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Title: Letter from William Hutton, St. Cathrines, to John McCrea, Strabane
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileHutton, William/39
SenderHutton, William
Sender Gendermale
Sender OccupationProvincial Arbitrator
Sender ReligionPresbyterian
OriginSt. Catherines, Ontario, Canada
DestinationStrabane, Co. Tyrone, N.Ireland
RecipientMcCrea, John
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 2298/4/2/1 Deposited by Messrs. Wilson & [and?] Simms, Solicitors.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office ,Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9310127
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by C. McK., 07:10:19
Word Count3942
TranscriptLetter from William Hutton, St. Cathrines [Catherines?], Oct
[October?] 20 1848, to John McCrea, Strabane

Oct. [October?] 20 1848 St Catherines

Dear John
Being far removed from Fanny & [and?] the girls & [and?]
consequently very much among strangers I feel very desirous of
renewing an exchange of kindly feelings with one for whom I have
had a warm and deep regard for twenty years or there about one
who never ha nor ever can be forgotten by me or dear F. [Fanny?]
& [and?] who if we ever have said or done anything to forfeit his
esteem would we are sure in consistence with his kind & [and?]
Christian character block it out of his remembrance or put such
a brotherly iterpretation upon it as would divest his mind of
the desire any longer to punish us by his silence & [and?]
divest our minds also of the long entertained idea that we must
have offended a much loved nay more a highly respected brother
- I am at present employed by the govt. [government?] as
Provincial Arbitrator settling all disputes about public works
in Canada West - they have accumulated so much that I & [and?]
two co arbitrators are likely to have six to eight months work
- valuing land taken - property injured - extra work done -
contracts partly performed - lands drowned by canals - feeders
&c &c &c [et cetera, et cetera, et cetera?] - it is a high and
responsible position & [and?] very well paid We get 30/-
[shillings?] per day except Sundays & [and?] days we are
travelling when we get only 10/- [shillings?] per day. It
amounts to about £9- per week your expenses are about £2- per
week - if you have a good map of Canada you will see St.
Cathrines [sic] where we are now marked near the Falls of Niagara &
between the two great lakes Ontario & [and?] Erie is the Welland
Canal which connects the two mighty fresh water seas - It is a
splendid canal on an American scale of grandeur - some vessels
pass thro' [through?] it containing 15.000 bushels of wheat &
[and?] last month alone there were taken thro' [through?] this
canal one million & [and?] nineteen thousand Bushels of wheat
chiefly for Aswego & [and?] ports in the State of New York from
Ohio Michigan Illinois &c [et cetera?] & [and?] the revenue of
the canal is £30.000 per annum & [and?] if we could only get
Free Trade it would double that - The restrictions in the
Navigation laws are like all restrictions in trade a dreadful
evil - American vessels are not allowed to go down our great
St Lawrence! but the public mind is becoming enlightened and our
ministry here is at length a liberal one & [and?] protection
falsely so called will be abolished before another parliament
closes its sittings - I dined with our new premier last week &

[and?] was most happy to find him a thoro' [thorough?] going
free trader - the Honble. [Honourable?] Will. [William?] H.
Merrith - I do not know if you take any interest in Canadian
politics tho' [though?] I suppose that you will be a warm
supporter of free trade generally - I take a good deal of
interest in them & [and?] knowing personally almost every member
of the administration I think a better day is dawning upon us -
At present on a/c [account?] of the restrictions freights are
cent (sic) higher from Montreal than N. [New?] York & [and?]
farmers are of course suffering just so much in the reduced price
of their flour - at present a [---?] of flour costs to L'pool
[Liverpool?] from Montreal costs 5/6 sterlg [sterling?] - N.
[New?] York only 2/6 - I do not know whether Fanny has written
home lately it being a month since I left Sidney - but you will
probably have heard that I am appointed associate judge of assize
- stand out my skin! It is unfortunately no emolument - honours
have been crowded upon me unsparingly but until this arbitration
business I had little share of the needful to enable me to wear
those honours handsomely - It is however gratifying as showing
respectablilty & [and/] high standing in society which I have
endeavoured to maintain tho' [though?] poor - poor I may entirely
be termed tho' [though?] all call me rich I have a beautiful
property good value perhaps at present for £5000 but growing so
fast in value that ten years will double that amount my next
neighbour has sold lots for building within forty feet of my land
& [and?] not so good as mine at £100 per acre & [and?] the town of
Belleville is growing out to our every side - I could sell I dare
say several acres at that price but I want to fight a hard battle
to leave the girls comfortable & [and?] I do not wish to break on
my 260 acres at present not at all events - I have no fears for
Joseph he is a fine fellow perseveringly industrious & [and?] of
excellent powers he has £125 per annum in the inspectors general
(sic) office a situation which he accepted for a little while to
enable me to rally me [my?] pecuniary forces a little & [and?]
enable me to carry on his Collegiate education & [and?] as a
barrister which will cost neary [nearly?] £100 per annum & [and?]
which I was unable to continue without aid - but I will remove
him as soon as ever I can afford it as there is no economy in
bringing up a son with no fixed profession nor is there any
economy in impeding or interrupting the progress of his
professional education - We thought his salary would be £150 per
annum but as all salaries are to be reduced at the meeting of
parliament on the amended economic scale - & [and?] we cannot
complain - he is getting a vast deal of useful knowledge of
publicmen & [and?] public life & [and?] will be three or four
times a week in the house of assembly during the sessions of parl.

men & [and?] public life & [and?] will be three or four times a
week in the house of assembly during the sessions of parl.
[parliament?] he gets also a thoro' [thorough?] knowledge of
public accounts - In sending a present of £5 to the girls he says
"a dress suit with white figured satin vest and patent leather
boots is to cost me £10 & [and?] a great coat £4" - so that he had
not that quater [quarter?] much to spare - his outfit being so
expensive - but the great matter is - that I have to pay nothing
for him at the university now I used to pay £75 per annum I have
often thought whether your lads would not improve their prospects
much by coming out here & [and?] serving their time with an
attorney or medical man If you had any wish that way I think I
could find offices where they would receive their professional
education gratis - boarding themselves the first two years & [and?]
after that they would receive a small salary - enough to support
them - There are many young men in Belleville & [and?] elsewhere
receiving small salaries tho' [though?] there [their?] time is
not out in Lawyers office but they would require to have a
classical education which I do not whether your lads have - It
appears to me to be a wise plan to send out lads young & [and?]
let them grow with the growth of the country - no young man needs
to be idle in this country & [and?] if they have not good prospects
home let them come out here early We have not heard lately how Sam
& [and?] Bill are doing or what they are doing If you think of
sending any of your lads out here all I can say is that I will do
everything in my power to advance their interests If you find that
your prospects for your family at home are not good you might do
worse than contemplate a removal hither root and branch - if we
have no wealth we have no poverty - in fourteen years I have not
seen fourteen beggars - nor half that number - We have a peaceful
plentiful & [and?] in my mind a delightful country growing and
improving most rapidly & [and?] why should it not? We have all
experience Gt. [Great?] Britain acquires & [and?] all the
knowledge - without the great sacrifice of capital & [and?] time
which Gt. [Great?] Britain expends in acquiring we reap the
immediate benefit of her improvements without paying one farthing
for our whistles - the experience of ages is purchased by her at
an enormous price & [and?] laid at our feet - look at the railways
- the steam cars & [and?] steam boats & [and?] telegraph & [and?]
Post Office reform & gutta percha &c &c &c [et cetera, et cetera,
et cetera?] - all made to our hand & [and?] we have nothing to do
but step into the shoes she has made for us & [and?] before we have
had time to wear out our old ones - My co arbitrator & [and?] I
(a Mr. Freeland from Sligo a large farmer like myself) have been
paying a two day visit to the most splendid of all wonders of
heavens creation the Falls of Niagara - only imagine the waters
of that mighty inland ocean lake live with its numerous Lake

feeders foaming & [and?] bellowing over a quarter of a mile of
rapids & [and?] then precipitated over a perpendicular precipice
- sending up to the clouds in a majestic pillar a soft & [and?]
beautiful column of spray bespangled with its eternal rainbows
wherever you look & [and?] even at night when we went to admire
there was the Lunar Rainbows in softer and less dazzling beauty
reflected by the silvery lustre of the paler orb -
On the American side their falls do not contain probably the
twentieth part of the body of water - but from this very
circumstance they present a variety of scene - the water being
shallower is more lashed against the rocks and the hue is
whiter than that of the British falls which from the very depth
of the water presents a greenish hue -- above these stupendous
falls is still another hill some 80 or 100 ft. [feet?] in height
& [and?] from this view is indeed splendid after viewing these
we walked 1 1/2 miles to the new suspension bridge hung entirely
on wires - another wonder of the world 750 ft [feet?] long &
and?] 250 ft [feet?] above the level of the River Niagara which
runs beneath - this is we crossed to the American side & [and?]
returned & [and?] went 1 mile further to the much talked
Whirlpool - where all these mighty waters are embedded at the
foot of a mighty mountain and after lashing & [and?] foaming
for a while in vast whirlpools retreat some 80 or 100 yards
& [and?] [----?] off majestically (at a right angle) to the
North - this is also one of the greatest wonders of creation
& [and?] emphatically this is the place of wonders - after our
return to the falls we crossed over to the American side in the
ferry boat which crosses under the very spray & [and?] were
well wet thro' [through?] with it - Thence we went by rail car
to the most extraordinary city for its size Buffalo - the outlet
for all the trade of the mighty West a whirlpool on dry land
containing 43.000 inhabitants altho' [although?] it was burned
down by the British in the war in the war of 1812-1813 - There
were about 290 vessels in port a very forest of masts & [and?]
here to was another wonder of the world the largest & [and?]
handsomest Steamer ever built - (the Empire State) she carries
1500 tons burden & [and?] 1000 passengers & [and?] went out on
her first trip to Chicago the day after we saw her - her drawing
rooms are splendidly furnished with sofas - lounges -
conversation chairs - stools &c &c [et cetera, et cetera?] all
of plush crimson velvet - one of the tables ebony covered with
white marble - satin paper boardered with embroidered gold &
[and?] on every pannel [panel?] between the bed room doors is a
beautiful sketch of American scenery also surrounded with gold
edging altogether you would say a vessel of most extravagant
grandeur cost £40.000 & [and?] compasses even the Hudson's
floating palaces this vessel is also another wonder of the

world - Thus did we see in two days five of the greatest wonders
of the world & [and?] all within 35 miles of space The Americas
seem to desire that their works of art shall be in unison with
the gigantic development of nature & [and?] nature's beauty -
In speaking of the Falls I may mention that from close
calculating of the depth of water & [and?] the current below
them 700,000 tons of water at the least come over the Falls
every minute - all attempts to describe their grandeur are
tame & [and?] futile & [and?] the sight of them creates an
inner thrill & [and?] throb of awestruck veneration for the
mighty architecture of natures work There is an island called
Goat Island between the British and the American & [and?] a
bridge on to it constructed with amazing ingenuity over the
American rapids very near the Falls - over this we went
determined to see them in every possible phase - the scenery
was rendered still more beautiful by the autumnal tinge of the
trees - our maple tree here at this season becomes [----?] &
[and?] dies a splendid death - shedding a lustre all around I
send you a leaf of it taken from Goat Island & [and?] also a
sprig of red cedar (of which pencils are made) which grew on
the same island & [and?] has a very sweet scent - I hope to
be near John McCrea of Guelph in my travels & [and?] if I can
manage it I will go to see him & [and?] his - I saw his name
creditably mentioned as a judge at an agricultural society show
in Puslinch not far from Hamilton whither we go when we have done
here - I have never yet with any who knows him I think he must lead
a very quiet and retired life - I had a letter from Fanny yesterday
all well & [and?] happy - have been busy storing a large crop of
potatoes some 800 or 900 bushels large for us dreading the rot
which however has not affected us as yet - we had also a good deal
of Indian corn which is troublesome to gather & [and?] husk our
spring was excellent our wheat was middling but our hay was quite
deficient The election for the supt. [superintendent?] of grammar
schools for Victoria district has not yet come I have good hopes
of being re-elected - the salary is £70 per annum & [and?] I hope
to clear £120 a year by the business I am now on - this with Joes
(sic) £125 which saves me £75 - will assist us very much tho'
[though?] I think the arbitration business will not last more
than a year or two - The Govt. [Government?] will learn wit to
make their bargains with individuals before they commence public
works & [and?] not leave anything for arbitration - I also get
various other little pickings from my position in society - being
appointed by the court of assize or private individuals as
arbitrator or umpire or commissioner - This year I made £19 in
his way in a very short time - but had it not been for these
sundry pickings my farm never would have enabled me to pay for
Joe's eductaion - money is very seldom made by farming here unless

there is a working family who pay no hired hands - but all the
necessaries of life are furnished in abundance and perhaps the
time is coming when free trade & the abolition of the
Navigation Laws & the improved climate from extensive
clearings & improved skill in agriculture will afford us a
better recompense & agricultural societies have already done
something towards stirring up the dormant energies of the older
settlers - If we can only increase our productions they will
soon find a market If we can only open the springs the torrent of
produce that will be created will soon find a channel wherein to run
& the stream will run wherever there are fewest impediments -
If they do not open the St. Lawrence it will go by N. [New?] York
or Portland when the railroads are finished - all we want is a free
course & no favor [favour?] - we want no miscalled
protection - & hope Lord John will assist us next parliament
- ours is not to meet for despatch of business till 3rd of Jan.
[January?] for the purpose of sitting whilst the Imperial
Parliament and congress are sitting that we may be more likely to
prevail upon both houses to reciprocate with us - We are to have a
universal twopenny postage I believe over all Canada & home
- a great desideratum This day Oct. [October?] 20 we have news from
L'pool [Liverpool?] up to the 7th inst. [instant?] by telegraph from
N. [New?] York - that is on the 13th day & we shall have our letters
on the 17th day - generally they are 20 or 21 days coming -
The climate of this part of the country is delightful - last Sunday
the ladies had their fans in church & we have been some days
without any fire - when we first came here three weeks ago vast
numbers of peaches were still hanging on the trees & very
many given to the hogs They were selling in this town at 2/6 per
bushel less than [---?] I had one measuring 8 inches round &
an apple 16 inches being between the two great lakes the air is very
mild & the soil being sandy & warm their fruit is very
beautiful - sometimes they have a second crop of raspberries - the
farmers however are not so rich as with us - nor are their
homesteads nearly as good as in my own beautiful County of Hastings
(District of Victoria) The markets are not so good for wheat - owing
to the increased freight to Montreal - From all I have seen of
Canada I think our central situation quite as desirable as any &
if you think of coming or sending any one to settle I may
safely recommend our town & neighbourhood What views have
you for William Hutton Would you think of sending him to push his way?
if industrious & enterprising he would live to bless you
for so doing - young lads have plenty of room here & are not
elbowed & jostled through life as they are at home If a lad
of common ability I think I could put him in the way of earning a

of common ability I think I could put him in the way of earning a
livlihood [livelihood?] at an early age & would do all in
my power to promote his interest - I dare hardly say send him out
to me - because there is a great responsiblilty in saying so - but
if you think of doing so I will feel great pleasure in doing what
I can for him - if you intend him for a profession he will require
a classical education for some time longer - if for a merchant I
think I could get a place for him at any time without paying
anything for him & where he would be out comfortably boarded
- if I remember rightly he must be 13 or 14 years of age he could
always stay with us whenever he would be out of profitable
employment & would always have a home of cheerful happy &
[and?] kind cousins to come to in his leisure hours - &
only one mile from town - We last summer made a great addition to
our house which is now very commodious - having a breakfast room -
a parlour - drawing room - six bedrooms large kitchen &
three large cupboards or pantries - our old Grange carpet after
upwards of 20 years of constant wear is at length fairly done &
has been degraded from the parlour to bedrooms & stairs
Dear Fanny patched it till it had assumed almost a different
surface -
In 1847 we met with great calamities in loss of crops and
cattle being upwards of £200 deficient - but this year will partly
replace it & with the extraneous aid shall nearly recover
the ground we lost that calamitous year - We have for 1849 sowed
26 acres of wheat & 9 of maze [maize?] & shall have
a very large breadth of spring grain sowed & planted if we
live - we have upward of 150 acres of cleared land all good &
our wood land is full as valuable to supply the town with
firewood - Belleville contains some 3000 inhabitants & I
think will next year grow more largly [largely?] with the butter
trade - as her character for making delicious butter is so well
established that she gets 8 to 10 cents per pound always 1 1/2
cents over market price - out [our?] breed of cows is small only
yielding half a pound of butter each day but our young stock are
quater [quarter?] bred [-----?] & I hope will be much
improved the next generation We hope to milk 8 or 9 next summer -
Have you still your excellent breed of sheep which in 183[-?]
yielded 10 lbs [pounds?] of wool to the fleece all round? They
would be very valuable here - ours only average 3 1/2 pounds per
fleece - the girls have spun it all into beautiful yarn &
the flannel & cloth are excellent I believe they had 150
yards this season - They are themselves home spun girls - but
still I think they will not be the less true gentlewomen -
The colours may not be as bright but they will wear as well the
multitudinous threads being finely spun & discreetly
woven I rejoice to hear of Robt. [Robert?] of Grange succeeding

so well as he is a spirited man Give him and his my kindest regards
- With kind love to Margeret [Margaret?] & whose kind reception of
me at all times I can never forget & to all your tribe
& to your father & Farmhill & Leck &
Lisanow & Maghera & all the Grange People &
to brother Alexander & all find inquiring friends believe
me with much love ever yrs. [yours?] most truly
William Hutton
I expect to be at home on my birthday at latest 22nd Dec.
[December?] perhaps the 1st Dec. [December?] you will have this
on the 15th of Novb. [November?]