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Title: 32. 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 Count905
Genrefamily, illness, neighbours
TranscriptMr Cornelius Riordan N° 16
Pearlplace State of Massachusetts
N. America


Milltown 21st August 1847

My dear Children
Your Mother and myself never enjoyed greater pleasure than ^when^ we
heard from ye, and I must confess that never a letter gave us greater comfort than your last one dated 30th July. From the accts daily arriving here of the great mortality prevailing in America we gave up Michael as lost, but thank the great God we are now easy as we are sure He is well and with ye. We have other causes of pleasure also, you have a young son, may God spare as a Comfort to his parents, and the parents to nurture him, and tho his Grandmother and I cannot have the pleasure of seeing him and giving him our blessing, I assure you that both of us pray for him and send him our blessing. You also say that Jeffry is married. That gives us additional pleasure, moreover as we fondly hope has married with the advice of the rest, and as you give us such a good character
of his wife. The name of Conway was always most respectable in this
county,and next to Kerry, Tipperary is the only county in Ireland I love best. The Inhabitants of Kerry and Tipperary are always the same as Brothers. Give both our blessing. Hitherto I have not spoken of Con or Julia, the subject did not allow
me untill now, but believe me I have them as much at heart as much as any
of my children. I can never forget ye as long as I live. Your Mother and
I pray for ye daily. You seem to doubt that your Mother lives. She does
thank God. I would be poorly if she did not. I would not deny it on
any acct. She was very sick for about 3 Months. No great hopes were
entertained of her recovery, but thank God she is well now. She
was only recovering slowly when I was laid sick and I was somewhat
delirious for 11 Weeks, however I recovered thank God. We wanted
nothing. Ye sent us the means and we wanted it. Maurice and his family live still in the same place but they have no employ
=ment. John Lynch has nothing to do. Maurice and his family
were successively lying in fever, each of ^them^ got a relapse
two or three times. Your Mother sent out Nell West, nursetender,
to attend Maurice who was the first that got sick. She remained
there until the last was well. They can never return ye
thanks. It was ^what^ ye sent your Mother and me that kept
them alive. We had ^to look^ to the old and young. We could not see
them in want without sharing with them while we had it.
That leaves us pennyless. What ye sent us is nearly gone.
John's Wife and child are well. They live in Tralee. Michael's
Family are well. I could not describe the feelings of his Wife and
children on hearing that he was well. His fatherinlaw was
complaining of illness for some days before the letter arrived
but on hearing from him the poor man seemed to get fresh life
and never since complained of disease. His Motherinlaw is
as well as he left her. The kitchen gardens were tilled and grew
but they were damaged like last year. They are dug up now and
if we had more we cannot say much about the crops yet.
They grow up, but as only small quantities of Potatoes were
sown last season none of them is coming into our market yet. The
accounts about them are various. The Trunk which Julia sent
arrived here some time ago after a deal of trouble. I stated every
thing about it in a letter which I sent off in July, and which I
am sure you received about the first of this Month. Tell
Con that Dan Riordan is well and still in the same place.
Maurice Mahony boot and shoemaker, and his cousin, Sons to Daniel
and James Mahony of Rathpogue sailed for Boston in May
last. They never sent any account home. I would be glad if
to hear in your next if you should meet either of them. Their fa
=milies are good neighbours. I am very sorry to hear that young Patk
Heffernan of Rathpogue died within a few hours sail of Quebec and my poor friend Mary Connor, Sister to Jerry Connor late of
Milltown who was going to her Brothers to Hamilton, I heard
died after landing. The accounts of deaths daily received here are
really terrifying. Write to us without delay. We will be very
uneasy until we hear from ye again and let us know whether
Michl got any return of his illness. Your Mother joins with
me in sending ye our love and blessing and desiring to be kindly
remembered to each of our Children, Con, Julia, Michl, Jeffry and ye, and
not forgetting those members whom we never yet saw, Jeffry's Wife,
yours, and her babe, young James. May God bless and preserve
ye all. I remain my dear Children
your Father
James Prendergast
Thos Prendergast
Boston &c.
P.S. Michl's Wife and family ^desire^ that he will soon write to
let them know how he is.