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Title: Isabella Allen, New York to Andrew Marshall, Belfast.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileAllen, Isabella/108
SenderAllen, Isabella
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNYC, USA
DestinationBelfast, N. Ireland
RecipientMarshall family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Relationshipdaughter and sister
SourceD1558/1/2/37: Presented by the late F.D. Campbell Allen, Esq., 15 London Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Doc. No.9803629
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 27:03:98.
Word Count1704
TranscriptNew York October 24th 1838.

My dear [Mon?]
We are still in the Carleton house and
have not fixed any day for our journey southwards, there
is nothing to hurry us and our present intention is to
remain as long as we find it agreeable we will probably
however not spend another week. The Liverpool packets
of the 13th and 25th are reported in and I am all anxiety
to hear if there be letters. The one would be directed
for Augusta and it is but unlikely that we may be able to
get it out here; it will certainly be very promising. One
vessel has arrived in 24 days. She must have had a
eventful passage. William is gone to Mr Lord's office
to make inquiries and try to bring me some news from home.
Yesterday was his birthday (I mean the day before) and I
hope his Mother reminded or told you of it so that you
might drink his health. To celebrate so important a
day Mr Bruce and Corbitt dined with us here and in the
evening we all went to the theatre to see Power perform
in the White horse of the Pippers. The house was crowded
and the performance excellent. I was almost bursting into
one of England at Power's representation of an Irish guide
without caricaturing it he acted it to the life. A.
Mr Plaide played the part of a Irishman uncommonly well.
The theatre is very tastefully decorated and the scenery
very good. I was altogether very much pleased and
delighted. Tomorrow evening will be Miss Sheriffs
Benefit and we must go to hear her in the National.
Our life since I wrote has been (compared with that of
the six or seven previous weeks) very quiet. Miss Corbitt
has unfortunately been laid up with a severe cold so
that I have deprived of her society. Mr and Mrs Brown
have again started on their travels and are in Boston
for a few days that trip we before for sparing when
while we are waiting for the sailing of a vessel. We
may have some spare days. Mr Bridends on his return
going to the South as far as New Orleans whether we
will have his company I do not know. The mode of
travelling in this country is not so favourable to
your becoming acquainted intimately with your fellow
passengers. Many meals at the public tables, having
no private sitting room where you can become sociable
and enjoy conversation after the fatigue of the days
journey in fact being separated except when in the
stage are great drawbacks to social intercourse but have
the advantage of allowing you to see the manners and
habit of the people of the country. Mrs Brown and I
(whether it was owing to awkwardness or to stiffness
of manner on her part, or to both) were not much better
acquainted when we parted than when we met. I know
little of her and she less of me I think with an
Irishwoman. I would have been much sooner familiar
and our hearts warmed to each other more. I suppose
on my next journey I will have no female companion
but I must do without. William's former fellow
traveller to Augusta Miss Dillon paid us a visit.
She is now Mrs Besmoyth married to a man retired
from business and seemingly very comfortable. She
is very lively and I hope to see more of her. Mrs
Besmoyth and Miss Whyte [White?] called on us we have
returned the visit and have heard no more of them.
This day is pouring rain. Another storm and will not
clear I am sure till night so I may feel contented in
the house. I sit in my own room except at mealtimes
where I descend to look about me and pass by remarks
on keen women and manners. The ladies here in gaiety
far surpass the Dublin belles walking up Broadway
between two and three O'clock. I look in amazement
at the crowds of elegantly and expensively dressed
ladies. They are beginning to near never muffling
but when first came they were in summer costume
I think judging from the piece of articles of
clothing and finery hose some of them must spend
fortunes on dress. They are mostly pale and very
thin with a good deal of the French air and style.
In the theatre however I was surprised to see bonnets
almost universal in the boxes and scarcely any one in
dress. I fancy some of the fashionable were present.
On Sunday we went to the Unitarian Church (which has
not established ministers at present) and heard
the Rev. C.S. Garrett the colleague of Dr. Channing,
he gave us a most beautiful discourse, beautiful in
continents [contents ?] language his delivery is
very peculiar but pleasing at times calm and quiet
but becoming when necessary empassioned and energetic.
He is a middle aged man, plain in appearance. The
congregation seemed large and respectable. At 3 October
we went to Grace Church where Mr Whyte [White?] had offered
us his pew and heard a very indifferently read service
and a worse delivered mediocre sermon. The evening we spent
quietly reading, employed in the same way as I daresay
you were at home. I wonder if Lizzy is home yet. I
hope she has enjoyed her excursion. How is Knowly
[Frances Knowles?] getting on tell her I expect to
see the scrape of a pen from her some of these days
and must not dare to disappoint me. I suppose Rosa
and Alida are busy with Liquor however I was reading
some of Dante this morning and thinking of last winter
and its studies. I dont [don't?] think we will be very
studious while here. Being on a visit at Augusta we will
not have our time at our own disposal. I am very glad
I am to be in a private instead of a boarding house and
my only fear is that Mrs Campbell may find me too great a
tax and be glad to get rid of me. I will be glad to
get to a piano again I have had no music or practice
except when [----?] up while working at [------?] to
myself while William is wandering about here and there
and leaving me deserted to pine out my little life dont
[don't?] you pity me? I estimate you reckon I have no
need of pity and I guess not what you think as I have
nothing but nonsense to write I may as well lay down
my pen for the present and I calculate dear [Mon?] you are
right. William is reading to me the Letters from
Palsnyea which are quite delightful you should get them
if you have not done so already. Rosa tells me you are
busy at my table. I see here bead Patterns gilyore [galore ?]
and when we are returning if we be all well I will endeavour
to get some pretty ones for you. It seems possible to
get every thing here if you have the money but you
must have a good supply of that commodity. I am beginning
under Mr Antorage to be able to count dollars cents for
shillings and pences but unfortunately in the South the
currency changed [torn] all my knowledge will be of little
avail. But I thought I was to stop scribbling for today
so I will and with love to all great and I will not
forgetting Uncle and Aunt Drummond I remain your ever
attached but most melancholy most sorrowful most
Isabella Allen alias Marshall
Thursday evening. William returned saying that the Southern
mails had gone on and that the Shakespeare would in all
probability not bring letters so we sat down to read and
before dinner we went on a final trial he came back
looking quite grave and unconcerned and after keeping
me in suspense he produced Rosa's long and delightful
letter. Though the news was older than that of the one
brought by the Boyd William it was not the less
interesting. I am glad you were all so gay after we left
and I hope the winter may continue so. Hallowe'en is
coming close. I cannot believe it is a year since Poy
and I were writing the letters and Alida helping us with
the Apple pie. Will Willaim get the Rings this time. I
hope so much that they may predict more truly than before
that is in case the lady is worthy of him. If I am in
any place where I can have a quiet fireplace I will [----?]
all boyfriends and he buy each epistle send them the results
of the conflagration. I may go out on my tracks again but
wherever I am I will be in thoughts in Wellington Place
and I daresay Campbell will be there too. He desires me to
leave him room to sign his hand so I must leave him a corner.
He was highly indignant at Rosa's taking it for granted that
he was happy and styling him my happy partner dont [don't?]
let her commit such an error again. I was amused in
reading yesterdays letter at Poy's pictures of my enjoyments
on board ship. The last day of the honeymoon when
she fancies my enjoying myself was the day I took fairly to
my berth and almost thought I might be thrown overboard
without making an effort to save myself. But I had some
delightful evenings and nights and I hope returning I may
have some more. It is too long to talk of the homeward
passage it will be glorious when it comes and time is
passing rapidly on. Campbell waits to finish and take
this to the office so once more I laid a very large
portion to say here for my Mon, Rosa, Alida, Margaret,
John, Bella, Andrew James and family, William [------?]
whom you may tell that I did not jump into any sharks
[-----?]. Andrew & Aunt, my Mother inform all whom it
may concern and with the warmest affection
William & myself
Your attached and loving daughter