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Title: O'Brien, Joseph Sinton to O'Brien, Maria Wright, 1842
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderO'Brien, Joseph Sinton
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationclerk
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginNYC, USA
DestinationLake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien, Maria Wright
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1053
Genrehe likes it in NYC, enquires about the farm and the family, tells her about the business
TranscriptNew York 5th 4 mo 1842

Dear Sister
It is a long time since I wrote in answer to thy letter and I have long been expecting an answer from thee. There
is a committee appointed to go to Buffalo about the Indian affairs again and Abraham is one of them and I take
this opportunity of writing to thee. They have to Starr chis evening and I am afraid that Abrm will not go as he
was very unwell yesterday, but is better today. I think that they will not go to Cattaraugus this time, although it
may be possible, so that you may be on the lookout & if you should get my letter in time you must try to see
Abraham if he comes in your neighborhood.
I am well and with the exception of a sore throat from a cold I never was better than since I came to N.Y.
My side that was lame when I came here is entirely well, the longer I soy in N.Y. the better I like it. We have had
an extraordinary winter here and since I came here we have not had enough snow to make the ground look white
and I think that it has been nearly the same with you, from the accounts we hear from the west. I am very anxious
to hear from you, to know how you are likely to get along this spring and how die cattle wintered and whether
you will have to buy hay. Do the horses look well this spring and do you begin to think of ploughing any yet?
If Father is not stouter than he was last spring he will have to have some one to do the spring work, and I will pay
for it and I think that he might hire a hand for the summer very cheap.
Abm. has said nothing about how much he will give me but from what James said I think that they want me
to stay with them. Larry Graham has left us and there is nobody but James and I to do all the business and thee
may be sure that we are very busy, but we do not require so much help as formerly as Abraham has sold all his
ships & given up the Agency of the Trans-Atlantic Steamship Company; his business is now to buy wheat and corn
and ship it to Liverpool for other people, and since I have been here they have shipped seventy thousands of
bushels of corn and 20,000 barrels of flour and 13,000 bushels of wheat. besides great quantities of flax-seed and
clover-seed and cotton.
Then another business we do a great deal of is to send money to Ireland for poor people and thee may judge
of what a number we have to attend to when I cell thee that we send $1500 weekly and it is all sent by poor people
that work for it here; and some cannot afford more than one pound seeding, but it shows what a kind people the
Irish are, and although we send Co England on equally the same terms yet nor one in 100 sends to England. Every
persons name is taken down with the amount opposite to it and it is really amusing to read the long list of Bridgets,
and Peggys and Biddys and Patricks and Micheals that we have and then they will say "now I hope that it will go
safe, for my poor mother or father wants it very much and it is all that I have in the world." The worst of it is that
we have work to understand what they say and it would twist a persons tongue off to pronounce some of their
names, and some of them cannot spell and we have to guess at them and write what we think it is.
Joseph Beal[e] has just come in this moment and says that his family desire their [love] to be remembered to
you all, Co thee in particular - they are well. Abm's family are ail well. We often hear from Rebecca - she is well
and enjoying herself very much. I am acquainted with very few young men yet and all of them are friends; and I
begin to see the importance of keeping out of bad company, for I have had Larry for an example for which he left us - he has not ten dollars of his earnings although he got $400 a year. He has about ten thousand dollars worth of property in the city but I am afraid that he will spend it all.
I do wish that thee would write to me - I am so anxious to hear from you and hear how Father and Thomas
are. I have written this much a leetle quicker than I ever wrote so much before and I dont know how many minutes
more I shall have, so thee will have to correct the mistakes thyself. We have had a tremendous fire here that burnt
out about 200 poor families - the place where the houses stood looks desolate and reminds me of land that had
just been cleared.
Tell if Rachel Healy's wedding is over yet and if you all lived through it. Do you make any sugar this spring?
Did you do anything at the mill this winter? And do the people offer to help about it? Do you get any papers from
me? And be sure not to pay any postage for I always pay it. Do have Father and Mother write next time and do
write oftener. I am in such a hurry that I cant think of anything to write but if thee will write soon I will answer
thy letter. I dont think that Abm will go. I expect the friends here every minute that ate going, so must close.
I remain

thy affectionate Brother

If any of the merchants are coming to N.Y. this spring, be sure to have them call to see me.
As I expected, Abraham is not well enough to go and as no friends called here I will have to send my letter by
post, so that I have a chance to write some more to Daniel and Anson.