Letter 1850 from Kilkenny to USA.
‘Letter from Mrs. Nolan, County Kilkenny, Ireland, to her son
Patrick, apparently in Providence, Rhode Island,’
‘October 8, 1850’
I received your letter with the thirty shillings in our greatest of
want. I hope God will reward you for it. The day it come, I was
without one bite to eat.
Dickey's 8 weeks in bed, without a stitch on him, and my petticoat and
coat's all pawned. Dear Patt, we've no place to lay our heads.
We were lodging under James Street arch, but were put out of it. Then
a few nights up in the Sconce, still without a bite. We'd be dead long
ago, only for two neighbors that often gives me a bite, for God's
sake. Little ever I thought it'd come my turn to beg.
No more would I beg, only for your father's death. But thanks bit of
God, whatever me or his child here is suffering, your father died and
was buried the way he lived: respectable and decent. Dear Patt, I've
had not a penny.
The blankets, bed and boots of my feet was pawned.
You can't know how we're suffering unless you were in starvation and
want, without friend or fellow to give you a shilling, then you'd
know. But on my two bended knees, Patt, fresh and fasting, I pray to
God that you nor none of yours may ever know, nor ever suffer, what we
are suffering now.
Uncle John said he'd keep little John and Joseph until I write from
America for them. I wrote to James and he promised to take them out
last June and never wrote us since. Send word if he's in Providence
with you. If he be in Providence, tell him that poor little Dickey
longs both night and morning to see you and James.
The poor child says he'd not be hungry if he was near you. Oh Patt,
hurry and take us out of this. It's the poorest prospect of a winter
that ever I had, without house or homefire, friend nor fellow nor bit
of food to eat.
That's my prospects.
For the love of God, dear Patt, bring me and little Dickey out of
this, as quick as you can. I pray that God's Holy Spirit be with you
You promised to take us out.
Your loving mother until death.
Source: Source: Noel Walsh