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Title: Letter to the Belfast News-Letter on Emigration.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Sender Genderunknown
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginUlster, Ireland
DestinationBelfast, N.Ireland
RecipientBelfast News-Letter
Recipient Gendermale
Relationshipletter to newspaper re emigration
SourceThe Belfast News-Letter, Friday 18 to Tuesday 22 February, 1774
ArchiveThe Central Library, Belfast
Doc. No.1200316
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLET
LogDocument added by LT, 19:12:00.
Word Count420
Mr. Printer,
Be so kind, through your useful paper, to convey to my
countrymen the following facts, which are as baneful in
their effects, as damnable in their intention.
THE spirit of emigration that has so long been
predominant in this country, has laid the people disposed
to go abroad open to the grossest impositions, from
masters of American vessels, and their colleagues, the
skew-bankers. The general practice of men in this trade
(and even your laurel'd gentry of this class) is on their
arrival here, to open all letters, except those to a few
merchants, to see if they contain any accounts of America,
but such as would encourage the correspondent or his
acquaintance to emigrate; if they do, it is immediately
altered, or another substituted in its stead. Where a
paragraph mentions the death of a parent, or an esteemed
friend or relation, caused by uncommon labour, hardship,
or the heat of the climate, this is put into oblivion by
the dash of a pen, and a more pleasing picture introduced:
or if it mentions a doubt of the propriety of leaving
their native country, this is also put to utter darkness,
and something of our modern Serjeant [Sergeant?] Kite's
is presented, shewing the riches, happiness, ease and
liberty of the people; and above all the never-to-be-
neglected postscript - " If you come, be sure come with
captain such a one, for he will use you well." - In
short, the honest unsuspecting countryman, fond of change,
listens to the pompous accounts, - so intoxicated, rashly
resolves on his departure; and, heated with the flame,
communicates it to all around him:- Houses and property
are immediately sold, which, if they produce what pays
their passage, all is well, and so far answers both
parties: the captain gets the gleanings of their poverty;
- hopeful harvest! to gorge those vultures, for which
all that is worthy in man is factificed - benevolence,
justice, and honour!
It is an undoubted fact, that the emigrations of this
kingdom are a loss to the landed gentlemen as well as
the community at large, and it may be conjectured this
hint is originated by some such; I must observe I have
not an inch of landed property in this kingdom; it is
wholly owing to a recent instance of this sort of
baseness, which, if it was necessary, or hereafter
should become so, I would stand forth, and offer such
satisfaction (as to the facts) as would put it beyond
a doubt.
Ulster, 8th Feb. 1774. HIBERNIA.