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Title: 31. 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 Count709
Genrefamily, economy, neighbours
TranscriptMr Cornelius Riordan 16
Pearlplace Boston
State of Massachusetts
N. America


I forgot to mention
that I got the white
flannell petticote

Milltown 25th July 1847

My dear Children
I now write you that I may enjoy the pleasure of hearing by your
reply that ye are well for really I think it an age since I received
the last communication. Also your Mother and I feel very uneasy
on account of your Brother Michl About the 27th of March
last he left home and delayed a few days only in Cork before He sailed
for St John's New Brunswick, as we heard. Since that time we never
heard from him. We expected an account long since either by
Letter from himself or thro ye, but we were really disappointed. We
are really alarmed on his account. He left 4 children and their
poor Mother, with no more subsistence than nine shillings. This was
a very poor stock, even if the year were much more plentiful.
We could not see them suffering without reeling for their
wants. But our hope is in God. We expect better news
at least when ye reply to this if we hear not sooner.
Your Mother and I are now perfectly recovered from the severe
and lingering illness under which we laboured, and thank God,
we are in as good health as could be expected, at the present
period of our lives. Ye will add to our comfort by answering this
as speedily as ye can, and sending whatever account ye can
of Michl’s state. Maurice and all his family were success
=sively lying in fever. They are now recovering thank
God and I hope out of danger tho Maurice himself is still
languid and complaining of pains in all his Bones after his fit.
They may thank ye for their lives as the part they received
of what ye sent was a principal means to recover them.
The markets here are still rather high, tho a reduction has taken
place here. We cannot say much of the present crops of
the country. They were very promising until within the few last
days when some signs of a blight appeared on the potatoe stalks
not very unlike that which destroyed them last year. It is
too soon to know how it may terminate, however we must
trust in God and hope for the best. Dan Riordan is
well and still in the same situation. Last Wednesday the
trunk which Julia sent arrived here. It was carried to
Waterford by the captain who refused to give it up in Tralee
saying it was entered for that custom house. Mr Riordan
had a good deal of trouble to bring it up here. It cost us
every way £1..5s. Mr Riordan desired to let Julia know that
the captain charged freight tho Mr Riordan said he was sure
that he was paid a greater compliment by ye than what would
discharge the freight. The Trunk contained as follows viz Three
Gowns and a quilled black silk petticoat two shawls, two handsome
hand kerchiefs, two bedgowns four shifts, two shirts three waist
=coats a black silk hand kerchief, a fine sheet 2 pair shoes
a pair of black woven stockings a cap a trashbag and black ribbon
and an Apron. From the appearance of the trunk I really believe it
was not stirred. Her Mother says ^she^ feels as ^if^ she were only 20 years when she wears on part of what she knows to have belonged
to her child. She desires to return Julia her grateful thanks
for her precious Gifts and I am sure I have a right to do the
same for her present to me. She joins with me to send all and
every one of our children our love and blessing, and not
forgetting Con and Tom's Wife whom we deem our children
also. May the merciful God bless, protect and preserve ye
is the constant prayer we offer.
I remain my dear Children, affectionately
your father
James Prendergast
P.S. I expect a speedy reply and desire ye will
try and discover Michl if he has not arrived with
ye before th [...]