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Re: [IrelandOldNews] !! Ballina Chronicle; May 15, 1850; Letter from T.F. Meagher- part 2

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  • Ross and Lynn Humphreys
    Cathy , would you mind if we sent this item to the Tas & convict lists ? Regards , Lynn & Rss ... From: Cathy Joynt Labath To:
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 12, 2006
      Cathy , would you mind if we sent this item to the Tas & convict lists ?
      Regards , Lynn & Rss

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: "Cathy Joynt Labath" <labaths@...>
      To: "Ireland List" <ireland-l@...>; "Ireland Old News"
      Sent: Saturday, March 11, 2006 7:24 AM
      Subject: [IrelandOldNews] !! Ballina Chronicle; May 15, 1850; Letter from
      T.F. Meagher- part 2

      > ...continued...
      > Ballina, Mayo, Ireland
      > Wednesday, May 15, 1850
      > So much for a morning visit; now for one in the evening. Between
      > and four o'clock in the afternoon, two gentlemen sent a message to the
      > captain, upon which the sentry was directed to allow on board the
      > assistant-comptroller of convicts and his clerk. The marine who had been
      > specially assigned us during the voyage, informed us "The captain wished
      > see us in our saloon." Down we went, and, shutting the door, were, one by
      > one, formally introduced, as an indispensable part of the lugubrious
      > ceremony of transportation, to the assistant-comptroller of convicts, Mr.
      > Wm. E. Nairn, who had received directions from his Excellency the Governor
      > to communicate to us that he had received from the Secretary of State for
      > the Home Department instructions to grant us "tickets of leave," provided
      > that, in the first place, the captain under whose charge we were, reported
      > favourably on our conduct during the voyage; and, in the second place,
      > previous to our receiving the tickets of leave we pledged ourselves as men
      > of honour, not t o make use of the limited freedom so conferred, to escape
      > from the island. The captain having reported favourably, it now remained
      > him (Mr. Nairn) to receive the pledge. Having taken a few minutes to
      > consider the proposition and conceiving the condition upon which we were
      > receive it to be fair and honourable, I determined upon keeping the ticket
      > of leave. Mr. Nairn afterwards informed us, that each of us was to be
      > assigned separate districts of the colony- no two being allowed to reside
      > together, or within the same district even, that Campbelltown had been
      > assigned to me, Hobarttown to O'Donohoe, and New Norfolk to M'Manus. Mr.
      > O'Brien having declined to accept the ticket of leave, Maria Island was
      > assigned to him.
      > The next day several gentlemen came on-board to visit us; among them
      > the Very Rev. Dr. Ball and the Rev. Mr. Duane, both Catholic Clergymen,
      > former Vicar-General of the diocese; the latter a missionary at Richmond.
      > Their manner towards us was most warm and affectionate, and their offers
      > kind services unbounded.
      > The following morning, at half-past three, the guard boat came
      > alongside; for once in my life I was up to time and ready to start.
      > shaken hands with O'Brien, M'Manus and O'Donohoe, I went on deck. There I
      > found the captain, the surgeon and two or three of the officers, waiting
      > wish me good by. This I looked upon as particularly kind of them. But it
      > "part and parcel" to us a very poor and awkward phrase- of the amiable,
      > generous, gallant kindness we had experienced from them during the entire
      > voyage. With the best manners of the educated gentleman, they combined the
      > honest heart and genial spirit of a sailor. Our intercourses with them was
      > slight indeed; owing, of course, to the instructions imposed by the Home
      > office. But, for all that, not a day passed over without our receiving
      > new and gratifying proof that we were in the company of gentlemen, from
      > whim, despite the duty they were performing, and the prejudices with which
      > they must first have met us, we had won a sincere esteem, and I might say
      > with perfect truth, the warmest and most anxious friendship. As for
      > Aldham, I am inclined to believe there could not have been a better man
      > selected out of the navy list. It is not for me to speak of the skill,
      > judgment, and discipline with which he conducted a voyage, so long, so
      > arduous and wearying. Of such matter- of the qualifications of a sailor-
      > is not for me to speak knowing little of them. But if the amiable
      > of his heart, his gentle but dignified demeanour, his willingness to
      > any little privilege we asked for, whenever his instructions conferred the
      > power, or left it in his discretion to grant such; his pramptitude in
      > attending to whatever representations were made, and the generous
      > with which he had any inconvenience removed, or want supplied; of all this
      > can speak, for I have been made sensible of it, and, with the help of a
      > heart I trust, have learned to appreciate it to its full extent. From what
      > have just written, you will easily conceive the feeling with which I left
      > the "Swift" on that day Wednesday morning, the 4th November. It is not too
      > much to say, I left it within as deep a regret as if I had been an old
      > messmate of the gun-room for many years. One circumstance, however,
      > lightened my heart a bit as I took my seat in the boat that was to bring
      > ashore. Two of the officers had permission to go up the country for a few
      > days and they agreed to accompany me this morning.
      > Five or six minutes brought me to the wharf, and five or six minutes
      > more brought me to the coach, which was on the point of starting when I
      > arrived. The morning had not yet dawned, and hence, all I saw of Hobart
      > Town, in my rapid transit through it, was an oil lamp or two, the sentry
      > and a soldier at the gate of the Government House, the coach-office and an
      > editor of a paper, who, like a right zealous servant of the public, was at
      > his post to ascertain, the interesting particulars of my departure. I
      > my fellow travellers from the "Swift" already seated, behind the coachman,
      > and a vacant corner for myself alongside them. Away then we dashed! As the
      > morning advanced, the features of the country, gradually disclosed, became
      > more and more distinct; and after a little we found ourselves travelling
      > through a continuous scene of wood and hill, which required in many parts
      > all events, only a little water to render it enchanting. Water is the
      > the vitality of all scenery. This scantiness of water spoils the beauty of
      > this island; renders it a tame and sleeping beauty. Nor can the scenic
      > beauty of Van Dieman's Land afford to be thus so sadly spelled, in as much
      > as the foliage and grass being of a rather dull brown hue, require
      > considerable relief. Rough business it was too, for some miles of the
      > or, where there is no road at all. Between Oatland and Ross, just half way
      > from Hobart Town to Launceston, these being the two extreme points of the
      > main road, a large plain occurs. It is called the "Salt Pass Plain,"
      > includes several thousand acres of grass land, and is chiefly used as a
      > sheep walk. At three o'clock in the afternoon we pulled up at Mrs. Kean's
      > hotel, Campbelltown, and here I parted with my friends of the "Swift," who
      > went on to Launceston. After dinner, I strolled out to ascertain the
      > features, the eyesores and beauties of the town. It consists of one large
      > street in the first place; but this street has only one side to it-that
      > only one row of houses; the other side, for the most part, being done up
      > with several yards of wooden palling, a post-office, three cottages, and
      > Established Church. Having seen so much, I returned to the hotel, went to
      > bed, and slept soundly until next morning. After breakfast, I took a seat
      > upon the coach for Ross, a little village seven miles from Campbelltown,
      > within the district. Here I met _____, an Irish gentleman, who has since
      > proved himself to be, in my regard, a sincere and warm friend. This visit
      > satisfied me that Ross would be a preferable place to Campbelltown; it
      > seemed to be much be much quieter, much more secluded, and I decided upon
      > returning in a day or two, and there taking up my quarters, my friend
      > promised to look for a cottage, or part of one, for me. Accordingly, in a
      > day or two, I returned and here I have remained. At present I am stopping
      > an hotel; but, towards the end of the week I expect to move to a pretty
      > little cottage, a quarter of a mile from this, which I have engaged at a
      > very moderate rent. I am in excellent health, and right good spirits. I
      > spend four or five hours every morning and two or three hours every
      > with my books; during the interval take a gallop through the "bush" in
      > search of a kangaroo; or stroll on foot along the banks of the Macquarie,
      > the qui vive for snakes - which reptiles, by-the-bye, are very numerous in
      > this colony.
      > Cathy Joynt Labath
      > Ireland Old News
      > http://www.IrelandOldNews.com/
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