Main content

Title: Sinton, Joseph to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1821
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderSinton, Joseph
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationmerchant
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginWilkesbarre, near Philadelphia, Penn., USA
DestinationSmithsville, Niagara Co., NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count972
Genrefamily, prospects, property, advice, friends,
TranscriptWilksbarre, January 13th 1821

My dear Niece
I have received thine of the 10th ult. & it is a course of much consolation to me in my present lonely situation to
hear that Wm continues to find employment, that you both enjoy good health and that thou are contented I had
some thought when I last wrote my brother of visiting Cattaragus this month, bur find it necessary to remain here
as wheat will now go to Easton and if ever money is to be had here, it will be during sledding time: this article is
scarcer here than ever.
I fear I shall not get away from home entirely in the spring as I once expected, without leaving the business and
property in a way that would be bad, so that if I do come in the Spring, I fear that it will only be for a visit and
back to my own den, which will then seem more gloomy than ever. About two weeks ago John Nicholson called
& stayed a day and two nights with me on his way to Philadelphia; he was afoot and expected to be back about
this time. We talked a good deal about Wm. & thee. He seemed to think it uncertain when the money will be got
at Pittsburgh: Thomas had left the business with a lawyer there but I presume Thos. has written thee on the
subject. I hope Wm will be cautious about buying land. Many tradesmen have injured themselves doing so
Building costs more than those who have not cried it ate aware of My advice would be to let buying land alone
for a while: if he builds it will keep him from earning money & perhaps run him in debt. My opinion has ever
been chat it is wrong for anyone to buy or build a house unless he has the money to spare out of his other business
I am certain you can rent for less generally, than the interest of what a house and lot would cost - and then a person isnt tied to a place, if anything better should offer. I hope William will be cautious in this respect I have seen so much of the bad consequences of it and people "ate not to be depended upon". He may get involved in a lawsuit, for the people promising to pay in work is not payment or a discharge of the amount he may agree to Pay for land or a building.
Another thing I would advise is to be slow in forming acquaintances and still slower in forming or placing
confidence. My own experience ... this advice for me and I have perhaps not been more unfortunate than others
Remember the early part of thy life was spent among thy relatives - thee will find a common acquaintance very
different from them. I presume thee has heard the substance of my letters, which make it not necessary to say much
about matters here, and I am hurried as S [Cist] did not send her part of this letter as early as I expected Sarah
and I have not settled our matter yet but hope we shall before long. I delivered thy message at the Coy house and
they were all pleased to hear of thy welfare. Jas. lady I have heard nothing of for a long time. I have never heard
her name alluded to by one of the family. Jo seems to have managed his sports a year pretty well. I believe the talk
about me and J-c [Jane McCoy?} has subsided.
I have not been a sleighing & I do not expect I shall much this Winter, having no horse. I dined with the old
Judge at New Yeats, the only time I have eat from home for some time. George and his bride have been some weeks
from home: I missed them much and it feels quite pleasant to call [on] them again as usual. I live pretty warm
have my stove as usual and a lady loaned me a feather cover. But still it is not good for man to be alone The
children often come to see me (who live in the house). Bowser sometimes comes to warm himself and the black
cat is quite sociable, often crawling over me while I am reading. I feel only like a lodger here. I want to see the place and the inhabitants and what sort of a place I am going to plant myself in, and how you all look and what I can ... about it is dull: dull times here & many are at... [a loss?] what to do. A great deal of property must be sold to pay debts and no one here has money to buy it. J Nicholson seems to have a poor opinion to the place they live & I think if they could sell would be willing to leave it: but it would be hard to sell & get payment.
We have plenty of snow here: until within a week the ground has been nearly bare. If Wm. means to come for
his goods, now is the time as during sledding he can get by a much shorter cut than by Buffalo. I presume – thee dont mention whether William makes any cabinet work - from thy dreading his being from home I supposed he
did not. Would it not be less laborious & he less likely to catch cold at chat business than carpenter work from
home. Thy friends & acquaintances send their love to thee & William. Give each of thy young ones a kiss from
me and believe me
Thy afft.
Uncle Jo

Emily and Jacob desire much love to you. Em. has just returned from a visit to her father.