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Title: Greeves, Jane to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1834
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderGreeves, Jane
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationshop keeper
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginLisburn, N.Ireland
DestinationLake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count2042
Genretheir brother John's decease, family
TranscriptLisburn 12 month 28th 1834

My dear Sister
I wrote thee (I blieve) some time in 10 month giving thee an account of dear brother Johns being very ill & that
we were very uneasy and anxious about him — for which we had great reason, as he soon got alarmingly worse and
continued so till the 7th of 11 mo when he calmy & sweetly breathed his last and his redeemed spirit, I have no doubt, ascended to the "Lord who gave it". The thought of parting with him at first seemed more than some of
us could bear, but through the Mercy & goodness of our Heavenly Father it was made comparatively easy and we
have now more cause to rejoice on his account than to mourn; for he died the death of a Christian who knew "that
his Redeemer lived" in whom he trusted - and was favoured to feel an evidence of his acceptance and an assurance
that his sins and transgressions were blotted out for his sake, which gave him a peace of mind that far surpassed
any thing the world could afford. It was indeed most consoling and instructive to be with him and many of his
friends and relations enjoyed that privelege, for he liked to see as many of them as he could when he was at all able.
He often spoke beautifully to us and many of his expressions were worthy of being recorded, but we were so
engaged with him at the time that none of us attended doing so at the time. But I trust they are engraved on our
memorys, never to be effaced, and that we may each benefit by his dying counsel is the sincere prayer of my heart
Father, Susanna and I were with him for the last 2 or 3 weeks - Father and Susanna went first but I felt so
distressed at the time that I fear'd to go least I should injure more than benefit the dear sufferer. But he soon sent
a message wishing to see me & I set off most willingly, and was truly thankful I went, for I had not been long with
him till I felt so completely resigned that all wish for his recovery seemed taken away & I could freely give him
up. The prospect before him was so glorious that it would have seemed cruelly selfish to wish to retain him in this
world of care and sorrow. He was deservedly very dear to us all & it was most trying to our natural feelings to part
with him forever in this life. He was sensible to the last moment which was a great favour & it had been his
anxious prayer that he should be so - & all his wishes seem likewise granted in an especial manner. When he felt
the chill of death coming on, he took leave of us all and told us (again) above all things to serve the Lord & said
he had no doubt if we were faithful that we would all meet in Heaven. He could see poor Mary and us all weeping
round him with perfect composure. I never seen him shed a tear on taking leave of any friend, although he knew
it was for the last time - indeed I never witnessed anything like it or saw the power of divine grace so fully
manifested. The last words he was heard to articulate a few moments before his departure were "Come Jesus come"
and I have no doubt his prayer was granted and that he is now rejoicing in his presence, with redeemed of all
nations. Oh! that we may all be found worthy to join him. when the awful summons comes, is the sincere prayer
of my heart.
Poor Mary has borne up wonderfully & bears the loss with fortitude & resignation, knowing & blieving "that
his is the eternal gain". But, poor woman, she will miss him more & more every day, particularly when the children
grow up to require a Fathers care & management. He had been a kind indulgent husband - & was beloved by
everyone. Nothing could exceed the anxiety manifested on his account by all classes of his fellow citizens from the
Primates PaliagW to the Beggars Hovel. They even offered up prayers for him ... some of the worship houses (of
course without being asked) but it shewd their zeal & kind wishes for him. He has bequeathed an honourable name
to his children and his memory will long be revered by his family and friends. I had known that he had made
himself very useful to his fellow citizens but had no idea that he had been so extensively useful; his loss has been
a publick as well as a private one. Susanna staid in Armagh with Mary till the week before last, when she was
obliged to go to Dungannon to stay for some months on a very trying occasion, which is that our only remaining
brother, dear Thomas, has been in such a delicate state of health that he has been ordered to the Cove of Cork to
spend the winter as the only chance of a restoration to health. He is affected something the same way poor John
was, that is his liver is decidedly affected & the Doctors are apprehensive of his lungs also - but he said they were
not yet injured. He & sister Rachel set off on 2nd day last in a chaise & they posted it to Dublin, which they were
3 days m arriving at as they dare not be out early in the morning or late in the evening. They were to post it the
reminder of the way also, but we have not heard of them since they left Dublin, but expect a letter tomorrow or
next. They had got on so far agreeably and Thomas felt better for the change, so I do hope & trust that he will be
benefited by being at Cove and that it will please the Almighty to restore him to his family and friends. It would
indeed be doubly trying to have to part with him after being so lately separated from dear John, but it is our duty
to endeavour to be resigned to whatever is the will of our Heavenly Father. Our trials have been great within the
last year or 14 mo; poor Mary gone & Aunt Debby & John & now Thomas afflicted, but strength has been given
to us to support us under them. It is a consolation to know that "whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth" We done
feel so much alarmed about Thomas as we did about John, as hitherto he had a much stronger constitution He
could only get over twice to see dear John & one of them he had to come in a chaise & go home before evening. However he got much better after that & was able to be out at Meeting, when he got fresh cold which made it
necessary for him to leave home. Many have gone to Cove under similar circumstances and come home restored
to health, so we are in pretty good hopes that it will be his case, as he seemed to go in time.
If thee does not hear from me soon again you may conclude he is better. I should have written to thee about
dear John but put it off knowing that you would hear the melancholly inteligence soon enough. I forgot to say
that dear John gave directions that his body should be opened after his decease & his lungs were found a good deal
decayed and his liver was attached to the membrane that surrounded it in almost every pan, which shew it had
long been diseased. The wonder was he held out so long. Our dear father has borne all these trials with fortitude
& resignation & has been a comfort to us all. It is a great favour that his health is preserved. He is better than he
was a year ago and suffers little comparatively speaking from his stomack now. He was advised to try carbonate
of soda & he takes a little of it every day at dinner in a glass of beer which is an improvt to die beer and has been
of wonderful use to him. He desires me give his dear love to you & says that he would like you to let us know every
particular about the farm and the crops &c &c &c.
It is full time for me to acknowledge the receipt of brother Wms letter which was dated from Collins and was
verry acceptable. We were pleased to hear you were all well and her you had a prospect of being more comfortably
situated, which we have long wished to hear. It must indeed have been a great disappointment to you not having
seen cousin Mgt & she regretted it very much herself, but she was so circumstanced that she could not well go as
they could not well afford to leave out the money. She was glad to hear you got the box safe & that you found the
things useful. She &c James are now settled in [Market Street] Armagh in the printing & stationery business, but
as they have only commenced a short time we cant say how they may succeed. Sister Mary finds it a great comfort
to have her settled so near her & they are as intimate as if there had never been any estrangement, which is a
blessing to them both. I need not say how glad we would have been to see thee, had thee come with Cousin Mgt,
but having to leave thy children & Wm behind thee would keep thee so uneasy chat thee could not have enjoyed
thyself; & then the thoughts of parting with thee again would be so trying that I dont know that we could have
right enjoyment of thy company either. I wish this country was such that it would answer for you to come home
altogether. That is what I would like above all things for you - bur really trade is so much overdone of all kinds
that it would be a venture to advise any one who is settled to come here on an uncertainty, is the cause we say so
little about it. Business has been duller with us this winter than for many years past & I cant well tell what is the
reason, for it has been pretty good in Dungannon & Armagh. Aunt Molly has been very poorly for some time bur
is now rather better. She felt poor John's death very much & now anxiety about Thomas is nearly as bad. I often
wonder how she holds out so well. She is sole housekeeper now when Susanna is from home & can attend to
every thing bravely. I miss Susanna verry much but must be satisfied to do without her, as her presence is so
necessary in Dungannon; sister Rachel's mother is to stay and mind the children & attend to the housekeeping,
which will take part of the charge off Susanna. Poor girl, she has a trying time of it from one house of mourning
to another, and she is not very stout herself. We heard from Carlow not long since & they were all well. J G
O'Brien was with his dear Uncle for 8 or 10 days before his decease, as was also John & E Walpole & Thomas
Sinton. Cousin Mgt stayed in Lisburn, which left me at liberty to be there also.
Uncle & Aunt Sinton are well - uncle was a day & night with us the week before last. He is getting quite an
old look & takes cold more easily than he used. Eliza Shaw desired her love to thee when last I saw her - she is
living governess in a gentlemans family in Belfast. We would like you to write often. With kind love to dear brother
Wm & the children individually I am, dear Anne, as ever

thy truly afft. sister