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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 Count634
Genreaccount of David Malcomson, going to a museum, work
TranscriptNew York 8th 9 mo 1842

Dear Maria,
I have just this moment met with Mr. N. Frank; he leaves town at 5 o'clock and it is now 4 and I shall have to go
half a mile with this after it is written to meet him at the boat, and I am in such a hurry that I cannot think of the
thousand things I want to tell thee. I received thine and mother's in due time and was glad to hear that you were
all well. At present, and have been ever since you heard from me last, I am well. I have been ro Joseph Beale's to
make a visit and enjoyed myself very much. I was there from 7th day till 3rd day morning. They seemed pleased to have me with them. I shall tell thee more about my visit the next time I write.
David Malcomson has been to Canada and has returned and is now on his way
to Liverpool, having sailed on the first of the month in one of the steamships. The
more I was acquainted with him the more I liked him and he is just the kind of a
person that I would like to have for a companion. I wish thee could have seen him.
He is very small and very fond of a joke hut in a large company says very little, so
little that thee would think he was bashful. He stoops forward a little when walking
with his face down & takes very long steps and thee would take him for an old
farmer. In conversation he is very agreeable and very well informed on almost every
subject. Two days before he left he took me to the Museum to see the Murmaid
which I suppose you have heard about and which makes a great talk here. It is
supposed here by most persons to be made of a monkey and a fish. For my part I
think it a hoax altogether but if made of the parts of two different animals it is most
ingenuously done and impossible of detection. It is about three feet long and the
head is a great deal too large, the face looking directly upward and it has long canine
teeth like a dog and the only thing about it that looks human are its hands which
are not at all like a monkey's nor like a small childs, but like a grown person's only
much smaller. It is the most disgusting looking thing that ever I beheld and if thee
imagines to thyself a dead person dried and a large codfish ditto and which is
attempting to bend the tail to make it look as it does in pictures - it is almost broken
and forms an acute angle - thee will have a pretty good idea of it. I staid about two
hours and saw a great many things and then went again in the evening when I was
admitted free and stayed two hours more. I could have stayed as many days and seen something new every minute. Thee asks me if I have made any blunders. I have made a few, but I am happy to say that I have been the means
of no loss to any person. Thee asks me if they trust me with things that they did not at first- I have had to go an
errand and have no time to write more. James is out of town on a pleasure excursion and will not be back for ten
days. Thomas & Eliza in Pennsylvania, Rebecca at Bayside, J.B. Toulmin & wife here. I will write soon again.

Thy afft brother

J. Beale and family send their love. I have written to Estie [Estee].