William Hill, Abbeville SC, To David Hill, [Co Antrim?]

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Document ID 8811048
Date 24-01-1855
Document Type Letters (Emigrants)
Archive Public Record Office, Northern Ireland
Citation William Hill, Abbeville SC, To David Hill, [Co Antrim?]; PRONI T.1830/3; CMSIED 8811048
Abbeyville [Abbeville?] C.H So Ca [South Carolina?] 24 January 1855.
Dear Bro.[Brother?] David
               About 10 days ago, your letter dispelling my friend
Watemans fancies came to hand, and has threw his Hobby horse Rider and all
into the gutter. Well, I will have some peace now John will be one teasing
me to help him to that anticipated fortune, so complacently located near the
Headwood. For a long time I withstood his importunity but finally I began to
think it probable from his oft repeated tale, that there might be something
worth enquiring into, but behold! it turns out "the baseless fabric of a
vixen, leaves not a wreck behind."  I must not forget however to say that
John bid me " [?] him how muckle he would charge for his trouble."
     You are such a stickler on the terms of your correspondence (sending me
one or two) that as I am so anxious to hear from the old place, I suppose I
will have to make a virtue of necessity and accept your proposition,
although really I think you ingenerous as every advantage for the Material
is on your side. There is little or nothing here calculated to concern you,
which every nook and corner of the neighbourhood of Ballynure teems with
absorbing interest to me. Although it is upwards of thirty-two years since
I left "the green hills of my youth" I can still luxuriate in fancy,
listening to the "Laverocks" wild warbling measures rise high poised in[air]
or the mellow notes of the Thrush amongst the rich Hawthorn hedges,of Parks,
I can fancy myself young again, strolling over the old green sod, whispering
words of artless love to her who was-most beautiful, most lovely, but now
alas!how changed. Do you surmise to whom I allude ? - well then, tell me of
her. Although the vase is long broken, yet still the fragrance of the once
sweet flower remain.
         I said she was changed - I, also, am changed, whether for the better
morally, God knows. One thing is evident, I am physically changed, my beard
although luxuriant is"silvered oer with grey", and I begin to look old, but
well I may. I am nearly fifty; my spirit however is unbroken, and as
youthful as eighteen, my health is generally good, I have neither "ache nor
pain" and am as athletic as when you last seen me, but I begin to perceive
my eyesight fail so that I will soon have to use glasses.
      We have lately removed into this town, having bought a House and Lot
which cost me twelve hundred and fifty dollars - the lot contains only half
an acre; it was rather inconvenient for me to come and go the distance from
the town every day, and the business of my office requires my daily
attention.  Besides, I wished to have the opportunity of sending my children
to a higher school than they had been used to in the country. They are all
going now - five in number which takes a good deal out of pocket to support,
tuition is much more costly here than with you. I will have to pay as high
as 40 dollars for Robert Emmet, the others not so much, but the lowest for
English is about 18 dollars for 9 months.
       Some time ago I got a letter, and a very interesting one indeed, from
D.H [McAurtry?] I should have answered him long ago, but as is my wont I
have been procrastinating that duty. In this letter David gave a statement
of the cost of collegiate education in Belfast, and encouraged me to send
Rob't to Ireland. I have reflected a good deal on the matter, and have
concluded, as it would require his absence so long, that I would endeavour
to have him prepared to enter here, and if circumstances permitted he might
afterwards go over for a few years. Robert, it is true is anxious to go, but
when I think on the necessary length of time - 7 years - and the consequent
expense combined and moreover that he might not like the country, I have
thought it best to defer the matter for the present. I apprehend also that
it would be very difficult for an American republican to obtain "honours",
in a "Queens college". Tell David not to think hard of me for neglecting to
write him; give him my thanks for his letter, and say, that as one good
turn deserves another, I will expect to hear from him again, soon.
      Well what do you think of the war in Crimea? dont you fear that the
Russian Bear will hug your little Queen, and 'his uncles nephews' rather
roughly? my word for it he will squeeze them 'til they cry for mercy most
piteously' the signs of the times show this - that the Allies are driven
already to the greatest extremity: for instance the enlisting a horde of
foreign mercenaries - Hessian cutthroats 40 thousand strong by England,
England will rue this.
     I must come to a close, as it is getting late, and my fingers are cold,
my family are all well. I still carry on the farm, having hired a man to
superintend the business, I give him 35 pounds for the year or $175.He works
himself, and I have 3 young negro Fellows with him, I have 2 negro women in
the house here, to do the cooking and housework, one of them is not quite 17
years and has 2 very likely children, the oldest nearly 3 years old, my
negro Property is worth 6000 Dollars. Isn't this horrid? say you. I dare say
that it was from such a feeling that David McAurtry quaintly enquired, if
much of the spirit of true religion or vital godliness was to be met with in
the clergy of this country, as if slavery and christianity were inconsistent.
     I would like you to say to David, that I would rejoice to believe that
the ministry in Ireland possessed, and expressed, as much of the spirit
influence, as the same class do here, and practised the principles of the
Gospel as closely conduct that is tolerated and even allowed in the Irish
Presbyterian church, would be sufficient time to excommunicate from its
   I had a letter to-day from David Thomson - he is well and in Charleston.
[Archie?] Irwin is well, he bid me say that [Ephraim?] Buchanan is with him
and is in good health.
   I hope you will write me soon, give my love to Jane and the children -
to my step-mother & Hugh, Brother John, Aunt Sally, M'r. [Mc Aurtry?] and
every body.
           I remain your Brother