January-July 1843

The Collected Letters, Volume 16


TC AND JWC TO JOHN GREIG AND ALEXANDER CARLYLE ; 17 June 1843; DOI: 10.1215/lt-18430617-TCJWC-JGAC-01; CL 16: 202-204


[17 June 1843]

I write at present to request a very special favour. A Brother of mine, Alexander by name, whom I love much, and am very sad indeed to part with, is about emigrating to America. He is a farmer, of the race of farmers; a man in no wise destitute of due specialties for farming; who nevertheless, like so many others, finds it a too unprosperous enterprise in this heavy-laden country; and so, after many years of hesitation, decides at length that he must go and try the business under new conditions, on your side of the sea. He has a wife and family of young children; he is still in the vigour of life (two years younger than myself); a man of short stature, but of robust force of muscle, impetuous energy of character, exceedingly expert, shifty and adroit in all kinds of rural and miscellanious labour; he will have I understand, some £500 clear money when he reaches your coasts: with these capabilities and the impartial sky over him, and the impartial earth under him, he must do the best he can! I believe I may venture to add that he is a man of real integrity and veracity; of deep affections, true-hearted honourable spirit;—intrinsically a bit of good Annandale stuff, with perhaps far more of faculty in him than has ever been developed, or in this world is ever likely to be developed now. But your neighbour Mr Clow1 knows him well, and can give a more impartial account, tho' he also is related to him, being cousin of his wife.

My Brothers first aim was towards Upper Canada, but I have advised him to take Canadagua by the way, and pause till he have examined there. Mr Colman, whom I have consulted on the subject, votes emphatically to the same effect: my Brother determines to do so. He hopes to sail by the Ashburton line ship in a few days, and may reach New York probably within a month after this letter. In three days more I suppose he may be in Canadagua. He is writing by this Steamer to Mr Clow; will hope to find a letter from him lying in the Post office at New York. I will give him a Note of your address with my signature to it, in his pocket. If there be any furtherance, guidance, or honest help you can yield this Brother of mine in the present trying state of his affairs,—I only say it will be about as true a service done to me as one man can do another. There are few wishes more ardent in me than for a blessing on this Pilgrim and his wayfaring!—Mr Colman fancies he might find some temporary occupation, lease of a farm, charge of a farm, or other convenient means of duly investigating Canadagua for a year or so till he saw where to settle. This also seems to be my Brothers own notion. But I have already said enough. If there be any opportunity of helping, you on the spot will know best what opportunity,—and on various grounds I persuade myself, you will not be slow to use it. And so &c


My dear Alick I pray heaven that the above letter will make your difficult way somewhat smoother for you—I am sure that Mr Greig is a most kind-hearted man, and for old affections sake will feel strongly disposed to serve you. Nevertheless, in this world one's best help must lie always in oneself—as you and I and every one of our standing, with any grain of sense in his head, cannot have missed to perceive— — God go with you, and bless you wheresoever you go— I might say many things—sad, and encouraging both—but all that I might say is best summed up in those three words God bless you. I will always think of you with affection and hope that you will do the same by me.

Jane Carlyle