Main content

Title: Ellen Dunlop, Peterborough to C. Kirkpatrick, Ireland
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileDunlop, Ellen/38
SenderDunlop, Ellen
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginOntario, Canada
DestinationCo. Antrim, N.Ireland
RecipientKirkpatrick, Catherine
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceD 1604/276: Presented by Rev. Robert Kirkpatrick, Breezemount, The Roddens, Larne, County Antrim.
ArchivePublic Record Office Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9012040
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by B.W. 20:12:1993
Word Count2980
TranscriptTo: Mrs Kirkpatrick

[Postmarks front of Envelope]


Jan 1st 1845
My dearest Aunt
Shall have my first and most
hearty good wishes for the new year
now commenced with all its Joys
and sorrows before us unknown
yet we may expect them, I hope
its commencement has been very
joyful to your household that
the event expected has been &
that you are rejoicing in another
olive branch added to your household
& that the dear Mother & babe are
doing as well as you can expect,
I long to hear about it, being well
over so near X'mas [Christmas?] when expected
I may not hear for another week
give my hearty good wishes of
the day to all your belongings very
much love to yourself & dear Uncle
The weather is bright and beautiful -
Tuesday 5th The beginning made on
New Years day of my letter was written
huriedly [hurriedly?] dearest Aunt - a friend
of Charles & Uncle to Joss Collins, Dr
Collins has been with us on a
visit, it has given us a very pleasant
change - he is very chatty & full of
information for old, the young, the ignorant,
the learned, so he suits himself
to us & I am sure feels the want
of the educated - he is much younger
than Charles & very fresh, you will
know by this introduction how I am
situated, hardly calling the time my

own, Charles being engaged a good
deal poor old me has to sit - listening
more than talking, a comfort when
it is so, but Charles is such a news
man he fully enjoys the companionship
of one whose views on passing
events are the same as his own, it
is the best Medicine Charles has had
for a long time, & says to me "how
much better he feels since Dr Collins
came" the hearty manner & laugh
is such a help I can feel - however
my share is only a little addition
in housekeeping not difficult either
by this you will see that my time
is a little more taken up - I do feel
so conscious for your news of dear
Geraldine show trouble is over by
this time, I long to hear about it
& that she poor dear has recovered
nicely with the reward of a healthy
infant - how little Kattie's sisterly
heart will rejoice over "a baby" belonging
to the house what I used to wish
for in my simplicity when very young
as I had a jealous love for babies
although never without one I may
say all my youth, & was the head
nurse of all my brothers -
Anna received your truly welcome
& cheery letter last mail we all
rejoice in the health & happiness
you were enjoying which I hope
has continued, that Xmas [Christmas?] &
new years day was very happily
spent - I always think of you all
at this season how very much I
enjoyed it - that early walk on new
years morning 1853 we rose early
walking off to the school house
& dear Uncle so simply & beautifully
dedicated the new year of God - I
shall never forget that morning I
felt so full - a happiness seemed to
flow out so much then on our
return to see my dear every loving
Aunts heart overflowing with love

& good wishes - & a warm comfortable
breakfast waiting - not only your
household enjoying the good things
but the poor about you so plentifully
supplied it was all new to me, in
those days we had no poor to feed
about this Town - I thought it was a
true picture of the life of a Clergyman
the simplicity struck me
so much - New Years day was very
quiet Mary & I felt it was a holiday
Joss took his Uncle away for a
long drive we made a simple dinner
as the servant had the day for
herself - Kate came as usual to see
me to give me her Birthday greeting
- we are shut up unfortunately as
our faithful old ponys place has not
yet been filled we cannot in a
hurry buy a horse so few are
well trained so being without
one I at least cannot walk,
having be [been?] suffering from pain
im my back Dr B found I should
be careful, however his bottle did
me good, I feel quite another body,
but have to be careful, I have
been so active it comes hard
to lie by now -
We are afraid poor Charley has
been very ill I feel so much for
dear Charlotte, but trust he will
be carefulness guard against
all danger of an attack which
would be very hard to lay aside
With what interest Alexr [Alexander?] & [Elaine?]
must watch the progress of their
new house I hope you will be
able to give us a sketch of it - I
have the one of Hazelbank you sent dear [Mary?]
when it was new I know it so well
& delight to look at the lawn
garden shrubbery & the very window
of my [bed?] room - When Alexr [Alexander?] has
one in the neighbourhood his own
how nice for your sons to be

settled so near each other & the old
homestead for the chicks - I would
like a peep now dear Aunt
I must go again go off to my bright
German - she is a good creature -
& useful but ever so much contrary to my orders
Wednesday and this letter must
leave Peterborough today so
my dear Aunt I hope you will forgive
the shortness of every thing of
interest there is in it - Mary was
at the Hays yesterday & saw them
all, she says " Aunt Hay looks splendid"
health & spirits looking in
"good order & very Jolly - I have not
seen her for some time as the deep
snow & inability to walk fast
makes me remain at home how
truly grateful we should all
feel when the blessing of health
is granted the beginning of another
year nothing known to us in
our circle scattered now to give
painful anxiety or sorrow -
The ther [thermometer?] was 12 below zero last
night but a heavy fall of snow
has commenced falling giving
warmth to the air my boy Cecil
has been with us for the Christmas holidays
and Walter came today so all
together we have our branches among
us - As the end of 1874 closed, we
as a Macpherson society were
able to forward to the Marchmont
[?] [?]elliviles $58 - with a box of
clotheing [clothing?] to be made over for the
children, that is half worn things
that will be made up to suit the
little ones - this work is very interesting
as the children so far turn
out remarkably well, & the good
friends who devote
themselves to the cause should
be assisted when we are benefited
so much then the social pleasure
to ourselves is a great thing drawing
us together in one cause, one interest

one work - it is but little we can do, as
there are many calls in our surroundings
not to be neglected, I wish you
& your good head & heart were
among us -
Again I must send
my hearty
good wishes
to all -
dearest Aunt
accept the
same favour
your ever
loving child
Ellen Dunlop
The newsletter came safe thank you in Charles
name for it he reads it all

I send this to shew [show?] you how
our interest is kept us [up?] in the

"His banner over me LOVE."

TORONTO, Jan. 22, 1874.

Feeling it is due to you, however brief
and inadequately written, a few lines to express my deep and
heart-felt thanks, that though absent from our little toiling
match-box makers and widows, through other arduous duties,
not one of them have been forgotten. Warm garments
sufficient to give each one; extra gifts for the needy ones
well known to us; and more than all, loving, voluntary
helpers to carry on all the various classes and efforts in
and around our great Bee-hive. The blessed Master we all are
seeking to serve will shortly give us each one His own sweet
approval up to the full measure of our having done it unto
In the past few weeks my way has been hedged up, but, as a
child led on day by day by a loving Father, why should I
murmur or wish it otherwise? The driving about from home to

home among the children is no longer a joy, but has to be
given up owing to a nervous fear about horses I cannot
overcome. Last week Miss Bilbrough and I had an interesting
tour by railway some forty miles back, sleeping in different
homes each night, all Christian families belonging to
different sections of the Church of Christ - all longing for
a deeper baptism of the Spirit, causing us to pray the Lord
to scatter the saints that have been filled, that the far-off
places where Christians pine for the communion of the saints
may behold their shining faces meet for prayer, and another
country longing for a wave of blessing be blest [blessed?] by
our God also. The week of prayer has been recognised in most
places in Canada; but there is no wide-hearted liberal,
religious, paper like The Christian to bind hearts together
and let each know joys, sorrows, and experiences of special
blessings. We go from place to place like birds of passage,
often uniting the dearest Christians unknown to each other by
a few miles, and telling them what the Lord is doing
elsewhere. What a blessing to this land if the ministers of
Canada could have The Christian sent to them for three
months! Everywhere, from Quebec to Toronto, the cry is, "We
are so dead we want power; why are we not winning more

Our way has been in each place to ask for the elder
girls' Bible classes, and there plead for special blessing.
Our Lord said to the sister, "Said I not unto thee, if thou
wouldest believe, thou should see the glory of God." We have
seen many precious souls in whom the seed had been sown
brought to a full decision, and the teachers of the whole
Sunday school quickened. Both my companions, one in the
east, the other in the west, are being used mightily and
seeing souls saved. Our song is praise. Our faith is strong
that the Lord will send across this land such men of God to
witness to a risen and a coming Lord, they shall be reapers
for His glory. In the meantime, while hearing the sound of
abundance of rain, "let us pray the Lord to baptize His own
children with a spirit of deeper longing for His glory in
Our 1800 little men and women athwart the land are the
means of circulating thousands of silent messages, and
introducing the bright new hymns of the day, which are
fraught with truth as it is in Jesus. The two hundred copies
of Mr. Blackwood's valuable books he so kindly sent us are
now in the hands of mimisters. May they prove the means of
great spiritual refreshment! If, instead of storing up such
books on library shelves after being read, they were sent to
us, what thousands of opportunities we get in these back
country places where a new book is a boon indeed! He that
scattereth [scatters?] increaseth [increases?]. To the
gatherers, rescuers, cleansers, clothers, feeders, teachers
of our little Canadian's to be, all I see or hear encourages
me to thank God and work quietly on, saying to you, Sow the
seed, "precious seed," in faith; the reaping is being done by
one and another; we shall all rejoice together in due time.
A letter just received from a mimister tells me that H. B. has
lately joined our Church membership, adding, " I believe him
to be a true child of God; he has a great fondness for the
Scriptures, and is a singer of sweet hymns." H. B. was a
pale-faced boy, acting as a messenger to a very large
licensed lodging house, homeless, friendless, ignorant, and
subject to a wasting disease. Now he earns a dollar a day,
sawing wood, and makes the manse his home.
We found the orphaned Henry had a small brother, Evan, of
five years, who was sent out by a wretched woman to sell
lights under a railway arch near London Bridge. Our
missionary found him on a bed of shavings, in a most wretched
condition, one cold day before Christmas: it was many days
ere [before?] he was fit to go near

the other boys. Oh, ye
who are sceptical, and sneer, and call our work for the
fatherless and motherless a romance, and ye who, to grace
your northern towns with handsome orphanages for visitors to
while away an idle hour, spend ye your thousands and educate
the little ones many years; ye do well, but grudge not to us
toiling women the wee wild waifs of the fetid wynds [winds?],
but join us in one struggle to place these solitary
isolations containing precious souls in families such as the
following:- Mentally step into our home sleigh, the air is
keen and biting, the skies high and clear, the way we are
passing is now a good roadway for traffic. Step out into
this farm-house, acknowledge warmly the greeting of the
bashful farmer's wife. You are now seated by the warm stove,
when soon the object of the call appears; it is no other than
the toothless Evan, now twelve months older, once the forlorn
five-year-old among your mighty millioned throng. Watch
closely the scene. Ye manly sceptics who grudge the bone and
sinew leaving your manufacturing cities, because, mayhap, it
may lessen your own increasing hoard of treasured store,

see ye not ahead that these children will become consumers,
instead of idle vagrants to be swept into some reformatory,
and thereby supported by taxation. Evan at once recognises
his old friend, who asks him if he would like to return with
her, when he shouts, "I can't, I can't!" and flies to the
loving arms of the farmer's wife, who receives him and is
flattered by the preference. A quiet talk ensues as to his
birthday, and if she might allow him to call her "mother",
then followed story upon story about his affectionate,
child-like, cheery ways. All this while, mother-like, she
had taken him on her knee, and taken off his moccassins [moccasins?] and
warmed his feet. At a respectful distance I was shown what
Santa Claus had brought Evan at Christmas, the new primer,
&c., and then to hear how many letters and words he had
learnt in it, but nothing would induce him to leave his
new-found mother's side. The door opens again, and in walks
a tall lad of seventeen summers, now the hired boy. With
difficulty I recognise Hughie M'Dermot, one of the first six
we housed in the experimental Home at Hackney, six years ago.
At eleven years he could not be kept under control by a poor
widowed mother, who toiled by making cigars to support five
children, aged mother, and insane sister, all of whom I found
in one room, and only one bed. Seeing her eldest boy was her
sorest trial, and knowing that to put


him in a way of life to earn his own bread would be the best
way to bear her burden, thus Hughie got a year of discipline,
became an emigrant, and is now a manly Canadian citizen. In
due time, I trust, he will be a protector to his poor
struggling mother. Humanly speaking, when first found,
another few months and the police court would have been his
From each of the three Homes our 1873 balance sheet is
sent home to our accountant, Mr. Lewis, audited by men of
business and position. The past year will be our heaviest as
to expense on this side, having had to build proper
dormitories at each Home. Our care still is to be careful
not to go before the Lord one step, and to keep praising Him
for mercies ever loving and tender received, day by day, from
His loving hand. No undue anxiety has been permitted to
weigh us down, sufficient day by day. Many beloved sister
labourers in India, whose hearts the Lord has knit to ours,
also in Central Africa, during the past year has helped us.
To our Lord be all the thanks.

My present plan is, if the Lord will, to return in a few
weeks, hoping to visit the Homes in co-operation, becoming
acquainted with those gathered in during the past six months,
and now under loving influence. It rejoices me to hear that
Mr. Muir has opened a Boys' Emigration Training Home at
Leith, and that Glasgow, Edinburgh, Liverpool, and Dublin
Homes are filling up.
May the result of the wave of blessing be, that from
Scotland shall come forth a multitude of true, brave-hearted
followers of the meek and lowly Jesus, to show a God-defying
world the power of a practical Chrisianity!
Truly then would we be known by our fruit in holy bonded
union of witnessing to a faith and love in action, as did our
blessed compassionate Lord. Instead of ones and twos going
to and fro, we should hear of hundreds speaking the glad
tidings, by being fresh voices for many a toiling, weary,
longing pastor, and the fainting missionaries would be
refreshed by timely aid from warm hearts in the midst of
their toil.
Gratefully yours, dear fellow-helpers, affectionately,