|Mary Cumming, Baltimore to Rev. Andrew Craig, Lisburn.
|Irish Emigration Database
|Cumming (n. Craig), Mary
|middle class housewife
|Baltimore, Maryland, USA
|Lisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
|Rev. Andrew Craig
|T 1475/2 p.128-131: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9 Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Document added by JM 01:11:1993.
|Springfield, near Baltimore.
October 14th. 1814.
My dear Father,
On the 11th. inst. I was made very happy by the
receipt of your letter of the 30th, April, along with several
others from my dear friends at home. It was a long time since
I had heard from you before and most happy I am to hear you are
all well, William and I left home for the Springs about the
latter end of July, where we spent some time, but whether it
was owing to the fatigue of travelling or some other cause,
I did not derive the benefit from them which I expected; on
the contrary I think I got weaker during my stay, but as there
is no subject I dislike so much to dwell on as my own bad
health, I shall say no more about it, only that I am much
better and hope soon to be quite well again.
We arrived here about a fortnight ago, and on Wednesday
last William set off for Petersburg alone. The reason
he left me was this;- my journey from New York to Baltimore
fatigued me so much he was afraid of me undertaking as long
a one as from this to Petersburg until I got stronger, and he
had some business that required his immediate return. My dear
Father will have heard long before this reaches him that all
hope of peace between America and England is at an end, perhaps
for many years. By the arrival of the "John Adams" about a
week ago we heard the unwelcome intelligence that the
American ministers were about to return without being able
to bring about an honourable peace for this country. This
was a sad disappointment to us, for now it is impossible to
say when that event may take place. I never in all my life saw
any person bear disappointments better than my dear William
does, he always keeps up his spirits and hopes for happier
To my great joy he has now determined on returning to Ireland
in the course of next Summer, there will be little or
no business to do in this country now, and I suffer so much
from the climate that he will not run the risk of keeping
me longer in it. The thought of this happy event which I have
so long and ardently wished for makes me feel very happy, and
I feel convinced my beloved friends at home will feel so too.
I expect to be able to return to Petersburg about the beginning
of next month, I shall be very anxious to see William,
as it is the first time we have been separated for so long.
We expect James Cumming here some time soon. I shall return
with him or one of Mr. Brown's sons. I feel quite at home
here, indeed the family pay me the greatest attention imaginable
I saw Mr. John Oliver here the other evening, he and his
brother's family are all well, they are all very intimate
with the Browns. Mr. John Oliver showed me a letter which he
received from you lately. Mrs. Oliver called to see me since
I came here, she is a very pleasing lively women. Their
country house is a very short distance from this. Mr. Brown
has a very elegant carriage which I have the use of when I
wish to go out. I am very pleased with Mrs. John Brown who
came out to this country this Spring. She is daughter to Dr.
Patrick of Ballymena, whom I dare say you have met with, she
and I have long conversations about Ireland. Her husband's
friends are all very much pleased with her.
You will have heard long before this reaches you
of the capture of Washington, and the attack made on
Baltimore by the British. Mr. Brown's family went into the
country till the alarm had subsided, two of his sons are in
the army, they had to remain. We are almost now in the middle
of a camp, nothing to be heard but the discordant fife and
drum. The inhabitants are all busily engaged in preparing
for another attack, which is feared will be made on them,
how dreadfully situated this unfortunate country is. I hope
and trust it will soon have a termination. I think the late
demands of Great Britain have served to unite the people in
favour of the war more than any other event that could have
I mentioned in one of my letters of a purchase of
flour which William made in Summer, and I am now happy to tell
you that he made a large profit by the sale. This is pleasant
and helps to keep up his spirits in these gloomy times, but
he is of so cheerful a temper that he will never despond.
I thank you for the seeds which you sent me, which I shall
distribute among my friends, for I never hope to see them
arrive at any perfection. I shall endeavour to collect as
many roots and seeds for you as I can. If I have good health
this winter will pass quickly away, for I trust and hope it
is the last I shall spend in America. How delighted I am to
hear of the happiness of my beloved Margaret! Long may it
continue, and may I find all my dear friends well and happy
on my return is my sincere prayer.
I shall answer all my other letters when I get home
and feel stronger. How proud I am at the flattering accounts
I hear of my dear James and my sweet Rachel. I am very sorry
to hear that Margaret Byers is in delicate health, I hope she
is better long before this time. Remember me very affectionately
to her and Miss McCully and to all my other friends. I know
my dear Father will not neglect any opportunity of writing
to me. The surest way always is to send your letter to W. Brown
The weather at present is very pleasant, and the woods beginning
to assume their bright Autumnal tinge, which is
beautiful beyond description. I envy Margaret that she lives
near all her friends, but I cannot expect everything as I
Give my kindest love to her and Rachel, and in wishing
you every happiness
I am, my dear Father,
M. [Mary?] Cumming
Rev. Andrew Craig.
(Belfast Ship letter).