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Title: Eliza Ann McCleery, Portaferry, to John M. Orr, Chicago.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileMcCleery, Eliza Ann/97
SenderMcCleery, Eliza Ann
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginPortaferry, Co. Down, N.Ireland
DestinationChicago, Illinois, USA
RecipientOrr, John M.
Recipient Gendermale
SourceCopyright Retained by John McCleery, 80 Circular Road, Belfast,BT4 2GD.
ArchiveUlster American Folk Park.
Doc. No.9702152
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLTE
LogDocument added by LT, 10:02:97.
Word Count1322
Transcript[Anonymous note here in transcript
" from Eliza Anne McCleery 1817-64(?)"?]

Portaferry 29 Oct 1847
My Dear John
I believe when you were leaving I promised
I would write you. Your father has often reminded me of
my promise & you will see by the top of this that I have
his permission to address you.
[Anonymous note inserted here in transcript that the word
Portaferry was written by Rev. John Orr?]
Yesterday he brought me this
sheet of notepaper commenced by him as you see so I have
no excuse. I am such a wretched letter writer that I am ashamed
to begin & feel quite at a loss for a subject. You hear
so often from your father & Jane Ellen I am sure anything
I could say in the shape of news would only be a
repetition of their letters. I am glad to learn you have
commenced business on your own account & that your
prospects are so cheering. I sincerely hope you may succeed
equal to your expectations. indeed I have not the least
doubt but that you will as I know you left this determined
to persevere & get ahead as Brother William says -
We are all going on as you left us. William arrived in
Belfast about the 20th Sept. after a severe passage &
for the last week of it 6 feet water in the hold & the
pumps gaining on the men - rather pleasant I am sure.
He was quite well & as happy looking as ever He
came home as 1st mate or "chief officer" as he says himself
he has not so much of the sailor about him as he had
& has put off the jackets which I assure you is a great
improvement. he sailed this day fortnight in the
same ship for New Orleans 3 days after your letter
to him arrived here but I shall enclose it to him in
my first letter - he will be glad to get it as he was
most anxious to hear from you & wondered you did
not write to Quebec as you promised. The boys are
still in Belfast Robt. [Robert?] doing very well &
kept very busy. The Gaussens failed this season I hear
œ26000 - & James has not had so much to do - Jane would tell
you "Wee Tom" has got married. it has made him quite
a serious old man. he has got a nice wife not handsome
but very a nice agreeable person & a happy looking
creature. I thought this event would have caused
a little gaiety among us but so far we had only
a party in Dr. Filsons. the party was pretty large &
we had a good deal of singing & dancing &
altogether we had a delightful evening. The beaux
were rather scarce but John & Sandy McCullough
& a Mr. Cunningham gave us an agreeable surprise.
Isabella & Mary Filson were sometime in Belfast this
summer. They are very much improved Isabella was taking
lessons in singing & now plays & sings very well.
She has thrown away a good deal of her affectation
& is quite the agreeable [sic] - quite a pleasure now
to chat with her - I am glad to hear you say John
that you think that the gals of your own green Isle superior
yet -no doubt of it - I think they cannot be equalled
by a few - I am sure not excelled what about the
Gents you don't tell us anything about them come now
you must let us hear what they are like. can you
not give us any encouragement to go out to you
what is your Partner like is he married or single
here we may sit now for years & never see the face
of one - Brother John as usual working away at
the mill sometimes night & day I have been talking
to him about writing to you but he says he w [would?]
be a bad correspondent. I have heard this evg [evening?]
of the death of Thos. [Thomas?] Gelston of Fever only 8
days ill & quite delirious from the first. Mrs G. [Gelston?]
I suppose not very sorry. I hear she wished he would not recover
that she might get a better - I wonder who she
will select now - I doubt the inducements are
now so so great as when Thos. [Thomas?] was wooing - The
purse must be very low just now & that I daresay
was the attraction. My mother Maria was in Belfast to see
my brother William before he sailed as he could only
spend 1 Sunday with (sic) & only returned last night - Have
you heard from Thos. [Thomas?] Warnock poor fellow he
was most anxious to hear from you still wonders
where John Orr is - He did not like the voyage
much often wished he was standing in the shop
& saw Sarah or Rachel coming to say "Breakfast
ready Tom" - though he had everything very nice at least
as much as it could be on board it wanted the
comforts of home. There was a letter from him
last Sunday he is in Cincinatti with Archd [Archibald?].
is quite well & for so far the climate agrees with him - I
think he wont remain long in the new world -
Margt. [Margaret?] only got home last week from Scotland I
dont think shes much better - the others are well.
Sarah as charming as ever John - I think she is
staunch & when your 3 years are expired you will
find her the same, you must not be forgetting her &
picking up a Yankee. Maria has been with us
several times lately she is quite well desired
her love to you when I would write - she is as
merry as ever. I think she has fine times where she is
little to do & plenty of fun. Robert White went
to Edinburgh last week to remain for 9 months
George Bowden home he was a candidate for one
[of?] the hospitals in Belfast last month vacant by the
death of a Dr. Anderson of Fern but did not
succeed I hear he intended going to Edinburgh to
study for a Physician hes just the old 2/9 -
Our little town improving vastly in the way of building
since you left you would scarcely know it. Wallace
has raised & improved his house the watchmakers
(McKnights) also raised & new-fronted - we are quite
elegant just now - but then there is very little
business doing in it - which is not so well - So
many large failures have caused a great sensation.
We were in hopes ere this Mr Donnan would have
give us a dance in his new store but I fear the
bad times has frightened him - for I don't hear
any word of it now - Dr. [dear?] John I hope you will excuse
this hurried epistle I am ashamed to send
it. I can scarcely get a pen that will write
& I am afraid your Father will be sending
for it - as he does not like to be too late posting
he told me to write you a budget but he did
not intend it should be long I think when he limits
me to this bit of paper I have put as much [much?]
as I could. I must now close. My next will be longer
but I hope I shall soon have the pleasure of hearing
from you how nice we would all look here shopping in
[P'ferry?] [Portaferry?] [present?] I sometimes since
I heard of it fancy myself in one - Dear bless you John
dont pop into one of those bottomless pits you describe
in Chicago. All well here & join me in kind remembrance
to you & esteem [Me?] My Dr [Dear?] John
Your sincere friend
Eliza Ann McCleery