|Title:||Greeves, Jane to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1836|
|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, crops, fire in New York|
|Transcript||[Undated: about 2 mo 1836]|
My dear sister
I was in Armagh when thy very welcome letter arrived, but it was forwarded to me and I would have replied to it
sooner but waiting till I would return home, which I only did yesterday morning after an absence of 8 weeks. I
had not been so long from home before for 10 years. I went to Armagh in consequence of the illness of Sister Mary's
eldest little boy, Wm John. He had been declining for some time but she did not apprehend immediate danger
till the day or so before I went: which when I heard of I started off in one of the coaches, but be was gone about
3/4 of an hour before I arrived. It was another severe trial to her, poor woman, but she bore it with Christian
patience and resignation & is now thankful he is gone as she knows he is well provided for. I spent 5 weeks with
her as she seemed to have most occasion for my company, & the remainder of the time I was in Dungannon and
the neighbourhood which I enjoyed very much.
I spent a few days at Milton in company with Abram Bell & his family, all of whom I was much pleased with.
They have offered to take charge of me with pleasure if I would go to New York with them, & send company with
me to see thee. But all could not induce me to go — nor would I get leave if I were ever so willing. If it was any
place I could travel to by land I would not mind it so much, if I had time to spare & plenty of money. But I feel
a kind of terror of the sea which would not be easily overcome since the time I was nearly lost coming from
England, so I dont expect ever to be in America.
Brother Thomas gets his health much better than he did. He generally gets out to Meeting (of which is an
overseer) twice a week. He takes a cold shower bath every morning, which he thinks has been of great use to him
&is the means of keeping him from taking cold. I hope if he gets over this spring well that he may be stouter than
he has been for some years. Rachel is finely: the more I know of her, I like her the better. They have 3 very fine
children - they are not to say handsome, but they are sensible for their ages, that is the two eldest. The baby is
only 6 months old & is an uncommonly fine child of his age. He is called for his grandfather [Thomas]
Malcomson. If he lives he will be the handsomest of them all. I delivered thy message to Rachel who desired her
love to thee & to say that she remembers very well the time you spent together at Milton & often thinks of it with
pleasure. She & the children do be often down there now: they are great favourites with their uncle and aunt
Greet. Anne Greer is still with them - she was enquiring for thee, as was also many of our relations in Tyrone.
I spent two days at Beechgrove with Sarah & Jonathon Pike agreeably. Their eldest, Anne, was married a few
months ago to a son of Saml Bewley's of Dublin [Henry] who is considered very wealthy & is a most amiable well
informed young man, so that she may have a prospect of earthly happiness. Richard Pike is the only one ... [of]
their sons who is at home. The other two [James and William] are apprenticed to the Bewleys in Dublin to the
grocery business. They are so much grown they are almost like young men. Cousin Margaret Pike lives at
Beechgrove with them when she is at home, but she has been spending this winter with Betsy Barrington in
Bali tore, where she is enjoying herself & continues to be favoured with good health. I never go to that quarter but
I miss Cousin Wm Pike, the dear nice old gentleman who always gave me such a kind hearty welcome.
I spent a day at Dreehill. The family there are much as usual, seldom all well at once. Anna has 4 fine children:
2 of the boys are at Lisburn School & we have them with us occasionally. They are still the same kind people, but
thy have not been fortunate in their affairs lately, however I hope they are now in a way of doing better. They were
enquiring for thee, as was also many other of our relations in that quarter. I also spent a few days at Redford with
John Pim Barcroft & his wife [Anna] who is a sister of Rachels and was a particular friend of mine before her
marriage. They were married about 5 months ago & were to have married sooner but her brother Thomas, who
had resided in Liverpool for some time previous, came over some days before to attend the marriage, took very
ill and died the morning of the day appointed for its accomplishment — which thee may be sure was a great shock to them all & to every one connected with them. His disease was what the Doctors called Anurism or an
enlargement of one of the principal blood vessels somewhere in his stomach. It had been coming on for some time
although his general health appeared good. When the rupture rook place he did not survive many minutes. He
was very much beloved by his family & friends and greatly lamented - he was kind hearted & affectionate. He
had been over in Ireland a short time before on a visit & had spent some time with us: we missed him a good deal.
Our dear Father continues to enjoy pretty good health & looks well. I trust he shall be spared to us many years
yet. He still attends to the shop occasionally but not so much latterly as he used. Nor indeed for the last 6 or 8
months has there been so much occasion, for business has not been so good as heretofore: had it been good, I could
not have been from home so long. Aunt Molly is much as usual, still able to go about the house but never very
stout. She frequently gets out to Meeting: it is situated very near us, which is a great matter for both her & Father.
I hope Aunt Greeves [Mary, née Emlen] & Cousin Mary will get to see you in spring: it will be pleasant for
thee to see the face of a relation. Cousin Margaret [Greacen] regretted she could not get to see you. She and James
are getting along slowly but safely: they dont appear to be saving much if anything, but I hope business will
increase with them & when they can make out life at all respectably they dont wish to complain.
We were concerned to hear you had so much trouble in saving your grain last year. We had a very wet summer
& harvest & the farmers had a great deal of trouble in saving their produce. Yet notwithstanding, provisions keep
moderate - wheat is at present about 9/- a cwt [hundredweight], potatoes 2d p. stone, oatmeal 11/6 p. cwt, beef
3d to 5d p. lb; mutton 6d which you would consider dear; pork is high, it is about 35/- p.cwt. Those who have
had many pigs will be well paid for their keeping.
Margaret O'Brien has been with us for the last 10 weeks. She helps us in the shop & is useful to us in other
ways. Her father thinks it will be an advantage to her to be under our care for awhile, & I hope we will be enabled
to do her justice in the best sense. She has a great likeness to her dear Mother and more of her disposition than
any of the rest. I sent them your direction to Carlow not long ago, so I hope they will write to you soon if they
have not already done so.
Thee wished me to say something of Maria Makomson that was. She and her husband have been living in New
York for the [last] 6 or 7 years & I believe they continue to make out life very comfortably. Her Uncle Bell has been useful to them, I believe. I suppose you soon heard of the dreadful fire after it occured in New York: it must
have been an awful sight; had it happened in this country it would be many years if ever it would be rebuilt, but it
seems that it will require only a very short time there, chat they think before another year goes about that there will
be as many & finer houses than have been burned. What an active enterprising people the Americans are.
I was glad to hear you got the 7/- piece safe. Father now sends W a sovereign to Margaret: I believe she did not
get any before. I think it is only natural thee should wish to see thy native country once more, yet I would not
wish to say much if anything to induce thee to come, as I fear it would not tend to make thee mote happy. Thee
would see a great change indeed & miss many kind friends and dear faces; & while thee would be here thee could
not enjoy thyself thinking of them at home & the thoughts of having to part with thee again would make it very
trying to us also. So, much as I wish to see thee, I would feel afraid to encourage thee to come.
I saw Uncle Sam when in Armagh - he was finely but is looking old, which is no shame for him. Aunt Ruth
is well also. Several friends have died in that neighbourhood. Cousin Molly Phelps is still living & gets her health
well - all her family that have lived with her for some years are with her still, but Bess gets her health very badly.
I dont seem to have much if anything more to say except that I would wish thee write soon after receiving this.
With dear love to Wm & the children individually in which Father, Aunt & Susanna unites, I am dear Anne
thy truly afft. Sister