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Title: Isabella Marshall, Georgia, U.S.A. to Andrew Marshall, Belfast.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileAllen, Isabella/120
SenderAllen, Isabella & W. J. Campbell Allen
Sender Genderfemale-female
Sender Occupationhousewife-businessman
Sender Religionunknown
OriginGeorgia, USA
DestinationBelfast, N. Ireland
RecipientMarshall family
Recipient Gendermale-female
Relationshipdaughter and sister / son-in-law, brother-in-law
SourceD/1558/1/2/39: Presented by F. D. Campbell Allen Esq, London Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, England.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N. Ireland
Doc. No.9805130
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 08:05:98.
Word Count1687
TranscriptSandhills 5th January 1839

My dear Sisters
Christmas and New years day are both past
and with them I hope the half of the period of my
residence here. I spent both days very quietly and had
plenty of leisure to think of home and be with you all.
I think you were all assembled and as well and happy as
I wished you I would have given a great deal to catch
but a momentary look at the drawing room or parlour; but
it was vain to wish. I am writing now by a fire wood fire
with the three gentlemen beside me busy with accounts.
Mr. Campbell is reading numbers and names aloud but that
does not interrupt me. Mrs Campbell and Aphera are
employed in the other room and now you have a picture
of our household or at least of their position at the
present moments. I hope one day you will see the whole
six for Mr C [Campbell ?] speaks of visiting Ireland
the summer after next and if we are all in the land of the
living you will see some of the Hospitable Georgians.
Aphera often tells me all the desriptions I will give
to you of my life here and of the treatment I have
received and you may be sure she draws the reverse of the
reality She is as extraordinary creature. Almost always
in the highest spirits and telling stories of all
descriptions but affectionate and warm-hearted and
high C[___?]. She joined the Presbyterian church last
Sunday and promises to be a staunch supporter of it.
But enough of her she desires me to give her love to
you for she knows you she says as well as possible
from my description so accept it from her. I have been
in daily expectation of receiving letters from home
but I have been doomed to disappointment day after day.
No mail has arrived from the North since that which left
on Christmas day and which brought the intelligence
that the Packets of the 7th and 19th were in New York
bay. of course they contain letters for us and I am
all anxiety to get hold of the epistles ; but the
severe frosts we have had have frozen up the rivers
and prevented the travelling of steamboats the great
means of conveyance in all directions though the
country. I hope the frosts will take its departure
and not leave here deprived of news which out from
what is to me the most interesting news in the world.
I suppose there are numbers wishing like myself for the
rivers to be again set free. When I travelled up the
Huddson [Hudson?] and St Lawrence and saw how dependent,
their inhabitants were for communication with each other
and the rest of the world on the free currents of the
giants like any I could not help pitying their
situation in winter when perhaps for months they were
[deburred ?] from many gratifaications. The severe
winter frosts are numerable impediments in the way of
water travelling and the importance is that the making
of roads to avoid the inconvenience in winter will
be a very slow operation here where the necessity
except at particular times is not felt. I only hope
I may not be much longer made to feel the deprivation
but may see my letters unchilled by the cold make
their appearance shortly. I am still knitting and
am reading now a novel of James' namely "One in a
thousand" It is very well written and is highly
interesting I thought my sympathy in fictitious
personages was greatly decreased but I find the
fascination of the present fate, the anxiety for
the welfare of the heroes and heroines as great
as they all were in reading any novel. I left
up the book and can with difficultly lay it down.
I have been lately but little in town. I drove
there to day and visited parts I had not seen before.
It is a thriving pleasing town and seen on such a
day as this one as clear and bright as crystal looks
remarkably well but nevertheless I know nothing could
induce me to live in it. I see little of slavery
certainly few if any of its evils but I cannot without
a feeling of the greatest repugnance see in the streets
and on the roads negroes at work, some heaving wood,
others driving waggons & all engaged in menial
occupations and reflects that they are all the rights
of different masters to sell them when they please.
The advertisements in the papers of estates or
plantations for sale the various buildings [enumercated?]
and amongst other articles numercarated 200 or 150 negroes
with their qualification described are shocking and time
instead of reconciling one to such things would only make
me hate them more. I could have no satisfaction or comforts
being in a country where such a state of things existed
with little or no prospects of their improvements. I
shall be glad to set foot again in a land where whatever
other evils it may have is free from that of slavery and
where we are served voluntarily. This reminds me of the
servants at home. Have you changed any of them. I
suppose I shall scarcely receive an answer to this query
till I reach Belfast. Is Jenny still in Wellington Place
and still intending to come to me on our return. I hope
she is ; and if still with you you might tell her so.
I suppose before this finds its way across the Atlantic
Roy will have accompanied Anna to Glasgow and be
busy improving herself in painting. What a number of
things he will have to chat over on our return When I
think of getting back I feel quite impatient and will
willingly resign all sightseeing in Virginia for the
sake of seeing in the spring the dear old spots. I am
likely to become but little acquainted with the Augusta
people and on truth I doubt much are for making
acquaintances that will when I go away be broken up for
ever for I suspect few will cross to Ireland and with
my will I am sure I will cross to America. And I
will with such an idea have this with regrets. The woods
are becoming like familiar friends to me Mr Campbell drove
me yesterday evening through winding paths among them ;
sometimes we left the cleared track and drove through the
trees as they grew in their natural state and I could
not help feeling regret at the thoughts that I should
soon have to no more woods to wander in. But says Roy
what are stunted rakes of bare landhills to green
fields and hawthorn hedges ? the latter have the
advantage certainly but I have become familiarised
with the former and would have no objection to be
able to carry a few acres as a specimen home for your
gratifaication. There are other things he would like
to take home for you in the eating shape. William
would take Indian corn in the shape of honouring and
I in those of corn [___?] or [___?]. [Buchaheah ?] we
would both take but would leave the sweet potatoes
to the Georgians or whoever chose Rose my table
attendant has come to inform me that the fire
upstairs is lighted and this being Saturday night I
must say goodbye When I sit upstairs at my fireside
I often think of our chats last winter at our bedroom
fire and wonder if you have as long one this
winter. But again goodnight dear sisters I think a few
months will see us all again united Give my love to
all to Bella & Andrew. I never see a child without
thinking of them I need not go one of the list
of those that love is said to you had them and I
need only add that
I ever remain
Your attached and devoted sister
Isabella Allen.

My Dear Friends, As usual Bella insists that I shall
write something, and I have asked the usual question
What shall I write ? for I presume she has given you
all the news I am happy to say that she has got over her
rheumatic attack, and I hope she will be able to
preserve herself against it for the remainder of the
winter. I cannot however get her to take what I consider
sufficent care of herself. We are beginning to look
forward to our return with some anxiety, but my
movements are for some time altogether uncertain. I
shall probably be able to say something more certain
on this subject in my next letter to my mother which
will quickly succeed this, In the mean time, I have
only to keep alive in the recollection of some of
you that we shall want a house in the same [___?].
and that we would like it in your neighbourhood, if
a convinent one at a fair rent could be obtained. -
We look anxiously for letters from home, as it is
now three weeks since Miss Knowles' letter reached us.
The packets of November have had long passages, and the
account of the freezing of the Nothern Rivers and a
change of carriage of the mail, were without later dates
from New York tham Christmas day although we should
have them in Course up till the 31st of last month.
- I shall be much disappointed if the ship that sailed
from Belfast for Charlestown arrives without bringing
us leters. Bella & I often speak of it, but she thinks
that you will not write by her, - but I can't believe
it ; a short time will show which is right - I send
my love to you all, you know who are comprehended
in that general term ; say to my mother that I will
write to her by the next packet but one at farthest,
and believe me to be very affectionately yours
W. J. Campbell Allen.