expecting an answer
from ye. At last our patience was worn out
and we became really alarmed, not for any
disappointment of our own, but lest any
disaster should befal either of you and cause
this unusual delay. We are now old and must
of course be near our dissolution and we
would descend quietly to the grave if we knew
that ye were well. John Payne arrived here
some time since. He said ye were well, and
that he heard Tom was married, but could
not say it absolutely. Therefore my dear Children
We entreat you to write on receipt of this and ease our
troubled minds. Say if either of the boys married. If
so may God bless them. The state of this Country
is almost beyond description. Nothing to be seen in
all quarters but distress and destitution. Famine and starvation threatening everywhere unless God mercifully
send some foreign aid. Last year was a year of
abundance and plenty when compared with the present.
This year all the potatoe crop was lost. The best farmer
here is as short of them as the poorer class. Potatoes
are seldom in market and ^the few^ that then come are bought
by the rich as a rarity at the rate of from 8d to 12d pr stone
Flour rates at 3/3s pr stone and varies from that to 2/8s for
flour not much superior to bran. Oatmeal 3/3s and all
other foods dear accordingly. The supply of the country
it is dreaded will soon be exhausted unless supplies
are brought in from abroad. The grain crop of
this country fell very short this year. The
last remittance ye sent is out long since and we are
considerably in debt. Therefore if ye can assist us
as usual do not delay your usual relief.
The Pawn offices here are so stocked with Goods that
10s could scarcely be raised on the value of five Pounds.
Let Con know that his Brother is well and in his usual
place. All the friends are well. It be too numerous
to name them particularly. Your Cousin Jerry Hurlys
son received orders of priesthood in September last.
He is now Father Francis and stationed at Cahir
=siveen. My dear Children your Mother joins
me to send ye all our blessing as well as
if we named ye severally not forgetting
Con, and I remain affectionately
your father James Prendergast