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Title: O'Brien, Joseph Sinton to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 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
DestinationCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count2078
Genreenquires about the farm, illness, trip to Bayside, clothes, news of family, busy at work
TranscriptNew York 5 Mo 3d 1842

My Dear Mother
Thy truly acceptable letter came safely to hand within five days after it was mailed. I was glad to hear that Thomas
had got quite stout again and I was quite surprized to heat that they had ploughed so much already, and J think
they did right in ploughing that part of the meadow thee speaks of; but thee does not say what they intend to put
on it. I am glad to hear that the cattle all look so well, but I did not think you would have had to buy hay - the
winter was so mild - and I think after this it would be more prudent to keep less stock than to be buying hay in
the spring. If it had been a hard winter I do not know what you would have done, for then you could have got no
hay when you would have wanted a great deal more. I was sorry to hear they had done nothing at the mill although
I did not expect they would be able to, on account of bad roads this winter. I think it would be best for rather to
write to cousin James at once and tell him how it is, for he will have to write to him or cousin J will think hard
I have been quite well till last first day. I was quite sick so as to be hardly able to sit up, but a dose of salts and
an additional comforter on my bed made me quite well again, excepting a little weakness which thee knows I
always feel after such spells. Abraham met with a sad accident on first day as he and Anne were coming from
Bayside in the carnage. While driving along the third Avenue the horse was frightened at an umbrella and ran away.
1 he carnage struck a lamp post and threw them out, and Abm fell on his face and was taken up insensible and
conveyed to the nearest house, where soon recovered enough to know what had happened, but would not suffer
himself to be bled which might, have been of use to him. They immediately sent a man into town to tell us and
James and Thomas Richardson took a carriage and went for him. He went to bed immediately on coming home
and has not been able to sit up much since, although he is getting along very well.
I wish you had seen Dr Moore for he dined with us the day they left here for Buffalo and it was him that I saw
have the letters from Maria. I am glad to hear that Maria has taken the school as the boys and Margaretta can have a chance to go when they can be spared. J. Beale says his daughter Abby is teaching school and likes it very well and that they like her - it is a friends select school. Joseph B. met with a sad accident about 2 weeks ago- he was
going to meeting in a light waggon with two of hi, daughters and while passing another waggon the wheels struck
and turned his waggon over and he fell on his face and side and hurt himself so badly as not to be able to come
to town for a week. His family desire to be remembered to you all.
I have been out to Bayside but did not stay long as we went out and back the same day, but I never had a more
pleasant ride. It was as fine a morning as we have had this spring and the fields green and the trees were beginning
to put out their leaves and every thing looked so beautiful after leaving the city that it is worth while living in the
cry a few weeks for the pleasure one feels on again beholding the works of nature. Here there is nothing natural:
every thing seems to be forces into existence as it were by artificial means- ‘tis true we have trees birds and flowers - but the trees are in straight rows and flowers going about the streets on wheelbarrows or carts instead of growing
in a garden, and birds I have but to look at to feel sorry for them. Well when I got into to [sic] the country I felt
as no one can feel who has never lived in the city. Not that [I] like the city less but the country m[ore] I had been
out to Harlem on the railroad on business a few weeks before, but it was a rainy day and when I got there I had
to walk about half a mile and it was such bad going that no body was to be seen and I felt so lonely that I was dad
to get back to the city.
Bayside is just the place thee would like to live. I wish thee could see the garden: they have a great many different flowers already and some early vegetables such as lettuce, Spinnage, Rhubarb and Asparagus. Thomas is a real
farmer and has every thing so handy that it is no trouble at all to till a farm, but he helps very little himself although
he looks like one of our western farmers. Thomas and Eliza at present on a visit to Pensyvania where they have gone to see Eliza's sisterwho is not well. She has got the consumption and they think she will not live long. We
expect them back on fifth day or as soon as they hear Abram is hurt. Ah ram and Annie had been out to the farm
three or four days on account Tho1 and Eliza being gone. I gave Thomas the reciept [recipe] for the grafting wax
and he tried to make some but did not make it right and could do nothing with, so he grafted some with mud
just as they used in the old times. He was not particular enough to get the right proportions of the ingredients and
got it too hard, and he thinks it will melt off when the warm weather comes. His orchard does not look well and
he does not keep it pruned as he ought to. The orchard was the only thing that was neglected and I was surprized
to see they knew so little about one. When I told A the importance of it he would have me prune three or four
small one[s] Just for the experiment, for, says he, "it looks reasonable".
Thee asks me about my clothes. My coat begins to look rather old - and one of the buttons came off this
morning - and is not hardly fit to go to meeting in; but it is so neat summer now that I do not know what kind
of a coat to get. I wish thee would tell me next time thee writes, for I think 1 might do without till that time. My
dark trowsers look nearly as good as new but those that I wear every day look dirty -but they look as if they never
would wear out. I find that I have not shirts enough as I do wear one from first untill fifth or sixth day when I get
my clean clothes, and it gets vety dirty by that time; and then I put on clean one for one or two days and then I
have to change it, or I will have but one the next week. I told James I wanted some shirts and he said he would
get me some, perhaps to day.

5 Mo 5th
Abram is getting better as fast as could be expected and was able to be down to tea last evening. I hope rather will
write to Abram when any of the merchants come down because he would be very glad to hear from him; and tell
father to write to me at the same time; and when Maria goes to write, I want her to read my two last letters for
there are some questions I want her to answer; and I want her to fill one letter alone, and Thomas and Margaretta
another, and thee and Father another and by putting them all in one you can write more in them. Let Thomas
and Margaretta tell the news and Maria can write something sentimental; and thee and father can give me advice
which I will endeavor to follow as far as in my power; for now that I am here I want to do all that I can. I am almost
discouraged about my writing and I cant see that I improve any but I can write very fast. Tell Cortes I am sorry
about those papers that I sent but I will be careful in future, and tell him to write to me when the merchants
come down, and any body else that wants to write, now is the time. I want know what news Maria got from
Thee has really given me a hard task, that of writing to Aunt Susanna; now I can hardly think of writing untill
I improve more of my writing. Now the excuse thee makes is that it will save postage: thee says too that the
merchants are coming to New York this spring. Now if thee will write a letter to Aunt and tell her to write to me
when she does write then I will answer it. Now, mother, I hope thee will do so and do so the first opportunity;
and I can forward it from here free of expense, as we make up a package of letters for every packet. And I wish I
could forward thee as cheap, but it would cost thee 75 dollars to go as a cabin pass anger, 130 in the steamer. Tell
Maria when she is writing to any of her friends to use some other kind of ink than thee did, for I could hardly
open my letter without tearing it: it stuck together so with the ink, besides blotting it some, so that all together I
could hardly make it out at first.
There is to be another Indian council on the 16th of this month, which will be one week from next second day,
and I think Abraham will be there if he gets well by that time. It is to be held on the Buffalo reservation. I wish
thee and father could be there and see him and you might persuade him [to) go home with you; and I wish he
would for he ... [mu]st have forgotten how we looked. Remember the day, 16th, and go if you can and the roads
are not too bad. Dont forget to tell all the merchants to tall that are coming down, nor miss of any opportunity
of writing. You must begin to write your letters about a week before you are ready to send them. Be sure and get
some new ink.
With love to all I remain

thy afft

P.S. Be sure and have father write Co Abrm, and Maria ought to write to the girls. We had a letter from Rebecca
7th day; she is well and they want her to stay all summer. Ought I to send any of my clothes home that I do not
want. How is Aunt Lydia this winter? Do you intend to visit OBriens this summer. Will there be a good deal
of fruit this summer. My best respects to Julia & Susan: I hope they are O.K. in Pontiac. John Wright is coming
to N.Y. again next month. James is going to hire a book keeper, for since Larry has been gone we have had ...

4 [5?] Mo 6 morning
I was so busy yesterday afternoon I did not get my letter ready for the mail. The Steam ship Caledonia has arrived
and we Shall have a very busy day. James has hired a hook keeper by the name of Henry Hawley, a married man
about 35 years of age and quite steady, just such a one as I would like if he were an Irish man. James and I will
not have to be confined so much as we have been, for we were often till 11 oclock at night ... off. He is just the
reverse of Larry.