|Mary Cumming, Petersburg, [Va?] to Margaret Craig, Lisburn.
|Irish Emigration Database
|Cumming (n. Craig), Mary
|middle class housewife
|Petersburg, Virginia, USA
|Lisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
|T 1475/2 pp.64-69: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9, Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Document added by JM 02:09:1993.
|Petersburg. April 24. l812.
My dearest Margaret,
I received the welcome letters that came
by the "Protection" on the eighth of this month, and on
Tuesday last I had a long letter from my dear James, and
another partly written by my Father and you, for which
accept my most sincere thanks. How thankful and delighted
I am that you are all well, long, long may you continue to
enjoy every blessing that this world can bestow. I cannot
express how much I am obliged to my dearest Father for writing
me such pleasing letters. You cannot think what a long, affectionate
and pleasing letter I had from my dear James, he writes
in excellent spirits, and seems to be very happy in his new
situation. I wrote to you the latter end of last month, but
you have not received the letter yet, I suppose, it was very
near being embargoed, but the ship, with some difficulty,
got away in good time. Embargo and War is the present topic
of conversation just now here, but I still hope there will
not be war, if there should I fear I may bid adieu to hearing
often from dear Ireland.
Mr. James Cumming speaks of returning to his native
country this Spring, if he should I believe we will send
the pictures with him. I have been busy doing a great many
little things for some time past, but I have now got my work
all nearly finished. What would I give if my beloved Sister
was with me now, but this is a vain wish.
I had a letter from Kitty Cumming about a week since,
when she wrote Mary was staying with you. I hope she is still
with you. I was very glad to hear that my dear Armagh friends
were so well. I fear I have not much news to enliven this
letter with, as I have not been much from home of late.
My health is very good at present, and so is my dear William's
we walk almost every evening to the garden, it is now very
nearly finished, and I think we shall have a very plentiful
supply of vegetables during the summer. My little flower-garden
is doing very well, there has been the most rapid
Spring within this week past that I ever saw, you have no idea
how very variable the weather is here, we have had some very
warm days already, the thermometer on Saturday last was as high
as 88 in an open exposure, but this is an unusual circumstance
in this month. We have made use of ice very often, and I find
it extremely pleasant to cool the water, there is something
oppressive in the warm weather in this country that is not
with you. On the thirteenth of this month we had a very
heavy fall of snow.
Last night William and I drank tea at Mr. Robinson's,
there was a tolerably large party, we had music and cards, I have
not commenced card-playing yet, except wih William, who sometimes
plays whist with me in the evenings, you cannot think
what a profusion of nice things they have at their parties in
this country, I think they are at a great deal of unnessary
I have not got the letters you sent by Mr. Sinclair,
and I see by the papers that he has arrived in America. You
will find it a good plan to send your letters to Liverpool,
in future, as William hears often from James he could send my
letters with his. How often, my darling Sister, I read over
your highly-prized letters, every word of them is dear to me.
William says he will love you the longest day he has to live.
I cannot express the many obligations I feel to him for his
uncommon kindness and attention to me, every day I experience
some new instance of his love and care of his little pet, as
he calls me, it will be the greatest delight of my life to
be deserving of all his attention. The next letter will be
from him, I suppose, God only knows what may take place before
another month, but I will hope for the best. I feel flat
sometimes, Oh! if you were with me! but I trust all will be
Give my most affectionate love to Miss McCully and my dear
Meg, thank her most sincerely for her last very pleasing and
satisfactory letter, it afforded me a great deal of amusement.
I will write to her when I have something worth writing about.
When you write to James tell him that his letter pleased me
more than I can express. I find he has not forgotten his once
dear Mary. I have not a doubt of him doing well in everything
he undertakes. I hope to hear from my dear Rachel soon, does
she still continue to like school? Write to me very often, my
darling Margaret, for your letters are the greatest comfort to
me you can imagine.
God bless you, my beloved Father, my darling Sister, and
Brother, and grant you every happiness, is and still will be, the
prayer of your sincerely attached
M. [Mary?] Cumming.
The races are to be here next week. I do not suppose I will be
at them, I would feel sorry when I thought on the last races
that we were at.
Mrs. Brown has not been confined yet, but I expect we will
hear good news from Baltimore very soon. Write, my dear Margaret,
when you receive this. William will write as soon as we
have good news to tell you of. I know you will be very anxious
to hear. Tell my Father it is William's opinion that we will
not have war, but that if Great Britain adheres to her orders
in council the present Embargo system may be adhered to. Much,
however, will depend on what Mr. Barlow will be able to effect
Once more, farewell, my dearest Sister.
When the times comes that we are to return to my beloved
Ireland, I almost think I will be a little crazy with joy.
Not the tranquillest air that the winds ever blew,
Nor the silvery lapse of the Summer-eve due,
Were as sweet as the breeze or as bright as the foam
Of the wave that would carry your wanderer home.
These are the lines James Cumming repeated to us, and passed
them for his own composition, but I find them in a collection
of Moore's poems that we have here. I think they are pretty.
Miss Margaret Craig,