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Title: W. S. Dilworth, Florida, U.S.A., to Vere Foster, Surrey.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileDilworth, W.S/2
SenderDilworth, W.S.
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationcotton trader, plantation owner
Sender Religionunknown
OriginFlorida, USA
DestinationSurrey, England
RecipientFoster, Vere
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 3618/D/8/8: Deposited by The Late Mrs A C May. #TYPE EMG W. S. Dilworth, Monticello, Florida, [U.S.A.?], to Vere Foster, Care [of?] Lady Foster, Wimbledon, , Surrey, England, 23 January 1855.
ArchivePublic Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9102048
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
Log26:02:1991 TSFS#CREATE created 11:11:1991 PKS inpu
Word Count737
TranscriptSeeing your notice for information, I have concluded to
answer your interrogations. I would [faded] [faded]
that all our domestic servants are African slaves and
it would not be [reasonable?] here for a white person
to be in the situation of a domestic. 1st Labourers can get from $150 to $300 per annum
either on farms ditching or public works, a good
ditcher can make at lest three hundred dollars
($300) while his board would cost him nothing as
the employer always furnishes board
2d The custom of the country is for the employer to
furnish board washing & Lodging to the laborer.
Provisions are so plentiful on the farms in the Country
that board is considered a mere trifle
3d Milliners & [------?] could here pay all expenses and
lay up every year from one to three hundred dollars
all would depend on the energy industry & management
of the individual A good boot maker could pay all expenses
and lay up from three to five hundred dollars
Other mecanics [mechanics?] could do better - A good Smith
wheel wright [wheelright?] or carpenter could get from fifty
to sixty dollars per month. And by setting up
for himself could make more than this,
There is no fixed price for [----?] rent board &c.
Lands Sell for from twenty cents (25cts) per
acre to fifteen dollars per acre
Produce of the country corn cotton fruit &
provisions. Climate the most healthy and
delightful on the face of the Earth. and no
Soil yields so readily to labor as this. I have
no hesitancy in saying that this is the best country
for the poor man in Creation. A man can
go into the woods and in a few weeks have
his house built & his farm in cultivation. I know
many a one what has done this a few years back and
now is worth a pretty fortune. The truth is
there is no calculating what a man can accomplish
here who has judgment & industry. School
teachers would find this a very desirable
Now let me Say a word about the manners
in which our slaves - negroes are fed treated &c,
which perhaps will give you a good idea of
the productiveness of the country. Most planters
do not allowance their negroes at all, but
give them as much as they can consume of
good holsome [wholesome?] food. Those who do allowance
give to each negro three and a half pounds
of bacon per week and as much bread as
they desire. four suits of clothing per year
and a comfortable house to lodge in. Statistics
Show that an African is in a better condition
in the Southern States of America than you
find him bond or free any where else
on the globe. and really they seems to be the
happiest people among us. light hearted &
Joyful, full of mirth and enjoyment. They
seem to be so constituted that they are better
suited to this condition than any other. give
him his freedom here, and he soon degenerates
into a brute becomes idle dissipated and
takes to stealing & all sorts of immirality [immorality?],
The attachment between master & Slave is very
strong. The master gives him protection and comfort
suited to his taste & inclination and the Slave
serves him with almost devotion and would
peril his own life to save his master's.
The system is truly patriarchal. That the[torn]
are exceptions to this no one can deny, but
they are very rare - and a master who does
not feed clothe & treat well his Slave, is
subject to indictment & severe punishment
I said this much about Slavery because
many persons are kept from coming to
Florida through the false horror of Slavery where
if they [---?] to come & see for themselves they would
find it really the best thing in the world for
the slave on account of his condition &c.
I will give you any further information
you may desire & hope this may be of material
service to you
I have written quite hastily, if I have omitted anything you would like
to know write me & you shall have the desired information, of course I
have not written this for publication & do not suppose you wish to use
it in that way way [sic], or should have taken more pains
Your truly
W S Dilworth
Monticello. Florida Janry [January?] 23
W.S. Dilworth
Wages, &c