James J. Wright, Sophie Estate, to Martha Wright, No. 33 Seville Place, Circular Road, Dublin



Permission to publish from the Historical Library of the Religious Society of Friends in Dublin


University of Galway





Number of pages



Historical Library of the Religious Society of Friends in Dublin


James Jenkinson Wright


Portfolio 35X_L10






James Jenkinson


James J. Wright, Sophie Estate, to Martha Wright, No. 33 Seville Place, Circular Road, Dublin


Kerby A. Miller, Patricia Miller


James J. Wright, Sophie Estate, to Martha Wright, No. 33 Seville Place, Circular Road, Dublin


Sophie Estate September 4, 1836
Dear Aunt,
I received your very acceptable letter of 29 March some time since and have observed very particularly all you as well as what Aunt Rachel states in her returned note and in acknowledgement of receipt of draft, it is probable that she may think that the monies transmitted are the product of slave labour, it is not so, I am a sleeping partner in the firm by which the drafts are drawn holding 1/8 interest in the Concern it is a Commission House in which is Partner the Consul of the U. States (which Office, by the bye, I held myself for 4 or 5 years and the Government nominated upon my resignation the Gentleman recommended to them by me) and it holds no land cultivated by slaves, nor has ever since its establishment in 1826 been engaged either as principal or agent in the traffic of Slaves, nor in any other branch of business to my knowledge that one of the Society of friends would not be authorised to engage in, and
the drafts transmitted are from my legitimate profits in said house, as it relates to being kept distant from my “outward kindred” it is certainly a fact deeply felt by me, but in lieu of an argument against the acceptance of my remittances, I consider that it ought to operate upon just feelings differently, as having in my power to be useful to any member of said kindred, must of course operate towards the annihilation of that distance and act as a solace on the sorrow of exile, and the last observation to which I reply as to being seperated from the Society of friends is to be thus answered, I visited as you know Ohio in 1833 where many members of our family reside in the very midst of friends settlements, and I found the Society generally in a most awful state, from difference of religious opinions with deism and even atheism unfortunately taking root amongst them, now as I was recognized as a Christian, however erring, and a believer in the Bible though not a quaker or friend on a general assembly of all
the members of our family living in that State, my Father stating that he thought it would be useful, solicited me to embrace the occasion of that assembly to deliver to them a discourse moral & religious and I did so, however ineffectively, in compliance with his wishes and he said the effect would be good, so much for my residence away from friends. As it relates to the Draft lying unused it makes no difference, but I wish you could manage to have it applied to its intended purpose, and to be reimbursed from proceeds thereof all the different postages that you have incurred through me, £50 annually can never make me either rich or poor, and I can well afford it, especially towards one who claim upon me is of the very highest consideration, next to my Father I consider my Aunt Rachel as standing first amongst those to whom I am deeply indebted, more so indeed than I can ever repay by pecuniary returns, and I will thank you to say whether I shall continue my remittances or not, recollecting that I have never
for one moment lost sight of my pledge, if my life be spared to reimburse all outlays made by the Society for her agreeable to your statement thereof, please to make extracts or read to her such parts of present letter as you conceive may be pleasing to her, or conducive to her acceptance of continued annual remittances or the presentation for payment and employ of the draft last forwarded.
The Cholera has fortunately not reached this end of our Island, as it appears for the present to have discontinued its ravages, as it has not been felt this season in any quarter of Cuba, but if Providence thinks meet to afflict us here, I shall be found at my Post amongst my Negroes, and if I be fated to fall I shall do so in the performance of my duty.
I have letters from Ohio as last as June, and all were doing well there, except half brother William, Physician, his health was very bad and I have invited him out here to endeavour to aid in its reestablishment.
Do I remember my Cousins Margaret & Abby Watson? How could I forget them? I was received in their Mother’s house and treated with every kindness when I was I may say a desolate orphan, and I recollect well both of them, and making battle in their defence when escorting them home, please to give my very best love to them and say that it affords me real pleasure to hear of their well doing and that although a peaceable man and nearly 50 years of age, were I present with them I would willingly now do battle for them as a man were they one or both insulted, as I was ready and willing to do as a boy.
I said that the £50 draft were not the product of negro labour, it is entirely distinct from the Commercial House that I hold and govern 350 Negroes who I believe sincerely to be better lodged, fed, Clothed, & taken care of than the Peasantry of Ireland and most assuredly more attached to their Master than the Peasantry are to their landlords, and it is not a particular case of good treatment as
the same is general, with exceptions I admit, but not with more exceptions than are generally found against all general males. This day is the Sabbath, and from necessity about 80 are at work, I see them from my desk, but they are at work willingly, and by contract, the head Commanders receiving at the rate of two dollars, the ordinary Commanders at the rate of one dollar, and the common fieldhand at the rate of half a dollar pr day, to be paid on demand in silver, and food and clothes of course found them. I was much pleased with the Specimen of [Such?] ingenuity, never trouble yourself about the cost of postage it never troubles me, and I am always pleased at the receipt of any remembrance from my natal soil. You see I have written you a long letter but I shall not promise always to write so fully for I am as you observe kept very busy in concluding I once more repeat write me often I am glad to hear from you.
Your afft. neph.
James J. Wright



List of contributors

Kerby A. Miller
Patricia Miller
Giselle Gonzalez Garcia
Margaret Brohony
Cristian Sanchez


James Jenkinson Wright
Martha Wright
Jonathan Wright


Sophie Estate, Santiago de Cuba
New York City, United States
Dublin, Ireland

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