Kilkelly Ireland Song, Orlaur Sept 4th 1859
My Dear & Loving Son,
Having with great anxiety regretted your long silence, I am at length happy that you are still quite well which has very much delights all the family who like myself has been very much disheartened this long time back owing to your long silence and which we hope will be the only long time that shall lapse without frequent communications to us stating the state of your health and condition, and how you may be getting along as also to state several things regarding the state of that Country where you are. I scarcely need to entreat you any further to send me more frequent communications, but you have known the heartfelt loneliness under which I laboured, as also every member of the family, it would stimulate you to take up your pen more frequently, to write to us, from our being such, I am assured you will comply, that I can know from time how you get on.
The next subject I have to state is regarding the state of myself and family. Thanks be to God we are favoured with that great blessing of health and Patsy whom you mention to be unwell at your time of leaving is no less favoured on regard to health, thanks be to God, your brothers Michl and James did not come home as yet from England, but having heard that they are well, I would let them know of your letter, had I known where they are lately. Your brother Thos. and wife and family are quite well also and all the friends, uncles, aunts and all enquiring friends are quite well also; your sisters are quite well. Catherine got married last Shrovetide to Cor O' Donnell's son of Cloonama. Pat O'Donnell whom you know I suppose and I am very well satisfied with the place she got, they are agreeing remarkably well together, you may know that Dominick is now as grown any of the boys, I cannot satisfy you with any account regarding Michl. But should he home before sending away this letter I would be very happy that he might be able to furnish you with a full account of what he may think well to say.
No part of your letter has been so interesting to us as that you talk of coming home after a few years and you mother in particular expects that you may be condescending as to come home that she might see you once more and indeed several are happy to hear that you are intended to come home. Your mother entreats you to remain where you are until such time as you think well to come home, she is desirous you would not be going to one part of the Country to another. The Clooniron people has got no account from America, as yet so we cannot let you know anything about them, the rest of them at home are quite well, we trust that your hope of seeing Ireland may not be frustrated and that you and we may enjoy ourselves once more in Orlaur in mutual friendship. I cannot say much about anything strange since you left, thank be to God all things among ourselves and the neighbours are getting favourable, you have just mentioned the cause of visit from such as you being so seldom paid that, is this long distance, but by your doing what you can for some time, I trust in God you may never again want to go, and so take that in view. I cannot say that America is anything but a good Country, but still it does to seem very pleasing to persons to be so long a distance apart.
Regarding our crops, this year they are pretty fair, but the potatoes are not very large owing I suppose to the long drought of last summer, but what is lost in size is made up in substance they are so good edibles the oat crops were also light for a similar reason, I am glad to state to you that my circumstances and way of being are very fair at present, and all things under my care are getting on quite favourable, thanks be to God. I have been much entertained by the accounts of your letters, but at one instance greatly terrified to think of the ill treatment of the poor slaves, where I expect you will not go again, but remain settled for some time which may be more lucrative to yourself. I cannot furnish you with any accounts interesting at present, except the general health of all the family, friends and neighbours & also of Denis Kerns and family - I, Patrick McNamara am very thankful to you and so is the family, who are all well thanks be to God, and we are very happy to hear of your welfare, if the letter was despatched from my hands I would say something for cause to laugh or so, but it is written by me at school and must be read at home, so I deferred saying anything but to send you my very best compliments and respects and we are very thankful to you for your enquiry
Entreating you as in the previous part of the letter not to leave us so long uneasy without writing myself and your mother, brothers & sisters join in sending you our kind love and best respects.
I remain your loving father Bryan Hunt, of Olaur, Kilkelly, County Mayo Ireland
This being brought to again to close it all that I have to say is, this mind to save what you can and you know after coming home there is no standing to be got from your parents the family being too long, and I would advise you not stay too long in that Country.
Next Letter - 22nd Dec 1862