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Title: Greeves, James Richardson to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1821
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderGreeves, James Richardson
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationlumber merchant
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginPhiladelphia, Penn., USA
DestinationSmithsville, Niagara Co., NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1116
Genrecorrespondence, money, family news, finding a wife, visiting
TranscriptPhiladelphia 8th mo 12 1821

My dear Cousin
Thy letter to Sister Mary [Mary Greeves in Philadelphia] 7 mo 18th was duly received by Jacob Taylor and as it
may require some explanation why I am replying to it, 1 shall give it at once. Mary for some time past has been
in very poor health, & believing a little country air would be servicable to her, we went on fifth day last to
Burlington in Jersey where we left her to spend a few days & then co go about 14 miles further to a place called
the Pines, which is said to be very healthy on account of the situation & the pine swamp water which they drink.
I therefore have undertaken to reply in some measure to thy letter. I have likewise enclosed some money which
it may be proper to notice in this place. Having an opportunity to sell the Mangling Machine which you left to
the Penn Hospital, I went with the Steward on 6th day last to look at it. We called on William Fisher to know the
price, & he mentioned that all the others that Cousin William had made Brot [brought] 35 dollars, but considering
the reduction that had taken place in every other artical since that time, we both thought that 30 dollars would
be a fair price now. When Cousin William left here I understood that when it was sold I was to deduct the price
of the Stove and remit the balance, which I have done.
In the first part of thy letter I notice an unsuccessful attempt to vacinate little Joseph & a request to procure
some fresh matter, which we have done & hope it may prove more effective. The Doctor had no objection to its
being used in this hot weather, provided there was care taken with him. He mentioned that he had tried some of
this same maner and had found it very good.
I was very sorry to learn of Cousin Jacob's intention to move away from your neighbourhood: on your acct,
even if there is not a great deal of intimacy between you, it still has a tendency to make one more contented with
being in the wilderness to know that they are not entirely cut off from their relations & have some persons on
whom they may call any time. It appears that the friendship between Jacob Taylor & Cousin's family is in some
measure broken, which I dont wonder at, for we frequently find that when persons have some particular point to
gain they are not over scrupulous about the means & dont mind painting with the brightest colours objects that
are seen at a distance, but on closer inspection bear evident marks of the brush.
When I was [with] William Fisher the other day & called on John Wright & asked him about the letters you
sent to be forwarded by him, when he told me that he had forwarded them by the first vessel & had written in
reply to William's letter soon after, he also told me that the desk had been sold a short time since for 5 dollars and
he intended forwarding the balance as soon as possible. I told him of J. Taylor's being here & if he wrote the letter
and sent it to our house I would send it for him. I was with him so short a time that I had not an opportunity of
saying much to him. I enquired about his wife and he mentioned her being well.
I have not seen Aunt Greeves for several weeks, she being out of Town at Lydia's. I have no doubt that she
would have written had she known of this oppty. Brother Henry has been for several months engaged at work
in Salem, New Jersey about 39 miles from here. This day two weeks I paid him a visit and found him very
Comfortably situated. There is a very pretty village & the country around is in the highest state of cultivation, the
people generally Friends & wealthy. I went to meeting when there & I think that I never saw a finer collection of Quaker girls in my life - they told
me that there was a great disproportion between the males & females, there being nearly 10-to-one female, so that
I may stand a pretty good chance there, as I am still in a state of single blessedness. Aunt Morton has gone to New
England to spend the summer with her Sister. Uncle still enjoys pretty good health & takes his walk to the Bank
every day. Hetty Thomas & Emma Robinson are in the country.
Dear Cousin, I will do my best to procure the combs you require & if they are not the proper thing thee must
impute it to my ignorance of the articles. Cousin James Morton and Nancy live in pretty much the same style;
Nancy sometimes getting hipped & threatening to go away, but after giving vent to her feelings and scolding
about George, concludes it best to remain I suppose.
I should like very much to pay you a visit sometime this fall if my business would permit: but I have no person
to whose charge I could commit it for any length of time, so that I am very much confined to the city & although
there is not very much doing it seems requisite to pay strict attention to it. Business generally remains in the same
dull way as when you were here, with the exception of the cotton manufacturing-there has been a great demand
for cotton stuffs for six months past & I have understood there has been erected in that time from one to two
thousand looms within the county & city.
I will take care to forward the two letters that were inclosed, at the first opportunity of conveyance, [want thee
or William to write soon & let me know if this arrived safe. Mary desired her best love to you all, which with my
own I remain

thy affectionate cousin
James R. Greeves

P.S. Please tell me how to direct letters as I have forgotten and Mary is out of town.
8rh mo 14th day
I have just now called at friend Powels to know Josiah Hews & found him very low — the family have no idea of
his recovery. A.P. Dawson was well but much fatigued with waiting on the Old Gentleman. For fear of making a
mistake I have sent more combs than thee mentioned but perhaps they will not be unacceptable. I have not heard
from Mary since she left town.