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Title: Murphy, Kate A to Pettit, John, 1868
CollectionArgentina - Pettit
SenderMurphy, Kate A
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender Religionunknown
OriginBuenos Aires, Argentina
DestinationMelbourne, Australia
RecipientPettit, John
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count793
Genredecease, family, cholera
TranscriptBuenos Aires, May 13th, 1868.

My very dear Cousin,

I am now almost ashamed to begin my letter it is really such a long time since I received your letter and perhaps you may have imagined that I had forgotten all about it, would you deem me so neglectful, no, beloved cousin when you are already aware of all the sad affliction that has befallen our family of late. I assure you such a severe blow as that of loosing a father and so many dear cousins, leaves one in a state of stupidity for months after it is only now we are recovering the shock – now do be generous and pardon my appearing negligent only write to me soon as a proof of forgiveness. I sincerely trust you and your father are quite well. We were all so sorry to hear by your last letter to Sally that your father suffered from his eye sight. I hope he is getting well again, in this country it is very general, the sight failing in older persons, you know old age it comes without warning bearing along with it some infirmity, all your cousins are quite well here.

As Sally and Fanny have written to you lately I expect they have told you of all the deaths in our families this year, so I will not repeat them over again, you have no idea dear John what fearful ravages the cholera has made in Buenos Aires this year as in the provinces of Rosario, Cordova, Mendosa, 1868 will be memorable for ages, as well for cholera as for so many other plagues, locusts, frightful dust storms that during the better part of the day it would continue as dark as the darkest night consequently proceeded by scarcity of grass and water in the country parts, which caused the animals to die. In fact no one except those that witnessed it, could form any idea of the numerous visitations of Providence upon this unfortunate Republic this year, and now again people say the cholera is making its appearance here in B. Aires, one would think that now in winter it would disappear completely, but the doctors seem to say it will come again, all we must do is make up our minds for the worst. Don’t you think dear cousin we must be awful sinners when the Almighty punishes us so? Sally must write you very regular letters she is very proud. All my family are now in town and Fanny’s also, of course we are staying at my Aunts, Mrs. Moore, she has a fine large family now so many of us in, and you know she is always accustomed to live alone with Sally, but the house is very large, we are now about a month in, I suppose we will soon be returning to the country. Our poor cousin Fanny had greater losses than any of us she lost her two grown brothers and one sister, I think she is now going to live with our Aunt Moore. Her two younger sisters have gone to a convent to school and her married sister lives in the country part, she now is left with only one little brother a mere child, so she cannot bear the idea of returning to her home again at least for a while, she too was very sick but got well again. Fanny is my greatest friend, we are nearly one age, and being always reared together are more like sisters than cousins so I will miss her greatly too if she remains in town. Dearest cousin yesterday Sally was at the cemetery and standing by your dear mother’s grave broke a small branch off the cypress tree which is grown over it. I now send you this little branch of cypress I know you will treasure it as having grown over your mother’s grave, I fancy how you must wish to see it I hope the day will soon arrive that we may see each other. But I fear you will be disappointed in this country, perhaps you have formed a grand idea of it and it is all the contrary. Now I will conclude begging of you to write me soon if not I will think you are displeased with me. Sally, Aunt and all my family, all your cousins joins me in fondest love to your father as well as to yourself and let me return a thousand thanks for your kindness in gratifying my wish of getting your likeness the last time you wrote. Now I cannot be jealous and that you may always look upon me in the light of a fond sister is the wish of your loving cousin,

Kate Agnes Murphy