No, I have not lost count!
My last post was Letter #9 and I am sharing Letter #11 out of sequence as Letter #10 contains some material that may be disturbing for contemporary readers. I am delaying the post until I have consulted with others and decided how to present it in a sensitive manner.
This current letter was written by John Kaine to his Aunt Bess in Ireland on learning of the death of Mr. Mease in Ireland. Though always a well spoken (or written!) man, John has outdone himself with eloquence this time in his effort to console his beloved aunt when he says, ” Oh Dear Aunt let us at once seek after that peace of God which passeth knowledge so that our death shall not be without hope of an everlasting union in the realms of everlasting bliss with those loved ones who are gone before“
11 Kaine Letter April 25, 1863 Transcribed from the original by Kerrin Churchill January 2, 2020
John Kaine to Aunt Bess from Dungannon, Ontario Canada to Freshford, Kilkenny, Ireland/Written on lined paper, maybe a school book
It was with Sincere regret that I learned by your last letter an account of the death of Mr Mease. My father came to my place 2 days after I received your letter and words cannot express his Sorrow for his death but Dear Aunt it is but another warning from the Almighty disposer of all things to us telling us louder than words of the shortness and uncertainty of time . Yes it is a it is a Loud call to us to prepare to meet our God, prepared or unprepared we must one day stand in the presence of our God and at that meeting we shall see our beloved pastor, Oh Dear Aunt let us at once seek after that peace of God which passeth knowledge so that our death shall not be without hope of an everlasting union in the realms of everlasting bliss with those loved ones who are gone before. May this be our happy fate is the burden of my daily prayers. My Father stopped until Saturday last. I took him home and Eliza came back with me. I think she will stop a week or two. I was at James on Sunday both he and Charles are well. We are all well at present though there is a great many complaining through the Country this spring though the winter was very mild.
Dear Aunt I hope you will forgive me for delaying this so long. I would have written immediately only I thought that I would answer yours in person. I tried very hard this two weeks back to get in my money but did not succeed. If I had to get it in I would be on my way by this time, You say that you will come here if I advise you so to do. There is nothing that would give me greater pleasure than to see you once more and I am sure that not only me but any one of us would be but too happy if you would make our place your home. Thank God we have all enough to eat and to drink but there is one drawback to my advising you to come here is that everything here would be so Strange to you and you would be away from the Society and endearments of your youthful days which I would be afraid would make you feel lonely and perhaps wish yourself back again , I say I am afraid that such would be that case though for my part though I would like once more to see my Native Land I would not if I got lb200 a year go back to spend my remaining part of my Life in Ireland though I would like it perhaps as well as anyone that ever left it, but we have a freedom of thought and action here and an opportunity is always open for any one who has any talent to improve it and put it in practice. So Dear Aunt if you think that you can part with the endearments and associations of home and can make up your mind to part with them forever then come as soon as you get this and if you let me know I will meet you in Quebec and no one will give you a heartier welcome to the land of my adoption than my humble self. I hope as soon as you get this you will write immediately and let me know how you are situated and what you are determined to do. If you have made up your mind to come to Canada come by one of the Line of Stemers which will bring you in less than two weeks. Hoping that this will find you in good health and that you will give my kind love to all enquiring friends
your afft. Nephew
The Reverend Mr. Mease appeared to be a close friend of the Kaine family in addition to employing Aunt Bess. I was curious to know more about him but I found only one other bit of information in my research beyond his obituary: MEASE. March 17, 1863 in Cavan, at the residence of his brother, DOCTOR MEASE, in his 56th year, the REV. JAMES MEASE, late Curate of Freshford, Diocese of Ossory, and second son of the late DOCTOR MEASE, of Strabane.
The other information indicates that Mr. Mease was an active member of the Kilkenny Archealogical Society and published an article in 1851 on “Castles in the Freshford District”. It was of interest to me that as humans we are always curious about what came before us! In looking into the history of Mr. Mease, I discovered he too had a fascination with history.
Link to the article for the historians in the audience: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25489801?seq=1#metadata_info_tab_contents
As outlined in previous posts, Aunt Bess worked as a housekeeper for Mr. Mease, the vicar of St. Lachtains Church in Freshford. With the loss of Mr. Mease, Aunt Bess may no longer have her position at the church and could think about joining family members in Ontario. She was clearly considering emigrating as John gave her strong encouragement to come though recognized that she might miss her friends and “endearments” and would have to “part with them forever“.
John Kaine highlighted the dilemma of many immigrants who must make the choice to never return to their “Native Land” but gave Aunt Bess a compelling reason for leaving behind what is familiar to set out for the unknown in a new land, “but we have a freedom of thought and action here and an opportunity is always open for any one who has any talent to improve it and put it in practice.“