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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 Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginCedarville, Ohio, USA
DestinationNewpark, Co. Antrim
RecipientGraham, James and David
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1091
Genrechange of residence, illness, prospects, economy, family
TranscriptFrom: Cedarville, Ohio
Date: 12 June 1853

I should begin this letter by apologising for not writing sooner. I can only say
that when I receive Uncle James' letter I intended leaving Napoleon in a short time, so that I thought I would not write till I [would?] get settled. I left Napoleon about 4 weeks ago and came up to Cincinnati where I remained for 3 weeks. I am now out in the country about 75 miles from Cincinnati on a farm where I intend to stop for about 2 months until I get well. I have been sick all winter very bad with dyspepsia which has weakened me very much. I am no better as yet and it is a question if I ever do get well. I am now affected with dysentery and all the medicine I have taken seems to do no good. I am quit taking medicine and let nature restore itself. My health is so bad that 1 am not fit to attend to any [business?]. I might have been able to have gotten a situation in Cincinnati if I could attend to it. I am afraid to engage as clerk, that I could not stand the confinement and teaching school is too confining for me and farm labour is too severe. So that I am not fit for anything. I [am now?] paying for board at a fanner's. It will cost me about 8 dollars per month. This is a healthy part of the country and perhaps the change of air and exercise may restore me to health again. Where I was the last year is a very unhealthy place. The weather is very changeable and (he country is covered with swamps and stagnant fakes, which makes [fever and?] ague very prevalent. I could have stopped on in the same place but my health was so bad that I could do nothing, and besides I thought it best to go [to some?] healthier place. I can't give you a description of [this country?] as I have only been here a few days. This section of the country is pretty [thickly?]
settled. The farms contain about 120 acres and upwards. The principal crop is wheat
and Indian corn. They raise very few potatoes. There are some excellent pasture
lands. The stock of cattle is [in general?] good. The country is high and elevated,
not so broken as Ireland. Lands sell from 30 dollars to 50 dollars per acre, improved land I mean. A railroad runs through here from Cincinnati to Cleveland on Lake Erie, [which has raised?] the price of land in this section of the country. The crops have suffered greatly for want of rain, and if the drought continued the crops will[come short of the average?] Harvest will commence in about 2 weeks. They mow the grain, or cradle it as they call it here. There are [some?] mowing machines here.
I will have an opportunity of seeing [them?] at work. They say they do well, reap
very clean and fast. One machine with two horses and seven hands can reap and bind
15 acres per day.
David and Sam are well; they are still in Cincinnati working at their trades. Sam
has grown to be a big fellow, he is tall and pretty stout. David is large, he has grown a great deal since I saw him last. None of you would know him now if you were to see him. David occasionally is troubled with a pain in his left side and spitting of blood. The doctors says it is from the stomach. I think so myself as his lungs seem to be strong and healthy. I received a letter from Charlie Stirling last summer. I wrote to him urging him to send his mother some help. 1 have not heard from him since. I have not heard from James Morrow for at least 6 months. The last letter I got he was sick. I wrote twice but never received an answer. David has given up the idea of going to Australia for at least the present. There were some young men who were going with him. They have now changed their minds. He did not like to go alone.
I am [glad?] to hear that the crops in Ireland were good last year. I hope they will be still better the present one. Give the farmers tenant right and kill all the priests.
Let the people be industrious as they are here and they can live happy and
Excuse me For so confused a letter. I am so bad I cannot think on what I am doing,
my stomach and bowels pains me so I cannot be at rest. David and Sam wants to
be remembered to all their acquaintances and especially to Billy Miller. Give my
respect to all, to Mr. Orr, Dr. Hale, Alex Black and Family. Old Jamie Finlay, is he still able to trudge up and down the road, may he long be so. My respects to Mr. & Mrs. Fleming and Harry Ferguson. David wants to know the year he was born in
and month. I enclose a note to Elizabeth in this. David got Elizabeth's letter. Write to me as soon as this comes to hand as I will leave this in the course of two months.
I hope you, Uncle James, and Sam are all well. What a blessing good health is. It
is before all earthly things. What is all riches power or honour to one who is in bad
health! Uncle James said in his letter that Sam was talking of going to Australia. I expect he has gone long since. He has forgotten to write to David, as he said he
would. Australia is a long journey. It would require an iron constitution to stand
the gold diggings. I have no doubt but there is money to be made at Australia if one could stand the fatigue.
David's address is Cincinnati, Ohio. He may be left where he is working now
and if you would direct his letter to the shop he may not get it.
Write to me soon. I am anxious to hear from Newpark. Address me Cedarville,
Green County, Ohio. I must finish. I am tired and sick with writing. Believe me,
ever yours truly.

Postscript. I am glad to hear that Mr. Orr has gotten a Meeting House built at last,
and that he is in good health.

James Kerr