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Title: James A Smyth, Ontario to “Dear Father”
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/58
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationstudent
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
RecipientSmyth, John James
Recipient Gendermale
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, Castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth
Doc. No.0604146
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
Word Count1265
Transcript[No Envelope]

[Page 1]

Essex Ontario,
October 10 1898

Dear Father
I have recieved [received?] your letter
to-day and am pleased to know that you
people are all in good health notwithstanding
the amount of work the boys have to do. I
suppose when the five years are up none of
them will be anxious for another term of it
and I would think in the same way. I have
got over my sickness and, am feeling
pretty well again I did not take part in
any games except throwing the stone and
I lost in that by six inches I threw (16lbs)
28ft 8in,

[Page 2]
of course I am not as strong for that work
as I was when on the farm, although I am just
as big. Some of the boys made a good thing out
of it, one took five first prizes value for about
$16; but very [sic] of the boys joined in the
games it was all left to two or three I don’t
feel quite satisfied with school work this year
I wish now I had gone to Modal and began teaching
At Xmas by so doing I would had a whiles rest
four books and also saved you a lot of expense, I
stared [started?] on the science course but I
changed that about ten days ago and now I am taking
French and German instead by this last method
I only intend

[Page 3]
to try for part 1 of First class of Form iv and I
was also intending to pass on the French and German
to finish out matriculation the exam on these two
subjects would be the same standard as the French
& German papers of Form III which I sent you last
year (98) The Form IV exam, is divided into two
parts thus Part 1 Algebra, Trigonometry, Euclid,
English and Ancient History, Composition Literature,
Part two includes Physics, Chemistry, Biology Latin
French Greek German, which is in the following options
(a) Physics, Latin Chemistry Biology
(b) " " French German
(c) " " Greek German
(d) " " Greek French

[Page 4]
or Chemistry or Biology can be substituted for
either one of the languages in [L, C [r?] d?]
now either part I can be taken at one
time and Part II at some future time or both
can be taken together to make up Form IV. I
was thinking of only trying [one?][part?] [one?]
and also passing on German & French for full
Matriculation, and if I thought so pass on the
Part II at some future time taking either as my
subjects Physics Latin French & German or physics
Latin Chemistry & Biology I don’t know whether
I done [sic] right or wrong by changing but there was
only one boy taking Biology and he [quit?] it
and so I did not care to be at it alone, If I
don’t intend to stay in

[Page 5]
this country for a large part of my life what I
am doing now is just as good, I sometimes think
I will go home after a while and teach or such
like there and in that case a full first here
would not be any more good than [part?] I as
they do not go in much for science or languages
there for teaching can you tell me what I would
have to do before I could teach there and about
how much salary I would get at the start £60 would
be about my start here but of course [it?] would
[?] be more to keep me here and then take my
holidays in summer, am out some. I am always
looking at your papers to see if I see anything
[concerning?] this last night I see in an advertisement

[Page 6]
in Irish times [sic] of a Belfast college and it said
Boarders for £30 per year. Now that is less than I
am out here How do those Intermediate Examination [in?]
which they have so many scholarships compare
[sic] with the one I have passed last year,
I had it arranged in my own mind to go to Modal
this year and begin teaching at Xmas and taught
here for two years and took a trip home two
years from now and seen [sic] for myself how they
compared but now I shall only have a little
[-----?] half a year to teach [in?] that place
as I cannot begin until next Xmas because I have to
put a while in at modal and next Modal term does
not begin until Sept 99.

[Page 7]
In these examinations and [etc?] it is a hard thing
to know alway [sic] what to study. And as for advise
[advice?] from teachers they always want to know what
profession you are aiming at and this is a hard thing
to tell them. I know one thing I have all the work
I wish for this year our algebra includes all the higher
or advanced work in aly [sic]. [Buromeal?] [Therion?]
[Permutations?] [Combinations?] Arithmetical Geometrical
and Harmonical Progression Euclid includes 1st to 6th
Books Literature Merchant of Venice Richard II Miltons
Paradise Lost Lady of the Lake

{Page 8]
and Wordsworth Poems.
The latin in the following translations [Bellvue?]
[Gallicum?] Books [Vaud?] IV Vergils [Aucid?] Book I
Horace’s odes III and IV Cicero orations against
[Cataline] and Bks I II III IV Pro arched and all
the other subjects accordingly you may not know what
the above subjects are or include but any Latin Scholar
will, I shall send you a curriculum some of these days
if I get hold of one and there you will see all the
programme of lessons anyhow we have all the work
we wish and then sometimes the teachers just raise
[hell?] if you do not have your lessons all prepared
So if we don’t have [lumps?] on our legs like the boys
at home have

[Page 9]
we feel as though our brains were sometime [sic] out of
order. I was just figuring it up tonight I see it has cost
me or rather you between £83 and £90 for three years
schooling that is if I figured correctly for I have every
cent marked in a book and what it is paid out for, It has
taken $11.03 eleven dollars and three cents to buy my books
for this year so I have not much money of my last cheque left.
It makes me feel mad to see how easily the money goes, I sent
you that long looked for picture last week I am thinner now
than when that was taken I weigh 164lbs now

[Page 10]
what do you think of it pretty nice looking girls here
aren’t they? I am treasurer now so we will have another at
Xmas so I likely [sic] send it also. I was down at Woodslee
last week they are all well. Aunt is down at St Thomas now,
Uncles is a pretty loansome [lonesome?] place to stay now if
it had been the same when I came out first I could not have
been able to stay three days Just while I am reading your letter
and as you mention [roads?] what is the examination for surveyor
such as is over you what is the nature fit [of it?] and is it
hard to pass. It seems I could pass the most of the civil
service exams now well I think I will close I have written
a long letter on exam course of study etc and perhaps you
may not make much sense of it.

J A [James Alexander?] Smith

PS – Send me a newspaper once in a while.

Transcribed by Tony Flanagan