April 9th, 1804
Hello to you my dearest brother. I'm writing down these words to you because I have been pointing to write you another letter about are life here in America. I have delayed, but certain news prompted me to write and inquire for the truth. I've just heard tale that bold Robert Emmet is now lying low in the grave. Tis a shame for such a brave man to fall. I'll say a firm prayer for him before I lay to rest tonight.
Now you remember the reasons for my leaving our dear old isle, good brother. The crude making of our old thatched farmhouse in which we lived had always suited you, but I was never one for such forced poverty. The crown had no right to steal from us, though you may disagree. You surely remember my reaction when those burly soldiers of the English army came breaking in our door. Father was shot dead and Mother screamed in pure horror. I did not think it right to stand by and watch, and it earned me a fine beating from them, indeed. I had to leave that terrible purge, brother, though I know you'll not ever forgive me.
Here life is different, John. There are no soldiers to ram down the front door, no wicked tyrants this far west. I may even own my very own rifle! I knew it would be so when the sailors told me of America, brother! I had reasons for leaving home and these chances of a fair life were part of them. The tensions in Ireland were strong, and my heart longed for freedom she could not provide.
Of course, the trip had been a trying thing for us all. It had been a dark, dank place beneath that boat. I was wealthy enough to have fair treatment for the most part, as opposed to those poor indentured families who huddled despairingly together. I count myself fortunate as I often watched them fight and scramble over meals. Many of the children and old grew ill and passed onto the mighty God's judgment before land was ever sighted. My hear wept for them, but now I am glad. They have found a land of freedom and one that cares for their needs. I could ask for no more.
I now live in on a small farm with a young boy named Role. I found him scrambling and fighting for scraps by the docks soon after I landed. Yes, I do suppose that even America has orphans. Adopted him, I have. He helps with the animals and plowing. Often I take him into the dainty little town a few miles from our home. I buy my seed and tools at the town store and go to Mass every Sunday at Father Rostropovich's church. I've been told he came from Russia a few years back. He's good with the boys about these parts. Food is aplenty and joy is everywhere here, John. I wish you'd have come with me.
Berk Tunders is a trader who comes every month. He claims to have killed four bears with naught but his hands. The bartender, one Mister Cringly, proclaims him mad as he pours out the fire water. Role goes to school and it's many the time I've been given an ear about his behavior by Miss Daily. She also comes from Ireland, but says that it doesn't matter and that Role will still have to behave. I also have a new friend by the name of Morgan. He comes over every Friday night to celebrate life with a fine jug of the good brew. I happily join him in his songs and sometimes tell a story or two of my own.
I told you I was a farmer, John, and by that I am. But there's a few times I join the building squads and help raise houses and shops. One day our town will be a city, by that I promise you. Role sometimes acts a messenger around the town and sometimes to our neighboring villages. He's a handy boy and it's not unusual for Pete the blacksmith to call him over for help. We're both payed well for our pains, but I can't help but miss the old isle.
I know you think I have no right to lament for the old country and you may be right. But it's in my blood and it's not coming out. So I've been meaning to come back over and pay you and the family a visit once again. I'll bring Role and a few gifts for our sisters.
Well, now I must go dear John. May God and Our dearest Lady bless you and watch over old Ireland in these dark days.
Your Brother Padraig.