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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Patrick Flanagan - Part 4

Pat (Napa) to his Father (John Flanagan in Ireland)
Napa California January 12 1875

"Dear Father
I had a letter from John a few days ago and I am glad to know that you are all well thanks be to God I can say as much for all here. You were affeard something was wrong with us on account of not hearing from us oftener.  Bad news generally travels faster than good if anything was wrong you would hear it soon enough. John says in his letter that he had no answer to his letter from Mike. Mike says he did write a few days after receiving the letter so if you did not get his letter it must have droped. We thought here that you would have known about Nicholas from himself before this time he left us last April and went to another County he has not left the State as Johny said in his letter to me. Colusa County is where he lives now it is not a great distance from here. There is but one County between Napa and if he was not satisfied to stay here on account of land being so dear as it realy is, to dear in fact but the county is purty thickly peopled and it is close to the Market and as I have lived long enough on the outskirts Napa suits me."

Patrick seems very content in this letter.  He was a busy farmer but it seems as though he could really sit down and write a full letter unlike in his earlier years of haste.  I don't think Patrick was big on punctuation but for someone born in rural Ireland in 1834, he does express himself well.  Patrick discusses sowing grain and growing corn.

"I have sowed nearly one hundred acres by myself  the year season. Here we have different plows I use five horses in the plow and sit up all the time it is two plows in one and runs on three wheels Costs about one hundred dollars Some people here on lighter soils use four or six plows in one gang ten or twelve horses so that one man can drive four plows harrow and seeder all at the same time If I had to hire a man to help me that was thirty dollars a month gone and beside they are hard to pleas my wife would have to make pies and tart and puddings and a dozen different sort of daintys that I dont care much about myself."

Patrick also talks about Michael:

"Mike has rented a farm alonside of mine this year I suppose you would think a man busy to attend to a hundred acre by himself but Mike has this year plowed sowed and harowed airedy about sixty acres wit the single plow at that beside milking four cows and tending a dozen hogs there is a good Orchard on his place a vineyard but it is to young"

I believe Patrick is commenting about one of his children in the next excerpt:

"I think young people grow faster here than the old country. I dont know if they grow old faster I feel purty wel myself but I have a little rascie (rascal) here eighteen month old who insists that he can sow wheat if I do not ty the sack before I go to the other end of the field he will be busy at it.  he sows to thick"

Patrick signed the letter:

"Still your Son
P Flanagan"

To be continued.............

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