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Title: Coogan, Matthew Sr to Coogan, Mary, 1851
CollectionCarlow-Coogan Letters
SenderCoogan, Matthew Sr
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationcarpenter/shoemaker
Sender Religionunknown
OriginBallyloughan, Co.Carlow, Ireland
DestinationHarlem, NYC, USA
RecipientCoogan, Mary
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count660
Genrereprimand for not writing, family news, unemployment, acquaintances
April 13, 1851
My dear Mary,
My dear Mary,

I received your welcome letter dated December 23, which gave me the greatest pleasure to find you in good health, for which I thank God. I should have answered it before this but as Patt was after embarking for America some few days before I received it, I thought by you having himself you had the tale and the tale's author which would be more pleasing to your mind than my scribble. So I waited with patience expecting that on his arrival you or him might favour me with the happy news of his safe arrival, but alas I waited in vain with a distracted mind not knowing but his place is at present the bottom of the ocean, for can it be possible if he arrived safe he would not give me the pleasure of letting me know of it and if he was unable to write by sickness I did hope you would not conceal it from me but let me know what news of him. You must know our anxiety on this occasion when you will hear that Matt Joyce sent home a letter which his father received on yesterday not even making mention of his name so that we might say he got safe but leaves us to conjecture that something has happened, Mary.

So many things press on my mind that I wish to let you know. I scarce know where to begin. But I must say that since Patt went away we had to encounter some few trials. Michael and Catherine took fever and was for three weeks very bad. Michael was complaining before Patt went away, which left our minds the more unhappy fearing he might take [catch] it before he went away, and now when I am writing this letter I have to say that Hugh is in the 8th day of the same sickness, which you may be sure leaves me in a very precarious way. The time is very dull for trade. James is doing a little but I must say in justice to him he is doing beautiful work and conducting himself just to my wishes. The poor children all is good but your poor mother, with the trouble she has to encounter for Patt together with the sickness with the children, she is easier judged than described.

I am at present myself quite unemployed. There is nothing doing, so you may say I feel it very hard to get along. The people of this country is at present in very poor circumstances. Fever and destitution is very prevailing in the neighborhood at present. Since Patt went away we buried Thomas Neil of Ballyloughan, also the old Aunt [?] Caulfield, James Nowlan [of] Aughabeg, and many others pining away, not knowing the moment of dissolution.

Little Mary Horn and Eleanor Sutton is at present in a very low state, not knowing the moment of their deaths. Your old friend Stephen McDonald is just walking out after his month of fever, so you may say the place is very dirty/dreary [?] at present. We have got Henery May married to a very nice young woman from near Thomastown, Kilkenny and left all the girls of this neighborhood to deplore his loss. Biddy had the fever in Leighlinbridge and her son Philip is at present ill but she is quite recovered. As my anxiety for your answer is got quite my power of bearing I must conclude for the present but will have a great deal to say about my next. So write as soon as you receive this that I may know what end of Patt or have I lost him after my lifetime struggling for to see him happy. You would scarce know his poor mother with all the grief she felt on his account. Let me know something of him immediately. I am your affectionate father,

Matthew Coogan