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Title: John Anderson, New York to 'My Dear Jane'
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileAnderson, John/43
SenderAnderson, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationemigrant
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNew York, USA
DestinationCo. Donegal, Ireland
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceCopyright Reserved by Andrew S Anderson, 9 Ashford Drive, Bangor, Co Down, Ireland. Formerly from The Diamond, Donegal, Co Donegal
ArchiveAndrew S Anderson
Doc. No.212208
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 18:12:02.
Word Count920
Transcript$$H168 Part of the Andrew S Anderson Collection $$H

The Anderson Letters

In 1857 John Anderson of Donegal Town, County Donegal, Ireland,
emigrated to the United States of America. He wrote home to his
brothers James and William and his sisters Fanny (Frances) and

To the best of the family's knowledge he died of Yellow Fever,
in New Orleans in 1864.

Letter One
Dated: 10 July 1857
Written from: New York
Written to: His sister Jane in Donegal.

New York
10th July 1857

My Dear Jane
Here I am all right after a passage of 33
days. I was very sick for a fortnight during which I was
scarcely ever able to leave my berth, it is a dreadful thing
while it lasts. I was greatly shook by it and was scarcely
able to walk after I got up - but I very soon got strong and now
I am stouter and in better health than when I left home - I was
very fortunate in [h---?] a gentleman from L'pool [Liverpool?] who
had for a number of years been accountant to the great Eastern Railway
and had been a Broker in L'pool [Liverpool?]. his nephew was along
with him and he cooked for us which was very lucky for me as I am quite
sure I would have lived on dry biscuits rather than go to the cooking
galley - you may form some faint idea of the sort of place it
must be when I tell you that there was only one stove for four
hundred passengers of us. The Captain and 1st 2nd and 3rd Mates
were the greatest Ruffians I ever met - a set of escaped
convicts could not possibly be worse than they were - we were
afraid seeing some of the men murdered - not one half hour after
leaving the Mersey the 2nd Mate beat a man for making some
mistake in handling the wrong rope. Captain Merrih--
[Merrihew?] when he heard of it was not satisfied to let him alone
after what the Mate had given him but came running down off the
quarter deck ran along the deck and jumped up on the fore-castle
knocked him down with a hand-spi--er [handspinner?]and kicked him
when he was lying on the deck. after being nine days knocking about
in the Channel we were very near drifting on shore about 20 miles south
of Cork - if there had come the least gale of wind in shore all
the seamen in the world could not save the ship nor I believe
the passengers as for miles along the coast was higher than the
mast head. I think it was all through mismanagement. Mr Johnston
a Gentleman from the County Tyrone who has lived in Cincinnatti
for 20 years was one of the 1st Cabin passengers told me that
the Captain was never sober from he left Liverpool. the second
Sunday after we sailed he ordered us to get no water - we were
26 hours without water - one man went on the quarter-deck to ask
Captain to allow him to get water, the Captain dragged him round
behind the wheel house where none of us could see him and had
him hand-cuffed and tied at the stem of the vessel after which
he beat him in the face until it was all blackened and cut
besides. We did not get more than one third of our allowance of
provisions on the voyage. the Captain presented a pistol at one
man for asking for more, we just finished the last food we had
on board before we left ship yesterday and many of the
passengers had nothing to eat for days before. it was very well
that we were not a day or two longer as some of us had made up
our minds that we should not starve so long as there was any
provisions on board the ship. The Miss Knowds [Knoud?] from
beside Dunkaneely were in the ship with me and were most
attentive and kind to me on the voyage. When we came ashore
yesterday they would not let me go to any Boarding House but
brought me along with them to their brother Thomas's House. He
keeps horses and carts and draws goods by contract for some
large Wholesale Houses. he [----?] very [---------?], has a beautiful
House well furnished which he purchased. I saw Andrew McGuigan
today. I knew him the moment I saw him and he knew me after
looking at me for a minute, he is nothing changed and seems the
same good-natured fellow that he always was, he was very glad to
see me, his wife seems a plain sensible woman no affection or
nonsense about her. Andy wanted me to come at once to his house
but Mr Knowd would not let me leave his house for five or six
days until he would get my clothes washed. Andy says I must not
go to Philadelphia he says he is sure he can get me a good place
in New-York. David Plato is in the same place along with Andy
and he is much improved in his appearance that I did not know
him, he has the chance of getting a better and if he would Andy
says he would be able to get me his berth. I am going out this
evening to try and find out Aunt Sarah. Andy McGuigan saw one of
them a few days ago and says that there is two of them reporters
in the Herald office and are doing well. I have been agreeably
disappointed with regard to the appearance of New-York, the
harbour coming up to the city is most beautiful and the Houses
compared to L'pool [Liverpool?] are palaces the most magnificent
buildings with a row of trees running along each side of most of the
streets, but the Heat, you can imagine nothing like it, if you
were to pass along Broadway

[remainder of letter missing]

Transcribed by Andrew S Anderson