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Title: Robert Smith [Smyth?], Philadelphia, to His Father James Smyth, Antrim.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmith, Robert W/90
SenderSmith, Robert W
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationworks at a distillery
Sender ReligionPresbyterian Check Jonathan And Jon. W, Robert And Robert W Presbyterian
OriginPhiladelphia, Penn., USA
DestinationMoycraig, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
RecipientSmith, James Sr
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD 1828/8: Presented by James Steele, The Whins, Mosside, Antrim.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9501031
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT/JW, 04:01:1994.
Word Count1062
TranscriptTo: Mr. James Smyth
Moycraig County of
Antrim Parish of Billy
Irlad [Ireland]


Philadelphia June 17th 1838
Dear Parents Broathers [Brothers?] & Sisters -.
I transmit these few lines to you hoping to find
you in as good health as I am at present, thanks be to
God, plea- [please?] to give my love to all inquiring friends.
Especially to those of the female sex I have been in good
health ever since I left you, and indeed have no cause to
complain upon my fortune ac-ording [according?] to the times as the
[they?] are very bad here & has no appearance of Getting better
although we have a very pleasant spring as ever was
experienced in this country. I intend if buisness [business?]
does not get better here to go to the west and if James
Montgomery on his return from Europe comes by way of
Philadelphia I think I shall go back with him as you stated
in your letter that he was going to pay Irland [Ireland?]
a visit I never want any of my Brothers to come to this
country please at my reques[t?] send Jonathan to a trade if
it suits him to go, and he will be happier with the worst
master in Irland [Ireland?] nor with the best in this Country
I only wish that I had been sent to a trade while in Irland
[Ireland?] it would saved both Soul and body from Danger. &
again I say that it is good for them bot- [both?] Soul and body
that never saw America. As the cheapness of grog and the
numeresness [numerousness?] of bad woman [women?] are bot- [both?]
bad snairs [snares?] for a Irishman but I myself through
strict attention to my buisness [business?] together with the
fear of God cept [kept?] me out of these snairs [snares?] which
this country is subject to but the difference of my
countrymens stations frrom [from?] the report that returns to
Irland [Ireland?], renders me to say that if the[y?] had
stayed in Irland [Ireland?] the- [they?] would led [lead?] a happier
life. although some of them has a-quired [acquired?] riches but it
yields no comfort to them Dear father I want fore [for?] if
possible to move farther south and get a larger farm as I
intend to spend the remender [remainder?] of my days in
irland [Ireland?] if I can by strict endeavour gain a portion
[?] that will induce me to return to the land [?] gave me
birth as nothing in this world could yeald [yield?] to me my
comfort but the hopes of returning to my friends and intended
companion through life Dear Parents we expect a war between
the canedians [Canadians?] and the british the negrews
[Negroes?] in this city is getting so much liberty by the
quakers that the[y?] are getting very savage and has
committed several assassinations within this short time a few
nights since the [they?] killed one of our Sity [City?] wach
[watch?] and on the next morning as I was passing that way I
saw part of his blood and brains laying on the place that he
was murd-red [murdered?] on which struck me with awe. Dear Parents I
received your letter I answered it immediately after With a
friend of James McKains and if you did not get it Write
Im-ediately [immediately?] & I wil- [will?] endeavour to answer
both together be not deletary [dilatory?] in writing to me as it always
pleases me to hear from kind and af[f?]ectionate Parents as
you have ever been to me and for which I return you my
sincere thanks is all the reward I have in my power to make
to you I come now to let you know that My uncle Wm [William?]
Smith ha[s?] another Daughter born to him by his wife Mary
Ann Smith whose name is Isabella Wily for her Grand Mother
who now lies inter-ed [interred?] in roseyards Buiring [Burying?]
ground. I come now to let you know of a near miss that my
uncle Wm [William?] & I had and that is the following on the
23rd of April we had A[?]der for a few pipes of liquer
[liquor?] that required to be stilled over again and in like
manner we filled our still and he put fire to her himself and
went in to dinner meantime I was washing some pipes outside
the stillhouse Door and as he was returning from Dinner the
Liquer [Liquor?] began to penetrate through the paste betwixt
the hea- [head?] and the worm which soon caught fire I went to try
to get a piece of Carpet on it when my uncle pulled me out
and by so doing saved my life but the bleasing [blazing?]
liquor soon got in to the still and before Wee [we?] could
make our escape he got badley [badly?] burned on the face and
hands but he is got quite well I only got the hair of my head
partly scorched when the head flew of- [off?] you would thought
that it was a thounder [thunder?] Clap. it burned the still
house and the up-er [upper?] part of the Citchen [Kitchen?] but he
sustained but little loss as it was Insured, the pipes at
thre- [three?] yards from the door caught fire, there was enough on
there that consumed the fire I have not space to mention
every one of my acquaintance But I will perform to Mrs Linsay
my promise her son Thomas is well and is driving dray for a
man in this city near to my uncle Roberts. he is also well
James & Ritychard [Richard?] Scott is well in short my
acquaintances is all well within my bounds & that is in both
City & Country when you -rite [write?] let me know when there was my
account from John McFadden or Andrew McClhose [Mcclose?] I
could say more only my paper is filled up Give my respets to
all my Friends & Acquaintances to Wm [William?] Campbell &
Robert Mc Clhose [Mc Close?] and
in short to all that enquire after these lines of bad
-riting [writing?] & bad inditing [indicting?]. My uncle and all the
family joins me in sending their love to my grandfather and to
you all. I conclude with hoping to see you and all friends
once more. I remain your affectionate Son
Robert Smith
Give my love to John White and his Wife Ann Neill