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Title: Isabella Allen, Augusta, to 'My dear Sisters', Belfast
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileAllen, Isabella/112
SenderAllen, Isabella & W. J. Campbell Allen
Sender Genderfemale-female
Sender Occupationhousewife-businessman
Sender Religionunknown
OriginNYC, USA
DestinationBelfast, N. Ireland
RecipientMarshall family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Relationshipdaughter and sister / son-in-law, brother-in-law
SourceD1558/1/2/38: The Papers of William John Campbell Allen, Deposited by F.D. Campbell Allen Esq., 15 London Road, Harrow-on-the-hill, Middlesex
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N. Ireland
Doc. No.9910057
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 22:10:99.
Word Count2279
TranscriptSandhills November 14th 1838

My dear Sisters
My expectation of finding letters waiting for me
in Augusta has been disappointed, and till after Friday I have
no hope of receiving any. The arrival of the Liverpool is yet
unannounced, and she must either have postponed her day of
sailing, or some accident has happened to her. I see by the
paper that the Great Western sails from New York on the 22nd
and although only four days have passed since I last wrote,
I do not like to allow a steampacket to cross the Atlantic
without news from us. You will in all probability get this
letter before the one I wrote on Sunday, which contained
an account of our travels hither, but notwithstanding I
shall begin where I then left off, and tell you what sort
of an uncivilized, and barbarian land I have got into. At
2 O'Clock on Sunday the carriage came to drive us to the
Sandhills. Mr Campbell has been for some time unwell, and
been confined to his room, so that I only saw Mrs Campbell.
She accompanied us out and is a very kind pleasant woman,
doing all she can to make us comfortable; indeed although
I have been here but two days I feel quite at home, and
enjoy the quietness and peace after the bustle and whirl
I have been in for the last three months. Well as I said
we drove through a deep sandy road to our destination,
which is a nice airy wooden house seated in the midst
of trees, and commanding a view of Augusta and the plain
below, we occupy a delightful room on the second floor,
and find in it every comfort we could desire. There is
little fear of my being lonely. Mrs Campbell has a niece
a Miss Longstreet always resident with her, who is as full
of life, and spirits as she can be. She reminds me of what
[B--?] [Peg?] sometimes are when you get into one of your
wild moods and draw the longbow. Close to us is Mr & Mrs
Smiths abode, the latter a sister of Mrs Campbell, and step
mother to two young ladies who will be frequent visitors
here. Miss Margaret Black daughter of Mr B of Belfast was
here the day I arrived, but is now gone to Charleston
where she resides. I have books round me in abundance, and
an excellent piano to practise on, and I intend to keep
myself occupied with them so as to prevent my mind dwelling
on the time of our return. The weather has been delightful
since we arrived, the thermometer was 70 yesterday in the
shade; and this day though not so bright is quite as mild,
while at home I suppose you are perishing with cold every
day. I and Miss Longstreet have taken a ramble through
the woods. I am delighted with the magnificent blue sky
which she from its frequency scarcely looks at. I could
not on Monday do any thing but look at it; it was so
blue, and cloudless, and the atmosphere so transparent.
We wandered over the hill, which is composed completely
of sand, like that on the sea shore, is uncovered with
verdure and only produces oaks (now with the frost a
brilliant crimson) and pines which are of the brightest
green. I find no flowers, or rare plants to gather, for
Knowly, crysanthemums a [sacression?] rose: or two, and
a bunch of sweet scented violets, are the only productions
of the kind I have seen, the last are like our
spring violets, and grow here in the open air. What I miss
most is the song of birds, as I walk through the woods,
the grasshopper's chirp is the only sound I hear; and I
listen in vain for any note more melodious. Mrs Campbell
has a mocking bird in the parlour which I hope will before
my departure have resumed it's song it is now silent for
the winter: I am while living here strongly reminded of
Drumbridge, there is such stillness round me; such country
quietness I am sure you would enjoy it were you here.
William Campbell is domiciled here also so I think we
will be a pretty heavy tax on Mr & Mrs Campbell's
hospitality, but they dont seem to consider it in that
light state. Owing to Mr C.'s [Campbell?] illness, William
has not yet commenced his business, but I suppose will
soon be deep in accounts he goes into town however
every day, and returns in time for dinner. I have not
seen the [--all?] but I suppose I will visit it tomorrow
or the day following. We sent our large trunks round by
the sea and they not yet having arrived, I am ashamed to
make my appearance in my travelling bonnet. The straw
one was finished on board the Western, and my tuscan one
presents now after my stage journeyings rather a
melancholy aspect, fortunately Augusta contains a person
able to clean and refit such articles and I intend to
place it in her hands soon as I get anything else to put
on my [pow?]. My dread of being scocked[shocked?] by seeing
negroes round me, is greatly abated. the slaves here are
like servants at home, the only difference I see is that
at meals, at breakfast and tea, where we attend ourselves,
and assist each other, we have always four attendants,
waiting to hand different articles to five or six
individuals. There is one coloured woman whose appearance
is extremely prepossessing: she is housekeeper and the
cleanest tidiest creature I have seen in this country,
she has an uncommonly good countenance and seems very
attentive the rest of those that wait are young; little
boys, and slips of girls. I am fortunate in not being
resident with a planter where necessarily I would see
the slaves employed on the plantations. This is but a
meagre epistle: the changes in place which have given
materials for my former letters must now for some time
be wanting I am set down to enjoy domestic retirement,
and observe the difference not in things and places,
but rather that in men and manners. My journal must
necessarily become meagre too, indeed be laid aside
entirely. I intend resuming my Italian when the
books arrive by sea and try to keep up what I have
already. I suppose you are busy with the [Signor?],
writing and reading, you must when I get back take me
under your tutorage, and teach me what you are gaining
now. How are the pictures coming on? before you answer
me, I will I daresay be thinking of travelling northwards
again. Do you remember this day three months ? what a
bustle we were in ! if you dont I do. It seems to me
like yesterday and yet how much ground we have traversed
since then. I am now going to take a ramble with my guide
who tries often to play tricks on me, and [-nsg-a--?]
me, but I am not to be tricked by he [torn] [her?]
she gathers wild fruits, and pretends they are something
very delicious [watch?] I have tried them, and pronounced
them very bad. I will take a book with me, and enjoy the
still day: to look at the trees you cannot see a leaf
stirring, nor see a withered one falling, if winter be
like this it will far surpass our summer. I have William
to finish this epistle. How does my Peri get on ? are there
many sick to cure ? but why ask questions when I can have
no reply until my question be forgotten I must sisters
goodbye, dont let little Bella and Andrew forget us,
give my best love to all in High street, Arthur street,
College square etc and Ever believe me to be
Your attached and loving [---?] siss [sister?]
Isabella or Blue Bell.

Friday evening. Finding I had so little
to write about I thought it better to let the Western
go on its way and keep my letter till the next packet.
Since I last wrote I went to Augusta to attend church
preparatory to the New Minister's installation. The
town presented a very different appearance from what it
had done on Sunday; it consists of one street much wider
than High street which was crowded with cotton waggons
[wagons?] so that the carriage had some difficulty
in getting through. It bears the aspect of a flourishing
busy town and is after the dullness and deadness of
everyplace in North Carolina quite reviving The houses
are very neat mostly of brick and all the inhabitants
seem pretty well off in the world. Mr Campbells town
house is quite shut up but kept [furnished?] and we
dine there the days we go to town. I said we went to
church where we heard a preacher of the true evangelical
stamp; one who inculcating human depravity puffed up his
hearers with the idea that they were the special charge
of God that for them the world was preserved and by their
prayers God was wrought on [st---?] to permit the [----?]
to rise and sit and this earth move on in its usual order
I one of the unconverted listened but profitted not, perhaps
when I have for three months attended the same ministry I
may be one of the fold. The [Unitarians?] are now a
scattered sect here their place of worship is shut up, their
minister gone and themselves joining with their brethren of
other demoninations. I am afraid the seed was sown in stony
ground when it could so soon wither away. A [pr--raited?]
meeting as these preparatory preachings are called is to
be held till after Sunday and, I suppose I will be present
tomorrow. This day for dinner we have had some friends of
Mrs Campbells and Williams. I have received a good many
visits but owing to my bonnet being in millners hands
and I in consequence driven to wear my hood out of doors
I have not returned any. You cannot imagine such a November
for heat, we have been sitting with every window and door
open to day to try and catch a breath of air and what
is the worst I am in winter clothing which I put on in
New York and can get nothing lighter till the trunks
arrive by sea. The rain I hear is falling now and
it will probably cool the atmosphere which every one
says is unnaturally warm. I have not got any letter
from home and here is Friday past a bright speck on
the candle tonight betokens me and I trust it may be
a true omen for I am longing to hear from some of you
I expect to see Alida's writing in the [next?].
Mr Campbell is now recovered and William and his
cousin have been busy [as?] [ever?] at accounts,
pleasant occupation The settlement I believe promises
to be tedious and I suppose will try our patience.
I have not read a line of anything but some poems of
[Wrt?] [S---ri--g?], the heat of the weather makes
me very indolent. I am sure I would not blame any one
on a Southern climate for being languid, yet every one
I see here is as active as at home. the young ladies
busy with their needles and the elders with their
houses. We breakfast every morning at « past 7 O'clock
and you may astonish Mrs Allen by telling her that
William rises every morning at « past 6 just with
daylight. I think I have written all I have to write.
Oh! by the bye, I have with Mr Campbells assistance
begun to collect leaves & for Knowly I intend to
explore the forests and the woods any [and?] gather
if it's productive some specimens to bear to the Gree
[Green?] Isle what think you I found a shamrock on the
road side the other day and it did my heart good to
see it But I must go and bestow my company on Mrs C
[Campbell?] and Miss Longstreet and bid good night
to my dear dear sisters. I wonder if you think of us
as much as I think of you no matter goodnight have
pleasant dreams and [never?] forget
Your attached and absent siss [sister?]

November 17th 1838.
My Dear Sisters,
I have nothing to write, but Bella says I
must write something merely to show that I remember you,
and in obedience to her command, I have taken up my pen
merely to inform you that this day the thermometer is only
20 degrees lower than it was yesterday: we are therefore not
exacly panting for breath. I am deeply involved in accounts;
and although the work threatens to be tedious I have every
reason to hope it will be satisfactory I have a lecture
in store for John about not getting the (Poor Law) Chaplaincy:
he might as well have had a slice of the great loaf when the
division was taking place, as anybody else. We are looking
anxiously for letters: we have not yet heard of the arrival of
the Steamer Liverpool although we have New York [cates?] to
the 13th Inst. that is 24 days after her perposed [proposed?]
time of leaving Liverpool. - I am desirious of hearing something

of my mother, but I must restrain my impatience:- Give my
kindest regards to all our friends, and for yourselves accept
the love
of your Brotherin (sic) law
W.J.Campbell Allen

Envelope Address:-

Andrew Marshall Esq M.D.

per Ship [Roscius?]
via Liverpool