Benjamin G. Wright, Belmont Co., Ohio to Martha Wright, 28 Great Brunswick St., 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_L30






James Jenkinson


Benjamin G. Wright, Belmont Co., Ohio to Martha Wright, 28 Great Brunswick St., Dublin, Ireland


Kerby A. Miller, Patricia Miller


Benjamin G. Wright, Belmont Co., Ohio to Martha Wright, 28 Great Brunswick St., Dublin, Ireland


Belmont Co. Ohio Nov. 12th, 1845
My dear Aunt
From perusing your invaluable letter to Uncle Wm & Nehemiah I have determined to address you by letter - the first, by the by, that I have ever indicted to any of my Dear relatives in the land of my birth - the Green Emerald Isle of the Ocean - the birthplace of many noble, generous & brave, illustrious & warm-hearted men, & of fair, lovely & virtuous women. In addressing you, my Dear Aunt, I do not alter my mode of address as this would be species of hypocritical cant which I do most cordially detest. You have learned from others the sad - the melancholy the inexplainable - loss which we have all sustained in the demise of my Dear Father & our more than generous, brave & disinterested Brother James J. Wright. As you seem anxious to obtain all the information you can as to Dear James' journey from Belmont to N. Orleans - the resting place of many a "stranger in a strange land" - I will attempt the best narrative that I can give. Dear James left Belmont for Warsaw Ill. in company with his Neises [sic] Elmira M. Gregg & our daughter Hannah Jane. Myself & two of the children, Niles B & Artimissa accompanied them to Wheeling, where we remained two days & seen them leave for the "Turning South" on the Steamer Bertrand. Ah! little did I think as the Speedy Steamer carried its noble its generous - its warm-hearted - passenger from my anxious gaze that our last terrestrial interview was over - was closed forever - but alas! it was even so. Our adieus was destined to be last - the feelings which it excited
in my bosom were indeed poignant, but that

poignancy was assuaged by the hope- the delusive hope of another earthly but warm generous & passionate salutation. That parting scene is indelibly impressed on my mind. I had forebodings then but hope - the anchor of soul - dissipated then only to be realised in two short months. As the steamer left the landing, Dear James stood at the cabin door gracefully bowing and waving his hat to us on the warf untill the fleet steamer carried his Dear manly form beyond the ken of my bleared vision. His inexpressible feelings at parting seemed to indicate to me that dire necessity alone impelled him
to leave us; & his last muttered adieu, adieu, adieu, (indicative of his passionate affections) was continued till lost in the intervening space which was to separate us for all time. As I turned my back upon the beautiful Ohio on whose placid bosom floated a bark laden with a brother, a daughter, & a motherless neice [sic], I asked myself: "will they all be blessed with a safe voyage to their ports of destination"? The buoyancy of hope expelled all the foreboding of evil & impressed me with the conviction that it would be even so - but alas! alas! how vain are all human calculations - their failure should teach us humility & resignation to the will of Heaven. I received from Dear James prior to his death 4 letters all breathing the same generous feelings & anxiety for his two Neices [sic] with whom he parted at St. Louis being too much indisposed to accompany them, as he intended, to his brother-in-law's at Warsaw. His 4th letter from St. Louis informed me of the safe arrival of his Neices [sic] at Warsaw, in company with their Brother & cousin Joseph Wright Gregg

& that he would leave that day for N. Orleans very much improved in health. His next, & last, letter
was to Nehemiah from N. Orleans, two days before his disease commenced, stating his expectation to
sail in a few days for Cuba. During their voyage from Wheeling to St. Louis Hannah Jane, since her
return, says that her Dear Uncle James enjoyed but poor health, yet he paid the most assiduous attention to her & Elmira. Nothing was too much trouble or expence to ensure them a view of all to be seen in the great & growing cities of the valley of the "Father of Waters". Indeed that was his nature for all who shared his company were sure of his unremitting attention & warm-hearted kindness. In his death, they met with a shock increased in intensity by having been the inmates of his House & the recipiants [sic] of his generous bounty, as well as from being his fellow travailers [sic] in his last earthly voyage. That they can ever cease to venerate his memory, or appreciate his worth, is impossible if they possess but a tythe of the generous gratitude & enobling qualities of one who was beloved by all who knew him. It is reported here that Dear James spent an unhappy winter with his two Neices. If that were indeed true it would embitter all my recollections of the past winter & be a lasting cause of regret to me for having consented to let Hannah Jane be the cause of one unhappy moment to her venerated Uncle. I, however, fancy that you, my Dear Aunt, are in possession of letters from James, during their sojourn with him

which will set this matter in its true light. If they were a source of infelicity to him no one would be more likely to be advised of the fact from him than yourself. If (as I believe to be the facts,) they ministered to his comfort & enjoyment & you have an account from him to that effect, it would be a source of enjoyment to me to know it, provided you deem this letter worthy of a reply. As you, my Dear Aunt, seem anxious to know Dear James' views of religion, & as you say that they could not prejudice you against him I will give you the best information in my possession. I am clearly of opinion then that he was a Catholic from conviction. I judge from his conversation as well as from his actions. He defended with warmth & great ability the doctrines of the Catholic Church. He evidently took a pride in explaining the seeming absurdities of that Church, & he gave Hannah Jane Catholic books as every way worthy of the most serious perusal for the sake of religious instruction. I have often heard him say that the Catho-
lic Church was decidedly better calculated to promote the happiness of mankind than any other of which he had a knowledge. He must then have been sentimentally a Catholic unless he discarded all religions - which I do not believe that he did. Aside from all creeds, one thing is certain, namely: that he was proverbial for practicing those virtues which adorn & enoble his humanity, & though the tear regret at our irreparable

loss moistens my cheek as I write, yet the conviction is a & abiding that our temporal loss is his eternal gain. He sleeps on the delta of the Mississippi far, far, far from all his relatives. Ought not his dear remains be removed & laid with his dear Father's amongst hills of Ohio. This is my opinion & I am writing to his late agent in N. Orleans as to the practicability of the removal this ensuing winter. Hannah has transcribed your poetic effusion to send to Elmira, & I enclose to you dear Jane's last effort at poesy transcribed from Hannah's album, by an eldest son, as well as an acrostic of my own written in Elmira's album. At the earnest solicitation of dear James I became a candidate for nomination for the Senate of Ohio. I, however, lost the nomination in the convention by two votes. By the same mail I send you my address & an obituary notice of my dear Father's death. Hannah acknowledges that receipt of the present (they all came safe) sends her love & her thanks & promises to write. All the members of the family are well Uncle Wm is failing - He, however, looks better since the cool weather set in. He said yesterday that he would write soon & for the present sends his love. My dear wife & the children join in dear love to you, my dear Aunt & to all our other dear relatives in the "Green Emerald Isle of the Ocean"-
Believe me, dear Aunt, your afft. Nephew
B.G. Wright
Martha Wright
["out of sequence" is written along the margin of page 1]



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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