Letter from Michael Hogan
Albany, New York, to his aunt, Catherine Nolan, Pollerton, Co. Carlow
I take this
opportunity of writing these few lines to you hoping to find you and
your family in good health as this leaves us all in good health at
present. I thank God for his mercies to us all. I received a letter
from Patrick Kelly on the 24th of December ‘51 which gave us all great
pleasure to find that all friends were well. We were sorry to hear of
my grandmother’s death but yet thankful to God for taking her out of
this wicked world. He gave me to understand that you had not received
any letter from me since I came to America. However you were the first
I wrote to after I arrived on the lands of liberty. I often wondered
that I was getting no answer from you.
I have had
the opportunity of seeing the New York steamboats landing at the wharf
of Albany during last spring.
I often gazed
on the passengers in hopes of seeing you till at length I met with my
cousin Michael Hogan and a good many of my old school fellows along
with him. He told me that you had adjourned coming to America.
friends I will now let you know how we are situated at present. By the
interest of Mr. Thomas Young I got a situation on the 12th of February
1851 which I occupy up to this time. My wages are 6 dollars a week
from the 1st of April until the 1st of January. The following three
months I get 4 dollars per week. I board myself. My work is but 10
hours in the day. Denny is working at boot and shoe making since we
came here with the exception of four months which he worked in a
foundry last summer. Patrick is idle at present but I expect to get
him work in a few days. As the girls, Mary and Ann and Margaret are in
good situations in the city, and Elener is learning the tailoress
trade. As to my father, he is getting as good health as ever he did at
I would have
wrote to you sooner but waiting for a letter from Lewis Doyle which I
received a few days past.
They are all
well and I think doing well. He tells me that he sold his farm and
stock last fall and bought a property in the city of Monroe and is
living there. Thomas is a clerk for a merchant. John is likewise in a
situation but is going to resign to go to California. Lewis is
teaching in a district school and Michael has a team and wagon and is
working with it in the city. A team is two horses. Timothy and Ann is
going to school and Mary is at home.
requests of me to let her know how her sister Elenor is and Luke
Kavanagh’s family. You will be pleased to know how they are.
It was not
want of money caused us to stop in Albany, but when we landed here, it
was too expensive to travel as there was no way of travelling but by
railroad. Lewis Doyle gave us good encouragement to go up to them, but
yet as we were all in situations, by the time navigation opened we
thought better to stop for some time.
I would not
encourage any person to come here that could live middling well at
home as they might meet with many difficulties by coming here but any
boy or girl that has to labor for their living, this is the country
with farmers can get from 20 to 30 British pounds per year. Girls can
get from 8 to 14 pounds per year according as they understand their
business. Winter is a bad time for any person to come here as it is
almost impossible to get anything to do and expensive to travel.
We got no
delay from the night I parted with you until we went on board the ship
Albert Gallathen and sailed out from Liverpool. Then we were 49 days
tossing with the waves. Our passage was 20 pounds from Dublin to New
York and 6 pounds 5 shillings from New York to Albany. The fare for a
single person from New York to Albany in summer is but 2 shillings and
As to the
- Beef is from
2 to 4 pence per pound
- Pork is from
3 to 4 pence per pound.
- Mutton is
from 2 to 3 pence per pound.
- Tea from two
to four shillings per pound.
- Sugar from 3
to 4 pence per pound.
- Flour is sold
by the barrel. Each barrel containing 180 pounds which can be bought
from 18 to 23 shillings per barrel.
- Oatmeal is 3
shillings per stone.
- Butter is
from 8 to 10 pence per pound.
All the rates
I have mentioned I calculated to British [pounds]. House rent is very
dear. We are paying 15 shillings British for 3 small rooms per month.
I got a
slight account of Peter Haydon burying his wife. You will let me know
whether it is true or not. We are not sorry for coming here but I am
sorry for spending so much of my time in Ireland. You will let me know
how all friends are and give me all information you can concerning the
state of the country. My father, brother and sisters join me in
sending their best respects to you all. Remember me to all inquiring
friends and especially to the Miss Keegens.
No more at
No 54 Colonie
Albany, N Y
soon. Any person coming here and wishing to find me will do so by
making application to Mr. Thomas Redmond. 117 Canal St., Albany, New
Source: Carloviana. January 1947.
Vol 1. No. 1.