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Title: Maggie Black, Chicago, to her mother, Mrs. Thomas Hall, Loughall,
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileBlack, Maggie/51
SenderBlack, Maggie (n. Hall)
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginChicago, Illinois, USA
DestinationLoughgall, Co. Armagh, N.Ireland
RecipientMrs Hall
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceD2041/Bundle 13: From the papers of Thomas Hall, Loughall, County Armagh, Solicitor, purchased from J.A. Gamble, 44 Taunton Avenue, Belfast.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9310724
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by C.R., 25:10:1993.
Word Count1266
Transcript342 Winchester Av [Avenue?]
11th Sept [September?] 90 [1890?]

My dear Mamma
I think I shall break thro' [through?] my
arrangement this week and write you instead of Florrie
[Hall?] whom I guess is now at school.
I was glad to hear from Annie that she has been in
better health for some time. I hope now she won't have any
return of it before Winter sets in. She said "if she had
Mr. Monk she would be all right!" Well I dare say he is
"still to the fore" and in the market!! Tom was for supper
with Mr. Broomfield on Saturday & then both went to
Lincoln Park to see the Electric fountain at work. I
believe it is beautiful. The water that is forced up in
the air shews [shows?] such a variety of colours, and it
is in operation certain nights during the week. It is
visited by crowds of folk and there is generally a band
playing music. One has not much difficulty in finding
amusements here if you want it.
We spent a very pleasant time at the reception in
[on?] Friday evg [evening?] last. (I think I wrote some of
the girls about it. Dr [Doctor?] & Mrs. Meloy's silver
wedding.) He was presented with $100 and some silver ware
besides. We asked Mrs. Anderson to come with us but she did
not care to, so we took Minnie and she enjoyed it greatly.
We were not in till after 11 o'clock. All were entertained
with ice cream & cake. This ice cream is delicious, so cool,
it is all the 'go' here, in fact in the hot weather they ice
everything. Every house that can afford it has an ice box,
and the supply of ice is brought in every day, and meat,
fruit, milk, butter, etc, are placed in it.
We did not get one, as we could not see our way to spend the
money this season and I had great difficulty preserving some
things in the very hot time we had, perhaps when next season
comes round we shall have more conveniences. We have not
got our rooms let yet, Lytle spoke to Dr. [Doctor?] Meloy
if he would know of any students coming at the beginning of the
fall term & wanting rooms that we had such to let. Well last
night at prayer meeting he handed us a letter he had from a
young man who is coming to the Presbyterian college at the
end of the month & asking the Dr. [Doctor?] to recommend him
a room and the price so we hope soon to be making a little
that way. It is not like the old country. They have a room
and board out at a resturant [restaurant?], except where it
is a large boarding house like where Lytle stopped. It would
never pay you to board one or two here. They expect a better

table than you could provide for the pay you would receive &
besides you could scarcely get thro' [through?] without a
servant or "hired help" as they are called, and then there
would be no profit in keeping them, when help is so dear. If
we had $12 or $10 per month for those two rooms it would make
the way much easier and I would only have to keep the rooms
in order, and I have got that to do at any rate. I am in hope
by the end of the month that we shall get one of them let. I
feel as if I were not helping any at all, altho' [although?]
I can generally manage to keep myself in motion doing the
housework. If I were to give out our washing it would cost $3
or 4 in the week a washerwoman gets as much pay per day as a
Tom got $4 for last week. He would be a good while at
home till he would be earning so much 16/8 [16 shillings and
8 pence?] of your money. Moses has not got that much I
suppose, and there are all those years working for nothing.
Florrie & Edna are at school now every day. There can
be scheming here. Florrie is to commence to learn German
immediately. It will be such a help to us not to have to pay
for their education. They seem quite happy & contented here &
have so many little friends they have not time to miss those
they left behind. They are going to another surprise party
tonight. I say they will have me beggared buying cake for
these parties! I cannot tell how I am to keep Florrie in
clothes, she has grown out of everything she has & they wear
such long dresses on the children here. They must think I was
pinched in cloth when they see so much of Florrie's legs! but
really she has grown very much. I threaten to black ball her!!
This is the 16th Anniversary of our wedding. Lytle
says I am a better woman now than I was 16 years ago. I say I
am an older one anyhow. And looking back over all those years
I have reason for thankfulness. Altho' [although?] about have
[half?] that period was full of trials, I have been
mercifully delivered out of many difficulties and am now
happier (altho' [although?] not much richer) than I have been
for years, and just here I would thank Dada and you for how
you stood by me and helped me out of most of all of these, of
course I do not fail to recognise God's hand in it too, and I
can only pray that He shall reward you for all you have ever
done for us.
I have got my first cold a day or two ago and I feel
my chest raw, and my nasal organ reminds me of its existence.
I think it is the sudden change of weather but I hope I shall
get over it in a short time. I have been so well since I came
here. I think it strange to have anything the matter.
I mean to write Mrs. Keenan and enclose a letter to

John to see if I can reach him that way. He did not reply to
the one I wrote him & it was not returned so I fancy he must
have received it. I do wish I could find out all about him &
his doings. It seems such a pity for him to be making so
little headway, when there is such good pay & openings for a
talented fellow like him but we must still hope on for a better
time to come for him too.
Now I am sure you must all think I am nepotistic as
my letters are all nearly relating to me or mine. I still
feel interested in home and think of you all a great deal &
often wish I could take a run out to see you all, but
cannot. I hope you are well. I thought I should have had a
letter from Dada before now but I am sure he is kept busy
hay making & now harvesting I suppose will be on. Remember
me to all enquiring friends.
I am dear Mamma your fond daughter
There is a lady across the avenue who has some hens &
chickens and often she reminds me of you, so you must not
think you are the only one has a weakness for fowl. We only
indulged in chicken once since we came. Meat is cheaper!