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Title: J. E. Orr & M. Orr, Portaferry, Co. Down to John M. Orr, USA
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileOrr, Jane Ellen/93
SenderOrr, Jane Ellen and Margaret
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender ReligionProb. Protestant
OriginPortaferry, Co. Down, N.Ireland
DestinationChicago, Illinois, USA
RecipientOrr, John M.
Recipient Gendermale
SourceCopyright Retained by John McCleery, 80 Circular, Belfast, BT42GD
ArchiveThe Ulster American Folk Park.
Doc. No.9702158
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLTE
LogDocument added by LT, 10:02:97.
Word Count1532
TranscriptPortaferry, August 30th 1847

My dear John,
Your letter of the 4th August from Chicago, we received
this morning, and I can assure you it was a much welcome one
while reading it we were all impatience until you would
mention whether you received any of our letters we sent but
what was our disappointment to find that you had not I cannot
imagine how on earth they have gone astray. This is now the
fifth or sixth - I am not sure which that has been written.
I wrote a very long one to you on the 30th July, and addressed
to the Post Office, Chicago should this reach you, be sure and
enquire for it, it will keep you reading for [an?] hour. I
wrote again a few days after as [John?] Maxwell and his father
were leaving, and they kindly promised to find out your address,
and have it forwarded to you whether you will ever receive it
or not I can't tell, Mamma was ready to cry this morning - not
at [hearing?] from you by [letter?] - but that you had not heard
from us, you must think we have entirely forgotten "brother
John", indeed it looks very like it, were I in your place, I'd
be fancying all sorts of evil had happened to the P'ferry
[Portaferry?] folks, but they are living, and living like -
This morning past has also brought a letter from Tom Warnock,
but I have not heard any of his news as yet, there was one from
on last Tuesday mentioning his safe arrival in New York his
friend [stained] getting very [uneasy?] about him [faded]
[very?] long passage 46 days he was heartily sick of sailing,
where he first wrote he had [---t?] had time to make any
enquiries after you, I am longing until I hear whether he has
had any tidings in the letter that came today. Miss M Warnock
is in Scotland, and has been there three or four months; she
is rather better. She had the honour of sailing twenty miles
beside the Queen - last week!!! Her Most Gracious Majesty is
in Scotland at present. Prince Albert has taken a shooting
lodge for six weeks, but it is useless talking about these
Royal personages for I think they do not interest you very
much. Saw the "Great Britain? " is afloat at last, she was
got off on Thursday evening, and on Saturday morning from
the hill, we saw her passing the Light house, towed by the
"Birkenhead", and the steam ship "Scourge" following after,
Captain Clapton thought at first of bringing her here, why
they did not I cannot tell, then they were for taking her
to Liverpool, but I hear she would have sunk before she
could get that length, they however took her to Belfast,
she was just coming down the lough when the coach was
leaving B'fast [Belfast?] on Saturday evening. I was at
Dundrum Bay on Thursday with Mrs Stewart of Down, I was
stopping with her for a week, and only returned on Friday,
I had a very pleasant time indeed. Isabella and Mary
Filson have been in B'fast [Belfast?] for nearly three
months, they returned on this day week and Robena McCullough
came with them, she is leaving again this week. It is pretty
generally accepted she is going to be married to Mr Charles
Young of Donegal St, but whether it is true or not I cannot
say. I have not written to Mary Blow for a long time, I hear
she is in Scotland at present with the Beaths, she is in a
very bad state of health and has gone there for change of air
I must give you all due praise for being a good letter-writer,
I did not think you could have written a letter half that
length of the one we had to-day. I know when I was at school,
you never honoured me with more than half a dozen lines, you
are got famous at descriptions, indeed your letter altogether
delighted us, it was first rate, Pray dont say I'm turned
flatterer. I wish I could get since [sense?] lessens [lessons?]
in the letter writing way for I'm preciously bad at it. I'm sure
it must be very amusing to you, a vulgar Irishman, to see the
Yankees at their meat. I almost fancy I see them, you were not
amiss at bolting your food down while here, but I suppose you
are vastly improved in that accomplishment They must be a set
of dirty brutes; I would like the desert part of the dinner.
We are all just as you left us, Portaferry is as quiet as ever.
The only thing that has occurred in the marrying way is that
Robert Gunning has got sliced to Miss Lawson, I do not hear of any more
weddings going to be. I wish you could find a suitable husband
for me, and send him to P'ferry [Portaferry?] to bring me out to
America, I should love to go. There was a letter from Willie McCleery
by the last mail, there was a great deal of sickness on board the
Huron, an immense number of children died of measles. He mentioned having
written to you, did you receive his letter? In the paper John
Warnock sent from New York, it mentioned that their was a letter
for you at the Post Office, uncalled for. We will all be in the
fidgets now until we hear whether you received any of our
letters or not. We had Anna and Mary McCleery, down with us for three
weeks, last month, they liked being here very much indeed. They
are all living in Holywood at present, and they intend remaining
there until November, when they get settled in B'fast [Belfast?]
again. Meggy and your humble servant are to go and spend
sometime with them. Uncle James McC [McCleery?] was quite well
last time I heard of him. We have beautiful harvest weather, the
crops are most abundant, everything is becoming very cheap, the
Indianmeal is so low as 1d per pound. I believe the crops are very
abundant in America also, is there any chance of your making a fortune
this year? I hope so, I must have done, Meggy wants to add a few
words, I fear she'll be grumbling for I have left her so little room.
Eliza Anne McCleery has just been in, she desires her love to
you, and she says she will write to you when you get settled. Please
excuse this unconnected scrawl, for I am in a hurry. All here
unite with me in kindest love to you
I remain, dear John, your much attached sister
Jane Ellen Orr

My dear John
Not one word of anything you would like to hear has Jane Ellen
left me to tell you, as she commenced this I suppose she thought
she might tell all. I am very sorry to say that the potatoes are
going with the rot, at least some of them, ours are completely
gone, long ago, but it is not so general this year as it was
last year, as yet. - I hear that the "Great Britain" after she
got into Belfast had to go to Liverpool, as there was not a dock
large enough to hold her, and she passed the lighthouse
yesterday evening on her way. There was a letter this day from
Robert Bowden in Quebec. They were six weeks on sea and had seventeen
deaths on board. He mentions that there is a great deal of sickness in
Quebec. Mamma hopes that some of your letters have reached you before
this, and she would be anxious to know if you got your clothes
and all the other things safe, And if you pay much for the
washing and mending of them. The next letter we write to you
will be much longer than this one Indeed we had no intention
of writing to day till we heard that you had not received any
of ours. William Henry is as great a clip as ever, and often
wishes that Jane Ellen was away instead of you and would not
be a bit sorry if you were to send her home a darky.
Mamma would write to you but her hands are so much out of
the way of it she would not do so. So you must just be
contented with the performance of your good sisters. We
saw the arrival of the Prince de Joinville in Liverpool
last week but we have not got your likeness yet. It is
near post time, and nearer dinner time, and I have not
time to write any more, besides I know you have a great
dislike to crossed letters. So with the united love of
all to you
I remain as ever your attached sister,
Your Uncle J [James?] McCleery has paid the half of the Bill,
and [reserved?] [faded] for the other half We all live with
the present [faded] Thomas Warnock is at Saratoga springs
drinking the waters [stained] in health and intends going
to Cincinatti.