|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.94-96: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9, Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Document added by JM 02:09:1993.
|Blandford, March 10th. 1813.
I received my darling Margaret's welcome letter a few days ago,
it was a very long time since I had one from you, I wrote a long
letter to my Father and Rachel about six weeks ago, in answer
to theirs, but I do not believe the ship they were to go in has
left this country yet. There is a report to-day that letters
will not be permitted to leave this country, but I sincerely
hope it is without any foundation. It is also said that letters
will be opened and read, I care not who reads mine.
How delighted I am to hear you are all so well, William and I
continue to enjoy excellent health, and by leaving this place
for a few months during the sickly season I hope we shall enjoy
it for a long time to come.
I am very much pleased to hear you think the pictures like,
and I hope you will have the originals with you in a very few
years, and then how happy we shall all be. Do not, my dearest
Sister, ever be afraid of your letters appearing either stupid
or tiresome, believe me, I would like them to be much longer, I
wish you could see how delighted I am when William brings me one,
many is the time I read them.
I got some tunes which you sent me about a year ago,
but I would like to have a set of "The Heather-Bush" and some
other Irish airs I used to play. I still continue to like the
flageolet, the people here are quite pleased with it. I will
get you to teach me to play on the Musical Glasses when I go
home, Margaret Byers says you play very well, and I shall take
the greatest delight in teaching you and dear Rachel any
thing I may have learned in this country. I have written a long
letter to Margaret Byers and another to James, which I enclose,
you will send it to him if he is not at Strawberry Hill; I
wrote to Mary Cumming some time since. You have by this time,
I suppose, received the first letter I wrote after my recovery.
I know how much my dear Margaret will feel for my loss, when I
read your letters how grieved I am to think the little angel
who is the subject of so much of them is no more, what a lovely
darling she would have been had she lived till now.
William is very busy with his garden now, getting seeds put
in, this place will look beautiful in a month or two. I am on
the most intimate terms you can imagine with my neighbours, we
visit with each other without the least ceremony, when I feel
lonely in the morning I take my work and sit with the Freelands,
how much I wish my dear Margaret knew that family, I am sure
you would like them very much, many a time Sally Freeland says
she wishes I was her Sister, she is a lovely little girl about
nine years old. I think the Virginian people are more like the
Irish in their manners than any I have met with yet, they have
all that affability and kindness that is so pleasing to
We had a card party here last week, everything went off very
well, I have not been at many parties this Winter, we are engaged
to dine at Mr. Robert Colquhoun's on Friday. William and
I went to the Birthnight Ball on the 22nd of February, there
were a great many at it. There is to be another on St. Patrick's
night, but I do not think we shall go, I am not as fond of
dancing as I was once, but I shall recover my taste for it when
I go to Ireland, I do not like the reels they dance in this
place as well as the country dances I once enjoyed so much.
How delighted I am to hear my dear Rachel is so much improved,
I am longing so much to see her; she will be very much changed
when I return.
You tell me Mrs. Ward will write to me soon, give my affectionate
love to her and tell her I will be very much gratified
to hear from her, she was always a great favourite of mine. Is
there no word of another little one?
I think Mrs. Walker is determined to have as large a family
as her mother, if she goes on much longer in the same manner
she has begun, give my love to her, and tell her I look forward
with the greatest pleasure to the time when I shall be a neighbour
of hers, tell Eliza I expect she will be living in Dublin
by that time, Oh, my dearest Margaret! what blissful days we
will all spend when I return, I shall have you or Rachel constantly
with me, and I will do all in my power to make you
happy. I wish every month was a year till that time arrives.
William joins me in the kindest love to you and all the dear
inmates of Strawberry Hill.
Write soon, my beloved Margaret, to
Your much attached