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Title: O'Brien, Joseph Sinton to O'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne, 1842
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderO'Brien, Joseph Sinton
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationclerk
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginNYC, USA
DestinationCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
RecipientO'Brien (n. Greeves), Anne
Recipient Genderfemale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1818
Genrenews of family and friends, account of Westchester county, Quaker meeting, work, annoyed he wasn't told sooner about Maria's wedding, new clothes
TranscriptNew York 9 mo 21th 1842

Dear Mother
I wrote a few hurried lines to Maria a few days ago by Frank. I now send thee a long letter in a frank which our
member of Congress, the Honorable John McKeon, was so kind as to let me have. Since writing to Maria I have
been well. I heard from you a few days ago: Nicholas O'Brien called to see me and said that you had been to his
father's on a visit. I am really glad you went to see them: I suppose Maria and Thos went with you. He invited me
to call and see him, but I have not yet. He said his rather and mother were well: when you write tell me how they
are getting along.
James has just returned from a pleasure excursion he has been on for two weeks past in Maryland: he enjoyed
himself very much. I have not been in the country but once and that but a few hours one first day afternoon since
I was at Joseph Beale's. Maria's caution to be careful of what I said while there came too late, as I had made my
visit before I got her letter, but I remembered what she had said about Mary when she came home last rail. I was
almost killed with kindness by het and I felt mote as if I were at home than I expected I would. Joseph took me
all over the farm to see it and I think it a very poor one. He will not raise enough from it to support his family
this year; then he has two hired men besides Jn Nicholson whom he has to pay, and a hired woman since his
daughter Abby got hurt. It would cost as much to take the stones off his farm as it would to clear the same size of
the timber in Collins. His farm is fenced with stone wall and the stones are hardly missed from it. If our farm has
as much on it it would be worth four times what it is. He paid 85 dollars an acre for it and thought he done well
to get it for that price. It would not cost him so much to hire his family boarded in the city as it does to have them
on his farm. I really think that every pound of butter he makes from his farm costs him 50 cents and gray bushel
of potatoes he raises costs him one do Hat and every thing in proportion. Perhaps thee will wonder how he makes
out to live at all, but thee will not when I tell thee that he get Six dollars and a half ($6,50) per day every day he
works and gets constant employment at that. Now I will leave thee to judge whether his farm is not rather an
encumbrance than a source of profit to him when, as he told me himself, it is often difficult to make both ends
meet; and also whether it would not be cheaper for him to have his family in town and work six days in the week
than to lose two days every week travelling back and forth. I think Westchester county is the finest country to look at that I ever seen, that is for the beauty of it. It is a
very uneven surface and almost every half mile thee has a change of scene and can often see the country for miles.
On second day J. Nicholson was going to a place called Tarrytown on the Hudson River about 8 miles distant from
Joseph's and took me with him. The river at this place is very broad and on the opposite side from where we were
and a little lower down, the great Southern Rail Road terminates, which runs out into the river about a mile at
the end of which is a landing for steamboats and a fine house to which they have given the name of Piermont.
On first day I went to meeting with the girls and their brother (about the size of Daniel), and had a very
pleasant time. The meeting house has stood nearly a century and was built by the early friends and while in it thee
might imagine thyself carried back a hundred years. It is very large on the ground and nearly square, with a door
at each corner opening outward; the gallery covering nearly the whole size of the house supported by large pillars
of oak on which the mark of the axe are distinctly seen as on the day they were "scored and hewed" by hands now
laid in the dust; the seats nailed together with wrought nails with large heads, and stoves that were cast long before
there were such things known as "claw feet". Then came the sermon that reminded me of Uncle Hugh [McMillen].
The meeting is made up of old people and young girls, there being no young men, they having all left the country
to make their fortunes in the city or lose fortunes that they never made.
Joseph's eldest daughter has not yet recovered from the hurt she reed, from being thrown from a wagon.
He had her in town a while to consult a Physician here; she uses the cold Bath which they think is of use to her.
The next eldest is about Margaretta's age and size. Mary Beal is not very well nor has not been through the summer.
She had a great deal to say about Abraham's family. She says that Phebe Simon is trying to get Abraham for a
husband. Joseph left here this morning for Canandaigua to settle up an estate there for some person and said he
might possibly go as far as Collins before he came back.
Do you think I improve in my writing any? I write a great [deal] now and it is strange my writing is no better.
I am allowed to write in the books a good deal, except in the Ledger in which no one writes but the book keeper,
not even James himself. When I had been here 3 months I was allowed to receive money and draw drafts to send
to Ireland, which Larry told me he was not allowed to do untill he had been 8 months. I can also do some business
at the Custom house, which is very hard to learn, and for the last four months I have had the charge of the keys
of the office and I do be left to shut up the nffice and safes after all are gone.
A person just called and gave me a letter from thee and Matgaretta. He said the person who brought it will be
in town in a day or two. I am very glad to hear you are well, particularly Thomas, and I hope he will continue so,
that he may be able to earn something this fall and winter. I heard by way of Philadelphia a few days ago, or rather
Annie heard it and told me, that Maria was going to be married and from something thee says I am induced to
believe it is so. If it is so, I really think hard of Maria for nor telling me so when she wrote last. Rebecca was
speaking about it this morning and said it could not be so, as Maria would have told me, and now after it is all
over I must tell them it is so. Maria must give a good excuse next time she writes, for I really dont know what to
say. Thee says thee supposed Maria had given me a hint. She did hint that such a thing was possible, said nothing
about the time. I had had a letter from Cortes a short time before in which he told me of it more plainly than Maria
did, but I could not tell Rebecca that I had a letter from him to that effect when I had not from Maria. Thee does
not say whether Maria is at home or what she is doing or whether you were going to have great times or none [at?]
all when the day appointed was so near, and then says thee has written all the news and left 2 pages of thy letter
without being crossed. I shall expect an answer to this immediately and shall await it anxiously. Father got through with his haying better than I expected he would and. I wonder how he can spare Thos I think
iris a good thing that I was here this summer as the crops have railed and a good part of my ... [contribution?]
would have been lost; and I shall now be able to earn more another year if they want me to stay, and if not I think
I shall be stronger another summer. I see by accounts from the west that grain is very cheap and I hope it will be
in Collins. In a letter that Abm. has from Malcomsons in Liverpool, he says there is a box for father in the ship
"Sheffield" now on her way from that port; they do not say who it is from. When it comes7381 will forward it to
Cortes, which will be in about three weeks. When you write, give me the number of the street he lives in, that there
no mistake. I am glad Father sold the old mare and I hope he will sell enough of the stock that he can winter the
rest. It will not answer to part with Pompey now.
I have no letter from Estee yet and when I do I will give you the substance of it, if I think it will be interesting
to you. We have not yet heard of David Malcomsons arrival in Liverpool. I have had a pair of shoes that cost $2.50
and had a pair of boots footed for which I had to pay $3.50 and they are as good as a new pair that would cost
56. I have had $67 in all and I have had a pr of pantallons made for which I will have to pay $1.75 and I do not
know what Abm will charge for the cloth; I dont know but he intends giving it to me. He got me a pair of summer
trowsers for which he has made no charge yet, and I think he will not. Thos and Eliza have been again to Philad
on a visit; yesterday they returned. I find that Abrm's Bays ide farm is a great expense to him, amounting to several
thousand dollars since he owned it.
I will have to be writing soon again about the box. I have not time at present. Farewell,

Thy affct