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Title: Robinson, David to Robinson, Mary, 1817
CollectionIrish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan. Letters and memoirs from colonial and revolutionary America (1675-1815) [K.A. Miller et al.]
SenderRobinson, David
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginLexington, Kentucky, USA
DestinationLondonderry, Northern Ireland
RecipientRobinson, Mary
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count115
Genrearrival in the colonies, life in the colonies
TranscriptDavid Robinson, Lexington, Kentucky, to Mary Robinson, Londonderry city, 4 May 1817
Lexington May 4th 1817
Dear Mother
I sit down to inform you of my health and happiness both of which I am so confident you will be glad to hear of— I have never enjoyed better health than I had last winter— I am now more hearty and weighs more than perhaps you have ever seen me— I am fatter than I ever recollect of except at the time I arrived in America— then I weighed 150 lbs a few pounds more than I weigh at present— but as [...] probable I shall soon become lean as I generally fall off very much in warm weather— Therefore possessing health, having plenty to eat drink and to ware of the best and enjoying at present the Company of good sociable and religious friends— besides I live with my old friend Mr Campbell a man who has at all times been very indulgent to me— you will be apt to conclude if that I am unhappy it must proceed from some bad quality in myself— I received in good order the Shirts, which you were so kind as to send me, for which I return you my sincere thanks— them with what I had will probably last me untill I pay a visit to Ireland, the time I have not yet determined.
I am sorry to hear of the distressing accounts with which every newspaper is filled of the deplorable State of Ireland— I hope it is not as bad as represented it appears that you are in a state of Starvation, I wish all the inhabitants of Ireland were in the back woods of America, where they could obtain a sufficiency of every thing their heart could wish, the millions of uncultivated acres would give employment to all them who wished it, and those who would be above working would soon become poor indeed except they would make their bread by some other usefull employment— this is a bad place for idlers— We are all free here, and all possesses a spirit of independence— the man who earns his bread by the swet of his brow, speaks his sentiments with as much boldness and freedom as the legislator who represents him in Congress— that would be the principal objection with me from ever living in Ireland— a man who has once enjoyed the sweets of liberty could never brook the idea of cringing to a despotic tyrant— I wrote some time ago, giving it as my oppinion that my Brother Richard had better come to this country after Business would get better, I still give it as my oppinion that he had better come— what can he promise himself in Ireland— nothing but indigence and poverty all his life— here there is a good prospect, if not making a fortune at least of making a comfortable living— there is millions of acres of vacant land now to be sold by the United States Government, up the Missoura there is to be sold some of as fine land as in the world— it generally sells from 2 to 3 dollars acre and after that is paid, there is no renewing of lease, nor paying of rents— nothing to pay but a small tax to defray the expences of government and that does not amount to the one tenth of the taxes they have to pay in Ireland, also, there is a large track of land, adjoining the State of Georgia, which General Jackson gained from the Creek Indians to be sold in a short time, to which there is a vast emigration this spring the emigration to the Missoura Country last fall in the space of three Months was computed at seven thousand souls— If Richard comes I think he had better leave his family at home for some time untill he would provide a place of residence for them— there is but few people who are reconciled to a strange country at first— it takes some time before the manners and customs becomes familiar and unto that takes place they are generally discontented— therefore I would advice any man who has a family, if he can any way make it convenient to leave them behind untill he could first get a knowledge of the country— I was sorry to hear of the distresses of my countrymen last year at New York— which was occasioned by such a vast number emigrating to the same place and their ignorance of the country— had they on their arrival pushed back into the country they would have all found employment in large towns on the Seabord is now I believe nearly as bad for the poor emigrant as where he left I intend going to Philadelphia in the course of the Summer, I think in June I have been keeping Store in this State now better than six years I have got tired, I wish to try some other ways of living, I wish to get in to some better way of making money— however, when I arrive at Philadelphia, I will write you what I intend to do— I wrote you some time ago of the death of your Aunt, also of the expected death of William Hopkins, he died in January last laving a son and three daughters to lament their loss— their Mother being dead some time before In consequence of the great demand for breadstuffs in Europe marketing of that kind is much higher, here, than formerly Wheat now sells for one dollar Bushel double its usual price Indian corn meal half a doller Bushel and all other grains in proportion—Tobacco is but slow sale this year at four dollars 100 pound last year it sold rapidly at ten dollars— Give my love to my Grandmother to all my uncles & aunts give my best respects to my Brothers & sisters— I hope long ere this Sister Sarah has recovered to her fomer State of health Remember me to all my cousins friends and acquaintances Tell James Cochran I have for a long time, been expecting a letter from him I wrote him a long letter giving him a description of my travil through the State of Tennessee and the Mississipy Territory— which I have never heard of
I remain Dear Mother
your obt Son
David Robinson
Direct your letters as usual— all that is necessary is this— David Robinson Lexington Kentucky— The two last letters I received had been opened the directions being so awquardly <written> excited the curiosity of some unprincipled fellow— have the directions in a better hand than usual