Immigrants Diary, 14 year old writing

Social Studies

Immigrants Diary


April 17th, 1842 – I have finally heard and confirmed the news that I would soon leave my beloved home, and move to the mysterious United States of America.  My father says we will have a better life in the new country, and will not have to farm every day in the dirt and mud, sweating in the hot sun, mosquito’s whizzing by our ears picking at our skin; just for a little food which evaporates quickly since my family consists of me, my father, mother, and of my three other sisters all of young age. But unfortunately, I never minded the work of picking the crops and harvesting the grain for dinner, so I know that that will be something that I will most defiantly miss when the time of moving finally comes. My father also says a reason why we are moving is because he hates the king and queen and their policies, and wishes for a chance to visit John Tyler, and hopes to someday become the president of the new country, but like that will ever happen.  I know that when we move I will miss the long bumpy fields of green grass, scattered by sheep and wild roaming animals, the paper white clouds prancing above me unleashed wildly in the deep baby blue sky which could shed a tear in my pupil almost instantly if stared to long enough. I will also most defiantly miss my home; the small wooden cottage consisting of a door, windows, and shackles atop the merry grand hill overlooking the whole valley which seems to expand longer and longer as the gravel road goes too far for any human eye to see. I know this land, my loving home will be changed when I finally move to the new country, but the time will bitterly be soon, as my family has finally begun packing our luggage into our carriage.

June 23, 1847 – My family and I have finally made it to the docks of the grand ship we are boarding after weeks and weeks of riding across the beautiful country side in our carriage. When I first saw the ship made of soggy lumber, torn cotton flags, splintered steel posts, I could tell from the spot that the experience would be nothing but in brutal steerage. My family and I took our bags from the trunk of our carriage, bags filled and compact with clothes and valuable belongings which we wished to keep forever, and made our way across a wooden plank, wobbly like the grass in the midst of a storm back at home, and positioned ourselves upon the poop deck, (yet it did smell like cow manure and puke). The captain and other passengers leaned on the railing as if expecting a dream journey in paradise to the new country, but what they expected was much worst. At about 6:30 when the sun began to settle under its bed covers, everyone ran to the bottom of the ship to get into a good spot to sleep. My family all split up onto different sides into the corners of the lower decks of the ship, with me ending up sleeping beside a scraggly bearded, beer smelling man of large size, arms coated in naval symbolic tattoos, and who slept with a beer bottle rested upon his lap. Sleeping beside the smelly man was torture; I panted and rolled around the bottom of the man-made cotton cocoon rigorously, my ragged shirt sticking to my sweaty chest soggy from the human h2o leaking from my body. At the end of the first night I quietly positioned myself down to my emotions in my uncomfortable soaking hammock, and tried to hear the sounds of the waves smacking the ocean, and listened to the quiet rocking of the ship as if Poseidon himself was in bed snoring in the abyss below the boat. At that moment I decided was the best to write this entry in my journal, as it’s the only time when I can escape the chaos of this crazy ship.

July 14th, 1847 – I see my family rarely during the chaotic nights in the non-cozy corner in the back of the ship, but upon the deck of the ship is way worse than some uncomfortable sleeping conditions. While too sick to stay in my sweat congested hammock to rest, I am forced to lay scattered upon the splintering wood on the deck of the ship, looking as limp as a non-moving circus puppet against the wooden railing, while puke leaks from my dry mouth and slides left to right on the wood floor as if it enjoys it tremendously. I am sea sick from the words of my mother. The horrendous smell of my puke lurks the floor of the poop deck as if was a low early spring fog, and my sneeze congested throat burns like the steaming potatoes of the kettle, as the water is too dirty to enter my throat. I lay curled around my blanket in my hammock on the ship, my hand hanging off as if it were a dead animal non moving for weeks, while my stomach churns to the left and right rocks of the ship as we have been through some rough cold, rainy, and windy storms in the last couple of weeks. I can’t eat any of the urine colored soup and bark tough bread, which gives me the only other way to escape my hunger, and that, is sleeping. The pain to become a non moving dead like object is unimaginable. My eyelids glued to the dark layers curved and arched beneath my shallow green eyes, while they shutter and flicker like the buzzing of the midnight fireflies alarmed from the howling coyotes which howl and frighten. My mother and father don’t have much time for me as much as they used too. They are forced to focus on the little ones, more hungry and tired than me, but I don’t mind it, and the happier they are the happier I am. Though me and my family have fought through blistering winds, and needle rain, our captain has finally announced we are days from the arrival to the United States of America.

July 28th, 1847 – We live in a grand city called Boston. It is located in a state called Massachusetts says my father. We have lived above a small bakery shop for the last couple of days now, and it is a completely different habitat which I am now forced to live amongst. The noise of the other Irish immigrants mixing with other Italians and Americans gives me fragile headaches as the window is always cracked open because of the tremendous heat and sun which gleams through the dusty windows. My father works in the bakery below our small apartment and gets a normal wage of 20 pid a day, and my mother works at the nearby factory by the water shedding the feathers of the chicken and also getting 20 pid. My family besides me absolutely loves it here. They love the modern music, the large machines and factories, the feeling of always being around company and the small though of living in the future.  But I would rather prefer the company of mountains and animals more than the company of loud, obnoxious, drunk circus like Americana living in a putrid smelling pie hole which my family calls home. I don’t really know why or understand why we had to move away from Ireland, the only trouble we were facing was the rotten potatoes and that’s about all. But I am forced to live here in Boston, Massachusetts and the happier my family is, and not living in poverty, was almost all I wanted to have in mind.



About goplayintraffic

My Blog, which began as a mommy blog and turned into a writing website,, is the product of my years of being home with my children and trying to find ways to keep myself sane. I have always had this feeling, coming from a single mother, that I have to contribute financially and that I have to be able to take care of myself and my children. having been married, being a NYC school teacher, having four children, living in Newtown, CT and trying to find a way to get through each day with a smile has always been something I've strived for. My stories, articles and poems will do a lot of things but mostly make you feel. I think that is what is so wonderful about having the ability to write. I have been given the gift of taking my emotions and transferring them to written word. Once that is done, I can share those words with others who may feel better, maybe just for a moment, but better nonetheless having read my words. I am glad you are here and hope you will stay:)
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