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Author Topic: an Gorta Mór (PennySludt & Mymar)  (Read 610 times)

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Offline PennySludtTopic starter

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an Gorta Mór (PennySludt & Mymar)
« on: July 09, 2015, 06:24:21 PM »
The Irish Potato Famine, a Story in Letters


Moira Sinclair
James Patrick
18 years old
35 years old
5'2"
5'6"
green eyes
brown eyes
red hair
red hair





James Patrick
c/o Mcgrath Shipping Co.
10 Kings Street
South Carolina
United States

1 August, 1845

A Ghrá mo Chroí James,

I decided I simply had to write to you and I couldn't possibly wait a moment longer. I already miss you terribly and am sending prayers that this letter will find you safe and sound in Americay. Things have been rather lonely here without you. Waiting for the harvest of course, and hoping for the end of the hungry months. We seem to have lost some of the plants and I pray this won't be another poor yield.

Cora Logue had twins yesterday. Can you imagine? All those five children, and now another two mouths to feed? Bless her soul. Me mam and me went over and helped her deliver them and cared for the other younglings for the day. The poor woman was exhausted. I imagine you will be quite busy when you arrive, but I do hope you will write and tell me all about it as soon as you can.

Tugaim cion dui,
                          Moira










« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 11:51:23 AM by PennySludt »

Offline Mymar

Re: an Gorta Mór (PennySludt & Mymar)
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2015, 06:55:38 PM »
Moira Sinclair
6 Squire Street Ballyclare
Ireland

Moira mo ghrá,

I'm writing to you to let you know I know about your letter, I went to the mail room too day to see if you had written. They told me a letter had been sent to the American lodgings I will be going to. When I came to Belfast looking for work,  I had no idea this place was... So big. There are pubs everywhere. Walk by some and they sing rowdy songs unfit for your ears. One I walked by a fellow got tossed out onto the street, and cursed at the big man who threw him out. It isn't like in Ballyclare, There is also a lot of temptation here, but I keep you near my heart in that locket you gave me.  The other sailors laugh when I tell them I'm going to live in Charelston. "Wait until the summer.  Then you'll see." I have no idea what they meant.  I think they meant it will be hot. I have also heard there is an Irish community there also, so we should feel right at home. To morrow we begin loading the ship, it will take 3 months so do not worri aboot me, do not expect to hear from me in that time. I hope this letter finds you well.  I cannot wait to read your letter.

Is mise, James Patrick
« Last Edit: July 09, 2015, 09:25:52 PM by Mymar »

Offline Mymar

Re: an Gorta Mór (PennySludt & Mymar)
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2015, 08:47:30 PM »
Moira Sinclair
6 Squire Street Ballyclare
Ireland

4 months later

Moira mo ghrá,

Where to begin. We were delayed for days by a tremendous storm! It was quite violent, and put us of cours. There was a man lost.  The crew did not socialise much but they still felt the loss az one of their own. I do not know if he had any family, most of them do not.  They are very rogh. I think you would have to be to do this job for long. It is mostly boredom, with a daily routine.  Each sailor has his own duty to perform, and if he does not, he gets whipped. I am proud to say I never got whipped, but there were some that seemed to take a pride in it.  I do not understand the need to get hurt to prove yourself.

When I got here and got off the dock, there were lots of people like with every big port, or so they say. They tried to get me to buy things. Some tried to get me to take them... Home with them. I ran as fast as I could from that. I then found the dockmaster's office and asked if he knew where my lodging house was. He didn't understand me, and onestly I didn't understand him.  He spoke funny, but he had a good man with him who was from Blarney, it wasn't Dublin but it was nice to hear a familliar accent.  It turned out he was an Eakin, he told me how to reach him and that he may have oppurtunities for me later. He also explained I needed to by the  slave market in order to get there. I thought he was joking, or that it was a term for the old slave market.  Did you know they treat people as dogs? I had heard.. But I haven't believed. I will need to find a new way home. For now I stay in a boarding house, until I start getting paid.  Hopefully soon now I will be able to afford real lodgings.  I wish there were some way to bring you here on that boat, but I wold not let you near those men.

P.S.

I am happy for the Logues, though they will have a lot more work from now on.  When this reaches you the time for crops should have passed. I am eager to know of what you do, your friends, and all that goes on back home!

Gach mo ghrá,
Is mise,

James Patrick

Offline PennySludtTopic starter

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Re: an Gorta Mór (PennySludt & Mymar)
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2015, 12:40:09 PM »
James Patrick
c/o Mcgrath Shipping Co.
10 Kings Street
South Carolina
United States

14 December, 1845

A Ghrá mo Chroí James,

How terrible that a man was lost on your journey! I would have been very afraid, I am sure. I cannot imagine how terrifying a storm like that would have been. How long did your trip take? What were the things you had to do on the ship? I am terribly glad you did not get whipped. What a horrible thing.

How exciting it must have been when you got off the ship in such a new place. What things do they have to buy? Were they very different from here? How do you mean, take them home? Did they not have homes?

A slave market? Do you mean, human slaves? How awful! What kind of place is that, that would treat people like that? Did you see them? The slaves?

What is your boarding house like? Is it comfortable? Are there many people there? What do they eat in Americay?

I am sorry to say the harvest this year was indeed terribly poor. More than half the fields were worthless. The potatoes looked fine when they were dug up, but in a few days they turned black and rotten! I have never seen anything like it. It will be quite a hard year I am afraid. Da said there were some people going to speak to some of the landowners about getting help sent over from England. I do hope they will do something.

It is almost Christmas, and I do think I will miss you even more when you are not here for that. Do tell me all about how it is over there. Do they celebrate Christmas in Americay?

What of your new job? What do you do? Is it better than it was over here? I cannot wait to join you, although I believe I shall miss home when I do.

Logan Donahugh passed in November of consumption. His wife is broken hearted. They are expecting their first child in the spring. How hard it must be for her. We have been doing all we can for her, but we fear it may not be enough. There is talk that she may be evicted from their land.

Do you remember Siobhán Boyle? Well, she and Darragh Brogan were wed just last week! Is that not wonderful news. And Liam Connelly is courting Maeve Casey! Can you imagine! Do you remember when he used to pull her braids and tease her terribly about her freckles? And now they are madly in love! Lie can be so funny sometimes.

I do hope I hear from you soon. All about your new life. I miss you terribly, but I am also very glad you have such a wonderful new opportunity.

Tugaim cion dui,
                          Moira










Offline Mymar

Re: an Gorta Mór (PennySludt & Mymar)
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2015, 01:55:05 PM »
Moira Sinclair
6 Squire St
Ballyclair Ireland


 Moira mo ghrá,

Well to start off, each man has their own job, like the first mate. His job is to keep things running, and sometimes yes the whip was brought out as I said, but luckily it didn't touch me. My job was the lookout, I went up to what they called the crows nest, no crows, though. They call it that because it is so very high. You might be frightened by how hig it was. It was almost like flying with the crows, I suppose that is where it comes from.

My job was to look out for other ships, pirates, or any dangers that may hap to reck the ship. I alerted the crew when the storm came. I enjoyed being so high up, even if it did get dull from time to time.

They wanted me to buy trinkets, and other things that I could likely afford but I ignored them or tried to get them to leave me alone. It is very exciting to see new sights. The thing you notice hear are the smells, everything from the salt air to the horses. This place is busy at all hours. As for women wanting me to take them home.... I think it's better not to discuss that. I ran from them as quickly as I could.

The slave market is exactly as it sounds, yes mo ghrá they are people, but here it would be better not to bring it up. They were put on display like horses, and poked and prodded like animals, I didn't stay longer than I had to. I had no idear that people were still treated like this. It turns out there is more than one way to the lodging house, I think the person that's gave me directions was just trying to be meen.

As to my lodgings, well... They are better than home if crowded. Ten people to one room means no privicy at the place.In my next lette I will tell you of what this Eakin has for opportunity.

I am both happy and sad that I left when I did. Sad because there iz nothing I can do, happy that here is so thriving and alive. I hope that help comes, because I would hate that anything happened to you

Here in Anericay, they are like us mostly I think. Where I am they don't like foreigners very much, it could be they just do not know me. Their tradishions are different but it iz still the same Christmas we celebrate bak home.

My new job is as a clerk to the shipping company. I make and help keep the records to their offise heer. It's not az interesting az being on the ship but it should earn enough for you to come here. Is fada liom uiam tù. They don't outlaw language here but they disapprove of it.

Some news from here if you haven't heard is they are at war with a country called Mexico, and someone named Zachory Taylor is famous for something but no one can tell me what.  I don't know anything about war.

That's is bad news indeed. I was friends with Logan, it is heartbreaking to hear of the bad times you are having. Tho it seems not all bad, so it is nice to hear that people still liv lives, and have weddings.

Tá rud éigin ar siúl anseo, I can't put my finger on it. I will discover what it is, but until then I won't say mor

Anois agus i  gcónai,

James.

Offline PennySludtTopic starter

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Re: an Gorta Mór (PennySludt & Mymar)
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2015, 09:20:50 AM »
James Patrick
c/o Mcgrath Shipping Co.
10 Kings Street
South Carolina
United States

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,
           Moira

Offline Mymar

Re: an Gorta Mór (PennySludt & Mymar)
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2015, 12:51:55 AM »
Moira Sinclair
6 Squire St
Ballyclair Ireland


Moira mo ghrá,

First of all, I would like to make sure you are not worrying over me! There is no draft, and there does not seem likely to be one. So unless I have some fool notion of joining the army I will not be fighting in Mesico.  So, you are free from worry. I will send a letter if things go that way, but they seem unlikely to.  There doesn't seem to be much happening there in any case.  That I think is why Mr. Taylor has the reputation that he does.  It is confusing, some people like him a great deal, while others call him names behind his back that I will not repeat here.

I actually thought it was interesting! Seeing the blue of the ocean far below, and the sky so close I could almost touch it! The people on the ship looked as ants.  The only time it made me scared was when I had to do it during the storm. I shall not mention it for worrying you.

It is not bad when it comes to outsiders, mostly just a grumble or two. Some people can be... Mean. Things are tense here, though I do not understand why, always on the verge of exploding, yet nothing happens. I fear I may have come to the wrong place.  It is an amazing place, the people are laid back, some might say to the point of being lazy, but it is hot here. Very hot, sometimes even in the winter. When it is not hot, it rains. Those days are the worst, as the street floods and no one can go outside!

I'm sorry we missed celebrating the holydays, especially with things the way they are there. I worry about the people who can't leave! It saddens me to hear of neighbors reduced to such poverty. I regret not being able to help more than you.  Maybe one day when I've earned enough here I can help all our neighbors.

I am glad that children can still be children in such times as these, when people are evicted from their homes, and we can't find enough to feed ourselves.  I hope Reilly learned to be more careful next time! Children will be children though I'm sure I will hear of more mischef soon. 

Measles, famine sickness war, how long will it go on for? At least here all I have to deal with are the rude and uncooth.

I am also glad to see life can go on, even if it is hard! Weddings are so much happier events than evixions!  Send my congratulations if you can!

I go exploring, and that good Irishman I told you about earlier has given me an oppurtunity to see more of the surrounding country. I am to be a mailman of sorts helping unload the cargo when it reaches it's destination! So my mail might be from different addresses, but fear not I have not moved, it is simply where I could find time to write!

I've seen senators speak both on something called "manifest destiny" and breaking from the union. I do not know what to make of a country with so many differing and bewildering viewpoints! You can actually speak out against the government and not have bad things happen! This truly is a wonderus place.

If you wish I will explain that destiny thing later, but for now I must be off there is a nock at my door.




Offline PennySludtTopic starter

  • Clever as the Devil and twice as pretty ~ Declared an irresistible muse ~ Sister to the Eris ~ Snuggle Shark, watch out! ~ Random PMs ALWAYS welcome!
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Re: an Gorta Mór (PennySludt & Mymar)
« Reply #7 on: December 05, 2015, 07:06:50 AM »
James Patrick
c/o Mcgrath Shipping Co.
10 Kings Street
South Carolina
United States

8 February, 1846


A Ghrá mo Chroí James,

I am so relieved to hear that there is no danger of losing you to war. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have you in my life. Things here have been quite bleak and I must say I look forward to your letters with all my heart. They offer a break from the hardships. There is much sickness this winter. Food is quite scarce and the weather has not been kind either. But I must not complain. We are all still well and have a roof over our heads, so there is still enough to thank God for every day.

You said you would explain the destiny notion to me. I do hope you will do so. I would like to know more of what is happening in your world. I cannot wait to join you.

It is quite late and I must not waste the lamp oil so I am saddened to say I shall have to sign my love and send this in the morning. Do write back soon. I look forward to it more than you can know.

Tugaim cion dui,
           Moira