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St.Patrick's - Document 1

Hugh Donnan, Cahard, County Down, to John Donnan, New York.<
D/2795/5/1/11: Presented by Mrs. Charles Donnan, Cahard,<
Ballynahinch, Co. Down.<
The Public Record Office, Northern Ireland.<
$$ TAGS $$ LOG Document added by LT, 14:05:98.<
Cahard Aprile [April ?] the 2nd 1849<
Dear son I now embrace another opportunity of sending<
you some information respecting ourselves and also our<
country. first I may let you know we received your letter<
together with the enclosure from your uncle Thomas on<
the morning of the County ploughing match which was the 13th<
of February which gave us great pleasure to know that<
you were not only in good health but also in good spirits<
so far as we could judge. we may let you know that Mr.<
Shaw paid a visit to Cahard about the latter end of February<
when he commenced his old method of distraining some<
of his tenants who were gone in arrears however he<
did not proceed any farther [further?] but let the cattle<
home again we think that he was agitated on account of<
William Miller who left his place in Cahard with about 3<
years rent due upon it and sailed for America we think<
this is but one instance of many that would do the same<
thing could the [they ?] get their foot in his shoe<
however Mr. Shaw has purposed [proposed ?] to give us a<
little abatement in addition to what we had before instead<
of 2/d out of the pound he will now give us 4/0 that is<
20 per cent this will only be to them who can pay the<
rent in due time. I may also state to you that our<
country in general is become like a desolation all who you<
knew were in a declining state of circumstance before<
you left us are still worse now I think it not<
right to name the reality of these things as we can<
only judge from the external appearance one thing we can say<
that money is the greatest want of temperal blessings that we<
have. we have reason to be thankful notwithstanding the failure<
in the potatoes we are well supplied with victualing of<
every kind for as far as this season has gone meal has<
seldom exceeded 10/6 per cwt oats from 5/6 to 6/6 wheat 10/0<
butter 9 [d ?] per lb pork from about 45 [shillings ?]<
to 47 [shillings ?] we will have about 7 ton and a half<
of grain this season beside our seed we have bought two<
little pigs about the middle of February at 1- 10.0 land<
is became of little value hear [here ?] now many a farm had<
been purposed [proposed ?] for sale this season but no one<
to buy it. you may be vey glad that you did not buy John<
Wilsons land for I believe it would have vexed both you and<
I he tried to sell it this winter but their [there ?] was no one<
to buy it I need not begin to inform you of the people of<
our neighbourhood who are gone and going to America this<
season for the [they ?] are to [too ?] numerous However I<
will mention one or two of them Hugh Leslie and Mrs Samuel<
Hays son to Robert Hays left his Mrs and child for to try how<
he could do. Rebinah Eliza and Margaretjane are at school<
with George Dun on account of a difference between us and<
Gills people on account of them forcing their son Billy in<
to be [being ?] teacher without any examination the time that<
Mr. Withers was in Dublin Mr Withers is now teaching in Omah<
[Omagh?] County Tyrone also Henry Oswald is now teaching a<
National school near Banbridge we may also let you know that<
this winter has been remarkably fine weather we had no snow<
except a shower or two and very little frost the month of May<
the seed time has been very early their [there ?] was some<
corn sowed in the month of February we drilled the little<
stoney park with potato on the 6th of March we began to sow<
on the 12th of March and we had done about the dat [date ?]<
of this letter and we intend to set as many more potatoes as<
we have set you may also let your uncle Thomas know that I send<
him my sincere thanks for his excellent letter which he sent<
me it was both intelegant [intelligent ?] and interesting to<
me and all who heard it and I likewise received it as a mark<
of respect which he showed me by so doing I was very glad<
to he hear that the little word I dropped when<
him and I parted has proved so useful to him since it reminds<
me of what solomon says rebuke a wise man and he shall yet be<
wiser. we need not send you any account of the great procession<
of Ribbonmen which assembled in Crossgar on patricks day which<
was the greatest ever seen in the North of Ireland of that kind.<
However here was two or three lives lost besides a great many<
wounded on account of a dispute betixt the orangemen and them<
about walking up the Killeagh street. their [there ?] was three<
or four magistrates their [there ?] besides about 60 police<
the [they ?] were ordered to fire and fired about 60 rounds<
it is thought that the police fired over them instead of<
firing on them on account of them being mostly roman<
catholics or the [they ?] might have killed hundreds. as James<
Thompson said he would post a newspaper for your uncle Thomas<
which gives the full account of it we wish to let you know<
that the big horse ploughed very well this season and the<
[they ?] were both healthy all winter Hugh has ploughed<
middling well he was greatly improved before he had done<
we tried to sell the big horse in the March fair of<
Saintfield we were offered 10 for him but we thought it to<
[too ?] little but we intend to try him again) : Thomas wishes<
to let his uncle Thomas know that the pain in his shoulder<
still attacts him a little betimes yet but he has got a<
little cure called Hillnaman Potter, son to Eloner [Eleanor?]<
O Neil [O Neill?] who helps him in a pinch he would wish to know<
how his uncle Thomas wrist stands it we wish to let you know<
that Eliza Jamison is staying with us all summer<
your uncle James Garrett thought it somewhat strange<
that he wrote two or three letters for his sons that never<
reached them but he posted one for them I think about 23<
of march which bears to them the most alarming and sorrowful<
news that the [they ?] have yet heard that is the death<
of their Mother which happened on the 18th of march after<
a sickness of about a fortnight or better her spirits<
is now fled to wherever the righteous judge hath consigned<
it her body is now mingling with the body of her son Williams<
who lieth on her bosom. and now John I hope this instance<
of mortality which you now hear will be a warning to both<
you and your companions as well as to ourselves to make up<
your peace with God while you are in health and strength for<
I believe that is the only time that God requires it use<
the means God hath appointed and he will accomplish the<
ends. but I must now draw to a conclusion, I would<
then say to you be ye also ready for in such an hour as ye<
think not the son of men cometh. I thank God that this leavs<
[leaves ?] us all in the enjoyment of our usual health except<
your mother who is not just as stout as she has been and I hope<
this letter will find you all enjoying the same<
blessing that is you and Francis and your uncle Thomas<
John Thompson and John & James Garrett ( any time you<
have to spare you may be watching for Thomas<
Patterson for he thinks great long to be with you<
for he has promised against Boat Races) Miss Margretjane<
[Margaret?] McRaken died the 27th Feb sister in law<
to A. Wilson Stfield [Saintfield ?]<
I remain Your Affectionate Father Hugh Donnan<


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