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Title: William Porter, U.S.A. to Robert Porter, [Ireland?]
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FilePorter, William/14
SenderPorter, William
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender ReligionPresbyterian
OriginChebanse, Illinois, N.Ireland
DestinationCo. Armagh? N.Ireland
RecipientPorter, Robert L.
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 1152/3/19: Presented by Mr Charles Best, Mullaghglass, Bessbrook, County Armagh, Ireland.
ArchiveD 1152/3/19: Presented by Mr Charles Best, Mullaghglass, Bessbrook, County Armagh, Ireland.
Doc. No.9011017
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by B.W. 06:12:1993
Word Count2111
TranscriptTo: Robert [L. Porter?]
[Desert, County Down?]

From: William Porter

Dear Brother Robert October 26 1869

I now sit down to answer your letter to Joseph and me of the
30 Sep-----r [September?] which came to hand in 16 days we
were glad to hear that you were all well but not so hap-y [happy?] to hear that times was not so good with you in worldly af-airs
[affairs?] we have not had a prosperous season here for farmers
either for our spring and summer was so wet that we have no corn
which is our standard crop but oats and potatoes was a good crop
and we dont feel the effects so bad as you do for we have the
most of last years corn in the crib yet and it is double the
price it would be if our new crop was good so you see we are
about as safe but when your crops fail you feel it at once
but here we have no landlord to say you must do so & so for
we can do with what we have got Just as we please and [sic]
if the worst goes to the worst we cannot be left destitute
for we must be left worth 1000 dollars in real estate if we
have it and other things that would amount to 400 more unless
you are fool enough to mor-gage [mortgage?] that so you see no one can
be broken out of house and home as in Ireland so Joseph & me
has thought the matter of your letter over and we have come to
the conclusion that it is foolishness in you to be working
yourself out there to pay rent and all other demands and
barely get a living after doing so and when you will have
done then your family will have nothing but what is at the
mercy of a parcel of bloodsuckers of agents, and lords
miscalled landlords now it is our firm belief that if you
were here that you would do very well but then again you
would have to leave behind what you would call comforts that
is not here for this is a new Country and every thing is in
its infancy from what you are used to in Ireland such as
roads Houses society churches & all things that goes to make
Ireland superior in something but we would never think of
going back to live in that misruled land again for here you
can hold up your head and not take off your hat to any man
you can ac-ost [accost?] the president of these United States and
feel as good as him and that is something by having to cringe
to every upstart of an agent you could not force me to do it
I can go to the Judge on the bench and did to ask him a
q-estion[question?] dare you do it in Ireland I guess not well all
these things is to be weighed against what you would call
comfort in Ireland


Now I will tell you how we are situated here that is Joseph
and myself Joseph is working at his trade and gets 2 dollars
& 50 cents a day and he is doing very well his children is
all at home now with him the girls is young weoman [women?]
and would not care how soon the[y?] were mothers they were
living with Mary ann in Chicago she was paying them 6 dollars
a week to help her in the House but when it got warm the[y?]
came home thinking the[y?] could not suffer the heat in town
so they are stopping at home since they are all well he has 3
good lots in town that he can raise nearly all the use such
as potatoes & vegetables and he has money at interest what he
never could succeeded to in Ireland Well now I will tell you
of my own affairs honestly and then you can Ju-ge [judge?]
whether ever I could have been as well there with the sort of
health I have had all my life If I could work like others or as you
done there I could have thousands where I have not Hundreds
and then I lost more than would have broke me two or three
times if I had all you all had but still I am able to live
not so well as I might be but then no man can come to my door
to demand money I owe no one and has over 500 dollars worth
of old corn in crib and a little money at else well my farm
of 80 acres I live on and works what I can for my health will
not al-ow [allow?] me to pi-ch [pitch?] in like some others and help
is so high here that it does not pay to keep any one full time I
have 3 teams viz 4 mules & 2 Horses but of courese [course?]
I dont work them all the mules I work but the Horses I dont
only ride one the one I ride is coming 4 and the other is
coming 3 years I inte-d [intend?] them for my son Joseph I have 13
head of cattle & two of them is Bulls I intend to fatten one
& sell him he is getting too heavy he is 16 of 17 hundred
w----t [weight?] and is too heavy for cows although he is not 4
years old yet I only have 4 hogs at present I sold some a few
weeks since which weighed nearly 400 a piece I dont keep many
now for the corn is of more value than when fed to hogs well
mary ann ans I bought lots a piece in Chebanse 2 years ago
for 130 dollars the 2 I could have sold them lately for 1400
but did not want to sell so I rented the 1/2 of them for 80
dollars a year for 3 years so you see that was not a bad
speculation there is one thing if you lay out money here it
is sure to advance in value for as the country grows property
increases in value now you say that you think you could get
10£ and acre for your land and that would not pay for
Improvements but I would say to you take it and leave there
at once for in a few years you will be better here than ever
you will be there of course you will have good houses there
and your farm I suppose all nice now but what is [Walls?]

where there is not plenty inside or what is fine fields and
good everything when one cannot call it his own what I have I
can stand up and say it is my own I pay nothing now but taxes
of courese [course?] the[y?] are heavy now by what the[y?]
were before the war but the[y?] are getting less every year
and in a short time will come back to the old rates but we
are ourselves to blame for that fore we tax ourselves and how
we done it was this we of every town such as our townlands
took in hand to send so many men to the war well in order to
get men to leave there [their?] farms to go we have to pay
large bountys [bounties?] som [some?] got as much as 1000 dollars
but all got 400 so you see we must pay that now in taxes but
that will be done this year I had 40 dollars to pay last year
but that was for roads Bri-ges [Bridges?] school and bounty tax so
that was nothing oppressive the school tax was 16 dollars of
that for the[y?] were building a new one all schools is free
here so the people must pay for them well if you should
conclude to leave there and come here I will make you a
proposition and you and wife & mother can consult together
about it Joseph is anxious you should bring Mother along if
you come but I am affraid [afraid?] she never would stand the
sea she might we would all be very glad to see her if she
would live to reach here but then again it would not be
pleasant for her to die on the passage but to return to what
I was going to say I have 80 acres of land and you can have
it at a rent or I will sell it to you and gave you your own
time to pay for it with paying me interest so that I can live
I would rent it now and quit farming myself but the last 40
acres I bought there is another man has a claim on it and it
is in law so I dont like to move off and loose [lose?]
possession of it but if you would come I would let you have
all as I have it untill [until?] you could please your self
better now should you conclude to come you would need to be
here by the first of march to get in a crop and if you do
come bring nothing but your cloth-s [clothes?] and not much of that
for nothing you have there is suitable for this place and the
charges for car-iage [carriage?] is more than they are worth so I say
again Encumber yourself with nothing but nessesaries
[necessaries?] for things more ap-ropriate [appropriate?] can be got
here I do wish Jane and her family would take up courage and come
here the children could do better here than ever the[y?] can
expect there I have a little english boy at present 12 or 13
years old I am paying 8 dollars a month and in the city of
London he was getting only 2 S a week so look at that now
dont when you read this think all is ease with plenty for it
is far from it for people must work and take care here as
well as there but what I want you to understand is that folks

gets they good of there [their?] work here themselves you
dont have to keep up a pack of vagabonds to take all your
substance from you for the more you do the better you are off
and any man of industry and economy will get independant now
my place would bear no resemblance to yours in point of looks
but can you say it is your own for you say that for a simple
word you insured your agents ill will well you have a sword
always suspended over your head not so here I am worth 6 or 7
thousand dollars and if I had been so able as you were to
work since I come to this country I would have been far
better now from this untill [until?] the first of march I can
sit and read or go to the town and spend my time without work
unless look after the cattle there is no wood to cut now as
formerly for we burn coal we can get it at 5 dollars a ton in
the village or go the mine about 30 mile and get a better for
3.50 I went to the mine and brought two load 35 cwt
[hundredweight?] at a time with 4 mules in the wagon and that
will do me over the winter for two stoves with what corn cobs
we use but you dont know what that is it is what the corn is
shelled off and makes excellent fire better than wood I am
now complaining to the wife of having too strong a fire for
she is melting Honey out of the combs I smothered some last
night we had 4 swarms went off this year now my paper is near
full and I dont think of anything that would interest you
more I will send a picture of the wife and myself in this to
you it is not the best for her eyes is not good in it and one
of Sarah Jane and her husband they are all in Chicago and is
doeing [doing?] pret-y [pretty?] well Mary Ann has rented the House
she had and is now sewing with Sarah Joseph is at painting
and is doeing [doing?] very well I have not seen Marys child
for some time but the[y?] say it is a fine child and very old
fashioned remember me to all my friends every where I remain
your affectionate Brother William Porter