Stephen De Vere's Diary - Vol 1
[several illegible lines written above]
S. De. V. P. O’Neill & wife J. Hanly J. Hanly
Roger Kennedy J. Fitzgerald Johnny McDonagh
Thursday evening, April 29, 1847.
We arrived in London for railway
From Bristol, & embarked in Bark Birman
Hopped down that night to Gravesend
Gravesend taking in powder
Dined on shore with Stephen S. Rice.
Hanly still ill
Saturday May 1st
Wednesday June 9
Off Cape Breton in sight of land. Having reached banks of
Newfoundland June 3rd
Saturday June 12 1847
West of Cape Gaspe
About 250 miles from Quebec
Dead calm. Thick & incessant
Fog. Sudden tremendous squalls
From north – lasted about 5
Minutes. Ship in great
Danger. Main royal &
All studding sails set.
Sunday June 13.
Took pilot on
Board in the morning.
River narrows – vast
Woods from mountain tops
To the shore with white
Rocks & gleams of snow
Between – crowds of
Ships taking out cargoes
Of corn for Europe.
Wednesday 16th June.
Arrived at Grosse isle
Quarantine about 7 am
Detained waiting for dr
Till evening, when he
inspected & gave us clean
bill of health – abt. 40 ships
detained there – villages of white
tents on shore for the sick.
Daily mortality about 150
One ship, Sisters of Liverpool, in
With all passengers & crew in fever
Of this ship, all but the Cap’n and one girl died.
Laid alongside of “Jessy” in which
Many ill. Water covered with beds
Cooking utensils refuse of the dead.
Ghastly appearance of boats full of
sick going ashore never to return.
Several died between ship and shore.
Wives separated from husbands, children
From parents. Ascertained by
subsequent enquiry that funds
in agents hands altogether
insufficient for care.
Medical attendance bad.
Exemplary conduct of Catholic
Thursday 17th June
Towed by steamer arrived in
Quebec. Remain on board till Saturday when engaged lodgings at the
O’Connells, Champlain Street 5 ? per day
For each.. beef & mutton 6 per lb—
Lower town principally Canadian
Streets dirty, crooked, narrow, hot.
All under guns of fortress – immense
Flight of steps to Upper Town
Where stone buildings & good shops – cheating Canadians.
Fortifications of great strength
Admirable state of repair
two regiments insufficient to man
guns – Irish population well
affected to England. Irish &
Canadians dislike one another.
Two companies of firemen by
Voluntary enrolment. Occasional
Drill. Exempt from juries
Entitled to protection in case of war
For families within fortress
Country round Quebec very poor
No corn. Picturesque scenery
Rolling ground. Soft perfumed soil
Of short poor grass. Lawns with
Occasional thickets of dwarf
Spruce firs. Like a most
Beautiful pleasure ground
Of vast extent.
Canadian country houses
Beautifully neat – do not
Use beds but sleep on the
Floor in summer
Canadian horses small but
Very hardy & kind generally
Stallions. Fast trotters
Lodged complaint before Buchanan
Agst. Capt. Guthrie for false measures
of water. Capt. wants to compromise.
I refused except in presence of
Buchanan – accompanied Capt.
Before him – made him pay
£10 which I handed to Revd.
McMahon PP. for the use
Of destitute Emigrants. Revd
Acknowledged in newspapers.
Admitted to news room – English
Papers – Limerick Chronicles.
Wrote to my mother, Mick,
Stephen, Aubrey – saw many
Persons who had been working
Under my orders last winter.
All employed at about 5/ per day.
Enormous wages offered for
Loading infected ships.
8 to 10/ per day.
Price of provisions very high,
No money laid by – no work in
Winter, when people go up the
Country for work.
Left letter of directions for Mick
At Buchanan’s office.
He related his plan which he had
Proposed to Gov. General for colonisation.
Govt. to take charge of emigrants
Capital & provide cheap and well
Regulated passage – when assisted
Out, give them the worth of the
Balance in a plain log house and
A quantity of land. States that
£50 will send out a man
with wife & 3 children. Give
provisions for 15 months
utensils, 50 acres land and seed.
I suggested that to emigrants
Capital should be required in addition
A certain contribution from the
landlords. & that in place
of giving wild land & a stock of
provisions, that a portion of the money
should be advanced by the government & employed
a year before in cultivating a few acres, round
each log house, to be built
along the Halifax railroad or
elsewhere. Thus affording
employment to labourers now,
and giving the settler his supply of
food not in his store room
but on his own ground &
immediate employment to reap his
own harvest. Buchanan spoke
more favorably of the project
of the Halifax railway.
P. neill wife ill.
Thursday 24th June 5pm. 1847.
Left Quebec by John Mann steamer.
Magnificent American river steamers.
Great comfort for deck passengers.
Rapid pace. Reached Montreal at 6am.
180 miles – Rafts going down river
with shanties built upon them
great improvement of cultivation as
we ascend the river
took two rooms in Quebec suburb
at £1 per week room for self at
Daily’s hotel presented letters of introduction
To Viger Descartiers [?]
McGill visits in return Provisions
Somewhat cheaper than Quebec
Frightful mortality Emigrant
Sheds hospitals & generally
Throughout the town
Pat Neill’s wife still ill
Medical attendance cheap 2/
English per visit, a few pence for
Medicine attendance careful
& respectable clothes washing 60 or 70 shirts
Monday, 28th June
Accompanied by Roger and Hanley
Started to visit friends at Troy NY.
Lake Champlain by steamer, passing
Burlington to Whitehall
(ferry steamer to Laprarie railroad
to St. John’s rough & slow)
Fare to St. John’s ½ dollar to Whitehall.
½ dollar thence by canal to Troy.
¼ dollar left Montreal 12 noon.
Arrived at Whitehall 6am Troy 10am
Lower part of Lake Champlain very
Fine & full wooded – banks very low
and lower stems of trees and brushwood.
covered with water – widens as you
pass the lines, as you approach
Burlington, Vermont, shores become
bolder & more varied & beautiful
rocky wooded islands. Burlington
a flourishing, new looking town.
Lake narrows & becomes more winding
and very picturesque
as you come to Whitehall
canal thence to Troy, through
rich and highly cultivated country
along broad & shallow &
rapid waters of the upper
Before it reaches Troy it meets
the Erie canal. Immense
Tuesday 29 June
Troy is beautifully
situated on the Hudson which
divides the city – connection by
covered wooden bridge of
immense length – objection of
the Irish to paying toll in a
free country. Well built
city. Public buildings along
streets of wooden white houses
beautifully clean. Rows of
flourishing trees at both
sides of streets give a
cool shade. We are
most hospitably received.
P. Burns house. Extreme
comfort & cleanliness. Every
house – its clock – admirable
diet. Kindness of old to
new immigrants, even when
in fever. Surrounded once
more by my own people.
Their good clothing, respectable
appearance – manners independent,
Wednesday 30 June
Visit the great naill & rod
factory two miles from
Troy – enormous which
labour of men attending
furnaces most severe.
They work alternate hours
with no clothes but a
pair of light drawers.
rivers of perspiration flowing
from their bronzed skins
beautiful machinery [?] by which
a bar of iron being held to
mouth of each machine,
a continuous stream of
finished nails power forth
below like corn from
Thursday 1st July 1847
Visit paper factory &
Start by canal on return at
11pm comfortable night
on board canal boat
Friday 2nd July breakfast
Whitehall – Friday night
On Lake Champlain chill
& heavy J Hamly complains
of a chill – breakfast
at St. John’s reach Montreal
at 12 noon Saturday
determined to start for
L’homme propose, mais
J Hamly ill – send for
Dr so he declares it to be
Cold & hopeless he may be able
to travel on Monday.
Monday 5th July.
Hanly not better – in
Evening much worse – dreadful
Headache & pains in neck
& back. Dreaded fever.
Tuesday 6th July.
Send off my party to
Toronto remaining myself
To take care of patient.
Help Roger to inform
the rest in case it should
take the fever, but do
not allow him to see the
patient – wrote a codicil
to my will, addressed to
Samuel [?] Gerrard, and old
Gentleman of great intel-
ligence & kindness.
Thermometer in shade 100
In sun 125.
Wednesday, 7th July.
Hanly rather better.
Hottest day yet
Thermometer in sun at
Noon up to the top of the
Tube at 135 & then
Rapidly rising – no air
Thursday 8th July
Hanly almost recovered
Recd a letter from Mary Suey ment-
ioning the happy news of Mick’s
wife having had a daughter
both thriving well.
Heat greater than yesterday.
Therm. Up to 125 shade.
Friday 9th July
Hamly going on very favorably
Had a relapse towards evening
Saturday 10th July
Hanly better again
Write to Michael Ma
Go with Roger at night to
The circus. Intense heat there.
Sunday 11th July
Hanly up recovered
Peter Bridgeman arrived
Here yesterday. Attended
Divine service at St. Patrick’s
Church. Sermon by Bishop Phelan
Of Toronto who attributed
Misfortunes of Ireland to
The atrocious avarice of the
moderated by a gentle breeze.
People who have lived here
all their lives
Great mortality amongst the
Catholic clergy. Impossible to
find nurses. Grey Nuns
undertake it all not knowing
how many dead! 48 now ill.
Blessed nuns able to leave
convent to take
charge of sick orphans of
Quebec & Montreal steamers
Ill of fever.
say they never knew such
Monday 12 July
Engage place to Toronto for three – 15 Dollars
Given Peter Bridgman 2 dollars
to forward him to Troy,
To Billy Havarashik 8 dollars
To Mr Jackson balance full – 11 ½ dollars
Stage to Lachine – long and
Lumbering shore. Railroad in
Progress. Beauharnois canal
Looks admirable work and machinery
Steamer going down the rapids.
Cornwall canal by night. Much
Larger and finer work – cannot
Bear heat of the fur cloak sleeping
On deck. Thence up to Prescott
Can stem the rapids. Numerous
Wooded islands deeply indented
Can make you think of a series
Of beautiful lakes but that the
Rapidity of the current preserves
The river character. Narrow channel
Of expansive lakes shows
Lame heat[?] wooded particularly
at American side which
in the advantage over ours
in picturesque beauty because
Lombardy poplars, weeping elms
Summach underwood general
Want of fine timber, which it
Appears was cut as here or there
Bare clad and half scorched
Stems of great height remain
Giving to the deepest woods a
Everything in America speaks
A land of timber – roads
Struts pavements bridges
Houses long ranges of wharved
Roofs of shingles balconied
And yet firewood is at Montreal
One of the most expensive
Articles of household economy
July 13th, Tuesday
From Brockville to Kingston
This an archipelago of islands
Perfect labyrinth. The larger ones
With large trees, the smaller ones
With brushwood & dwarf pines
Landed in one. Beautiful andromeda.
narrow channels where
hardly room for steamers
suddenly spreading out
great inland seas, & then as
lavish profusion of vegetation
the most barren rock has
its tree – tree arboretum
at Kingston change steamers.
New fortifications Kingston
In a great scale for the
Protection of harbour
Immense crowd of
German and Irish
Emigrants on board of the
Worst description great
Pay difference for cabin
Passage to Toronto $6
Pass Cobourg and Port Hope
Wednesday July 14th
Arrive at Toronto at
11am after long search
succeed in finding
Neil. They have engaged 2
Unfurnished rooms in an
Airy country situation at
$2 ½ per month.
Cathedral now building
Brick with cut stone door
Thursday July 15th
Call on Mr. Hidder.
Comm. Of the Canada C.
Arrange money matters.
Then £1300 lodged in
London has become by
Interest & exchange £1583 Cd.
I draw £100cy out of
This send draught to S. Gerrard
Of £26 -- £20 to repay his
Loan to me & £6 to pay
Boyce the gunsmith. The
Letter enclosing the draft was
Marked money letter &
Posted on Friday.
Friday July 16, 1847.
Start by stage with
P. Neill at 10am for Bradford
Simes W. Guaillinsburg [?]
Beautiful butterflies brilliant
Bird with blacklaps to casing
Bright scarlet head and neck.
The country from Toronto
Northwards to Holland landing
Where the stage stops, exhibits
The back country in every stage
Of improvement. You have
the wild forest – trees of
enormous height & girth, but
furnished with few & short
branches – groves of the graceful
hemlock and balsam spruce
a rich thicket underwood of
hemlock and aborite, here
called the cedar – occasional
elms as tall and straight as
the pines – Ash, walnut, beech,
sugar maple, thickets of
sumach with leaves of great
size, crowned with spikes of
crimson flowers. Then the past
stages of improvement where the
underwood has been cut down
and lucent round the stems of
the giant pines, now dead &
blackened – all around the scene
of smoking desolation
Great trees lying over the ground –
Then, the rich crops of corn
Growing amongst the bare
Trunks. In the neat stage
The trees have been cut down
To within about 3 feet of
the surface with luxuriant
drops of meadow between
the logs piled into burned
fences & for log huts
or shanties – lastly the
rich & highly cultivated farms (always however
backed by the eternal forest)
with its neat farm house
framed, whitewashed, & its
flourishing orchard –
government are making
a great road from Toronto to
Holland landing – The Engineers’
Object appearing to be to
Make it as straight as
Possible in defiance of the
Difficulties presented by a
Varied surface. The cuttings
& fillings are as great as
upon an English railroad
line. It is a remarkable
fact that not one 20th
of the laborers who might
be profitably employed are
at work upon it. It would be
better and cheaper to employ
the poor Emigrants than
to forward them form
hospital to hospital.
Dine at Holland landing
And walked over to Bradford
21 miles, through clouds of
9 pm sleep there.
Saturday July 17
Start on foot in search
Of Mr. John Rose, Col.
Licensed Militia, great
Difficulty in finding
Out where he lives. At last
A man points out to me
Some pines overlapping the
Surrounding forest, near
which he tells me I will
find his house. No road
or … path. I explore
the wood and at last reach
the pines, see a little boy hut
smaller than any Irish hovel. A
dirty stockingless capless old
woman is washing at the door.
Enquire for Col. Ross’s house.
She tells me I am in it and that
[she is] his wife. Blown a horn
calls him in. His son is at
work today with a neighbouring
farmer for a patch of meadow.
The coll. is in possession of 200
Acres here of which he has
Cleared about 30 – he & his wife
& son have been down with
fever and ague – no wonder
in the thick of a swampy
forest with a broad fat marsh
almost always covered with
water separating him from the
sluggish Holland river.
I return to Bradford walked on
To Holland Landing. Between those
Places the road winds through the
Forest, crossing Holland river
[illegible word] by a rough plank bridge
nearly a mile long. The underwood
is cut & the trees dead and scorched
at both sides of the road, so that
there is no shelter from the rays
of the burning sun which
are inflected by the knee deep
hot white sand which formed
the road – not a breath of air
can penetrate this forest, the
swampy soil of which
is completely covered with beds
of the red epilobium
beautiful little pink andromeda
delay under such a sun would be
fatal -- I rush parting on
reel into Holland landing
& recover myself with 3 or
4 cups of Holland tea,
the best drink in great
heat – at 2 oc 6pm get
into the stage – tremendous
rain, thunders & lightening.
At 12 at night reach Toronto
Tired but in perfect health.
The present state of the road is
Clearly shown by it having
Taken a four horse stage
With 6 passengers 10 hours to
Go 32 miles.
Sunday July 18th
Monday July 19th
Wrote a paper describing
the treatment of passengers
on board emigrant ships
with sundry suggestions for
ensuring better arrangements
gave to Frank [?] Widder
Commissioner of Canada West who was
Much pleased with it &
Took it up warmly. Drank
Tea at Mr. O’Briens – found out
Tuesday July 20th
afterwards that he showed it to John
Marshall of Marshall & Co.
Wednesday July 21st.
Storm of thunder and lightening
Great fire in town.
Thursday July 22nd
Had the great delight
Of receiving a letter from MM
Dated June 27th promising to
Sail July 15th.
Friday July 23rd.
Received of the
Emigration office an old
Letter from MM dated
May 20th Received a letter
From S. Gerrard acknowledging
receipt of £26. & advising me to
invest capital in Montreal
Bank stock. Determined to
leave for London U.C. on
Monday, Please God.
Saturday, July 24th.
Roger not well. Send
For Dr. the evening who says
It is an attack of lake fever
Not much chance of starting
On Monday. From all the
Accounts I have been able
to gather in the last two
days, it seems to me that
Guelph will be a better
Temporary look out residence
Than London, healthier,
Sunday July 25th
My birthday, my only
Pleasure writing a long letter
To my mother, Roger’s fever heavy.
Tuesday, July 27th
Roger passed a bad night.
Decidedly worse today.
Wednesday July 28th
Roger had a good night &
Is better pulse slower less
Heat of the skin & restful
An offer is made to some angry people to
Engage them by a rich farmer. They refer
The matter to me. I explain to them
That if on my arrival at my
Ultimate destination I cannot employ
Them myself it will be necessary for them
To provide temporary
Employment for themselves that
In case of their doing so & my
Being afterwards able to employ them
Would cheerfully do so –
That it is very uncertain whether
I can this year procure land
To employ them upon – but that
I left the adoption or rejection
Of the present offer to themselves
They refused to accept it.
Thursday July 29th
Roger passed a tolerably good
Night but is very weak. I was
Obliged to give him half a glass
Of port wine every four hours
Today he seems stronger, but the
Fever still runs very high.
Friday July 30th
Sat up with Roger last night
Giving him wine or broth every
Two hours. This morning he is
Decidedly stronger & the fever lower
Saturday July 31st
Roger exceptionally weak
Send for priest, who administers
Rules of the Church after confession
Towards evening he seems to
rally a little – certainly is stronger
& his head clearer
Sunday August 1st
Divine service. Roger
Passed a good night, & is stronger
Today – suffers much from cough &
Oppression which is Herrick says
Is entirely owing to congestion of the
Lungs, the result of weakness not disease.
Monday August 2nd
The Dr. declared Roger to be much
Better today, fever going off – sat
Up again with him all night
Reading Amelia. This day &
Yesterday very hot, causing an
Increase of the fever during the
Day – pulse 100
Tuesday August 3rd
Roger passed a good night pulse this
Morning 90 less traces of fever
During the day. J. Hamly ill bowel attack.
Wednesday August 4th
Roger passed another less comfortable
Night, but today his pulse and
His strength are improving. Hanly still
Unwell & very feverish tonight
Pulse 160. Wrote to Mr. Allison
To forward letters. Sent 4 dollars to
W. Hunt. Dr called in well
Satisfied with Roger’s progress. Says
J.H. must be minded lest fever
Might supervene – orders him
Half oz castor oil & 35 drops laudanum
Thursday August 5th
Roger going on very favorably
Hanly suffering form diarrhea all
Friday August 6th
Attended divine service at 7am.
Roger going on favorably. Hanly
Rather better finished Tom Jones.
How infinitely superior the humour
Of Fielding to that of Sterne! Of the
One natural; of the other laboured
Saturday, August 7th.
Morning service. Roger recovering
Fast. Hanly better. During the
Whole day expected with the
Intense anxiety the arrival
Of the English mail which I hoped would
Bring a letter from Mick to
Announce his departure
Mail arrived late in the evening
Alas; no letters.
Sunday August 8th
Morning service. Invalids going on
Monday August 9th
Morning service. Roger recovering.
Hamly still the same. I visit
Meat waggoner at Emigrant Office who
Will take 12 cut. Luggage & 5 people to
New London for £8 cy
Tuesday Aug 10th.
Morning service. Hanly better. Roger
Wednesday Aug 11th
Morning service. Invalids improving
Thursday Aug 12th
Morning service, patients better, but
towards evening Hanly had slight
return of dysentery. Paid Dr
Henrick in full $10 in addition $2
paid before – chancer.
Friday Aug 13th
Morning service. Hanly better again today
Had a letter from John Burns mentioning
that he had a letter from Mick
dated July 12th
Saturday Aug 14th
Morning service. Patients better.
Roger still very weak.
Morning serivce. Patients better. Very hot.
Monday Aug 16th
Morning service. Patients better. Conversation
with Mr. Widder – got from him a
cheque on London for €100….
Interview as to the
prospects of Emigration with Mr
London. Gave a subscription €5
for the widows and orphans emigrants
fund. Very hot.
Tuesday Aug 17th
Great thunder, lightening. First
wet day since our arrival in
Morning service. Wednesday August 18th.
Roger stil very weak but improving.
Cannot yet be moved.
Thursday Aug 19th 1847
Morning serv. Roger gaining strength.
Hanly nearly well.
Friday August 20th.
No morning service. Long walk on the country instead.
Saturday Aug. 21st.
Hanley well again.
No morning service. Clergyman sick.
Walk out beyond Dan bridge. Soil
richer, but low and damp, liable to ague.
Sunday August 22nd.
Monday August 23rd
No morning service. Gave Mr. Elmsley
a subscription of $4 for the organ
of Toronto Cathedral.
Tuesday August 24th
No morning service. Clergy all sick but
The Bishop who has to attend the
Hospital and emigrant sheds 10
Deaths in hospital yesterday
Anxiously expecting arrival of
English mail. Arrives
Alas! Alas! No letters Shakespear.
Wednesday August 25th
No morning service.
Alas, alas, alas. No letters. Shakespear
Thursday August 26tth
Write to Vere. Desire newspapers +
letters to be directed to the
care of E. McElderry, Toronto.
Friday August 27th
No morning service. Alas, no letters.
Mme. Pindar arrives, having left home
15th June. Gave her 2 dollars & a letter
to McElderry asking him to
procure work for her little boys.
Saturday Aug, 28th.
No morning service. Alas! No letters. Shakespear
Sunday, August 29th
Early morning service.
Monday August 30th
Morning service. No letters, no letters
Roger complains of bowel complaint.
I determine to start for Troy tomorrow.
Tuesday, August 31st.
Morning service. No letters. No letters.
Roger complains of having a complaint
& determined for Troy tomorrow.
Wednesday, September 1st.[note about repayment of debt]
Morning service. Rogers complaint
Is increased & threatens dysentery.
I call on Dr. Herrick. I do not
Think Roger well enough to leave him
Alas. Alas alas. no letters.
Tommy find $3 in the street,which
he brings to me. I put up a
notice. Owner claims & receives.
Thursday, Sept. 2nd.
Morning serv. Roger much better.
At ½ past 11 board… Steamer American
For Rochester US… for Troy
My principal object being to see
Mick’s letter to J. Burns, hoping it
may give me some means of gauging
the time of his sailing.
Cabin fare $3 ½. Steerage $2.
touch at Windsor Harbour.
Bond heat. Port Hope. Coburg.
The captain tells me that an Engineers
Party of 13 men went out lately to
Survey and value the lands in the neighbour
Of a govt. canal near Peterboro
In one week the party returned
the officer of the men dangerously
ill, leaving two corpses, and having
buried two. This is a canal
made by flooding, not excavation.
Friday Sept 3rd.
At 4pm, stop in [?] river, close
Under the magnificent falls.
Custom house officer at ½ 4 at
5 reach Rochester (mile and a half by
omnibus – York shilling).
I eat enormous table d’hote breakfast.
My impressions hitherto of the
Americans is that they are the
Hungriest, the dirtiest, the most
Dishonest & altogether the meanest people
I have ever seen. They are so
Entirely absorbed in the pursuit of
Wealth that they have no time
For the courtesies, the decencies
Of life. They cry “O my ducats”! without “O my daughter”!
They seem to rely
Wholly on themselves, never
Brushing with their neighbours. Their
Dishonesty is audacious, because
They are too vain to attempt
To conceal it; & whilst they are
Cheating you, they do not even pay
You the poor compliment of
Trying to deceive you. Proud
Of their country, (because she be-
Longs to themselves) they are most
Proud of her meanest vices.
An expert windbag is honoured and
As smart man
Their dress is exaggerated, uncouth
& ill matched; finery
they poke about with their long hair
breathing necks, like a cur seeking for a
bone, & if they catch your eye, right
themselves into a swagger; they
peer through you with their hungry
eyes, but would fain have you believe
that they do not care to look at you,
they combine the contemplative
chicanery of a Jewish shopseller
with the shameful roguery of
roulette bully – They do not even
deserve credit for the boldness
their commercial speculations
because the great stake, character,
never depends upon the issue of
language, the noblest gift of God, they use but for
a boast, and sneer, or a lie.
O Mick, Mick, when shall I
see your mild, honest face?
When shall I again hear your
voice, gentle, modest, but firm?
Start from Rochester by railroad
at 11am. Fare to Troy 9 ½
Railroad rough & slow. Get off
the rails. Curious effect of
railroad (perception of art passing)
then a wild forest splendid
& comfortable carriage or cars.
Distance to Troy 250 miles.
Saturday Sept. 4th
Arrive in Troy at 7am.
Fine welcome from all friends
Sunday Sept. 5th 1847
Morning service with John Burns. Long
visit to old Mrs. Howard. Most
oppressive heat. Give $4 to J Burns.
Monday Sept. 6th
Receive a note from Pat Neill
Today that there is a home
letter for me at Toronto.
I start on my return at 7pm.
By railway – 6 miles out of Try.
We run over a cow. Engines got
off the rails is broken – hadn’t
got off to the other side; we
must have been initially
carried down an awful precipice
(within two feet of the rail) &
[illegible word]; I thank God for his
mercy, at last another
Engine arrives – we get in
To Schenectady at 11pm
The western train from
Albany being long passed, I
Remain here, miserable quarters
At small inn, which I prefer
To a room at the grand
Hotel, to be there with
Thursday 7 Sept.
Started by railway at 8 ½ am
Travelling execrably slow and rough
Wednesday Sept. 8th
Reach Rochester at 7 ½ am
Start by steamer “America” at
9am. Make Cobourg at 4pm.
Tremendous storm into which we
Seem to plunge, & bury ourselves
The heart of enormous clouds which
Seems all fire within arrive at
Toronto in the middle of the night
Thursday Sept 9
Thank God, I have at last received
Most satisfactory letters. My mother
Is well & all at home. Her letter
Is dated July 26th.
Another from my dear Mick
Dated Aug 4th, in which he says that he
Is to sail in Anne of Limerick on
7th of August. May God grant him a happy
voyage – I find Roger much recovered,
but John Hanly again sick,
since Sunday, of a [?] attack.
I write, as the English mail goes
Out tomorrow, to my mother,
[?] I write also to John Burns…
In the evening,
Unexpectedly, a long print
Letter from Mary Suey and my
Mother dated August 15th
mentioning that Mick &
Stephen had sailed on Monday 9th august in the Anne.
Friday Sept. 10th
John Hanly passed a very unquiet
& feverish night. I
fear his attack will prove a
serious one. The doctor declared
his illness to be bilious fever.
Roger walks out for the first time.
Saturday Sept. 11th.
No morning service today or yesterday.
John Hanly passed a quiet night &
Is less feverish this morning.
Paid Mr Callaghan $5 in full for
rent to 8th September at 2 ½ [illegible currency] per month
Paid Mrs Gogarty $5 in full for
Firewood, washing, tailoring
Sunday Sept. 12th.
Mass servd. J.H. passed a quiet
Night, & deemed better today.
Monday Sept. 13th.
Morning service. J.H. passed a very bad night.
This morning fever is
Diminished pulse under 90 but
Weakness and emaciation much increased.
I left ¼ dollar with J. Fitzg. & one dollar
With P. Neill that Mrs Pindar will be
[illegible word] before this day terminates.
Dr visits & says that the fever is
Assumed to be typhoid. Orders
[stranded lines: High pitch of roofs, gables, galleries
Columbine weeping elm]
him weak brandy + water every two
hours – Gave Pat Neill on acct.$50
Paid William, teamster $12 on acct.
Dispatches for Neill & wife. Then Hanly
& Roger on their way to London. C.W.
Left about 12 O.C.
Dr visits again.
Tuesday September 14th
Morning service. Hanly better, up with
him nearly all night – in the course
of the day typhoid type seems more
confirmed – diarrhea – by the doctor’s
directions I give him 5 grams of
soup & opium pill at 6 O.C. pm
watch whart. Shakespear.
Write to P. Neill a bulletin of H’s health.
Wednesday Sept. 15th
Morning service. Compassion & communion.
Hanly passed better night. J.R.
& I up with him all night night, passes
the day on whole better.
Watch wharf. Give him the opium
pill again as last night. Shakespear
Thursday Sept 16th
Morning service. Hanly passed the night
decidedly better. Watch wharf.
McElderry tells me that he proposes
to build permanent brick buildings
instead of sheds. Also that next
year there will be a steamboat opposition on the river, consequently lower terms and less crowding. Admits that Govt. this year is in the hands of one person for river transmission. I ask why did not government put on emigrant steamers of their own.
He says that were it not for the fear of disease, the supplying of ordinary labour market here would absorb emigration double this year.
Friday Sept. 17th
Morning service. Watch wharf.
J.H. passes a pretty quiet
Night, the fever is going off
Saturday Sept. 18th
Morning service. Hanly passed a bad night. Much trouble with very violent cough and suppression pulse 100 profuse perspiration all night. He improved during the day.
Watch wharf. McElderry mentions that the farmers in the country are raising subscriptions to send back the emigrants into Toronto.
Sunday Sept. 19th
Morning service. J.R & H had good & is
much better this morning. Wrote to
Buchanan for news of the Anne.
Some passengers arrive from the Jane
Black which was to have sailed 7th August.
Monday Sept 20th.
43rd day. Fever almost gone.
Morning service. J.H. much better.
Agreed with Callaghan for the hire of his
Other lodgings at the rate of $3 per month
Or carefully in proportion. Gave Mrs
Pindar one dollar. Was informed by one
of the passengers of the Jane Black that
Anne passed them at Kilrush.
Received letter from P. Neill by Williams’s
return wagon stating safe arrival
Paid Williams full bill £5.10
He allows for 5/ what Pat Neill
gave him on the road. Shakespear
Tuesday Sept 21st
Morning service. J.H. much better. I buy
a [?] coat for little family and a cap
for myself. Shakespear.
Wednesday Sept. 22nd.
Morning service. Paid off Dr Herrick for
Attendance on H. $10 Due to give
Dobler [?] for milk this day $2.4
which I paid him. Shakespear.
Thursday Sept 23rd
Morning service. J.H. up better…
Friday Sept 24th 1847.
Morning service. Cashed Widder’s cheque
in Bank of Upper Canada. £100.
Saturday Sept. 26th
Morning service. Hanly recovering.
Sunday, Sept. 26th
Morning service. J.H. not quite so well. A slight attack of dysentery during the night. The weather for the last fortnight has been becoming very cool. Hear with great concern that Buchanan is very ill of fever at Quebec. Also that Bishop Power has taken fever here. English mail in the evening. Tremendous storm
of thunder and lightning which continued all night. Never did I witness such a storm. The forked lightening every minute dancing from heaven to earth, illuming the darkness with a red glare, the way the lightening ladders from heaven to earth were seen, of all colours, sometimes golden yellow, sometimes violet, sometimes purple blue, sometimes intense vermillion, and then the thunder simultaneously with the lightening, bursting, crashing rending passing shaking the whole city with its metallic danger, and sometimes
succeeded at certain distances by single explosions. Like the successive firing of some enormous artillery. The mere sound of the rain was frightful, bewildering.
Monday Sept. 27th
Morning service. Fine hot day. J.H. walks
out. I take a long walk into the bush
& am caught in the evening in a violent
thunder storm with drenching rain.
Blue lobelia – cineraria wild.
Tuesday Sept. 28th
I do not attend morning service, being
threatenend with dysentery – take
2 [illegible entry[ & op[ium] pill. Thunder storm
Large rings of lightning.
O my brothers when shall I see you again.
O Michael my own adopted brother.
Kingston boat does not come in till
Ten o.c pm. Alas no brothers.
Wednesday Sept. 29th
Morning service. Bishop Power very ill of typhus fever. Kingston boat 2pm no account of my dear brothers. Give $25 to John Hanly and J. Fiztgerald for their journey to be accountable for.
Thursday Sept. 30th.
Morning service. No other man present being capable I am obliged to act as clerk. John Hanly & J. Fitzgerald start for Hamilton on their way to London by steamer at 8am. Fare to Hamilton 3/9 each
Kingston boat arrives at 3 O.C. pm
Alas, no news of my dear brothers.
Sent to the post office in the evening
to get a letter from Quebec dated
Aug 23rd. All well at home.
Had the inexpressible relief
of receiving a letter from the
Emigration Office Quebec
to announce the arrival of the
Friday October 1st
Morning service. Rev. Michael Power DD. Cath bishop of Toronto died this morning.
He was a man of great generosity and nobleness, most kindly and charitable in a true and most extended kindly sense, an humble Christian. By his example, his justice, his unfailing attention to the duties of his high station, & the strictness of his discipline,
he brought into perfect order a diocese which he found almost in anarchy. His death is attributable, under providence, to the noble and devoted zeal with which, since the illness of so many of his clergy, he has visited the beds of every sick and dying emigrant. He did not spare himself, but God has spared him a longer sojourn on earth. He was a man of no political party, of no religious bigotry. He was too strong-minded to be a bigot, & too wise to be a partisan. He was therefore respected and beloved by men of all creeds and parties. May Almighty God have Mercy on his soul.
Kingston boat arrives at 4pm.
My dear brothers are not on board.
Saturday Oct. 2nd 1847
Morning service. Rec. 2 letters from J. Hanly and J. Fitzgerald. Have arrived in London at 10am Friday. Safe.
Happiness of happiness! At 4pm dear Michael and Stephen with little Catharine Biddy and baby arrived safe and well for which I humbly thank the Almighty God.
They bring me letters from my dear mother, Ellen and Aubrey, of rather old date, of numerous little gifts and tokens of love. Oh, could they but know with what a
heart, glowing with unchanged love, I received them. One most valuable gift was my dear father’s “Mary Tudor”.
Sunday October 3rd.
Divine service with my own dear brethren.
Monday Oct. 4th.
Make some purchases of winter clothing for Mick & Stephen.
Tuesday Oct. 5th.
Start from Toronto at 8am with Mick, Stephen, Biddy & Baby, Little Johnny and Mary Griffith and Catharine by steamer to Hamilton. Fare 3/9 each. Reach Hamilton about 12 oclock.
Start from Hamilton at 6 ½ pm by stage. Fare 21 each.
Before leaving Toronto I pay Callaghan $3 in full for rent and give Mrs. Fogarty $5.
Wednesday Oct. 6th
Reach London about 12 noon. Find all there quite well. Am much pleased with my cottage, containing parlour, kitchen, cellar, 4 good tea rooms garden stable yard well all for £12. 10 for 6 months
Thursday Oct. 7th.
Make some purchases of furniture. Excellent French
Seats 15/ each. Large parlour table of black walnut £1.10.0.
Weather very dark & wet
Land stands high on a sandy plane. The river divided the plane from the woodland; town shows all the symptoms of youth but an evident disposition to improve.
Friday Oct. 8th.
Put up a cooking stove for which I
Saturday Oct. 9th
Write to my mother, Vere, and
Sunday Oct 10th.
Divine service with my dear brothers.
Dine with Mr. Dagg.
Monday Oct. 11th
Dispatch home letters. The priest calls on me.
Tuesday Oct. 12th
Bought a pony mare rode out
Wednesday Oct. 13th
Went out shooting a long expedition through the bush – met or shot only a few black squirrels will make a capital pie.
One my return find little Catharine ill
Very feverish. Mr Goring calls on me.
Thursday Oct. 14th
Pay for the pony $65. Snow on the ground. Catharine’s fever better.
Dr. Goring calls.
Friday Oct. 15th
Snow again but warm. Sit with open [illegible line]
Saturday Oct. 16th
Bought 24 bushels of oats at 10s = $4
My dear brother Mick is feverish and generally unwell. May the almighty God be the guardian and protector of the finest fellow that ever drew breath in this world – of one with whom I feel my fate to be inseparably bound.
The dr declares his illness emigrant fever.
Sunday Oct. 7th
Dear Michael somewhat better today, but decidedly in fever. Little Catharine’s fever very heavy today. I read prayers to my boys church service being of St. Thomas.
Morning Oct 18th
Patients much the same. I buy a young and fine mulch cow with a fine calf for $15 £3.0.0
Tuesday Oct. 19th 1847
Patients better [note about purchasing flour]
Wednesday Oct. 20th.
Up last night with Mick, who is not better today. Catharine I fear worse. Towards night gets into stupor. I send for the Doctor who thinks her in very imminent danger. I send for the priest who attends promptly and finds her very sensible.
Thursday Oct. 21st.
Mick much the same today. The Dr. is satisfied with his stats. Catharine’s head has been relieved by mustard plasters applied to the stomach but she is evidently weaker. Dr. orders her [illegible word] and broth. Up all night.
Friday Oct. 22nd.
Pulse still 120
Catharine’s state is more satisfactory today.
There is no improvement in Mick, but the Dr. apprehended no danger. Pulse about 110 with hot skin and impaired memory. Up all night with him.
Saturday Oct. 23rd.
Catharine better. Mick in great nervous despondency & suffering much from cough with bloody expectoration [?] Dr. however does not think him worse. Great meeting for raising first sod of Western railway which is done by Col. Talbot. Up all night.
Sunday Oct. 24th.
Divine service. Catharine going on very favourably. Mick had a good night but is rather less well today, as he suffers somewhat from strangling incessant pain today. Up all night with Mick whose fever was very heavy,
but with some perspiration.
Monday Oct. 25th.
Michael decidedly worse all day.
Pulse 116. Skin hot and dry – much
Stupor. He passed a wretched night.
Tuesday Oct. 26th.
Priest visits dear Mick in the morning, after which he becomes rapidly better. Pulse falling from 116 to 104 in two hours, & his intellect greatly cleared. Dr. declared the crisis to be over and that he considers him out of danger. Orders wine and other stimulants. I thank God for his great mercy. I
care not what may be my own fate, if my dear brother be spared. Up all night.
Wednesday Oct. 27th.
The improvement of Mick continues all day. Pulse 100. He passes a tranquil night.
Thursday Oct. 28th.
Patient improving. Stimulant hourly treatment still continues.
Friday Oct. 29th.
Saturday Oct. 30th.
Patient rapidly recovering. Mick’s pulse steady at 70.
Sunday Oct. 31st, 1847.
Divine service. Both patients going on very well.
Pat Neill J Hanly & J Fitzgerald went to work at railroad on Friday and Roger commenced on Saturday at 3/? Per day.
I inform them that I shall expect a payment from each of one dollar a week towards household expenses which they admit to be most moderate.
Monday Nov. 1st.
Patients recovering. I invite
the priest to open a subscription for building a new church, the present one being quite insufficient and scandalously bad. I subscribe $10 and each of my men $1.
Tuesday Nov. 2nd
Patients improving. Michael’s wife becomes ill and Dr. fears it is fever. Towards evening she improves.
Wednesday Nov 3rd.
Michael’s wife quite well. Weather very hot. Indian summer. Open windows all night. Thermometer 70 in the shade. Michael up and returns to his own room
Agree to pay May Griffin $4 a month.
The cost of the London Windsor railway for the first ten miles out of London will be at the rate of $35,000 per mile.
Thursday Nov. 4th.
My patients going on favorably.
Friday Nov. 5th.
I pay the Dr. in full for his attendance and medicine. $30. I have been much pleased with his skill and attendance. He informs me that the Board of Health here has been closed by the government and that no new cases can be admitted into the hospital. In going Dr. Lee
home [Rate of payment] from govt. $5 per day for attending the hospital. Poor Dr. Lee died of typhus fever last week.
Saturday Nov. 6th.
I drive to St. Thomas with Mr. O’Dwyer. Country flat, poor, & undrained & half civilized. St. Thomas is a stand still of a settled place. Capital inn. Pleasant evening. Mr. O’Dwyer recounts his dispute with the Cath. Bishop Power who seems to have treated him in a haughty and impolite manner. He forbade
him to accept a salary of $30 from the Govt. for attending the military hospital. O’Dwyer therefore allowed the money to accumulate in the paymaster’s hands and some claim of it. He says what use are those bishops – they are only tyrants – one can do the business of the diocese very well without them. I have heard nearly the same language and found the same feeling amongst the Irish clergy. I regret to hear of poor McElderry’s death of fever at Toronto.
Oreglau[?] in his letter to Gregory Thaummaterys [?] to borrow from the pagan philosophers all that may tend to the glory of God as the Jews used the spoils of the Egyptians for the adornment of the temple.
“La methode d’etait d’instruire d’abord
Ceux qui venarient l’ecouter de ce quil y
Avait de bon dans la philosophie paienne
Afin de les conduire par depuis a la
Connaissance du Christianne
Vt. St. Clement alex
Dect. p. 75.
Pour le lour faire aimer et leur inspirer
Le desrie du l’ambrueyer il instait pour
Certain points de morals que de couvent
Les lumieres naturelles et que se trouvent
Sensés dans les cevits des philosophes
Sunday Nov. 7th
Divine service at St. Thomas.
Ill feeling between priest and flock in consequence of nonpayment of any dues. A meeting is held after mass where it is agreed that the collection of clergy’s dues shall be vested in trustees who are to assess the congregation individually. Pews to be thrown open and pew rents abandoned. Strong expectation expressed that the priest shall never again find it necessary to speak of money matters from the altar. All right.
American sailors’ phrase
paying one’s debts with the main
Monday Nov 8th
Return to London. All well. Thank God.
Tuesday Nov. 9th.
Confession. Jubilee begins.
Wednesday Nov. 10th.
Confession. Bought ½ ton of hay. $3
Thursday Nov. 11th.
The Indian Summer appeared ended, the thermometer having suddenly fallen from 70 in the shade to below the freezing point. People in this climate seem remarkably free from colds – not a cough in a congregation. Letters from my mother and Aubrey, Willy from Callas dated respectively Sept. 13, 27th, + July 9th. Mick walked out.
All well at home.
Friday Nov. 12th.
Letters again from home. Oct. 12th. Receive report from Emigration committee. Very cold. Warm weather again.
Saturday Nov. 13th.
Mr. O’Dwyer acting on my earnest suggestions publicly renounced the present building of his own house and devoted the funds already subscribed for that purpose of the building of the new Church.
Sunday Nov. 14th.
Divine service. Wrote a long letter to my mother describing the physical and moral state of Canada.
Monday Nov. 15th.
Dispatch letters to my mother, Mary Suey, and Mr Foley.
Tuesday Nov. 16th.
Fine warm weather. Visit railroad superintendent and Yankee Boston
conversed with. He depreciates the
enormous price of landhere on
stakes that you can purchase, much
finer land in State N.Y. for $2
per acre than for $10 here. States
there it costs 11 cents per bushel
carry wheat to Buffalo, that the
cost of transport from here will be
about the same, but Canadian
corn then subject to New York duty
States then when he left
wheat selling at N. York at [illegible] figure per bushel
& found it here selling at 4/6.
He has been concerned in the making
of many [illegible phrase] railroads. They are
paying at least 5 percent.
Rumour of railroads greatly
increased the western emigration
which by [illegible phrase]
had enormously increased
commerce. Many people
thought the Erie canal would have been
replaced by the western railway.
Far from it its traffic has doubled.
It is now choked with
western produce and is required
to be doubled in width. The colonisation of wild land
through which railways progress very remarkable
and value of land greatly enhanced. System of wooded
rails bad. Better to lay down iron at once. If Canadian people do not
take stock of railway Yankees will.
Wed Nov. 17th
Went to visit a farm offered for sale
within 3 miles of London. It consists
of 50 acres, of which about 10 cleared
and about 10 more partially cleared. A very small two windows wooden house.
Soil very poor wet low sandy ill
fenced – not one acre really arable. This
farm will feed some 5 or 6 head of
cattle during the summer, but give
no hay. Price £300.
Near it is a farm belonging
to Mr. Wright, a Quaker, well
laid out, about 4 excellent houses & offices.
Land sandy, subsoil shallow, but fine.
I was told he was rich and asked had
he made his money by his land.
Answered with a laugh, no by lending
his money at 20 percent.
Thursday Nov 18th.
Friday Nov. 19th.
Saturday, Nov. 20th.
Hard frost. Therm. 22 at 9am.
At 10am it has risen again to 36.
Mr. O’Dwyer tells anecdote of Tipperary man who came out here and bought 100 acres of remote wild land on which he built a miserable hut. He wrote to his sisters comfortably off at home to come out here where they can find him like another Count Dallen [?]. Upon arriving this year they proceeded on the wings of hope to his estate, which they found to consist of the hut only, he having sold the land again to procure the bread of idleness [?]
They spent a week “scorching” and roaring about the shanty
and returned to London. They are very glad to enter into service with two farmers at $4 per month.
A family from Mayo came out this year apparently in the most abject poverty. They consisted of a father mother uncle a little boy about 12 years old. There were transmitted to Toronto at the govt. expense. The mother was there taken into hospital suffering from a rapid cancer in the breast. She soon died. The father, uncle, little boy took a poor lodging close to me. I frequently met them and the father complaining to me of dysentery. I recommended him to send for a doctor, but he said he was too poor. He at last went into hospital, and died, from want of care in the early stage of the disease, leaving his little son in possession
of 300 sovereigns tied up in an old rag, which had, during the voyage, been tied under the mother’s breast and had produced the cancer of which she died.
Sunday Nov. 21st.
Divine service. Therm. 52. Shade.
Mick unwell with bowel complaint.
Monday Nov. 22nd.
Mick still unwell….Therm. in shade 65 at 2pm.
Tuesday Nov. 23rd.
Dr. attends. Mick’s wife unwell. Dr. fears fever. Bought a very handsome sleigh, with bear skin for £8 & a good set of harnesses for £3.10.
In the evening P. Neill informs me that he has hired himself to a farmer for driving his teams
and to reside in his house for $10 per month, and that he is to go him tomorrow morning. I tell him that I consider his conduct and sudden leaving the house as altering my domestic arrangements without previously consulting me, most disrespectful. He replies with cool impertinence. For some time back the manner of P. O’Neill J Hanly & R Kennedy has been most disrespectful to me, and they have announced to others their determination never to work for me except at $10 a month, to provide for themselves as
soon as they have earned enough money to leave this. It is fortunate for me that I did not purchase a farm in the expectation of their performing their contract.
Wednesday Nov. 24th.
Mick and his wife much better.
P. Neill goes to his new master. Went out to shoot and shot a woodpecker and a goose. Seen the process of burning charcoal. Enormous logs being piled up into a huge cone and then covered with sandy earth and set on fire. The priest has a number of free labourers employed in taking up stone for the new church on a plot of 10 acres appropriated by govt. about 2 miles from the town to the Cath. Church. Amongst them
were about 30 soldiers allowed by the Coll. to work. N.B. He allows soldiers to work for hire after parade [illegible word] their wages to [illegible figure]
Her stories are rounded masses of
granite of no great size, no quarry
arable soil, [illegible phrase], Therm. 55.
Small shady snow. Therm 37.
Wrote to Widder for £50 – enclosing receipt.
Friday Nov. 26th
Heavy snow showers all day.. Therm 25
I put a frame of glass in my window
Shelves into my presses, and build a shed for my sleigh.
At 8pm Therm. at 10. – frame of
Glass 10 x8. Cast 2/3
Roger J Hanly & J Fitzgerald were discharged
tonight from the railroad. The number of men being reduced for
the winter. I fear the opening of this work was but a demonstration to get the stock broker.
My dear mother’s birthday.
Saturday Nov. 27th
Snowing heavily. Therm. in morning
25. The milk taken out by railway men
for their dinner yesterday was frozen
at 12 oc. Sleighing commonest
Sunday Nov. 28th
Heavy snow. Therm. 26. I inform P. Neill
that it is very doubtful whether I will take land
at all it being so high, that I shall
certainly take none this winter, that has
V. the other boys, if they cannot get day
work, must engage with the farmers as
I cannot afford to keep them idle.
I pay P. Neill in full for his oats £7…
At 2pm Therm. 20. Sleigh northwards but
no sensation of cold when out.
Monday Nov 29th. 1847
Therm at am 7 being a fall of 58 since this day week. The ice thick in my jug this morning. Take my first drive in a sleigh.
Tuesday Nov 30th
I inform the boys that they must look out for employment. P. Neill asks me to keep his wife here, he paying $1 per week for her board. I decline.
Preparing dispatch for Elliot. During the night it begins to thaw.
Wednesday Dec. 1st.
Dispatch my letter to Elliot, and a copy to my mother with a note to [name illegible] to pay Mary Grattin $4.
End of journal [p. 118 of 168]