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Title: John McBride, Watertown to James McBride, Co. Antrim.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Filemcbride, john/65
SenderMcBride, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationweaver
Sender Religionunknown
OriginWatertown, NY, USA
DestinationLisburn, Co. Antrim, N.Ireland
RecipientMcBride, James Sr
Recipient Gendermale
SourceT 2613/11: Copied by Permission of Mrs Emily McLister, Mosside Cottage, Dunmurry, Co. Antrim.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9007105
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by JM 01:11:1993.
Word Count1431
TranscriptWatertown March 5th 1825
Dear Father
I recd [received?] your letter of the 30th Decr on the
15th Feby, and I am glad to hear of you all being in good health
as this leaves me and my Family, thanks be to the Great Giver
of health and every other blessing I am sorry your fears were so
much alarmed on acct [account?] of my health, but the distance is so great
between us and it being impossible, for us to know each others affairs
so well as if were nearer, I don't think it strange you were alarmed on
acct [account?] of the way I wrote. Indeed for about Eighteen months my Health
was very poor, the Dysentry never quit me for more than a Week at once
till about the beginning of last Septr. I began to get better and since
that time I have not been once troubled with that most weakening
and disagreeable Disease the Dysentry - I can now work as hard as I
ever did since I came here, my Health is as good and I dont know but better
than it was at any time this Four Years - You say "you always
thought the Climate would not agree with me" but I don't know but
I have had just as Good health as I would have had in Ireland you
know my Brother has been very sick since I left home, and "in the midst
of life we are in Death" no matter where or in what Clime [climate?] we live,
But all thanks and Glory be to God from whom we derive health &
every other blessing I can at present assure you that mine is good. I am
thus particular about my health as I had a letter from Wm [William?] Craig
after he got to Robt [Robert?] and he told me you were greatly alarmed about me
I had no notion that the prices of weaving were so low, nor have I
any Idea how a Poor man with a large family of Children can
support them, I have but two Children, I would think it a hard
matter to support them on what I could earn in Ireland as the wages are
my sickness was a great loss to me but if my health continues good I will
soon be able to [p------?] [-----?] [up?] I had read in the papers of the
[?] state of Ireland, but had no notion it was so bad as you mention
I did not think the the County Antrim of all others required such an
immense number of Constables Ill fated Country with Religious Divisions
and broils formented by superstitious Bigotry never have an end Thank Heaven
I am far removed from such scenes, in this land, of Liberty and Toleration
there are no Religious Distinctions no sect is placed by Law above [another?]
and all have a right to Worship the God of all as they please Each
pays their own Minister, there is no Tythe System here that Source of
a great deal of the Discontent which pervades Poor Ireland This is my
opinion and I freely express it tho' [though?] I may be blamed by some for so
doing I was grieved to hear of my Uncle Toms Death as I suppose his Wife will
have hard getting thro' [through?] the world being left with so many small
This has been a most Remarkable Winter here, about the beginning of
October the snow fell 18 inches Deep but soon went away & we had scarcely
any till the first of last month when it came on again and fell about as
deep as before, but it only stood a few days & since that the Ground has
been bare there has been no Sleighing this Winter I have talked with some of
the first settlers of this [?] they say they never seen a winter like it here
Williams letter was dated the 17th Decr he arrived there the 2d Novr, he
wrote me a sensible Letter more so than I thought one of his Years could
do; he appears to like his situation very well he is helping Robt [Robert?] in
the Store, he thinks it is a hard undertaking for a man to start from
the Old Country & come here who does not know what to do
when he is here, and indeed such is the way with thousands who come here
Robt [Robert?] & Betsy were well and Wm [William?] says they are both very kind
to him. You say Edwd [Edward?] Kinney gives a poor acct [account?] of his
Country and that the Irish look better on Potatoes & Buttermilk than the
Yankees I dont know how this may be in Philadelphia but it is not so here
there are as hardy Robust looking men here as I have seen any place, but
people write as they feel I am an example of this myself you know what I
said of this Country in some of my first letters, and let puddings & pies
have what effect they will on our looks it is Pleasant to be ---ing them.
You say John Dunlop called on you and I am very sorry I did not send a letter
with him as you may depend on all he told I was well acquainted
with him all the time he was here and I expect the reason he spoke so
much against this Country was that his Trade C---- Armagh was
very good in Scotland, when he left it, and he could earn good wages there
and he always complained of Cash being so scarce here, but I suppose he
told you his reason for not liking it [was?] for as I knew him you might depend
on what he said - I did not know when he left then that he would sail for
Ireland, and that was the reason I did not send a Letter his Father has had a
Letter from him but it was short he did not say whether he had seen you or not
There is a Scotchman works in the Shop with me, who kows [knows?] the
Manufacturers you say has come to Belfast, he says when he was in Glasgow they
were great Fellows for breaking the prices and could not get Weavers to Work to
them, he thinks that is the Reason they left Glasgow - and I expect that Green
being set a going beside you will be an advantage to the People of that
neighbourhood - I wrote to J Craig on the 14th November I am expecting an
Ansr [answer?] soon I intend to send this by a Young man to New York, he will
put it in a Ship and it will save you some Postage Tell Mr Shilds Robt
[Robert?] is Well, he still Works here he likes it well, he expects a Letter
soon he says he wont write till he gets a Letter from Ireland - his Uncle &
Family are Well - Edwd [Edward?] Jones & Children are Well, I expect him here
to see me in a few Days I need not say any thing to your enquiries abot
[about?] Wm [William?] Hoop as J Dunlop could tell you better than I can in a
Letter (but this I don't wish you to say any thing about) I wish to follow
[Peace?] with all men - There is no alteration in my Trade the prices are
better in New York and expected to be better, I mean, to Manufacture of this
Country I can think of nothing more to say you did not ask me Questions
enough Lydia & the Children are Well Eliza Jane is running about
altho [although?] she is so fat and not a year old, and Catherine is a fine
child - James Hunter & Wife are well - Give my Love to my Sisters and
Brother to Wm [William?] Phillips & Jane to John Blake & Betty - John Craig
& Nancy Uncle & Aunt Gilliland, Aunt Betty & Family Uncle & Aunt McFarland
Uncle & Aunt Corkin etc etc etc etc etc !!!! and now Dear Father that
this may find you and all the rest in Good health is the Constant
Prayer of Your
Provisions are about the same price as when Affectionate Son
I wrote to J. Craig - Except Pork it is Dear John McBride
it is from 15 to 18 Dollars the Barrel of 200th