Catherine Cochrane to Thomas Macky(Endorsed Received September 2nd)
13th March, 1850
My dear Thomas
Many thanks for your kind and welcome epistle which I received on this day month, with an apology from Rebecca for perusing it. She said they were all so anxious she could not avoid doing so but that she only read them some parts of it. I hope I'll be there to receive the next myself. I thought I would have been in Carnshanagh before this, and only that I have not been able to wear my boots with chilblains for the last three weeks I would have been there.
You will be glad to hear that dear Rebecca has presented John with a young daughter on the 25th of February. She and baby are doing very well. Sarah had a note from her yesterday, she intends calling the child Margaret Cochrane. Your mother and Mary Alexander were with her and your sister, Dorcas, has been with her for the past two months (she says you would not believe how useful she has been to her). I hope I'll be able to be with her shortly and try to make up for my neglect to one of my affectionate sisters, as I can call them nothing else. They all try to see who will be kindest to me, or most attentive, and I may justly say the same of their good men. Sarah has also a fine little pet, about two month's old. She is called for me; the other two children are still as fond of singing as they were, indeed they are the most engaging little women I ever saw. The girls are still with Mrs McC in Derry. John has been very busy this past week getting potatoes set. I heard today that there were more potatoes set this year than ever had been before. If that be the case what will become of poor Ireland if they fail next year I do not know. We have had enough of starvation and disease. If it is the will of God to give us the potatoes again I think in a few years Ireland would be better than ever it had been. Provisions were never cheaper (at this season of the year) than they are at present, but the needful very scarce. The last time heard from Ann's husband the children were well but Joe still continues to be delicate and not able to attend to any business. God help her, I do not know what will become of them.
I suppose you get all the news about home from John, William and your mother. I believe she does not like the idea of going out. I am afraid such a long voyage will not agree with her. Dear knows it is too much of a good thing if it could be avoided but I suppose we can't help it. I have got no news worth writing so I'll bid you farewell for the present, hoping soon to hear from you. With kind regards to Mr & Mrs M, also a large share to yourself in which S & J unite, believe me to be
Your affectionate cousin
PS I have just seen some of the gold which came from California by post today from Archy Boyd, who has been there since July; he gives an awful description of it and says he would not advise any person to go out.