Main content

Title: Greeves, Jane to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1834
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 Count1412
Genrenews of family and friends, crops
TranscriptLisburn 10 mo 20th 1834

My dear sister
Thy last welcome letter arrived about 5 weeks after it was written. We were pleased to find you were all pretty well.
which is a great blessing.
Many here have been called from "works to rewards" within the last few months; among the number was dear
Aunt Debby, who was a great sufferer. She had not been stout for nearly a year before her decease, but she took
very ill a little after the Quarterly Meeting in Moyallon & died two weeks after the Quarterly Meeting of Grange.
Her disease was an internal one: the Doctor & her friends were apprehensive for some time that it was cancer in
her womb - her sufferings were so great - and it would most probably have turned to it, had her strength held
out. She had a large tumor in her right side where the seat of the disease was, but all her frame seemed affected by
it She was a very patient sufferer & was quite resigned to leave the world, which was a great consolation to her
friends. She was surrounded with every comfort money or kind friends could procure. Her stepson done everything
that her own child could have done for her - his attention could not have been exceeded. Susanna was with her
for the last three weeks; also Anne McDonnell of Cork and a niece of hers, a nice agreeable girl, who were with
Aunt Debby most part of the summer. Aunt Ruth was very attentive, also cousin Sally Dawson: both of whom
sat up with her frequently. Although we could not but feel her loss severely, yet we were thankful to hear of her
being at rest. She had not much property to dispose of but most what little she had, she left to James Hardens
family - one of who* sons [Charles] she had adopted since he was an infant. He is now a fine well looking boy &
is apprenticed to my brother John, who I am grieved to say is very poorly at present which makes us very unhappy.
He has been in a delicate state of health for the last 7 or 8 months and he has had the best advice Armagh or
Dublin could afford, but I fear all to no purpose. He tried change of air & everything they ordered but is still
getting worse; untill very lately they said his lungs were not affected but, from letters we had yesterday & this
morning, I would think from the change of treatment & medicine that they now think they are. The thought of
parting with him is most trying. I can hardly bring myself to think of it & what must poor Marys feelings be, seeing
him going & looking at their 3 small children, the youngest of whom (Thomas) is only 3 or 4 weeks old. Poor
sister Marys death was a most severe stroke from which we had hardly recovered & now we are threatened with
as great, if not a greater one for, brother John living near us, we had more frequent intercourse with him & he is
most kind hearted and affectionate. His means is not very great, but if he could afford it his disposition is most
generous. There are few in his situation in life so well respected & beloved & nothing can exceed the anxiety of
his friends & neighbours about him, which is gratifying to our feelings. If the good wishes &c prayers of many
would avail, he would soon be well - but thats what I fear he never will be in this world. He was here for several
days about 3 weeks ago & he went down to Belfast for a few hours 3 days & done some business, but he got
worse after he returned home. I was in Armagh this day two weeks & was frightened to see him so much worse.
Susanna or I intend going this week to stay with them for some time if Cousin Mgt Greacen can come & ... stay
in Lisburn. I suppose you have heard ... [ere?] this that she & James have returned TO Ireland. ... [Margaret] spent nearly
4 weeks with us after her return and amused us with a description of American manners - with which she was not
much pleased. They spent some time at her fatherinlaws in Monaghan, but James is now in Dublin working &
I hope has got employment, & Mgt is on a visit at John Walpole in Cavan. We were glad to see her home again
but regretted very much that she had not seen thee. It is well they have no family - I think there is no danger but
they can make our life for themselves respectably. We had a letter from Carlow a few days [ago] written by JG O'B
- he wrote in very dull spirits: poor fellow, he feels the loss of his dear Mother very much. He was always a kind
affectionate son to her. They had difficulties to encounter in a pecuniary point of view also, but I hope they will
be enabled to overcome them. I did not like to write them anything of what thee mentioned with regard to your
sister Annes property: it will come better from yourselves - but I blieve you are mistaken with regard to the value
of the property. I never understood she was worth £70 a year; I know the property went to Jos family at her decease.
I am not certain whether Sally [Murray, née O'Brien] is to get share. I know Dan has written to you since poor
Marys death & perhaps he has given you satisfaction concerning any money he may have in his hands. I think he
is a just man & will do justly - when he has it in his power. I know he is very spare of cash at present.
Aunt Molly was in Armagh & Dungannon lately for 9 weeks. She thinks it will be her last visit to those places.
She is much in her usual way except that she as well as ourselves is so concerned about John that it keeps her
uncomfortable. Father is middling: poor man, the prospect of losing another of his children is a severe trial on him,
but he is enabled to bear it with resignation. He has just given me half a sovereign to enclose & he desires me say
it is for to buy a sheep for Anson John. We were pleased to hear that the last went safe: we were rather doubtful
about it.
I hope your crop turned out well this year. There was very abundant harvest here & the prices are consequently
very low. The farmers can hardly find money to pay their rents in some places, bur the poor have cheap provisions
of a good quality, which is a comfort. I hope the pain in thy side is better: I intend asking Uncle Saml next time
I see him what he would recommend thee to do for it. He does not seem to like to prescribe for people latterly
the way he use to do & he is getting out of practice: 1 fear he wont give me any advice. Brother Thos has been
poorly also: his breathing was a good deal affected but he is now, thank goodness, considerably better & I hope
in a fair way of recovering. He has two fine children, John and Anna. We continue to like Rachel very much: she
is a very nice kind hearted little woman. Cousin Mgt Pike lives with Jonathons almost ever since cousin Wms death
& seems as well as usual. I saw Eliza Shaw lately &L she desired her dear love to thee. She is governess to Thomas
Harpurs children &c seems comfortable in her situation.
It is getting late & I wish to send this off in the morning, so I must cut this shorter than usual. This is a mournful
letter & I fear the next will be more so. Be sure & write soon: it is a comfort to hear from you, when thee writes in
good spirits. With dear love to Brother Wm thyself & the children individually I am, dear Anne, as ever

thy truly affectionate but sorrowing sister

Packet Ship Sarah Sheafe
Abm Bell & Co Owners 33 Pine St. N.Y.