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Title: Wm G. Weir, New York, U.S.A., to Thomas Weir Jnr., Ireland
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileWeir, William George/18
SenderWeir, William George
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender ReligionProtestant
OriginNew York, USA
DestinationCo. Down, N.Ireland
RecipientWeir, Thomas Jr.
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD1948/3/8: Presented by P. J. V. Doake Esq., Glenlagan, Kinallen, Dromara, County Down
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9501028
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT/JW, 04:01:1995.
Word Count1494

To: Thomas Weir Junr [Junior?]

New York 25th June 1859

Dear Thomas
I promised to write to you the next letter, and
now I am about to fulfil that promise I think I have not told
as yet anything about my fellow Passengers in the City of
Baltimore, so that I may give you a short account of them.
The one with whom I was perhaps most familiar was a little
fair headed fellow with a very slight mo-stache [moustache?] who sat
next to me at table. He was going out as a teacher appointed
by Government to a very outlandish part of the world, namely
Turk's Islands, West Indies He was very fond of Poetry &
litterature [literature?] &c and although something of a
pedant, I liked him, as he was kind hearted and disingenuous.
Next there was a very old man of 77 accompanied by a young
one: they both wore outlandish clothes, and let their hair
and beard grow. Papa saw these at Liverpool. as they did not
attend our religious services, and were particular about what
they ate, there were a great many surmises afloat as to their
religion. one day they were, "American Jews." Again "they
were certainly Mormons," and it was an established fact that
the young man had 6 wives in the steerage," Some thought they
were Plymouth Brethren, & even, "Mahommedans. [Mohammedans?]
Mr D Stewart told me that they belonged to a Sect like
Moravians, called "Menice." [Mennonites?] all these
conjectures were proved false by the young man stating that
they were followers of Johanna Southcote, and that they he
never shaved nor clipped his hair in conformity to the law of
Moses, they were going to Australia via New York & Pannama
[Panama?]. the old man had been there 4 times.
Notwithstanding his religious belief, the young man was an
intelligent and pleasant companion. Then there was a Mr
McBlain of Newry and Canada who thought "no small beer" of
himself, or his brother who was candidate for Newry upon Mr
Kirks retirement, he got on board at Quienstown
[Queenstown?]. Next an Armagh Tailor with wife & Two Children
who had made some money in Liverpool and was coming over on a
visit to a prosperous brother here, - rather vulgar. Then a
good looking and agreeable young man, a brother of Charles &
Alexander Rea of Gracehill memory. I saw Alexander at
Liverpool in full clerical costume & Charles is also a
Pastor!! Then there was a very gentlemanly young man, a
Spanish Captain who was going to join his ship at New York,
he spoke French, not much English. Then an old German with
his wife with whoom [whom?] I had a great deal of
conversation, he was a great pianist and had introduced
some new method of teaching but he had a pareletic
[paralytic?] stroke which deprives him of the use of his
hands They had been over to Europe to bid farewell to a
daughters [sic] in France, and also to one in England - a Mrs
Wallace wife of a great Musical man in England - as they
intend laying their bones in America. They have some Children
here great musical people, the name is Stoebel. It was the
greatest scene I have seen for some time, the meeting with
their daughter &c. here first she rushed at the old father,
put her arms round his neck, & kissed him repeatedly on both
cheeks, then held him at arms length looking into his face
and then kissing him again. This was repeated several times
both in the case of the father and mother and there was quite
a crowd of amused and delighted spectators. There was also a
cockney Lady coming out with 4 children, her meeting was a
remarkable contrast to that of the Germans. One might have
thought that she had not been parted from him for 24 hours.
This woman kept up a continual clatter at meals and was
rather a nuisance, it must be a pity of her husband, who is a
schoolmaster in Brooklyn indeed he seemed quite afraid and
subdued. There were two regular Yankees on board one was
always walking up and down muttering to himself. The other -
Wm [William?] Henry Stewart, remarked him [sic] at Liverpool,
- was returning home after visiting Continental Europe. both
spoke very much through their noses, and had many other
national peculiarities. There was an old Welsh man with his
son and daughter, both young. An Englishman who had been many
years in America and Lived at Niagara Falls he was
accompanied by his brother a boy of about your size and
appearance. This youngster declaired [declared?] on the 3rd
day after leaving that he would not eat anything untill
[until?] he arrived at New York. This was whilst he was
recovering from sea sickness, but before three days more he
took his victuals as well as anyone on board, (And most of us
had pretty good appetites.) There was also a very nice
American Clergyman who had been spending some time in Germany
he was so sick that he did not appear untill [until?] we
arrived at Cape Rose Another sufferer was a young man from
Sheffield who was and looked very miserable but as it was
not an incurable disease (sea sickness) all recovered. We had
a sea faring man also; a fine tall gentlemanly fellow, who
had been over a good deal of the world. And I shall end my
list with a young Lady who was just finishing her voyage
round the world by landing at New York. She left Brooklyn
last July with a sister who had got married and was going to
Australia went by the Cape of Good Hope and after stopping
some time in Australia Came to England round Cape Horn in the
Great Brittain [Britain?], she was only a few days in
Liverpool, before the Cy [City?] of Belfast and instead of
being tired of the seas she said she liked the voyage very
much indeed
The Captain and the Officers were Gentlemanly men I
called down to see them the other evening I saw the City of
Baltimore leave on Saturday at 12. The Vanderbuilt
[Vanderbilt?] left at the same time so that they would have a
race There is a great interest taken in the war here and the
News by every steamer is anxiously looked for, The people
here sympathise [sympathize?] entirely with the French or
rather the Italians. Thery seem to think that the French will
find no difficulty in getting even to Vienna in one campaigne
[campaign?]. The French have doubtless had the advantage
greatly up till now. I see the Derby Ministry has been
defeated on account of their Austrian Sympathies. I hope
England will not mix in the War, come what may My dear Thomas
I wrote most of the about about 3 Weeks ago leaving this in
New York, whilst I was in Philadelphia I thought that I would
be back in a few days but I just arrived here on Thursday
23rd After an absence of a fortnight; which was very
agreeably spent However as there is no news in this it will
keep. I was much pleased with Philadelphia. It is such a
beautifully clean City. All the street [streets?] are
perfectly strait [straight?]. The first one from the Delaware
is called front st[reet?] the one next 2nd & so on up to 25
or so I do not know how far. One of the streets is 25 miles
long that is it is [sic] laid out for that laid out for that
length one is paved &c for 15 miles the sidewalks are paved
with bricks and lined with trees, the houses are generally of
bright brick with green shutters & wite marble steps. Almost
always one Family occupy the whole house, this is not the
case in New York where they live in floors. There are several
nice shady squares which are inhabited by squirrels racoons
[raccoons?] peacocks &c and in some there are herds of deer,
these aninmals [animals?] will eat out of your hand, and of
course they are a source of amusement to the numerous
children which frequent these walks. The principal sights of
Phila [Philadelphia?] are the Gerard college an asylum for
orphans built by a French infidel it is said to be almost the
only act of benevolence which he ever performed. Having
hoarded together a large sum of money and finding himself
without any near heirs he bethought [betrothed?] himself of
[sic] easeing [easing?] his conscience and handing down his
name to posterity through this lasting monument, He
accordingly left a large sum in the hands of the City partly
to build this College and partly to endow it. The building is
of the purest Grecian Style, entirely of white marble it is
of Grand dimentions [dimensions?] and has two smaller
buildings at each end in the same style.