James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba, to Martha Wright, 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_L13






James Jenkinson


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba, to Martha Wright, Dublin


Kerby A. Miller, Patricia Miller


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba, to Martha Wright, Dublin


Santiago de Cuba December 30, 1838
My Dear Aunt
Martha Wright
Owing to the position of the L. Perrotin in Kingston I did not receive your very acceptable letter of 10th of the 5 Mo & 9th of 6 Mo until the day before yesterday so please to direct for the future as follows.
James J. Wright Esq.
care of Messrs Longmore & L’Hoste
unless the late change in the Packet be continued in which event as they touch here on their way to Kingston you can direct
James J. Wright Esq.
care of Messrs. Wright Brooks etc.
Santiago de Cuba,
this change which has had effect upon the two last packets appears not to have been published in London, our letters from England still continued to be addressed us via Jamaica even those of Baring Brothers & Co.. there were no European Mails made up direct to the Island, which ought to have been the case if the change had been regularly published which it must be if the present Packet route be continued.
I avail myself of Sunday to acknowledge the receipt of your letters already refer’d to, which contained the two halves of my draft of £50 which is all right owing to your kind attention, a letter from Brother Nehemiah of 8 Mo last passed advises me that he has written to Dublin and forwarded the necessary documents relative to affairs of Aunt Rachel his letters which bye the bye “are like angel visits few and far between” advises me also that all goes on well with all members of our family in Ohio. Father enjoying himself, and Uncle William I take it for granted giving no cause for censure as he has not mentioned him.
I am sorry to say that I cannot as yet realize my hopes of a trip to Ireland, had I done so, I would most assuredly have accepted your kind offer of the necessary room and comfortable bed, for although I did all in my power to sell Estates to a safe man, payable in 10 Annual instalments I couldn’t effect it, and in order to be eventually free of them I sold to our own Commercial House, but they would not purchase except with a condition of my undertaking the direction of the business of the firm for 4 years beginning Oct 1st 1838 which I had to agree to, so that I am again hard at it, and have very little time of my own disposal as it is a Commission house and we do a large
business to give you an idea of it our cash accounts of last year was $1,280,000 dollars and will I presume exceed 1 1/2 Millions the present, it is a fair legitimate business and as you may see a good deal about the slave trade of the Island in the Papers, I think as we are so far apart that it is well to say to you that we at least have nothing to do with it, in full proof whereof, I have only to state that I shall be British Pro Consul for this City in February next and I presume under the entire sanction of Lord Palmerston and our authorities here, I refused the Office some time since and do not accept it now for any pecuniary or business advantage that it offers, but with a view to keep the situation secure for a friend of mine, who cannot take up his residence here before commencement of the year 1840.
I think I told you that when in active business here before that I was several years American Consul indeed the present Consul obtained his appointment by and through us, the United States is certainly a great country and must be a very powerful dominion if the States do not split upon the Negro or some other question. I look upon the black population of that Country now upward of 3,000,000 as their weak point - and I see no way for them to get clear of the difficulty, Amalgamation is all nonsense, for example in Philadelphia the City
which led the ban in Emancipation one might suppose from reading that kind feelings existed towards them, and so there does as regards the upper classes of the whites, because there are no points in which their interests clash but it is different as regards the poorer classes, who you know are always the great mass of population, they entertain a much more determined hostility against the coloured than they do in any other City in the Union because their respective interests come more frequently in collision, the labour and industry of the one, is in the Market against the labour and industry of the other which produces very bad feelings on both sides, the very antipodes of amalgamation.
Though I have engaged for 4 years business I expect to be able to go to Europe in about two, say on return of Mr. Brooks who is to be absent about 18 Months and if you put me in mind of it again I shall with much pleasure procure you some insects & birds to gratify your young friend William While. I am like you no naturalist. I didn’t think when I began that I should have written you as long a letter, and as I have to enclose it I will do it in one of our Circulars thinking it would be pleasing to you to have it.
Remember me to the relations & friends, and believe me ever as always your affect. nephew.
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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