James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba 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_L19






James Jenkinson


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba to Martha Wright, No. 33 Seville Place, Circular Road, Dublin


Kerby A. Miller, Patricia Miller


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba to Martha Wright, No. 33 Seville Place, Circular Road, Dublin


Santiago de Cuba, October 1, 1841
My dear Aunt,
My last letter to you was, it appears, written May 7th nearly five months ago, and as I then, if I recollect right, answered two of your kind favors together, makes me anxious for if it should have miscarried you may fear that some misfortune has occurred to me, and as I replied also to an epistle of cousin Jonathan by the same conveyance, and he is likewise silent, I am more inclined to the belief of neither of them having got to hand, and I therefore take up the pen to remedy such an event, as well as to have otherwise the pleasing of addressing you which is to me, more satisfaction.
This day twelvemonth my present association will terminate, and it is at present my firm determination not to renew it, but finally to conclude all business operations, and to endeavour to pass the remained of whatever form Providence may accord me of life in quiet & tranquility at all events, as regards the turmoil of commerce, and I shall at first proceed to Ohio to make myself especially acquainted with each position of relations there, and to have the great pleasure of seeing them after such long absence & after some stay there to perform perfectly this pleasurable duty, I shall God willing proceed to Ireland to spend some time, in the giving myself the great gratification of once more cementing those ties so naturally dear to every one it is most assuredly.
October 31st
Circumstances compelled me to break off without finishing the letter, of which the foregoing lines is the commencement
and I have been prevented for nearly a month, as you will observe from the respective date from resuming the pen during which period packets have arrived from England without a single line from you or Jonathan, and I begin to fear a calamity, as you have more than once alluded to the effects of time, but no, it cannot be from that cause from your writing bears the stamp of unshattered nerves and I flatter myself with the belief that you are strong and hearty, but sickness may have assailed you but in such event I should imagine that Cousin Jonathan will not have failed to advise me, so that I console myself with that impression that your letter must have miscarried, and I sincerely pray that it may be so.
My last letter from Nehemiah is under date April 24th at which period they were all doing well there, and father much better than he had been, Nehemiah says “I have been very remiss in regard to writing to Aunt Martha, indeed! when I think of writing to her, there seems to be so little matter here that would interest her, that the task is a hard one, Uncle William writes to his children, and gives them the current information, and it seems that were I to write, it would be but a repetition, nevertheless, I intend to send her a letter [before] long” now I think that he has a great deal more to write about that would be interesting to you than I have, and so I have told him.
You must not believe the many falsehoods that are published and have currency as regards the workings of our institutions, slavery sounds very badly but neither hunger nor cold is experienced by any, in all human institutions evils exist, and certainly in the hands of bad masters, negroes are to be pitied, but there are not many such, and in the hands of good ones they are much better off than in Africa, and are inexpressably
better treated than they ever were in the British West Indies, and probably that may arise from our having scarcely any absentee owners, whereas amongst the English almost all were so.
We enjoy peace and tranquility in this Island and expect to continue so to do, and the blessings of plenty are seldom without robberies and murders are very rare indeed, and really in this quarter I may say almost unknown [in fine] it is so easy to get the necessaries of life, that necessity never goads on well doers, how happy I shall feel if dear Ireland required no more effective police than we do, I hope and trust that the measures of the conservatives will be such as to maintain peace with you, [certainly?] they promise very fairly and I feel sanguine that all they promise will be fulfilled, or I have much dependence on their good intentions and wisdom, and do not think make a Cabinet of more talented and energy ever governed the destinies of Great Britain, that peace with other nations will be preserved. I firmly believe, how they will rid themselves of the unfortunate affair of China it is hard to [do] so if, but most assuredly the fault was with us in the origin, and the Chinese have been an handy used people in the matter, let us hope a quick and equitable arrangement may be made with them, and no more opium thrust upon them without their consent and against their express laws, I have it from one who has been amongst them that they always confessed that Europeans were more skilled in war than they, but that, that was no proof of higher civilization, which should be judge only by the proper cultivation of the art of peace and certainly the remark appears to me a very just and correct one.
I enjoy tolerable state of health
subject to occasional interruptions of a nature however not at all dangerous, and I most sincerely hope that any fear, which the non arrival of letters from you as it relates to yours may have given rise to will be proven entirely unfounded by my receiving a long one from you by the next packet.
Please to give me the number and address for Cousin Jonathan, and remember me to him as well as to all other relatives & friends.
And believe me Dear Aunt,
yr. Affte 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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