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Title: James A. Smyth, Ontario to "Dear Sister"
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/8(3)
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationteacher and university student
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
RecipientBella M.? Eliza C.? Mary?
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, Castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth
Doc. No.0604202
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
Word Count1189
Transcript[No envelope]

[Page 1]

623 Quellette Ave,
October, 4, 1925

Dear Sister,
Your letter of Sept, 14th to hand and I
note the number of deaths recorded in
that community. Well to tell you the
truth such events pass unnoticed with
us. If you take particular notice of
the Border Cities Star you will scarcely
see a day passed without some one
being killed with a motor car or shot
or otherwise. So your three events
mentioned give your community an
ordinary 1925 rating or in other words
it gets Plumbridge into the newspaper
Yes, my Post card was the first
since April, and your letter was the
first I received from there, Your letter
was the first intimation I also had
that my money order was received.
Correct Training and business ethics

[Page 2]

demand that these matters receive
prompt attention and ought to be
acknowledged promptly. I was
wondering until I got your letter if
my money order had not gone astray.
Re-writing, I made up my mind if
you people did not care to write
I was not particular either, I often
think how few letters I get, It
is one further proof that fellows
like James Ballantyne take the
proper course when they go away.
If I had never returned and likewise
forgot all about it. I would had a lot
more money in my pocket today
and a home and social connection
different from what I have got. That
is one reason I cut out the
trip this year and hence will be
much easier next year. Personal
interests I think is the best in the end
if only one begins it soon enough.

[Page 3]

I think both William and Tom
had better give me a personal note
of acknowledgment of the money,
owing me. This is no telling
when an accident might happen
to them, Fourteen years now is a
long time, Business considerations
necessitate notes for any money
loaned in this country or any
other, Then there is no disputes
If either of these met an accident
where would I be? So I have often
wondered, just as I have about
no acknowledgment to my money
order, why they have never thought
to send a promissory note, when
it is due they can renew it again
Then I am protected in case of
anything happening. The loans
were in 1911 and to William at that
time £419 was the amount.

[Page 4]

If I had brought that here in 1912 and
invested it I would not need to
work any more now. Even out at
ordinary interest here I would
have about £400 in interest due
now. Tell them then to make out
notes as to what is now due me,
If they want them renewed at end
of a year, they can do so, unless I
might need some money, which is not
likely unless I get in some
My friend Mr Harry Houston
of the Imperial Bank staff is
over there now probably leaving by
end of this month. His address
is 6 James St Omagh I called to
see his mother last year.
I did not think your school picnic
was held so early each year. Who is the
teacher there now?. This is information
I would always like to know.

[Page 5]

I suppose the money I forward will be
used for sports or prizes next year. Send
me the teacher’s name and I may
get into communication as to what
distribution would be best.
I have often wondered how George and
all are getting on over here, Really when
I see the specimens out from there
it makes one weep. I called on Maggie
Jane Hay when passing through
Toronto. If I had to live like they do I
would [torn] in a week. No screens on
windows flies all around. It is no
wonder the people have such a low
opinion of Irish people They wonder
how they are brought up. Of course the
plain fact is they are not brought up
at all. They just live and thrive like
animals, then they wonder when they
come into civilization why nobody wants
to associate with them. Dunne is
only making about $32 per week, I
make $53 and I am considered poor
and on a small salary.

[Page 6]

Absolutely the old country people
live in such condition and style here
that Canadian’s won`t rent them
houses unless on some back street.
I can’t understand why they can’t
develop and be like other people. Of
course one lack is education. Every
body is educated here now. It is
so different from 20 years ago, then
only certain ones went to High
School now all go and everybody
has a secondary education. Then
movie pictures are educative and
the radio phone so persons like
Maggie Jane Geo [George?] McCullagh
have no chance here in this [-ege?].
The only place for them is a turf bank
or a barn yard.
Well if this year is good, next
year is to be one of the worst in 100
years so look out. There is to be
no summer next year, just like
it was in 1816.

[page 7]

The photo of the “kids” is very good
I am afraid they are too fat.
Do you follow the articles on
diet in the "Border City Star" You
should read this column as
well as that by “Dorothy Dix”
in answering questions. Irene
looks quite old for her age.
I see she has her hair "bobbed"
It’s rare here now to see a lady
old or young who has not
bobbed hair. Every one now wants
to be slim. A fat girl has not
a ghost of a chance. The fellows
would not look at her. As a
result nearly all are slim.
By the way is Bella & [Davie?]]
not thinking it is time to be
starting to get the rest of their
family educated I think one
uneducated one should be enough
in one family to be perhaps like
Maggie Hay in future If Maggie
Jane had paid some attention
to me in 1901 and 1906 she would
not be in the problem she is in
today. Personally if I had
children the last cow would

[Page 8]

be sold to give them
a proper education. But that
is not necessary because it is
just as easy to bring teachers
into the community to educate
them there as it is to bring a
I heard in Toronto that Robt [James?]
was married. No comments where
ignorance is bliss it is a folly to
be wise.
Re my university I passed my
examinations. This is an example
for those young ones. I am 52 years
old I passed with III class
honors in French. I began it in April
and covered four years work in
5 months, likewise I never took
Geology until this summer and
I passed it also with III class honors
I have now 8 subjects finished for my
B.A. degree, 11 more to finish I can
do it in 3 years more if I don’t go home
in holidays. Bertie ought to had [sic] his
degree by this time, They all lack ambition
Jas A [James Alexander?] Smyth

Transcribed By Gary Campbell