These letters survived untouched in a small wooden box for more than 100 years. They were rescued from that silence by one of Donald McGilp's great-great grandchildren.
Donald McGilp writes to his nephew Malcolm Campbell in Quebec (Canada East), telling him about the death of his wife, Nancy McLachlan. She and Donald had married March 1817, in North Knapdale. The letter was, apparently, never mailed.
Malcolm Campbell was the son of Dugald Campbell and Catherine McGilp, born in 1814 when his parents farmed at Druimnangall, in the Taynish Estate of Inverneill. His parents were married in 1813.
Alphabetical listing of People mentioned in letters
Letter #04: A Letter of mourning, from Donald McGilp, June 1855:
To Malcolm Campbell,
I take my pen in hand to right to you this few lines, to let you know that we are all well at present; hoping and wishing this will find you in the same and all the rest of your friends. I received your letter which makes us happy to hear that yourself and your mother and all the rest of the family in good health at that time.
I am going to let you know about the death of my Dear Dear wife, which, she Died in the month of October last, and her sickness began like the tooth ache and we send for the Doctor 3 times and he came and drew about 10 of her teeth and she did not get better till she enter to eternity; and I send a letter to the old country to Donald Paterson, Fernoch Knap, and I got answer from him, and he mention in his letter that your uncle Angus Died in October last, that he went to Kilmichael Fair in good health, and in coming home, he felt himself sick and he was only one week in bed, and his wife Ketty Shaw died about a year and a month before himself and his family remain still in Balure Caloshid and doing well, as they have good times, they can pay their rents easy enough, and he told me that the potatoes was rotten the year, and for all that, they able enough to pay their rents, and I am going to tell you about myself and the family, I am keeping my health torrab(?) I am going about every Day but I am not doing no work. I am feeling the time so long after the Death of my Dear Wife.