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Title: James A. Smyth, Ontario to E. C. Smyth, Castledamph,
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileSmyth, James Alexander/77
SenderSmyth, James Alexander
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationschool teacher
Sender ReligionProtestant (Methodist)
OriginEssex Co., Ontario, Canada
DestinationCo. Tyrone, N.Ireland
RecipientSmyth, Eliza C.
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceCopyright Retained by Mr & Mrs J Smyth, Castledamph, Plumbridge, Co Tyrone, Castledamph@btinternet.com
ArchiveMr & Mrs J Smyth
Doc. No.0410273
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 29:10:2004.
Word Count1634
TranscriptFront of envelope

Miss E. C. Smyth
Co. Tyrone

DE 9 99

Arrived Decem 22 1899

Back of envelope


(Handwritten on Top left hand corner)
Arrived December 22 1899

Windsor Ont, [Ontario?]
Dec 9th 1899
Dear Sister
Your letter of Nov 27th to hand
a few moments ago, and I also received Bella's
letter of Nov 21st last Saturday so I am going to
answer these now before beginning my lessons for
the day. It is now nine o'clock and after
finishing this letter I must begin review [sic] as
my examination commences on Monday.
and I must review about two or three
hundred pages of Psychology, School Management
and the other subject [subjects?] today.
Now you see I shall have a busy day in review
and if I get through in the end it will be all
right. I have already put in a busy week at it
and I feel tired and wishing it were past.
We are not very confident whether we will
get through or not. The Inspector was down
at the school on Thursday morning and
put us through a little drill on answering him

The school proper closed yesterday evening
and all the [Modelites?] from Essex went
down with the exception of myself and another
boy. to attend the commencement Exercises
as they call it. I did not go as I thought
the Principal of the School in giving his
recommends [recommendations?] favoured
the others more than he did me. Of course
two of them had higher certificates but
there were two more had the same as myself.
Anyhow I did not go to it, if I had
I would had to go up on
the platform and receive my certificate
with the others, so now the principal
shall have to send it to me or wait until
he sees me. I have not seen him since
he sent us our recommends [recommendations?]
or rather asked him for them.
I received your Photos yesterday. They are
very good but somewhat bruised. You
should have tied them up light in paste
board. but they are not much the worse.
We [Modelites?] are going to have our
pictures taken on Wednesday next before
we finish up so I may get an extra
one and send it to you.
In regards Mary going to Anderson s I
don't care to express my opinions in that
respects [respect?]. It is the nature of
old Country people to alway [always?]
remain in the same old rut.
When they have money they don't make their
houses look any better or any more beautiful
but they will keep it in a box and still live
in a house like a pig pen or worse.
Now the whole fault is because they
are not desirous of improving their present
situations. Alway [sic?] want to remain the same.
In other words the old Country people are
not educated like this Country people. Now
by that I don't mean a lot of Grammar
Latin etc but the development of the mind
as to appreciate the beauties of nature, the
benefits of a nice surroundings [sic], and the
effects of this on the morral [moral?] tone
of the community,
Also a training as to how to act in the
house out of the house, in manner, speech
both in public and private and this is
where the American or Canadian girl can
outshine the old Country one.
The old Country people think when you
go at anything you must stay at it
this country say stay at it to [sic] you can
get something better. For instance
there are 17 girls attending model and
none of them are over 19 years. They are
going to teach and do you think they
intend to follow it - not by any means, some
of them may be married in 3 or 4 years
perhaps to a farmer. Then does it spoil
them to have all this experience and
education, No, they are just so much the
better fitted for life and it gives them
an appearance which the stay at home
boy and girl never has. Now the stay
at home boy or girl can also make as
much of his [time?], learning music etc
has its effect, and here again I may
say that a girl in this Country and to
a large extent boys, especially those going
to school, or college, are completely
handicapped if they cannot play the
Piano. Very few of the girls that cannot
play it. Now then why don't the old
country girl [sic?] play it, I mean
those around Castledamph Eden etc. People
will tell you your mother never had a piano etc,
they want to remain in (sic) old rut.
Of course the well to do farmers etc. around
Strabane and Newtownstewart have all these things
why not the others? If Mary wants to be
an apprentice I expect it mean [means?] a milliner
let her be it and if she wants to quit it, she
will have so much experience and all our
experiences are or make up our education.
Girls I only wish you had a slight education
in music, I often wish this when I see how
nice other boys sisters can play and sing and
I know my own sisters are as much gifted
in that respect as any others.
Now I have got that lecture paragraph
off now so I shall go back to ordinary talk
again. I think I am going to make a famous
lecturer someday. Perhaps leader of the
House of Commons.
I am glad to know that M. Smyth is
getting better I think I must write him
some day being as he and I used to be
enemies and friends. I am afraid that
Joe [Duncan?] may be quite a while getting
better. You know when whisky is taken
very much or frequently for a long time
a broken bone is hard to heal, and I need
not explain, yet this is a know [known?] fact to
all reader [readers?] of Physiology as well as Doctors.
Had he been strictly temperate he would
probably been better now.
This lead [leads?] me to the subject of Temperance,
and I do hope that there is not one of my
brothers or sisters who ever take it, and
I may further ask if any of the boys
smoke or use Tobacco in any way. I hope
not and John being away from home will
need guard against these two evils.
Here are the whole things to watch against
for those who are away where their parents or
guardians cannot watch over them.
I have not been successful so far in getting
a school. I only applied for two and I
could have got one of them at $300 or about
£62 in your money. but I would not take
less than $350 so a girl from Essex H. S. [High School?]
got it for about $275 or between that and $200
This is the great fault of the girls they would
work for much less than a man.
However there is a living in this world for
everybody and I will find mine - nobody
will ever starve.
In regards Mr James wearing glasses, I may
say this is the country to see glasses worn.
There are six in our Model class out of 22 who
were there and in public school, many of the
little ones are wearing them. I don't know
whether my eyes are as good as they were or
not. I cannot see as good at night as I used to
but that is owing to not seeing a dark night.
You see here and in Essex the electric lights are
light [lit?] about 6 o'clock, in eve. [evening?] so
you see the streets are as clear at night time [night-time?]
as in day time [daytime?] and when I go to Woodslee is
about the only time I see night in all its glory. so that
these last four years I am not accustomed to see or
practice seeing anything in dark. Another thing
is reading every night beside a lamp. It is not
good for the eyes. Anyhow my eyes are good
enough yet.
Glad to know the Band etc had such a
good time in Newtown Stewart [Newtownstewart?], only
wish I had been along to look in the [fun?], I could just
enjoy a few days outing like that. After 15th [inst?]
I shall have holidays until Xmas, wish I
was able to spend that much time around
home and renew old acquaintances
Rec [Received] W. Gilkinson s letter and also papers.
Am somewhat pleased to get another order,
have to pay for my suit and board etc and I tell
you everything counts up. You see that £16
for this term, I tell you I can spend the
money. It requires much more to do here than
in Essex $1 per week more for board and not
as good. I am tired of it glad this is last week,
At Essex I could go to the cubbard [cupboard?] or pantry and
take what I likes [like?] and always told to do it, but
here I don't know where the pantry is, At Essex
it was just like home and they alway [always] had
everything new, and all the nice things going.
I think I shall give Mrs [Wetherby?] (Boarding house
lady) a present of three or four dollar [dollars?] at Xmas
for treating us so well. You see it takes a change
just to find out these things. Send no more letters
to Windsor. Am leaving here on 16th for Woodslee,
so direct your letters there. I don't know
what all I have said or told but I filled
quite a lot of paper and as I am in a hurry
I shall not take time to read it again or
making any corrections in Gram. [Grammar?]
or punctation [punctuation?]


James A. Smyth

Transcribed by Kyle Smith’