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Carlow County - Ireland Genealogical Projects (IGP TM)

Letters To / From USA

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Letter from Michael Hogan

Albany, New York, to his aunt, Catherine Nolan, Pollerton, Co. Carlow

17 March 1852

Dear Aunt,

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.

My dear 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 home.

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.

My aunt 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 for them.

Boys living 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 6 pence.

As to the prices,

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 present.

I remain yours truly,

M. Hogan

Direct to:

Michael Hogan

No 54 Colonie

Albany, N Y

P.S. Write 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 York

Source: Carloviana. January 1947. Vol 1. No. 1.

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