James Stewart, San Francisco, U.S.A. to Mr. Coulter, Belfast.

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Document ID 9403211
Date 22-09-1884
Document Type Letters (Emigrants)
Archive Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Citation James Stewart, San Francisco, U.S.A. to Mr. Coulter, Belfast.; PRONI T 3399/1; CMSIED 9403211
                        1011 Pierce Street,
                     San Francisco, September 22/84

        Dear Friend, Mr Coulter,
                         After a long interval
of silence (let me bear the blame) I had the great pleasure
of receiving your letter dated August 29th. I am much
pleased to know that I still retain a place in your
memory, for I acknowledge, with regret, that I alone
am responsible for this protracted silence. I have read
your letter with a great deal of interest, and I see that
the same friendly feeling still pervades your mind as
of old, not the least changed I believe since you and I
were fellow-lodgers at 36 Great Edward Street. -
You allude to the death of Mrs Coulter some 16 months ago
and I sincerely sympathise with you in your great bereavement
I remember seeing the announcement of her death in
a Belfast paper. You will probably wonder when I
tell you that for several years I had many enquiries
regarding the welfare of yourself & Mrs Coulter._  Captain
Dodd who left here for a visit to Ireland sometime
after I came back to San Francisco, and who called
on you when in Belfast, was unceasing in his enquiries
about you. After his return here he expressed himself
warmly & gratefully on the subject of his kind treatment
at your hands, and time & again has he told me that
he would never forget it. The Captain, as you are
no doubt-aware, got married to a County Down girl
brought his wife here with him; they are still living
in San Francisco, have three children (2 boys & a girl)
and are all well. Dodd is a good, true-hearted
man, & is highly respected by all who know him. _
He is still running his own vessel on this Coast,
& is doing well. _
             I am glad to know that Mrs Harvey
and family are well _  please give them all my kind
regards at the first opportunity. It would seem from
your letter that Harriet is the only member of the
family who has married so far, but no doubt the others
will follow her example in due time.  It is singular
that Thomas Wm's [William's?] letter to me was returned to him;
it was probably addressed simply to San Francisco
without having the name of the street, and if so, it no
doubt fell into the hands of some of the other dozen
or so of James Stewarts who reside here, Several of
whom have on various occasions carried letters intended
for me in their pockets for weeks together, before returning
them to the post office._
               And now a word or two about myself.
_ I believe it is 13 years since I saw you last _
in the Autumn of 1871 (how the years do rush past
us!).  In 1873 I met with a very severe accident
by an explosion of gas, which laid me up helpless for
about six weeks, & which I believe undermined my
Constitution, as I have never wholly recovered from
its' effects.  The year following I got caught on the
top of one of the big mining excitements which have
so long cursed this community, and was financially
cleaned out. In the course of about two months
in that year I saw the greater part of my hard
earnings melt away in the speculative craze. _
Fortunately I held a good situation, and after coming
to my senses, I came also to the conclusion that
speculation was not my forte. Since then I have
plodded steadily along in the daily routine of business
life, trying to regain by hard work what I foolishly
lost. _ I recognize the fact, however, that my life
has been a failure. I remain a Bachelor, and
that word is sufficient to express as much as I
could write in a whole page. My sister who
came here in 1875, has kept house for me ever since
My Mother is still living in Belfast, in her
86th year, & the latest account I heard was that
she was well, and in wonderfully good spirits._
              Your Brother I see is still following
his business in this City as Contractor & Builder,
I have not of late years had any chance to talk
to him, and I question very much if he now recollects
me. Business in that line is at present flourishing,
but in most other departments is rather stagnant.
              There are other local subjects on which
I could write, and which no doubt would be of
interest to you, but must forego this pleasure at
present, so I will conclude, hoping this will find
you well, and with many thanks for your kind letter
which I duly appreciate, I remain
                      Your Sincere friend
                             James Stewart.

I shall expect to hear from you some time again before the
end of the year, or at all events whenever your convenience permits