James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba, to Jonathan Wright, 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_L35






James Jenkinson


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba, to Jonathan Wright, Dublin, Ireland,


Kerby A. Miller, Patricia Miller


James J. Wright, Santiago de Cuba, to Jonathan Wright, Dublin, Ireland,


Santiago de Cuba, May 5, 1841
Jonathan Wright Esq.
My Dear Cousin,
I had the pleasure of receiving in due course of Packet, your very acceptable letter of January 7th and if it has not been answered sooner, the omission has been occasioned by my many occupations and not from any procrastination arising from apathy on my part, for dear to me is the remembrance of, and pleasing to me all communication with, those relatives who dwell on my natal soil.
You observe that of those relatives who yet remain to welcome me on my return to the Fatherland, that years are whitening the heads of some, and causing to faulter the elastic step of others, for myself I am already passed the first effect, for my hair is perfectly white already and I now wear a glossy black wig, though it is probable that I may throw it aside in a few months, but my step continues nearly as firm as ever and I weigh about 200 pounds, at which point I keep myself by diet, as I seldom eat or drink anything but bread, vegetables, tea and water, and to your queries as to Cayenne in drink, I do not know of any here, who use it in that way in any form whatsoever, those who stimulate with us take either wine or Spirits but for my part, I conceive that all active stimulants should be avoided, unless a very old or debilitated system imperatively call for them.
I am sorry to say that, I have been forced to decline my voyage, to dear old Ireland, to that land that I love so well, at least for the present year, although to prepare for it, I was at my own solicitation disengaged from the duties of the British Consulate, and that from and after the month of October next the opportunities for the trip will be really tempting, in as much as the Royal West India Steam Packet will arrive here from England twice a month, making the passage in 19 days to and from, and my house say Wright Brooks & Co. have been appointed agents for the Company, but necessity has no law and business claims my presence here. When I do visit you which I trust will be the coming year I shall certainly visit Ohio on my way, and prepare all matters [that?] I possibly can, so as not to be compelled by my affairs to return here unless I should do from choice, and the visit to Ohio is made easy, for in October next the same Company that run the above mentioned line of Packets to England, run another line to and from hence to New York twice a month, making the trip regularly in eight days, so that this line to New York in 8 days, and New York line to England in 14 days is really quick work in travelling.
I observe what you say about your mode of life, and I have no doubt but what it may be pleasanter than mine is, though I have much more excitement, and probably on that account require no Cayenne in my drink. We have no women about our house, we live three bachelors together, with eight servants all boys, and have to see considerable company
I rise early never after sunrise and go to bed about 10 O'Clock and in all my matters and things live soberly and peacefully, as much so as many that appear straighter laced than myself.
The population of our City is about 50.000 and I think I may say as quiet a people as any in the world, few murders robberies or quarrels, indeed it is surprisingly with such a neglected police as we have, how tranquil all things are, I should be very happy to know that you were as well off, in that respect as we are, but really the news papers particularly those of London of the Conservative Party, give but a poor prospect of a quiet life in the land of "Ire" as they sometimes call it, but as the Minesterial Press give an opposite colouring to all that passes, I suppose a mean between both may be about the correct medium, and that you are neither turbulent or tranquil as either say, however I feel as I would sooner be wrong in my native land than right in any other one the conclusion is not very moral but it is natural.
I am now called to take a warm bath, and the weather itself is rather hot to continue writing as the perspiration flows to freely to make it very agreeable in dropping from your head to the desk.
At all times very happy to hear from you and believe me that I shall be punctual in my replies. I remain Every & Always
yr. loving & afft. Cousin
James J. Wright
P.S. I should feel pleased if you would furnish a regular statement of all relatives in Ireland with remarks as to their position in life, and any observations worthy of mention regarding them, as it would serve me as reference, now for instance you mention to me that I have a cousin in Hobart Town and another in London annexed to that information it would be useful if you had stated what business each followed, and whether they were advancing towards being well to do in the world.



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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