Contributed by Karene Wood
|Hi Don: Yes the letters were written from Glasson, Westmeath Ireland to my Great Grandfather Andrew Cannon who was first caretaker and then Sexton of the St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery in Baton Rouge, La. The letters concern three brothers; John Mealy, who had immigrated to America and two brothers, Petre and Patrick still in Westmeath.
Evidently John was in the care of the Sisters of Charity, had written to Petre and Patrick as to where he was. Unfortunately he died sometime about 23 Sep, 1851 as I have the original receipt that shows that Mr. Cannon paid for a coffin and hearse for John Mealy. It was Mr. Cannons sad duty to write to Petre and Patrick to inform them of their brothers death.
Two letters written to Mr. Cannon after receiving the news are sad, very poignant but contain some meaningful clues to any of this families decendants concerning these brothers and their family. A couple of other references to local priests and a couple of residents are mentioned also.
I transcribed the letters as written; punctuation was virtually nonexistent which causes some minor problems with the flow of words but shouldn't be a difficulty.
From: Karene Wood <firstname.lastname@example.org>
(Letter to John Mealy from brothers Petre & Patrick)
My dear Brother this is the third letter I have wrote to you since I received yours dated Oct the 21st 1850 and has got no account from you since which makes me very uneasy I wonder very much if you have got any of them But you would write to me You stated in them how i was getting on hear which I am sorry to say My dear Brother it is very poorly I also wrote to say that I got the first remitance of money you sent me but never got the second nor heard any thing of it untill I received your letter from the State of Louisiana I was glad to hear my dear John you had so nice a place and in sutch a religious Institution as what the Sisters of Charity are I will send this letter to you under there care in case you left they might open it and be so kind as to write me a few lines to let me know where you have gone to or are you alive I hope if you receive this you will write to me and do what you can for us I would be very glad you would take us out to you as we can get no employment here I have got no family more than what I had when you went Patt has no employment anymore
Mr. Vaghlin is dead these nine months Adieu my dear brother All I have to say more is that I hope you will get this and that I wsill soon hear from you Brother Patrick wife and children joines me in best love to you so we remain your ever afectionate brothers
Petre and Patrick Mealy
send your letter as before under the care of Father Carney Glasfson Co, Westmeath, Ireland
John Mealy died around 23 Sep 1851 as a receipt for a coffin and hearse was paid for by my
Great Grandfather Andrew Jerome Cannon on that date.
Oct 27, 1851
My dear Sir, I have received your kind leter which Brought me sorrowful account of my poor brothers death it was the greatest shock to hear it I ever got in my life as my only hopes was in him he was a kind good natured Brother May the lord have mercy on his soul my Dear and kind sir it is a great consolation to me to hear of him dieing so good a penitent and that he had all the Rights of the holy Roman Catholic Religion administered to him before his death I hope I may yet live to see the day that I will in person return both you and Mrs Cannon my most grateful thanks for the kindnefs you showed him in his last moments
I have been with the Reverend Mr. Kearny on yesterday who has been kind enough to offer up his prayers and the prayers of his congregation for the repose of his soul I also hope to have mafses for him on the days you apointed I wish to inform you that the Reverend Mr. Begin who my Dear Brother Desired to be remembered to was Curate in this Parish when he left for America he has since been removed and is gone some distance from hear it is out of my power to see him personally But I intend to write to him My dear sir as you requested of me to let you know how I am sircomstanced I am sorry to inform you that it is very poorly you also wish to let you know would I be inclined to go out to that cuntry there is nothing in the world would give me greater pleasure as I have no inducement to stop hear for since I wrote my last letter my other brother Patrick has Died sir it is out of my power to get what would take me out to you nor neither am I able to provide my sea store if you are an Irishman I suppose you have heard of the misfortune that it has pleased the lord to Inflict on our ill fated cuntrey in sending us five years of famine which has reduced me and many thousands more from the posission we once held in sosiety I have a wife and too children one of nine and the other of six years old so My Dear Sir I leave all to yourself to do what you think is Best if you take us out as I would be quite happy to go if the lord spares me life I shall not see you at one shilling lefs for your kindnefs to me and family I hope sir soon to hear from you so I Conclude with my kind Regards to you Mr Cannon and family Believe me My Dear Sir your mutch obliged and obedient servant
PS I understand the pafsage to Orleans is the cheapest to any of the American ports and if you were kind enough to send me a littel money to prepare my outfit I think it would not cost mutch to take us there but my kind friend do what you think is best for me and my family I shall forever feel grateful P M
Please direct as before in care of Father Carney, glafson, Westmeath, Ireland
Letter the Mr. Andrew J. Cannon from Petre Mealy
Oct 5th 1852
My dear friend I hope this will find you and family injoying good health as it leaves me in at present thank God for his goodnefs I thought I should have the plesure of seeing you long before this but I am afraid the fates is against me I received a passage certificate for myself wife and too children and a bill of exchange for too pounds on the 2th of last June in P____Byrns & Co line of packets to Orleans the 2L I got cash for about the 20th of June they insured my letter and said none of there vessels would sail for Orleans until the 1st of August that they would write to me then I made every preparations my means aforded me I sold my interest in my house and plot of ground still I got no acount from the Company I then wrote to them in September they sent me a printed form saying that the passenger Businefs of Byrns and Co were suspended for the present that I should send my certificate to have it renewed you may judge my astonishment my Dear Friend What am I to do staked my all for the voyage and worse coming on the Winter left myself and family houselefs So my Dear Kind Sir I send you Back the sirtificate do the best you can with it for I can do nothing with it hear I wrote to a friend of mine a ship agent in Liverpool and this day I received his anser saying that the (unreadable) on the 26,000 stand for me to send back my sirtificate perhaps you might recover it from the Company in Orleans so if all is to be lost or if you do not recover the money I hope as you have always proved kind that you will settle for my passage and I will leave the family behind me and if you request stop with you until I pay you the last farthing Father Carney says you will do so but my dear friend for the present I can say I am sorry to have put you to so mutch trouble but it is not my fault My wife joines me in kind love to your Mrs and family hoping soon to hear from you I remain sir your obedent servant Petre Mealy
P S if you be so kind to write to me please direct as before in care of the Revd Mr. Carney glafson P O Westmeath, Ireland
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