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Title: Whelan, John to Hughes, Laurence, 1854
CollectionNew Brunswick Letters
SenderWhelan, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationemigrant
Sender Religionunknown
OriginPhiladelphia, Penn., USA
DestinationFredericton, N.Brunswick, Canada
RecipientHughes, Laurence
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count847
Genrearrival, financial trouble, a friend helped him, prospects, account fo passage, inquires about family
TranscriptKensington PA., Sept. 25
St. John, N.B. Sept., 1854
Fredericton Oct. 4, 1854
(Addressed to)
[In haste]
Mr. Lawrence Hughes
New Brunswick
Philadelphia 25 Sept. 1854

Dear Uncle:

I write to inform you that I landed in Philadelphia on Sunday week after 33 days of
sailing. I got good health on sea when I landed at Philadelphia. A respectable female on board
with me with whom I was acquainted gave me an invitation to her father who is in Philadelphia
for the last ten years where I am most hospitably entertained and much respected. So I am
here now for the last eight days. I wrote to my uncle Edward on Tuesday last, stating to him
that I was landed and had not got money sufficient to pay my fare to him in consequence of me
being nearly late in Liverpool for to pay my passage. It cost me 24 shillings above the ordinary
fare of the vessel so I landed in Philadelphia with only four dollars when I should have had ten.
I’m told from this to Summit where he lives is 250 miles and the fare is eight dollars. So you see
I could not possibly go. I stated all in my letter to him. I think he could have replied to my letter
since it is now seven or eight days since I wrote to him. If it was not for the kind friend I met I
should be very badly off. I would feel happy if he would only write to me that I could write
home to my poor mother who thinks every moment an hour until she hears from me. I cannot
do so until I got a letter from either him or you for if she thought I was among strangers in a
foreign land she would loose her life. It will be only a miracle from God if she is alive at present
for she was heartbroken parting me. My sister was coming with me but she was rather delicate
so she deferred it until spring. Girls can do much better in Philadelphia than boys. I did not learn
my father’s trade, I went to live a servant in Carlow College so my only chance is to get into
some store. I should think myself scholar enough or perhaps waiter in a hotel. I have a great
desire for business. I do not drink. I never since I was born tasted any kind of liquor. I am
pledged for the last 12 years and am only going on my twentieth year now. I cannot apply for
anything until I hear from you of course I should like to be near my uncles, either of course
would be pleasing to me. If you think it better it better for me to remain in Philadelphia and
look for a situation, of course I shall do it. I have plenty of good clothes with me. My poor
mother thought she would never have put enough in my large chest. I shall be all impatient
until I now hear from you. the thoughts of not writing home and being in a strange house so
long without being able to return the compliment hurts me. But if God leaves me my health,
which I trust in his boundless mercy He will, I shall be able to requite them before it is long. So I
now beg to you dear uncle to make no delay in answering this. I shall remain as I am until I get
your letter. Dear uncle, I beg to be excused for not having inquired after your and Mrs. Hughes
and family’s health in the first part of this letter. It is that I should have done but I hope in God
that you are all well. I left all my dear parents, brother and sisters well when I was leaving
home. I trust in the Lord they still enjoy the same blessing. I enjoy very good health myself,
indeed I had a most favorable passage. There was no sickness nor deaths and I can say no Irish
immigrant ever as well fitted for the voyage. My poor mother thought my large chest would
never contain half enough for me. I now only ask of God grace to be one day able to
recompense her for her affection, for she is the best of mothers. I can say no more. You know I
shall be all impatient until I have a letter from you. dear uncle. You will please give my love and best respects to Mrs. Hughes and all my dear cousins. I beg to remain with great respect, your nephew

John Whelan

Dear sir, when you write, direct your letter in care Charles O’Neill, 133 Cadwalter Street above
Master Kensington, Philadelphia, for John Whelan.
(Written on back of letter)
A copy of the survey of my logs to Mr Friel
Logs measured for Laurance Hughes on a/c of
B.C. Friel Esq. Market H 41 trees
Making 3778 [unclear]
Saint Marys Whitman Harris
18 April 1855 [Surveyor]