Letter from Bernard McDonnell (1846)

25 Sep 1846
Letter from Bernard McDonnell in Galveston, Texas,
to his brother, Charles McDonnell, in Chicago, Illinois

My Dear Charles,

On Mrs. McD arrival here in Texas I sent on a power of attorney to you to sell my lot, and in two weeks after I wrote another letter to you to neither of which I have received an answer as yet. I am therefore led to believe you have not received either of them. I have been anxiously awaiting an answer, every mail comes in I have go to the post office but got no letter. I received some newspapers from you and have sent you some Galveston papers in exchange. It gives me great pleasure to see the Chicago papers. About three weeks ago I received a letter from Nicholas, they are all well except Peter Doyle who has hurted the spine of his back by a fall from a load of hay belonging to my mother which leaves Ellen in much poverty, Nicholas appeals to me in her behalf for some relief which is out of my power to render at present of account of my building so much this summer. I have built a two-story house 43 X 36 the lumber of which cost from $22 to $40 per thousand.

I have sent Nicholas’ letter on to Mary by the Steam Ship New York which got wrecked fifty miles from this city and lost the mail bags and nineteen passengers and of course the letter is gone. There has been above a hundred thousand dollars in cash lost on her which the merchants belonging to this place was sending on to the north. Write to me as soon as you receive this and let me know whether you have received the power of attorney or not, in order that I may send on another to you if that has been mislaid through the post office. I have been expecting the money for the lot before this to lay in my winter stock. It would be of the great service to me at this time as I have laid out the most of the cash I had on hand in the building. My calculations were made that I would have the money by this time and that was the reason that I lost no time in sending on the power of attorney on Mrs. McD’s arrival so that you would have the whole summer to make sale of it. You will therefore see the necessity I’m under of selling as soon as possible although I do not want to make a sacrifice of it. I want it to sell for whatever any lots in the neighborhood is bringing or near it.

There is nothing of any importance from the army. They are on the march to Monterey and every vessel passes by here from Orleans is crowded with horses, mules and army accoutrements of every description.

Mrs. McD sends her love to you all, remember me to Ed Cosgrove.

Your affectionate Brother,
Bernard McDonnell

Mrs. McDonnell requests of you to let her know how Mrs. McDonnell and all the children are. I received a letter from Mary some six weeks since. She and husband are well.


Contributed Feb 2004 by Eileen Johnson

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