James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba to Martha Wright, No. 108 Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland



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_L24






James Jenkinson


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba to Martha Wright, No. 108 Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland


Kerby A. Miller, Patricia Miller


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba to Martha Wright, No. 108 Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland


Santiago de Cuba March 25th, 1843
My very dear aunt
Martha Wright,
It is a long time since I last addressed you say 21st of October, since when I have been favoured with your esteemed letters of 22nd and 24th of August, the contents of which were perused more than once with attention and pleasure, and you may think strange that nevertheless they have been so long unreplied to, but the fact is, that the absence of one partner and continued sickness of another, has brought a very heavy pressure of business upon me, and that my health has not been as good as it generally has been, for I had a return of my old heart complaint, which incommoded me so much at the desk, that I had to employ an amanuensis, and I didn't like to address you written by other than myself, but I am now thank God for his manifold favors pretty well over it, so that I can resume the pen without difficulty, and am in no danger at all from my present state though I cannot by any means say that I am entirely well.
I observe that you date from Thomas Street, and can very well imagine to myself all your troubles and disagreements in moving, but now that it is all over, I feel satisfied that you will find yourself more content and happy than living solitary as you were in the cottage, and the rooms as you describe them are very snug indeed, and altogether I feel convinced that you did right in the matter.
Notwithstanding the aid of the result of your researches in favor of Jonathans endeavours to trace the
family as far as he could, I have not had a single line from him since mine requesting him to do so, no not a word, what is the reason I don't know have I set him so difficult a task that he does not like even to write about it? he ought in that case to bear in mind that he began it, and having set me afloat, he must try to get me safely landed if possible.

There has been a more awful earthquake on the 8th of last month, than even that of St Domingo of which you write, but we were equally as fortunate here in this as were in that, for it was not felt here at all, Guadeloupe and Antigua suffered most, and it was severely felt in many of the islands, and extended but without doing any injury up the valley of the Mississippi in the United States, and was observed even in the capital Washington. We are sincerely thankful here for the infinite goodness of Divine Providence in preserving us from wars earthquakes and all other disasters.
All members of the family are well in Ohio, but Nehemiah has felt the pressure of the times in money matters, I have had to aid him in his payments £600 Stg last month, and shall have to send him on as much more in September, to keep him out of difficulties, it is a consolation to me that even if I have been isolated from the family, that that very isolation has enabled me to be useful to them.
Specimens of birds are never put up here, that is only done as far as I know on the continent, so that I fear it will not readily be in my power to fulfill your wishes my dear aunt in that particular, yet I should be very glad to do it I assure you, I have been thinking as you speak of your happy tea parties, if I could not aid you in an occasional coffee one, with which view I have put up two half barrels of our pea berry coffee, made on the Sophia estate where I resided so many years, one for you, and one for Jonathan, and I shall forward them by the same vessel which this goes by for Swansea to the care of Captain J. Ruxton requesting him to do the needful for you as to forwarding them etc., and I feel assured that you will acknowledge that you never tasted as good coffee in your life, and I sincerely hope that you may live to drink it in good health & spirits, please to request Jonathan's acceptance of the one for him and tell him to do the necessary in writing to Captain Ruxton etc.

I am sorry that I am not able to counsel you as regards having the writing of Thomas a Kempis, printed in as much as I have never read them, and live in a place where there are not perhaps 50 people of all classes who speak english, except we count the miners from Cornwall who live at the Cobre mines about 12 miles from this, but I know well the works are much esteemed, and shall be pleased to have my name put down for 6 copies, two of them for this place, and four for Ohio, you must determine on your course by advice of those more capable of forming correct judgment than I am, and indeed it would be presumptuous in me to say a word about what I am very ignorant of.
I regret the situation of the affairs of Abby Lamb’s husband, but the distress of the times has been generally so very severe, that many of our particular friends have been carried down, for instance, my old friend Henry Shelton who had been engaged as partner with me for so many years, failed as I think I have already advised you in Boston, got insane last fall, and I grieve much to say when on his way out here last January threw himself overboard and was drowned, he leaves a widow and two children with however quite sufficient for their support - for it was not poverty that operated mentally on him.
We enjoy peace and quietness here and from all appearances are likely to continue equally fortunate for many years to come, although there is no certainty I may very safely say.
At all times greatly pleased to receive a letter from you, and begging you to jog Jonathan's memory as to writing me. I remain 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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