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Title: Nicholson, Thomas to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1819
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderNicholson, Thomas
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationmerchant
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginNYC, USA
DestinationPhiladelphia, Penn., USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1013
Genrecorrespondence, family news, wedding, bad state of business
TranscriptNew York 8 mo 24th 1819

My Dear Anne
I often promised to write thee and have been a longtime commencing. It is usual to make excuses for such
neglegence & what I have to say on this head is that the unsettled state I have been in so long since I came to this
country actually unnerves me and makes me unwilling to write my friends, when I cannot give as satisfactory
account as I could wish & I dont like to give uneasiness to the contrary. Thus a kind of indolence in letter writing
comes on which requires some exertion to overcome. With regard to thee. this indolence must be overcome for
when one has a friend to write to there is nothing more agreeable than to un burthen the mind by imparting its
joys and its cares, & trust me, my dear Anne, there was no want of affection in this long silence of mine. On the
contrary I reel the ties of friendship strengthened by our residence in this strange land far from our native land
and the Country of our Fathers. I think I know thy feelings and we can sympathise with each other. But I must
not indulge too much in this interesting topic - often when I give way I set no hounds to it.
I expect that thou ere this has beard of my Sister Mary being about to change her way of life for a happier
one: at least I always make that conclusion & would think so myself, were it my case, tho there are exceptions in the world. The favored person is Joseph Beale, an Irishman from Cork. I done suppose char thee has seen him
but maybe William has - he is the brother-in-law of Sam Ely of Ross and as thou art not acquainted with him I
shall endeavor to make thee a little by description. He is rather below the middle size, of an age approaching 50,
very polite & agreeable in his manner, well informed and conversible, having seen a great deal of the World, and
a man of benevolent disposition. These are qualities that should certainly conduce to connubial happiness. There
is rather a disparity in age, I know, but when they are satisfied that is sufficient. I make these remarks freely to thee in confidence, that is further than William I should not want them to go. They are to be married on 5th day next fortnight at Manhattenville, a small village 8 miles from town, where Mary has resided this summer, and where there is a Friends Meeting house. J.H.B. has taken a small house near the outskirts of the City where he and I now reside with H. [Hannah] White and where Mary will come after the Marriage. [Four lines omitted here,
due to many words missing]

I only got William's letter two days ago - he forgot to direct to A. Bell's care, which was the cause. I remark his
commending H. White for a good nurse which was not inappropriate. I note that he says I did not say how we
were situated, or if to our satisfaction. With regard to Mary I have already explained. Her intended is not at present in business for himself, but he has the managment of the office department of a Mercantile House there. John
you are aware is situated with A. Bell — and as for myself I pause at giving an answer. Since my return here I have
attempted twice to get into business — first by entering into a partnership with a person here by the advice of my
friends & was very near being ruined had it taken place, contrary to all appearances, as the individual did not shew
a true statement of his affairs when the business was in agetation, & I depended too much on his honor. Fortunately
I discovered his duplicity in time to break our connection. The last was a partnership also, but has been marred
by some unavoidable circumstances. I am now at perfect liberty & know not what I shall turn to. The times are
so dull that it is impossible to know what to do & I see no hint that offers well. Somethings are gained in this Land
of Liberty-one is a better knowledge of mankind and more ideas of appearances I think than I had. It has given
me a sharp lesson which I shall not soon forget. It seems we were all rather sanguine in our ideas of America, and
ir has not afforded the advantages we expected - and there are many who are similarly disappointed. I think I have
put any thoughts (of our dear friends at Grange) of America out of their heads.
If Wm's business were good here we would be rejoiced to have you near us. I want some one to talk to of old
times & who better than thyself Should he at any time come to New York, he must tell me before time and I expect
that he would make our little habitation his home. It is the first time we have had one to offer, and tho we live in
a little plain way, yet he shall have an Irish welcome — and whenever I can do anything for you here, just make as
free with us as we were thy brother. There have been no arrivals from Ireland lately — we expect some soon — any
Irish news I must defer for another letter and hope that thou wont think me now too tedious, but I thought I would
make up in some degree for my neglect. I hope that thy little one is well and hearty and thyself also. I shall expect to hear from thee soon. Anything and everything will be agreeable.
When thee sees Mary Greeves, remember me affectionately to her. I shall not forget her kind attentions to us
- also James Greeves and his brother. Mary joines me in love to thyself and William. I am

Thy truly affectionate cousin
Thos Nicholson