|Mary Cumming, Liverpool to Margaret Craig, Lisburn.
|Irish Emigration Database
|Cumming (n. Craig), Mary
|middle class housewife
|Lisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
|T 1475/2 pp23-26: Copied by Permission of Miss A. McKisack, 9 Mount Pleasant, Belfast.
|The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
|Document added by LT, 25:04:1994.
|Liverpool. September 22nd. 1811.
My dearest Margaret,
When I wrote last to you I thought we
would have been half over the Atlantic by this time, but we
have been detained here this week past in hopes the "Mentor"
would sail to-day, but on account of having some bark on board
she was seized and has not been released yet. Yesterday Mr
Cumming took our passage in the "Lydia" a very fine ship,
equally so as the "Mentor," except that the accommodations
are not quite so elegant. I suppose she will sail in about
two hours, the wind is very fair to-day. I am very well
pleased we were not on the ocean yesterday as it was a rough
unpleasant day, I was vexed for fear you would think we were
at sea. This is a charming morning, and I hope the wind may
continue fair. I would have written to you, my dear Margaret,
on our return from London, but I waited from day to day, in
hopes of having it in my power to tell you when we would
sail. I cannot tell you how delighted I was when I received
your last letter and heard that all my dear friends were well.
That you all may be happy and well shall be my constant
prayer when I am far far from you and Ireland.
I was very much pleased with our London jaunt, the weather
all the time we were there was as warm as the middle of July
in Ireland, indeed it was unpleasantly so as I walked a good
deal. We were at Covent Garden one night, I was quite delighted
with the house, and the scenery is most enchanting. The play
was "Romeo and Juliet"; Mr C. Kemble did the part of Romeo,
he is a very good actor. Mr and Mrs Brown were as attentive
to me as possible during my stay with them. I never felt so
completely fatigued as I did travelling from London, the heat
and dust were dreadful. I think I would rather cross the
Atlantic than go from this to London again, but I shall
change my mind before long, I suppose. It is a long, long
journey, but I do not feel any alarm. It is very pleasant for
me that Mrs Brown is going, she is a sweet-tempered gentle
creature as ever I met with, I like them both extremely.
Mr Brown and Mr Cumming are gone to see what time the ship
will sail. We drank tea the other night at a Mr Wolesley's,
an American gentleman that has come to England lately. His
wife is the most elegant woman in her manner and appearance
I think I ever saw. Mr Wolesley lives like a nobleman. They
are acquaintances of Mr Brown's. We were asked to spend
Friday evening at Mr Braddell's, an Irish gentleman, but the
evening was so wet and unpleasant we were obliged to send an
apology. Mrs Brown is a daughter of Major Wallace of Ireland,
they dined with us before I went to London. I called on Mrs
Mellin the other day, she is very well. I would have waited
on her before we left Liverpool, but we were so busy, I sent
the letter, however. Mr Higginson and family are all out of
town, so I shall not see any of them. Mrs Mellin asked me to
spend Friday with her, but it was not in my power as I had
some things to attend to.
Mr Cumming bought me a flageolet the other day, but I am
at a great loss for some Irish music. Perhaps you could send me
a few of your favourite tunes in a letter, such as "The
Heather Bush", "The Meeting of the Waters" and a few others.
Oh, my dearest Margaret, how often I think of you and all my
dear friends, but I am very happy. Mr Cumming is so kind and
attentive to me that if I was in Ireland I would not have a
wish ungratified. He desires me to give his kindest love to
you all; indeed I believe he loves you all nearly as well as
I do. Tell my dear James he has no reason to be offended at
me for not mentioning him in my letters. I think of him very
often, and often picture to myself what a fine dashing young
man he will be when I have the happiness of seeing him again.
Write soon, my darling Sister, after you receive this, that I
may have the letter soon after my arrival in Petersburg. We
will stay a few days at Baltimore, at Mr Brown's, father to
this Mr Brown. Mr Cumming is anxious to get home as soon as
possible. I am delighted to hear my dear Father is getting
well so fast. Mr Cumming wishes you to let the Armagh people
know of the change in our plan. I never saw a more flattering
letter indeed from my brother-in-law (I believe) indeed I
flatter myself I am a favourite of his now. I do not like the
town of Liverpool, it is a confused place as ever I saw. I
hope I shall not be sick at sea, I am very well now, but I
dread the sea-sickness. I pity Mrs Brown, as she has the
prospect of an addition to her family sometime soon, she is
not in good health at all. Oh, my dear friends, how I anticipate
the happy day that will bring me back to you all.
I hope my dear Mary Cumming is with you now, give my affectionate
love to her. I hope my dear Miss McCully and Margaret are
very well. Tell Margaret I will praise her excellent letters
as long as I live. I was surprised to hear of the marriage
that is to take place soon, Mr Cumming laughed very much when
I told him. Remember me to all my Lisburn friends. I hope my
Father will write sometimes to me. I believe Mr Cumming
thought me half mad when I got your last letter, I was afraid
you would not write again thinking we had sailed. What is my
sweet Rachel about? Tell her to add a P.S. [Postscript?] to your next
letter. James must write sometimes also.
Our trunks went off yesterday, I hope we may go to-day for
fear of the bad weather coming on. There are two ladies going
in the "Lydia". There is a fine cow on board, which will
make it very pleasant. I suppose you are getting ready to go
to meeting just now, and I think you will pray for me. I will
leave this open till Mr Cumming returns.
They are just returned, the ship will not sail till
eleven o'clock to-morrow. Do not forget to write soon.
God bless you, my darling Margaret, and all of my dear friends.
That you may enjoy every happiness this world can bestow will
be the earnest prayer of
Your Affectionate Sister,
This is like a second parting with you, but you will hear
from me soon. I can hardly bring myself to close this letter.
Once more, farwell, my darling Margaret!