This letter was published in Manx Advertiser Jan 15th1827. It has been reprinted several times, including in Manx, Isle of Man, History of Manx People who came to America. It was probably the first letter William Tear had written - a second letter also exists. In Thomas Tear's account he relates how they acquired the land whilst waiting for a canal boat.
A man from Ohio came along inquiring of the passengers, if any of them wanted to buy land. This man was Ellakim Field, the builder of the old Concord Furnace. He was on his way to New York to contract pig Iron, also engage a man (who was the late Jonathon Stickney).to run his furnace he had Just built. My father took his address, and afterwards bought the land on which I now live. He led us to come to this place. The land was $325. an acre, a high price for those times. Better land could be bought, long after, right beside it, for $250.
Geauga County, Township Leroy, State of Ohio Nov. 18 1826
Dear Friends and Relations in the Isle of Man,
We have taken this opportunity of writing to you these few lines, hoping they will find you all in good state of health, as we do enjoy at present; thanks be to God, from whom all blessings ow. We have reason to be thankful for his conveying us into a good country, where his blessings do ow in such a manner that the people in the Isle of Man will not believe.
Provisions are cheap, and fuel is for keeping a good axe, and the carrying of it to the house; and wool I count it the same price to a body that works for it as it is in the Isle of Man one pound of clean wool for one day's work, or a bushel of wheat, or lbs. of butter, or lbs. of cheese, or lbs. of sugar, and sometimes lb, or a bushel of kidney beans, or bushels of oats, or one bushel of rye, or lbs of beef, or mutton, or pork, or a bushel and half of onions, or bushels of apples, or dollar in money, we mean the labouring class of people; for tradesmen double, and a blacksmith or a tailor, are or fold; and a man working for a day, or a month, or a year, he is counted the same as any other one of the family, for here is no parlour boarding, and there is no one called master, or mistress, or servant they will not have it said they are either master or servant, but a free people, and ready to stand to arms for freedom, and liberty, and religion. Ho! my boys, this is the place!
And at every Sunday there is a Weslyan preacher preaching and praying; and the place that we live on, and in the neighbourhood, on the one side all Methodist, and on other side Baptist people; and the Ranters have meeting every Sunday, and every Wednesday in the second house to ours, and old Methodist every other Thursday in the second house on the other side; and about half a mile distant, and about a fortnight ago, the Ranters in that place did hold a meeting that did stand a few days and we compare these meetings to Lovefeasts, for all the members rise up one after another to tell the goodness of the Lord to their souls, and the work of the Lord, working in a glorious, melodious work of salvation. And you did speak to us while we were with you about bears and snakes, that it would be very dismal when you rise in the morning to find a bear lying by your door side, but the people here think a blessing or very lucky, for the skin will bring a good price, and they will dine together but we have seen none: but snakes we have seen four or five. Judy found one, and she put a foot upon each end of it to kill it they are about the size of whip lash; and if they happen to bite, it is very easy cured; and the people will sleep in the woods, without fear or doubt, and we are preparing to sleep in them too when the time of the trade of the sugar work will come on, for we have got vessels for the sugar work; and we wish some of you would come, to be here in the beginning of February, to help us. There is mills and dyers all sorts plenty enough, but you will not venture to come to enjoy the blessings that are here; and if you will engage to come, you will let us know in your answer; and we heard nothing of Philip since we left Liverpool, and if he had wrote home will you let us know all about him, and where to direct to send him.
You will bring all sorts of cabbage seeds and beans and leeks; and bring no carpenters tools, nor saws of any kind, but bring the tools you have got; and you will bring us one of the Ranter's small hymn books. I wrote to you on the th July last, stating that we had a good passage to this place. We arrived here on the the 5th of July. Father and all of us endured the journey well; he is much pleased with the country, thinking it far better than ever he saw before. The gun you gave him, though formerly in the English service, is now in America, almost daily killing game, that is plenty in our plantations. A lot of acres most excellent land for dollars acres of this land is improved. The gentleman of whom I purchase is Eliakim Field hath numbers of thousands of acres which he will sell at a price that is low enough. Any kind of mechanics can get for his service a dollar per day, many of them cents, and the blacksmith cents the day; coopering is a good trade; tailoring is a very good they have dollars for such a coat as James Quine made for me. Work is plenty; I got employment the next day after I arrived. Thomas Kelly do well, and in fact any person by industry and get as rich as a Lord in a few years. No mistake about the richness of the soil and healthiness of the climate as much so as the Isle of Man. I shall and recommend any person that can get away, to move to this place; there is water carriage from New York to within miles of my farm, expence only £1 4s The Yankeys are as good neighbours though and not proud and haughty as has been said, as some of those we left in the Isle: they are kind and hospitable people.
Cha lhias diu smoinaghtyn dy vel sho breg, as nah abbyr shiu arragh dy vel screwnyn ta'd breagagh; agh ly vel ny reddyn foddy share; cha vel shiu goal array shen-y- fa tarju.
So no more from your friend in Ohio.
Please to direct to me, Geanga County, Township Leroy, State Ohio, North America, Eliakim Field to his care. I shall continue to advise you to move to this situation of country; it make no odds whether a man be rich or poor, if he can get here. Advise all to come, and do them a favour they will ever remember you for it. Give them directions to go from New York to Albany to Buffaloe, and from Buffaloe to Grand River Ohio; I am 8 miles from there, the people will direct you to my house. So no more at present; and remember us to all enquiring friends. (Unsigned) [Written by William Tear]