The Worland Family in America and Beyond

I began my life in the Puget Sound area of Washington State, on an island filled with forests and wild rhododendrons. I was separated from my Worland family there at an early age. Recently, I was reunited with my family and learned of my heritage. And so, this journey to know my ancestors began. The Worlands, Gideons, Newtons, Conards... they were the colonists, the settlers, the pioneers. They fought in the American Revolution, the War of 1812, the Civil War. This is their story, and the story of a nation. -Deci Worland MacKinnon

Sunday, July 5, 2009

1817 Letter to Wales

October 14, 1817- A letter sent from New York from David Jones, a joiner by trade, to his wife in Wales:

'This is the best place under the sun for earning money; but hundreds of men here kill themselves by drinking. A man who keeps himself sober will get respect and a job, and the best wages you can imagine. I shan't be pestering any of you on that account. Hundreds of people came here last year very poor, and many children, and not a trade to their name either, and on this account they become a burden on the state. They have room here for everyone to get his bellyful of food without begging from house to house. It's a very poor look out for the labourer here; but men on the land get land on credit immediately and pay when they can. But a little money is needed to start clearing the ground ... From the beginning cultivation here has almost all been done by newcomers. The people of the land are wild Indians; they live far off in the country, living by fowling and hunting wild beasts, and coming with skins to sell to the merchants. They are the inheritors of the land, but they sell the lot to great men, and get very little for it. These in turn sell it to all who come to buy'.

'There is every sort of religion here, and first rate chapels. 1 saw 28 Baptists dipped on Sunday morning every one of them in white gowns. There is great danger of fire here on account of the greater number of the Houses being built with Timber. There is more freestone here than of any other kind of stone; plenty of white marble; and plenty of bricks only labour is very dear. The Americans are an uncommonly clever people. You never saw anything like their kindness to strangers. I can earn as much money as I want. No one need work more than ten hours a day here; eating our breakfast before going out to work and begin to work at 7; knocking off at 12 and going back to it at one; and knocking off at six. There's a good place here for small jobs and ready money; there is a dollar for shoeing a horse. But people always take care to grumble, the Welsh worse than any. There is too much small change for drink; the best rum at a shilling a quart English money, and all other liquors at similar rates. This is a land that ruins its inhabitants, and that on account of its fruits. The women lose their teeth before they are twenty years old the greater number; men at 45 years old look very old; there are here no old people to be seen. They commonly ruin themselves with drink. It is a good place for fowling: every sort of fowl to be had...........................................

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