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Title: Greeves, Jane to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1831
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderGreeves, Jane
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhelps in family business
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginLisburn, N.Ireland
DestinationLake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1995
Genrewishes her well on her hardship, news of family and friends, politics
TranscriptLisburn 1 mo 28th 1831 first day

My dear Sister
I wrote to thee in 8 month last, since which time there has been 3 letters received from you; thine to myself
I received the latter end of 12th month which was very acceptable, though so long written. It gave us more
information of how you were situated than we had received for a long rime. You have many privations and
difficulties to encounter which must be very trying, but I hope you have a prospect of independance if you survive
a few years longer when your farm U all paid for, and your children grown up. Such industry and economy should
lead to independance in your rising country. With us land is very dear and business of all kinds is dull at present,
so that it is hard for those with small capitals to make out life respectably and in this country people are obligd to
make a respectable appearance, which is often a great inconvenience to them. I was very sorry to hear by brother
Williams letter to my Father and thine & his last letter to Carlow, of thy long illness - it made thee feel more acutely
thy being so far seperated from us all. Oh how often I wish you were comfortably settled neat us - is there any
chance of my wish ever being realised.
Your cold weather had commenced long before this, I suppose, and I am affraid you will suffer a good deal for
want of warm clothing and bedclothes. The Bill that is now sent you we wish you to appropriate to that purpose
as I am certain it would be of great use to thee; and if Maria ... [attends?] school, which I hope she is, I think thee
should employ a servant to do the severe work for thee and it would enable thee to take better care of thyself
which would be the best means of restoring thy health.
We had a letter from Carlow a few days ago and they desired us mention when writing to you of their having
red1 your letter and that they would write by some of the Spring vessels. They thought it was unnecessary to write
now as we were doing so. They are all well, and doing as well as most of their neighbours.
Father has mentioned on the other side that brother Thomas is married, which I think thee will be pleased to
hear. Thee was acquainted with his wife, I expect, as she used frequently to be at Milton and she is one of the eldest
of the family. I should think she is about thy own age. The connexion is an agreeable & respectable one and I think
there is little doubt but they will be happy. I have not had an opertunity of being very well acquainted with het
as I am closely confined at home and she has not been to pay us a visit yet. Susanna has been in Dungannon for
the last 5 months assisting in the shop and getting the house &c &c prepared for her reception: it is very snug and
comfortable, I understand. We have wanted Susanna very badly at home but endeavoured to do without het as
she was so useful to Thomas, but we hope to have het and Aunt Molly, who is to reside with us now, home soon
which I will be very glad of I hope Aunt will be comfortable with us. I intend to do all in my power to make het
so, but she will feel coming to a strange part of the country and leaving the neighbourhood of her birth and where she has lived all her life. It will be very pleasant for us to have her and she will be nice company for my Father who
is often lonely when we are engaged in the shop. She does not get her health well in general but is still able to stir
about the house. Thomas was here since his marriage and he tells me Rachel is very fond of her and would rather
she would continue to live with them, but she had fixed to come to us, so thinks best not to change her plan. She
is to come by Armagh and spend some time with John & Mary, who are both well and their little daughter who
is a fine wise little child, she is considered like her mother - there is no talk of any more. John was at Thomass
marriage but Mary was not: they did not both like to leave home together.
Margaret Sinton was married since I wrote last, to a young man of the name of [James] Greacen not a
member of our Society but he professes our principles. He is a printer and bookbinder and sells stationary - they
live in Athlone. None of us have seen her since her marriage, but we have heard from her several times; they are
not long established there but expect to get on pretty well after some time. John & E Walpole are making it out
pretty well but not saving anything: John was with us a night lately on his way to Belfast. Thomas Sinton lives near
Carlo w with a brother of Billy Fishburns at Staplesrown flour mills. He is conducting himself pretty steady so
fat and hope he will continue to do so. Uncle and Aunt Sinton, also Aunt Deb by, were well when we heard from
them last. Thee will be sorry to hear of the failure of Christy & Dawson. It was occasioned by James Christy
expending a great deal of money in his lifetime, and after his death the linen trade fell away so much that they
never were able to pay all the debt he had contracted; everyone pities them for it was not their fault.
Uncle Billy still lives with his son William in the Isle of Man and was well, the last account we had from them.
He likes living there very well. William and his wife are both attentive and kind to him. Did I mention in my last
that Martha McMeakin is married - she was married last summer to a scotch man who is head gardener to the
Earl of Caledon and they both live in the house - she is housekeeper, which is a very respectable situation, and
the family think a great deal of her. Our relations in Co Tyrone are all well except the Shaws who are often
complaining. Anna Johnson had another son lately and is recovering well - this is her 4th child. I have not been
in that country since 6 month last. I pay them a visit there once a year generally but seldom oftener, and it will
soon be 5 years since I was in Carlow, so thee will see I am seldom from home. Belfast is so convenient to us, I
often go in the morning and return the same evening. We get most of our goods there and in England. I went with
Thomas to England in 9 month last to lay in our winter stock of flannels, blankets, sniffs &c &c and was greatly
pleased with my trip, all except crossing the Channel; I was very sick both going and returning - and had a very
providential escape of being lost, as we were out in the equinoxial gales. I would never wish to experience the like
again. I dont know whether I will go this year or not - it will depend on circumstances.
Tell Maria I received the wings of the butterfly safe and that I am much obliged to her. They are certainly a great
curiosity and I will preserve them carefully. I think it will be a nice employment for her to keep school if she was
once qualified for it, which I hope she will be. It was certainly very kind of the friend to offer to pay for her till it would be convenient for you to repay her; I feel grateful to her. You have encreased the production of father's
present to her much quicker than I had expected. If you continue to do so she will have a large number of sheep
when she comes of age. I was pleased with the description of your stove and I think it must be very convenient
and comfortable, but we have no such things in this country. Father looked for the receipt [i.e. recipe] thee wished
for that we got for dear Mother, but he could not find it; I think it was left with some of the druggists and we used
to send for the medicine when we required it, but it is so long since that it is gone astray. I would be glad I had it
to send to thee.
Our society continues united, which I hope will long continue. We have no contentions among us of any kind,
which is very pleasant. I wish I could say so of the country in general. The people are greatly agitated at present
owing to the depressed state of trade, high rents and tythe and taxes - they are meeting in various parts of the
country to petition the legislature for reform in Parliment and reduction of taxes &c &c and it is thought if they
dont devise some plan soon to redress the grievances that there will be a great comotion of some kind or other.
England has been even more disturbed than poor Ireland - they cant bear privation so well as the Irish, and since the introduction of machinery many
of their mechanicks are thrown idle so
they commencd breaking machinery of
different kinds and has done a great deal of
injury. Many of them have been taken up,
tried and executed, which they expect will
put a stop to the system.
"O'Connell" is trying to get a repeal of
the Union with great Britain bur he has got
very ... [few?] to join him except the lower
orders, but k is thought he has injured trade
very much by it. We have ... [not] heard
from our American cousins since they
returned home but hope Co hear soon of
their .., arrived safe. We feel interested about
them: they promised to write soon after their
return. They told us cousin Mary Greeves
was comfortably settled, which we were glad
to hear. I suppose she cant get leaving her
situation to go pay you a visit, as thee
mentioned she thought of at one time.
There was an account from London a
short time ago of the death of Mary Courtney. Her sister Sally Barcroft went to see her and got there a few days
before her decease. Her husband John Courtney has not been fit to attend to business this long time owing to his
intellect being deranged. He is in a low melancholy way and it is thought he wont survive her long. They have 3
sons but no daughters, which is very well as they will be left in a great measure unprovided for. Do you ever hear
from Thomas & John Nicholson: their sister Ruth who lives in Lisburn is well, I see her often.
We will expect to hear from you as soon as possible after you receive this, as we will be anxious to hear that you
get it safe; also how you are and if thy health be completely established. Give my dear love to brother William,
also all the children. I dont know exactly how many you have - please mention in thy next - also their names,
and if you had more than one taken from you. Hoping to hear from you soon, I will bid thee farewell and am

thy truly affectionate sister
Jane Greeves

Wm OBrien
Collins, West Lodi
County of Erie State of New York America