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Title: Greeves, John Sr to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1842
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderGreeves, John Sr
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationretired
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginLisburn, N.Ireland
DestinationCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1230
Genredecaying health, bad state of local economy, family adversity, family news, list of goods sent
TranscriptLisburn 8 mo 27th 1842

My dear Ann
As it is a long time since I wrote a line to William or thee, and in all probability this will be the last from thy aged
father who is in his 82nd year, I thought thou would be pleased to hear from me. I have been verry poorly this 4
or 5 months, I rook the complaint with a violent cough, which remained, for many weeks; the physician applyed
a great number of leeches under my shoulders, with blistering which relieved me considerably, but it left my
breathing much effected so much so that I am obligd to get help in putting on & off my deaths: but upon the
whole, I have a right to be thankfull that I can stir a little about at times. By a letter from thee some time ago, not
having it by me I cannot mention particulars, but I think you were all in health with other prospects, which was
cheering and I trust your latter days may be your best days.
We have had a very crying time, the poor in verry great want of employment as most of the muslin &c linen
manufacturers hath nearly quit, and many of them hath failed in large sums so that the distress with the working
classes is verry great - altho there hath been large sums of money raised to keep them from perishing; the provisions
was not remarkable dear, but the want of employment rendered the people unable to purchase them. This is one
of the most favourable summers that I ever remember and the crops appears most abundant, and the people nearly
at full harfest, which looks cheering but still a great many are in want of employment. Where the end of these things
will be is hard to say.
Well, dear Ann, my days seem fast aproaching to a close. I have fully got into the 11th hour & the old Bark finds
it hard to work, but when it slacks the Good Husbandman gives it a jog & he is not a hard taskmaster; he doth
not use the whip as some of your drivers, & my Dear if thou art permitted to aproach the throne of Grace,
remember me thy aged father, & it feels pleasant to think of thy Beloved Mother with thy Brothers & Sister, that
hath layd down their heads in sweet peace the world cannot give or take away. They were of honourable lives
which many of their friends & neighbours can testify.
Thy poor brother Danl OBrien by accts yesterday is auctioning out a second time by his creditors, the Statute
of Bankkruptcy having been taken out against him. It is a pitty of his poor children, whose conduct so far is free
from blame. His son John who we thought set up in Armagh in the house & business his Aunt Mary left with fair
prospects & is now selling out and had to compound with his creditors; I hear he is likely to get a situation as clerk
in Lpool & intends taking his wife & child with him.
Altho your lot hath been pretty hard delving in the woods, yet I think it more preferable to chose that hath
injured their neighbours by failing, as there hath been many such in this country and among the Society of Friends
whose conduct hath been a reproach to the honest hearted. On the next leaf I send a list of some things which I
thought would be of use to you this winter: I have forwarded them in a box to the care of J Makomson &c Co.,
Lpool care of Abraham Bell, in hopes he or thy son will take care to forward them on their arrival; and I desire
the freight to be paid so that you will not have any charges when they arrive, and I expect it is the last present you
will receive from me in this side of my time.
My aged sister Mary who is in the 84th year is frequently ailing, but is still able to stir a Little through the house,
which is a cause of thankfulness. Thy brother Thos is often poorly: when he gets the least cold it affects his lungs
& his breathing becomes very painfull. He is now at Warrenpoint with Rachel and their youngest child. I have
rented to him his old birthplace, Bernagh, where he goes frequently our & hath a bed where he stays for a day or
two, which seems of great use to him for his health.
Thy sister Jane with her husband is now in London paying a visit to his relations. They are expected home in
about a week; their little daughter Margaret they left behind incare of the nurse & thy sister Susanna frequently
goes to see the child. They live in a pretty situation within about a mile of Belfast.
I expect you see some accts from the newspaper of the state of the manufacturing Districts of England, which
is in a verry disturbed state & the Military had to be called out, and I hear several lives lost; many of the people is in a starving condition & there is but little appearance of it soon being bettered, & business there as well as
Ireland is nearly suspended, & only those that hath saved a little property that is now pretty much obliged to live
upon it. I would like to have a few lines from thee as soon as thou receives this. I suppose thou heard of the death
of our relation Wm Greer of Milton: he was married to Elizabeth, sister m Abraham Bell. He left his wife &
many relations a large property; he also left £3000 to build and support an agricultural school to be in the
neighbourhood of Grange or Rich hill; the scholars [are] to be those that their parents hath lost their Birthright
in the Society. There is a school of such in this neighbourhood this some years which hath done well & the boys
is taught Husbandry & the girls the Domestic uses in the house which enables them to be good servants etc.
I believe I must conclude: my old decripted [decrepit?] hand is beginning to be tyared. With dear love to Wm
& the children ... which my sister & Susanna unites.

Thy afft father
John Greeves

I wrote a few lines to Cousin James lately. I hear you had several head of cattle that died for want of food, wd it
not be well not to have too large a stock for your provender &c. I just saw Jacob Green & he desired his love to
thee & family.

List of Goods sent Wm O'Brien 8 mo 27 1842:

17% yds of fine alpaca
1 dozen of spools
14 do rolled muslin
4 skeins silk
6 do twd do
2 ps black tape
1 ps 28 do 4/4 linen
1 large spool
2 do Swiss Mull Muslin
white tapes
2 do Nett
hook & eyes
1 dozen of quilting
3 1/2 yds ¾ flannell
4 prs L Wool stockings
2 oz thread
2 pts do do
3 dozen of buttons
I pr do do
1 cloth shawl
3 pr white cotton
1 made do
3 pr 3/4 blankets
23 articles