|Title:||Greeves, Jane to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1835|
|Collection||The Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]|
|Sender Occupation||shop keeper|
|Destination||Lake Erie, NY, USA|
|Recipient||O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne|
|Genre||news of family, friends and neighbours, good crops|
|Transcript||Lisburn 8 mo 20th 1835|
My dear Sister
Thy truly welcome letter, the last date of which was 6 mo 11th, came to hand about 24th of last mo and was very
acceptable; & in reply thereto am glad to be able to inform thee that Brother Thomas continues to improve & we
expect him here one of these days on his way to England to lay in the winters stock of goods for himself and us.
I hope he may be nothing worse for the journey & voyage but I expect there is no danger as the Doctors who
attended him during his illness recommend a sea voyage.
Mary Greeves is also much better and able to attend to business & domestic arrangements. She spent 3 months
at Cove & returned greatly improved. She consulted one of the first physicians while there, who was of opinion
that her lungs had no organic disease but they were what he called spasmodically affected, which means ashmatic
I believe. So that we dont reel so uneasy about her as we did - as ashma is not so dangerous. However he said it
would require her to take great care of herself- least it might eventually fall on her lungs. She is very thin, only
weighs 7 stone, & she used to be plump & fat. The children are amusement for her. They require a good deal of
attention which is useful to her as it helps to divert her thoughts. She continues to carry on the business as
heretofore with the help of 3 assistants she has - who ate very clever & attentive - which is a great matter as she
is not able to do much herself. A little thing overdoes her. I have not been to see her since dear brother John's death,
but I expect to go in the course of 2 weeks & I know it will be a mournful visit to me, for hitherto he was always
there to welcome me & a kind & warm reception he gave all his friends. I saw Mary twice since. She came home
this way from Cove, to bring home nurse & baby who staid with us during her absence - & the dear sweet pet
was greatly improved while he staid. We were all greatly attached to him & felt lonely when he left us (I believe I
told thee before that his name is Thomas); & I saw her again about 2 weeks ago at Ballinahince Spa where she
came with some relatives of ours who were coming to drink the waters; & Susanna & Aunt Molly had been there
for 4 weeks before & I went to see them & bring Aunt home, who had got a cold & was anxious to get home.
Susanna is still there & is to remain another week, when she will have been two months there - from which
she had derived great benefit. She had a great deal of anxiety & fatigue during the winter & she felt weak & looked
thin & badly; & now she looks healthy & feels much stronger; she can walk a few miles without any inconvens,
which is a great improvement. I will be glad to get het home again. She has been a very short time at home for
the last year - I believe in all not more than 6 weeks - which has caused me to be greatly confined as we have only
one assistant in the shop. However I get my health well, which is a great blessing - but I am much thiner than
formerly, which I dont regret. Father continues to enjoy pretty good health considering his time of life. He takes
a walk almost every day, which is useful to him. We dont keep a horse or car as we have very little occasion for
one & they would cause both expense & trouble. So we hire a horse & car when we want one, which is seldom,
the meeting house being only about 2 minutes walk from us. Aunt Molly has recovered from the effects of her cold
caught at Ballinahinch but she is far from stout. Still, she is able to walk about a little & get to meetings
I hope thy health is better: having had such close attendance on Anson must have been injurious to thee - but
it is a great blessing that the bone was not injured, as in that case he might have been lame all his life. We were
glad to hear brother William and all the rest were well and that you are in more comfortable circumstances. You
have certainly a great deal of toiling to make out life, but I expect you will soon be independant in a great measure.
Every situation in life has ... cares & anxieties. I know I often be heartily tired of shop keeping when the people
tease & torment me (and at other times I like it well enough): but I en[deavour?] to be satisfied, for we have much
cause for thankfullness when we compare our situation with many others who are equally deserving.
Thee speaks I suppose in jest about Susanna or me going to pay you a visit, which thee seems to think would
be easily accomplished. If I had no tie at home & could spare time & money it would give me great pleasure to
go see you but, situated as 1 am, thee could almost as easily get from home thyself as that I could, for any length of time. I have most of the weight of the business on me — purchasing & ordering the goods &c &c. Susanna has
been obliged to be so much from home, it has caused me to have more to attend to: we never seem sure of her for
any length of time, she has had so much to do for other people.
Margaret Greacen & her husband are still living in Armagh. He gets pretty constant employment & they have
a prospect of doing more business if his health would improve, but he has been delicate for some time past and
Margaret is uneasy about him. But I hope he will soon be better: he is a kind hearted affectionate man & sister Mary
finds it pleasant to have them settled in the same town with her. Aunt Alice is finely & is on a visit with Mary in
Armagh at present. Joe is greatly reformed & is much kinder to her than formerly - which is a comfort to her
relations. Susan Sinton, Cousin William's eldest daughter, is also in Armagh: she is a nice looking girl - she is nearly
15 years of age & is almost like a young woman. She has been greatly indulged at home & I think it will be useful
to her being under her Aunt Mary's care for some time. They have 3 other children who are all well looking.
I had a letter from Anna O'Brien yesterday morning, which left them all well. We expect Margaret soon here
to live with us for a year or so. She is now about 14 years of age & brother Dan I thinks it will be useful to her to
be under our care for awhile. She does not like to be dictated to by Anna & when she is a little older she will have
more sense, I expect. Poor Anna has a great deal to attend to & she seems pretty able for it. She is a steady good
girl & her Father has great comfort with her. John is also a steady good boy - he is possessed of a very affectionate
disposition & I am very much attached to him; I often regret that he is so far away from us &c indeed them all.
I think if thee would write to Anna that she would reply to it. Brother Dan seldom writes to anyone except it be
in business - he has a deal to attend to & I dont know with all his exertions that he is putting much to the fore.
It is a great matter that Maria is competent to teach the other children and that she has a taste for it. It is a pity
that she could not keep school constantly, for children are so liable to forget what they learn if they are kept awhile
from it. I was surprised to hear that you were so badly off for schools, at least suitable ones, for I had understood
the schools which were established by the Legislature were on an excellent plan. But everything of the kind is
subject to abuse in your free country as well as here.
This season has been a very favourable one for the farmers. In the commencement of summer we had a good
deal of rain, which caused the crops to grow luxuriantly & now there is a prospect of an abundant harvest. Many
of the farmers have commenced reaping. I suppose if this fine warm weather continues it will soon all be cut
down. New potatoes are selling for 2½ p. stone &c meal for 2/4 p. score (20 lbs); best flour 2/3 p. stone, beef 4½
& 5d p. 1b. & mutton 6d. These are much higher than you pay: indeed I suppose you have most of these things
of your own. It must be unpleasant having brother William so much from home; I hope after some time you will
be enabled to live without his having to do so - particularly if the boys were grown up men & able to take his place.
I was pleased to hear they are able to help ... the time it is. How delighted I would be to see them all & thee &
William, but this is a pleasure I need hardly ever expect to have realised. But if we dont meet in this world I trust
we will in a better — never to be separated.
We had an account a few days ago of the death of Saml Tolerton of Dublin, son of John Tolerton. He died of
fever & has left a wife & 3 small children. She is a daughter of Edward Allen's of Dublin. They are a nice family
- Sam' will be greatly missed: he was an active member of society and charitable amiable man.
8 mo 26th
Since writing the foregoing brother Thomas has not been so well & has put off his trip to England for some time.
He got cold which brought on a bilious attack - the effects of it are going off & I hope he will soon regain his
usual health. I cant help reeling uneasy about him when anything is the matter with him. He does be out driving
every day that is fine & dry. His sister in law Anna Malcomson is to be married in the course of two weeks to Pim
Barcroft, a son of Cousin Sally Barcroft's. They are to live at Redford - the Hogg family having left it & gone to
Caledon to reside. John Hogg has a good situation as superintendent of a canal that is about being made from
Lough Erne to Lough Neigh [Neagh] (I believe it is) for which he has £200 or £250 a year & Caledon is the most
convenient place to have his residence.
One of Saml Bewley’s sons of Dublin asked for Rebecca Hogg a few weeks ago & of course will succeed. I was very glad to hear of it for she is a nice good girl & it will be an elegant match for her.
Another brother of his, Henry Bewley, asked for Anne Pike, Sarah Pike's daughter, about the same time: I have not heard if he is accepted. Anne was only a child when thee left home, so thee cant remember anything of her
Mary Shaw's children now support her, so she has not to get anything from the meeting at present. I have not
seen Eliza for a good while: she lives near Cookstown with a family as governess to several girls - children I might
say Old Doctor Dickon is dead - he died some months ago. Sally and her mother live together in the same house
& Anne & her husband live occasionally with them. Sally is still delicate but she seems much as she has been for
some years past.
I forget whether I wrote thee an account of Cousin Thos Boardman's death. I think it was in 2nd or 3rd mo he
died. He had been a long time declining & had lost his memory in a great degree. Cousin Ellen is still living & Sally
& young Ellen live with her - neither of them are married, nor any of Hannah Gilmore’s daughters. Uncle &
Aunt Sinton are well: I heard from them this week - I was at the Moyallon Meeting & spent a few days agreeable
afterwards with them this summer. Cousin William Dawsons son Henry is very ill at present in consumption - he
is not expected to survive many weeks. His family will miss him greatly: he was verry active about the business &
kind & affectionate to them all. He is quite aware of his situation & perfectly resigned to go, which must be a great
consolation to them all. Still I feel for them very much - I know what it is to lose two dear brothers.
Jane Wakefield has been confined to bed for the last 8 mos with a sore leg & her recovery is considered doubtful;
one of her daughters, Sophia, [Ellen Sophia Christy] died of fever on 7th day evening last. She had been ill for
nearly two months & got better & was able to be out, when she got a relapse which soon carried her off. So they
have very severe trials at present. Indeed few families of our acquaintance but have had trials of one kind or another
- I have no doubt they are permitted for a wise purpose.
Susanna has not returned from Bailynahinch yet but I expect her soon now. Father sends a 7/- piece under the
seal for Anson John: I hope it will go safely. I would wish you to write on receipt of this letter if you have not done
so previously. Did I write thee before that Cousin William Greeves now lives in Grange & is married again to a
daughter of Susey Greer's of the Bridge; her name is Hannah, I suppose thee remembers her. She is not a bright fancy
as the saying is, but she will make him a good wife. They were married in Church, neither of them being members.
Cousin Thommy Malcomson died the latter end of 4th month [April 27]. The family continue to live in
Belfast. Sister Rachel had a son about 3 weeks ago, whom they call Thomas for him. She & baby are both doing
nicely. Brother Thomas has now 3 fine children: his eldest boy is indeed a very fine boy of his age - 3 years & ¾
qrs - he is a lively child & I think will require a good deal of management. I expect to go to the Grange meeting
which is to commence on 1st day week, when I hope to see all our relations in that quarter. I always visited our
dear Mother's grave & William's when I was there, & now I have dear Johns to see likewise. There is a mournful
pleasure in visiting the graves of those we love while living, & our hearts ought to be improved by it: they are gone
only a short time before us.
Abraham Bell of New York and 4 of his children are in Ireland on a visit at present: some of them were never
in this country before and are greatly pleased with it. They spoke of returning in the fall but their friends hope to
persuade them to remain till spring. Cousin Ruth Nicholson is still in an asylum in America. It is a pity she ever
left her own country. The people in America did not understand her & she says did not treat her well. Perhaps
she only fancied so - she was always an oddity but no one ever thought here of her growing crazy.
I am glad to be able to inform thee that John Walpole is a great deal better & able to attend to his business again.
Cousin Elizabeth is also better & writes in better spirits than heretofore. Her two sons are now at the Provincial
School & we do often have them with us. Father & Aunt join me in dear love to thee, brother William & the
children individually. So, hoping to hear from you soon again, I will bid thee an affectionate farewell & believe
me dear Anne as ever
thy truly affectionate sister