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Title: W.G. Weir, New York, to His Family, Banbridge, Co.Down.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileWeir, William George/15
SenderWeir, William George
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender ReligionProtestant
OriginNew York, USA
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD1948/3/9: Presented by P.J.V. Doake, Kinallen, Dromara, Co.Down.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9501396
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 30:01:1995.
Word Count1148
TranscriptThe Fairmount water works are another sight of the City
this is a large reservoir & filtering bed which supplies
the City abundantly. The river Schulkill runs at
at the foot of the reservoir there is a weir at this
place and a race which turn several large water
wheels these work a number of powerfull [powerful?]
force pumpers throwing the water up to the reservoir.
There is a nice shady walk around the works
containing nice fountains. The Schulkill River
is beautifully clean as it is purposily [purposely?] kept so
There are a great of boat clubs in Philad [Philadelphia?]
and they have their boats on this river. They
can row 20 miles or so up so that it is a very good
place. I visited the mint and saw them making coin
of various deseriptions [descriptions?]. Also the navy
yard there is only one small Gun boat on the stocks
there at present with two or three men of war lying off.
The hall of Independence is considered almost as sacred ground
by the Americans, as it was here the declaration was signed.
It is kept in pretty much the same way as when this was declared,
contains pictures and statues of Washington & his family
A large bronze bell broken in ringing at the rejoicings for
Liberty. Trophies taken from the British & etc. I saw also the house
of Mr Penn the settler of Pennsylvania The delaware is a fine broad
and deep river A country with such rivers as America should be
prosperous indeed. In a former letter in describaing [describing?]
Mr Stuarts [Stewart?] place I think I only finished off the Garden. I did not
tell you anything about the farm yard which is also most complete in
every respect The stables and Coach houses rival that of the
[Firze?] Mr Stuart [Stewart?] has some fast horses and fine light carriages.
The farm is about the same size as Papa's and is planted with
wheat, (which is often bearded here) Indian corn, Potatoes and very
coarse and what we would call bad grass. Mr S - [Mr Stuart?] [Stewart?] has no
taste himself for farming and he has a steady practical farmer
who manages all. They have about 15 cows. The milk house is a
curiosity it is built on a spring and the water covers the floor
to the depth of about 4 inches. Thi [the?] pans containing the milk
are laid in the water and this keeps it fresh and cool. the surplus
water runs into a pond about 100 yards long by 5 broad, there are two
row boats on the pond and as it is only 3 feet deep it is a good
place for the chidren to enjoy them selves upon, I added to the
naval force on this sea by making a nice little smack about 15inches
long for Geo [George?] Stuart [Stewart?] Junr, I made a good model hollowed out
well. the sails to furl up and two little cannons on deck, she sailed
pretty fast, and Miss Stuart [Stewart?], who christened her gave the Name of
"Harriet Weir" in honor [honour?] of the mother of the builder
The water after flowing out of the lake supplies a
bath for the Laborsers [labourers?] and then a portion of
it is [numfied?] up to the house and the greenhouses, by hydraulic
Rams, which are self acting, and work day and night. I forgot to
mention that there is a small stream flows into the Lake and that
it is soft water that is pumped up, so that they have an
inexhaustable supply for washing and other purposes. It occurs
to me that water from our garden River could be forced up by the same
thus giving a river to supply the house as Mr McGee said we would
require. I daresay Papa will remember Mr Jas [Jason?] Garvan
who was at our house when we lived in Bellevue He is now dying
in Philadelphia of a terrible, disease, called, "stricture of
the Aesophagus [oesophagus?]". the same that Napoleon died of - a cancer is
growing just at the entrance of his stomach which is gradually
increasing, even now although with a very good appetite he is
not able to swallow anything almost, not even water and at length
the passage will be entirely closed and he must die of starvation!
The Doctors can do nothing for him. He knows he is dying. At first
when he was told so, I believe it was a most distressing scene. Mr
Stuart [Stewart?] told him he seemed overwhelmed, implored them not to let
him die said he had not lived for this, (he was a very popular
and gay man and a ladies man) and that his peace was not made with
god. That it would be an insult to Christ to offer him his heart
now, when he had spent his life without him, now when he was
constrained to do so. He continued in this frame of mind for
some week, although reasoned with by different good men, and
attending prayer meetings for he was and still is able to move
about At length however he appeared to get over this and is now
resigned and calm although his faith is week [weak?] sometimes
I saw him often it was a solemn thing to have a man before you,
condemned to death as it were and I hope I profited by the solemn
lesson. There is great joy here about the Revivals in Ireland I hope
they will spread quickly, the fits are unaccountable there was
something similar in Kentucky some time ago, however I think there
may be some over exitement about it, There are still many people
converted in Philadelphia at the tent and other places. When I
left Mrs Stewart said she was sorry I had not staid [stayed?]
longer, and that I must come back at least at Christmas and
spend some time with them I am to write her how I get along in
New York with Mr Stuart [Stewart?] the [they?] stopped all night with a
Dr Murray called "Kirwan" a famous contraversialist [controversialist?]
at Elizabethtown he [his?] wife is a most amiable & kind lady
She asked me to come out to spend some sabbath with them. I am
trying to get a better boarding house and no doubt I will be
able to tell you something more of this by my next. Meantime
I must conclude. With Love to Mamma Papa and all the children
& kind rememberances to Dr Givan & Miss Deeble (if she is there
I remain
Your Affect brother
Wm [William?] Geo [George?] Weir
P.S. I send this by Mr Moore who
is going home by City of Manchester
16/2 AM 25th June I am now going
to see him off
Wm Geo Weir