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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
DestinationCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien, Maria Wright
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1357
Genrenews of family and friends, trip to the North River, weather, enquires about relatives
TranscriptNew York 5 Mo 12th 1842

My Dear Sister
It is so short a time since I wrote to mother that I have not much to tell thee. Abram is not so well as he expected
to be and will not be able to go to Buffalo. The friends are in town that are going and leave this afternoon in the
steam boat for Albany. They are Benjm Ferris and P. E. Thomas. They do not know but they will go to
Cattaraugus before they return, and you will perhaps see them. Abram seems to get well very slowly but he is able
to be about the house. I believe I did not tell thee that Anne was hurt some, but not badly.
Eliza's Sister that I spoke of as being sick is deceased and Thomas and Eliza attended her funeral on third day
last and returned home yesterday. One of Eliza's sisters was married a few weeks before. There was a great fire
here last evening at 9 oclock which distroyed fourteen houses and rendered twice as many families homeless.
It was truly heart rending to witness it. It was in the vicinity of the other large fire that I mentioned before and it
really looks desolate to see such a large space covered with nothing but ruins.
Anne had a letter from Rebecca yesterday but she does not say much about coming home yet: quite well and
enjoying herself very much. John Wright and his mother are expected by the Brittish Queen in a few days. We are
very busy today with a ship that was consigned to us from Liverpool and which is leaving today for Charleston
S.C. where her owners live. She left Liverpool in 11th month last, was obliged to put into Cork on act of bad
weather where it cost the Captain £800-0-0 to get her repaired, and when she got here the goods on board were
damaged on account of the long voyage and we have had such a time getting the insurance and collecting the freight
money that for a few days we have been the busiest that we have been since I was here.
It is a very warm day and I have been running about so much that I can hardly write, my hand trembles so.
I am quite well and enjoy myself. I have not been in the country for sometime. I go to meeting regularly every
week, oftener than James does. I think I shall go into the country next first day if it is fine. I went to the North
River last first day and looked across; the forest-trees appeared in full leaf and it really looked beautiful from a
distance. There are steam boats crossing every ten minutes and it costs but three cents to go across. I have been across to Hoboken once, with Willy to get minerals one first day afternoon, and Abram gave me money to pay
our rare: but it was early in the spring and before there was any thing that looked like life. It would be a delightful
place if it were not so public, but it is the only place that a person can get into the country without going several
miles and every fine day there are so many people flocking there that a person can not feel as if he were alone
I suppose Father and the boys are very busy farming, but I can hardly give a guess what they are at for I do not
know how the country looks; and then it ha, been such an extraordinary spring that there is very little change since
I have been here in the look of the city. 'Tis true the weather is warmer but that only makes it worse if anything
as it makes so much dust and I never saw such a place to get a persons clothes dirty that I really feel ashamed of
myself some times; and people here change their clothes every day _ I bought 4 pair of cotton stockings a day or
t[w]o ago because I could not bear the woolen ones in warm weather; and when I told James I wanted some
stockings he immediately gave me a five dollar bill and told me to get them myself; but I gave him back the
remainder of the money again as it is not safe to have paper money on hand. And again when I wanted a stock he
gave me three dollars but would not take back the remainder, but said if it was not safe to keep it he would give
me silver for it, which he did. I think I shall ask him to get some cloth for a coat, for I need one badly so that I
may look a little better on first day than I do in the middle of the week.
Abm has not heard from Uncle Sam1 Simon and he has not said any thing about it lately; but if Father or
Mother writes to him they might mention it and may be he would write again. I hope father will write to Abm
and if father does not, try to have mother write. I hope mother will write to Aunt Susanna to write to me for I
could answer her letter better than I could write to her first. Has thee ever answered cousin Anna's letter: if not
now is the tune and it will save postage and I can send it from here without postage, although people here have
to pay a shilling each.
... tell me what news from Philad - are there any more weddings? and give me a description of Rachael Healy's
wedding; are Portia and John D. married yet or are they going to be? How are George [McMillen] and Mary
Ann and how are they getting along? Where are all Hugh [McMillen]'s family gone to? Has thee got thy money
tor teaching school yet? My best respects to Aunt Chloe and Stephen Hussey. How does your south meeting
prosper and is it likely to continue this summer. How are Lewis and Eliza Varney getting along? Did Benjm
Willdifield stay with them this winter? What of Isaac Laing and of his mother.
I suppose you have my other letter by this time and f think you will get this before the merchants leave for New
York. Read my other letters before thee writes. I have not seen any wild pidgeons this spring: I want Thomas to
tell me if he shot any this spring. I want to know how many cows you will have this summer and I want to know
what luck you had with the calves you wintered, for I was afraid they would never live through. What could you
sell Pompey for? What do cows sell for, I mean good ones, and what did you pay for hay per ton. The Ship that
left here for Charleston today took about 150 tons of hay, for which we paid 65 cents per hundred. This to you
would seem rather a curious cargo and I could hardly have believed it if I had not seen it, but it is packed up in
bales about four feet square and six long and takes up much less room than a person would suppose that had not
Joseph Beal and family are well. I believe I did not tell mother that his oldest daughter was hurt some at the
time the waggon tipped over with them, so that she was not able to be in School for three or four days. Remember
me to all that are kind enough to inquire for me and tell me what people think of my staying in N.Y. I have no
more time to write as it is now six oclock and I must take my letter to the steam boat, for I expect the friends have
taken tea by this time and if I go to the house I may miss of them. With love to all and a kiss for Willy, I remain

thy afft brother