The number of letters received by O'Connell upon trivial subjects was
sufficient to try his patience, as the following will show:--
A letter once arrived from New York, which, on opening, he found to
contain a minute description of a Queen Anne's farthing recently found
by the writer, with a modest request that Ireland's Liberator might
negotiate the sale of the said farthing in London; where, as many
lligent persons had assured him, he might make his fortune by it.
Another modest correspondent was one Peter Waldron, also of New York,
whose epistle ran thus:--Sir, I have discovered an old paper, by which
I find that my grandfather, Peter Waldron, left Dublin about the year
1730. You will very much oblige me by instituting an immediate inquiry
who the said Peter Waldron was; whether he possessed any property in
Dublin or elsewhere, and to what amount; and in case that he did, you
will confer a particular favor on me by taking immediate steps to
recover it, and if successful, forwarding the amount to me at New York.
At another time a Protestant clergyman wrote to apprise him that he and
his family were all in prayer for his conversion to the Protestant
religion; and that the writer was anxious to engage in controversy with
so distinguished an antagonist.
The letters with which he was persecuted, soliciting patronage, were
innumerable. Everybody writes to me about everything, said he, and
the applicants for places, without a single exception, tell me that one
word of mine will infallibly get them what they want. One word! Oh,
how sick I am of that 'One word!'
Some of his rural correspondents entertained odd ideas of his
attributes. He said that from one of them he got a letter commencing
with 'Awful Sir!'