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Title: Horace Greely, New York to Vere Foster, Dublin.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileGreely, Horace/16
SenderGreely, Horace
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationprob. emigration politician
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNew York, USA
DestinationDublin, Ireland
RecipientFoster, Vere
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 3618/D/8/5: Deposited by the late Mrs A. C. May.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9405181
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 09:05:1994.
Word Count760
TranscriptNew York
June 4, 1852.
Dear Sir:
I did receive your
former letter but on the eve
of one of my frequent flying
trips into the country on business;
and when I came back
it had vanished My life
is a very hurried one; I have
not known what Leisure is
for years; and though I
write many letters, I nevertheless
leave many unanswered.
I shall not be so with
yours just received.
Your circular is very good
in the main. I will indicate a
few improvements.
1. The State of Virginia
though first colonized of any,
is to-day the best ground for
the immigrant. It is now
constructing heavy Public
works, besides profiting
largely by those of Maryland.
Sand is very cheap there;
the climate admirable; water
power abundant; [-------?]
unsurpassed; and the Western
half is little cursed by
Slavery. Emigrants who
come over in bodies can buy
land cheaper and will find
the climate more agreeable
in Western Virginia than
in cold Upper Canada, Wisconsin,
2. You state the wages of
Mechanics among us too high
for an average of the Country
Such prices prevail in cities;
but Labor (like living) is
considerably cheaper in the
open country. I think European
Mechanics who can get
$1 and board for working in
the Country may consider
themselves well paid; $1. 1/4
without board may be a fair
average. European laborers,
being undereducated, and not
so generously fed as our people,
are less vigorous and efficient;
consequently, their
labor will not command the
best prices of American
labor. We mow, reap, chop,
&c. a far larger area in a day
than Europeans do. Digging
is about the only vocation
wherein they can hold their
own with us. They are very
awkward in handling our tools
and conforming to our ways
when they first come here.
I think therefore, that an
Irishman just landed
who can find some really
good American farmer who
would give him $60 to $80
+ and board for a years faithful
labor, and [-----ise?] to
instruct him in our ways,
ought to accept it at once.
Those who find work in the
cities receive more but save
less; and it is common
remark that the Irish are more
difficult to satisfy in the
matter of wages than any other
people. Pray urge them not to
strive for high wages, but
look more to the peace of working
during their first year
[---?] to earn high wages thereafter
3. You are wrong in despatching [dispatching?]
Emigrants to New Orleans as
late as the first of April. That
will often land them there
in June and even July when
Cholera, Fevers, &c render that
a terrible ordeal to the
unacclimated foreigner who lands
saturated with the miasmas
of a crowded steerage. New Orleans
is from November to April the
best place for a stranger to
land in America; after
April, no immigrant
should think of landing
there until November again
4. Those whose destination
is New York, Philadelphia,
&c. should endeavor to
land in March, April or
May - as near the first of
May as possible. After that
time, farmers have engaged
their help for the season;
the climate grows [-----ing?]
to European constitutions;
and labor is with difficulty
obtained. Of course those
who have means or reliable
friends to help them to work
can land almost any time;
but those who come later than
the 1st of October must
expect a hard winter Work
is very scarce here during
the winter months and not
much better anywhere but
in the lumbering regions
where Europeans are worth
very little. A Yankee will
outchop half a dozen of
5. [B-----?] & Brothers have
now a connectiion with Erin.
[----?] & [------?] here and
give small drafts upon
them. These are perfectly
good; still, Bank of England
Notes and British
gold are better still.
6. No one should board
or stop in the city a day
unless he has friends here.
If he be ever so ignorant or
destitute, he can buy a passage
if he can pay for board, and
[-----?] not to stop here
an hour. If he lands without
a penny, let him walk
immediately northward
until he leaves the City out
of sight, and then begin
inquiring for work on any terms.
I have thus given you
all the suggestions I
can in addition to a
correction of those printed
in your Circular, which I
consider very good in the
main, and calculated to
obviate much disappointment
loss and misery.
Horace Greeley
154 [-------?].
N.Y. [New York?]

Vere Foster, Esq
Post Office

N.York [New York?] June 6
H. [Horace?] Greeley