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Title: Owden (n.Greeves), Jane to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1842
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderOwden (n.Greeves), Jane
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginBrooklands, near Lisburn, N. Ireland
DestinationCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1493
Genrehappy in her marriage, being a mother, their father's decaying health, family news
TranscriptBrooklands 8 mo 1st 1842

My dear sister
I have often thought of writing Co thee since the receipt of thy truly welcome favour but put it off from time to
time, thinking I would have more leisure; and consequently write thee a longer letter, but I find I have deferred
it much too long, and will therefore delay no longer least thou might think I had no intention of writing. In the
first place I may tell thee that I am very well and very happy, being blessed with a kind & affectionate husband as
I could possibly wish for, who studies my comfort and happiness in everyway he can; and I have also a dear little
baby who is already great company for us, for although she is very young (5 months) she is beginning to know us
and has many little ways about her which is very interesting to witness, at least to her parents; and thou being a
patent can understand our feelings. It is quite a new life to me to have the superintendence of an infant, never
having been accustomed to be in the house with one more than a few days or a week or so, a time when on a visit
to my brothers or in Carlow; so that 1 am only learning still, I may say, but it is a pleasant task; if I had been near
thee thou couldst give me many useful hints, I have no doubt. I call her Margaret for our dear Mother who, if
she is permitted to live and resemble in conduct, she will be indeed a blessing to us.
It is a great satisfaction to me to be serried so near Lisburn. I can drive there in less than an hour, so that I
frequently pay the dear folk there a visit. I am sorry to say dear father has been very ill lately and we were very much
alarmed about him; but he is a great deal better at present and was out at meeting on 5th day, which is cause for
thankfulness. He enjoys great peace of mind which is the result of a well spent life, and appears quite willing and
ready to be removed whenever it is the will of his Heavenly Father to call him. It was consoling to us to see him in such a frame of mind when we feared he was not Co be much longer with us, and I have no doubt it will be
vouchsafed to the end; for it has been his daily and I may say hourly concern most of his long life, to prepare for
death, and now he told me it has no terrors for him. Yet we will find it very hard to part with him when the time
does arrive, for although he is in his eighty second year he has all his faculties as clear as when he was 60 or 50,
except that his hearing is a little duller, so that his loss would be as much felt as a companion and kind parent, as
if he were much younger. Yet in the course of nature we cannot expect to have him very long and should be
prepared to resign him when the time arrives, for I have not a doubt that "our loss would be his eternal gain".
He is much thinner than he was some time ago, yet he looks wonderfully well considering his age & delicate state
of health latterly.
Dear Aunt Molly has been very delicate also and her anxiety about father made her still more so, but she is much
better at present and she has promised to come to spend some time with us, when we return from London for
which place we purpose starting in 10 or 12 days. John Owden's relations reside there and in the neighbourhood
[Sussex] and they are anxious we should go see them. It will be my first visit to them as it was not convenient for
me to go sooner. Sister Susanna is to take charge of Baby and her nurse: they are to live at fathers till our return.
I had to get a wet nurse for her in consequence of my milk not agreeing with her; the Doctor said it was too good
and her stomach did not digest it properly. I thought very bad of having to give it up, but I am quite reconciled
now that she is ... well, and it leaves me more at liberty.
Brother Thomas is not nearly so stout as we could wish; he was in this quarter lately and seemed finely but he
got cold soon after his return, which laid him up for a few days. He is now better but not as well as usual yet. We
had hoped he was going to be much stouter than he was for years, as he has turned farmer, lately having taken
Bernagh into his own hands on the death of Doctor King who occupied it for some years. I trust if he has once
recovered from this attack that he will be very careful of himself and that he may not have another at least for a
long time. He has five fine children, the eldest "John Greeves" is a fine manly boy and well forward in his
learning for his age. He is useful to his father already in many ways; we are all very fond of him, he seems to have
a noble spirit - there are none of them what might be called handsome but that is of small consequence. Lizzy
Greeves is still at school at Waterford and is likely to remain for some time longer; and after leaving there, she
is to be sent to a school in England or to Suir Island to be finished; and when her education is finished she is to
live with [us] here: such was her dear Mothers dying request. And I will be glad to have her, for I love her dearly
for both her parents sakes, as well as her own. She will have what will support her comfortably wherever she is,
which is a great matter for herself as it will make her feel independant; she has a very affectionate disposition, and
makes friends for herself wherever she goes.
I was very much pleased with the account I got of thy Maria and of your family altogether, and think you
deserve great credit for the manner in which you brought them up, subject to so many disadvantages. I trust they
will continue to be a comfort to you & repay you twofold for all the pains you rook with them. I was glad to hear
that Maria had commenced her school again under more favourable circumstances and that bet residence in the
Great City did not make her dislike the country. I wish she could so easily come to pay her relations in Ireland a
visit. I would be truly glad to see her for one, and could ensure her a hearty welcome every place she came.
I hope Josephs residence in N York will prove a benefit to him in every sense of the word. He has been very
fortunate in getting to such a kind friend, people who take so much interest in his improvement; you must miss
his company very much.
Since I wrote the foregoing I was in Lisburn and found both father and aunt better; the former came home with
me and is here at present; he looks better man before his last illness; I trust he will be spared amongst us some time
longer. We spent yesterday eveng at Win Webbs and your Aunt Dorothy Lamb was there. She is very poorly but
is able to sit in the parlour and enjoy the company of her friends; her intellect is perfectly clear which is a great favour John & I are to sail tomorrow eveng for England; it is rather sooner than I expected but it answers John best
to go now; I am therefore rather hurried at present. Susanna intends writing to Joseph as thou wishes but will not
write to thee at this time, as I am writing; she thinks it best to write after some time. Uncle Sam1 & Aunt Ruth
have both been to see me since I got settled here. Cousin Mgt Dawson died more than a year ago and there is
only Joseph and Lucy remaining of that family now and they live together in the same house as when thou last
saw them. I dont intend to be so long without writing again, so thou will excuse me ending so abruptly; brother
Thos is a good deal better than he was last week but he is still very delicate. With dear love to brother William,
Maria & each of the children, I am

thy truly affectionate sister
Jane Owden