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Title: Greeves, John Sr to O'Brien, William, 1837
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderGreeves, John Sr
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationlinen trader
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginLisburn, N.Ireland
DestinationLake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien, William
Recipient Gendermale
Relationshipfather-in-law - son-in-law
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count843
Genrebad state of economy, bill, family
TranscriptLisburn 20th 6 mo 1837

Dear Wm
Thy letter dated 1 mo 8th 1837 reached us in due course, by which I observe you have left off farming. The
discouragement you have had, with sickly state of your son Thos and the bad crops &c &c &c is quite a sufficient
excuse for you to try another situation. I think you have had bad success since you went to that quarter, which 1
think was on the persuasion of Jacob Taylor; is he to the fore or doth he reside in that Country. I expect you will
have considerable dificulty in disposing of your farm, as I suppose the times are bad with you & cash scarce, as
well as here. The lower class of people here are in a most miserable [state], provisions dear and but little or no
employment as the weaving trade of all kinds hath failed and only for a railway that hath comenced from Belfast
to this town, which employs about 2 or 3 hundred people. But that is but little to the working classes in other
places; the mizerable world seems to be tottering to its center, the many tailors [failures] in almost all quarters, and
I think America seems to have its full share.
I understand that my son Thos wrote to you about 2 or 3 mo. ago enclosing a Bill on Abraham Bell for £10
British, since which time I hear that he hath stopt payment: if so, it is best for thee to return it to Thos as the drawer
of it is safe so far.
I expect that my son in his letter hath informed you of the melancolly state of my dear Jane. It is now nearly
12 months since I sent her to a Lunatick Asylum in the neighbourhood of Dublin, and at the last Yearly Meeting
had her removed to another (the Retreat) belonging to the Society of Friends, where I think & believe she will
be taken mote care of; and trust with the assistance of kind providence and Doctor Harvey she may be restored
to her mental faculties. By the last accounts, we think het rather better as we mostly hear every 2 weeks from the
manager of the place. I was loth to mention the worst of her when I wrote thee in my last. I have to pay # 2 pr
yr for her keeping. She took it out of a fever which she got m Armagh where some of Mary's children has had it.
Perhaps Thos did not mention anything to thee about thy brothr Danl & family - which I am sorry to tell thee
he has failed early in last spring, as I hear to a large amt, some say to £9000: and I am sorry to hear that his
creditors will get but very little, some say not 5/- in the pound, which is a disreputable failor. The Bank of Ireland
was a creditor, and their agent treated him very harshly, I hear did not leave him a bed to lye in. Since his failor
his eldest son John is in Youghall. his eldest daughter Anne is with Mary in Armagh & Margaret & Elizabeth the
youngest is here. Thos is at Moummelick School and Mary Jane is in Balitore with Betsy Barrington who was so
kind that she took her for one year & sends her to school; and he hath none with him but his son Ceo: what he
means to do is hard to say. He hath acted contrary to some of his best friends advice in getting into too many kinds
of business, which ended in his total ruin.
What I have mentioned, you may have some little idea the state of my family &c &c. Notwithstanding the
unfavourable acct I have given, I have cause through adorable Mercy (to be thankful) that I am still able to go about
& do a little business. The last winter hath been verry unhealthy and a great many people and mostly aged died
of influenza which was verry prevalent. I was mostly confined to the house with it for a month & it hath left great
weakness, so that I still feel die effects of it. Sister Molly escaped it wonderfully, but is now poorly with cold.
We wrote to Carlow, wishing to get Jno Wright's address but suppose the confusion & trouble that Dan & his
family was in, [it] escaped their attention. Among the failors last winter was our cousin Wm Simon of Corn
Market, Dublin. Since then he his wife [Ann] & Children went out to New Orleans to her brother Jackson, who
hath taken them to Lewisville [Louisville] up the Mississippi, State of Kentucky, about 16 hundred miles from New
Orleans, who offers to befriend them verry much. I have wrote you a long letter and perhaps Susanna may cross
it & give you some further information about our relations.

thy afft Father
John Greeves

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