Main content

Title: O'Brien (n.Greeves), Anne to O'Brien, Joseph Sinton, 1843
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderO'Brien (n.Greeves), Anne
Sender Genderfemale
Sender Occupationhousewife
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
DestinationNYC, USA
RecipientO'Brien, Joseph Sinton
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1144
Genrean Irish relative wants to emigrate and asks for advice, wants him to return home and help at the farm, farming, people going west, cattle
TranscriptCollins 5 mo 13th 1843

Dear Joseph
Thee will be surprised to have a letter from us so soon, but Father had a letter yesterday from thy Cousin George
O'Brien and thought best to answer it immediately as it was asking his advice relative to his coming to America.
He is employed in a large drapery concern in Dublin, such as our dry good business here, only on a large scale.
Poor fellow, he is sick and tired of it and as such business is daily growing worse he thought of coming out to this
country; as he says, he wd rather be a farmer altho he knows it is harder work, and when at home was used to
handling tools some and has made himself handy in such; so that he thinks if he could only save enough to bring
him here he could make out for himself at any rate. We pity him and Father is trying to give him a little idea of
what he must expect. Should he come, thee must direct him on to us here as it wd be best for him to come to us
at once, as he will feel so awkward at first. And Tho' could take him in with him winter and let him work outdoors
summers if he wd rather; and on the whole best to have him come to us.
I have been wishing of late thee was at home. Father is not able to work and Thos dare not if he was able.
If thee was here Father wd give this all up and cry and go out to Canada, where money is plenty, and get employ
if lie could. Those that we are in debt to begins to call for their pay and we have nothing hut our stock and they
we cannot live without; and they other wont sell now. If thee was to take all on thy hands that is here, farm and
all, they could not drive us so much, as thee could turn out things as thee thot best. Thos was wishing yesterday
thee was here and thee and him take the farm. He is hear helping this week but goes tomorrow.
We expect I Porter got home to day and will likely have letters for us. I wish we could get them before this wear.
We wanted thee to here of this letter from G. [George] and took this way to let thee know. Thee can cut off this
part for him and just take another half and put with it and fold it as we do when whole. We have got very little
done yet: just a little gardening and a few potatoes planted, and today the little boys have been planting the early beans and Thos harrowing the corn ground that Father ploughed last fall. He intends planting next week. This is
a very backward spring - we have still snow on the hill by the gulph.
Several going west this year: C. Woodward and John Borden, they have both sold out, C.W. to J. J. Harrington
and J.B. to Abram Clark. Edward Sherman and Manchester with some others are going out Co look, but I
believe we are as well here if we only think so. Young Hopper has left Pontiac; he did not turn out to be much.
I am glad he is gone: he had been a plumber and TW learned how to solder from him and he has now got an iron
and can do good business. I want Father to hire our Irish man to come help us work at the foundation of the mill
this fall and gee it up, if thee could save 30 or 40 Dollars to get the Irons. I believe Father wd try and do something
about [it] as the Irishman wd, we think, work for a cow as he wanted to get one; and he wd be just the one to work
in the mud, as the sills will have to be laid over again as the freshits has disturbed them. We have not seen M[aria].
since winter. I want to go out and see her and bring her home for a while to make us a visit. I dont know whether
we will get to yearly meeting or not: Father says if I have a chance I may go, but if I go I want him to go to[o].
We milk all of our cows now: they give more than they did last summer. Brock is the poorest milk cow we have
but she is the handsomest; little Black the best; and [of] the rest, good old Brin holds her own yet. After Father
wrote, the winter was a very trying time - with folks every thing took a rest. Winter held on so long, hay got up
from 8 to 10 Dollars, oats 25 ct, corn to 1 Dollar according to the place. A great many cattle dyed, not less than
hundreds, and some says south East of us the[y] was thousands. One man on Boston hills lost above 80 out of a
stock of 150 head. A great many of our acquaintances have lost odd ones and a great many poor people their all.
Lorenzo [probably Mabbitt] was so pinied [pinched?] that he offered 5 cows to [Stephen Conger?] for 50 Dollars but
Stephen took two and let him have hay for them, so he made out to save the rest. Our cows done well, not one
of them got down. Father was very particular to salt them regularly and we think it kept them healthy. Every thing
begins to pick up. Pompy in particular, our grey colt, is almost as tall as him. G. Mac says that she will make an
80 $ mare if we dont work her too soon. He has wanted to get her ever since we had bet. Apropos George Mac is
on the old place again this summer and his Mother gone to live with him, as Hugh [McMillen] broke up house
keeping: it was sore against Lydia's will she left. She has bought that little piece of Abijah['s] that Horace Eaton
got and she sometimes thinks she will build a little house on it and live up [t]here. We will miss her this summer.
George has taken back his part and has Hugh's on shares.
I believe I have written all lean think of. If George OBrien writes to thee before he starts, thee just write to let
us know when to expect him, and when he comes thee must give him some directions where he will find Maria;
and the only [one] is that Cortes's hat and fur store is [right?] opposite the theatre on main street and is not over it.
With love to all I [remain]

Thy afft