1849 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT LETTER HANDWRITTEN BY A NEAR DESPERATE IRISH IMMIGRANT BEGGING FOR ASSISTANCE FROM A FELLOW COUNTRYMAN

By: RICHARD J. O'FARRELL

Price: $1,295.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a super, historic, original 1849 manuscript letter handwritten by Richard J. O'Farrell, addressed to James Bell, care of Abraham Bell & Son, Merchants, in New York City. The 7-1/2" x 9-5/8" or so one page stampless folded letter has blue "BALTIMORE/Md." postmark and blue "5" in oval rate handstamp dated at 241 Ann Street, Baltimore, Md., March 2, 1849, deals with Mr. O'Farrell an Irish immigrant who, like many 1000s of other Irishmen who have come to America to escape the awful times created by the potato famine, desire and seek work. The addressee, James Bell, was the son of Abraham Bell, (1778-1856), a prominent Irish born merchant in New York City, who had an extensive import & export shipping business, especially in shipping cotton to England. In 1844, the firm became known as Abraham Bell & Son. During the potato famine of the 1840s, they transported thousands of immigrants from Ireland. The writer of this letter, Richard J. O'Farrell, was an Irish immigrant, probably one of those who Bell helped bring to America. Great content, in which O'Farrell writes of his inability to obtain employment in Baltimore, noting that "there are plenty of Emigrants here upon the same errand equally unsuccessful owing to the depression of Trade", and complaining that even the Irish-American "Hibernian Society" provided no help to him. He was unsuccessful in getting a berth on a ship bound for California and the Gold Rush: 'but there are only 5 vessels leaving from Baltimore to California, and all the Seamen, Cooks & Stewards are shipped from Sailor Boarding Houses, and he can't afford to stay in one of them. He hopes to get a berth as 2nd Cook on the Barque "Vernon", as Captain McKay promised him the job if he got his compliment of passengers. He begs James Bell to do what he can to save him from "ruin". Here are some more snippets: "Up to this moment I do not see the slightest prospect of obtaining employment here, notwithstanding that I have exerted myself in every possible way necessary to its attainment. There are plenty of Emigrants here upon the same errand, equally unsuccessful, owing to depression of Trade just at this period. Having received no answer to my advertisement, I called on H. Jenkins, Esq. of the Hibernian Society, who, altho' seeming willing, has not got it in his power to render me any assistance. Messrs. Gough & Kough say they will be obliged to discharge some hands on tomorrow for want of work to keep them going. There are only 5 vessels leaving here for California, in each of which I tried for a berth, but without success. Seamen, Cooks & Stewards are all shipped from Sailor Boarding Houses, wherein they charge 3-1/2 & $4 p. week for Board, whereas I have agreed to pay only $2-1/2, & even that is totally out of my power. Under the foregoing circumstances, I respectfully hope you may be kind enough to advise me as to what course I must take to support nature, as I may expect no quarter in a strange Boarding House, especially as the poor woman who keeps it never gained anything by me. If Captain McKay, of the Barque Vernon, has got his compliment of passengers, he promised to take me under such circumstances as 2nd Cook to California, but if not, anything else you can do for me in addition to your kindness upon every occasion will be gratefully acknowledged as the means of saving me from ruin, upon the brink of which I now stand..." The letter has small paper loss at top left edge, and a small hole and tear at bottom left edge, neither of which affect the text of the letter. Overall G+.

Title: 1849 ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT LETTER HANDWRITTEN BY A NEAR DESPERATE IRISH IMMIGRANT BEGGING FOR ASSISTANCE FROM A FELLOW COUNTRYMAN

Author Name: RICHARD J. O'FARRELL

Categories: 19th Century Ephemera, 19th Century Manuscript, Books and Manuscripts General Overview,

Publisher: BALTIMORE MARYLAND MD, 1849

Book Condition: Good

Type: Manuscript

Size: 12mo - over 6¾" - 7¾" tall

Seller ID: 0002401

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, RICHARD J. O'FARRELL, JAMES BELL, CARE OF ABRAHAM BELL & SON, MERCHANTS, BALTIMORE, MARYLAND, CALIFORNIA GOLD RUSH, IRISH IMMIGRANT, IRISH-AMERICAN, HIBERNIAN SOCIETY, MEN SEEKING EMPLOYMENT, AMERICANA,HANDWRITTEN, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, AUTOGRAPHED, AUTHORS, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, KEEPSAKE, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, PERSONAL HISTORY, ARCHIVE, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNAL, LOG, PRIMARY SOURCE, FIRST HAND ACCOUNT, SOCIAL HISTORY, PERSONAL STORIES, LIVING HISTORY, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL,BIOGRAPHY BIOGRAPHICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL AUTOBIOGRAPHY PERSONAL NARRATIVES