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This is the first of two letters on this subject that shed some light on the plight of poor John Coulter. The story has to be tracked through various documents and relates to the right to a certain clock. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to suggest that John Coulter was likely a man of intemporate habits (to use the language of the time) and had been a trial to the rest of the family for some time.
See Also: 1793 Will of John McKee
Sharon Oddie Brown, December 11, 2004.

2 St. Johns Terrace,
Auburn Street,
Nov. 3rd, 1890

My dear Mary [1] ,

I write to tell you that I am about going to New York. I am offered a situation in a solicitors office at a moderate salary until I learn something of American Law. I [entered] going on the 28 Nov. My passage will be paid by my friend. Don’t let anyone know of this my [more] not even George [2] or his [___] wife. I am very glad to let you know that communication between me & the woman who beguiled me [3] has ceased since Xmas last & that was the last time I saw her. God knows I had suffered terribly these last two years. I deserved it all!! I must have been mad, but whiskey does not enter my lips now. Glad I shall be to get away for this has been a Hell on Earth to me. I do wish I never had been so madly [templed] & hope it is not too late for repentance & I hope the new life will give me stronger courage & resolution. I have sold my office furniture & [given] it up. I called some time ago at 46 Upper Sackville [__] but could get no intelligence of the children [4] . I would wish to see them before going away. I hope they are well. Before I leave I want & wish you to get my Clock. Ellen Kennedy [5] left it in Wm. Warwick’s [6] when my house was broken up. I would wish you as my only sister to have it. This as you know an old family heirloom & valuable & would not therefore like it to be out of our family. I do hope you will take it & keep it for the sake of the unfortunate sender. If so I shall send you a letter (for Dr. W.) to give it to him requesting him to deliver the Clock to you. I hear Mrs. Warwick [7] is not better & Will [8] away from home. I have also a most beautiful book with 24 Chromo Lithographs of Windsor Castle & vicinity published in 1840 at £4.4.0. It’s now [_____] & what remains are worth four or five times this amount. I want you to have this also. It’s in pawn but I will send it to you before I leave. If you wish to have it as it is no use to me. I am badly in need of underclothing &c & my great coat is also in Pawn for 3[?] – which through distress of times I was compelled to dispense with & cold weather is now in & the voyage before me I am compelled to ask Jim [9] for a cheque for £4 to pay for above things & necessary inner clothing. For any sake send me what I want at present & it is I promise Jim the last time I shall ever annoy Jim again. Send it by registered Letter if possible. On hearing from you I shall send Jim a letter to Dr. Warwick to give Jim the clock & also send Jim the book named. I really cannot sail in the undergarments I have as they are disreputable. Do not be angry with me. I have done with all [____] in Belfast & hope never to see it again. I have got a little assistance from [___] friends. “[__] relations”. For any sake do not let any one know of this letter.

I hope you are all quite well. I trust Jeannie [10] is all right.

Hoping to have a letter in reply by return I am my dear Mary.

Your affectionate brother,
John Coulter [11] .

Mrs. Gardiner,
Annvale House,
Co. Armagh

PS. Excuse writing as I have a bad pen.

[1] Mary Gardiner, née Coulter, sister to John Coulter, children of  George Bartley Coulter & Jane Smith.

[5] Ellen Kennedy?

[6] Dr. William Warwick (1825-1902), husband of  Eliza Jane Coulter and a first cousin of John Coulter – author of this letter. Eliza Jane’s father was John Coulter, brother of George Bartley Coulter.

[7] Eliza Jane Warwick, née Coulter

[8] Possibly William Verner Warwick, son of  Dr. William Warwick & Eliza Jane Coulter.

[9] Jim? Could this be his brother James?

[10] Possibly Jane Gardiner, daughter of William Gardiner & Mary Coulter.

[11] John Coulter, son of George Bartley Coulter & Jane Smith.


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