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Title: John Shanks, Chicago, Illinois, USA to "Dear Cousin".
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileShanks, John/40
SenderShanks, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationworks on a ship
Sender Religionunknown
OriginChicago, Illinois, USA
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
Recipient Genderunknown
SourceD2709/1/86: Presented by Miss Shanks, Ballyfounder, Portaferry, County Down.
ArchivePublic Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9307054
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by S M, 06:07:1993.
Word Count645
TranscriptSch. de Medora
Dear Cousin
I write to you again but perhaps you have not got the
first letter if not you will be thinking I have deserted you all.
It is a long time since I wrote so that I am axious [anxious?]
to hear from you & [and?] how you are getting along I hope the
mistress is better & [and?] going round & [and?] the children
also Lizzie is able to talk by this time I would like [torn] to
send her a present from America with Willie Gowan who is here at
present but will leave New York on the 20th August I may not see
him before he goes home. I had only one letter from your Brother
Nicholas since I left I heard you met a serious mistake of the
burning of the stable & [and?] barn you may be afraid to let me
know about it which is a great loss had it not been for that you
would have been able to get along all wright [right?] I don't
know how it is with you now so I cannot give you any substantial
advice on the matter as I am here & [and?] you in the old country
when I was there I tried to do all I could to help you along
when you write tell me how the crops are doing I hope everything
has done well. I am still in the Ada Medora I had not an hour
sickness since I joined her I have seen a good part of America
but would like to see more still I like it more & [and?] more
We had not Uncle Willie with us last trip as he stopped ashore
with Willie Gowan. We were on a trip to Kingstown Canada with
wheat it is a nice place too You will perhaps say I am telling
lies when I tell you that in going to Kingstown we go over the
side of a mountain You know that there is now [no?] outlet from
Lake Erie to Lake Ontario but the Niagra so that Lake Erie is
higher by 350 odd feet than Ontario & [and?] across 28 miles 14
miles of a level & [and?] the rest is a gradual descent of 26
locks & [and?] a guard Lock. The locks are 270 feet long &
[and?] 14 feet water on sill at a level it takes a full day to
go through it is about 1300 mls [miles?] from Chicago to
Kingstown when clear at Kingstown we went 8 miles further down
the St. Lawrence to Grindstone Island & [and?] loaded granite
blocks for Chicago to pave the streets where the tram cars run
each block is about 6 inches long & [and?] 4 by 3 inches thick
80 for 3 tons Grindstone Island is in the State of New York -
When we were Locking up the canal on the 11th July I saw a
self-binder cutting wheat & [and?] she done it in godstyle
[good style?] the wheat was as heavy as an average year in the
old country but the ears are not as large [stained] pickle
either. If I was in the old country I would fill no more
seaweed I would make the horse do it it is quite simple when
we were coming up the Detroit River we were about 6 mls
[miles?] from Wallaceburgh where Nicholas Savage is he has got
a farm there I am going to see the Niagra Falls the first time
we are in Buffalo it will only cost 50 cents on the train your

brother William is doing well he is getting the vessel around
fast I only seen him once since I started & [and?] he came to
see me 6 mls [miles?] of a lock from where his vessel was
lying Pardon this scribble
John Shanks 3028 Main Street Chicago