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Title: Wright, Joseph to Wright, Joseph & Abigail, 1803
CollectionIrish Immigrants in the Land of Canaan. Letters and memoirs from colonial and revolutionary America (1675-1815) [K.A. Miller et al.]
SenderWright, Joseph
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer, planter
Sender Religionunknown
OriginN.W. Territory, Belmont Co., Ohio, USA
DestinationBallinclay, Co. Wexford, Ireland
RecipientWright, Joseph & Abigail
Recipient Gendermale-female
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1645
Genrefarming, settling, farming
TranscriptJoseph Wright, McMahon’s Creek, “N.W. Territory” [Belmont County, Ohio], to John and Abigail Wright, Ballinclay, County Wexford, 25 September 1803
N.W. Territory 9mo 25th 1803
My Dear & Honoured Parents
When in Baltimore last 2nd month I wrote you, since which we have not wrote till by the present oppertunity nor has received any letter or ans from you or any of our friends in Ireland which I may say is cause of uneasiness & distress to us at times, being now sofar distant from our near & Dear Connections that a corrispondence seems the only way for us to know of Each others welfare & to us it would be highly gratifying, & render us much consolation I may now tell my Dear Parents we are in our House abt 21/2 months & been working on the Plantation since 4mo last, we with our Neighbours assistanc raised the shell of a Log House F By 24-, & have now got it fitted up pritty comfortable for the time there is one good Room Below & 2 Small ones—& overhead when divided will make three little appartments, its as snugg a Cabbin as most any I see out in the woods –When a man moves out to this back Country he generaly raises a Cabbin to get into & often moves his family into it without fire place, floor or Doors & keeps an open House its in Spring he gets abt Clearing land for Indian Corn which should be planted in 5mo & is ripe in 10mo or late this month— if he comes out later gets Ground prepared for Wheat, Rye, Potatoes or meadow— the manner of clearing, Generally is by deadening the large timber which is done by cutting with an ax abt 18 Inches from the ground, thro’ the sap all round the tree when the leaves if on wither & the tree dies then the land begins to melerate next all the Saplins & Small trees to<o> large to grub are cut down chop’d into lenghts & the land grubb’d & the grubbs Saplins &c burn’d— also the large decay’d trees that lye on the Ground are cut, & rolld by the assistance of the Neighbours Such land as ours would take a good workman abt 5 days to an acre to prepare as above mentiond— & the Fence used is rails of 10 1/2 or 11 feet long & is laid in this form abt 6 rails High 2 lengths of rails thus put up make one perch (161/2 feet) of Fence by which thee will see it takes 196 rails to a 10 Acre field or 40 Perch Square, a Man if the timber splits well would cut down trees maul the Rails & put ‘em up in abt 10 days or less—@ 3/ Day in Breaking up new Ground two Horses is generaly used with a Plow somewhat Simaler to thyne calld a Barshiere —& sometimes with a Small Coulter plow so calld from having a Sharp Coulter perpendicular from the Beam to the ground & no sock & is used by one Horse & cutts thro the roots surprisingly but dont turn up any sod & after with a Shovel plough also drawn by one Horse with the last two ploughs mentiond I prepar’d my Turnip Ground & Brushed them in with the Branch of a tree & the ground was very mellow  all our plowing in future we can do ourselves but had to pay for plowing abt 7 acres which is under Corn & potatoes which are both doing well— its not necessary to plow more than 3 or 4 Inches deep—& in sowing down for Grass seed only clear the Ground & Harrow it & Sow the seed which is frequently done in the Snow when the<y> find it likely to be a thaw & leave it so— which answers very well, the Horses are under much better command than with thee no such thing as a driver used & the Horses go between the Standing trees so tractable that it w d astonish thee a man ploughs abt one acre Day— the Section is divided in 3 parts by two lines from N to S— vizt as thee may have some imperfect Idea of by the annex’d plot, — on every Side Except the South we are like to have this part very thickly Settld shortly & abt 2 miles South the land is Greatly Broken or Hilly to the Ohio so as to be unfit for tillage pritty much or at least so little land on the Section fitt for tilling that people dont find it their advantage to take up the whole Section, & so less is made— if they alter their plan & Sett less, or Sett the levell part of it we may get Some Settlers there A new Town is Laid off abt 21/2 Miles north of us if it gets forward <we> expect it will be of use to us— to sell any Surplus we may have We have under Corn abt 6 acres, Potatoes & Turnips abt 2 acres. our Garden produced us abundantly Kidney Beans, Cucumbers, Melons & without any manure, or almost any preperation of the ground & Cabbage— Pumpkins we did not sow any not having time or seed, K Beans & Melons Squashes & Pumpkins are planted among the Corn & grow without farther trouble which causes a great plenty in a family & makes a little flesh meat go a good ways— I often wonder how we have done as well as we have as we had nothing untill the vegetables Came in but as we are oblidgd to buy & our family is pritty large however if some few years were over I hope we wd be enabled to live comfortably as to the necessaries of Life more so than we might expect in Ireland— I was sorry to find warr had again commenced between France & G Brittain. I hope my native Land may remain undisturbed—& that an accomadation may soon take place to Stop the Havock of the desolating Sword— I have sometimes wished you safe here in this wooden Country where there is more satisfaction to be met than any one might expect when people have a Competence to buy Land & a little money to help to improve it, the loss of ones near Connections is the only thing they wd have to regrett— In most other respects the<y> may be very happy here. we have got into a Situation— which is like to be a very pleasing Settlement the Settlers are for the most part friends first, there might be abt 12 or 14 at our Meeting on first day in a Friends when we came out here house, Now we have ameeting House abt 24 feet Square & expect to make an addition of the same dementions to it very soon & perhaps from 40 to 70 at meeting on firstdays some freinds are Settled abt 6 miles west of us & got a meeting established also—& North of us abt 17 miles there is 2 mee<t>ings Settled which place was the first Settlement of Friends in this country one Short Creek & the other meeting Concord—& a few miles partly N:East of that a meeting Call’d Plymouth, our Meeting is calld Plainfield— all belong to the Same Mo Meeting —but are abt being Divided into two I may indeed say was it not for been away from our Relations we might feel at home. Several friends has been here to see us & are very kind & has Invited us to see them in a most friendly manner—& take a good dale of notice of the Boys we are all thro’ mercy favour’d with good Health for which I wish we may be enough thankfull to the auther of every blessing whose supporting arm has been near us or I dont know how we would have been long since Jo’s Letters will say how he likes the Country it was very odd to him at first as it was to us all My Dear Hannah & the Boys write to several of their relations which its like<ly> my Dr father & mother may see we Send these letters by afriend of this meeting who goes to attend the yearly meeting at Baltimore & by whom I am expecting to recive some Letters that may have arrived to Jno & James Roberts, in whose Care he leave<s> these to forward—& whose attention & care has been extended to us in many respects (Dear Father Jo was telling me thou intended Still to leave me some farther assistanc for my family in thy will; Its with reluctance I think of requesting any thing that way, & of what much greater advantage it might afford us all if it could be convenient at all to thee to order something to be p d to us by Jno & James Roberts, as it wd help us over difficulty’s & further us much in divers respects, I dont wish to say much to urge the feeling of a Father I know to be almost to<o> willing to assist his Children & that the distance w d not lessen thy inclination to afford any assistance) I may say My Hannah & the Boys truly unite with me in Dr Love to thee & My Dear Mother, Sister Martha & Saml to Bro Nea & his family Uncle Josh Smith<son> & Aunt with Cousins James Morison & Eliza & all our enquiring relations & remains thy Dutiful & affect Son
Jos Wright
(Please Dr Father write soon & direct under cover to Jno & James Roberts who will forward it)