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Title: 25. From James Prendergast to his children in Boston
CollectionThe Prendergast Letters. Correspondence from Famine-era Ireland (1840-50) [S. Barber]
SenderPrendergast, James
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender Religionunknown
OriginMilltown, Co. Kerry, Ireland
DestinationBoston, Mass., USA
RecipientPrendergast children
Recipient Gendermale-female
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count645
Genreillness, family, economy
TranscriptMr Isaac Foster Stable Keeper
Devonshire street
(For Thomas Prendergast)
N. America


Milltown [...]

My dear Children
The receipt of your letter of 30th of September last [...] highest plea
pleasure, as nothing could give us greater comfort than to hear from ye as
often as possible, but we know your time is precious and that ye cannot
as frequently as ye could ^wish^. One thing in your Letter gave us
considerable trouble. It says that ye have but poor health. That troubled us much, very much. If ye were less dutiful and less kind to [...]
ye are the feelings of parents would cause us to grieve for your
trouble. But when ye are what I may say without flattery, dutiful
tenderhearted and affectionate, our only support and the prop of our
old age, how alarmed must we feel for your safety when ye say
ye are not well. If your state of health be bad or continue so as not to
change for the better, We would advise ye to change your place and
come home. Nothing is so precious as health and without it the wealth
of the world can scarcely yield any comfort. We would prefer seeing
yourselves in good health to any interest or profit we could receive while ye were in any danger. Your Mother and I pray daily
for the preservation of your Health. May God grant our humble
request, and we hope that your own good sense will direct ye
how to act should health not grow better with ye. Your
Mother and I are well thank God and so are all your friends too
many to be named in particular. Maurice and his family are well
and still in the same situation. Your Brothers Michael is well if he
[..] is not is not the best but we must only
[...] family is well. As far as I could learn Margaret Forhan
[...] truth when she said she wrote home. Neither she
[...] Brothers sent a single penny tho' their mother
really wants it. The beginning of this Harverst was very promi[...].
The crops in general had a very rich appearance, and it was
generally expected that next season would be very plentiful.
But within the last few weeks the greatest alarm prevails
throughout the kingdom. It is dreaded that nothing less than
a famine must prevail next summer unless the Almighty
lord interpose. A disease has seized the potatoe crop which
was the standing food of the Country. The Potatoes which were good
and healthy a few days since are now rotten in the Ground. Even
some which were dug in beautiful dry weather and stored in Pits
seem to be affected with the same blight. The news papers teem
with alarming accounts of the same disease throughout the
kingdom. I cannot say whether the loss is equal to the alarm.
But dread of the greatest nature pervades all classes insomuch
that Parliament has been called upon to assemble to devise means
for providing against the dreaded calamity. May God in his mercy
avert such distress from his suffering poor. Dan Riordan is well
and so is Mr Spring and family. Every Letter which his children send
here contains accounts ,of, every one of ye. We had an account here
a few days since, in a letter from Patk Quirk, that shortly [...] think it [...]
[...] believe it [...]
[...] next to hear whether she told truth [...]
statement. Philip Kelly begged if any of his [...]
ye would tell them that he is much troubled [...]
writes to him. I will not trouble ye further than to say […]
your Mother joins with me in sending ye our blessing […]
forgetting Julia and her Husband. I remain your
Affectionate Father
James Prenderg[...]