James J. Wright, Belmont Ohio, to Martha Wright, No. 7 Christ Church Place, 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_L28






James Jenkinson


James J. Wright, Belmont Ohio, to Martha Wright, No. 7 Christ Church Place, Dublin, Ireland


Kerby A. Miller, Patricia Miller


James J. Wright, Belmont Ohio, to Martha Wright, No. 7 Christ Church Place, Dublin, Ireland


Belmont Ohio, September 18, 1844
Martha Wright
My dear Aunt,
I wrote you from Cuba I believe on or about the first of March and I left that island for Philadelphia on the 14th of April, and was favoured by Providence with an extraordinary fine and agreeable passage of twenty days, scarcely a wind stronger than what seamen call a whole sail breeze. I arrived in that city formerly called by way of distinction "of brotherly love" as I may say, in the midst of one of the detestable riots, which have latterly changed that appellation to one more consonant to the present temper of its inhabitants, that is to say of mob rancour, during thirty years residence in Santiago, I never saw any thing a tenth, no, not a hundredth part as bad, and the apathy and indifference of the respectable part of the community to such a sad state of things, I considered more foreboding of future evil, that even the discontented and riotous spirit of the lower classes, even Friends spoke of it a good deal in the following style, "well! certainly I agree that all such acts are to be deprecated, but it
"must be allowed that the Catholic party merited punishment and the laws
"won't touch their unworthy doings," and my firm persuasion is, that while the upper order feels thus, the lower will continue to act wrong.
I had to stop a week or so in Philadelphia, and I then proceeded to New York, and Boston staying a few days in each, and then returned to Philadelphia whence after I had got through with business on the Atlantic board I started for Ohio and arrived here about the 10th of July and found father and all the members of the family in good health, and it thus continued to the 19th of August when father was very unexpectedly taken down by an attack of Apoplexy, and died on the 23rd of same, and was buried on the 25th. I refrain from entering into the particulars as uncle William to whom was
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PS: Give my best love to Uncle Nehemiah, cousins Jonathan and all relations and friends, and tell Jonathan that I wish much to hear from him to know what he has been able to do in fixing
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the genealogy of the family, and to receive from him the seal or stamps of the crest which he promised one so very long since, he is particularly indebted to me a letter and I shall look to him paying me, as soon as may
entrusted the answering of your letter to Father, and whose reply in accordance thereto, I have myself this day directed for him, gives you I take for granted, every minute detail of that melancholy occurrence. It almost seemed as if divine Providence had withheld the call, so as to give father and son so long seperated [sic], a chance of once more communing together, before their final seperation [sic] in this world, and certainly it was a very great consolation to me, to be present to close his eyes, and follow his remains to their last home.
Nehemiah's family are all of good steady habits, Joseph Dew is established here in Storekeeping, John D. who was at school-keeping has relinquished it, and is now looking about for some suitable place in this neighborhood to set up in the same line, and James D. is studying medicine at Cincinnati where he expects to take his degree of M.D. next spring, the girls are unmarried, and the two remaining boys going to school. Nehemiah is now very well off having about 300 acres of good land and a great part of it in cultivation, and he is completely recovered from the effects of his two bad falls. Uncle William is doing very well indeed, he is perfectly steady and orderly, and has near 100 acres of very good land, which he is putting in prime order by lime, and considered by everyone, as one of the best farmers in the country, his son and his son in law are both fine young men, and I may sum up by saying that I am highly pleased with his prospects of happiness. Brother Benjamin has a very good farm of rising one hundred acres, with a fine promising growing family, he is a great politician on the democratic side, and well versed in the policy of the States, no doubt he is looking out for office, having once unsuccessfully canvassed for the legislature, unsuccessful only however because his party failed, he is really a very good smart fellow, and I would not wonder to see him get in some of the high places. Brother Smithson Wright is now a storekeeper in Columbus, the capital of this State, of which city he is now Mayor
he is a very industrious moral man, and his wife is quite a nice woman, ladylike in her manners and much attached to him, and I have not much doubt but what he will succeed in life. William's widow is living with her father, she appears to devote herself to bringing up her two sons, both of them very likely boys, and she is much esteemed by all who know her. Sister Abigail left four children, one girl and three boys, they are living with their father in Illinois, and though he has attended to their education, I cannot say much in his favour as respects his business habits, for he leads a desultory life, pretty much given to the chase etc. etc. Joseph C Wright carries on the tayloring business and is a very liberal openhearted man, too much so to get along fast as regards the ways and means of life, but he is well respected in the community and has given his son a good education, and intends him for a lawyer, and I think well of the lad's abilities.
This town contains about 300 inhabitants, who are much given to the pursuit of literature, indeed there are few small villages in the States, whose population are as well instructed as Belmont, but the schism among friends, has done much evil, as respects their religious feelings & faith and I must in truth say, that in no part of this country have I seen less of the spirit of devotion than here, which is much to be regretted certainly, the buildings are generally frame, with 4 or 5 of brick, and about the same number of logs, there are now being built 5 new frame houses and taken altogether the town looks very well, and the site and surrounding district is healthy. I am now living in a small cottage, and taking my meals at Nehemiah’s, but shall move in a few days into the brick building that father lived in the last nine years, for mother has moved to Joseph C's as she felt too lonesome where she was, and she is allowed an annuity for her case, and comfort, and maintenance. I have had to give up on my long cherished trip to Ireland, and I feel it deeply, but I cannot lay down in bed, and it makes travelling a very great burden indeed, although it does not incommode me at all when at home, say when I am stationary; and especially as my mind is fixed upon proving whether
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be, so that it will be certain of reaching me before I leave this, although the cold weather should send me to the death before my contemplation period for leaving here say March at soonest if not started by the cold. J.J.W
I can stand the winters of this state, so as to make it hereafter my place of residence without suffering in health, for being now as it were considered the chief or head of the family, I should like much to fix myself down amongst them, and likewise because I have family affairs to examine into, in order to enable me with discretion to contribute aid and assistance where needed, therefore I shall remain here most probably till next March or April, unless the severity of winter cold drives me to the southward earlier, at all events you will have sufficient time to write me, and I shall live in hopes of an answer to this letter, direct to this place, I enjoy better health that I have had for a long time, I suppose owing somewhat to being clear of the care of business.
I remain Dear aunt
yr affecte 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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