|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.72-74: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9, Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Document added by JM 02:09:1993.
|May 26th. 1812.
My dearest Margaret,
I am now so far recovered as to be able
to go out again, and I feel very anxious to tell you all
about my little darling, for I am sure she is almost as dear
to my beloved sister as to myself. She has been as well as
possible ever since she was born, and is grown the sweetest
fat little pet you ever saw. Oh, that my dear friends could
see her! But I must give you a description of her little
ladyship; in the first place her hair is the colour of her
father's, she has a little round face, fine dark blue eyes, a
tolerable good nose, and the handsomest little mouth I ever
saw, the people all say she will be very fair. William is
quite delighted with his little pet, she is very like what
Isabella was, and sometimes I think her very like my dear
Father. She is very good as yet, and I hope will continue so.
I believe I will be a pretty good nurse, I have great reason
to be thankful for no one could have recovered better than I
have done. I experienced the greatest kindness and attention
from Mrs. Colquhoun, one of my nearest neighbours, indeed she
was more like a relation than an acquaintance. My dear William
(as he always is) was as attentive and kind as possible, but
still I often felt the want of my darling Margaret. I used to
think if you were with me how happy I would be, but that time
I trust will one day arrive. Oh! if I was now at my dear Strawberry
Hill, and could see my beloved Father with his little
Mary in his arms I should be the proudest, happiest creature
in the world. This is the summit of my hopes and wishes, and I
live for the sweet hope of one day having them realised, what
a blissful, happy time that will be, the longer I am from you
I feel more anxious for our return to dear Ireland, and then
my darling Margaret will come and stay with me, and be so
happy, how I wish that time was come! I received the letters
by the "Hibernia" during my confinement, and was delighted
to hear that you are all so well. I hope soon to hear again
from you. I well know how happy you will be when you receive
William's letter, he makes a very good nurse. How pleased my
dear Rachel would be with her little niece. I had a letter from
Mrs. Brown lately, she got a little daughter on the second of
May. Mr. Brown and the child were very well, they purpose
returning to England this summer. The weather just now is
very pleasant, we have not had any warm days this month, there
has been a great deal of very wet weather of late, I suppose
the summer will be dry and warm. I have not been at the garden
on the hill this long time, but William says it looks very well,
the peas are ready for use, we shall have plenty of vegetables
in a little time.
I wish you would send me a few of the tunes I used
to play on the flageolet, the letters you sent by Mr. Sinclair
have not come to hand, nor I fear will not, he arrived long
You will be surprised to hear that we have thoughts of
leaving this house. Mr. Bell's fine place at Blandford belongs
now to Mr. James Cumming, and William thinks of going there
to live. I shall be quite delighted with the change, for it
is a charming place, the house is very large, and the gardens
and surrounding improvements are beautiful, it is about half a
mile from Petersburg. Mrs. Bell has had the gardens always
kept in the nicest order, they intend going to Richmond the
first of July, if we go to Blandford I will give you a better
description of the place than I can do now. I never will like
to live in a town so well as in the country. William tells
me sometimes that if we go there to live I will get so fond
of the place that I will not like to leave it, but there is not
the least danger in that respect, a cottage in Ireland for me,
before a palace in any other country. Tell my Father that his
letters gratify me more than I can express, and I hope he will
continue to write frequently to me.
Little Mary is just now on my knee, one of her little hands
is on my letter. Oh, my dearest Margaret, that you could see
the sweet darling! As soon as she is able to speak I will
teach her all your names, she shall know her friends by description
long before she sees them, she has very nice long fingers,
we must have her taught to play on the piano.
William thinks there will be an open intercourse with
England at the end of the Embargo. I hope most sincerely that
we may have peace.
I am sorry to hear Sally has been so poorly, remember
me in the kindest manner to them both. I hope to see them both
well when I return. I was very glad to hear Mary Cumming stayed
so long with you. I was pleased to hear she was so much admired
in Lisburn. I do not wonder at it.
Give my kindest love to Miss McCully and my little
friend Margaret, tell her that her letters afford me great
amusement. I hope she will write often. I will write to her
sometime soon, and thank her for her last entertaining letter.
I hope all my Lisburn friends are well, though far from
them I shall always be glad to hear of their welfare. Tell my
dear James I will answer his kind letter soon. William joins me
in the kindest love to you all, and in wishing you every
I am, my beloved Margaret,
Your ever affectionate
Write very soon and tell me everything.
Miss Margaret Craig,
Lisburn, Co. Antrim,