Fred Harwood, America to Thomas Harwood, [?]

Document ID 0310042
Date 06-11-1899
Document Type Letters (Emigrants)
Archive Wearing
Citation Fred Harwood, America to Thomas Harwood, [?];Jonathan Wearing; CMSIED 0310042
52539
$$H180 Part of the Jonathan Wearing Catalogue$$H 
Rochester Nov. 6th 1899
           Monday, 945 a.m.

Mr. Thomas James Harwood

My Dear Brother,

      I cannot tell you how I feel in writing this.
You must know I had given up all hopes of finding
you, and I think it must have been some unseen power
that directed your address to me after all these
years. I am in bed very sick but when I am well
again I will write and give you all the particulars
of my wanderings since I last saw you.

      I have been trying to think how you looked
when I last saw you - you know I was very young then.

      Well I will first tell you how I got your
address but first let me tell you briefly how I
came to be in the United States. You will remember
when Uncle James Buchanan was married I was sent
to live with him and I was not welcomed very hearty
by his wife. Well I lived with him some years, just
how long I do not remember but he got out of work
and determined to go to Ireland and look for work
there and he sent his wife and one child and myself
to Belfast, he intended to come on later. You know
his wife was native of Belfast so I suppose that
is why he wanted to go there. So we were sent on
and he got work very soon after we left and so did
not come until almost a year later.  During that
time my Aunt, his wife, complained about their
having to support me and threatened to send me to
the workhouse, and I lived so miserably with her
that I thought any kind of a change was better
than the life I was living so I was sent to the
Poorhouse in Belfast. I lived there about six
months when I was sent out to an old woman in a
place called Green Castle [Greencastle?] just out
of Belfast I think between seven and eight miles
away from that town. You know how it was the
custom to bind children out to people who were
supposed to send them to school and clothe and
keep them until they were of age and these people
were paid so much per month for keeping them. Well
the woman I was sent to was old and deaf and was
never married and just lived on what she got for
keeping children in this way. She had two
others from the same place and we were treated
shamefully by her. She made us work and gave us
very little to eat so after living with her about
one year I made up my mind I would run away go back
to my Aunt. I could not stand it any longer, so one
night after I had been beaten for something I did
not do and was sent to bed without my supper, I got
up after she had gone to bed and started to walk to
Belfast. My Aunt was living with some people she
had known before was Married (sic)and I found my
way there.

   I forgot to tell you that Uncle James had come
to Belfast while I was in the poorhouse and he
came to see me once. Well when I got to where I
knew they were living I found they had gone
back to England and I was left alone and what to
do I did not know, but the people with whom
they had lived were very kind to me and after
some time sent me to a home for Destitute Boys and
girls. I was treated very kindly there and lived
there for six years. I went to School and learned to
read and write and then I was sent out to Canada
with some other boys to work on a farm or learn
a trade. I lived in Canada one year and then came
to the United States in 1887 and have lived here
ever since.
Most of the time in this place.


      Your add. [advertisement?] was seen in the
Belfast paper by some Friends of mine in Canada
and sent to me so that is how I got your address.
When I write to you again I will tell you all
about how I got along and you be sure and let me
know how you are getting along if you are married
and how large a family. As for myself I am an old
Bachelor and expect to be always.

       Now my Dear Brother be sure and write me a
long letter and let me know how you are.  When I am
better and able to sit up I will write you a long
letter and in the meantime I hope you will be able
to read this and I know it is not very good but
what can a fellow do lying down. Tell me all about
yourself and Brother Jack and all my Mother's people.
You know Thomas I was so very young when I saw you
last and do not remember very much. I wish I could
see you. I would like to come over for Christmas
but I am too poor what with sickness and lack of
work as you must know by the papers it is very
dull here and wages are very low, I cannot afford
to come just now but I hope to come some time.
Will you send me your photograph and when I am
better I will send you mine. I don't want you to
think I am very, very sick, it (sic) nothing very
bad and I hope to be up again soon. You don't know
how long it will seem until I hear from you. Give
my love to all your friends too and Brother Jack if
you know where he is and believe me
ever your most loving Brother

      Fred.

Transcribed by Jonathan Engstrand