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Title: Greeves, Jane to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1833
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderGreeves, Jane
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 Count1467
Genrenews of family, friends and neighbours
TranscriptMy dear sister
We had been wishing very much to hear from you and was very glad to find by thy letter to sister Mary that you
were all pretty well; also to get a particular account of your children, their ages &c &c. We were surprised to hear
of Marias being able to teach: she would be thought very clever in this country - it is a pity she has not a better
oppertunity of improving herself when she has such a taste for it. I often think what a pity it is that you are so far
away from your friends, on your childrens account as well as your own; but if they are preserved to you & continue
to conduct themselves well, they will be constant source of comfort to you. And if you live for a few years favoured
with health 1 hope you will be quite independent, which is more than any of us will be, should we go on as we
are doing for a much longer time - as we are obliged to keep up an appearance, which you can dispense with.
I would be very glad to hear you had got over your difficulties as you have had many to encounter since your
arrival in America. It is wonderful that thee is able to get through so much work - we think we have plenty to do when we attend the shop constantly from ½ past
7 in the morning till near 10 at night, but is
nothing in comparison to what thee has to do.
Though we find it irksom enough sometimes,
but we have a right to be thankful that we are
getting on so well as we are and that Father is so
long spared to us & that he enjoys good health.
In general he looks wonderfully well for his age
but I can perceive a difference in his looks within
the last two or 3 years. Aunt Molly does not look
near so well for her years, but it is hard for her
as she is often very poorly with a cough & a pain
in her side which she has been subject to for
some years. We dont think it is anything of
consumption but just a constituneal cough. She
is still able to get out to meeting: when any way
well she goes twice a week. We have the meeting
house very near us — we can easily get to it in 2
minutes which is a great matter for her. She often speaks of thee and does be very glad when we hear from you.
Brother John was here a few days ago on his way from Belfast. He looked thin but his health was better than
it has been for some time. He and Mary are very happy: they have two children, a daughter &c a son, the latter
about 6 mo old whom they call William John. His birth was great joy to them as he was their first son and he is
thriving nicely. They do a great deal of business but has a high rent to pay and heavy taxes besides. The profits are
very much curtailed so I dont think they ate in the way of saving much, but they live respectably and John is
greatly liked and looked up to by his fellow citizens — which he well deserves as he is very active in doing all he
can for the poor and in many other ways. He got a beautiful silver teapot & cream ewer presented to him some
time ago by the people of Armagh for his conduct during the time cholera was in the city. He was one of the most
active of the board of health. He and James Bolton (a son of Abby Boltons) used to visit the hospital to see that
the patients were properly taken care of. He also got a piece of plate, and the Doctors who attended gratis. It was
hoped that cholera had left Ireland but within the last few weeks it has returned and has committed great ravages
in Monaghan & Tandetagee. but it is considerably abated in those places at present. But we are affraid that it will
spread to other places where it did not visit before. Lisburn was preserved before but we feat it will come this
time, as the inhabitants are no more virtuous than in other places.
Thee will be sorry to hear of the death of Cousin William Pike — died about 7 weeks ago suddenly — he was
threatened for a long time with water on his chest and although he was walking about was frequently very poorly.
He was out at Grange the day before his death: he took suddenly ill in the night & lived but a very short time.
Foot Cousin Peggy got a great shock but has bourne it wonderfully, considering. She is at Jonathon Pikes at present
& intends to remain there during the winter I blieve - she must feel his loss very much. Sister Mary O'Brien has been poorly for the last 3 weeks with a kind of feverish complaint but we hope is now
in a fair way of getting better. She had intended answering thy letter & suppose she done it before she took [ill].
John & Anna O'Brien paid their relations in the North a visit this summer & were greatly pleased with their visit,
and we with them. They are both clever & attentive to businesss and their parents have great satisfaction with them.
Brother Thomas & Sister Rachel are well and have 2 fine children, a boy & girl. I have seldom seen a finer
child of his age than John is, and Anna is doing very well also. ... [We] expect to see him [Thomas] next week;
although he does not write to thee, I am s[ure] he often thinks of thee: the last money that was sent to you, he
gave a part of it. Rachel seems to match him very nicely & I blieve they [are] well pleased with each other. Uncle
& Aunt Sinton were well when we heard from them; also Aunt Debby who continues to live with her stepson: he
is very kind & attentive to her. She very seldom comes to see us but is often in Armagh as she can go there & return
in a day.
Christy and Dawson have not got their affairs completely settled yet: it is thought they will pay about 10/- in
the pound. Sally Christ died in the beginning of summer of consumption and left 5 children behind her.
Joseph Christy is ill at present, of, it is reared, the same disease, & his recovery is thought very doubtful. Cousin
Molly Phelps is alive & well, also Sally, bur Bess is very delicate. William Dawsons family were pretty well when
I last heard of them, except Cousin Wm who is greatly teased with rheumatism. Mary [Dawson] lives with [her
sister] Hannah Harvey of Limerick & is governess to her children. I never see any of those people in Moyallon
but they make enquiry for thee; also poor Eliza Shaw who now lives in Belfast as an assistant in a shop there; her
Mother & sister Fanny live in Moy and have to be supported by the meeting since her Fathers death, so they are
greatly to be pitied: it is a sad come down for them. Maria is comfortably married in Newry. Her or thy old beau
Maxwell McAvoy is still single - I have not seen him to speak to him for several years. Cousin Thomas & Ellen
Boardman are both living but are very infirm: their daughters Sally and Ellen still live with them. Anna Hogg and
her family are soon to leave Redford and purpose going to Dublin to live. They will be greatly missed in Grange
and that neighbourhood. They have not been successful in business. Eliza & Mary have splendid establishments
near Dublin: their husbands are both very wealthy.
I hope the Society of Friends with you will be able to get those schools established which thee wrote about. It
would be a great satisfaction to you to get your children educated properly. I dont wonder you should not like to
send them to the district schools where they would meet with every kind of associates. You have still some of the
decent Irish pride about you and hope you will never be obliged to give it all up.
I have written all I have room for at present, except to bid thee farewell, with dear love to thyself and brother
William & the children, in which Father Aunt & Susanna unites with, dear Anne,
thy truly affectionate sister