Letter from Ohio:3


This letter was published in Manx Advertiser Feb 15th1827 - it has been republished several times - this copy is from Family History Society Journal vol 11 no. 1 1989

William Tear and family had emigrated in 1826 - an account of his family, voyage and subsequent American life was given by his son Thomas Tear retold in Manx, Isle of Man History of Manx People who came to America Lake County Genealogical Society (ed L McNaughton) 1991.
[For other letters see elsewhere]

Thomas Tear gives this account of the letters written by his father

After father got here, [he] wrote back describing the state of things here and wrote repeatedly. It was father's letters, that I always heard spoken of as stirring the people up there so much. It seems there was almost a panic the next year, by a middle class going to America. It was supposed here to have been largely from the fact, that a man could get, a bushel of wheat for a day's work, In the harvest. While there, he could get about a peck of potatoes (for an English sixpence and board). People, It was said would come from far and near to hear father's letters read. Once a company had gathered, a man took the letter and got up on top of a sod hedge, and read It for the crowd.

One letter, It was said, was published In the papers. Some would come from a distance, for the privilege of taking a copy home with them. Into some of these copies crept extravagant statements, that were not In the original. And so some of those, when they came here charged father with lying. These errors were put In for fun. The next, spring so many were selilng and going to America, that It caused a stringency In money matters. How many came from there the next-year, but I have heard It was way up in the hundreds. A good many came anyway, and most of them for their good, but not all, I think. Those who were best off there, generally did the poorest.

The Thomas Kelly referred to is the Thomas Kelly who left a diary of his voyage; Thomas farmed some 30 acres in Jurby and was a trustee of Sandygate Methodist Chapel and schoolhouse built on land given by Thomas Kelly senior - hence the references.

A Thomas Tear and family together with a James Quine and family emigrated on the Curler arriving in July 1827



Leroy, Township Geauga, County Ohio, America
December 25, 1826

To Messrs. Thomas Tear, James Quine, and all those who intend to emigrate to America, also every person who is in any way concerned therein:- Dear Countrymen, it gives us a great deal of satisfaction, that you are so inquisitive concerning the means of livelihood in this western hemisphere. We received Thomas Kelly's letter about a week ago, and have returned answers to the questions therein, and also received Thomas Tear's lettter yesterday, and having previously sent a letter to Philip Quayle, and William Tear, where you will receive answers to all the questions proposed therein, and if anything is neglected in them, you may gain more information in the letter directed to Thomas Kelly. The prices of articles vary a little here as well as where you live, so you may gain information from them all. We whose names are hereunto subscribed, being assembled together upon Christmas day, in the house of William Tear, being all in good health, as are also our respective families, having taken into consideration the way of living among the lower class of people in the Isle of Man, compared with the same sort of people here, give it as our decided opinion, that a labourer can live as well here, as a man can that has from 20 to 30 acres of land in the Island, and mechanics and tradesmen equal to a great many of your farmers. Farmers can live as easy here as they may desire once they get their land cleared, they can raise all the necessaries of life here in abundance, having no tithes to pay here, only a tax of one dollar per 100 acres of land, except they live in a house valued at 500 dollars, road tax two days a year. Millers due is one-tenth for grinding. Corn-mills and Saw-mills, Founderies and Furnaces are here in every quarter, the country being so well watered, andabounds in all things necessary for the comfort and conveniences of life, and the inhabitants being for the most part a civil, enlightened, and religious society. A minister of one persuasion ascends the pulpit, when another of a different denomination descends it, - they all unite together, to make their supplications to God, and we have a meeting in each of our neighbours houses on both sides of our farm; we have not to buy coals, nor dig turff or fuel here as you are obliged to do; sugar maple is plentiful on our farm, and has produced some sugar this season already, but in the spring of the year, they make up their yearly stock. There are also a great many shrubs and herbs, which serve as substitutes for tea. Tobacco and pepper etc. etc. grow here also, and onions and leeks grow spontaneously here.A yoke of oxen sells from 30 to 60 dollars, a horse from 25 to 100 dollars, sheep from 1 to 2½ dolloars, hens, from 6 to 12 cents, geese from 35 to 50 cents; turkies 50 cents, mechanics tools nearly the same price as in the Island, cloathing a little dearer, coopers, joiners, masons, tailors, smiths, shoe-makers, etc. all can make a good living here, and we are all very satisfied that we came,to this land of liberty, and often transported when we consider how easy it is for a man to and live here, enjoy the luxuries of life; but we often lament that so many of our countrymen have not the means of emigrating here, and it would give us the greatest pleasure to see our countrymen here, and if any of you will come here, and have any tools of household utensils, which you will not get value for at home, itis best to take them along with you, except they are too bulksome, it is easier to convey goods to this country than ever before. We just arrived the best time to these western states, it being the first season the NewYork Canal was opened. You may see from the accounts of our journals, how cheap we got our passage from New York. Take no heed, nor the advice of sailors or men at home, but take the same rout as we did. You may bring spinning wheels and guns if you have any, but guns are cheaper and better here. William Tear and family live upon the farm, and have a new housebuilt, it was mostly built in one day, the logs being formerly drawn upon the spot, and 19 men, his neighbours assisted him, and cost him only a treat of whiskey. Men having property to the amount of 3 or 4,000 dollars, going riding by, would leave their horses and come and teach us how to split rails for fences. John Gowne works at his trade, and does very well; William Tear's son wrought in a Tanyard, but his father having work for him at home, he has quitted. Old John Tear says he never enjoyed better health, and says, it is the only place for old people to live In, having so good living and plenty of fuel in the winter season. Boys can get a trade here, and food and cloathing, by serving till they are 19 years of age, commencing at 10 or 16 years. The poorest man can purchase land here, landholders will take any kind of produce in payment, or work, And At the expiration of the credit, If he has not paid for It, he may just take away his crop and stock, and commence upon another lot; but If no person purchase his former farm, he may still reside upon It, do the best hand of it, and no rent or interest to pay for It. Pat. Tear and William Kelly Came to see us, and arrived at Christmas night, and were but just sat down, when we received your letter, dated September 11, And we had a joyful meeting together;they came 37 miles to see us, And talk of coming to be our neighhours. Now,we have given you all the Information we can, And we are thankful to God for his kindness shown to us, and sparing us all our health. We have not heard of Philip Tear, nor has he written to Willam Corkill, we would be very glad to hear of him. Write to us as soon As you conveniently can,and let Us know If any are for coming out this year, And how do they come on at the schoolhouse. Now, we hope these lines will find you In good health,and if we meet no more In this vale of tears, let us prepare to stand before the tribunal of God, to render An Account of the deeds done in the body. Remember us to all our relations and friends.We remain yours,

JOHN TEAR my + mark
PATRICK TEAR, my + mark


 [Genealogy Index]


Any comments, errors or omissions gratefully received The Editor
© F.Coakley , 2001