Main content

Title: John McBride, Watertown, NY to James McBride, Derriaghy.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Filemcbride, john/47
SenderMcBride, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationweaver
Sender Religionunknown
OriginWatertown, NY, USA
DestinationLisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
RecipientMcBride, James Jr
Recipient Gendermale
SourceT 2613/9: Copied by Permission of Mrs Emily McLister, Mosside Cottage, Dunmurry, Co. Antrim.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9007103
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 26:11:1993
Word Count1930
TranscriptDear Brother Watertown June 1st 1823
I received your kind and intelligent Letter
of 20th March on the 22nd of May and as I had not
heard from you so long before I was glad to see it on many
accounts particulary on account of reading in the Newspapers
that a good many Counties among which was Antrim were
in a State of Disturbance but I had heard before I got your
Letter that it was only his [?] who wished to represent
it so, whose conduct is fully explaind [explained?] in John Craig's Letter
which I got two Days before yours, indeed such conduct is
no more than I would expect from such a man, as self
Interest was always his [ruling?] Motive we have plenty of such
men in this Country, but they dare not act so, they well
know if they act so, they wont hold their places long.
I shall now commence on my own affairs. on the 7th Jany
I became a Father to fine Girl, which I call Catherine
Lydia got well pretty fast, but the Weather was extremely
Cold and I beleive [believe?] she went out too soon, and got cold
which went very hard with her but thro' [through?] the kindness of
God she got well again, then for the first time [since?] I
left home I was taken ill on the 26th of Feby I was
taken with a severe Dysentary [Dysentery?] a painful looseness which
confined me to my Bed for a Fortnight it reduced me almost to
a skeleton I had a Doctor to attend me all the time and I
took a good deal of Medicine but thank God I got well
and my health is as good now as it ever was during my
illness I had the kind care of an affectionate Wife and the
best attendance I could wish for, for I have plenty of kind friends
I thought it was Cold feet was the cause of my Sickness
I went to [Meeting?] one Sunday and it was a very cold Day and where
I sat was far from the stove and when I came home I felt
a hea--ache [headache?] and I grew worse and worse till I was forced to
go to Bed, & my sickness was more the 70 Dollars loss to me
but I should not nor do not Complain. God has always been
kind to me and altho [although?] I have been sick he has spared my life
I have a fine fat thriving Child. I keep two Boarders at present
which makes my family something larger. Things go on much
the same here as formerly, there is no alteration in our Paies [pays?] of
Weaving tho [though?] they made an attempt to reduce our wages about a
Fortnight ago, they say Cloth is falling so in N: [New?] York that they
cant afford to pay so much but we know this is only a pretence
and we are determined to quit altogether before we work for less
when the proposition was made to us we sent for them in the
Shop I told them our mind freely and before they left us they
told us there would be no alteration since then we have heard
no more of it. I had no idea the prices were so low in
Ireland, but they are even lower in Glasgow I seen a Letter
from there a short time ago. There was Wheat in from
Liverpool to N: [New?] York and our creditors remarked that it was a
[?] speculation at present Wheat is twice as Dear as it
was twelve months ago. Flour at present is 7 Dollars a Barrel &
[still?] on this [rise?] we cant see the reason as it is not so Dear
in N: [New?] York City I suppose it is the War between France and
Spain which causes the Merchants to speculate upon that article
how that war will do for this Country I dont know if G: [Great?] Britain
takes part in it I think it will help us and I dont see how she
can help it on account of her relations with Portugal but time will tell
The last account from Europe states that the French has entered Spain
and taken two or three small places on the Frontiers of Spain. I hope
their Journey back will be like the retreat from Moscow. I have read
[Labaumes?] Russian Campaign since I came here - it is dreadfull [dreadful?]
the Spaniards have the best wishes of all this Country may God
help their cause. I wonder John Blake wrote to me the way he did
when he had no notion of coming - but my Letter to him may be of
use to others to form a true opinion of this Country which very few
in Ireland have; Six month residence here would give a Man more
knowlege [knowledge?] of the Country than all the Books and Letters he could
read during his life. The last Letter I had from Robt [Robert?] Craig was of
Feby 3d: He tells me in it he is married to a Girl 15 years old who
never was five miles from home in her Life!!! - I had not
got a Letter from him since June 1822 till that time, he has got
a House, his Wife and all her Friends are Quakers I suppose
he had a broad brimmed Hat himself ere [before?] this, he says he had, had a
Letter from John & that P. Brown was threatining [threatening?] to come to him
he says if she studies her Interest she will stay where she is
You ask me if I visit I can tell you truly I do not, indeed Lydia,
and me are both alike in that respect it is true I like to see a
Friend at my house & treat them as well as I can, but as to making
a practice of it I do not. I had a Letter from J. Phillips last Novr
him and Edwd [Edward?] were well he had no word of being married he complains
at the dullness of the times where he is Wm [William] Hoops youngest Child
Died on the 17th of March the rest of his Family are well James Hunter
has a Letter from his Father when I got J. [John?] Craig's - James is well
and will write to his Father next Sunday - I will ansr [answer?] John Craig's
Letter in a Week or two. I would wish you when you write to ask
me any thing [anything?] you wish to know of the Country Your Letters are
so interesting to me that I would wish mine to be so to you I
think the alterations with your Neighbours are is many that if I
was to go home I would hardly know the Country but there is no likelihood that
I shall ever see it. thank God I am blest [blessed?] with Contentment where I
am, and if God spares one health my prospect is better that it ever was in
Ireland you may depend I make as good use of my time as I possibly
can, and neither my wife nor myself are extravagant. I find my wife
studies my interest as much as she can and altho [although?] I did not get the
Wealth of the World with her I got what is more lasting a kind and
affectionate partner whom I can confide. I have
not had a Letter from my Aunt Rachael this long time I intend writing to
her in a few days I dont now mind [remember?] what both Edwd [Edward?]
Jones Children's names are the Eldest I am sure is Margaret and I
dont mind [remember?] the other but I can tell in some future Letter.
Provisions of all kinds are dearest there when I wrote last.
Paper such as this I am writing on is 25 Cents the quire - it is made in the
next house to the Shop I work in. This place is improving very fast. We have
two Churches and the Subscription is out for a third which is for a
Sect called Universalists who contend that all men
will be finaly [finally ?] happy in a future State let their Sins be ever so
great they are very numerous here
I have heard them preach sometimes but be there Doctrine true or false I think
it leads too much to [dissipation?] among the ignorant and wicked part of
Mankind who are willing to join with any thing [anything?] which will quiet
their guilty Consciences. The Methodists and Presbyterians are
at open war with the Universalists who have a Semi-monthly Paper printed in
this Village for the purpose of promulgating their opinion - and it
is a Doctrine that is spreding [spreading?] over many parts of this
Country but I am no Theologist and I have little to say about these Matters;
I leave them to them who have more time and better information, hoping and
trusting that God will so guide and Direct me thro' [through?]
life that I may not be afraid at my latter end - I mention these things
just because I have room - and want you in your next to ask me as many Questons
[Questions?] as will fill my Sheet of paper & I shall be Glad to ansr [answer?]
any thing [anything?] you ask me if it is in my
power - and when you want to send me a Letter dont wait for a Ship coming
to New York if you can get one for Charleston Baltmore [Baltimore?] or
Philadelphia the Postage is but three or four Cents more
and I don't care for that. send me word if the Letters which I sent to N:Y:
[New York?] to be Posted cost you as much Postage as those I posted here.
if there is any part of this Letter you dont wish
to shew [show?] it is easy for you to Copy it in any [manner?] you please
leaving out such parts as you may think Proper - but show it to John Craig
as I hold him always to be one of my best Friends.
Robt [Robert?] Craig said nothing in his Letter to me of being Sick he asked
my forgiveness several times for not writting sooner as I sent him two Letters
before I got an ansr [answer?]
Give my love and Lydia's to my Father and Sisters and tell them I have a fine
Child who I have named for my Mother - Lydia's Mother is the same name
and her Fathers name is James if it had been a Boy I would have called it
James. Remember me to J Craig and Nancy. To Wm [William?] & Jane Phillips
and all my other Friends too numerous to mention
and let you next be as satisfactory as your last and I shall be glad how soon
it arrives. Tell me how Nancy Hull and her Husband comes on and the rest
of my old Neighbours. Does John W: Clughan talk any of this Country now,
how is the Mason trade doing - and other
trades. What situation is my Fathers Land in now - I mean how is it Divided -
and now Dear Brother that the God of all Goodness may watch over you
thro' [through?] life and grant you every Comfort and Happiness is the wish
and Prayer of your ever Affectionate
Brother John McBride.