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Title: Kelly, William to Graham, James, 1871
CollectionDear Uncle. Immigrant Letters to Antrim from the USA (1843-1852) [R.H. Roy]
SenderKelly, William
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationship owner
Sender Religionunknown
OriginBellavista, Louisiana, USA?
DestinationNewpark, Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
RecipientGraham, James
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count934
Genreaccount of Samuel Rainey
TranscriptLETTER 22
From William Kelly to James Graham

July 28th 1871
My dear Mr Graham
Since I last had the pleasure of seeing you have had a great bereavement
in losing your dear wife, I assure you I deeply sympathise with you. And
although you will know that it was impossible she could last long still when
the blow came it came severe and heavy - You have the great consolation
to know, she was well prepared for the great change. Would to God I could
express myself in the same terms I heard her make use of when she was in
Liverpool with us.
I returned some time ago from Liverpool, London and Holland, when I
had been in a fruitless search after a ship to replace the one I have lately
lost. It has been a serious loss to me, as ships have advanced in price, 25
to 30 per cent above what they were 12 months ago. This does not arise so
much from the freights being so high but simply since iron ships and
steamers have been so general. The builders in North America have quit
building to a great extent, and as many ships are daily lost, it takes a
considerable number to be built to make up for losses. I am sorry to say that
Mrs K is not well by any means, but time that great restorer of troubled
mind will soon bring her round again.
You recollect or have heard of Tatty Boyd the lame schoolmaster who
used to teach at Dunmaul. When I commanded the Ambassador twenty-eight
years ago, I took out a boy a son of Jack Boyd's, he was with Gwynn
of Antrim. James Rainey took him into his house and in his service, he is
now a rich man. Some years ago, say 15 years, two sons of Tatty's went out,
poor Sam Rainey, Mrs K's younger brother, interested himself with the younger a good deal. Only last year I heard Johnny Stewart in Bangor
relate how Sam having heard that William Boyd was in great straits,
having married very imprudently and being cast off by his cousin Sam
Boyd. He and J. Stewart went on a Sunday afternoon, hunted him up, and
found this Willy Boyd, and his wife in a most wretched hovel - his wife just
confined - and not a second chair, in the solitary chamber they occupied.
They were in darkness, had not even a candle, poor Sam rushed out and
soon returned bearing supplies - he paid his grocer's bill and also his
butcher's bill for over 6 months, till he got him a situation.
Sam (Rainey I had but little money when the war was over. Three years
ago Sam, whom I am told had about $5000, and the two Boyds entered into
a co-partnership to rent an old sugar plantation, and take a crop of rice off
it. The Boyds had not their share of cash requisite, but gave their notes at
long dates, which were endorsed by Sam and cashed. When the rice was
being reaped and getting sent to market poor Sam was obliged to bring his
sick wife to town, she lingered there a week or two and died leaving 3
children behind.
On Sam's return to the Plantation all was cleared off, and no explanation
given. Sam walked about in vain looking for a situation, and about 6 or 8
months ago only got the situation of Head Book Keeper in the National
Bank, a position he was well qualified to fill. These notes were in the
meantime coming round to maturity and Sam was telling me he expected
nothing else but the Boyds would not pay a cent of if they could help it. It
turned out as anticipated and he was not silent on the subject and you may
observe by the printed matter I enclose that they had rented the Merchants
Press. Now this fact shows that they must be each of them possessed of at
least fifteen thousand dollars each to enable them to carry out such an
undertaking. Had they done what was right and honest, the dreadful end
would never have happened. Poor fellow to be shot down like a dog at this
desk, it is dreadful to think of it.
As poor James his brother remarks in his letter, "What an awful event
to think of his being ushered into eternity, without having given any
evidence of faith in the Saviour, through whom alone we can be saved.
God's judgments are upon, us we ought to learn that true wisdom, by what
having an interest in Christ we may be Saved.
The Murderer confesses his guilt, and in fact seems to glory in it, He done
it he says to "vindicate his character". If he had tried to prove that Sam
Rainey was a Liar, it would have been a far greater proof of his being a
Gentleman, as he calls himself. I don't believe a hair of his head will fall
for his great crime, the state of society is such in that land that he will have
plenty of admirers.
I had a very high opinion of poor Sam Rainey he was strictly honest, and
was possessed of high principles. His ideas of honesty were as I told him completely out of place in the community among which he lived. They were
bad enough in my time but I believe they are much worse now.
Hoping that this will find you well. I am Dear Sir truly yours.

William Kelly