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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 Count1329
Genrecorrespondence, Grandfather's box, might not be able to stay in current position, bad state of his employer's business, weather
TranscriptNew York 26th 11 mo 1842

Dear Mother
Thine of 11th Inst. and Margarettas came to hand a day or two ago and I take this early opportunity of answering
it as I am not very busy today and may not have another time free for some time. Since I have written three letters
since hearing from you I was surprised that you acknowledged the receipt of but one — nor does thee say whether
they went free to thee in the Franks. The first one I sent by Mr. Frank and the others by mail and I think you must
have got them. I did not think that you would have written till you had received the box of things from Grandfather
and 1 will wait until I hear from you again before I write to Aunt Susanna. Although I did not expect thy letter
for a week longer, I was glad to get it and to hear that you were all well, for it was so long since I had heard from
home that I was almost tired waiting. I think Tom is doing rather better than I am and although he may not be
getting so much money for his work yet what he does get will come in play; and then it need not cost him so much
for clothes as it does me, so that on the whole he will get more good of his time than I will — and besides get nearly
$2 more per month than I.
I wish that thee and Father would tell me what is the least that I ought to get for another year, as it will soon
be time to make me another offer if they want me another year. Abram once said that he could not do as well by
me as he wished and I find that they have had to be very economical this summer and that their affairs have been
in a very bad way. I have never mentioned this matter before as I considered that it was my duty to study my
employers interest and keep anything of the kind to myself, but can see no harm in telling thee who are so faraway
and who need not mention it to any other person. The reason I mention it now is so that you may know how he is situate[ed] and that you need not expect too much from him. But to tell the truth I think he has been on the eve
of bankruptcy this summer. A Mr. Toulmin of whom thee may have heard Maria speak was one of the firm in
Mobile char was the cause of his failure in 1837, at which time the firm was dissolved, and Mr. Toulmin being an
honest man has undertaken to try to pay ofF their debts, they having failed at the same time, of which there is due
Abram one hundred and thirty thousand dollars; a sum that would almost buy the whole town of Collins and
for which Abram has not received one cent. Toulmin has been on here this summer and has compromised with
his creditors for 10 cents on the dollar; what he owes Abram being but a small part of what he owes in this city.
Abram and Jacob Harvey (Abram's partner that was) have used every means in their power to prevent him failing
again - and instead of paying his old debts to them he has increased them by fifteen thousand dollars, but they
expect to be remunerated when he gets released from his other creditors. It is imposssible to describe the anxiety
that was felt here last summer before he arrived, lest he be forced into Bankruptcy, and baldly a day passed that
Jacob did not write a letter to him. Abram did not trust himself to write least something be wrong and from the
1st of 3rd month to the first of 7th month he wrote no less than 72 letters to him and from that time they increased
until he left Mobile to come North, often a copy of the previous one lest one might miscarry.
Perhaps thee will think that I have said more than I ought, but no one need know it but yourselves and thee
need not allude to it in writing to me, for although lam trusted with everything of the kind at which I am often
surprised, yet they would not have it known here for anything.
David Malcomson has been here but did not bring much news from Ireland. He saw none of them at home
but Aunt Molly and she was well. David has gone South whete he expects to spend the winter and will be engaged
in buying cotton and shipping it to Liverpool.
We have had very little winter weather here yet. Last third day morning was the first snow we had and that lasted
but a few minutes, melting as fast as it fell; the next morning it froze for the first time, since which we have had
cold nights. I saw a steamboat yesterday morning that came from Albany that was covered with snow, so they must
have had some there and I dont doubt but you have had sleighing by now. Abram and Rebecca have gone to
Philadelphia to make a visit; from there they expect to go to Baltimore and Wilmington.

11th mo 28th
Abram has returned and left Rebecca at Philadelphia. He seems to be in very good spirits and a very good humor,
every thing I do seems to please him. I find that he likes to have folks get up early in the morning, and that is
something that I can do as well as any body, and I have the office open at eight o'clock every morning - nearly
two bouts earlier than last winter. When I wrote last I was not very well from a bad cold which lasted almost three
weeks, and at last terminated in a cough for which Rebecca gave me a syrup that has entirely cured it.
Since I commenced writing this letter I see by the papers that there has been plenty of snow in the vicinity of
Buffalo, and also a dreadful gale on the Lake which has destroyed life and property to a great extent, and I trust
that none of my friends or acquaintances have been sufferers thereby. A short time ago I had a Letter from Cortes
enclosing one for Grandfather which has been forwarded. Margaretta says that Maria wrote to me twice while she
was in Buffalo but I have had but one. I am glad that those things from Grandfather are likely to prove worth more
than I anticipated, and as thee says I would like to have some shirts of the linen if I stay here next summer, which
I will be able to tell by the first of the year. I am sorry cousin James Greeves is afraid that I may become unsteady,
but I will let him see that he is mistaken and thee may tell him so. I have had an example in Larry Graham - poor
fellow, his troubles are over in this world. He was buried last week. He told me a short time ago that he could blame
no one but himself and that he was suffering a great punishment for his past life and that he was fast hastening to
the grave.
When I commenced this letter I intended to write some of it to Margaretta but she must excuse me this time
as I will write to her in a few days. I Have made no inquiry about Healy but find by the Directory that he lives
about two miles from here - more about him next time - tis mail time 29th and I must close. With love to all, I
remain thy affectionate son
No snow yet. Bow to Maria and Cortes.