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Title: W.J.C. Allen, Belfast to his Uncle Arthur Harper, Philadelphia
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileCampbell Allen, William John/208
SenderCampbell Allen, William J.
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationbusinessman
Sender Religionunknown
OriginBelfast, N.Ireland
DestinationPhiladelphia, Penn., USA
RecipientHarper, Arthur
Recipient Gendermale
SourceD1558/1/1/1: The Papers of William John Campbell Allen, Depositedby F.D.Campbell Allen Esq., 15 London Rd., Harrow-on-the-hill,Middlesex.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, N.Ireland.
Doc. No.9904156
Partial Date
Doc. TypeLTE
LogDocument added by LT, 13:04:99.
Word Count1306
Transcript47 York Street
Belfast April 14th 1831
Mr Arthur Harper
Philadelphia, Honoured & Dear Sir
The person who
now makes bold to trouble you with a letter is one who never
had the pleasure of seeing you, but having been favoured
by Mrs. Hunter with the perusal of a part of your last kind
communication relating to himself, he takes the liberty of
addressing you a few lines. You are pleased in, to offer me
a word of advice with regard to my future conduct, [---ing?]
me not to give up the idea of pursuing my profession
notwithstanding the means which have been placed in my power
of living in indolence. This advice coming as it does from a
person of worthied experience, sound understanding and a kind
heart, possesses every thing necessary to recommend it to my
attention; but there are two circumstances which render it
still more irresistible: I am persuaded in the first instance
that it was the intention of my good Uncle John, while knowing
my delicacy of constitution he made me independent
of eleemosynary support, not by that means to paralyse
my feeble efforts, but to add a spin to my ambition
and in a manner goad me on to attain if possible a higher and
still nobler station among my fellows. Besides I have within
myself a strong disposition to activity: not to be employed &
to be dead seem to me to be similar in their nature, so that in
spite of the urgent advice of some who seemed to be my well
wishers; I have commenced the course of study necessary to fit
me for the most honourable, at the same time that it is the most
arduous profession in this country I mean the law. I am just
on the point of setting off for London to keep two terms with
a view to my being called to the bar, which I expect will take
place in about four years.
My Dear Mother, (whose name, by the way, is Jane not Ellen)
feels honoured by your kind notice of her in your letter to her
cousin and she [bys?] that you will accept her kindest regards.
My good Uncle James Campbell enjoys good health; as you
are no doubt aware, since you last left this country, he took
to himself a wife; he is now the father of six most lovely
children, two of whom William & John are pretty well advanced
in their education. They are both boarding at the Institution
of this town, the first school in the North of Ireland, and it
gives me very great pleasure to state that all the teachers
under whom they study inform me that they are among the very
best, most diligent and clever boys they have ever had. My
Uncle has for some time been talking of writing to you, if
you would not be fatigued by receiving too many epistles from
your friends in this island: in the mean time his kind partner
joins with him in presenting to you their very best compliments.
My Uncle William has also a fine young family: his two
eldest boys are at the Academy in Antrim and are I believe
making considerable progress in their education. Mary Anne his
daughter by his first wife Ann Clarke, who lived principally
with my mother was married about two years after to a
respectable grocer in this town named Blain: she has one
very fine little son whom they have called William Campbell
Allen: they live very comfortably, and as I am frequently
called from home to attend the hours of Court
my Mother and I have joined them in their house, so that she is
not entirely left in the hands of strangers during my absence.
My Uncle & his partner unite with Mary Anne and her lord in
offering you their respects. Our other friends in Antrim are
all pretty well, your good sister spent rather an indifferent
winter indeed, but I hope the genial heat of summer will restore
her to her wanted health and spirits. You will no doubt soon
have a communication from Mr Harbison so that I shall pass on
to another branch of our numerous circle of friends.
Your sister Mrs. Mulholland has been I am sorry to say, for
several years in rather a delicate state of health. The
troubles of her latter days have however been alleviated, and
the pillow of her sick bed has been smoothed by the hand of
one of the most affectionate daughters I have ever seen. The
life of Mrs. Bryans indeed seems centered in that of her mother,
and in what pleasure and delight, after attending to the concerns
of her own little family, seems to be to render the passage of
her dear Mother along the downhill of life, as smooth and gentle
as her circumstances will allow. It now only remains for me to
mention another of my good friends her, the person to whom your
letter, which I had the pleasure of seeing, was addressed:
though I have left Mrs. Hunter to the last yet believe me she
is far from being the least respected of the friends whom I have
mentioned: and though you will have a letter from her own hand,
I cannot get over saying a few words respecting her. To Mrs.
Hunter and to her family I am bound by the tenderest ties of
gratitude: Clouds and storms encompassed the path of Dear Father
during the last years of his adventurous life, and during that
period the family of Mrs. Hunter was to us indeed a city of
refuge. Her kindness of heart indeed was a strong support both
to my father & Mother during their difficulty, and the only
circumstance which I can regret respecting her is that her
benevolence is in a great measure restricted by her means:
although she lives comfortably and I hope happily. Her eldest
daughter, one of the kindest and best of friends has been
married nearly two years ago to a most industrious draper
in L'pool [Liverpool?]: of her son James, you know more than
we do, and I am happy to learn from you that he
is doing well on the farther side of the Atlantic: while he
lived in Ireland he was my most particular Companion: and, if
it would not give you too much trouble, I would be exceedingly
obliged by your reminding him when you may write to him of
old friend Willy John as he used to called me. A good son
and a most amiable daughter then, are the only of the children
who remain at home with Mrs. Hunter. Arthur has become indeed
a very fine young man, and is extremely attentive to business:
I should however be glad to see him in a more extended and
active line of trade. Mr. Hunter, who for many years enjoyed
the most uniterrupted health, has been, I am sorry to state,
for some time, rather delicate: age is creeping fast upon him
but I trust Arthur and his sister Eliza will be a [sure?] prop
to their good parents in their declining years.
You will be tired my Dear Sir, before you arrive at the end of
this epistle especially as it is not written too legibly: I
trust however that you will excuse my prolixity, and that your good
disposition will find an apology for a request which I am free
to confess, considering the difference of our ages, is a very
bold one, namely that if your busin [business?] would allow, you
would favour me with a line or two from your own hand as I am
anxious to cultivate a correspondence with one whom I have always
been taught to revere: and believe me to be
Honoured Much
Yours Most Sincerely
William John Campbell Allen.