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Title: Browne, John to Studdart, Michael, 1849
CollectionNew Brunswick Letters
SenderBrowne, John
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationunemployed
Sender Religionunknown
OriginBathurst, N.Brunswick, Canada
DestinationRehy Park, Co.Clare, Ireland
RecipientStuddart, Michael
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1375
Genrebad state of Ireland, local economy, bankruptcy, failed crops, emigration, prospects
TranscriptBathurst New Brunswick North America16th January 1849Dear MichaelSince I received yours of the 17th May 1847 ----- I had written you two letters, one dated 20th January 47, and the other 14th Feby 48, you being so punctual in your replies always, that I concluded there was Something wrong, or perhaps you might get some appointment, that may call you from your former residence, to some distant part, and that my letters might be mislead in the route, at last my patience got almost exhausted, and I now at the eleventh hour, try it hoping it will arrive safe at its destination, and trust the reply will be Satisfactory, so far as regards your health, and prosperity, the accounts received here by the English mails are horrid and unpresidented, of the present State of our native land, I enumerate them as follows, Starvation, extermination, transportation, and Suffication, see account of 72 lives lost on board the Steamer Londonderry Johnston Master, there is some calamity hanging over Irish men, May God in his mercy relieve them, last year there were thousands of them perished by Shipwreck, and by fever after arriving at the Quarantine Stations, both in the States, and in these provinces, and also a large number through the country who escaped from the authorities of the different Seaports, the whole number was never Accurately Known, I think all classes without exception are smarting under the lash when it will end God only knows, but still there are hopes, and I hope to live, to hear, or to see, them realized, for the benefit of all her sons, and fair daughters, without distinction Our province and the adjoining Provinces are in a state of Bankruptcy, they never were in such a state as at present, no trade, no money, and no employment, accounts from Newfoundland are awfull nothing but Starvation, and destitution, in all the out ports, owing to the failure of the Crops, and of the fisheries, Prince Edward Island, is bare enough, although it is a fine farming Island, the crops are not so abundant as formerly, and the potatoe in particular, the west India Islands are in a deplorable state, by last mail it was Supposed that the populations of some of them, were on the eve of inseruction they all Complain one with another, of the Colonial office department There seems at present a great spirit of independence, all through these provinces, and newspaper hints are openly Given of them sooner or latter it is Conjectured by some, that these provinces adjoining the States, will some fine Morning will assume the Stars, and Stripes, and Indeed it would be No loss to England, the are only a burthen to her, Now to give you an outline of this place and in fact it is applicable to the province at large, nothing doing no expectation, nothing to fall back on in the way of trade, crops failed these two or three year back, not much provisions imported, our exports are limited to deals, rail road Sleepers, and Grinding Stones, this latter commodity is sent to Boston our square timber is all consumed, or at least the forest is done, this Will give an idea of our State at present, and also of our future prospects, able bodied Men, and stout young women, often themselves for the bit the eat for the winter, and a good many householders [with] their families on the parish, every parish must support the poor, and a poor rate collected agreeably to the Law, there has been emigration on a large Scale from this province of small farmers, mechanics, and labourers, early last fall there was one thousand from the Vicinity of Quebec emigrated, and surely a good many more since, we have no account from Canada west but it is supposed there was a great deal left all for the States Now for the Gold country California, Upper California was ceded to the American Government, by the Mexicans, as part of the indemnification for war expenses, the treasure was discovered by one Marshall a millwright, who Contracted with a Mr Sutter to build him a mill, when the work had been done all but setting the machinery in operation, the Water Wheel would not revolve owing to the bed of the Sluice being too high, Marshall then let the whole of the bason water through the Gate, to deepen the Sluice, the water of course cut the bed much deeper, and had the desired effect, when The water course was Stopped all dried up again, and then the saw brilliant particles Shinning, on examination found them to be pure Gold, the thought to keep it secret, but the did not and the news spread far and wide, and now there are no less than four, to five thousand, men of every description from the wealthy Merchant to the greatest vagabond, all on a par and all Men of business on their own respective account, one having as Much Claim as his neighbor and no taskmaster required —there are official documents published, confirming the truth of the existence of the Gold region, at San Francisco Mountain, and its Valley, upper California of Which Colonel Mason commandant of a military Station, Monterey write his Government, Stating in detail the wealth and quality of the mine, and Sent [Speciments] of the Gold, in dust, Scale, and in lumps, of from four to five Ouz= each, which were sent to the mint to have it tested, and there it was found to contain 881/3 percent, within 5 Dollars of the circulating medium, Captain J.L Folsom assistant Quartermaster, writes to Major General Jesup quarter Master General, giving a fuller account than Col. Mason, he says I went to them in the most sceptical frame of mind, and came away a believer, he says Common Clerks and sales Men in Stores have $2,500 per annum and then board – Diet and lodging mechanics in the building line $20 per day Flour, & pork, from $40 to $100, Shoes $12 per pair, Brandy $48 & per Bot, Seidlitz powders per box 24 Dollars, and every other commodity in proportion All paid for in Grain Gold at 16 ozs to the lb, the more the accend up hill the larger and purer the gold is – I would send you a [damage] paper with all the particulars, it is Yankey, and the [damage] post-office department is so d__ Strict if detected it would [not] pass, next time I write you I will send a parcel of them. –
Our Colonial press is too much oppressed, some of the proprietors are now suffering in Jail, or on the Jail limits, and a good many more had to become bankrupts, those that hold on, are only issuing half size papers, Indeed our prospect is gloomy at present -- I got all my tools and Some wearables consumed by fire last October, the Building was a manse for our Priest and I worked by the month for a contractor at low wages, all I had by Me was twelve pounds, to provide for this long winter, and that I had to part with purchase tools, I am since Idle and will be until spring, and still worse getting in dept for my Victuals and other incidental charges, Diet and lodging is 12/- per Week and that for six or seven months, will amount to a considerable sum My health thank God is pretty Good, and my age is pretty round I am wrestling with Mr Sixty, but I hope I will get at the other Side Of him, I am Gray, and I wear spectacles, I am sober and I do not drink any Kind of liquor, I am well liked, and I offend no body, and I am happy to hear from you at all times when you are pleased to write, all the neighbors from your locality are well Say Mr Read & family, Mr Purtall was very luckey to get unto the berth he is in, his wife and children are all well she is a fine body
Remember me to all my friends as usual
I remain as usual

Yours &C &C John Browne