Holmes family papers  1791-1805
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Collection Scope and Content Note

The Holmes family papers consist of twelve letters written by Isabella Holmes, Gabriel Holmes, and Elizabeth Weir addressed to Nathaniel Holmes between 1791 and 1805. These letters document the abysmal economic conditions in northern Ireland and the consequent stream of immigration to the United States. The separation of families through immigration and the sense that relatives might never see one another again pervades the Holmes letters. The letters, particularly, Isabella's, are written in halting English, but provide useful examples of Irish-English dialect.

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