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Title: Harley, Mary Ann to , 1898
CollectionNew Brunswick Letters
SenderHarley, Mary Ann
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
Recipient Genderunknown
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count815
Genreexcerpt from diary
Transcript(From the Portland Daily Press, February 7, 1898) (Maine)

“I was born in Courtmasherry, County of Cork, Ireland, February 6, 1799. This town is
only a little distance from the city of Cork, and near the Bay of Cork. My maiden name was
Mary Ann Harley and my father was a school teacher in that town. I had two brothers and three
sisters, all of whom are now dead. My sister Margaret lived to be 94 years old and died on her
birthday. I can remember the town in which I was born and in which I lived very well, and also
the names of many friends and schoolmates, although I left Ireland in 1822, when I was 23
years old. One of the first things I remember was hearing my father and mother tell about the
rising of ’98, which took place the year before I was born, but which even when I grew old
enough to pay any attention to such matters the people in my town had not done talking
about. My father was of English descent and was a Presbyterian, the church in which I was
brought up.
Very well can I remember the day on which two big ships of war sailed into Cork Harbor,
their docks crowded with men and their masts gay with flags, bringing us the first news we
received of the battle of Waterloo, in which that terror of the world and ogre of history,
Napoleon Bonaparte, was defeated by our own Duke of Wellington. The people went crazy with
joy when they heard of the great victory. The bells of the city of Cork were rung and big bon
fires lighted the celebration of the event. These ships brought home the wounded Irishmen
who participated in that great battle and there was great rejoicing at their return. Three of the
officers of one Irish regiment were quartered at my father’s house for many days, and I can
remember some of the stories they had to tell of that terrible fight. Their bright uniforms and
handsome faces made a great impression upon me.
In 1822 I went on a visit to a lady friend of my family who lived in Queenstown. While I
was there, there came into that harbour the first steamboat ever seen in Irish waters. Everyone
turned out and lined the docks to see the strange craft which moved so swiftly through the
water without sails or oars. It was a wonderful thing then, but I suppose the people of
Queenstown see enough of such craft now. While I was in Queenstown I got a letter from my
brother William Harley, who was in America. He was a government surveyor and wanted me to
come over to him as soon as possible, as he had a young handsome and wealthy husband
waiting for me over there. I went home to my father’s house and it was soon decided that I
should sail for this country.
I was one of about 150 passengers on board a sailing ship which left Cork May 7, 1822. It
was a terrible voyage. I was sick about all the way across and glad enough to sight land, after
seven weeks and three days on board that ship. I landed at a place called Pockshaw in the Bay
of Chaleur. It was a very small settlement then with only a very few houses, and they were all
built of logs. My brother expected me and was there waiting for me. We had to walk 75 miles
to get to his home. There were no roads, no conveyances of any kind, not even a path. It was a
trackless forest, in which not one tree had been cut. We made our way by aid of a compass
over wind falls and across brooks to Newcastle. We were three nights on the road and we had
to sleep in the woods without any shelter. On the fourth night we got to Newcastle and here
we found a very small settlement.
Eight months after my arrival at this place I married John Henry, who was the agent and
business man for a big mercantile company. I had nine children, seven of whom grew up and
were married. I don’t know how many descendants I have, but they will number up into the
hundreds. My husband died 28 years ago, I lived on the Miramichi until after my husband’s
death and then I came to the States where some of my children lived. I had a brother named
John Harley, who built ships on Bolter’s Island
near Newcastle.”

Note: 1 There is information on the family of Mrs. John Henry taken from a newspaper
account of her 99th birthday party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. George T. Marsters at 147
Franklin Street in Portland, Maine.
Note: 2 See Family chart #6.