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Title: Edward Hanlon, U.S.A. to "Dear Father", County Down
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileO'Hanlon, Edward/11
SenderO'Hanlon, Edward
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender ReligionCatholic
OriginMilwaukee, Wisconsin, USA
DestinationBallymote, Co. Down, N.Ireland
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 885/1: Presented by Mrs M. Leathem, Ballymote, Downpatrick, Co. Down [Ireland?]
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N. Ireland
Doc. No.1200312
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 19:12:00.
Word Count1810
Transcript[Edward Hanlon, Millwakie [Milwaukee?], Winconsin [Wisconsin?],
U.S.A., to His Father, Ballymote, Near Downpatrick, Ireland]

Copy of Letter from
Edward Hanlon
sent to Ballymote Winconsin
in the year 1843 Thursday 20th Sep.

from original 1843

Dear Father,
I have since my last letter to you been very
uneasy at not hearing from you Dinis [Denis?] & Willie
Smith & myself wrote home at the same time from Pittsburg
and they both received answers....
...I am wholly at a loss to account for your
answer not coming. You wrote for my brother in yourlast letter
and I trust there was nothing in the answer
that caused you from not writing. Do my dear father
write oftener as your letter is the only consolation
this world can afford me.
I left Pittsburg to proceed west with broken down
spirits and slender means. I was reluctantly obliged
from the depression to leave my dear brother. He and
other of our acquaintances would gladly [have]
accompanied me me had it not been for the expense &
inconvenience of removing there [their?] tools and
luggages. I intended when leaving to reach if possible
Millwakie [Milwaukee?] of which I have the most
encouraging accounts it is distant from Pittsburg 1200
miles but the fall of year coming on & me so afraid of
getting into an unopened part of the country, I thought
it better to go into Canada in hopes during my stay
there I might find some clew [clue?] to my « [half?]
brother John I travelled about 200 miles some by land
and water. I sailed from Buffalo and landed in Chippawa
close by the falls of Niagra [Niagara?] on the
4th June 1842 and wrote forth with my brother to Pittsburg
and received his answer in a month after. I am sorry to
say it is the last I heard of him...William Smyth and
he and some others were all unemployed from the time I
left on to that time. They said that they intended
following me Canada (sic) and run all hazard of
employment only Mick and some of the rest fell into work
at a very small remuneration for the labour.
I again determined on making another effort on finding
out my half brother but being deterred by a friend who
advised me to go 50 miles from Chippawa to a place called
Dewsillion the Grand river in the upper province of Canada
where extension public works was a carrying on and over
2,000 men employed, thinking this a good place for my
business I at his suggestion went there direct after a
few days I commenced and built a work-shop on a Goverment
[Government?] lot of ground which cost me fifty dollars
and had commenced but a few weeks and I had one journeyman
to work and my prospects cheering when God was pleased to
visit me with an attack of chill fever this fit continued
for 7 weeks recovering from the attack an [and?] in the midst
of a population shaking in the ague and several other kinds
of fevers it was then in the latter end of August and
the beginning of September when sickness is the worst
over all parts Amerian [American?] contenant [continent?]
I again resolved on going to some moree [more?] healthy
part of the country during my sickness the best of my
customers and some of whom I have measured for clothes
previous to my falling sick had been swept away with
this dreadful pestilence over 150 had died in the short
space of 4 weeks and about 700 lying sick in the works
at the time the cause of so much sickness was the canal
being cut through a marsh that had not being [been?]
opened from time immorial [immemorial?] I never my dear
father felt the loss of my dear parants [parents?] so
much as I did at that time I thought if I had you or my
tenderest of mother or dear sisters to speak one consoling
word to me that it would done more toward curing me than
allthe Doctors medicins [medicines?] in the world although
I had as much money thank God as raised from that
dreadful sickness the Doctors there are shameful
extortion but the great disadvantage of all was the
want of the catholic clergeyman [clergyman?] there was
none within fifty miles of this place this above all
resolved me to leave this place & seek some where that
I might at least have the advantage of hearing mass on
Sunday the facilities of travelling here are wonderful
Well after writing my Brother and selling my shop at
one third the cost I proceeded to New London, Canada
west, a distance of 200 miles & commenced working for
a man at liberal wages I remained 5 months when I was
again attacked with a secondary symptons of the before
mentioned chill fever called the mumps. I became unfit
for work and from the excruating [excruciating?] pain
that attended the disease I thought that dead [death?]
would be a happy release from is [its?] existance
[existence?] Doctors Bill and several sundry other
expences [expenses?] accumlating [accumulating?] all
this time made me at the wind up very poor indeed
during my stay there I wrote my brother and received
no answer not hearing from you or my Brother and
sickness made me feel very discontented indeed I
thought I was bereft of friends & my friends bereft
of all gratitude that even not answer my letters.
The winter in Canada you must be aware are severe
and it is unusual from the quantity of snow that
during 7 months to find the snow in valleys all
through the entire summer. It gives me heartfelt
satisfaction to hear that our country men almost
of every persuasion joining in the ranks of the
repeal movement. In this country it is gaining
ground every day and patriot Americans and scotch
are coming forward nobly to aid in the cause when
Irishmen of all classes are united to aid and
assist the august O'Connell in mighty struggle.
Then and not till then will they attain there
[their?] long lost rights.
When Spring set in I was resolved to return to
the United States in the hopes that I should have
a better oppertunity [opportunity?] of hearing
some word from you I started from London [Ontario?]
about the first of April and in 10 days I arrived
in Michigan U.S.A. I was just two days when I took
the fever and ague and had 4 hrs [hours?] shake and
5 hrs [hours?] fever for 9 weeks I had it every
other day it is the meanest disease in the world it
[----?] remind me of you when your stomach would trouble
you [--------?]. The air and water here makes the
disease more fatal. I broke the ague with quinine
something the same nature as Calamal I then proceeded
west to the place where I now am I have commenced
business in partenership [partnership?] with a scotch
man the name of Matheson. Rents are very high here and
great opposition in all trades. This is one of
finest farming countries in the world and I like it the
best of any part I know but it's a poor place for [-----?]
Wages are small for either labouring man or mechanices
[mechanics?] But a man that would have from fifty to
100 pounds landing here could do well with a growing up
family come here this summer and purchase 150 acres &
sowe [sow?] 90 acres & get one year to pay it is greatly
cleared. It is a good land as ever I saw in [Lecale?].
Patrick & Elenor had severe attacks of sickness since
the [they?] came here they live [60?] miles from here.
I was told by a man that came on the boat from Buffalo
with them that there was a family from that part of the
Country of the name I went 100 miles going and coming on
chance to see them & that was all the word I received
from you since I left Pittsburg. Edward [-----?] of
Bright wishes you to remember him to his mother he lives
50 miles from here with his second cousin Patrick Rogan
Dan Mageenan is living close by the [Mer--ons?] &
purchased 40 acres My health for this last 6 weeks back
is indeed rather depressing to my spirits very much
However I hope with the blessing of God to get round soon.
Dear father I have fulfilled your request to me in your
last letter thats to take the pledge not that I have any
call since I can [came?] to this country only that I
wished to enroll [enrol?] my name in the same Society
with my dear father. Brothers Pray my dear father that
I may continue so as you are no doubt convinced that
every vice follows in the train of intemperance Give
my love to uncle Mick & family to John and Patrick Give
my since [sincere?] love to Aunt Rosy Catherine & family
& likewise to Patrick McCrisican and family & I was sorry
to hear of the loss they came to in there [their?] dear
Mother Remember me to Michael Brisket['s?] family also J.
Daughlery & family James McCarten & family McGaughlins
McGlaves the Bohals Darbys Thomas Quice and remember me
warmly to Big Frank Savage & family I wrote two letter[s?]
to Pittsburg to try if I could get a letter from my
Brother but received no answer give my love to the
Fitzsimmons I now begin to the hardest to send my love to
the kindest of mother & sisters & aunts I cant find words
to say (sic) express the feelings I wish to convey to
them My mother in your last letter wishes to have my
brother & me there that we might put the last sod on
her grave. But I would to God she could but see me or
see the last [----?] But I trust & know she has an
affectionate son there yet I never shall forget the
parting of my little of my little (sic) brother Bernard
But I guess I need not call him little now. I never
shall forget the advise [advice?] he gave me coming a
long the Balin[-?] Road But when we came to the lane
at Sam Robinson when he saw we must part probably forever
in this world he could not stand it any longer he say
[said?] Neddy [Edward?] you might come home it has often
made me shed tears since I hope dear Brother Patrick &
Bernard you will make it your daily study to love God
and honour & obey your tender parants [parents?] and
may God Bless you both Give my kindest & most tender
love to Richard Savage, [Skilliam?] Fitzsimmons Cathrine
& Mary Weldon and to all my kind enquiring friends and
believe me dear father to be your ever faithful & loving