|Title:||Patrick Hanlon to Father|
|Collection||Ulster Migration to America. Letters from three Irish Families [R.A. Wells]|
|Origin||Allegheny City, Penn., USA|
|Destination||Ballymote, Co. Down, Northern Ireland|
|Recipient||Hanlon, Michael Sr|
|Genre||emigration, family, friends|
|Transcript||From: Allegheny City, Pennsylvania|
Date: 10 May 1851
My Dearest Father,
I was happy to hear from Denis Smyth who has just returned from Ireland that
you are all well except Barney whose protracted illness grieves me very much.
Denis says you had not heard from any of us since poor Mary's death—at which I
am surprised, as both Edward and Mick wrote to you since. I am myself to blame, I admit, for not writing to you oftener, yet it was not because I do not think of you
all and take a deep interest in your health and happiness. No, believe me, dear
Father, it was not that, for my thoughts wander without much effort to you, whom
I have loved more than I have ever dared to express, and to the spot, still dear to my recollection, where I have spent my earliest and, it may be, my happiest days.
Indeed, I venture to say (and I do so, certainly, not by way of boast) that few, if any, whose circumstances have compelled them to seek a home in this country and part with those to whom nature binds them, have felt the separation more acutely than Dear Father, I understand you have been uneasy about my not being able to make
out here, but I assure you, while I have health, and thank God I have never enjoyed
better, there is no cause for uneasiness. I have hitherto made a decent living and I am not at all alarmed that I shall yet work myself into a business which will ensure me a respectable and at the same time easy living, if nothing more. I am sorry to say that Denis Smyth had no sooner arrived here than he was stricken down with the small pox, but he has since so far recovered as to be able to go to work. Mick has received your handsome present (5# and overcoat) for which he is obliged and desires me to assure you that he values the coat ten limes above its actual worth coming, as it did, from you. He is in constant employment and earning good wages.
His family are well and comfortably provided for. He regrets very much that he did
not go home with Denis Smyth although it would have put him to considerable
inconvenience to have done so. Edward has gotten married, as you no doubt have
heard and he has returned to Pittsburgh, finding his business would not succeed in
Cincinnati. He is living in his own house which is next to Mick's in Allegheny City.
Richard Savage and the children are all well. His mother still lives with them and,
so far as I know, is kind to the children, but she is as mulish and disagreeable as ever.
Willie Fitzsimmons is living with Edward until he finds him a place. He is growing
big but has little natural smartness. His father I saw moping around Cincinnati a few weeks ago. I have never spoken to him in this country, and I have no idea how he continues to live. Edward received a letter from Margaret Hinds stating she was well and contemplating coming on here. Denis Smyth gives a rather sorry picture of the present state of Ireland which I believe is not all exaggerated. I find by the Irish papers, which I see occasionally and in which I take as great an interest as ever, that although the Irish political leaders lack none of the eloquence of the predecessors they seem to have done but little to benefit the country, but I presume this is beyond their reach. What a contrast there is between this country and that! I do not possess the ability to adequately describe the difference, and even if I did neither time nor space would permit me. Suffice it to say America seems to be me last refuge of the oppressed of every clime, where they can obtain, however poor and unfortunate, equal rights and privileges. If the Tree of Liberty cannot flourish here it has little to hope for anywhere else besides.
I hope to hear from you in receipt of this, when I trust you will be able to
pronounce my dear brother's perfect recovery. To him and my dear Mother I desire
to be most affectionately remembered and as space will not allow me to name all my
other relations and friends, I must simply express to them a renewal of my sincere
attachment. Again, requesting an early answer, I am dear Father, always you most