John Nevin formerly lived in the townland of
Kilmoyle, four miles north of Ballymoney, on the road
to Portrush. At the time of the 1798 rebellion
he was a captain in the United Irishmen. He went into
hiding following the collapse of the rebellion, was
supposedly smuggled through Coleraine in a barrel and
fled to America where he died in 1806. Some of his friends
were tied to cartwheels and flogged and a few were hanged.
Many of their properties were burned down. His brother
James, the recipient of this letter, had returned from
America and no charge could be made against
him seeing he was abroad at the time.
10 April 1804
Happy in an opportunity of writing and now embrace
this. Your last favour I recd in less than two weeks
from this date. I have also seen a Mr Stewart from the
Garden a few days ago on his way to Natchez, who left
Ireland in November last and informs me that troublesome
times are not likely to be over yet. Oh! that I could
have you all in this country with the value of your
property. Here I enjoy equal rights and privileges with
the Governor and I am an equal companion of our first-rank,
whilst you must pour out your purse to Landlords and
whipers-in and your hat in your hand at the same time.
You have desired to know my business in the Indian
Nation and also in Charlestown South Carolina. I went
down the Tennessee river with a boat laden with flour
and a number of other articles which I sold to the Indians
and bought steers off them, and after stall-feeding
the oxen, drove them to Charlestown, and just now am
awaiting the arrival of a boat I have bought to go down
the river in and expect to go in three days. No doubt
you think it is a dreadful business trading with the
Indians but you are entirely misinformed respecting
it. You expect that we, who go there, must have Indian
wives. True, the white men who live in the Nation have
mostly red women but that is their pleasure. I have
my license from the Agent of war for one year and I
can come and go as I please without either woman or
man, or with what company I see cause to take along.
I had intended being home last spring but it was out
of my power. But God willing I shall see you all this
one coming. I am sorry to hear of so many of my countrymen
being confined and some executed but the permissive
will of God must be done. You are under the rod of affliction
in a high degree and Oh! that it may be sanctified and
improved. You must await with patience your deliverance
(if not come before you receive this) it is fast hastening.
You complain of a declension of religion in me which
I may, with shame, acknowledge in part, but such religion
as we have here none of you have ever seen. I was yesterday
at a Sacrament (and exercise as they call it) but not
so bad as some other meetings I have been at. We have
them here for days as if dead being struck down; Others
break into the greatest raptures of prayer, the Minister
being obliged to quit preaching; and at their meetings
you can see them dancing, running, jumping, jerking
and twitching like a person in a violent convulsive
fit. With praying, singing, and shouting glory glory
as loud as they can bawl, and wringing and clapping
their hands and such conduct as is rarely seen in religious
worship, and I wish it may be by the direction of Heaven.
In my present attempt it is as far beyond my tongue
and pen to describe as you may think I am beyond anything
you have ever seen, and although it hath alarmed me
yet I cannot approve of it as God is a God of order
and not of confusion.
We are now in this country under a real Republican
Government and the best in the world and have got into
possession of a new and extensive country which Ireland
would not be a garden to. The river Tennessee goes down
South into it and perhaps I may visit it before I return.
My situation in life is not changed yet, and what is
still worse, no appearance of it. As for my health thanks
be to God alone I have never known (I may say) what
it is to be sick one hour. If you receive this in time
and it is in your power please send me some linen this
season that it may be an addition to my stock in going
Please remember me to Brothers, Sisters, Cousins,
and their Families, Mr Steph Hunter, Mr Rodgers’
Family and Loughconnely people and all enquiring Friends.
Please make my apology for not writing as the distance
and few opportunities puts it out of my power to write
I remain your tender and ever affectionate Brother
(John Nevin is an ancestral cousin of Nevin Taggart.)
Anne Nevin - March '06
I'm wondering if this John Nevin could be a past relative
of my husband Robert Nevin who was born in Coleraine
His father and grandfather were both Samuel Nevin.
Would be interested for any information you can give
Nevin Taggart - June 05
According to the Ellis Island Records, John and Samuel
Nevin emigrated from Newtoncrommelin in mid-Antrim.
Some of these Nevins still live in that district.
Amy S Princess - January '05
I believe I may be a direct descendant. My Great-Grandfather,
John Nevin, came to America with his brother Samuel
in 1906 from Antrim, Ireland. They hooked up with their
cousin Alexander Marshall in Wadsworth, NY (Livingston
County). In researching Alex, I became aware that he
came from Portglenone, Ireland.
Can anyone help fill in some of the blanks?