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Title: Mary Cumming, Petersburg to Margaret Craig, LIsburn.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCumming, Mary/32
SenderCumming (n. Craig), Mary
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationmiddle class housewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginPetersburg, Virginia, USA
DestinationLisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
RecipientCraig, Margaret
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceT 1475/2 p.116-119: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9 Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9006108
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 01:11:1993.
Word Count1398
TranscriptBlandford June 4th. 1814.

And can it be possible that my beloved Sister is no longer
Margaret Craig? is a question I often ask myself. This
happy event I have expected this some time past, and about
a week ago I received the long-looked-for letter, telling
me you were to change your name in March. I had a letter from
you at the same time dated December. Oh, how I long to hear
of the wedding, it seems to me so strange that I should not
have been with my darling Margaret at that time. Any person
who had seen me when I first read your letter would have
supposed I had heard some very mournful news. I am sure I
wept for an hour after it. I cannot account for my being so
much affected, for I felt most delighted at your prospect of
happiness, and Oh, my beloved Sister, may it be lasting, and
exempt from all sorrow, is my sincere prayer. William desires
me to give you and my new brother his most hearty congratulations
on the joyful occasion. I have not written
a letter to you this long time past in such good health
and spirits as I am in at the present. I know this will give
my dear Margaret great pleasure. I have had tolerably good
health for some time past and I think it has been much
better since I received the last letter from home. You will
wonder how it could have such an effect. In the first place
I am delighted at my dear Margaret's happiness, but it is the
delightful prospect of soon witnessing it that makes my
spirits so good and my health better. You must not be too
sanguine, for I have a year to stay here yet, but my dear
Mr. Cumming has promised to take me home next Spring or
Summer, and it is this delightful prospect in the view that
makes me feel so happy and contented at the present. I think of
it during the day, and at night it almost prevents me from
sleeping. I think the heat will not be so oppressive to me
this Summer as I formerly found. I can bear it much better
now, as I trust it will be for the last time, and I expect
to discover new charms in this country which I have overlooked
when I thought of remaining in it for a much longer
time. You need not be afraid of my health this Fall, for I
mean to ensure it by making my escape from Blandford for three
on four months. I am now as busy as possible making preparations
for our departure next month, we are going to take a
charming excursion, from which I hope to enjoy health and a
great deal of pleasure. We propose going to Balltown, a
place I suppose you have heard William speak of. It is the
most frequented gay place in America for a few months in
the year. I shall there drink plenty of Saratoga water,
which I have no doubt will complete my restoration, as I
have found great benefit from some William had brought in
bottles from the Springs. Balltown is six hundred miles from
this place. What a journey, my dear Margaret, would this once
have appeared to me! Now I think nothing of it. William says
my ideas of distance have enlarged since I came to this
great country. The truth is, the people here think nothing
of travelling five or six hundred miles; however, we shall
go a great part of the way by water, which will make the
journey much pleasenter. We purpose taking a carriage from
this to Baltimore, spending some time there with our friends
as we go on, and on our return also. From there we take the
steamboat to Philadelphia, staying a few days to see the
sights of that delightful place, again go by the same conveyance
to New York, where we will remain a short time, and
from there go to Balltown. We must return the same way.
Do not you think this will be a delightful trip? and I have
an idea that in all probability I shall be visiting all
these fine places for the last time, which will not render
the journey the least affecting to me.
On the contrary, it will add a charm to it. Indeed I often
wonder at myself when I look at this charming place, how I
can wish so much to leave it, but I do most anxiously, for
it does not possess that first of all blessings - health.
I sometimes think that it would be too great happiness for
me to see you all well and happy again without some drawback.
Oh, Margaret, had my two lovely children been spared to me
how proud I would have been to have taken them home, but I
must not repine, for I do enjoy so many blessings that I
must expect some sorrow.
We have had the greatest profusion of strawberries and
cherries this season I ever saw. We shall be away during peach-time,
however we shall get finer fruit where we are going.
As this letter is to be sent to Boston I shall defer writing
to my dear Father and my sweet Rachel till I go to New York
or Baltimore. Give my kindest love to them and thank them
for writing to me. I know they will see this epistle. Rachel's
letter gratified me very much, her hand is so good and the
style excellent. How I long to see her fine figure. You must
write very ofen, my dear Margaret, and tell me how you are
fixed, etc. I know you will make a good wife. Give my best
love to my new brother James, and tell him I think he was very
fortunate in getting you, though I say it that should not, and
if you live together as happily as William and I do I shall be
quite satisfied. Give my kindest love to Miss McNally and
Cousin Meg. Tell them I will answer their kind letters very
soon. I want very much to be at Meg's wedding.
Tell my Father I hope he will plant a great many potatoes
next year, and sow an additional quantity of oats, for I
verily believe I will live on these two things when I go home.
Oh, that delightful word makes me so happy, I do believe I
shall be crazed when I again set foot on Irish ground, the
rapture I shall feel in again seeing you all will compensate
for all the shaking I have had from the ague.
I am sure my brother James is a fine-looking young
man, he must come and see me immediately on my return.
I will not be satisfied till we are all once more under
the same roof. Many is the castle I build. I hope they will
not all prove without foundation. Give my love to Mrs. J
Ward and Mrs. Telfair. I trust Mrs. Ward will be fortunate
this time. Do you go to Strawberry Hill every day? If I
lived so near I would be a daily visitor.
The weather has not been very hot as yet, but we may
soon expect to be almost fried. Thank Providence it is the
last time for me. Rejoiced and happy as I will be to leave
America I will feel great regret at parting "to meet no
more" with many of the inhabitants of Petersburg, for whom
I feel a very great regard. The society is extremely agreeable
and I have met with the greatest kindness and attention
from my friends here which I will always remember with
I suppose Rachel spends a great part of her time with you,
she is Miss Craig now. We expect James Cumming here next
Fall. I hope to receive a great many letters by him from
all at home. I wish he would bring a wife with him. Mr.
John Brown of Baltimore went to Ireland not very long ago,
and returned home lately with a little Irish girl.
William joins me in wishing you and your good man every
happiness this world can bestow. God bless you, my ever
darling Sister, is the prayer of

M. [Mary?] Cumming.

Rev. A. [Andrew?] Craig.
Co. Antrim.