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John Macky to Thomas Macky

(Endorsed Received December 10th 1851)
30th July, 1851

My dear Thomas
    I sit down to write to you after waiting for months. In the first place expecting you home and then from your letter of the 18th December, stating that you would not be home but that you would write in January with instructions for our passage. That prevented us from writing sooner.
    We are all, thanks be to God, in good health and working hard for Lord Templemore. Inch Man Dougherty is gone to America and I get the hill farm which caused me to have a great deal to do this season betwixt Kilfennan and home. I have forty acres of corn, eleven acres of flax and seven acres betwixt turnips and potatoes. I had a good deal of trouble in getting in the crop but thank God my crops are all looking well. We have tried the potatoes. We have a fine appearance but there is great talk about the failure in many parts of the country.
    You will see by the papers that I have both my farms advertised for sale since the 15th of June but no sales as yet, and how to manage we do not well know. Land is getting of less value in this country, the people are all going to America. Emigration has been greater this year than any previous year and the landlords themselves, as well as their tenants, are going down. The Carnshanagh people are all well and Miss Cochrane is still living there. Joseph Alexander died in June last and Mrs Alexander and family are still living at Rosehill. Old Joseph Cochrane and his wife came home from America in the latter end of summer. They live in Derry with Miss Cowan. Mrs Samuel Cochrane of Chrislaugh was last Thursday put into the Derry Asylum. She had been very poorly for a long time.
    John received the printed paper that you sent but thinks it would be a great uncertainty for him to go without getting a call from the congregation as the place might be filled up when he would go there. We have made up our minds to go to you provided that we can get our properties sold. And I trust you are all happy and in good health.
    As regards James, I suppose he has given up all thought of having any more correspondence with us, but we trust that he and his family are happy and well. We thought to have had another letter from them but we have heard of none that has come from them. We hope soon to have letters from you all and God grant that there may be good news from you all and that you are contented and happy all together.
    My dear Thomas, we were all greatly disappointed when we received your second letter stating that you would not be home as we were in great hopes that we would have the happiness of seeing you here. I trust we will live to meet in this world yet. We have been far the last three months every day expecting the letter that you were to write in January but have never got it. We would certainly be glad if we could get our places sold which would enable us to go to you. I trust we will, but should we ever get our properties sold we could not be ready to go before the spring, though it should not be so favourable a time, having so much crops and everything else to dispose of. Had you come you would have seen the great exhibition in London which they are coming from all countries to see it and from what we hear it is well worth their whiles as it is the most extraordinary ever produced in the world before. William Macky of Gallaugh went to see it and a great many from Derry have, and are going.
    I was glad to hear of Mr Baird getting himself and family so comfortably fixed. He was a very fortunate man getting his farms sold at the time he did, and getting to so fine a country, and certainly there is nothing like going to a new country in time to be comfortably fixed.
    I cannot help thinking many a time what has changed James so much or what offence we have given him that prevents him from writing to us. Surely he must be greatly changed when he is so ungrateful as to neglect the parents that always loved him most dearly, and still pray to God for the happiness and welfare of him and his wife and family. My dear Thomas, I hope you are contented and happy, and when we hear from you I hope we will be enabled to fulfill your wishes in everything as far as in our power and that we will get all our matters arranged to enable us to get out to you.
    And now your mother and William and Dorcas join me in love to you and James and Ann and family, and Thomas Baird and Mary Ann and family, and may God bless you all and grant you every happiness and comfort is the sincere wish and heartfelt prayer of

Your ever affectionate father,
John Macky

PS Mr Thompson and all your old acquaintances are well and always enquiring for you.