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Title: O'Brien, Joseph Sinton to Daniel & Anson, 1852
CollectionThe Transatlantic Letters of an Irish Quaker Family_1818-1877 [B. Jackson]
SenderO'Brien, Joseph Sinton
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationfarmer
Sender ReligionQuaker
OriginCollins, Lake Erie, NY, USA
DestinationCambridge, Henry Co., Illinois, USA
RecipientDaniel & Anson
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1210
Genrenews of family, friends and neighbours, advice on investing in land, politics
TranscriptCollins, Oct 14lh 1852

Dear Brothers
We received your letters in due rime and were quite surprised in reading die fore part of them to find that you had
not received any letters from Collins until that time, and were glad Co heat that our letters had arrived at last as
we had been expecting answers to them for some time. Although Anson says we need not answer them until we
hear from you, yet having a little spare time this evening, I have commenced a letter and intend to write a little
and finish it when I have time.
There is but little news that I think of at present. We are all as well as usual except Mother and she has been
very sick for about 2 weeks, confined to her bed. She has been gaining for the last 3 days and is able to sit up a
few minutes at a time. We have got all our crops secured but a few beans and our ruta-bagas. We have been
cleaning off some of the old slashings, drawing rails and stakes out on to the farm, drawing firewoood from the
mill, picking up stone on the meadow &c. We have had considerable rain lately but the ground had got so dry
that it does not affect the creek much. The pond got nearly full once and last Sunday morning was the first time
that the mill sawed any since it was rebuilt. We have sawed only 4 logs - just enough to try the mill - and we think
it is going to work good. It is raining this evening and a prospect of plenty of water tomorrow.
George Sherman was married day before yesterday to Esther Pratt. John [Howard] McMillen was married
the 1st of September to a Miss Emery.
We do not have much excitement about election. I hope if you are allowed to vote that you will not get on to
either the whig or loco-foco' platforms: they both uphold the fugitive Slave Law. But vote for Hale, a man
[hat acts from principle always and who is respected by all parties and even his enemies.
Dan says you think some of going up to St Anthony's falls and asks me whether I think it is best for you to go
there or not. Now as to giving advice about it I cannot very well, but think likely you can make as much money
that way as any other and I suppose that is what you ate after. But I think that I should prefer taking my pay in
money instead of in lumber - as there is danger of you losing all when it is in rafts. Dan asks what chance I would
give you in the old saw mill if you would come home. I think that there will be so small a part of the time that it
will require 2 hands in it that it would not pay you to spend your time with it. I and my Dutch-man can keep it
going only when there is a freshet and then Howland [Pickens] will help us. My Dutchman is quite an intelligent
fellow and takes hold of all kinds of work better than Andrew did. I think that I can trust him to saw alone after
he had worked at it a while.
Anson seems to have fallen in love with the Great West, and asks my advice about investing money in land.
My advice would be not to invest money in land any more than for immediate use until you have been there as
much as a year at least. And you must not pay much attention to what men say, especially those that are interested
in advising you to pursue a course that in the end is going to result in a profit to them. A thing may appeal feasible
which proves not to be so when you come to put it in practice. If you recall the past, you can think of schemes
that you had in your minds for bettering your condition in the world which you thought would surely succeed,
but mature deliberation has afterward shown you that to attempt them would prove an utter failure. I have no
doubt but that you wish before this rime that you had looked around a little more before making a contract for
your quarter section in Iowa. I do not wish to discourage you, but as I have lived a little longer in the world than you and had a little more experience, I felt as though it was no more than right that you should have the benefit
of my experience, if it would save you from trouble in after life. I would not advise you to sell your shares for the
purpose of getting money to buy land to speculate on; but when you have found land that you intend m buy for
your own use to make farms of to settle down on, then it would be well to have all your property in one place.

Oct 15th
I wrote so much in this letter last night that mother chinks I had better finish it and send it off to-day and write
again m answer to your next. Prudence wants to write to Daniel but she has got to write to Maria to-day. Maria
wrote to us that she had received a letter from you and had answered it the day she wrote to us; so I suppose you
will have received it before you do this. Mother is still gaining and is quite smart today. The baby grows finely and
is getting to be very cunning. Our crops are pretty light, oats and corn especially, but potatoes have done better
than for five or six years. We had about 70 bushels of ears of corn - about 50 of it will do to grind, that is 25 bushels
shelled corn. Oats will not be half a crop. Rutabagas very much injured by grasshoppers - Beans ditto. We have
not got many apples. We do not feed the cows now: grass grown well and they give rather more milk than they
did. Butter is worth 23 cents in Buffalo and Cheese 7 to 8.
Joseph Kelley has got home - Harvey Hill came with him. He has been at work with Joseph this summer,
learning the trade, and they are going into business together somewhere. They thought of going right on west as
soon as they had made a short visit, but I think they will stay in Collins this winter. Joseph says he wants you to
write to him: direct to Gowanda, Cattaragus Co, N.Y. They intended to call on you if they went West. I must
try and write the rest of the news next time.

Your affectionate Brother

I send you a Phrenological Journal with this. Be sure to read it and get some subscribers if you can.

At the Post Office - 4 oclock
I have received your letters, one to me and one to William. If you conclude to go to St Anthonys falls, write to us
before you go. We have had quite a snow storm this afternoon.