Main content

Title: Greeves, Susanna to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1831
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderGreeves, Susanna
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationshop keeper
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginLisburn, N.Ireland
DestinationLake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1626
Genrenews of family, friends and neighbours
TranscriptFirst day 28th of 8 month 31

My dear sister
It is about four months since I wrote thee, and I seem to have so very little to say now that I am afraid my letter
will be but uninteresting to thee; I suppose I often write thee the same thing over and over again but, if I do, I
forget from time to time what I have wrote. We were truly sorry to hear of thee being so long ill and suffering so
much; I trust ere this thee is quite recovered. Indeed we feel very anxious about you and wonder very much you
do not write oftener; thy last to rather is dated the 15th of 4 month at which time I find he and I wrote thee. It
seems a little remarkable that we should both be writing to each other at the same time, but I am sure we are often
thinking of each other at the same time: say particularly how thy leg is and how it is affected.
We had a very cold winter also, the coldest we have had these years past and this has been the warmest and finest
summer we have had for years. The harvest here is nearly all cut, which is a month earlier than usual, and the crops
are generally good; potatoes, which is the mean [main] dish with the poor, are excellent. Owing to the wet season
last year, the poor in the West of Ireland have been in a state of starvation and some have actually died, but there
were subscriptions raised both in England and Ireland for their relief; it was lamentable to read the accounts in
the newspapers of them, and with what resignation they bore their sufferings under it all was remarkable. Now
since the potatoes have come to their relief we dont hear anything of them; I hope they have more than what is
sufficient for the cravings of nature.
Brother Thomas returned from England about two weeks ago where he had been purchasing goods. He did not
stay so long as usual (see what it is to have a wife, thee will say). Sister Jane staid with sister Reachel during his
absence. It was her first visit to them since their marriage. She has been now upwards of 4 weeks from home, a
long time indeed for her to be away at one time. She had to spend some time on her way home in Armagh. We
expect her and sister Man' Greeves [brother John's wife] tomorrow. This is Mary's first visit to us since she was
married. My father asked her some time ago but she finds it so hard to leave home and that it does not answer for her to be away, she put it off untill now. I dont expect she will have Elizabeth [her daughter] with her as her stay
will be short.
The Qr Meeting of Grange is against this day week, where I expect to be. I think of going home with Mary on
seventh day and to Grange with them next morning. My stay in County Tyrone will be short: as Jane has been so
long from home, it has kept my father more confined than we would like him to be and [on] chat account I do
not Intend to stay long. Our busiest time is coming and we dont like to have my father but as little as we can in
the shop. It is but right he should get every indulgence we could give him for he is one of the best of fathers;
sorely we would miss him if it pleased Providence to take him from us; he is still a head over us. Jane & I often
think and say we would be poor lonely desolate creatures without him, but how thankful we should be that he is
spared to us so long. His health is generally pretty good but he is much easier fatigued; he cannot walk near so far
as he did when he came here without being very tired after it - but a great many say he looks uncommon well for
his years. He is greatly admired here by everyone: they say Vie is the handsomest old man they see, which his
daughters dont think the less. It is pleasant to have Aunt Molly, she is fine company for him and will be in the
winter nights when we are engaged in the shop.
I think I wrote thee in my last about Aunt Ruth being likely to lose the use of her right hand. She has been at
the sea and it has been of little or no use. She cannot write nor I believe cut her own meat, which is very trying
on her - and she that was always used to an active life, it will be harder for her to bear. I believe she suffers little
or no pain but seems as if it was withered, or has that look. I have not seen it but heard from those that did. Her
niece Anna Maria Uprichard was married last fifth day to a nephew4*0 of Abram Bell's of New York: it is considered
a suitable and a good match for her; she is a very nice young woman. A Bells eldest son and daughter404 are over
here at present: the latter had a great wish to visit the land of her nativity. She has been in Moyallon and County
Tyrone and is soon to go to see her Aunt Hanah Harvey in Limerick. I believe they are to stay the winter in
Ireland. Jane was at almost all the parties that were given on their account in Tyrone; she likes them very much:
I have not had the pleasure of seeing them yet.
Brother Thos had a letter from Cousin Jacob Morris since their return
home: they had a long passage - they were all indeed greatly pleased with
their visit to Ireland. We could make quite free with them just as if we
were acquainted with them all our lives. Cousin Sarah Coates has a strong
likeness to Mary McMeekin; they are gay people, not the least like friends,
accept they used the plain language. Jacobs little daughter is a dear little
girl, uncommonly lively and a very interesting child, I was sorry to hear
of Cousin Mary Greeves not being as comfortable as she could wish. Poor
girl, I dont wonder at her feeling hurt at Aunt Morton not leaving her
anything. If she was scout it would be the less matter, but one brought up
as she was it must be galling to her to be in a situation. But I often think
it well we do not know what we are to come to; everything is wisely
ordained and providence knows best what is good for us, if we would but
endeavour to be content. I believe one has their own share of trouble and
some are abler & can bear more than others.
Poor Cousin Martha McMeekin, otherwise Nesbits, husband died
some few months ago when she was but a few days confined. He had
been ailing for a good while but did not complain much as he did not like
to fret poor Martha, but it was evident he was going daily by those who
saw him, (a pleasure I never had, nor her neither since she lived in
Dungon). It was consumption; she is still at Lord Caledons. Jane and Mary
went to see her last week; she is as well as could be expected and her little
daughter doing well; I expect to see her when I am from home this time;
I would be both sorry and glad to see her. I had a letter from Carlow last week. They were all well; Mary & Dan wished my father go see them this summer but he is never well when from home, I suppose from the jaunting and travling about: it does not seem to agree with him at all. He was in Dungannon some time ago and he was not well all the time. The more we know
sister Reachel, the better we like her; how pleasant it is when there is is a change in a family that it is for the better
Thomas has made great alterations in his house, thee would not know some parts of it: he has even made some
lately I believe. R expects to be confined the latter end of 10th month, so thee sees the name of Greeves will not
be extinct, as we used to say we reared it would.
We had Cousin Willm from the Isle of Man this summer to see us; Dinah is greatly troubled with rheumatism.
I believe if he got a place to answer his business in every way he would like to settle in Belfast, or at least he says
as much. Thomas had a letter from Cousin J G Greeves last week, no news but he is still living and well. Now I
would wish thee to write me a long letter and tell me about every one of thy dear children in particular who, with
their dear father and mother, I would give a great deal to see. I flatter myself I deserve a letter from thee for the
many I have wrote thee; say everything thee can think of, as I do. I had nearly forgotten to say James Calvert is
no more; he has left Lucy and the children very comfortable; it was consumption. With dear dear love to brother
Wm and the children, which kiss for me, in which Aunt unites with

thy affte sister