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Title: James A. Smyth, Ontario to J. J. Smyth, Castledamph.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/41
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationstudent
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
Recipient Gendermale-female
Relationshipwrites to his family
SourceRetained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, Copyright castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth
Doc. No.0505059
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 25:05:2005.
Word Count1652
Transcript[Front of Envelope twice]
Mr John Jas. Smyth
Co Tyrone

[Stamped twice]
JY 19

Arrived Monday
1- August 98-

[Back of Envelope]
Mr John James Smyth

[Back of Envelope]
Mr John James Smyth
Thomas Smyth
Co. Tyrone
Miss E C Smyth
Miss B M Smyth

[August 14th 98
a few days ago
Dear Sir
In answer to your
letter which I received
Im a moving?]

[Stamped on Back]
5 0
[JY?] 31

[Page 1]
South Woodslee
July 18th '98

Dear Parents Brothers & Sisters
I suppose you are all
waiting for an idea of how I did on my Exams.
I am not able to say whether I passed
or not. There were two or three subjects at the
last which I might have done better on had
I took any time and being a little more careful,
The algebra paper I done pretty good on it as
I was always afraid on that particular subject,
The next paper was Literature and I done all
of it so making allowances for bad spelling and
mistakes in Grammer [Grammar?] and such like, I
think I should get a [at?] least 65%. Then the
Euclid paper was next, I got seven out of ten done
on the time I have one half of No.5 wrong so that
would give me a good pass on that subject.
Composition came next and we had not much choice
I wrote on "The value of the Habit of reading" I
think I made a pass on it also, Latin Composition
came next on Monday morning. It was quite a stiff
paper and I am sure two or three of our pupils
failed on it; for my own part I ans [answered?]
pretty good on Latin and I made a pass on
it alright. Changing English prose into Latin is
not very easy much harder than translating
Latin into English. Following Latin composition

[Page 2]
was history and I cannot say it was very hard
though it was a little different from what we
were expecting. I did not do as well on it as
on the previous subjects. After History came
Chemistry in the afternoon and this paper was
a -corker- lots of the questions no one could do
there in the shape the [they?] were put. Many of
the names of substances which they used are used
in commercial business in drug stores and with
Doctors and we were used with the chemical names
For instance the commercial name "Sal Ammoniac"
is chemically "Ammonium Chloride" Blue vitriol is
copper sulphate, these names fooled the majority of
us, it is expected that these will be considerable
objections raised as to the hardness of this
paper perhaps the minimum for a pass will be
considerably lowered, The paper on Latin
authors was alright. I almost got it all done
and I think will get partly good mark on it The
last two paper [papers?] Physics & Botany I did
not do very well on them, These two and Chemistry
and History were about the worst, If I had made
as good marks on these as I should have done I
think I would not only got through but would had
a good chance for honors. As it is now, giving
my own opinion, I think I made enough marks to get
through all right, However, I thought so on writing
for [pre---ary?] last year and I got fooled,
You know you cannot tell how those examiners
will judge your paper, so in expressing my
opinion as to passing it is simply my own view,

[Page 3] 3
I am almost sure some of the other [others?] will get
Honors and of course I expect to see some fail Those
that expect will get honors have been in 111 Form
two years, and, also those that I am afraid has
failed are in 111 Form two years, However if I get
through I will be all right For to pass it requires
33% on each subject and 50% on the total. To get
honors it requires 67% of the total number of
Marks one thing I do know if I don't get my
second I passed on the necessary ones for
a third and also I am sure that I look high
enough marks so that by passing on French and
German alone at any future time I can enter the
university either here or in Ireland or England;
I am sending you a complete set of all the
Examinations from 1st Form up. Papers that
are marked thus "Form 1 " and Form 11 are the
paper on the same examination which I passed
last years, Form 111 paper are higher than
Form 11 this is the examination which I have
written on this year, I will fix them before
I send them so that you will know which is
which and not make any mistake, Those marked
Form 1V are what is required for 1st Class
non. professional teachers and if I was going
on next year that is the work required. In
Form 111 you will notice French & German papers
those who wrote on these did not take Physics
& Botany, Those who wrote on Physics & Botany
did not write on them also you can change
the physics for the German etc, this was the

[Page 4] 4
Those who took the French and German were
the best off as these papers were especially
easy some pupils having the paper finished
in less than half the time allowed, The time
allowed on all papers was two hours and a half. It
made one feel pretty sad to have to close a paper and
leave two or three or perhaps four questions unanswered
and which you could answer if you had the time The
physics paper was long and especially there were so many
drawing [drawings?] to make. There are two pupils trying
for £100 scholarship in our school MacKee & Miss Lypps,
They wrote on the same papers as I did plus, the French
and German and the science and mathematical subjects
of Form 1V Qute [Quite?] a few of the boys are going
to Toronto university again September preparing
to put B A to the end of their names, If I was
going there, It would take four years for to get
this distinction, of course it requires the same time
for everybody, Well now I have been talking on the
serious side of work, once in a while if you look up
from your work in the examination room some you could
see one here and there who were labouring under
difficulties and making their brains work quickly
in order to think out some problem After each
exam was over you could hear a clatter in the halls
of "how did you like it" "that exam was a corker"
"a dead snap was'nt it", "I don't know but I'm afraid
I got plucked on that subject", you could hear such
and many others expressions after each exam closed.
Some would come out of the room with a looking of agony
on their face other [others?] with a smil [smile?]
on their face like a spring morning, of course the
causes is [sic] self evident,

[Page 5]
5 July 19; 98
Came up from Woodslee last night so got your
letter and I can say a little more in this one,
I had this letter finished on another sheet but
It was to heavy so I changed it I stayed at
Home on the 12, July studied most all day and
am just as well off now I don't know what to
say about that blinking affair I think Alex
Duncan must be a complete fool I came up
here to play in the band at a Baptist Church
social tonight and also to pack up my book
and etc to go back again to Woodslee The
folks down there are hauling out manure
today & yesterday so it pleases me to miss
the job, You wish to know if they do all my
washing yes all except my white shirts and
I alway [always?] get these done at Laundry
as they last much longer For money I have
£2.6 yet, I think I shall go up to Windsor
tomorrow to spend the day and I may take
a while down in St. Thomas I would
like to have a lot of places to go & put
in a few day's at each but of course
such an outing would cost money.
An account of my letter being too heavy in
this second edition I must [smell?] a lot
so I can say anything about 12 July. (see
in Record)
I see mother thinks I will be crazy to
know what to do if I should fail in these
is no danger of it affecting me very
much if I pass I pass and if I fail
I can't help it so that's all

[Page 6]
so far in my school work I am just the
same as if I had passed & as I am always
for to take the next higher examination,
so I have not lost anything yet by
failing, I was up at High school,
a minute ago saw MacKee who was
finishing on 1V Form work, I got all
fourth form paper [papers?] except
the special problem paper I shall
send all these paper [papers?] to
you so if anybody wishes to see
paper on second class Teacher work
give them 111 Form or 1st show them
1V Form work in each course of
course including all the previous
work, So anyone who get [gets?] a
1st class non professional passed
all the papers I send you either all
at one time or on three different
years Those who get a second
non-professional passed all
I send you except those marked
1V Form if I wish to teach on my
certificate I shall have to attend
Windsor Modal [Model?] school from
10 Sept until Dec about the 15th this
year now in giving my own opinion I
think I passed this year but I am
thinking I did not get honors, This
is my own opinion about passing
perhaps you wish to know it
I must close as I cannot write
any more in the letter
[James Alexander Smyth?]

[Notes on Page 1]
[I send you a newspaper also
This is a good lengthy letter]

Transcribed by Gordon Drummond