|Title:||O'Donnell, Annie to Phelan, James, 1901|
|Collection||Your Fondest Annie_Letters from Annie O'Donnel to James P.Phelan [A. O'Donnell]|
|Sender Occupation||children's maid|
|Origin||Pittsburgh, Penn., USA|
|Destination||Indianapolis, Indiana, USA|
|Genre||correspondence, work, family, Ireland, emigration|
Oct 18th 1901
My dear Jim,
It is almost time that I should answer your letter, I know you will
think me very neglectful for not answering much sooner which I
intended doing, but I assure you I have been quite busy and the
little spare time I get which is usually at night I give to sewing.
Since our folks went to Buffalo and left us with the children, you
know we feel a big responsibility.
You seem to think your letters in the past were not very acceptable,
but that is not so, for I would never have answered them if I
had thought that. It is very hard to please me in letters I do know,
but must say yours are too interesting to leave unanswered even if
it takes me a long time to do so. It is not through lack of thought, for
if I did not care for a person, I would never condescend to put my
thoughts on paper.
Life seems just the same old way here. I have been out just twice
since, had a pretty good time. Everybody seemed glad to see me
back. Spent one Sunday with my sisters who wanted to know all
about the Indiana letter they got for me. We talked a good deal of
you. They live opposite the Union Station where we parted that
day pretty near three years ago. There is a new depot built there
now, yes, one of the finest I have seen in my travels. I have two sisters here, both married long before I dreamt of
leaving home. One, the eldest of our whole family, has two little
girls and a boy and the other has a boy and girl. I was but a mere
child when they left for America. Neither of us knew the other
when we met. I am the baby girl of the family. There is only one
boy younger and he is the real baby although he is about sixteen.
We had in our home originally five girls and two boys, but they are
almost all far apart now. All my sisters being married but one.
Father and mother still living. I hear from them quite often.
I was born in a little place called Spiddal about twenty miles
from Galway City. My parents always wished me to be a school
teacher, so at the age of thirteen, they sent me to the Convent of the
Presentation (Galway) where I was appointed monitor which
position I held till October of '98. I did not board at the Convent
but simply went there to school, and it is there that those dear
happy days I told you of were spent.
When I left there, I made my debut in this world and not until
I reached Pittsburgh did I know of that selfish deceit etc. that
rule this world. It was then that I missed everything, for I was
thrown entirely on my own resources. And it was there also I chose
my friends (very few), became independent and reserved and have
been so ever since. When I met Ellen, I met with the one I often
wished for. She is dignified and won't associate with everyone,
and she is one of the three in my whole life that won my entire
affection, a thing which is rather difficult to do, but once done is
In the winter of '98 I weighed 116 pounds. A year later 127, later
still 1371/2 then came down to 120, but I have grown quite tall since
you saw me, my height being somewhere round 5' 6" or perhaps a
Well now, Jim, I think I have told you most every little thing of
interest, so you will please excuse me for my mistakes as am in quite a hurry as usual, and hope you will write me very soon. I suppose I
don't need to tell you to remember me to anybody. I get my share of
teasing here about the little print letters from Indianapolis, but I
never mind. I am always glad to get them and do write a long one
Will now close with love x.