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Title: Minnie Anderson, Blount Springs to Mother, Baltinglass.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileAnderson, Mary/22
SenderAnderson, Mary (Minnie)
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginBlount Springs, Alabama, USA
DestinationBaltinglass, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceT 3258/4/10: Photocopied by Courtesy of General Sir John Anderson.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9103043
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogAction By Date Document added by B.W. 17:01:1993
Word Count1550
Transcriptpronounced Blunt

A.W. KING, Gen'l Manager

Sunday 22nd August 1886

My own darling Mother
Here we are, safe & well, in Alabama. We left Widula
last Monday evening at 9 O'Clock, after Oh! such a
wearisome day. The people who bought our home all
arrived early in the morning & announced that they thought
it wd [would?] be "good fun" to come & picnic in the house
that day. They had brought baskets full of provisions & all
their rude nasty- children, along with several friends - and
they one & all pervaded the house, while we were in the
last agonies of packing_ If we locked ourselves in
a room they came & thumped on the door, as if to
remind us that the house now belonged to them!
the heat was something fearful, & you may imagine
we were glad to get off when 9 O'Clock came -
We got into a Pullman Sleeping car at once, & went
to bed, but from that Morning till 3 O'Clock on
the following Wednesday when we arrived in Birmingham
we were all as sick as we could be, the children &
I never ceasing to be deadly sick the eatin [?] time. Harrie
little better, but less incapable than I. & the only one
able to do anything for our comfort. The heat was
something too awful to be described. A fiere [?] couid
[could?] blew, & if it had been blowing across the mouth of
Hell it could not have been worse - the dust filled our
eyes & mouths, & saturated our hair & clothes, & showers
of fire cinders from the engine blackend us. It was
a purgatorial time, & you may imagine our thankfulness
when we got out of the train at B [Birmingham?] . It was
delightfully cool there & the streets damp from rain. We
went to the Florence House & imetaatly [immediately?]
ordered a bath after which we felt ready for tea, the first
meal we had retained since leaving Wichita. I & the
children had grown very thin & felt weak,
the next day H. [Harrie?] looked about for a house for us,
& consulted with the gentleman who had been looking
for one for us, but not one was to be had for

rent just then. So H. [Harrie?] brought us all out to this
& very fashionable Summer resort all hours drive
by rail from B [Birmingham?]. It is up in a mountain vally, a
small village with mineral springs, a large Hotel
with a present 300 people - prittely [prettily?] situated
between two hills, surrounded by lovely trees, & having
a very wide, shady verandah [veranda?] all round it on which
every on sits & walks - an excellent 'MENU' &
nice string band which plays during meals, & after
tea for dancing - there are some nice children
with whom our young ones play, & the quartette are
very much admired, everyone remarking "What
fine children! Surley they are not Americans with
those rosy cheeks". There is a piano, at which
the young ladies play & squall.
The mountains rise up all round as, rather hills
than mountains. Masses of shelving rock picturesquely
mingling with the loveliest foliage - trees of all
kinds, oaks, beeches & all the English trees, besides
many beautiful kinds which do not grow in England
all of them linked together by creeping plants of
every imaginable kind & color- no flowers strange to
say, but beautiful ferns, harts-tungue, maiden-hair, &
all the dear old friend growing wild, the first ferns I
have seen since leaving home - a great number of pine trees
which scent the air deliciously - in fact a lovely place
& so cool, never too hot._ The wood rises up just behind
the Hotel, & there the children play all day long - they have
already an enormous collection of ferns of different sorts
curious stones, seeds & berries, & they never tire of
gathering others- Oh the delight of it all to them, after the
flat hatefulness of Kansas - & to me a perfect feast of beauty.
I sit taking in deep draughts of beauty & rest, before
begining work again - & I can't tell you what it is to me
after two years of hard & ceaseless drudgery - I have
absolutely nothing to do, I can hardly realise the fact,
After staying with us here for a day & a half H. [Harrie?]
started for Pensacols, Florida, only one nights journey from
this - He will visit it & some other places before he & M-So
[?] decide about the best place to live in. I think I should
like Birmingham - it is nicely situated among wooded
hills & has some fine buildings, but the general aspect
of the place is unfinished, great improvements going
on, however, enormous factories, mills, furnaces
iron mines & coal mines surround it & the earth all
about it, in the streets, on the hills & for many miles

round is of the darkest red brown color, owing to
the iron in it - I think it very beautiful, & the
most peculiar & brilliant contrast to the trees &
numerous creeping plants - It seems bound to be
an important place, but wheither some other spot may
not seem better remains to be seen - for my part I
don't mind greatly where I am, now that I am out
of Kansas - I like the South much better, & the climate
is a great improvement. The people also seem better,
they look somewhat more 'genteel' & are just a degree
quieter- they do not rush at one with open arms, are more
----?, but very friendly when you know them, they are
a more respectable class of people, as a rule, being
decendants of the old settlers - still they are
extraordinary - & not what we admire at all, their accent
here peculiar they drawl here mack, & completely drop their
Bs while in the North & West the B is pronounced with
possible intensity they have a great many peculiar phrases
& modes of expressing themselves, anything but nice. still
they are better than the Westerns - one sees old people
here, in Kansas I don't there is one really old
man or woman, I often used to long to see some old
people - a few of the matrons wear caps & head
dresses which is an improvement on the juvenile fezzes
of the Wichita matrons -- Another new element here
is the Niggers - all the working class are niggers - &
are called niggers not 'colored gentlemen & ladies'
they are the servants everywhere, & are scattered all
over the country just as the poor people are at home
They are kept well in their place & are very obedient,
very lazy, good-natured, & good-for-nothing, unless
made to work; left to themselves they wd [would?] work none,
live from hand to mouth, revel in dirt, laugh, sing &
be perfectly happy always. No one here is without
nigger servants. So I trust my days of slavery are
over. They don't get high wages.
I have wished so often that Harrie here to paint some
of the lovely hills & trees - one sees many clear streams
flowin [flowing?] from the rocks - altogether it is as unlike
Kansas as it could well be -- The children are so well &
huafey,[happy?] & I believe this little change is just what we
all needed. Now I long to hear from you! I shall feel more at
home when I do. I got no letter for a week before
leaving Wichita, one will be forwarded soon I am sure
Write to Post office, Birmingham - He was very
well & hungry before leaving this, but very sorry
to have to start off on his travels so soon again-

to have to start off on his travels so soon again-
he won't be more than a week away I think. We met
a W. Wright, in B. [Birmingham?] who was very kind, & told us
of this place, He was from in Ballymoney! A wealthy
man, like's part of the year at Pensacola, his wife
& children spending the Summer in Tennessee-
Would you let Sara see this letter, she will return it if
you like - If I write now it will be just to repeat all I
have written in this. I shall write to her in a few days
Ah how I long for you all I lie awake thinking of
you, & wishing you were all here with me, now
I should have time to sit & talk with you - Write very
soon - good news from Wm [William?] & Harrie, & from [?]
[Jean?]. I hope - Loudest of love to you, my own mother, to my
darling Pappy & to each dear one - also to Eastwell,
Baltinglass & Sheffield - I hope to write to each place soon
Your own child Minnie

While in B [Birmingham?] H. took us
all for a drive round
the town in the steam
train cars. The children
delighted to see [--------?]
&c [etc?]_ There are some
very nice residences
up on the hills about
the town -