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Title: Rev. John Orr, Portaferry, to E.E. Griggs, California.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileOrr, Revd John/48
SenderRev. John Orr
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationclergyman
Sender ReligionProtestant
OriginPortaferry, Co. Down, N.Ireland
DestinationCalifornia, USA
RecipientGriggs, E.E.
Recipient Gendermale
SourceCopyright Retained By John McCleery, 80 Circular Road, Belfast,BT4 2GD.
ArchiveThe Ulster American Folk Park, Omagh.
Doc. No.9701204
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLTE
LogDocument added by LT, 15:01:97.
Word Count919
TranscriptPortaferry January 22 1851.

My Dear Sir,

Sad, sad indeed was the intelligence which your
letter of the 8th of Nov.r [November?] last brought to our
house, the death of our dear beloved, affectionate Son, John
M. Orr. It came on us like the bursting of a thunderstorm,
on the morning of the 14th Inst. For a time we were all
completely prostrated, and it was only on the perusal and
re-perusal of your sincere, feeling, affectionate Christian
letter, that aided by the Grace of God we were restored to
some kind of Christian composure - Often indeed since he
left us, but especially since he informed us of his design
to proceed on that - to him - ill fated expedition to
California, have we pictured to ourselves his hardships and
privations, and especially if attacked with sickness there
would be no kind hand to attend him, or no kind voice to
sooth him - but his letters which except one, reached us
regularly were all written in such good spirits, that our
hearts were buoyed up with hope - alas! only to be terribly
disappointed. For the affection that subsisted between him &
you I thank our Heavenly Father, for the kindness and
attention you showed him in his illness and at his death,
when you had to act the part of relative and Christian
friend and for the respect shown to his poor earthly remains
- we all thank you from our hearts - The testimony borne by
one who knew him so well, to 'his 'sterling integrity and
uprightness of purpose' - and the information communicated
respecting some evenings spent in your habitation in
religious exercises - and the faith we have in Jesus as the
only hope and refuge of sinners - are at the present moment
to us [peculiarly?] valuable - The first shows
that his father's parting admonition to 'act in all your
transactions honourably and uprightly' - was not forgotten
the others afford true and genuine comfort in the hour of
deep distress. Though we cannot now pray for him as we were
accustomed regularly to do and though his body rests in a grave
in the far far west, yet we believe it to be as safe there as in
his native land - for that is the declaration of the Saviour
himself - And this is the will [&cc?] and we can and do pray
for the man who was to our dear Son a companion in his wanderings
- a partner in his toils - and a Christian friend in his last and
fatal illness - yes! E.E. Griggs we pray for you that you may be
preserved to return in safety to your dear wife and family - that God
will repay [unto?] your bosom a thousand fold the kindness
shown to John M. Orr - that the [brotherly?] friendship
commenced on earth & [that?] not a mere worldly one will be
[commenced?] in heaven; and that washed in the fountain of
Christ's blood, & clothed in his spotless righteousness, and
sanctified by the Holy Spirit, we may all meet around the
throne of God and of the Saints. -
In the midst of judgement God is [ever loving?] [----g?]
With respect to the converting his property into money, I
leave that entirely to you. Ill would it be come me not to
repose the fullest confidence in the sterling integrity and
uprightness of purpose, of one who was my Son's partner and
attached friend who has testified to these qualities in him,
and to whom his memory is dear.
If God in his good Providence spare Thomas
[Warnock?], you can advise with him on the best method of
transmitting the proceeds to this country -
[respenny?] & of sending, his watch, or any letter
things that may be mementos of departed affection.
[and?] [though?] many parts of your letter [under?] the
sad circumstances are gratifying though you have written
very fully his poor mother is anxious to know whether he was
sensible and aware that he was dying? - also whether in the
previous illness of diarrhoea, which he had, and
of which he mentioned in his last letter posted only four
days before his death, though he said he was then quite well,
he was in Sacramento City, or travelling or working - for he
mentions having been at [Coloma?] a few days before, and
whether he was in lodgings, or sleeping in the waggon and
if he had any proper nourishment

Let [me?] [hear?] from you as soon as you conveniently can -

Believe me dear Sir

E.E. Griggs Yours sincerely

John Orr.

When you see Dr [Warnock?] you can inform that his friends
here are all well tho in great anxiety about him, especially
as there has only been one letter recieved [received?] from
him since he went to California, and the weeks [contained?]
in the Newspapers the [evuages?] of [Chalim?] are far from
calculated to relieve that anxiety - that a letter was
addressed to him to Stockton, to the care of my dear Son the
week before your letter arrived - and that they hope if
God spare him and his brother that they will write
presently and regularly - That the Lord may extend over them
and you his protecting shield, and that your family and
theirs may not have cause to experience such heart rending
feelings as ours has done, is the earnest prayer of John M.
Orr's [bereaved?] father, John Orr

Copy of letter to E.E. Griggs Esq.

[Machaelmore?] River

near Sacramento City


Posted Jany 22d, 1851.