James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba, to Martha Wright, No. 108 Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland [via Princess Royal, Liverpool.]



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_L26






James Jenkinson


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba, to Martha Wright, No. 108 Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland [via Princess Royal, Liverpool.]


Kerby A. Miller, Patricia Miller


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba, to Martha Wright, No. 108 Thomas Street, Dublin, Ireland [via Princess Royal, Liverpool.]


Santiago de Cuba August 20th, 1843
My dear Aunt Martha
I received only a couple of days since, your very acceptable letter of 6 Mo 23rd for the mail steamers come here only once a month, leaving London on the 16th of each and reaching this about the 17th of each following one, so that if you had forwarded yours now before me, to Swansea to the care of Captain John Ruxton, it would probably have got to hand about the same time, for there are departures weekly from thence for this, and would thereby have saved the heavy postage that you always have to pay by mail and I shall be glad to see you avail of the opportunities from Swansea, in order to avoid such a heavy expense, unless you have some especial reason to wish that your communication should reach me early, and even then, if it be not above the mail time which I have above indicated, it is quite likely that the chance is as good from Swansea. I replied on the 5th of June, to your esteemed missive of 4mo 6th, which you style a dull one, but I protest against that sentence for it was not such, nor could anything flowing from your pen, for me be other than interesting and feelingly appreciated. I am much pleased to observe that you spend a part of your time visiting and travelling, for it will no doubt contribute to counteract the effects of a confined city residence, both in health and spirits, and I have no fears for your
safety on your trips to attend Quarterly Meetings at Moate, for I find by the London papers from the 17th ultimo - that the menacing appearance of the political horizon, at all events was not thickening, but rather if any thing clearing and although I fear much that eventually there will be strife, still I consider that O'Connell is too prudent to bring it to that issue, until he feels himself quite sure of a favourable result, which he can hardly calculate on, even after a long desolate civil war, unless England were involved in a war with France or some other of the continental powers, from which may God in his mercy keep her.

I am thankful in being able to say to you that my health continues slowly to improve for I take very good care of it, you may be sure, nor is my occupation much at the desk, I am engaged in the outdoor business as it is called, buying and selling etc. I write myself to none but our especial agents not even to one half of them, and to those who compose my social correspondence entirely apart from business matters, as you my dear Aunt for example.
What does Jonathan mean by having letters in progress for me? Is it that he lays it aside like a rod in pickle for his private use, writing some three or four lines a day by way of penance for his transgressions? No it can't be exactly so, but I imagine that I floored him as a correspondent when I gave him that unfortunate task of genealogical research, it was all his own fault too for I would never have thought of it if he had not set me going, but sooner than he should renounce writing me, tell him to give up the hunt as a hopeless one, and to let me have the pleasure of a letter from him.
I am glad that the coffee reached you safely and I feel pretty certain that you will find it good, and it is no such great supply if you only drink, what is considered coffee in all parts of the world where it
is used, except Great Britain and the United States, say by filtering slowly any given quantity of boiling water through half of its volume of ground coffee, or more properly speaking to make good coffee, one cup of roast ground coffee is only sufficient to make two cups of the extract fit for drinking, with which may be taken sugar and creme at discretion.
My last letter from Ohio is of the date of April 14 when they were all well, Father confined from the hip disease, but otherwise doing well, with a good appetite and digestion and weighing 230 lbs and upwards. I feel a conviction that if he could only move about, and employ himself as Aunt Knott does occasionally, that he might easily get along to a full century.

When you see statements about insurrection, or political or other commotions unless corroborated by me don't let them trouble you, for we have many enemies jealous of our prosperity who vainly hope to trouble our tranquility by continual drops of water in that way upon the rock. We are possibly as quiet and peaceable a population as inhabits any country and certainly throughout the entire extent of the land, no country can enjoy greater tranquility than we do with a prospect of it continuing for many years to come, and since the colonization of the island by the Spaniards, no disturbance has ever taken place, except what may be called riots amongst the blacks and very few even of riots, therefore I may say, our hopes for the future are founded in our experience of the past.
I continue an early riser, getting up generally about an hour and a half before sunrise, and get on our business ground, a little more or less as soon as I can see to read without candles, but I go to bed early, I wonder if the old proverb of "Early to bed and early to rise" will in the long run prove true in my case or was a true saying of one of the wise ones of old, that it was only after death that it could anyone of a verity be said whether his life had been a happy or fortunate one or not - but however it may eventually turn out I flatter myself with the belief that integrity and utility are conceded to me by those amongst whom I live and those with whom, or for whom I act.
I remain
My dear Aunt
your affectionate nephew
James J. Wright
[written in different hand "answered 12 mo 28th 1843"]



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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