Kilkelly Ireland Song, Aluar Dec 22nd 1862
My Dear Son,
I got your letter on yesterday, and I am most happy to hear that you are still well as myself and family are at present, and we are very glad to hear from you on the Christmas holidays and moreover of yourself being in your usual health.
We were very much unease for you this time past consequent on the war, least that it may have been too near where you are and that you may have met any accident, but the arrival of your letter has given us better news to record. Thanks be to God.
I have had much pleasure in hearing the contents of your letter particularly the point where you referred to coming home on a visit as we would be most anxious to see you at ho me once more, amongst your friends and relations, and according to your suggestions if you should chance to get out of employment we expect that you will come home, and do not make any delay as going from one place to another when times are unsettled is not at all commendable.
I am glad to say that Michl. is at home for the last fortnight and quite well and is most anxious to know whether you would recommend him for his going to that Country, but how you ask about that and to expect yourself home. You may know that Michl. is not yet married, an accident has happened here last year, of which I suppose you have been appraised in the last letter, but lest that we forget mentioning it, it may be well to repeat it here. Michl. had been coming home from a funeral last year and he on horseback, and as he and Thos. Harkeson were driving somewhat hard they knocked down a man of the name Thos. Callaghan of Culmore. The said Callaghan instituted a lawsuit against Michl. and Harkeson and a degree was awarded for the sum of £12 -12. Harkeson paid his part and Michl. did not pay his part consequent my going to W. Stickland who told me that he could not charge Michl. while he stands as he is however, but Callaghan will endeavour to make good his claim if he only can get opportunities if coming about Michl.
You want to know about our circumstances, as I understand when you refer to the wealth. I am glad to say that our circumstances have not declined since you left, but to speak many are at present of low circumstances consequent to the failure of the crops for the last four years, which offered very badly in some places and in other places the crops were pretty good just according to the nature of the soil, damp soils has done badly for the last few years owing to the almost constant wet and owing to the wet there was no turf of any consequence and people were very for fire stuff. You may know that there is not such circulation of money as at other times and people and people having money can do well. What do you think, but you could situate yourself pretty well in this country and if you think so, you ought to make up your mind about deporting your money so that you would have it secure, as by sending it to Mr. Strickland it would be quite safe, he would leave it the bank for you.
I understand you have been informed that one of the Clooniron girls came home some time ago and the other came home some time in the month of September. Mary who came home latterly wishes to inform you that she came, and she wishes also to know from you about the state of the Country and if it should turn out somewhat better she would wish to go out again. I am glad to inform you that myself and your mother and brothers and sisters are quite well and all most happy to hear from you as it is great consolation to us to hear of your good state of health and they all join with me with love and best respects to you, and so does your brother -in -law P.O'Donnell (who is present at the writing of this) send his love and best respects. No more at present from you loving father
I mean to include a few lines to the inside requesting of to take proper good of yourself and of your earnings, for there is nothing so scarce in this country as money for these are different to times you are used to. A man having money can do well and if you consider to come home you can get a choice situation and live happy amongst your friends and I will recommend you, if you got opportunity to send your money to W. Charles Strickland, he will deposit it in the bank for you and in case you would come home you would have his good will.
Provisions rates as follows, Best Oats 1s per cwt., potatoes 2s and 6d per cwt; Oatmeal 10s per cwt; Butter 6d per lb; no more at present, but we would be very glad that you would inquire about Patt McNamara and family. Brother Michael would be very glad to see you at home and sends you his best respects; we will expect a letter from you in March. Excuse me my pen is bad.
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