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Immigration and Emigration
pen and diary
Hillbillies in the White House

the diary of James Black - 1838

5 March This day was wet and warm in the morning and got bright at 12 o' clock and has since continued at summer heat. I have been three times to hear Dr. Kircham's lecture on phenology and on the 2nd I had my head examined by him in public assembly and next day got a chart of it at his rooms after a second examination. Mr. Carberry is still unemployed and still very unpleasantly situated, as his family are entirely depending on his earnings. His mind is constantly brooding over business on his own account although he has not a dollar to invest.

8 March We are very dull here at present in the absence of direct accounts from Liverpool for 65 days. No ships in port to load for Europe; two of the New York vessels from here have been taken up at 7/8 [7shillings 8 pence?] per llb for cotton to Liverpool; 8 and 10 1/2 cents, the price [of upland?] today.

12 March Carberry is again gone back to Stevens, Henderson and Adgers Hardware Store to work generally without being constantly at the books. The weather is fine and pleasant but business very dull from want of ships for Europe. A number is daily expected and ought to be in, but all ever the New York packets have long passages.

19 March John Mc Clure was taken ill on 9th with bilious colic and inflammation of the bowels and is now very weak and in a high fever and his recovery very doubtful. Doctors Scott and Dixon attend him. He is confined here and the family are much fatigued, some being up every night. The 17th being St.Patrick's day I dined at the Hibernian Society with 85, and had a very pleasant time, fine music and singing, band and piano and singers from the Theatre. S. Clarke and John Bones of Augusta came all the way to join us.

22 March John McClure is much better and the doctors have a good opinion of him. The weather warm; no ships for Europe in port, which makes the cotton business very dull. James Adger and his son William leave here tomorrow for Norfolk on their way to Europe.

28 March Wednesday. For a week past the weather has been warm, dry and hazy. A few ships have got in from Europe after long passages and much damaged. The "China" is 60 days out and not yet arrived. Large quantities of cotton bought and waiting for vessels, freight to Liverpool 1d per lb for square bales.I received a consignment of 6 cases ginghams for Duncan Morrison and Con. Glasgow, per the Thos.Bennet that will about cover the advance I have made them.

6 April The weather still keeps dry and dusty. The "China" arrived on 3rd after passage of 64 days. Horses, cows, bulls and all stock in good order, some of the pheasant fowls sold at $4 a pair. They are now busy discharging and will be ready for sea by 1st May.

17 April Larmour has got all his coal out today and going on fast with stowing his cargo. The weather is still dry and if it continues so he will be ready for sea on 1 May. He has got a full compliment of passengers, which with his freight at 1d per 1b will tell well. I am extermely busy settling my affairs before my departure for Ireland and under the hope of making a little money I am shipping about 200 bales cotton on board the "China", consigned to John Johnson Liverpool, the proceeds of 107 bales to be paid to the order of the Belfast Bank Co.

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Your comments

1 Thomas Allison from Belfast - 25 October 2003
"It is incredible to read the notes of an immigrant which shows how close we all are together as people regardless of race creed & colour. I have worked in the u.s.a. canada, argentina,bolivia, chile & now peru & the experience has been wonderful in the sense of bringing me closer to people with different cultures. i look forward to the next episode of the notes, it is tremendous to be with the immigrant & his thoughts & his experiences. tuas macailsean cerro de pasco, peru address miraflores, lima, peru"

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