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Title: 40. 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 Count616
Genrefamily, illness
TranscriptMr Thomas Prendergast
N° 16 Pearlplace
State of Massachusetts
N. America

My Father last hand
last signature

Milltown 15th Decr 1848

My dear Children
Last night's post brought me your Letter dated 2[…]
Novr and containing a check for £5 to Daniel Riordan. I was glad
to see that Con did not forget his Brother. I sent Daniel word this day to be here on Thursday next and your ^Mother^ will go with him
to Tralee on Friday when the check will be payable. I could
enjoy no greater pleasure than to hear that my children are well.
It added to my joy to hear from ye at present as I dreaded I
should never have that pleasure, and I am sure It will be
the last. When I sent the last letter in reply to the one ye sent the
3rd of October containing an Order for £9 I was unwell, but I did
not choose to alarm ye, especially, as I expected to hear from ye in the
course of a short time, and I hoped my illness would wear off. [...]
In this I was mistaken. My malady encreased, and for the last
six weeks I am confined to my bed. Thank God the priest
attended to me a few days since. He and the Doctor say I cannot
expect to hold out long. The only regret I feel in quitting this life
is that of leaving your Mother alone, but I am reconciled to
submit to the will of Heaven, as I know ye will not neglect
her. I am sure ye may address the next letter to her as I
think I will not live then. Ye may keep my illness
from Julia as long as ye can and prepare her for the
account by degrees.
Thanks to your goodness my dear Children I had every
comfort hitherto, but now I am pennyless. The last of what I had
is gone. A long illness in these times takes away money very
quickly. If I die, as I am sure I will before many days, there is
not a shilling in the House to defray my funeral expences, and
your Mother must have recourse to credit from some neighbours
until ye relieve her. The neighbours think so much of her and
ye that I hope they will not refuse her. She is in as good
health as strong as you saw her for some time past, were it not
for the trouble she is undergoing during my sickness. Maurice was
present at writing this. He attends me regularly in raising and laying me on my bed. He and his family are in good health.
Michael's Wife and Children and peopleinlaw are well. 3 of the
children Julia James and John were unwell since November last
but they are perfectly recovered now. His wife received a letter
from him with a check for £11. I suppose he will receive a
Letter from her immediately. My dear Children, as I ^am^ sure
this will be the last from receive with it my paternal
benediction. May the almighty and merciful God bless and
protect ye. I offer this prayer for each and every of my
children, not forgetting Con, the two Kates. My blessing attend
ye always. I will say no more than that I am
affectionately your Father
James Prendergast
I attempted to write my name and tho' I was supported
by Maurice and your Mother I was unable to finish
it. Nature is nearly exhausted. I then desired
Danl Connell, who always writes for me, to
put my name to it.