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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 Count1167
Genrenews of family anfd friends, selling their horse
TranscriptDear Mother

Thy letter written on first day, and which I suppose did not leave home till afternoon, I was reading on fourth day
morning at nine o'clock. I suppose that when thee was writing thee did not know that thee was writing anything
very funny, but two or three times while reading it 1 laid it down and laughed till the tears ran down my face. And
taking it together, it was the most interesting letter that I have had from home since I have been here. I wish it
was no more for me to write a letter than it is for thee.
Rebecca has got home and it seems more like home than it did before. She has grown fleshy since she was gone
and she has enjoyed her trip much and had for her company David Malcomson and a Mrs. Ferguson whom I have
not seen. They spent 4 days at the N. Falls and David thinks it is worth a journey across the Atlantic to see them.
David is here; a real Irishman, very well informed, not at all proud, rather quiet sort of fellow but very fond of a
joke - he is about 5 feet high and with a body in proportion - quite young, looking not more than 25 altho' he
must be older, & just the person I should like for a companion. He has a brother in Ireland that thinks of coming
to America and buying a farm in Illinois and who has written to David asking him about the country. David
showed me the letter that he received from him — he seems to be aware of the difficulties encountered in leaving
a home in Ireland and going to settle in a new country but is willing to meet and overcome them. He does not
come with the intention of setting up to be a great gentleman but wants to own a good farm on which to settle
down for life and to provide for a family. He has the means to purchase a farm and to build to suit himself. He is
tired of life of commercial pursuits, and yet having a thorough knowledge of all lines of business could turn
attention, should farming not succeed. To such a man I would say Come by all means, i told David, who passed
through Illinois and thinks a good deal of it, that he must not give his brother too good a discription of it but to
tell him that a man could live there if he was willing to assist and oversee all that was going on, on the farm - to
represent the difficulties as greater than he thought them and of a difficult nature. That the soil will not produce
unless it is cultivated and if cultivated will yield an abundant harvest. I do not wonder that Father talks of going
west when thee hears such fine stories of it and meets with so many disappointments from frost and cold weather
in Collins.
And Maria and Thomas mean to go too, do they? Well I hope that they will as soon as they can, and I should
think that would be very soon since traveling is so cheap. There were two men in the office about two weeks ago
that came from Detroit in Mich, for $5 each. They paid $1.50 to come down the Lake- $ 3.00 board included
- from Buffalo to Albany via canal and 50 cents from Al. to N.Y., board included. But they were a week coming,
which must be considered.
Phoebe Sinton is in Jersey City. She was at Abram's and spent an evening with her niece Mary Tracy who is quite
an old maid and is as homely as I am. They staid till nine o'clock and then Phoebe declared that she [must] go over
the river again that night - so of course I had to go with them and see them safe on board the steamboat. So after
a long ride down Broadway and a long walk or run, for we heard the bell ringing before we got there, and Phoebe
was so afraid of being left behind that when we got there she hardly [had] breath enough to say she wished to be
remembered to thee and to give me a pressing invitation to come and see them if ever I chanced to be in their
neighborhood. She is just what thee thinks she is. She did say a great deal about Jacob Taylor but did not make
many inquiries as someone would have had to talk to answer her.
I have had no news from Ireland lately. Thos Richd [Richardson] is just such a person as thee thinks him; very
proud and likes to let people know he is very rich. He takes very little comfort of his life and nobody to blame
but himself. He visits at Abms and spends two or three evenings there every week.
I think that Thomas might write by Frank or Biglow, as he can sit down and write every time his [he] has a few
minutes to spare as he did before. I like that way of writing and you do not know every thing interests me that
comes from home.
It is now 7th day 30th and I intended to have mailed it today but will try to mail it in the morning. The New
World I will stop sending except when it costs me nothing, which is often the case as Abm owns the building where
it is printed, which is directly behind our office facing on another street, in which there are no less than four
papers printed within ten yards of us.
I have not been to J. Seal's yet to visit but think I shall go soon - his family are well at present, but his wife has
been unwell for sometime past. He offered to pay my expenses if I would go home with him which I think is very
I am very sorry to hear that butter is so cheap this summer and when I told Ah ram he said that I must tell you
to save it and pack it up, and send it down here in the fall. I wish I had Pompey here if you are really going to sell him - but I suppose there is no way to get him here unless Tom rides him down to take a look at N.Y., which he
could do very well if you were not so busy. How many calves will you have next winter? Are there going to be any
beech nuts next fall? Tell me how much hay you are going to have. Answer this soon as I shall be anxious till I hear
from it. Postage from home this way never costs me anything as James pays it - but A. knows nothing about it.
With love to all I remain

thy affectionate