William Macky to Thomas Macky(Endorsed Received March 25, 1851)
October 2nd, 1850
My dear Thomas
What has come of you? It is now seven months since we heard from you and at that time it was a letter to Kitty dated October which she got somewhere about the first of April. But since that we got papers from James and from what we saw in one of them we thought it likely you had gone to California, as in a vessel called The Pilgrim (which sailed from Auckland for that place). Among the list of passengers we saw a Thomas Macky. But that you would go to there without writing home, especially to Kitty who you made sure of writing in February, is what we much wonder it. And that James when he sent the papers would not think it worth his while to write is also queer, but as James has never written home since you went there I suppose we need not expect to hear from him again, and still I think if he knew the pleasure it gave us all to receive a letter from him he would yet spend an hour in writing to what he used to call his "Once happy home".
Once we thought you might come home from California but since we learned that the Pilgrim has returned to New Zealand (which information we got from Willis of London) we have given over hopes of that. And that you did not write from California, it is all wondrous strange. You are now more than two years away and I got one letter from you! Is that the frequent correspondence you were to have with me? Oh Thomas, I did not think you would so soon forget the many happy days we spent together, the confidences which we exchanged with one another and the promises we made. But no matter, I hope that your time has been better employed and if it has and you are happy and content I will be satisfied.
My father and mother are very uneasy, they know not what to think of it. And there is another whom your own heart will tell you is also uneasy. Poor Kitty. I doubt she is beginning to think you have forgotten her. She has been in Carnshanagh since May and many an anxious day she has had since, expecting a letter from you but as yet none has come to cheer her hope.
You mentioned in your last letter to her that James expected to have a ship leaving England in September but now that is past and we have heard nothing of it. God grant that all may be well with you. You talked of my father selling his places at a sacrifice and being ready to go on that ship. Times are indeed bad here and our debt is not growing any less but rather accumulating but which is greatly owing to our want of means to carry on as we ought to do.
We have been trying to sell Kilfennan which if we could get sold would put us in a better way of working, but we have no prospect of getting it sold, so that if the places would be sold now it would be at a sacrifice as I think we could scarcely get anything for Coshquin. However as there is no word of the ship it makes no great matter.
I have not a great deal of news to tell you. Carnshanagh people are all well, their family thriving first rate. Sam, John and Joe are all at school at the Burnfoot which they have got finished at long last and have got it under the National Board. Margaret Cochrane who is now eight months old is the finest child you ever saw.
Mr Joseph Alexander has left Belfast and come to live at Rose Hill, Fahan. He has had very bad health for the last nine or ten months. He is not getting much stronger. I am afraid he will never be well.
Mrs Sam Cochrane has been wrong in her mind this long time. They had her at Glasgow Asylum for some months but as she was getting no better they brought her home again and she has been no better since.
Joseph is still carrying on the Buncrana factory and is doing very well at it. He has young Joe assisting him to attend it.
Old Mr Cochrane, as I suppose you know, married Miss Cowan and went to America. They are now about to come home again! He will not settle long in one place. John Cochrane is in Melbourne. It is likely you will hear from him from that place.
Old Jack Macky of Gallaugh is gathered to his fathers. Miss Nancy is still living, I see no change in her. The others are still the same old things. William is about to leave Lisfannon. He was ejected for non-payment of rent. I don't know where he intends going-- he is a wonderful genius.
Mr Thompson has removed his concern to the lower house and is about to get into the wholesale trade entirely. His brother, James Thompson, occupies his old concern and is carrying on an extensive retail trade but still has his business going on in Strabane. Mooney is still with Thompson. He is still the same thing and appears much interested in your welfare.
I suppose long before this your Uncle and Aunt Baird and family have arrived in New Zealand. Aunt Dunn still lives in Glenlough. Son, Jack, bought the farm from her and she lives with him. The Gwynnes never wrote to her from America. Aunt Jane died on the passage of cholera. The others were all ill but recovered.
I hope that long before this reaches you we will have heard from you. I mentioned to you in my former letters that I would much like to go to New Zealand. I am still of the same notion. There is very little prospect of me being ever able to live independent here. However, I will know better what to do when I hear from you and if you encourage me to go I will go out along with Kitty. Father, mother and Dorcas join me in kind love to you and to James and Anne and all their family and may God Almighty bless and prosper you all is the prayer of
Your ever affectionate,