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Title: [?], Philadelphia, to "Dear Mother".
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationlinen trader?
Sender Religionunknown
OriginPhiladelphia, Penn., USA
DestinationBelfast, N.Ireland
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceThe Belfast Newsletter, Tuesday, 1 May, 1832
ArchiveThe Central Library, Belfast
Doc. No.9805136
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 08:05:98.
Word Count430


Philadelphia, 18th March, 1832.

DEAR MOTHER - You mention the times being hard with the
trades' people in Belfast, but I can assure you that they
are very little better here. Such a winter as the last has
not been these 25 years, on account of the severity of the
weather; and although this is a spring month, yesterday
evening was nearly as severe as any that was this winter;
there was a snow storm in the afternoon, and it froze
intensely through the night. The stove in our room was hot
till ten o'clock last night; there was a pitcher of water
stood upon it, and this morning the ice was one-fourth of an
inch thick. The river was frozen over the most part of the
winter; the wood rose to an enormous price; what was
sufficient for one fire for five weeks, cost seven dollars
(œ1, 11s. 6d. British) - and provisions were higher than
common; potatoes, at present, 62« cents (2s. 9 3/4d. British)
per bushel of 32 quarts; butter has been from 25 to 37« cents
(1s. 1«d. to 1s. 8¬d. Brit.) per lb. all the winter; eggs
have been as high as 75 cents (3s. 4«d. British) per dozen;
flour and fish were higher than usual, but groceries continued
without variation. By retail, beef has been higher, and mutton
could hardly be got. - Dear mother, there are no doubt but the
times are hard on the poor in Belfast, but although this is
Philadelphia, in one of the finest States of the Union, there
are here hundreds of people with or no employment, that would
have starved for want of victuals, and frozen for want of
fire, if it had not been for the charitable contributions of
those whom the Almighty has supplied with the means of
relieving their fellow beings. The weaving has been very poor
this winter, and even at present it appears worse. There was
employment for most hands through the winter, at some price,
but the spring sales have been bad as yet, and several
manufacturers have stopped entirely, and their weavers have to
seek their fortune in the country, or pay their board in town,
with the expectation of employment as soon as the public works
commence, such as canals and rail-roads. - I have the good
fortune to be kept in employment as yet; and in the house
where Charles is, there were four looms stopped, and the other
four kept in employment - he happens to be one of that number.
He was in good health, and working hard all winter.