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Title: O'Brien, Maria Wright to O'Brien, William, 1840
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderO'Brien, Maria Wright
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationstudent
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginPhiladelphia, Penn., USA
DestinationLake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien, William
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1176
Genretravelling, visiting relatives, news of family
TranscriptPhiladelphia 10th month 23rd 1840

Dear Father
Cousin James wishes me to write sooner than I had intended to on account of a letter that his partner Andrews
wrote thee the 24th of last month, enclosing a hundred dollar bank bill. He feels very anxious about it, thinking
thee would have written if thee had received it. I suppose that thee will be rather surprised to find I am here. I came
on with Cousin James when he returned from Ireland and he was so kind as to bring me at his own expense. I have
been here since first day night, which in all 3 days, and have seen a good deal of the city. I returned about an hour
ago from a visit to the Toussant [Tussaud] Wax works and truly I am not surprised that the Philadelphians are proud
of them, for a nobler work cannot be imagined. Cousin Thomas went with me and took a great deal of pains
to take [me] through all the different pares, but thee must not expect me to describe them although I would like
for the children ... Yesterday Cousin Mary took me to see Philadelphia?] ... Museum and in the evening we
took tea at William Fling's, a brother of Cousin James' first wife, and spent a very agreeable evening; and
tomorrow we are to go to take tea with a sister-in-law of his. Cousin J ... lives with his mother (Wm Fling's
mother): her name is Susan Fling - she is a very kind nice old woman. I expect to spend the next week with Aunt
Greeves [Mary Greeves née Emlen], as Cousin Mary [James’ sister] is to take me out there. She lives in the country
and is seldom in town.
Cousin James is very much pleased with his visit to our friends in Ireland and England. Aunt Jane traveled with
him through England and Scotland and Aunt Susanna and Cousin Anna O'Brien were with him through Ireland.
Uncle Thomas was in London on business when he was there and Aunt Jane and he called on Uncle Joshua who
still lives there. James says that he intended to have called with them but was prevented some way or other. He
bids me say that they were well. He brought a letter for me from Cousin Anna O'Brien but put it in the office in
New York before he knew that I was there. I suppose that you will get it before this. James says that he left our
friends generally well. Grandfather and Aunt Molly are very much on the decline, particularly the latter, though
Aunt Jane says in a letter to him since his arrival that Aunt is much better. James found Grandfather much less
infirm than he expected for one of his years, so that he assists a good deal in the shop.
I have not decided whether to stay all winter or not. Abram mentioned to me that he thought that I had better.
I told him that I did not want to tire anyone by staving too long. He said that I was welcome to stay as long as I
was contented and if I did not stay long he would think I was tired of them. However he said that he would talk
more of after I had come back from here. So the[e] will please write me thine and Mother's opinion about it
I spent nearly a week at Bayside with Thomas and his wife [Eliza], who is a very nice young woman. It is a very
retired place, as much so as where we live. The place is under a fine state of cultivation. When I was there I took
up a fine parcel of bulbs to dry to take home with me-they are of different kinds: tulips, hyacinths and three kinds
of lilys, and when I am about going I am to get some cuttings of the black currents, English Gooseberry, box,
weeping willow &c; so I think with an almost endless variety of seeds I will make out quite a cargo. If I stay all
winter I will try to get home early enough in the spring to bring them.
While I was in New York the fair of the American Agricultural Institute was open, and as Abram was a
member he could take in any member of his family that he chose; so that I had a very good opportunity and went there three limes while it lasted, and he was one of the judges to set a value on the cattle and he did not Like to go
without some of us. It was open more than three weeks and was a fine display of mechanics as well as of different
productions. Among other things I saw some beautiful specimens of needle work done chiefly by the public schools
of that city. They have had something of the kind in this city, I had hoped to have seen that also but it closed the
day before I came here - it is said to have exceeded that of N.Y.
I wish that some of you would write soon if you have not. It seems a long time since I left home and I have not
had a word since. However I have enjoyed myself very well indeed. Tell Mother I saw a distant cousin of ours in
N.Y. at Abram's - her name is Hannah Robinson. She and her daughter called one afternoon and invited us to
tea but I came away in a few days and we did not go, but I expect to see her again. She desired her love to Mother
when I wrote. Abram wishes me to write to Aunt Jane and I think that I will when I have heard from home.
Cousin James was talking about the mill a few minutes ago and from what he said I think that he expect? thee
will have it ready to ... but that was before he knew anything about ... his inquiries about what thee had done
about... I told him of the timber cut and some things done toward ... to put off awhile as thee not get much ...
had done some of the pole work which ... but said he hoped thee would try to get
Tell Margaretta that Ann was very ... placed them in a large book ... Rebecca says she is often thinking ... and
that I hope that they ate good boys and try to learn ... Tell Thomas I would like to have him here with me ... see
all the different kinds of machinery going by ... a great many others. It would have been a feast for him to spend
a day there. Joseph must write to me soon and the rest can write a little in his letter. With dear love to all I remain,
dear Father

Affectionately thy daughter
Maria O’Brien

Please remember me to all that enquire about me and give a kiss to Willy.