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Title: James Kerr to his Uncles
CollectionUlster Migration to America. Letters from three Irish Families [R.A. Wells]
SenderKerr, James
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationtutor
Sender Religionunknown
OriginWellington, Mississippi
DestinationNewpark, Co. Antrim
RecipientGraham, James and David
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count739
TranscriptFrom: Wellington, Mississippi
Date: 14 August 1852

My hand with difficulty can hold the pen, the ink reluctantly releases its hold, the
paper with unwillingness receives the impression, my head reels my senses are
floating in vacuum. I know not what I am thinking or writing, my mind is paralyzed
with the shock of the sad and unexpected tidings I have just received. My mind rolls
back to other days—indulge with me for a minute until I collect myself. I will try
if I can write.
I have this morning received the sad and melancholy news of John's death. Aye
sad enough it is to me and us all. We will all sadly miss him. He was a father to
us in this strange land—we looked up to him for directions as children to a fond
father. But, alas, he has gone the way of all flesh and left us in this cold world alone.
I can say no more, I will give you what David writes me about him. He says we have
lost a brother indeed whose place cannot be filled, his every desire was for our
welfare, his every thought was for us, his brothers. He thought more about us than
he did about himself. He died in the 27 July at 6 o'clock in the morning, at
Phillipsburgh, Pennsylvania, at a Water Cure Establishment where he had been for
about 10 days. When he reached there he was so weak he could not stand any
treatment. The doctor would not give him any baths. He said he was too far gone.
He gave him a little medicine lo relieve him for the time. He had everything done
for him that could be done. His disease was Atrophia [mesentiriea?] or drying up
of the glands leading from the bowels. He had a severe pain on the bowels like the
cholic a few days before his death, the doctor was with him when he died. He died
The doctor telegraphed lo David immediately after his death. David went up—
but he was loo late. He was buried the day before he got there. He was buried very
respectably in the graveyard in that place. David has made arrangements for a
headstone. These are all particulars.
Dear Uncle little did I think when 1 left you it would fall to my lot to be the
harbinger of such sad news. To think the first news I had to send you was of
William's death then in a few weeks again of John's. Oh, this is too much for my
frail person to bear! I will sink under the load, too heavy for my shoulders. Little
did I think when John left me about 4 weeks ago that that would be the last time I
would see him, the last time his voice would greet my ears with its grateful sound,
the last time I would gaze upon his manly form and receive his paternal advice. He has gone from this weary world, his remains lies far away from the land of this birth
and boyhood where dwells the early associations and dear friends of our youth. Oh
delightful land, my blessings be with you though far away from your green shores
which I may nevermore behold. My heart is true and round you my own native land,
may you be happy and prosperous is my anxious wish.
I hope you are all well, Uncle David, Sam and Elizabeth and all my friends and
acquaintances. I hope Elizabeth is m good health and spirits. Tell her to take plenty
of exercise and not sit in the house all the time. Tell old Ann Hart that I have not
heard from Charlie yet. I wrote to him. David says he has not heard from him for
more than a year. I got a letter from James Morrow about 3 weeks ago. He is well,
he is in Oquawka, Illinois State.
David and Sam are well; they are both in Cincinnati and working at their trades.
I am pretty well, I will stop here until spring anyway. Excuse this letter. I know not
scarcely what I was writing. Give my respects to Mr. Orr, Dr. Hale, Alex Black,
Jamie Finaly and all my enquiring friends. I remain yours truly as ever.

Postscript. Write soon and direct as before c/o Honourable Judge McGuire,
Napoleon, Arkansas.