Your kind letter lies open before me and ought to have been answered before this time. Brother James  wrote several weeks ago, and I thought I would wait a little while, hoping to give you some good and interesting news concerning the state of our County. I was happy to hear from you, and wish to thank you for the likeness of your father also for the bouquet, although I did not receive it. I think it must have slipped out, as the card had worn off the edge of the envelope. We will send you a paper this week containing an account of the recent battles which have taken place and the victories our party have gained, we are encouraged to think that the war will be a short one, and hope that peace will soon be proclaimed throughout the States. You must not believe all you read in the English papers about the war for they do not represent American affairs in their true light. Have you rec’d Alex Bright’s  speech delivered in one of the manufacturing towns in England – he seems to understand the affairs of the Country better than any person I have heard or read of. You would not suppose there was any war could you walk the streets of New York or on our own pleasant City, and see everyone pursuing their own business or pleasure. I wish you could have gone with me to Central Park last Saturday and see eighty thousand people gathered to skate or look on. Skating seems to be the favourite amusement of the season and until last winter confined principally to gentlemen, but now the ladies join them and enjoy it finely. We have several large ponds in Brooklyn but not as large as the Central Park, they have houses built around the edge with stoves to wram them and refreshments all under the direction of the park commission so that everything goes on in an orderly and quiet manner.
Christmas and New Years passed away pleasantly as usual, it is customary for the ladies on New Years day to receive calls from their gentlemen friends, and some make great preparations. This year there was not as many calls made as formally, owing no doubt to the war, which affects the spirits of all more or less. I would like to give you a recount of some of our benevolent institutions and wills end you some reports which will be more full and interesting than I could write. There is a great deal done for all classes of people, and children especially. There are several houses or homes, besides the orphan asylums, where poor neglected children are cared for, and kindly treated, until places can be found for them in the country. Many of them are taken to the west, among them the Five Point Mission and Home for Little Wanderers under the charge of gentlemen and ladies who feel deeply interested in their work. There is also a great deal doing for the Soldier in the way of providing them with books, tracts, and religious reading, we hear of the good results of these efforts and of a great many conversions. There has been a school opened in Virginia for the blacks who have fled to our lines for protection and thousands are receiving instruction, who have never before been brought to read or write. We made inquiry concerning your cousin Martha  and as far as we could learn, she has moved to Canada. John Foster  said the one they called Ann Jane  had gone back to Ireland with her husband. We have not seen John  for two months or more. When he called he was out of employment and said he wished he was back in Ireland again. I sent you my likeness in a paper. I presume you have received it. I shall be happy to receive your in return. We also sent one to Uncle Alexander  . We wrote to him [illegible due to crease in paper] but have received no [illegible] yet. Many thanks for your kind invitation to visit you. Nothing would give me more pleasure than to spend a season with you. I hope the time may not be far distant. We would all be very happy to see any of your family at our house. I hope we may have the pleasure of seeing you while Grandma  is with us as it would be a source of unspeakable pleasure to her to see some of her relatives before she dies as well as to us all. Remember me kindly to your Father  , sister  and Brothers  and accept the love and best wishes of your affectionate friend,
Carrie G. Evart 
PS Grandma wishes to know if the old homestead where she was born is still standing and would like her brother Alexander’s likeness. If you see him please tell him. Grandma sends her love to all. All wish to be remembered
 Jane CALVERT (née MENARY) b. 1833. She was a daughter of William MENARY (1810-1867) & Mary WILSON (d. 1859).
 James [SURNAME?], - assuming he is a brother of Carrie, then he is also a grandson of Jane (née MENARY) WILKIN (see beneath)
 Alexander BRIGHT. This may be Capt. Alexander BRIGHT of the Penascola Guards.
 Martha. This is not Martha MENARY (b. 1835) who married Jacob JENKINSON. There must be another.
 John FOSTER- presumably related to Thomas FOSTER, husband of Anne Jane MENARY.
 Anne Jane MENARY (1830-1876) wife of Thomas FOSTER (married 1850). She was the eldest child of John MENARY & Phoebe KILPATRICK. Her first child, Margaret Anne FOSTER was born in Maghery Kilcrany, Co. Armagh on Septmeber 15th, 1853 (SOURCE: Aghavilly Church of Ireland Register). They later moved to Canada where their next 4 children were born in Ontario. She died in Morrison, Musoka February 20, 1876.
 John (?) - This is probably John FOSTER - given the context.
 Alexander MENARY (1791-aft 1862), son of Alexander MENARY (1750-1806) & Martha HERON (d. aft 1817).
 If I am correct about who Jane is, then her father would be William MENARY (1810-1867).
 If I am correct about the Jane this letter is addressed to, then this would be Martha MENARY (b. 1835) who married Jacob JENKINSON.
 If I am correct about the Jane this letter is addressed to, then her brothers would be William MENARY (b. 1838) and Samuel MENARY (b. 1841)
 Carrie G. EVART is a granddaughter of Robert WILKIN and Jane MENARY (1775-1862).
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