March 3rd, 1770John Forstall, Kilkenny to Nicholas Forstall, New Orleans
My dear Nephew,
I had no knowledge of my brother Nicholas’ family, as I had but one letter from him these five and thirty years. He went to Martinico, and by all I could understand, he was in a very plentiful way, because he was away, and knew very well what he had to expect from the family — He came to see my father before going to Martinico, when I was at my studies in Paris. I did not see him since I was ten years old. I have sent a letter from you, which Mr. Stevenson has sent to me. He sent me the letter which was addressed to him, but did not inform me of any matter relating to you or your Brother, nor did he write where or how I could forward a letter to you. I thought it strange, and more strange that you do not date your letter, as to time nor place — a great omission in you and made it impossible for me to write to you, as I did not know what part of the world you were in, and it did fret me of your being inattentive neither to inform me where you and your sisters were, and what trade of commerce you have followed, or where, or how you are settled. I had your ‘billet’ given me dated New Orleans the 28th of this present year [sic], in which a Mr. Stevenson is requested to enquire for a family of your name in Kilkenny, in which all the Christian names of the family are wrong.
My Father’s name was Edmond — my eldest brother’s name was Pierce — mine is John — Your uncle Pierce was a Captain in the Hibernia Regiment — he returned to Ireland when your Grandfather died, and he possessed himself of my Father’s Estate, as his whole right by the laws of the land. He lived as an honest genteel man but as my Father saved nothing from the Estate, having had twelve children, seven sons and five daughters, all that he could do was to give them education and to put them in a way to take care of themselves. Your Father, to Nantes, to a Merchant. I to study Physick. My brother Pierce lived only a few years after he married Miss Keating, and left a son, 3 years old, and who is now about 28 years, and is married to one Miss Kennedy, and has four daughters but no son yet. You see he is likely to have children enough, as they are both young. He manages his affairs prudently and discretely, and has cleared his Estate, which is a fine one;but still, such were the circumstances of the family that only one son had any share, and the others were obliged to take care of themselves in the way my dear Father disposed of them — some at sea — yr father to business, and I to physick. I never received one shilling but was intirely dependent upon my profession which it pleased God procured me the end, with my own care and constant assiduity; but age coming on renders me incapable to go through the drudgery of my profession which grieves me and frightens me greatly — I loved and esteemd my Brother Nicholas, and did make several inquiries about his family, and I shall be always glad to hear from my nephew and nieces — there are but few of the family remaining, and for this reason you will let me know how yourself and sisters are, and other particulars and where they are settled. I hope they are well. I am certain your father encouraged you all in strict Honour — which I shall be gald to hear, as honesty and industry are sure principles to make you all [3 words underscored] happy. My nephew here is Edmond Forstall — I live in the town of Kilkenny — he lives on his estate at Ringville in the county of Waterford [sic]. My address is to John Forstall Esq. — Ireland. [sic] You will give my love to your brothers and sisters.
I am your affectionate uncle,
(Sd) John Forstall