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Title: O'Brien, George to O'Brien, William, 1845
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderO'Brien, George
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationshop keeper
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginDublin, Ireland
DestinationCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien, William
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1558
Genrecorrespondence, news of family, friends and neighbours
TranscriptDublin 2 mo 27th 1845

My dear Uncle
It is now more than twelve months since I Wrote to Joseph, and as I have never had a reply to it I have been
thinking that perhaps it did [not] come to hand, or that his written in reply had met that fate. I would regret that
a correspondence once opened between us should be given up, and for that reason I take up my pen to address
thee again. I am frequently asked about thee by many of thy old friends, particularly since they learned that I had
once or twice received letters from thee; and it is pleasant for one nor only Co know something of their absent
friends, but to be able when asked about them to show that they are not entirely ignorant of their existence.
It is as I said before twelve months since I wrote to Joseph, and yet how many changes have taken place within
that comparatively short period and that within our own circle. I mean die changes that have taken place in
Killishin; perhaps the accounts of cousin John Waring's death have reached thee thro some other channels but
lest it should not I will tell thee of it. I believe he was one of thy intimate friends before thou left this country and
such being the case some mention will be interesting to thee. He went to Ballitore to attend the Mo Meeting held
there in course in 4th month last and after Meeting he dined at Geo Shackleton's in company with my sister
Mary Jane, to whom he had given a seat on his car. At that time he seemed in his usual health and spirits. When
he had sat for a short time after dinner he told M.J. that he wished to be home early and that he would go for his
car which was put up at Henry Allen's, another friend who resides in Ballitore. He went and giving some directions
to his boy in the stable he turned into the cowhouse with one of H.A.'s sons to look at their cow and just as he
got inside the door he fell. His boy heard him fall and ran and pulled him out into the yard, but the vital spark
had fled. He never spoke, the only evidence of life that he gave after falling was a sigh or two, merely the exhaustion
of the lungs. As he was examined it was ascertained that his death was caused by the bursting of a large blood vessel
near the heart. What a heart rending thing it must have been to be the bearer of the mournful intelligence to his
poor bereaved family (for there were none of them with him), or to be a witness to their feelings who were hourly
expecting his return. But alas! that was not the only bereavement, for exactly seven months from the day on which
he was interred, his eldest son, about 18 years old, the hope and dependence of the others, was laid beside him in
New Garden. His eldest daughter has been married, and his Sister Jane is living in Killishin, intending if possible
to make something of it for the children. The lease is out but the landlord (altho offered a much higher rent),
having kindly consented to leave it with the children; and it [is] thought that as long as there be one of J.W.'s
children to ... [benefit?] by it, he will not take it from, but as soon [as] one of diem be of age will give him a lease.
I have taken up a great deal of paper with what might be told in a few words, but I thought that these few
particulars of an old and intimate acquaintance would be interesting.
I believe I mentioned in my last that Uncle Joshua had been living in Carlow. About two weeks since, Aunt
Rachel had an arrack of parallysis, and has been and is now lying in a helpless state, not having the use of her
right side, and not able to speak intelligibly. She may be a little better but there is but little chance of her ultimate
permanent recovery. Poor Uncle, she will be a great loss to him, for he is far from being in good health himself,
being asthmatic: his breathing is at times so bad at night that one would scarcely suppose he could hold out until
morning. At such times aunt was of the greatest use to him, getting up at any hour to prepare something to relieve
him, but now she requires every thing to be done for herself.
I suppose ere thou receives this my father will have bid adieu to Carlow and his old acquaintance, and the place
where once die O'Briens flourished will be left almost without the name - at least without any of our family. The
business he has been at latterly has not been paying and he is now about to go to Liverpool where my brother John has been for some time, and he in conjunction with fattier about to open a provision store at Birkenhead which
is on the other side of the river Mersey from Liverpool, a rising place and one that will one day vie with Liverpool
The[y] have commenced building a new dock there which will accommodate as many ships as all the docks on
die other side. [Twen]ty years ago I suppose it did not number 1000 inhabit[ants and] now I suppose they exceed
twenty times that number. There are small steamers that ply across the river, starting every half hour from each
side, so that one might say that living there was living in Liverpool. We are all pleased that father is about to give
up the business in Carlo w for we have long been of [the] opinion that it would have been better for him to have
been in a situation than be endeavouring, as he has been, to overcome insurmountable difficulties. We ate in
hopes that he will now be more comfortable than he has been for many years. Many indeed have been the trials
that have been permitted to attend him in his pilgrimage, but I sincerely hope that his latter days may be peaceful,
and that he may be freed from the many difficulties that have surrounded him since the death of my dear mother,
which indeed was but the beginning of sorrows.
I had a letter from Aunt Susanna a few days since with an account of Uncle Saml Simon's decease which took
place on 7th day last the 22nd. He was but a short time ill, being a little more than a week confined to bed.
When first I wrote to thee, I thought that I would ere this have been at your side the wide Atlantic, and even
at twelve months after, I thought that I would let nothing prevent me going, and even at this moment I have a
lingering wish to become a member of your great Republic. But when I considered the difficulties thro which my
father was toiling and that he might one day need my assistance, together with the thought of being so far removed
from all that I hold dear, I was induced to relinquish it at least for a time. There may seem something effeminate
in the latter reason, but no matter what one may say, every one will have such feelings. I could overcome them
but former reason seemed peremtory, on me.
I would be glad thou wouldst let me have a letter from thee. I will [be] glad to know some thing of you myself
and there are many of your friends who will be glad to hear of your prosperity; and I hope thy next letter may be
more encouraging than thy last; for I think thou mentioned having lost some of thy cattle during the winter of
1842-43. Was the last as severe or as this. I suppose Joseph has ere this removed to the West, as he intimated his
intention of doing in his last letter to me. Altho unacquainted with any of you I feel an interest in you and any
particulars about you will be interesting to me. I have many times thought of you since last I wrote and almost as
often thought of writing to thee but put it off from time to time. Today you were brought forceibly to my
recollection and I was determined I would not sleep until I had penned a few lines to thee. I did not think I would
have written so much, nor do I think the contents would be interesting to many but thyself, but I supposed thou
wouldst have no objection to hear something of thy old acquaintances. M. Jackson and Joshua Haughton are
both well. John Whitten, who is still with Madders, seldom sees me that he does not make enquiry about thee.
Farewell, and with love to you all, I remain

Thy affect nephew
Geo O'Brien

On other occasions I have sent my letters thro my brother in Liverpool but this I intend sending thro the
Post Office. If thou writes thou may either address me as before, or to Baker & Co., 3 Johnsons Place, Dublin
(for G.O'B)