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The New York Tribune, January 22, 1868


To the Editor of The Tribune.

SIR: If you can, I wish you would give me some information of a man by the name of George Francis Train. It is for an uncle of mine that I want it. My uncle has had a pretty hard time of it, and if any man does deserve sympathy, and if any man would appreciate that sympathy, it is he. He is in the decline of life, and he wants to be quiet; but you know he tried Walrussia, and the bears ousted him; and then he tried St. Thomas, and the earthquakes ousted him; and so he hung up his fiddle, so to speak, and concluded he would wait and look around awhile, till the Government bought some more property. And while he was waiting, somebody recommended him to hunt up this gentleman, Mr. Train. They said Mr. Train was a slow, quiet sort of a body, and had no isms or curious notions about him, and that he was going over to the old country to buy Ireland for those persons they call the Fenians. They said he was very popular with the English Government, and that if the English Government would sell to anybody, they would to Mr. Train. They said that if Mr. Train concluded to take it, my uncle have an excellent change to buy into a quiet locality in Cork, or Tupperary, or one of those calm, religious regions there, by speaking to him early.

So my uncle went after Mr. Train, but he was building a couple of railroads out West, somewhere, and before my uncle got there he had finished those railroads and was making Democratic speeches in the East. It was a considerable disappointment, but my uncle always had a great idea of doing business with a slow, quiet man, and so he came East. But he came the last part of the journey in a canal-boat (it being his nature to prefer quiet and safety to speed), and so he missed that man again. Mr. Train had got the Democratic party reorganized and all straight, and was out in the middle of the Rocky Mountains clearing off a place and driving away the buffaloes, so that he could build a metropolis there. But my uncle went in an ox wagon, and he missed that man again. Mr. Train had finished that metropolis and paved it with the Nicolson pavement, and started a couple of daily newspapers, and was gone East again with another lady to lecture on female suffrage.

It was a little discouraging, but my relative rested about a week and started after him again. He caught him this time, because Mr. Train had sprained his ankle and was obliged to remain quiet until he could get the leg removed and a reliable patent wooden one put on in its place that could not sprain. So he mentioned his business to Mr. Train, and he replied:

"You are all right, Sir. Put your trust in me. I'll buy Ireland, and you shall have as good a chance as any man. I am going to sail right away. You will hear about me as soon as I touch the Emerald shores. I shall get out some advertisements and make my presence known. I make no pretensions, but you will see pretty soon that I shall be heartily welcomed there and promptly cared for."

Since that time my uncle has not heard of Mr. Train. He has confidence in him, but he thinks that maybe he is too quiet a man to make much of a stir, and has not been heard of on that account. But have you heard anything of Mr. Train? Do you know if he got out any advertisements? And do you know if they received him heartily there, and more especially if they took care of him? This last is the main thing with my relative. If they took care of Mr. Train, it is all he cares for. He has said to me repeatedly that all that he is afraid of it that he has been neglected and not taken care of. If he were to hear that Mr. Train is there, in a strange land, without any place to stay, it would nearly break his heart. If you could only inform us that Mr. Train is safe, and has been received hospitably, and has a good tranquil place to board in, suitable to a quiet man like him, it would be a great comfort to the old man.



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