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Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath September 24 1845
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Title: Transcript: James Magrath Jr to Charley Magrath September 24 1845
Identifier: 2005.1.119.22
Donor: Geoffrey and Kathleen Sayers
Item Date: 1960-1970
Creation Date: 2011
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A double-spaced typewritten transcript of a letter dated Credit P.O. 24 Sept. 1845 from J.M. (James Magrath Jr.) to his brother, Charley, in Ireland. James starts about difficulty in missing the mail and attempting to get his letter to Boston and New York and trusting Charley will receive the letter he wrote to Lorenzo Weld, the papers, and a letter from their father which he gave to Lee who put them “safe with the P. office, Montreal”. He mentions their case with Dean who will be out of jail the 5th of next month, no one having coming forward to post bail. He says “Anna & I went up to the Cottage & packed up John Munn's things to go to Scotland”. He also mentions Tom's trip to Kingston, Montreal, and New York. Tom “is living in a private boarding home with D. Paterson, who is very attentive to him”. A case of rabies is mentioned. On the 18th there was a dreadful thunderstorm and the lightning struck a tree by the Cottage garden fence & knocked it to pieces. James Jr. says “Our potatoes are the best in the country, but thank God we had a fine lot of crops this Fall. The banks doing nothing yet, and money very scarce”. The reverse of the pages is printed with stock market graphs.

Reverend James Magrath and his family emigrated from Ireland in 1827. He left Ireland hoping to secure a prosperous future for his family. Reverend Magrath became the first Rector of St. Peter’s Anglican Church in what was then known as Springfield-on-the-Credit. The Rev. worked diligently to serve the needs of both his family and his congregation. The family cleared the 700 acres allotted to them and built a home and farm which they called Erindale.
James Magrath Jr, was born in 1807. As James matured he became a dominant economic player in the local community using connections that his father had made. James, along with the Magrath family in general were accused in a libellous pamphlet by Joseph Dean, of a number of nefarious deeds including opening mail, stealing wood, price gouging and seducing a servant girl. Charges were later dropped. James never married. He passed away in 1868 at the age of 60.
Charles Eneas Magrath was born in 1809. He served in the militia with his brothers. Charles began his career as a local merchant in Streetsville. In 1844 he travelled back to Ireland to take care of the family properties returning to Upper Canada two years later. Charles married widow, Louisa Newbiggin Stanton, in the 1870’s. Charles died in 1884 at age 75.
These transcripts were typed by Kathleen Sayers, wife of Geoffrey Sayers, whose interest in family history led her to transcribe original papers, letters, newspaper clippings, transcripts and research notes relating to Geoffrey's maternal lineage. Geoffrey was the grandson of Arthur Harris and Mary Harris (nee Magrath). The original documents are held by the Peel Heritage Complex.
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