Letter from Isaac to Mary Copeland Cochran
March 12th 1824
I send you these few lines to let you know that we are well and present. Thanks to God for all his mercies.
We sailed on the 27th of May 1823. The third day we got on a sandbar near Arklow. We all got bery sick except Eliza. She was sick two days. We had very high contrary winds most all the way. When we came on the banks of Newfoundland we had very cold weather. About the first of July we passed several mountains of ice. We landed at Quebec on the 5th of July 1823. Then to Prescott and from there to Kingston where we stopped four weeks.
I went to the land office at Kingston to locate land and could have done so by going forty or fifty miles back into the bush, but on being resolved on Talbot's Settlement, I thought little about it. Kingston is a very flourishing place. We next went to Little York.
The steamer we took in Kingston was bound for Smith's Creek, but at night came a tremendous hurricane and we never expected to see land again. Because of the storm the steamer took us past Smith's Creek and landed us at Little York. We stayed there two weeks for Eliza had fever and ague. When she got better we went forward on our journey to Port George, where Nancy and George William were seized with fever and ague, and Robert with chin cough.
By this time it was about the fifth of October when we had to stop our journeyings. Their sickness lasted about six weeks. It wat then too far in the season to travel. I had then to look for a place for stop till spring.
We came to Lewiston and here I found a place and employment for us. I have been hauling since November and the girls spinning knitting and sewing. We got some money, pork, flour etc. for our work. This is a new settlement and belongs to Holland Company. They sell land for $5 and acre, in a state of nature. It is good land but my mind is set to see Talbot's before we settle anywhere.
I am glad that Jane Spear has given her brother and sister so much encouragement to come, but for my part I will not encourage any more than thus far - that is you think of coming this is the time for you . The expense if brining a family here and the difficulty together is very great.
If you come bring plenty of clothes for yourselves, clothing here is dear and shoes dear, and very bad. The best place for coining money here is in the Lockport Canal. A man will get thirteen dollars a month and found, from April to November paid in cash. It is eighteen miles from where we live to the Canal. I wish you to write as soon as possible after this comes to hand and let us know of your affairs, especially concerning yourselves, your crops and cattle.
I hope you will let us know whether you applied for Mary's money or not, and if you succeeded in the affair. I hope you did. I want to know how Barney McCannies affairs went. I hope he got clear. Let us know if David Conan has come to America.
The best trade I have observed since setting foot on this land is farming-mason and stone cutting nest, a good trade. Tailors do well and I think shoemaking is not behind the best of them.
Victuals not dear; flour is sold for three dollars a hundred weight; Indian corn for half a dollar a bushel. Cows sell for ten and sixteen dollars sheep two dollars and a pair of good oxen cost sixty dollars. A man will get half a dollar for common work and for cradling or mowing a dollar a day.
I have seen some of Joseph Brown's. He lives in the state of New York within eleven miles of us and is doing well.
We live in New York state within ten miles of the Falls of Niagara on the river side, bout four hundred and sixty miles from New York City. We are not any off out of course yet -- Pittsburg or Talbot's Settlement, but this is a very cold place in winter, only for that I would purchase land here.
This place (Lewiston) is joining an Indian Settlement and very destitute of the Gospel. I am in the notion of going to Talbots to see it before moving the family out of this. If I do not see it proper to take the family there, I will purchase land here.
The Indians have a missionary preacher that attends them. I have been in their meeting house several times. They are much reformed within these few years. Four or five years back their practice was cruel. When their women got old they would burn them, and they have been rescued by white men. One of these is living here yet. The missionaries - Universalists and Methodists are what prevail here. The doctrines of free grace and predestination are foolishness to these people.
Your mother has had her health considerable well since we came to this country. We want for nothing only the comfort of you, dear Samuel and Mary. If you were here I think it would be well for you and for us. I also wish James Thompson were here. It is the only place for a young man. If you or James Thompson come, your mother wishes me to ask that you bring "The Pilgrim's Promise". If you come or not, write when this comes to hand, and let us know whether you are coming or not.
~Affectionately ------ Father
This letter was written to his eldest daughter Mary and her husband Samuel Cochrane who, with their children, were left in Ireland. Later Samuel died and Mary with her brood, eleven by that time, came to the U.S. Smith's Creek which is now Port Hope. Talbot's Settlement is now London, Ontario. Robert was one year and two months old when they left Ireland. He was born March 4, 1822. He came to live on a farm in Michigan in the spring of 1848.
His father, who wrote this letter, was named Isaac Copeland and his mother's name was Agnes Lowry - of Scotch decent but born in Ireland.
The punctuation, spelling, etc, are exactly like the original letter, so one realizes that he was any educated man.
Later, I think a few months after this letter was written, he started for Talbot's Settlement but was murdered on the way and all his gold taken leaving his family destitute. But his wife must have been a grand woman for though the children were put with other families, she gathered them together every Sunday and advised and instructed them so they all grew up good men and women.
In Isaac's family were: Mary Cochrane, Eliza (maid), Agnes Nancy Thompson, John, Margaret Gray, Susan Snively, and Robert.
With Isaac’s death, Agnes was left to fend for herself as best she could. She settled in Saint-Catharine’s, Niagara Regional Municipality Ontario, Canada, where she remained until her death in 1855. The children were sent to live or work with various other families, as Agnes was unable to care for so many children, but, as mentioned above, she brought them all home every Sunday for Sunday dinner and religious instruction.
Mary Copeland, who remained in Ireland, married Samuel Cochrane. Mary and Samuel had 11 children. Following Samuel’s death, Mary and her children made the journey across the ocean, settling at Smith Creek, which is now Port Hope Michigan. Mary landed November 7, 1848. Mary became a farmer in Michigan. Mary and Samuel Cochrane had the following children; Mary Jane Cochran (1824-1910, Elizabeth Cochrane (1826- ), Agnes Cochrane (1826-1899), Samuel Jr. Cochrane, (1834-1914), Alexander William Cochrane, (1835-1900), Margaret Cochrane, (1835-1907), Susan Cochrane (1836-1928), William L. Cochrane, (1841-1918), Isaac Newton Cochrane (1842-1916), Martha (Mattie) Cochrane, (1844-1926), Sarah A. Cochrane (1848-1937).
Elizabeth Copeland worked as a maid after he father’s death. By 1858 she had married Henry Moorehouse. Henry was a farmer in Canada. They had the following children; Henry Moorehouse Jr. 91837-1866), John Moorhouse, (1833-1900),Isabella Moorhouse (1843-1917),Eliza Jane Moorhouse, ( ), William Moorhouse, ( ), Anne Moorhouse, ( ) Elizabeth Elleanor ), Charles Moorhouse, ( ).
John Copeland (1810-) remained in Ontario Canada, working as a sailor. He married Harriet Boughton Fairman. They had the following children; Isaac Seymore Copeland (1849-1919), Susan E. Copeland (1853-1918), John Robert Copeland (1855-1882), Harriett Copeland (1860-), Charlotte Elizabeth Copeland (1863-1940), Charles F. Copeland (1867-1952)
Margaret Copeland (1814-1889) settled in Lewiston Niagara NY, where she married Colonel Arthur Gray. Arthur was born in Canada (1811-1886). They had the following children; Isaac Gray (1831-), Elizabeth Gray (1837-), Catherine Gray (1842-), Margaret Gray (1845-), Arthur Gray Jr. (1849-), Katie (1843-), Margaret Gray (1845-), Jessie Gray (1858-), Libbie Gray (1860-), John Gray (1851-), Grant Gray (1855-), William Gray (1857-)
Susan Marie Copeland (1818-1895) Married Martin Snively (1812-).. Martin was a cabinet maker. They remained in Ontario and had the following children; Adelade Snively (1843-1925), Sarah Snively (1845-1926), Mary Snively (1848-1933), Darcy Snively (1849-1933).
William Lowery Copeland (1820-1887) married Margaret Martha McNeely. William remained in Welland Ontario Canada, working as a farmer. They had the following children; Mary Jane Copeland (1852-), Martha Copeland (1853-), John Copeland (1855-), Anne Copeland (1859-).
Robert Emmett Copeland (1822-1907) was a farmer in Michigan. He married Mariah/ Maria Lindley. They had the following children; Ellen Copeland (1847-), Arthur G. Copeland (1850), Agnes Copeland (1852-), Willard Copeland (1854-), Dencie/ Harriet Copeland (1866), John Copeland (1858-), Jessie Copeland (1862-), Charles R. Copeland (1865-)
Agnes Nancy Copeland, died 3/23/1862. Nancy remained in Ontario Canada. She never married.
Next time we will look at the Grandchildren of Isaac and Agnes Copeland.