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Title: Matthew Wetherby, New York to John Wilson, Malone, Near Belfast
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileWetherby, Matthew/10
SenderWetherby, Matthew
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationcarpenter
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNew York, USA
DestinationMalone, near Belfast, N.Ireland
RecipientWilson, John
Recipient Gendermale
Relationshipfriends, colleagues
SourceThe Belfast News-Letter, Friday 25 to Tuesday 29 March, 1774
ArchiveThe Central Library, Belfast
Doc. No.1200265
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 19:12:00.
Word Count690
TranscriptA Letter from Matthew Wetherby, Carpenter, who last
season went to New-York, from Malone near Belfast, to
his friend John Wilson of Malone, Carpenter.

New-York, Jan. 25th, 1774.
Dear Jack,
After a passage of eight weeks I arrived at New-York:
we had some hard gales of wind, but in particular one
about eight days before we landed, when even sailors
and Captain thought all to be lost: all the rigging
was tore, and our mainmast broke and carried away.
Then you may be assured that all on board would have
been glad never to have a notion of coming to America.
Notwithstanding the distress that people must undergo
at sea, they think if they get to America they will be
happy, but it is there their calamities and anxiety of
mind comes on. It is a bad time to come here nigh the
beginning of winter, for the two seasons of the year
runs to extremes; the one is cold, that it makes
business very dull; therefore strangers coming in then
has hard getting into business, as poverty is the word.
Any that comes ought to be here 1st of April, then
carpenters and masons will have 6 or 7s. per day, a
labourer 3s. 6d. or 4s. per day. I had when I came 5s.
till the day shortened, then 4s. 6d. I pay 10s. per
week for boarding; a shilling here is 7d. at home. I
must confess my ambition inspired me with some sentiments
at home above working, but here I would be glad to get
work to do; altho' [although?] I had tolerable wages at
first, I would now engage to work from beginning this
month January to 1st April for a little more than my meat,
and several beside me; then from that till 1st of December
am not afraid of getting 6 shillings per day, but then
the winter eats up the summer. Beef, mutton, pork and
bread and potatoes and butter is cheaper than at home a
little; wearing apparel of all sorts is very dear.
In regard of farming, what can a man do with a piece
of thick wood, unless he has got a good stock of money
to support him for at least two years, and hire men bred
in this country to clear and chop the wood; for our
countrymen cannot do half as they can; for their way of
working is quite different. After all the trouble and
expence [expense?] that one is at to clear a piece of
land they can only just make their living out of it;
but they in general live well. The people of Ireland
entertains a mistaken notion of this place; there is
some makes it out better than at home, but there is many
that does not. I have wrote letters for some of my
countrymen who was selling their cloaths [clothes?] to
support themselves, and at the same time they would
write home they were never better, and what a fine
country this was. It will take 7 or 8 acres to graze
one cow, and one cow at home will give as much milk as
four or five here. I have had good success by severals
I fee [feel?]. There is now three or four men going
home again who came in the same vessel with me, and
there is many if they were able to pay their passage
would accompany them; it is 5l. from this that is
only 2l.18s. at home. I am sorry even to think that
so many of my dear countrymen involves themselves into
distress and calamities that they are strangers to at
home: I have got no clerkship as yet; I intend in a
few days to set out for Baltimore. Remember me to all
friends, in particular to my dear good friend Mr. James
Hudson and family, and if convenient shew him this my
letter, and I am your sincere well-wisher,
P.S. I sent Christopher Hudson his book sealed up,
which I took away in mistake, and a letter by a sailor,
who I am sure will deliver it. If you write direct to
the care of Hugh Bryans in Horse and Cart-street, New-
York. Remember me to Edward Liddy, who once relieved
me, and Bridget Gillespy's family.