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Title: O'Brien, Daniel to O'Brien, Joseph Sinton, 1852
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderO'Brien, Daniel
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginCambridge, Henry Co., Illinois
DestinationCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien, Joseph Sinton
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count978
Genreaccount of his new life: sfarming, local economy, neighbours
TranscriptCambridge, Henry Co, Illinois Oct 3rd 1852
Dear brother
It being first day, I have sat down to answer that long list of questions. Our land is Ceeder [Cedar] Co. Iowa where
there is a large settlement of friends, orthodox though it is: 12 miles from Iowa Citty, 20 miles from Muscatine
on the M.ssip fiver, it is 6 miles from Rochester on Ceder river. Steam boates come up this fiver spring and fall
People build fences of rails and boards, though they begin to plant the Osage otange'63 which will make good fence
in 3 years: they have to pay 4 dollars per thousand for the plants. We can get wood land but there is no hurry for
it: is cheeper now than it was and they say it will be cheeper still. Wood land is 5 dollars per acre. They use oak
for fuel mostly. They have a good school in the meeting house. Com sells from 20 to 30 cts pet bush, wheet from
40 to 60 cts per bushel, oats 20 cts, appels from 60 to 1.00 pet bushel. There is hardly any one thats pretends to
keep more than 2 or 3 cows. Chees is 8 cts per pound, butter from 10 to 16 per pound. The state of sosiety is verry good in that neighborhood, but in general it is not so good as in the east, for there is so many that come here char are strangers to each other that they the people are from all parts of the United States. The county is to[o] new to have much fruit yet, though they begin to set out some trees. Our best marker
is Muscatin, which is 20 miles from us: it is a good market for every thing. It is a good deal larger than Gowanda.
The boats stop there evry day going up an dow[n] the rivers. All kinds of lumber is from 10 to 20 dollars per
thousand according to the quality: common pine for cors [coarse] work, such as we use hemlock for, is 12 dollars
per thousend. The lumber buisnes it commands cash and paves well.
People generally break the prairie m June and July, so it was to[o] late for us to brake up any this fall. Some
plough it up in the spring and plant on the sod and get a pretty good crop. There is not any land by this time that
is not taken up in 5 or 6 miles of our lot. Tell Prudence there is plenty of fresh air, espetialy when the wind blows.
The water in the wells is generly hard, but there is a small crick that runs acc[r]oss one corner, or within a few feet
of it, that is soft water. It runs the whole time, in a small slew that runs down through the middle. We could
stomp down in to the ground and the water would come up in the dryest time; and the men that went with us
told us when cattle come to tred it down there would be a small stream, where the ground is so soft that the water
runs through the ground. If it proves to be so, there will be plenty of water on it. It is a healthy place, I think, for
there was no one sick when we [came?] as we herd of. Blackburries is not very thick, but there is some.
Thee wanted to know how far up the river the steam boats come. Well they come away up 7 or 8 hundred miles;
above here they go up to St Antoneyes [Anthony’s] falls. We think of going up the river the 8 or 10 of next
month. I wish Ebenenezar [Ebenezer Rogers?] would come and go up with us this winter. I think we can do well.
I was glad to here that mother is better. Tell her to write to us. I would write to her but I know that you ail see
our letters that we write to you. I would like to see the old mill, now it is finished. How much did it cost in all to
fix it over. How much did Johnithons [Southwik's?] work come to. I [f?] you write to Andrew [Varney], tell him
this is a fine country out here. I wrote so lately that I do not think of anything more to write. Give my respects
to all. Tell Gabral I would like to see him, and that he would like to live out here. It has rained most all day here.
It is rather lonesome here: there is no one here that we ever see before. It has rained evry first day since we have
been here Some times we are all most home sick when it rains all day and we have nothing to do: then the days
seam rather long. I wish the cattle could be out on the prairies so they could get some of the grass to eat that will
be burnt up. The cattle look as far as they can: there is none but would make good beef now. The man we are to
work for has 6 hands to work for him. He is building 2 houses now and wants to finish them this month if he
can. One we have not raised yet, it is 22 by 30, two story. He has built 2 others this summer: there is a good many
been built here this summer; 3 or 4 others going up here now. It is time to go to bed so I must stop. Write as soon
as you get this for we want to know what to do about going up the river. Does the circle meet now: it would
seam good to be at a circle once more. As ever

your brother
Daniel O'Brien