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Title: Greeves, Susanna to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1846
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderGreeves, Susanna
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationshop keeper
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginBelfast, N. Ireland
DestinationCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count2135
Genrecorrespondence, travelling, family news, failed potato crops,
TranscriptBelfast - Albion Place 11 mo 8th 46

My dear Sister
It seems a long time since I took up my pen to address thee. I must say it has not been for want of inclination to
do so but one little circumstance or other arrising preventing me perhaps at the time when I thought of doing so.
However as Sister Jane has of late been more frequent in her correspondence, thou would hear through her of me
and Aunt and all our friends. If I mistake not she wrote some time this summer but cannot now exactly say in what
month; which letter I hope thou hast received ere this. I do not know whether she mentioned in it that I had not
been very stout. I have been ailing most of the summer and am not yet quite so well as would be wished. I was in
Dublin at the Yearly Meeting and after it spent a few weeks with Mart Baker. Soon after my return home I took
a lump in my neck which came quite suddenly into it and without much pain. At first when I showed it to the
Dr. he thought it probable it might come to a superation [suppuration]: however he gave me some liniment to rub
it and medicine to rake which has had the desired affect of removing it, but I have had also a swelling just at my
collar bone which he says is much of the same nature. I cannot say I have suffered much pain from it either and
it is also less, which shows the medicine has been of use. He hopes however in some time I will be quite finely.
I do not feel my self equal to go through so much exercise as I used and a little thing fatigues me. But still I
have great cause to be thankful that I am not ... tively confined to the house: if I could be more out in the open
air is what would be best for me. I was much better for going on a little excursion with Sister Jane and her husband
and some of his friends to the Giants Causeway. It was my first visit and I enjoyed it very much. We went by the
Coast: the scenery was realy magnificent and as I am an admirer of such there was little escaped my eyes. We
returned by Port Rush, Port Stuart. Colraine, Ballymena and Antrim, visiting most of all the places of note on our way. Sister Jane & I often spoke and thought of thee while visiting those places, as Aunt often told us of the time
she and thee were there. Since then there has been a fine Hotel built within a short walk of the Causeway, which
makes it much more agreeable for travellers, particularly those who wish to spend some time in visiting the difft
places in & about it.
Speaking of it reminds me to tell thee of the many changes which has taken place amongst out acquaintance!;
there. Mary Anne Hunter (otherwise Moore) is now the only one of that family living except Joseph who are in
America someplace, Atho I call her Moore she has changed her name again not long since, being a Widow for
sometime before. She and her present husband are at the farm which .she and her mother lived on, not fat from
Ballynacree where thou and Aunt were. James Gribbon too is gone of[f], his wife also: so that thou would see what
changes even a few years brings about.
In our own [lives?[, my dear sister, there has been many - yes! even since I last wrote thee there have been many
of our near and dear relations removed from works to rewards. Jane I expect mentioned dear Uncle Samls death.
I have now to tell thee of poor Aunt Ruths about two months ago - her death was very sudden and quite
unexpected. She had gone to bed much as usual and even felt better that night than she had for some time. In the
morning the servant went into her room to call her (which she usually did) and seeing her as she thought in a nice
deep did not like to disturb her & on going back in about an hour finding her in the same position she went to
the bedside and found her dead with her hand on her mouth. It seemed as if she had not suffered in the least as
the clothes was not in the least disturbed. It was a great shock to us all & particularly to her much nearer friends
- James [Greer Bell] and Anna Maria Bell & Susan Uprichard were gone from home on a little excursion, which
made them feel it even more. I was also from home at the time with John & Jane, who with their little daughter
& Mary Jane O'Brien went to a watering place in Scotland: poor Aunt, she did not long survive Uncle. I suppose
Sister Jane mentioned that she [Ruth] had gone to live with her brother Harry Uprichard and that her nephew
Wm Uprichard who was married some time before to one of the Malones of Dublin had gone to live at Moyallon.
In alluding to our going to Scotland to the sea, thou might wonder why we went there. I cannot say but it was
more for the variety than any thing else. The Dr wished little Margaret to go to the sea as it is always o: use to her
& we had heard from some friends of what a nice bathing place Dunoon was on the banks of the Clyde. It
certainly is a very pretty place but the water is not near so strong as some other places. During our stay there
which was nearly 6 weeks John & Jane took a trip to the Highlands, leaving Mary Jane, little Magt and I at our
lodgings. We had more than once or twice a nice sail in the steamers which are hourly plying on the river from
one place to an other. The sail up the River is delightful, being in most parts highly cultivated and in the back
ground mountains rising one after the other added much to the landscape. On our return home we spent 2 or 3
days in Glasgow, but the weather was so wet we could not see is much of the city as we would have liked. However
we got to see the falls of the Clyde which is about 2 miles beyond Lanark. We saw them to great perfection on
act' of the quantity of rain which had fallen the day before. We also visited Ayr and saw Burns' Monument, the
house he was born in &c &c. It was kind of John Owden to take me - he heard the Dr wished me little change of air. He would not let me be at any expense, which answered me very well.
I fear I am taking up too much of my paper telling thee what may not interest thee so much as some other
things. I may now tell thee something more of thy relations. I believe thou art aware that Cousin Mag' Greason
[Greacen] is now a widow for upwards of a year. Her mother had left Joe [Midkiff] and was with her before her
husband's death. Joe died in 3rd month last - so her mother went back to live in Portadown with her son John
[Sinton] and his wife - they have no children. Cousin Magt husband left her all he was worth and she thought
it the wisest to give up the printing business as she could not manage it. Therefore she scraped up all she could and put it to interest and is now boarding with me; and I find it very plesant to have her, & as I have been but
poorly at times it is doubly so to have her, as she is both kind & thoughtful and often assists in the housekeeping
which I have more now of than when Aunt and I came here. I have beside Cousin Magt, George & Lizzie O'Brien
— George is these last few months in a situation with James N. Richardson's Sons & Owden in their ware rooms
in the brown linen department. He sometimes goes to some of the markets to purchase for his department, and
as he likes the situation pretty well and has given satisfaction so far he will no doubt remain, at any rate for some time; and as there is no place he would like to lodge & board better than with me, I have managed to accommodate
him. Lizzie goes to school, which her Aunt Jane pays for: besides, she allows me something for her keeping as I
could not afford well to do it. Her Aunt hopes by her getting a little more learning than she got at Mount Melick
that she may perhaps be able to earn her own bread by it, as she does not seem calculated for a situation in a shop
in consequence of some disease she has in her nails. There are 3 fingers on each hand she has lost the nails of: the
Dr who saw her have said that he had met with a case or two of the same, but that the nails seldom or ever returned
and gave little hope that hers would. Her brother Thomas's hands are much the same, which seems very
I am sorry to say brother Thomas has still at times very poor health. He is mostly confined to the house in the
winter. He is at present in his least winter fashion. His eldest son is beginning to [be] of use to him but he is at
present, poor fellow, laid up in a low fever. Aunt Molly desires her dear love and to say she is here yet. She is often
ailing and is much broken down of late, yet she is the surprise of many at her advanced age. Atho we live but a
very short way from Sister Jane, she was not out there this length of time. Jane is as big a woman I suppose as
thyself: her daughter is a very pretty child & a great per with us all, and a[l]tho an only child not in the least
spoiled. She will be five years old in 3rd month, and there does not seem any sign of any more.

12th month 22nd
I did not get this finished so soon as I had intended. Our Q. Meeting was held here this day [two?] weeks. I live
so far from the meeting house, few friends get to see us. Cousin Elzb Greer of Milton at any rate generally comes
to see Aunt; since Cousin William's death her sister Anne Malcomson lives with her and her youngest daughter
Susanna. Her daughter Elizabeth was removed some months ago. She had been a very long time ill and a great
sufferer: it was cause of thankfulness to see her at rest. Jane lives with her brothers in Liverpool; the youngest
son lives at Milton.
I would like thee to write to me soon and let me know how you all are and also how Maria and her family are.
I hope Thos’ health is better. I have said nothing of the distress we have in consequence of the miss of the potatoes
but you will see it in the papers. Cousin Mgt and George join me in dear love to each and all of you as if named.
I am
thy afft sister

1st Month 1st day 1847
I have said nothing about the distress in this country owing to the failure of the potatoe crop. I am sorry to say
the accounts which you will no doubt see in the papers are too true. The friends in London & Liverpool have
subscribed very liberally as well as many of our Irish friends. Indeed I may say very many are exerting themselves
in various ways; what the end of these things will be it is hard to say - we have 8 months before us before we can
he benefitted from the produce which the coming season may produce. John Greeves is gradually recovering.
Brother Thos desired me give his love & to cell
thee what poor health he has. I hope to be not
so long again in writing. Margt, if I mistake
not, will be of age in summer next, when I
expect to send her £10.00 but I hope to both
write & hear from you before then. All here
join in love to you all.

thy sister
S. Greeves