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EXTRACTS FROM THE
DIARY OF REV. PATRICK KENNY.
From June 23, 1827, to February 6, 1829.
BY JOSEPH WILLCOX.
June 23d 1827 As weak & as lazy as possible-taking barks &c all day-If tomorrow goes off without shake I may raise my head-1 wrote to Jø Willcox, to Jerome Keating enclosing the certificates he required.
Sunday June 24-S' John's birth day. M. in my room. excessive pain in leg-this with the ague results, makes a modern Job of me. Job has long been my pattern
25th Leg & barks leave me as a rag in a paper mill vat
26th I am heavily sick, & upset with my leg-God's holy will & not mine be done.
July 2d M. for s' of M" Jo Gartland-Peter Johnson came out on Saturday p. m. who gave me an account of mock attempts at Election in Wilm" church on Friday last-postpon'd it seems to Saturday next.
Cash to John Walker for his work at all our pews, doors &c -$27.-50--and cash to his Son George for work at my side
board in my big or kitchen room 2..00—in all $29.-50-I guess the whole expense of 10 pews, 14 doors, locks keys &c &c-lumber bill, board, whiskey &c cannot be less than $80..00-All clear'd at my private cost-grat!
July 4th Tho' Betsy, & sweet Patk & John Tomiso, all off to Wilm" 4 of July Frolic
At 4 p. m. M' Wall came in full gallop (Irish stile) for me, saying that Terence Brady was not expected to live; he was wounded by a too sudden discharge of a cannon to which he was attach'd as a volunteer. Another lad of the name of Wyat, a pump borer, attending with T. Brady, was also mangled-M' Wall got my Bully & Dborn—I started (nearly as ill fitted for the road as poor T. Brady himself) Before I got to Tho' Graves's I was wet to the skin with a heavy gustslower. I drove on, got to M' Wall's is toll gate from Town -There I beheld a victim indeed of nonsensical Artillery parade. The head, the neck, the breast right & left, the stomach, flanks, &c were perforated in 30 or 40 spots; the left arm broken between elbow & wrist, the right leg injured-in fine the spectacle, only for my duty would have been too much for me.
my entrance he seem'd quite insensible. I annointed him & was about returning home when I was inform'd that he had spoken. I return'd-I found him sensible, prepar'd him, laconically, for the viaticum. I administer'd it to him & got into my Dborn. When I was on my way to Tce Brady, Thos Farry & cart were at D' Lafferty's, when I was returning home, they were there still, & striving to get Patt Haw into the cart, as drunk as fifty sots. May God enable me to get rid of the brute. If I could command his wages, he should not be one hour on my place.
July 8th Sunday M. Coffee Run-ppo. very heavy rain all the forenoon—only 3 persons attended-viz.-Park Higgins who brought me the result of yesterday's election of Trustees of S' Peter's church, viz Pk Higgins, Edwa Maher. M' Kenny, Peter Johnson, & Henry Grimes, with their request to resume my officiating. I
begg'd of Patk Higgins to have ready a written & sign'd testimony by the above five, that the occurrences & consequences of the proceedings in the said church on the Sunday 18th of March last, meet their full disapprobation, that they regret that any disrespectful communication should have been forwarded to our chief spiritual superior of the catholic Religious Members in the Diocess of Phil" & that they, by their unanimous signatures, assure the R* Rev. Bishop H. Conwell that they will use their best efforts, whilst they shall be in the trust, to prevent the recurrence of any such attempt.
M' Wall attended to inform me of the Death of my lamented acquaintance Terence Brady—it took place this morning about 2 o'clock. R. i.p. O Lord thou art merciful! Thou gavest him his senses, the sacraments & time to reflect !
gth In downright agony with my leg
I have been notified that the election of Trustees held on Saturday last 7th ins' will be contested at Law—I wrote, this evb. to Pk Higgins on the subject, & that until harmony takes place, I shall not visit St Peter's Church
Ioth Leg not so raging bad this forenoon. John--of the Waste Lands, came for me after 3 p. m. I got ready—tho' in agony. set out for a 10 miles journey after 4 p. m. Betsy Donlevy along. Arrived there at 72 past 7 p. m. —The rough & hilly roads had like to be my death warrants. On getting out of the Dborn at John Connor's, my leg fail'd me.
Was obliged to lie on the steps of his piazza, & was an hour before I could see the sick woman-administer'd her
I am forced to lie down, in agony. Welcome be the will of God, & thankful I am for reaching home, & more thankful, if possible, for having a home
July 13th This afternoon Joseph M'Carton brought me out a letter from P. Higgins—I answer'd it, by stating that I would
be in Wilmo to morrow, & if upon examination, I should find all matters square, I would officiate in Wilm" providing that “ All” the trustees that were elected on the 7 July, would sign a document purporting that they regretted the occurrences of the 8th of March & their consequences, & that they would use their best efforts, whilst in office, to prevent a repetition thereof. Leg wretchedly painful.
14th Went to Wilm"
I got into Wo under a raging sun & in distress of body from leg, & my barks &c.
What was my surprize to find that the affairs of the church were not on the footing that I expected-neither had Patk Higgins given in his writings, all the names of Trustees said to be elected-D' Ja' Purcell M. D. P. C. is found to be the foreman, altho' in my correspondence with P. Hig-& in the signed document I required of all Trustees, the name or subscrip" of Ja® Purcell M. D. P. C. is invisible-In a conversation in the afternoon with P. Hig-Paul McGinn, M Kenny, Ew Maher, Henry Grimes, & secretary Pierce, I told them that upon taking further information amongst their opponents, I was given to understand that Lawyers Hamilton & Williamson are engaged to contest the election of July 7. Therefore I declared that until their Lottery disputes, & their election suits shall be completely at an end, & the public satisfied that they are so-I will not officiate in the Borough. We seperated
N. B. Whilst I was at Mrs Noel's the Rev. M' Keenan call'd & requested the loan of my Wilm" chalice, to celebrate Mass tomorrow at the Canal. I agreed
Tho' Farry gives me a deplorable acc of the proceedings before & after the funeral of Jane McCarton--By verdict on the coroner's inquest, the body of Jane M°, being open’d by Physicians, M" M°C, the mother, & M" Maher who boards in the house, were brought before Squire Leonard The girl it seems died in consequence of ill usage, beating by the mother, & a kick from Edward Maher. Edw! Maher was sent last night at 11 o'clock to N. castle jail, in irons & M" M®Carton was taken off to the same lodging this forenoon.*
* In a marginal note Fr. Kenny has added “a calumny foul!" to this account.
This is the consummation of distress & misery heaped on me--I shall be obliged to journey to N. castle, & hardly am I able to go from one room to another in my own house.
17th I am in an indescribable statemy mind & leg in the same state
18th Leg & tremor in my hands pitiable. These are the mercies of my God to me
Elizh the worst harvest manager in a house that my house has had these 24 years
19th Paul M°Ginn call'd & gave me an acct of the prisoners in New castle jail-John M'Carton call'd also—What an explosion this is—as bad, much worse than all explosions at E I Dupont's. [Powder works.]
My leg & general tremor, since this melancholy event took place, worse-I start for Concord. God keep me company Wrote my resignation of W' Chester*
28th I set out between 5 & 6. a. m. for New castle-visited M" MoCarton & Edwa Maher in the jail—what a shock to me
Leg tremendously ill Sunday 29th 5th Sunday vacant—M. in my house-not able to go up to the church Rev M' Keenan & Hugh M‘Devit arriv'd here after Mass.
3d. Patk forsooth must set out after early breakfast for his favourite den, Wilmington, to have his shoes & boots repair'd, but in truth to come home, as usual as full as ever a quart bottle was fill'd-.
My leg in poor trim indeed, after yesterday's boiling-tremor of hands worse to day.
God's will be done.
On the margin of the Diary appear these words.
'My letter of resignation of West Chester, to the Rt. Rev. Bishop H. Conwell. My health is exhausted, & the journey of 40 miles is now, & has been, these 3 years past, more than I can or should have attempted to perform 24 years attendance."