This letter was found among Rose's things and was probably handed on to her by her mother, Mary "Minnie" Healy Jensen. A discussion of the implications of the contents of the letter appears after the four pages below.
June 19, 1897
A few months has elapsed since I have last heard from you and though it may appear short still it have been to me an age it pains me to have to recall the terrible ordeal I have gone through as everyone are aware of the depression that [exis]ts at present in this country [and of] the scarcity of labour to such [a great exten]t that one find it very [difficult] to find an employment [anywhere one m]arked proof of this
My husband was idle for four months during that time without earning a shilling so that you can easily imagine how things really stood not being able to get anything to do at home he had to leave me and his children and is at present working in Wales yes Minnie we have had a tough time of it but if it stopped at that in time we could see our way out of it But no as the old people say ou[r] troubles never come alone the fact is I have been steeped [to the] lips in trouble since I h[ave last] heard from you on Janua[ry ???] after a brief illness Dan[iel? died ????.]
I thought my troubles would cease there but no it went still further My God how can I bring myself to mention little Paddy he that was the idol of my life he has also passed away and is at present lying in the grave with his grandmother the facts of the case is this about the middle of March last whilst engaged in doing some washing I had just taken a pot containing boiling water off of the fire little Paddy was just playing around and whilst I just turned me back he accidentally fell in to the boiling water and died in eight days after it often occurs to my mind that
with all the precautions I use I feel that I am doomed to disappointments so taking all this into consideration I hope you will forgive me for not having written before this I should have sent you the shamrock but owing to the trouble I scarce new what month I had though to me it will be a memorable month I am getting along at present as well as circumstances permits Dear Minnie I would feel thankful to you if you put my case before Katie & Dennie as they may be in a position to send me some little assistance Father & Batt are getting along all well thanking you and your Husband for the Christmas present you have sent me and hoping to hear from you soon with warmest love for you & your husband and little Catherine Lizzie Healy [at top:] Your Affectionate Sister, Lizzie Healy
This letter tells us, for the first time, a specific location in Ireland: Ballincollig. We don't know, however, whether all our Healys were living there or just Elizabeth. We also don't know whether she was there for a long time or for only a few months. It tells us also that pater Healy was still alive in 1897 and that Batt was still in Ireland at that time and that therefore the 1892 party to America included only Denis, Katie and Mary. It tells us that Elizabeth probably didn't read or write (as Batt and Mary did not). At least that is one way to explain the signature: "Lizzie Healy," i.e., the scribe did not know Lizzie's married name.