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Title: McDonnell, Mary to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1821
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderMcDonnell, Mary
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationunknown
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginNYC, USA
DestinationSmithsville, Niagara Co., NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1250
Genrereceiving boxes, family news, friends, acquaintances
TranscriptNew York 2 mo 19th 1821

My Dear Ann,
Thy truly affectionate letter of the 28th of last Mo, I recd two days since. It has given me pleasure to heat that
you are all in the possession of that ... blessing, good health, for a great blessing it surely is. I shall begin with business first & say that the 2 Boxes from Ireland are safe in Abram Store: he recd Wms letter respecting the mode
of forwarding them, but the river being frozen he could not get them sent. He says they shall be forwarded as
soon as the river is navigable. I was in Tyrone when I concluded on visiting America - of course saw thy Mother for a short time before I came away. She looks poorly & much worne but I thought her spirits were reviving. Debby's match troubled her in... ingly yet she had so far conquered her repugnance to is as to pay a visit to Moyallon while I was in Tyrone -
& visit D in her own house, which, as them knows her disposition, was doing a deal.
Thy Father looked as well as I had seen him for many years, & except a little rhumatism enjoyd good health.
Tho! is growing fat & looks very well. Susanna & Jane are both tall - almost young women. John is the only one
of the family that I think looks delicate, but he will not acknowledge that he is. I have not heard any thing of him
since he went to Armagh to live. I'm sure thou wilt be surprised when I tell thee I have not reed a line from any
of my friends since I left Ireland, a period of nearly 7 Months. I would feign [fain] hope 'tis not want of affection
has been the cause of this; but that they have written & the letters have miscarried.
Dr. Allen's family left Tandregee more than 2 years ago - I felt their absence very much, especially when I was
more than usually ill. He removed to Carrickfergus where he was appointed Physician & inspector to the Jail. While
there his Father died. He is now living at Lisconnen [Lisconnan] on his estate, not practicing nor even wishing
to be called Dr. He moved there on last 5th Mo - I spent 4th Mo with them - I never saw Mr. A. look better &
the Children quite well. She was nursing her fifth son, a great big boy. They have 3 Daughters which makes 8
Children, a tolerable sized family. All our friends at Moyallon, Scramore & Woodbank were well. Sally Christy
was nursing her third daughter: ;t w a s a disappointment that this was not a Son. S. Dawson nursing her fifth
Son, a most lovely child. H & M are grown two nice girls, particularly M. S [Susannah?] McDonnell & Isabella
Sinton very well.
So now I may begin about that important little personage, self. I feel very much obliged to thee for thy kind
invitation to go & see thee, nor wou'd I be frightened at the representation of your mode of living, & state of
society. Having food & raiment, & therewith being content, is more perhaps than the more wealthy Sons
& Daughters of fortune can enjoy, for I have often seen where the sources of enjoyment appeared most abundant,
the capability to enjoy was diminished - so that a good & precious Providence has dispensed his blessings with a
more impartial hand than at the first glance of the subject we may imagine. The loss of agreeable society is one of
the deprivations I shou'd most feel, & in some degree feel at present, for my health totally prevents my going out,
& having few if any intimates renders time very dull. It wou'd be impossible, my dear Ann, to go see thee - I am
now hardly able to sit up the whole day, nor cou'd I walk quarter of a mile without feeling injured. I came out partly
for my health, & partly to bring James Bell to his parents. I intended to go back almost directly, but as I was not
very stout A[braham] & M[ary] persuaded me to stop the winter, especially as they thought a winter
[here an edge is torn off the whole page, about three words wide]
very severe on me. I consented, so here I am likely m ...
strange land - we had a tedious disagreeable passage ...
3 days, & the day before we got in, were in great danger of...
on the coast-I was not much sick the first three days ...
reached the warm latitudes I felt much better & for some ...
I landed thought I was going to he quire restored ...
all my ailments recurred except [the cough] with ...
the palpitation, restlessness, dizziness in my head & warm ...
that I had to send for a Physician - he appeared much ...
the state I was in, & proposed bleeding me - he took ...
of blood which relieved me much for awhile - the ... returned, he bled me again & rook sixteen ounces
gave me much relief for several weeks, I was again ...
bled & about 14 oz taken - to day he attempted to bl[eed] ...
though he cut me in two places the blood wou'd n ...
is to try again tomorrow - thou never saw such thick ...
come from any person, as comes from me - long since ...
medians con'd be of no use & that bleeding wou'd only [offer tem]poary relief- he did not like to deceive a
patient... momentous affair - therefore wishes me to know my [own?] my heart is diseased, some of the arteries distended & the [bursting?] of this will I suppose be attended with
sudden death - the Jugular vein also in the right side of my neck is greatly enlarged so that it projects out, this is
another bad symptom - so that from this statement thou wilt see how impossible it is for me to think of moving.
My Sister Peggy & her husband are come to live here. If I cou'd go to stay with her it would be a comfort to
me, but at present they have no way for me to sleep.
T'is probable we shall never meet in this world & if we ate favoured to meet on a better shore, all tears shall
be wiped from all eyes. I think we shall recognize each other with tender emotions of joy. With Dear love to Wm,
I shall till then bid thee affty farewell

M McDonnell

I am quite exhausted writing this. It has been almost the whole days work. The want of Society & the curiousity
of the inhabitants appears to be a prevailing source of complaint against the inhabitants of this country. I have made one very agreeable acquaintance of a family in this City - John Grisson- his TWO oldest Daughters are agreeable
well informed girls, & sometimes come and sit with me an hour or two when I sometimes think I am again
transported back to Ireland. Alas the vision is of but short duration - I wish something would drive Cousin Joe
here. I should like to see him, & if able wou'd very much like to go to Philadelphia.

Wm OBrien
care of Jacob Taylor
Smithville near Buffalo New York