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Title: Mary Anderson, Blount Springs to Her Mother, Baltinglass.
CollectionIrish Emigration Database
FileAnderson, Mary/24
SenderAnderson, Mary (Minnie)
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender Religionunknown
OriginBlount Springs, Alabama, USA
DestinationBaltinglass, Co. Wicklow, Ireland
Recipient Genderfemale
SourceT 3258/4/11: Photocopied by Courtesy of General Sir John Anderson.
ArchiveThe Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.
Doc. No.9403210
Partial Date
Doc. TypeEMG
LogDocument added by LT, 18:03:1994.
Word Count1495
TranscriptPresident Sir E.S. Hutchinson, Bar Vice President, J.S. Smithson, Chicago
Blount Springs. Ala [Alabama?]

Managing Director. Tuesday 2nd Sept 1886
Henry Anderson.

My darling Mother
Henry remained away from this a week, & on his return
last Saturday brought me a whole budget of letters from
home, yours & the dear girls' & boys' among the number : oh
how glad I was to get them _ I felt hungry for letters in this
strange place - these were waiting for us at Birmingham
forwarded from Wichita. The young people must have had a very
delightful trip with Col. [Colonel?] Gamble, really a time to
be remembered _ We are very sorry to hear of the
disappointment of dear William's hopes _ it is a very great
pity that the seemingly promising move could not be made _ I
wonder should he not have gone on in spite of this Assistant?
I do hope that something suitable may be found for him soon _
we shall be anxious to hear _ Just after my letter from
this place last week, I got ill, a sort of low feverish
attack brought on I am sure by the awful smells of the Hotel
& its filthy surroundings. I wrote nothing of it to H.
[Henry?] but was most of the time too ill to be out of bed.
Violet had to dress the boys & herself, & take them to meals,
give orders for their food &c. &c. & did it all so nicely
that afterwards, many people spoke of her to me, & said that
they had never seen 4 such beautifully-behaved children _
When H. [Henry?] returned he was perfectly horrified to find
me so ill _ & instantly got us all removed to this house on a
hill, close to the Hotel, but in higher purer air, & free from
dirty surroundings & from the awful W.C. we take meals at the
Hotel, & sit there or here first as we like _ I instantly
began to get better, & am now, in 3 days, I may say,
perfectly well again _ The children are as usual well & happy_
among a paradise of trees ferns, fossils, insects &c &c. They
have discovered a family of lizards _ & sit outside their hole
singing; till, one by one, all the lizards come out to
listen _ they also find snakes, centipedes, tree-locusts & all
manner of creatures _ I can hardly describe the admiration
they get _ If I go out to walk with them I am stopped 20 times
by people to ask about them, the 3 boys are so
like each other & so much the same size they are almost like
triplets, they have blue suits & scarlet caps & the 3 are
always dressed alike, they are so completely unlike
any other children in their Anglo _ Saxon fairness and
largeness _ They have got the names of "The Young
Englishmen"_ "The sturdy Britons" &c They go every where,
climb the trees, mount the steepest rocks, go up walls &c, to
the astonishment of the pale-faced Americans (they are not
yankees in the South you know) & of course get many falls_
Yesterday Grenvil fell off a rock & another big stone fell
down on him, a whole crowd of people ran thinking he must be
badly hurt, but he got up with the air of the Giant who asked
"did a rat tap me with its tail?" & marched off _ A man who
has a little shop in the village has taken a great fancy to
"The England boys" & brought them in one day & weighed them _
They were alone, he had told me afterwards that he had
weighed my Twins, & the difference in weight was half a
pound! which had the half pound he didn't know as he couldn't
tell the difference between them They are not given to
playing with other children. keep greatly to themselves_
V. [Violet?] however loves little girls
wrote so far, & then went to dinner_ after dinner I got a
letter from H. [Henry?] from Birmingham enclosing one from
you which is delightful to get _ you tell of Harries doings,
what a splendid time she is having _ indeed I should just love
to go with her & Wm [William?] to London! All my English
sight seeing has to come yet _ It may be a very good place for
Wm [William?] to stay all winter at Ashford _ I am sure Hal
looks lovely in her pretty tasteful dresses, she has such
good taste about dress & everything_ Is Fred Finlay going to
be married. You did not tell me so, but say something that
looks like it. A very long wandering letter from poor Carrol
[Carol?] to H. [Henry?] The weather very warm there, & he
working hard at his ranche [ranch?]. Seems very lonely, no
near neighbors, his only apparent comfort a protestant orphan
boy _ "an excellent lad"_ who cooks &c _ W.C. drives his own
wagon with fruit & vegetables from his ranche [ranch?]
out to the nearest town & sells at the houses he passes on
the way!! "Cadges" them as he says himself_ I think he regrets
his bargain, & he says he fears there's little money to be made
that way _ he wd [would?] gladly come South or anywhere to be
near H. [Henry?] but really he is rather a responsability
[responsibility?]. Much as we like him_
All this strictly private.
H. [Henry?] did not much like Pensacola, & thinks that
everything considered, Chattanooga will probably be the best
place for us to settle in just now _ The boom in B'ham [BIrmingham?] has
brought prices up so very high that cautious people are
afraid to buy _ too much to risk _ The way prices have gone up
there within 4 weeks is incredible. It is sure to be a great
city, can't help it with its wonderful resources _ but this
boom may subside soon & leave the place as it is for several
years to come _ Chattanooga, Tennessee, is a very nice place,
larger than B. [Birmingham?] with just as great advantages, &
prices rising, but not with such a rush as at B.
[Birmingham?] _ while H. [Henry?] was here we had a lovely
walk along such a pretty quiet country road, on one side a
deep wood, on the other a border of Cedar trees. Sumachs &
other beauties, ferns of all kinds in hundreds. A rocky slope
stretching down from these trees, & in the bottom of it the
railway _ beyond this a wooded & rocky hill rising up _
nothing very striking, but soft & lovely to our eyes. Wearied
with looking over prairie flatness _ such a quiet road is not
to be found in all Kansas _ but this part of the country is
all like that _ About Chattanooga is pretty H. [Henry?] says _
I have got to know some of the ladies here very well indeed _
& find many of them really nice _ rifined [refined?] in mind,
& companionable _ So [-?]uperior [superior?] to the wretched
Westerns & Northerns. I can hardly describe the intensely
bitter feeling which still exists between north & south. The
Southerns loath the northerns _ & despise them as vulgar
parvenues [parvenus?] _ freedom is ruining the blacks, most of
whom are found to be incapable of education, & whose only
idea of happiness is "sweet doing nothing"_ They have no
moral principles whatever, & need to be governed like
children _ Are not half so happy as when they were with their
old masters, whom they loved, & who were (with a few
exceptions) so good to them _ Today I & the children walked
up the mountain, which reminds me very much of Rostrevor
Mountain, with a sort of private hotel on the top instead of
[Cloughmore?] stone_ The weather delightful, quite cool &
pleasant _ a cashmere or silk dress bearable, so much better
than sweltering Kansas _ I am writing on the nice wide shady
verandah of this house on the hill, the great oak & beech
trees all round me _ a soft haze is over everything & a
slightly autumnal look beginning to come _
I suppose Papa's teeth are only a temporary set _ I do hope &
trust he may have comfort with the new ones _ How I long to
see him and you. H. [Henry?] feels very anxious about his
Father, he has been so ill _ My present to Edith Anderson was
a pair of handsome salad servers, Sara chose them to match a
salad bowl she had among her presents. She wrote me a nice
little note of thanks _ It seems we are
much admired here
being [english?],
every one wants
to know us _
& all want us
to go to where
they live _
Fondest love to
each & all
Your own