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Title: Samuel Graham to his brothers
CollectionUlster Migration to America. Letters from three Irish Families [R.A. Wells]
SenderGraham, Samuel
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationshoemaker
Sender Religionunknown
OriginPittsburgh, Penn., USA
DestinationNewpark, Co. Antrim
RecipientGraham, James and David
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count818
Genrefinding trade, family, illness
TranscriptFrom: Pittsburgh
Date: 20 December 1851

I suppose by this time you will think that I am very neglectful for not writing
sooner but the reason was that I did not write before this I was still waiting on a
steady employment, but it is very hard to get. This was one of the worst falls this
long time. When I arrived in Pittsburgh, I wrote to David Kerr to find out if I could
get anything to do in Cincinatti but he advised me not to come for it was very sickly
times there. I stopped here all summer working about the one-fourth of the time. I
started on coal boats for Cincinatti in August and was very unfortunate. We went
to within about 35 miles of Cincinatti and sunk our boats and had very hard work
to save our lives; I lost about 10 sovereigns and my carpet bag and a good many
clothes. I was intending to go down to stop some time in Cincinatti, but owing to
our misfortunes and being left on the shore with nothing but a shirt and pants I had
to come back to Pittsburgh for fortunately I had some money in my trunk. There was
four of the men died after they came to Pittsburgh with the fatigues of the trip. If
it had been at night we would have been all lost. We had to lie on the shore all night
and the first steamboat came up, we got on for Pittsburgh. The rules of coal boating
is that when you lose you get no pay; when you make a good trip you make from
one and half dollars till two dollars per day and board. I went to coal boating; I made
a very good trip to Louisville in 10 days. I came up and stopped a few days in
Cincinatti and then came to Pittsburgh. William Kerr is in very poor health. He is
I am afraid in consumption. He is much in the same way as Matilda was, was not
working this long time. David and Samuel are in good health. Samuel is learning
to be a steamboat carpenter. He went to the house carpenter work first but could not
stand it. He was idle a good part of the summer. He was sick sometimes but he is
in good health now and working at his trade. His boss thinks a great deal of him and
says he is one of the quietest boys ever he had. John is left Orleans and gone to Van
Buren, Arkansas; he is in a great better health than when he was in Orleans. John
wrote me a letter but I never got it. Samuel Rainey and him were thinking of
purchasing a farm in Texas and going to raise mules. It is a very profitable business
but it takes a good capital. I am in very poor health at present myself since I come
up the river. 1 got a severe cold on the steam boat and have been confined to bed
for 2 weeks. I have a pain in my left breast and shoulder. I could not turn myself
in the bed. I applied to a doctor and he blistered me round the shoulder and breast
and down to the small of the back. This is the second day for me to be out of bed and I am so weak that I cannot travel across the room, but I am getting better now.
Wm and David Kerr were expecting James out this fall. But if he is to come the[y]
expected him before now, they are very uneasy to hear from him. Wm Kyle lives
about 18 miles from this. If I was well again, I will go and see him. There is a great
many Antrim people here. Let me know all the particular news when you write.
Give my best respects to Mr. and Mrs. Fleming and all the rest of my acquaintances.
Please excuse this short letter. I have nothing more to say at present, but remain your
affectionate brother,

Samuel Graham

PS. When you write, direct to me, to the care of Mr. James Miller, Boot and
Shoemaker, Smithfield Street, Pittsburgh, PA, America.
Write as soon as this comes to hand. On account of my sickness, I am run short
of money, and have incurred a little debt. And if you would be so kind as to send
me the sum of 25#, which will oblige me at this time, for it is very unpleasant to be
sick in a strange place without money. 1 believe the best way to send it is to put it
in the Bank and send die check to me inside of a letter, but Mr. Crawford will tell
you all about it. Please send the money as soon as possible.