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Title: O'Brien, Joseph Sinton to O'Brien, Thomas Emlyn, 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, Thomas Emlyn
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1045
Genrework, seeing different parts of NYC, trip to Bayside, enquires about school and friends
TranscriptDear Tom
I am very much indebted to thee for thy long letter and wish that I could write one as long to thee. We have been
pretty busy for the last two or three weeks shipping wheat and corn to Liverpool, the wheat coming from all parts
of the U.S. here in small quantities of from 500 to 2000 bushels. We have a broker to buy it for us and we pay
him ½ per cent brokerage. It is his business to look out for any grain that comes to market and he does nothing
else but buy the grain and receive his pay. Our broker is Geo. T. White. The wheat that we get from the south is
all put up in a cheap sort of sack or bag called a gunny-bag - these we have the most trouble with as they often
get damaged with warm weather and long voyages: the consequence is that a person has to inspect all of it as it
goes out of bond. This lot fell to me and I call myself a pretty good judge of grain now. The bags were set on the
deck of the vessel and opened and I had to put my hand into every one of them and in this way I inspected
thirteen thousand bushels in two days, rejecting about 500 bushels. This wheat was all paid for on delivery in cash
and just see what a sum it was when we paid $1.27 per bushel for it, since which we have bought as much
more, the ship to sail this afternoon.
I read thy letter in the cabin of the vessel while the workmen had gone to their dinner - it being the first
opportunity although I received it in the morning - and would have lost my dinner had not the mate been kind
enough to ask me to dine with him on board. Since writing to Maria I have been in the country two or three times
- the first time to Staten Island which thee will see is between the city and the Atlantic, so that the open sea cannot
be seen from the city. I told Abram the night before that I wanted to go into the country and he was willing. The
next morning I took a walk down Broadway to the Battery and stepped aboard the steamboat Wave, over which
a large flag was flying on which it was declaired that she was a regular opposition Boat671 and would take passengers
for sixpence each; it was a very fine morning with a gentle breeze blowing and the river was covered with every
kind of sail boat. We had a fine view of the country on each side and as we left the city we had a full view of the shipping, which looked more like a forest than anything else. We soon reached the city [island] a distance of nine
miles, and landed almost 10 o'clock, and from that time rill 4 in the afternoon I enjoyed myself very much,
rambling through the green fields and beautiful woods with which the greater part of the country is coveted - more
than I expected. On the lower side of the Island there is a telegraph and a large fort. 1 ascended the top of the latter
from which can be seen the country for a great distance around, with the city half hid from view by a small island
in the river just below it. On one side can be seen the Hudson as far as eye can reach; on the other a full view of
the ocean and the coast of Rockaway, on which a perpetual surf is forever dashing, which looks in the bright
sunlight like a field of snow. After gazing a long time I went down to the shore and took a bath, which was very
refreshing; after took steps toward home.
Since then I have been to Bays ide and stayed two days - the third and fourth of July. We expected to have had
a large party, but just at the time that the steamer left it was raining very hard so that the patty was small - all
gentlemen, except Mary and Ann [Bell]. The first day we were there it rained all the forenoon, but was very fine
the rest of the day. The next morning we were up very early and went and took a boat in the bay— were prepared
to go fishing and having secured a small sail boat and eaten our breakfast we set out. The place we intended to go
to was about 3 miles but having a fair breeze we were there in about a half hour. We were there about 4 hours and
in [hat time I caught three small fish about the size of a good trout —and some caught none at all. One of the party
caught a small shark about three feet long which made him feel very large. We soon got tired fishing and set out
for home, when we round the wind blowing from the direction we wanted to go, yet still we made it, bringing us
to port, but we had to sail 15 miles to make 3. When we got home we were very hungry, and when we sat down
it was very near night. I think that I enjoyed myself as well as any of them.
I think that you have had great times with the pigeons; as for me, I have not seen one since I have been here.
Dan has been annoying them, has he? Well done, Dan, thee ought to go to Texas. Was your debating school kept
up all winter? Have the young converts lost all their religion yet? Where is Andrew S. this summer? What kind of
fence are you going to make with Abija Smith? Tell me everything, Tom, for I may not be home in two years
to come. Dont sell little Brock for me, I think that she will yet be a good cow, if not this summer. That must be
a fine colt of thine, I expect thee rides him by now. I am well. Write soon to

thy affectionate Brother