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Title: Robert Craig, Birmingham, U.S.A. to James McBride, Lisburn.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCraig, Robert/113
SenderCraig, Robert
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationflax, linen, wheat trader
Sender Religionunknown
OriginBirmingham, Alabama?, USA
DestinationLisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
RecipientMcBride, James
Recipient Gendermale
SourceT 2613/4: Copied by Permission of Mrs Emily McLister, Mosside Cottage, Dunmurry, County Antrim.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9007098
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 06:09:1993.
Word Count1140
TranscriptBirmingham December 30th 1820
Dear James
I recd [received?] your Letter and one from John Craig of 5th
September on 15th November you say Miss Brown wrote at the
same time but it has not come to hand yet. I would have
written sooner to you but had litle [little?] of any importance to say
and I know the people in Ireland expect something more than
a plain how-d-ye-do [how do you do?] Letter from America. When I sit down
to write I'm always puzzled what to write about for there is
accounts of everything sent home that is worth writing
about so that there is nothing left for me to describe. I get
Letters regularly from J McBride hes [he's?] in good health and whats
better in good spirits too he has born the loss of N [Hull?]
not only with fortitude but christian resignation.
Clark Johnson has grown either tired or lazy I wrote here
to him but have got no answer I wished to hear from
him before I wrote to you I don't think there is anything
the matter but carelesness. I can hear nothing of my
Mothers Friends I have seen several people from [Lewark?]
and made every [enquiry?]. The Letter John sent by Liverpool
had been opened I think before I got it it was sealed with
real sealing wax and an impression stamped on it. I put
Wm [William?] Kirkwoods Letter in the post office tell John and [?]
that he was well lately and living in Louisville Kentucky
I would have wrote to Miss Brown long before this but
realy [really?] could not get about it there has nothing vexed me
so much since I came here as leaving her in [?] [?] of
[did?] I find it was a very bad job not bringing her with
me however as [?] past can never be recalled and things
being at the worst now I will not send for her until I
get into a settled way of living that is until I get into
a part of the Country I intend stoping [stopping?] in and begin to
some other business for I do not intend working long as
this let her know that I will send her a lengthened long
detail soon that will make amends for my seeming [neglect?]
I did not go to Orleans as I intended but intend taking
a trip in spring if I get a good chance. you say that
I appear to take ill with working but when I last wrote
to you I took ill with play as wll [well?] as work I was then in
a desponding state partly on account of my health and
partly from other reasons however I never was better in health
than at present and am beginging to like this country
very well I have as easy times as I ever had and tolerable
good wages my employer is well pleased with me he
heard me say I was fond of reading a few weeks ago, and sent
from Pittsburg to the house I board in 13 volumes of the British
Encyclopedia and several other fine books so I pass my leisure hours pleasant
I went out to the Country at Cristmas [Christmas?] and spent a few days
The people I was with & the most of their neibours [neighbours?] came from
Ireland when the [they?] landed the most of them had not more
than what bought them a [hagin?] and now the [they?] are living
like (what the [they?] are) Lords of the Soil markets are low
but the [they?] require litle [little?] money having every thing within
themselvese [themselves?] and paying neither rent tax or tythe they
make their own Sugar from the [Maple?] the [they?] use [?]
coffy [coffee?] that grows on their Farms there is litle [little?] tea drank
[some?] of them rais [raise?] what tobaco [tobacco?] does them the [they?]
manufacture their Linen and wollen [woollen?] cloth and some Cotton the women
dress in silks when going to Church or Market a good many
of them above their abilitys [abilities?] I heard this when I was in
Ireland but could not believe it but its realy [really?] the case
You will seldom see either man [stained] traveling [travelling?]
on foot if the distance was ever so short I have seen women
often coming to the market eight or ten miles with a
basket of butter fowls &c [etc?] or perhaps a bag of flour or Indian
meal under them on the sadle [saddle?] the woman makes the
most of the mens dresses out in the Country, its a [?]
with the Americans to employ a few hands as possible I
have [?] several people that came in last [Summer?]
there is some of them thrashing [threshing?] in the neibour hood
[neighbourhood?] they get the tenth bushel or what the Rectors in [?] get for
Preaching although the poor thrasher [thresher?] would better deserve it
I spent a night at a Mr Cloakys he had a son that lost
his life in Lisburn with Monroe in the unfortunate year
Ninety-eight he is a [?] friendly old man has 500 Acres
of land with fine improvements on it he sold 470 Dols [Dollars?] worth
of wool this season & engages liberty in every sense of the
word and thats more than any of his persecutors can boast of
You would be surprised to see the Yankys [Yankees?] handling their Rifles
they always charge with ball and seldom miss even a small
bird I seen one man hit a paper four inches in diameter five times
successively. Wm [William?] [McGowin?] wrote a Letter a few days ago I expect
its a masterpiece of Politicks [Politics?] would like to know the contents of
it. You mention a great many mariages [marriages?] that happened I expect an
acct [account?] of your own in your next let [letter?] my
acquaintances know that this is a fine poor mans country and thats all
the encouragement I give. For I find that those that come here are
like the Isrealites [Israelites?] mourning after Egypt for a long time thats
[?] with [me?]

Price of Markets flour 1 1/4 dollars per Cwt Potatoes 31 cents per bushel beef
2 to 3 Cents per lb [pound?] Pork the same butter 6 Cents per lb [pound?]
whiskey 25 Cents [?] [?] whereas [?] [?] 20 [?] [?] equal to [?] [?] Irish

I intend writing to John next month if I get anything to write the publick
[public?] land is but [12?] dols [dollars?] p [per?] acre and four years credit
heres a fine chance for you as your [you are?] fond of Farming when you get
bold enough to come here give my best respects to all my friends & believe me
your sincerely Robt [Robert?] Craig

[Mr James?] McBride [?]
[Care of Alexander Hunter Esq?]
Dunmurry near Lisburn
Feby [February?] 5th