Jeremiah Moynihan's letters home from America

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Boston - July 3rd 1867

My Dear Father, Mother & Brothers,

I hope you will excuse me for not writing home before now. I had so much tossing about from post to pillar. I was for five weeks in Jersey city for work and I could stop there for a long time. I wrote to Boston to my uncles and aunt and they were most impatient until I came to Boston. I went to work to Uncle Michael and I could not stand him or his wife. I came up to Timothy Callaghan and he gave me work cheerfully and gave me more wages than I was worth. I suppose you know him he is Mick Callaghan's son he takes very large contracts and employs a lot of men to work. I have nothing at all to say to him everything is done different in this country from home. Girls can do a great deal better than men. I left Mary after me in Brooklyn that is in New York she got a very good place and I am very glad she remained there. Johanna got a place outside Boston called Briton it is a country place. There are a great many of the friends there it was one Mrs. Walsh that got Johanna the place out there here own name is Mara from the Rock Road.

You gave me too much to do entirely in sending three of use into a country with doubth manes or money and every person was surprised how bare we were. Every person was very kind to us but Michael Mara that is my uncle but I deny him to be my uncle. My Uncle Gerry was every kind to me and Aunt Hannah is very she done a great deal for Johanna she dressed her out in great stile she is on the look out for a good place for Johanna. Mary is very well she writes very often once a week to one another. I am very thankful to Timothy Moynihan he gave me some tools that I wanted. I am vert thankful to Gerry Counihan he is very well and not forgetting Ned Counihan.

Let me know is there much doing any person having any sort of way at home it would be better for them to stop at home the old country is much better than this country. I hope ye will hold yere grip, if I could get any thing to do at wheelwrithing I would do a great deal better. I am at floor laying with John Lucid he is very well.

I would not advise any person to come to america I could make up asmuch as would take me home again if you like. Timothy Callaghan is going home 20th July. Tell Denis Keefe and his friends his health is not good.

Dear Mother you need fret nor be troubled about us it is now used to us. I cried and fretted a great deal when I landed at the Castle Gardens when I knew now one their and I had now place to go. Dan and Michael Moynihan of Gortroe behaved very well to us that is Michael the black smith. I am very sorry that I came to Boston but it cant be healpt. If Johnanna was in a good place I would go to some other place. Every person had great blame to you for sending Mary but she is lucky enough. I had a great deal to do on board the ship they were so sick and knowing no one they were sick all the time nearly I was very sick for the first week and from that out I got strong thank God.

I suppose you have Eugene to work Tim and Con are well hope Andrew will mind the work. My best respects to all the friends and well wishers. I would write long ago but for Mary writing so often she did not send that letter down to me she told me there was so much grief in it. You can direct to Mary and she will send it down to me. I remain your affectionate son.

Jeremiah Moynihan

P.S. We might be able to send you a little money in a few months but we were so bare for clothes.

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New York - July 20th 1877

My Dear Father, Mother & Brothers,

I wish to let you know that I arrived in New York 14th. I hope you will excuse me for not writing all that time I was tossed around so much that writing never came into my head. I see that there is nothing to be got in New York. I came dead broak. I was to see Mary I think that she will not live very long she looks so delicate.

I had some very good jobs in California but when you get out of one job you could spend all you had earned and a little more.

Must conclude for the present hoping that you are all well write quick. If I had money I would go home to Ireland there is no employment here.

I remain your affectionate son.

J. Moynihan

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New York - Aug 27th 1877

My Dear Father,

Received your letter and check for £ seven pounds I am very thankful to you it is money I ought to have sent you in place. Dear father I feel very much displeased at myself but America have got so bad that when you make a few hundred dollars it goes again. I earned some money in California the first year but money goes very quick there. If I had taken the notion to come to New York I could have come easy and home too. I am very sorry that I have sent to you for money for I know that money is scarce. I hope soon to be able to send you some. I have not got any work yet but I expect to get sum.

America is about the poorest country you would want to live in today. Mary has no notion of going home I expect to be home be home before Christmas myself with Gods help. Feel very sorry that I came from California, it is a very ruff country live in where you must have your blankets and sleep out. I travelled hundreds of miles to look for work. Tell Eugene that if he was in America he should have to get up early or either sleep in the streets for your nearest friend would not give you one meal. I often think how liberal the Irish people are at home. I hope mother is imprived in her health I hope Tim and Con are well. If there is anything to do mind it, for there is as many starving in America as there was in the bad times in Ireland. Dear father I hope soon to be able to send something home. Must conclude for the present answer this as soon as you have time.

I remain your affectionate son.

J. Moynihan

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New York - March 20th 1878

My Dear Father, Mother & Brothers,

I hope these few lines will find you all well as this leaves me a present thank God. I hope you will excuse me for not writing I am sending you twenty dollars this time. After April I will send you some more.

I have not seen Mary for some time can you write to Mary for I am going in the country. I have not got much for the present I must conclude.

I remain your affectionate son.

J. Moynihan

Charleston City, North Carolina - Jan 13th 1879

My Dear Father, Mother & Brothers,

I hope these few lines will find you all well as this leaves me at present, thank God. I came down South last May 78 I like it first rate the climate is very nice down here. Work is getting so scarce that I have to shift from one place to the other. I would like to go home but I can see by the papers that times are harder in the old country.

Dear father I am sending you four pounds or twenty dollars. you can write to Mary if you have received it. I have just received the letters that you wrote this month I see there is a big lot of growling at home. If they took my advice they would stop that and tell them in plain english that they are better off at home than in America or Australia.

when I was in California I had to carry my blankets on my back if you would not get work would would then have to sleep out doors. It is the same in Australia in all those new countries. I suppose you give them a little pocket money once in a while not to be as tight as you were with me.

I hope mother is in good health she spoke about a shawl, I might be able to send her a shawl or the price of it after a while. I see that Con is not for this world I think when his eyes were well that he had a right to take care of them. I expected that Eugene was in Australia before this time but I think if he was to mind himself at home he would be much better off. I see that timothy is following the sample of Eugene. If they were in a foreign country they would not have such a soft time of it.

I hope to go to Ireland after a year or two I will be able to say more about the latter part of this summer. I must conclude for the present wishing you all good health.

I remain your affectionate son.

J. Moynihan

P.S. If you should direct a letter at me you can address it Andrew Moynihan for I have changed my name. This time you can write the same way that I have written it.

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Atlanta - September 14th 1880

My Dear Father,

Received a letter from Mary on 12th Sept. I can see that you are failing fast. I cant see under heavens why that you have so much trouble with your children. I expect that you could send Eugene to Australia I would not like that, he should come to America wages is so small and it is so hard to find work it is impossible. If he were to know as much as I do he would stay at home and aught to be glad to have a home. I cant see what he wants.

I could not expect to go home before next summer I am living down in the state of Georgia. The climate down here is very mild Winter and Summer is party much about the same. It would cost as much to New York as it would from New York to the old country. My advice to you all is to try and keep your home. If it is the will of God that you have to leave them what all must do some day. I hope that you will be much improved when I here again from you.

I suppose business is very dull in count of famine. I suppose there is lots of wheelwrights in the town. If you are better I would wish that you would let me know all particulars. I hope mother is well I will be impatient until I get an answer. You know that it makes a person very careless and neglectful about their friends you are all the same among strangers.

Dear Father & Mother I must say good boy for this time. So let me know what is the fare to Australia from Ireland. Direct your letter to Mary and she can send it to me.

I remain your affectionate son.

J. Moynihan

Boston - April 22

Dear Sister,

I deeply regret your great loss and I sincerely acknowledge a brotherly sympathy towards you and your dear little family. I cant write in words how I felt for your excellent husband and how affectionate he was towards Patrick. Now I tell Julia I never saw a child in my single days I thought more about as I did your Patrick.

Julia I was going to write to you long ago but I saw so many deaths in the family I could not know what to do. I dont write to no one but my parents, but when I saw from your letter your dire suffering I done the best I could to see Abby Mike Denis and myself we are sending you one pound each. I did not ask Thomas as he is loafing this long time he is suffering from rheumatism but is just gone to work.

Julia if I should go into details you are a lot better off than some of your friends here. What are you and your children in comparison to your sisters children. I tell you to go to work and start a store or some little business and support your children and if you would be satisifed I will send Patrick a passage and I will take as good care of him as my own Patrick. He would be the dearest boy I would want to take care of. Now accept a small gift and always let me know how you are getting on.

Yours,

J. Moynihan

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