c/o Mcgrath Shipping Co.
10 Kings Street
1 January, 1846
A Ghrá mo Chroí James,
Oh James, I must admit I would be terribly frightened even seeing you up that high on the crows nest. I should be very afraid you would fall to your death. Were you very scared? Did you have to live up there?
I think I should love to see all those new things, though only if you are by my side. On my own I am certain I should be too much afraid. And if I saw such a thing as that slave market, I am sure I would burst into tears at the very sight. How horrible a thing. I am very glad there is more than one way. I should think you will be avoiding the way of the market from now on.
You should not worry your head about me. I am sure things will come around. There have been bad harvests before. This year's shall be much better, I am sure.
Why do you say they do not like foreigners? Are they horrid to you?
Do tell me about your first Christmas in Americay! How did you get along? I wish I could have sent a Christmas gift, but it would have cost far too much, and I haven't anything to send anyway. We did not even exchange gifts amongst our family this year. We did sing Christmas carols and Da even managed to the goose so we could pay the rent. Mam was rather sad though. She thought it would be better kept for the eggs. But Da would not have it and said we needed the rent money more and we would just tighten our belts until the next harvest.
It is such a strange thing to be writing on the first day of a new year. Rather exciting, although I almost forgot to write the correct year. How silly of me.
War! Oh James, how terrible! You are not in any danger are you? I do not know what I would do if any harm came to you. Why are they are war? I wonder who that man is? Why will no one tell you?
Some terrible news. Logan Donahugh's wife Cara was indeed evicted from the land. Da said we would take her in, and so we have. It is more difficult with another mouth to feed, but we could not very well allow a woman with child to be turned out of her home with nowhere to go in the middle of winter. It would be a death sentence.
Da is very angry. There was talk in London of removing the tariffs on the British grain but the lords and gentry would not hear of it, and so there is to be no relief.
His friend, Liam Boyle said that there was a Relief Commission set up in Dublin to create smaller committees throughout the country. They were supposed to arrange for jobs and food and the landowners were to help with the costs and British government would contribute a matching amount. But that has not happened here in the west. The landowners here are refusing to contribute anything and then of course the government does not help either. It is all such a shame!
On another note, the children are all fairly unaware of the problems. They still play quite happily. Ronan and Reilly were playing with sticks and fighting with them like swords. Reilly brought his stick down hard on Ronan's forearm and broke it! I am certain it was an accident but Ma nearly had a fit! He got the hiding of his life from Da that night. Poor thing had to sleep on his belly!
Niall is courting Meara Cavanagh. I like her. She is a very nice girl. I think they are a good match.
Poor little Maebh has the measles. Mam and I take turns watching over her. We have to change her cold compress quite often. I would never tell me mam, but I am very worried about her James. She is very sick and has been for some time now. Please pray for her. She is only four and I would be heartbroken if something were to happen to her.
On a happier note, Patrick Flynn and Fianna Lynch are to be wed next week! Is that not wonderful. She turned down his advances three times! I suppose persistence has it's rewards!
I look forward to hearing from you soon. Do tell me all about the people you have met. Do you do anything exciting when you are not working? It must be terribly exciting being in such a new place. I cannot wait to be with you again.
Tugaim cion dui,