18940509 See an image of this letter, http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/vzpr-9m55


Curacao    9th May 1894


My dear Mother,

Since I wrote you last I have recvd several letters from you, the long lost 19th Feby. Did they get back the 15/1 or part of it, paid on barrel of pines? Anyway I want that charged to me – please tell Julie. Perhaps Josephy thought it best to forward them by passenger train for fear they shd go bad, which wd have been reasonable enough.

9th April  16th ” 21st ” ) {these dates are shown listed with a single parenthesis to the right in the original letter} all very welcome, – last two came just ten minutes ago. N. York steamer came in this noon & the other is just making ready to leave so I must be quick with my answer.

I am sorry Rose & Bella are leaving. They were good servants & having been in the house so long knew the ways. New servants are a nuisance & it will give you trouble to drill them.

I wonder will English travel for J. Stewart & partner. In Barbados I saw sples. they had sent to a customer of ours, but I think those sples. went into the waste paper basket. People tell me when English was here he was never sober. This is a big smash of the Belfast Warehouse Co. £ 4 per share is not pleasant.[1]

Business is bad all round here. There was a big earthquake in Venezuela & Colombia the other day, several villages destroyed, this on top of bad trade is rough on the countries. Some people say they felt the earthquake here.[2]

I can’t write very much in view of the fact that I may be starting for home before you get this. If so, – by steamer “Caracas” to N. York (Red D line) arrive there abt. 27th May.[3] Belfast say abt 10th June.

I have had a quiet time here, Van Kleunens are in mourning. So usually in the evgs. to Dr Cole’s, – told me last night an early sweetheart of his was Jenny Wright, the fat girl, niece of Rev. Andrew.[4] He comes from Clones. Mrs Cole (née Greer) is a pleasant jolly sort of person, not particularly refined, but kindly. They have three small children with whom I have become great friends.

No more this time. I hope to have a telegram in a few days.

Best love.



Customs List of Passengers arriving in New York on SS Caracas on 26th May 1894. JMcC is the fifth on the list.
Customs List of Passengers arriving in New York on SS Caracas on 26th May 1894. JMcC is the fifth down on the list.

  1. The Belfast Warehouse Company company "failed" in May 1894 with the owner, J. S. Boyd, having "overextended" himself with the bank.
  2. Likely the earthquake in Meridá on 28th April 1894. "1894 Mérida earthquake – On 28 April, a Richter scale 7.0 magnitude suffer the Venezuelan Andes called "Great Earthquake De los Andes" at 22.15 local time, shattered Santa Cruz de Mora, Zea, Mérida, Tovar, Mesa Bolivar, Lagunillas, Chiguará and other areas. There were a total of 319 victims and many injured." https://zimsen.kiwix.campusafrica.gos.orange.com/wikipedia_en_all_nopic/A/List_of_earthquakes_in_Venezuela
  3. JMcC arrived in New York on 26th May – his name is on transit passenger list arriving from Curaçao.
  4. The Reverend Andrew McCaldin, a relative of Jane's. See Index to People.


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John McCaldin Loewenthal: Letters Home from a Victorian Commercial Traveller, 1889 - 1895 Copyright © 2022 by Michelle Fink, Robert Boyd, Sarah Watkinson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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