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Title: Rev. J. Orr, Portaferry, to John M. Orr, Chicago, U.S.A.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileOrr, Revd John/94
SenderRev. John Orr
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationclergyman
Sender ReligionProtestant
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, Omagh.
Doc. No.9702059
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLTE
LogDocument added by LT, 31:01:97.
Word Count894
TranscriptSept [1847?]

My Dear John
In writing our monthy epistle to you, the
duty devolves on me at this time. We have now received
five letters from you viz. 1st from New York dated June
announcing your arrival 2nd from New York to Jane Ellen
describing the city etc. 3rd from Chicago on your arrival
there describing your travels. 4th from Chicago to Jane
Ellen describing the [wee?] [launch?]. 5th from New York
to your mother with Daguerreotype portrait received last
night per Mr Joseph Bigger arrived in Belfast. Your
Mother and Jane Ellen think you must have been cross
looking at the time as there is no appearance of a smile
Jane Ellen says no person should sit for a Daguerreotype
likeness unless in great good humour - We suppose you
must have been vexed at getting no news from home
Mother respects the features are very like
I wrote you on the 31st of May a letter which should
have been lying for you in New York Post Office on
your arrival. This [was?][noted?] to the direction
'Passenger per Ship Prince de Joinville' That letter
mentioned several little incidents about home, and also
the death of the Rev. Alex Patterson of Ballymena of
[fever?], on the day you sailed from Belfast Lough.
The next was dated June 30th. It mentioned among
other things the death of Dr. Chalmers - the supposed
loss of the Catherine, Henry Browne on board Joseph
and George Nelson, Wm. [William?] Shanks and another man.
She sailed from Whitehaven on the 9th of June and has not
since been heard of. Henry Brown had in gold and silver
œ390 on board - besides the cargo of coals.
In the third letter directed to Chicago you mention
having recd [received?] as the first intelligence from
home. A fourth was written by Jane Ellen and sent by
Mr. John Maxwell who has gone out to settle Thomas in
New York and examine personally the capabilities of the
country. A fifth dated Aug 30th from Jane Ellen
directed to Chicago.
In the New York Tribune a newspaper sent by Thos. [Thomas?] Warnock I saw your name in the list of uncalled for letters on the
31st July. There were two lists - one for ladies - the other
for gentlemen - and parties calling at the office were
requested to state in what list their names appeared - by
which I understand in what month their names were
There have been two letters from Robert Bowden from
Quebec. The most melancholy accounts are given of the
sickness and wholesale deaths of the Irish emigrants
on Grosse Island.
Since you left there has been a terrible smash in the
mercantile world, especially those engaged in the grain
In Belfast John [Gault?] œ26 [0-0?] James Barnett,
M. Mayne Neill & [several?] [Minor?] [concerns?] Glasgow,
Greenock, Liverpool, London, Hull - all are suffering.

The last [havoc?] reported in London [œ1.8.000.00?]. I sent
you from Belfast the Banner of the 14th in which you
wd [would?] get some mercantile news - and by the previous
mail the Derry Standard.

Your Mother is anxious to know many things concerning
you, such as Have you got a situation? if so how do you like it?
In what are you employed? Do you like your lodging?
Do you pay high for it? What are your prospects?
Are you contented? Do you regret leaving home?
Now that the excitement of travelling is over
can you settle? How does your money stand out?
How do you spend the Sabbath? Who is your minister?
How do you like him? In short every thing.

27 [date?] As I intend going to N'Ards [Newtownards?]
tomorrow to the meeting of Presbytery and thence to
Ballybeen, I must finish this letter before I go to
be in time for the packet. We were very uneasy for
some time respecting Mr Edwin Blow who was very ill
of dysentery and his life despaired of, for upwards of
a week. He is now safe recovered as to be in the
parlour. One of his medical attendants [declared?] that
if he had not had a constitution like iron he could not
have stood the virulence of the attack. A great many
respectable people in Belfast have died of it as well
as of fever.
We had the Bride & Groom in meeting yesterday. I had a
visit yesterday from [Wm?] [William?] Bain to enrol his
name in the Temperance list. He says you advised him to do it
before you left and he wishes he had taken your advice
sooner. He has [been?][on?] [this?][free?][by?][week?]
I wish some of what ought to be our more respectable
inhabitants wd [would?] adopt the same remedy and keep
themselves out of danger and disgrace. Mr Green has
got J.P. attached to his name and makes a most efficient
magistrate. Miss Margt. [Margaret?] Warnock is still in Scotland
but expects to be home shortly. Mr Warnock, James and
the young ladies are well. Wm. [Wiliam?] McCleery arrived
last week in Belfast [mate?] of the [Huron?]. The mate and some
of the apprentices were left in Hospital at Quebec.
The [Huron?] was in the channel during the storm and
lying to, drifted from Dublin Bay to the mouth of the
Mersey - She has 6 feet water in the hold, gaining on
the pumps.