Being the Diary of one Thomas Kelly,
a Manxman from Jurby, one of the
early pioneers from the Isle of Man,
who made the adventurous journey to
the New World and settled with his
family in the United States in 1827.
Reproduction of actual Title Page.
At the request of many readers of the " Isle of Man Examiner," this little booklet has been printed for the more permanent preservation of a most fascinating human story of the struggles and trials of a fine old Manx family, who left their home in the Isle of plan to seek fortune in the New World.
The author of the " Journal," who was married in Ballaugh Old Church to Jane Boyd, left his farm at the Doolough, Jurby, on July 6th, 1827, along with his father, sister, wife, and five daughters, and ten other Manx people. They left Liverpool on July 8th, and were 63 days reaching New York, and 80 day in making Painesville, Ohio.
To-day there are nearly 150 descendants of Mr T Kelly settled in the States from coast to coast, the family being now in the sixth generation there.
[ Please Note - it would appear that significant parts of this journal are possibly an embroidered expansion of the original diary - the prologue and epilogue in particular are unlikely to have been written by Thomas Kelly (certainly not at the dates indicated and extremely unlikely as a retrospective action).
A photostat of possibly the original diary was deposited in the Manx Museum post war (ref MS 5200 C) and later transcribed by Stephen Miller who has published it on the web - see http://www.smo.uhi.ac.uk/~stephen/TKJnl.pdf. This document differs in many key respects from that published by the Examiner though many small details correspond exactly - missing the prologue and epilogue sections as well as changes in certain dates - the transcription also indicates that the Kelly's left the Island on the 4th July and not on the 6th (i.e. the Tynwald section could not have occured as stated) - other dates (Sept 18 not 16) also differ. The appearance of some words, eg'Vikings' which antedates the Oxford English Dictionary entry by some half century, make it difficult to believe that they date from the 1820's.
The Examiner apparently received its version from a descendant of Thomas Kelly, Mrs Mary Kelly Ames Denney of Nebraska in 1935 [stated in 1965 edition] and published it in instalments before issuing it in booklet form (that reproduced here).
In 1965 a re-edited version, together with a few historical notes, was published under the editorship of Margery West with notes by Mona Douglas - a later article by Margery West appeared in Manx Life, she has also produced a family tree for Thomas Kelly and family [ms in Manx Museum]. In neither edition of the diary publication was doubt thrown on the authenticity though by 1965 the photostat was in the Manx Museum.
I have decided to leave this version on the web but emphasise that Stephen Miller's transcript is much likelier to be the original on which the Examiner's version would appear to be based. I have marked the sections which do not correspond in the two documents in green - a separate page gives my notes on the two texts.
APRIL.--Last Tuesday night the moon being full I walked down the coast to Peel to borrow from John C a book just over from London, a JOURNAL about the Writer himself, his Famaly and his Country-which was one I had never heard tell of before. The next Night I read it through by the Firelight. Its none so wonderful neither, that Book, though we get so few new ones here that I'm always glad to walk the Island over for to see Another.
But this has made me want to see what I can do to set forth my own Country-little enough to be sure because Nobody knows much about it. And this will probably be just the thoughts I'll never speak any other Way. I will be very slow at it for its not every Day I will be able to write at all.
I heard the Vicar say to my Father once,, Your son should be a poet,, but he was mistook. I could never make Words sing in Pairs, so I will do my best with Prose and very thankful we are compeled here to have an Education such as it is and that I have the Bible and Bunyan and Shakspere for help. Poets, I'm thinking should not have to be so busy as I am neither, with the farm and my little brood of four girl-Children and Another on the Way. If only it is the Son we want, our Thomas the Third.
In this black Morning hour which is all my own I steal out almost unclothed and leap along my own worn Path and straight as the Needle to the pole I walk into the water gathering Strength for the day. The Sea is His and here we are always within sight or sound of it. Men call their holdings on land their Own but they hardly give us a Living and so, one Generation after another, we must go down to -the Sea in ships and gather in enough for ourselves and for the Trade, sailing from different ports at different times of the year for different kinds of Fish, cod and mackerel and herring beside all the shell fish nearer Shore and the other Creatures too beautiful to eat, found in the clear glassy water of many a cove and bay. Tis a fine calling, that of Fisherman, as the Master knew. We learn much more than just fishing and the signs of sea and sky. We learn each other and endurance and Courage, patience and Faith, for the Winds that bring health and food may any day bring Death to us and sorrow to the waiting Famaly
There is something almost awful in the glory of the sunsets but now I wait for the pearly Dawn and feel as if I am the very middle of it. Again I chant aloud The sea is His and He made it. No wonder the waves are Proud. And the Colours of the water and the Sky. Heaven itself could hardly be finer. This is my morning Worship. Maybe Ime a bit of a Heathen but it can't be a sin to love Nature like this. Ime only sorry for other Folks where it isnt so worthy of Worship. I can't imagine a life away from this little Island. Here are Samples on a small scale of everything that Nature can do-mountains, streams, waterfalls and glens, lakes and rivers, Fields for grazing and farming; cozy villages and plesant Towns; fine buildings and many old and ancient Ruins. And along the Coast again every variety you could Wish, from the sandy or boggy north to the wild dangerous caverns and headlands or great harbors and Bays farther south. And if folks from other lands should visit us how surprised and delighted they would be with the climate, not any other like it, they say, so healthy and so little different all the Year around. Its the Gulf Stream that does it and gives us our lovely ferns, fewshias and orchids, hedges, gorse, heather and all the rest that a man like me can't name.
We Islanders have had little wish or chance to move about but waves of other peoples, Vikings, Welsh, Irish, Scotch and English, turrible cruel, have made of this a bloody ground. We were not strong enough to fight them off. It was wiser not to try and the Winds that sweep over the Island have made it quite bare of trees big enough to make great war ships out of, to return their visits in. I have been to their coasts but was no ways wishful for to tarry and when I think what they did to us it is enough to see their countries from the top of our highest mountain, Snaefell.
When it was necessary though we have risen up against each other and the women who rushed in and helped were paid with certain rights of voting and managing their own property. It ought to be known that this isnt just the Isle of MAN
So through it all we have lived and we have a right to our pride for our Spirit was never Quite Broke
I do wish we knew the meanings of the ruins and Monuments these different folks have left behind. They say that once while Europe was in Darkness and ignorance, scholars were invited to come here to our great monasteries, nunneries and Universities with books and living free. That was what Saint Patrick and his followers did for us. A fine long Story and if it isnt true it Ought to be, for he found us Druids and left us Christian and banished far more than snakes and lizards-maybe the tails of the cats and hens, the Island needing the room for what is necessary.
Some day I would like to write here about the Vikings for if I hadent a fine book about them and if Ime not seeing every day their queer old monuments, I would have heard about King Orry who led them here, landing somewhere near this very farm more than 900 yrs. ago. "Where do you come from ? " said our people. Pointing upwards he said "I come from the North, over the Milky Way" and to us that is still the Road of King Orry. Tis a Story my little Girls love to hear, specially on winter nights when those stars seem so Near. But farther South is the finest monument ever a King set up, and again tis something the like of which is found nowhere else in the World-the little three-tiered Mount of Laws built of earth brought from all the 17 Provinces. On it for 7 days once a year King Orry held Court, having the Laws read to the people and listening to all their troubles and Sins. No wonder that for nearly 1000 years we have stood for liberty and Justice and still observe the old ceremony twice a year. There's no such Kings as Orry left, to see that if anyone made Any Murmur or Rising in His Presence he should be Drawn and Quartered. A bit severe he was but Wise too, not trying to change everything at once. He knew how much the Herring meant to us as it did to the North and so every Deemster or Judge had to swear that he would mete out Justice as Indifferently (impartially) as the Herring's Back Bone doth lie in the Midst of the Fish. Too bad there was never a Painter there to Show us that rich and splendid Scene on the open Plain between the Hills.
Torrents of Rain and little to be done out of Doors, so whilst I mend my Nets I tell the little Girls again some of these old Tales-if they have helped their Mother and have eaten their cakes and pinjean to make them strong and ruddy. Jane must be able to say too that she has not looked too often at her black curls in the little glass I brought her from Douglas. And our little redheads Ann and Margaret who love each other so dearly but will often quarrel must kiss and make up and watch our wee Isabella, so good but so mischievous
They say we Islanders are superstitious, but Nations as ancient as ours, shut in with no one to Explain things, have just used their Imagination until by and by they have said Well, Why Not, and called it Truth. And as long as the World has been it has loved those who have told them their imaginary Stories. For what is Truth itself, at all? That is what Nobody knows. To us the next World is very near, for strange Gifts and Powers are granted to many of us in proof of it and we are neither astonished nor afraid. As the Good Book says, things are revealed to us who are Babes compared with the wise ones in the big World outside. We shall not despise neither what is made known to our oldest one, who was born with a caul over her face.
Today the girls wanted to hear again how our Island came to be-how once in those days that the Bible tells about, when there were giants, one of them, the Irish Finn McCool, quarreling with a Scotch one, picked up a piece of the coast and threw it at the enemy, but instead it fell into the Sea and became our beloved Mona as we could see if we had the right Maps. I tell them also of one of our own Big Men like that, whose grave is 90 feet long and 5 wide. Then when nothing could be seen outside for the Mists, I told them of the Magician Manannan who was maybe our first King and gave the Island his own Name. A good King too, because if enemies came near he just covered us up in his Mists until they had passed us by
Tonight our Neighbors the Quayles, very excited, came through the dark to tell us how the Corletts, father and son, had just come back from the United States of America to sell their fine business at Peel and return to the wondrous new Land where is plenty for all at such a low Cost, big farms for Cattle and Sheep, great Forests of Trees for to build Houses or burn to keep them Warm. And Sugar flowing right out of the Trees or leastwise Sap to boil down for it. Fine it would be, they said, if a big Company of US could go there Together
Such great tales there w as coming out of their Mouths and my Father was the one who listened best him and my wife Jane, but her Time is almost upon her, so it could be nothing to her. I was wanting to read the new Book again and anyhow I cared nothing for their Talk. My country is Here, where I wait for our son Thomas.
Another day of the Tempest and driving Rain of Spring. How I love the Sea at such a time, but today many duties kept me indoors. My nets are not quite ready for the Harvest of Herring. But the children must ask again about the Fairies. When it rained like this would we need to put out a Crock of Water for then ? And what else could we do to make them love and help us ? Jane was quite sure she had seen their footprints in the ashes of the hearth this cold Morning. Yes, that was why she had not dusted yet. Maggie asked if the busy little Shoemaker Leprechaun would not mend and patch for mortal children if they was Very Sorry they had been Careless with their new Shoes. Ann wanted to hear again about the poor fairy Uddereek, who because he loved a beautiful! Mortal was changed into a Satyr, Phynodderee, the Hairy One, never allowed to play again with his lovely Companions, but so kind to help everybody else, farmers and fishers, working at Night and so never seen. Of course he ate the Food and drank the Milk left out for him, but when someone added a bee suit of Clothes for his naked Body, he was somehow insulted and with a wail of sorrow he disappeared forever.
Whenever the wind made a specally hollow Roar, the girls were sure the Old Man of the Mountain was warning Sailors to hurry in to shore. Ime glad if they havens yet heard about the Banshee who drives or flies around a House moaning and wailing as a sign that someone there is about to die. Tis mostly the well-born who have cause to fear her and tis long since her Voice has been heard by our Famaly, praise God.
I will not be allowed to forget that someday we are to go to the center of the Island to see St. Trinion's Church which is still a Ruin because Hundreds of years ago a naughty little Buggane had vowed that it should never have a Roof and had thrown down every one that the Builders put on it and then took off his own Head and threw that down with an awful explosion and two fiery Eyes grew in its Place. We will visit Peel also, a little ancient world in itself. But there's time enough for all that, in the long years ahead of us here.
Sunshine again-but my Father bade my Wife and me talk again about America. He thinks of nothing else, he says, and old as he is seems amazingly wishful for to go. Many's the Famalies here that bear our name but are no Kin and unless the Child that's coming is a Son there will be no enduring record of us here. He says we can sell this Place and with the money can buy in America a rich farm for each of the girls. Wondrous it must be, of course, that bright Land with Wealth and room for everybody. Jane grew more and more interested but my heart died within me and I could not speak, nor needed to neither, so excited the others are. I'll just wait, hoping and praying that little Thomas will keep us from being pushed out of the Nest.
June again. Little time to write. Father delaying the farm work, so set on selling. There's someone in Ramsey will gladly buy, so there's neighbors and kin he's urging to go with us, offering to lend or give them the passage Money.
Going out once more with the Herring Fleet, all signs promising a mighty catch. There's no such sight anywhere as the Waves fair solid with phosforescent fish that come Leaping into the nets knowing they was meant to furnish food for us and the World beyond.... It was good to walk the whole length of the Port from boat to boat, so close packed together they was.... Tis well indeed to ask God's blessing before we venture out. " Restore and contimle unto us the Harvest of the Sea," so we prayed, dropping to our knees, me adding in my mind " And let me help for many a year to gather it in."
JUNE 4th.-Something told me not to tarry and so early this morning I left the harbor and hurried north to Doolough!. There, sure enough, Jane had just been brought to bed a bit untimely of a fifth little Girl, the image of me, as if to comfort me that her coming instead of Thomas means America-and exile.
All is being settled, Doolough is sold and our Company is forming, 20 at least . . . Little Maria is fine. Her Sisters too would have liked a Boy. Would not the Fairies change her for one ? She has been christened in the little Font hollowed out of the wide stone window-ledge of Ballaugh Church where we was married eleven years ago and where Jane has been for her Churching and Communion, making an Offering of Thanksgiving for deliverance and preservation in the danger of Childbirth....
Twas only last Year that the Islanders were excited over the Famalies of Kane and Kelly, the first to leave on the perilous voyage to the New World. Now they all come to give us their Farewells, some envious of our coming Fortunes but many fearful of the sea and the dangers beyond, Indians and unknown wild Beasts.
JULY 5th.-This morning before Daylight I stole away to St. John's, for to see, one last time, the ancient Ceremonies on Tvnwald Hill and secretly to take from its lowest Round one little Handful of that earth which has seen maybe, and heard, more History than any other spot on the Island. Enough to fill a Book did I see right there today, like bits out of Shakspere, who once imagined things about the terrible dungeon in Peel Castle-How Eleanor. Duchess of Gloucester was imprisoned there for 14 years-and many others like her. Maybe its a pity the tales was not true....
Many more farewells at the Mount and then a rifle home with my neighbor Hommy Quilleash who says he will soon be finding us over there in the Wilderness.
JULY 6th.- Started from Doolough in the Parish of Jurby in the Isle of Mann for to take our Passage for Liverpool, sailing from Ramsey, the nearest harbour, largest and safest. Engaged with the Master of the John Bull for our Passage at 5s. a Passenger. Our Famaly consisted or Thomas Kelly Senior, Thomas Kelly Junior and Wife, Isabel Kelly Daughter of Thomas Kelly Senr; Thos. Kelly Juniors, Children Jane, Ann, Margaret, Isabella and Maria and also 10 others.
Late this afternoon all was ready for the start. I strained my eyes for the last glimpse but old Mannanan was wise, for down from the little mountain-tops he rolled his mists and we turned our eyes towards the new life, wondering for how many weeks we would be folks without a country.
JULY 8th.-Arrived in Liverpool. Engaged passage in the ship ANACREON of Liverpool and paid for our passage £3 16s. per Passenger. Children under 7 years 3 to a passenger.
This Ship Burthen 500 tons.
JULY 9th.-At the Mariner's Church in George's Dock.
JULY 10th.-Buying provisions for our Journey. Will sleep in the Ship tonight and until we sail
JULY 11th.-Nothing to do but looking on the Wonders Through the Town
JULY 12th to 22nd.-Waiting to sail.
JULY 23rd.-Sailed from the princes dock very calm.... 171 passengers.
JULY 24th.-In the channel between the Isle of Mann and Wales. In evening came round the Calf of Mann. Saw the herring fleet just at Night. My last glimpse.
JULY 26th. - Wind west. A sharp Breeze carried away our Slideing Giboom
JULY 27th.-West of Ireland. This Day at 6 in the Evening our Isabella died. Was but a Short Time Very Ill. We laid her out in one of our Births till Burial time next Morning.
JULY 28th.-- Our Isabella was committed to the Deep and was not Seen no more. Burial Service Read By the Captain. My Wife fell to the Deck in a Deep Swoon. A sorrowful time for parents but as she was a Child of only 2 Years we may Say with St John Blessed are the Dead which Die in the Lord;
" When the Archangel sounds his Trump
" And Souls to Bodys Joined
" Millions Then would with their Lives
" Had Been so short as Thine
JULY 29th.-In the Atalantic. Saw a Ship at Night. Thick hasy Weather
AUGUST 13th.-Several sails in sight. Thick foggy Weather. Soundings in 90 Fathoms with Sand
AUGUST 15th.-Spoke the Margaret of Cork, bound for Quebec. Out 36 days. 100 passengers. Had her mainsail carried away in the Gale which is striking us now. Tons of water pounding down on the decks, the ship creaking and groaning. now we labour in a trough of the Sea and now we try to reach the Sky. But this is a proud Ship well manned and provided with sails enough to keep us steady. But terror and among those unused to the Sea. I do what I can, often using that gift of healing which I do not understand but give Thanks for and I keep the children quiet with songs and stories
The Captain acknowledged that he had not often seen a worse storm and read prayers for such a time. " We confess that when we was safe we have forgot Thee but now we see how terrible Thou art in all thy works of wonder." Then when the winds and the waves ceased their fury as many as could be spared from necessary service united in a sacrifice of praise. " After we gave up all for lost Thou didst wonderfully command a deliverance and Thou hast showed us how both winds and sea obey thy commands. "
MONDAY, AUGUST 20th. - Calm light airs again and plesant weather. Wonderful it is to be right here when a day is Born or when it dies in the West with the moon shining above. I never was so long out of Sight of land before, seeing the Sky like a great big blue Bowl or matching the sea in other Colours. We shall never feel the same toward the Sea since we gave to its Keeping our little Isabel.
WEDENSDAY, the 22d. - Out fishing in the Jolly Boat with the Sailors. Caught None. When sounding the Sailors give the Sand to the Children so that they can say they have seen the bottom of the Sea. They are fine fellowes and have made me free of the fo'castle to enjoy their hornpipes, old Chanties and Yarns that not many will listen to. They put me in mind of our Fairie tales told so often they believe they are True, but they pass the time. These men have sailed the ~ seas. Great signs and wonders have they seen, with narro escapes from wreck and savages, from famine and thirst, wild beasts, fire, Icebergs and rushing mighty Winds. It makes my life seem very tame. But I would not change places with them
AUGUST 23rd.-A long month on the Water, but it often took that long from Ramsey to London.
I am not sorry for I may not see it again. 45 Fathoms today.
AUGUST 27th.-Sable Island in sight. Wild excitement. Singing for joy.
WED. AUGUST 28th. -Another sudden Gale and darkness. The little girls ask how- can the Old Man of the Mountains see us so far, for to sound his Horn. In the dark we near came running down a fishing Smack, but insted they rescued one of our Passingers washed overboard. I think Boats should somehow go in pairs but maybe sometime there will be ways to speak each other but not in my Time. It has come on to be a fine Night.
MONDAY, the 3d of SEPTEMBER.-Saw the Land of Long Island about 20 miles away. Several Sails in sight
* .* * * *
SEPT. 4th, TUESDAY. - Saw the Floating Light 15 miles distance from Sandy Hook Lighthouse. Took a Pilote on board. Went in close to Sandy Hook. Very dangerous here. There is Buoys to go by. Passage a mile broad with forts on each side. 9 Miles from New York came to anchor at the Quarantine Ground and was Inspected. I am surprised that there is land so Beautyfull so far from our Island. Went on Shore this evening in the Jolly Boat with the Captain and 3 of the sailors to buy Provisions. We was on Sea 43 days. We saw many diferent kinds of Fishes-Whales, Grampuss Bottlenose Porpoise, Sharks, Dolfins, Pilote fish, a fish that is not seen but near Land. . . The number of Shipping here is immense. This place e':seeds any port I ever saw. Trees everywhere
WEDENSDAY the 5th.-At anchor in the Q . . .Ground. Steamboats pass by to and from New York every hour. Grand sights to see. A ship is at anchor here with Smallpox on board. TWO men and child died. On her passage she fell in with a ship water loged, no men nor boats on board. They took of the wrecked ship sails and riggin and left her. They was short of provisions themselves but got some from a ship bound for Ireland which lasted till now
SEPT. 6th.-On shore by permission from the Doctor. Met 3 other Manksmen from on board the Indus. 66 days from Liverpool and had been short of both food and water.
SAT. the 5th.-The pilote on board at 7 in the morning with a bill of health from the doctor. Weighed anchor and sailed for New York. Passed several Ids. with Forts. Landed near Steamboat Wharf and went to Washington Market House for Provisions which sells Very cheap. The sight of Fruit trees is wonderful to us. . . Long Street is said to be 20 yards broad and ~ Miles long, more than half the width of our little Island. The buildings and streets exceeds those of Liverpool and we like it Very Well.
SUNDAY the 9th.-Thermom. 79, Very Hot, at least to Manx folks. At St. Pauls Church in the morning. Surprised to find the Service Nearly the same as our Church of England except the Prayers for the President of America, Mister John Q. Adams, When ours was for King George IV, and the Churching of Women was some different too.
MONDAY the 10th.-Our Goods inspected. We hired 2 Cars to carry them from the Ship. We were on board 63 Days. Met 2 more Manksmen
WED. the 12th.-Started in the SWIFTSURE up Hudsons River at 8 miles an hour. Paid for our passage One Doller per Passenger and - Doller for Children under 12 and 12 a Doller for our luggage.
THURSDAY the 13th. -At Albany, after 22 hours. Engaged with the Boat Lawrence to carry us up the Buffaloe Canal paying one cent a mile for grown people and -2 cent for Children under 12 and 1/2 a Dollar per cwt for Luggage. At Troy came to the Nine Locks which Rises 100 ft. before we get to the Level. The Canal divides here, one Branch goes to Buffaloe, the other to Upper Cannada. The land here is Butyfull, with threes of different kinds and plenty of Fruit. Apples floating away on the Water
FRIDAY the 14th.-At Schenecady last night eve crossed a River about 600 yards broad. Boatmen change Horses every 12 miles. They drive at the rate of 3 miles an hour. This night is Very Dark with Rain, Tunder and Lightning. There is Very Exelent Buildings of Timber on every Side. The Farmers houses is painted White with red Roofs and Cellers under them and Very Clean.
SEPT. the 16th.-Passed the towns of Herchemer, Utica, Rome, etc. Saw an Indian Hut with a Man and Wife in it. Some of the Passingers give them Tobaco which they were very fond of. Some Frost on the Canal this night. At the large town of Rochester we met Wm. Kneen, John Morrison and Wife, and Wm. Morrison, Hugh Quirk and Famaly, John Joughin and Matthew Kewin and Famaly, all in good Health and Doeth well. A Joyfull Meeting but a short one. The Boat was in a Hurry
WED. the 19th.--Lockport. . . 5 double Locks which rises 64 feet. The Canal is cut 20 feet deep out of solid Limestone. At Tonawanta there is a Narrow Lake which serves for a Canal. Saw a part of Lake Niagaria .... and the Boundry Between the United States and the British Settlement. At the Town of Buffaloe several Indians but no Buffaloes. . . On the Canal 6 days. The lake here looks like a large Sea.
THURS. the 20th.-Engaged with the Captain of the Schooner Andrew of Buffaloe to Carry us to Fairport, Ohio, Paying One Dollar a passenger . . . and 2s. 6d. per barrel for Luggage. Sailed at 2 o'clock from Buffaloe, all sail set. Fair and smooth Water on a large Lake of good fresh Water. Nothing to do when we want it but to cast down a Bucket and draw out.... 60 passengers, some of them very Sick with Sailing even on this Fresh Water. This is a Very Fast Sailor. We sail near the south west Shore with land in Sight all the way. Looks as if covered with Timber
FRIDAY the 21st.-Arrived at Fairport after 26 hours. Will sleep in the Schooner this Night.
SAT. the 22nd.-Hired 2 team of Oxen for to carry our Goods to the Village of painsville and rented a wooden House so common here for 2 and a Half Dollars per month. Will sleep there for this first Night on land in America after 80 Days from my old Habitation the Doolough in the Parish of Jurby in the Isle of Mann
Bought a farm of 72 acres . . in Concord Township ... for the sum of 800 dollars.... This IS the Ist of January, 1828.
Thomas Kelly Sr. Died the 5th of January 1828. Aged 67 years. Buried the 7th of said Month in the Painesville Burying Ground.
It tries our Faith and Courage. Out of our little Company of 19 the youngest, after only 4 Days finding her grave in the Deep and now 5 Days after we have bought a Farm, the Oldest, laid away among Strangers in the new Land he was so determined to see. . . But I can't imagine him in his Knee Breeches and fine buckled Shoes joining in the hard work which I know is before us
JAN. 17th.-Shifted to our own Home on the Farm
APRIL 10, 1830.-To-day I find this old Book begun so joyfully 3 Years ago. Shall I have the Heart to fill the rest of these Pages, and if so, what with ? We are still on the Farm but it has been too Great a Struggle and we will sell it as best we can and try Something else. For now, strange as all the Rest that has happened to us, we have the Son who might perhaps have kept us in the Island, our Thomas with Edward added as is the Way nowadays. So we have even given to little Maria the middle name of Louise. This handsome Boy, another dark one like his Mother, is a Month old today, bound to be an idol even if not the first-born
1845. - Long Years in this adopted Country, unused still to its bitter winters and long hot Summers and new Labours. Our little Island company is scattered, some doing fine. Others near by come often to see us and help us to bear things. We are Hospitable and share whatever we have, even to Sorrows. I like to keep old Memories green but Jane has cast all that behind her. She is wiser than me. The Children are wondrous Comfort, helpful and fine. Good Scholars, in School a while and then Teaching - even Me. Maria has her home with my Sister Isabella, learning Spinning, Weaving and all that. There's another Daughter, Sarah, with Isabella added in Memory of her we lost. And there's two more Sons, Frederic Henry, born in Canada where we lived a few Years. We had become good Americans too and I had begun to Vote but somehow was wishful for to be again on British soil. But back we came, finding Ohio more to our liking after all, so many Manx are settling here. So we are trying to say with St. Paul, I have learned in whatsoever STATE I am therewith to be Content. And here was born our Seymour John, bright and funloving like all the Rest and looking like None of them. It is Very interesting, this Quiver full of them. Half are like me and my Fiery heart is quietened in trying to help them wisely.
Almost a score of Years gone by. To our 8 children have been added life Partners we are proud of, Men diligent in Business, young Wives and all loyal. And before we could realize it they had begun to lay in our arms their precious little human Bundles, our fourth Generation in the adopted Country. Fine it is to be where they can all come often to see us and wondrous Good they are to us in this peaceful Country home they have helped to provide. We have failed to do half what we came so full of determination to do. They must do it instead. And so they will. And America will not be disapointed. They are my only Legacy to her. . . The unusual Labours forced upon me here have taken a heavy Toll. First my good Right Hand and now my precious Sight. America and other Countries must learn to provide for such Newcomers work that is safe and sane and suitable.
How I loved our Island and how I wish that I had known more about the things we all took for granted, things that great Scholars are beginning to read like a book.
We had Time there. How they rush around, these Americans, afraid they will die before they can finish what they have begun. And so they do die, worn out. They try to save time but what do they do with that Time when they have it Saved ? I thought it would be a Comfort in this strange Land to sing with them the Songs of Zion, but when I had put in all the Quavers and hemi-semi-demi Quavers we loved at home, I was singing alone. The rest of the Congregation had no time for anything Extra.
There wasnt much room to grow and change over there. I hadn't felt the Need of it but my Children would have. We were independent and content and none of our Race are ever Paupers. But we do like to do the easiest thing and Nature helped us. Thus our Mountains are not high. To get beyond them we go round. We do not need to Tunnel them. And so we are told that hard work and troubles make one better and stronger.... It is certain they are right here waiting for me. I was not prepared for the great Change. I trusted man too much and myself not enough. It hurled me that I must always be on my Guard. It hasnt made me nobler. Only may I keep from growing bitter and may my Children as fine Citizens learn the give and take which is Life.
Now that my mortal Sight is going I see other things more Clear. Your old Men shall dream Dreams. I thank God every day for our Island and for the pictures of it that's on my heart and brain. Our ELLIN VANNIN VEG VEEN. Nightly on my bed I sing Lustily the old psalms and hymns and think of the Home beyond where Jane has already gone. There is no Night there
In the Evening-Time it shall be Light.