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Title: Wright, Joseph to Wright, Hannah, 1801
CollectionIrish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan. Letters and memoirs from colonial and revolutionary America (1675-1815) [K.A. Miller et al.]
SenderWright, Joseph
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer, planter
Sender Religionunknown
OriginBaltimore, Maryland, USA
DestinationDublin, Ireland
RecipientWright, Hannah
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count2027
Genrelatest events, life in the colonies
TranscriptJoseph Wright, Baltimore, Maryland, to Hannah Wright, Dublin, 18 September 1801
Baltimore 9 Mo 18th 1801— 4 O’Clock
in the morning
My Dearly beloved
Wife & children
Yesterday morning I wrote you a long letter for to send you by the same Vessell we came here in, (the Sally); which the Captain is to drop at Dover on his way to Rotterdam (he d’ont sail for a Week) I expect it will get safe to my dearest Hannah, who will I Know rejoice to receive it; as this may perhaps get first to hand it may suffice to say it contained an account of my Welfare & also of our Dear Brother Benjms Decease, who died quite Suddenly Yesterday week in the evening from not being used to this Warm Climate & drinking Cold Water; I wrote in my letter of Yesterday as full an account of it as I well could; it has been a very great trial to me from its being so sudden & in this Strange & distant part of the world; However I hope he is gone to a better place.— Ah! my love in what a moment did thy two letters come to ease my anxious mind by receiving in this remote place a line from thee informing me of thy welfare as also that of my dear Children & Relatives— But my dear thee did not say how thy dear Mother was or how she bore it; the day before yesterday I called at J&J Roberts’s to enquire for a letter & there was none. so I wrote thee the letter mention’d above & I believe forgot dating it; its directed for Brother Knott. I expected getting out of town yesterday but fortunately by the taking of my Clothes to a friends house (Josh Townsend) I was delayed so long as to put off my going until early this morning & on getting back to my lodging I met J Roberts who told me he thought I was out of town & that he had some letters; that he had received his Brother James’s trunk by the Phoenix that arrived on first day; that his Brother was to have come in her but did not.— I returned with him & to my heartfelt Joy received thy two welcome letters of the 18th & 20th of 7mo the one thou mentioned having wrote before I have not recd. –on the of 30th of 7mo Dear Brother Benjm & I wrote by a Lieut of an English Frigate who boarded us at Sea I hope they will get safe as they would be some little gratification to poor afflicted Julia letter I am to leave (as I set out on my Journey) at J Roberts’s who made me promise to take breakfast with him; he is to Send it with his letters by the Harriot that sails for Liverpool in a week— So my Dear it’s more than probable one of these will salute thee. –My Dearest Hannah from Captn Hutchensons representation of us to W Wilson (a most respectable man here & who has from almost nothing acquird a large fortune) the partner in the House of Wilsons & Maris he has behaved uncommonly Kind to us; it was he procured the situation for my Brother & has given me a letter to a friend of his in Genessee but I have declined going there as I am informed the Ohio or the part of it I am going to which is <a> place called Wheeling is still more healthy than Genessee.— However my dear ask twenty people & they will perhaps every one have a different Idea of places; from accounts they have had.— I shall be very particular getting my information & have a list of Friends &c to apply to for it that I expect will not deceive me— But indeed they mostly seem to encourage one to settle where their connections are as they like Company backwards— However many disinterested sincere people are to be met with as much so as I have ever seen in the old Country as they call it here— but it’s best to See the Country myself & shall more particularly inform thee when I return which may be in about 5 Weeks I have to walk there & back which is in all abt 540 Miles my love will think <it> a long Journey but now my dear it seems no more to me than crossing Fishamble St since my mind is relieved by thy letters— I would be greatly gratified by receiving one from my Dear Jos h who will I hope with the rest of my poor children be dutiful to thee & remember their Creator in the Days of their Youth My love was one of the Six to stay behind the<r>e & not come here I could not tell which to mention & I quite approve that thee should not Stay behind when thou may be favord to get away— for your Encouragement I think any Industrious person may do well here & <at> Baltimore altho: in some respects is> not pleasant (on acct of Sickness &c) yet on the whole it’s a pleasing place & aplace that with a little Money in Business say £100 Engs and care there would be a far Greater likelyhood of Doing well as business is not Carried on in the Same line Althogather My Dear from every thing I See & hear I would hope if thee & the Children were here & a little to begin with we could do extremely well I am Sure thee thy self could nearly Support us by Baking , I Shall my Dear never look for Great things Thrible and then they pay well for labour or any thing they get Done the Shops here have more than Double the profits in Dublin & often the poorest people thee would meet look as Clean as a very decent Servant in Dublin, even the poorest Kind of Black people & Since I have been here I dont think I Saw 3 Begging, the Times in town are not as Good as Usual with the Merchants & large shops in Town abt 12 Mos Back there was a great Many Failures— My love must understand that I am in the power of my Creditors in this Country Same as in Ireland which would make me willing to Settle Back in this Country where the Climate is healthy & if near a place where we could Carry on a little Dealing & Rent a little Clear Ground which would be low & Could near it purchase a Good Ground at 9s/ Engs acre near it which we could be Clearing in a few years at first the greatest Difficulty Would be as New Settlers as New Settlers will find it Different after leaving their Settled habitations now my Dear if that we were altogather I mean all the family that proposed Coming here <we> would be Society for one another & could rent a place which is easy got, (near ground we might purchase) of Good ground at a Moderate Rent or the way it is Common there— is if a Man takes a farm he gives a Certain part Say one Half the produce to the landlord & the landlord finds Seed, or 1/3 if He finds Seed himself, or it is Customary for to get one or Two hundred acres of Woody land for the Customary price of Purchase in the neighbourhood & to be improving & living on it & at the end of Seven years to Keep it & pay up the purchase Money perhaps for Good land 9s/ Engs acre or to give it up to the Owner, in many places it bring<s> without any Manure 40 Bushels of wheat to the acre & 50 to 60 Bushels of Indian Corn which makes Bread good enough for any one and the Rye makes good Bread also— Labour so high is what Distresses farmers But My Dear a very little Cleared ground would produce Sufficiency & Plenty of every Kind for the Belly the Cows even in this City Kept by any person if I had one now I might turn her out on the Commons in the Morning & she would come home in the Evening of herself & no Expence except to give her in Winter food at home, I think Bro Jno Cousin’s Business would answer well if he can procure the Cotton Twist & Silk at any rate Several Frd thinks it would answer well back where I am Now going some Branches of his Business & from what I now see & every thing Considered I would expect we would do well here & if Settled althogather where we could assist on<e> another and be much happier than we could in poor Ireland altho my attachment to it is great and if not overdone would be preferable to this country from its very temperate climate— I think the Americans the little rising generation seem very delicate in this place but it’s in part oweing to the bring<ing> up it’s not so much so in the country parts— Any young Man or Woman to come over to be servants could live happy & respected & have a prospect here not to be met with in Ireland— and a Man able & Willing to work & Carefull might live as happy as he could wish Labourers get one dollar Day that’s 4s/6d english or 7s/6d this currency in town Carpenters from 7s /6 to 10/ this currencey and find themselves
My dear will be ready to come perhaps in 1st or 2d Month or to wait longer if our dear relations may come & all the children thee asks if Kitty had best come I think well of it & that it would be greatly to her advantage or any young Woman that would take care of themselves, most of the servant girls here are blacks the white girls are almost above being servants but may if they act properly get husbands suitable with their assistance to maintain a family decently washing Stockings 5d pair Shirts 5d & handkerchiefs the Same of this Currency which is equal to 3d Engs Money if Polly & Jinny Reily were here they Might live on Dainties to What they Do wish the<y> was here & Many other poor strugling creatures a Man having 2 horses & Carts would earn with 2 Men to follow them they would earn for him 18s/ Engs Currancy Day or 30s/ of this Currency Horses Much the Same as in Ireland Some provisions are high bout In Smalls but by laying in a Stock its pritty low Best American flour 7 1/2 to 8 Dollars at 4/6 Engs Each Dollar Barrell of 1C-3qrs –O the price the labourer pays for his Diet is 21/2 Dollars Week that is what I pay for My Diet& lodging its very Good Drinking people here are not at all requested nor cant expect doing any good every thing in the Cloathing way comes high & house rent in this place much Dearer than in Dublin the person who goes with Me to Wheeling is a Welsh lad he has been Waiting for Me these two Days, I must my love send a few lines to P Tudor who has been used So Badly I Can in Truth Say with no intention to injure him altho it turned out otherways & also to the Society when I feell ability of the Almighty to do so, the Acct of My Dear parents being in health is very Consoling to Me as also our Frds & Relations in General I must give My love to them all without Naming them is not for want of feeling Near Affection for them, Ah My Beloved And Affectionate Wife I hope we will Soon Meet and until that happy time farewell & with My Dear Children Accept the Best wishes of thy loving & Affectionate Husband–
Josh Wright