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This is one of the 77 letters & documents found in a bog. NEWS: Eliza is writing from Killynure; plague in Hong Kong; Eliza refelcts on her own mortality and that Urker should go to David & Mary GRIFFIN live there after Eliza's demise; suggested money help form TJ to Jemmie, Peggie & Andy; hard to make money farming these days; Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH hobbled by debt of his father; Elizabeth Johanna DONALDSON nee JACKSON in poor health; James DONALDSON has not recovered from mental breakdown; road improvements in the area.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 13, 2006

 

Killynure [1] July 18th 1894

[Ansd 24 Augt]

 

My dear Tom,

 

            I am staying here for a few days, and your letter of June 13th was sent after me. As you wrote it with a thankful heart, so indeed I read it. with the same thankful to God for all His mercies; and also to you for your kindness and thoughtfulness in writing to me so often since the plague [2] in Hkong commenced. Although my writing days are over, I must endeavour to write you a line in return. I have not been unduly anxious about the plague. “I know in whom I have believed and that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him”; so I have been enabled to adopt the words of the Prophet Isaiah [3] , “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind stayed on Thee; because he trusteth in Thee”. Daily do I commit all my children and grandchildren to Him who is able to keep them and I have good assurance that my prayers are heard.. I never forgot our good old friend, “the old cow” [4] and I am thankful to see by your letter that that prayer has been answered also. But though the Europeans have been mercifully almost passed over by the plague; yet I would advise them to have their houses set in order (for “in the midst of life – we are in death”) and the way to do that is by the same way in reality which the children of Israel did in type; by the blood of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the word. May he bless and keep you all.

 

            I am thankful to say that I am in perfect health and as happy as the day is long. I know who I may thank under God for my peaceful old age; and I never ask one less than ten thousand times ten thousand blessings for that person. But in the course of nature my time here cannot be long. If ever I see another birthday it will be my 80th and once I am gone I would have you to send no more money to Urker. As the place is to be for David [5] let him pay whatever extra that that the land does not produce. He has promised to Mary [6] that she shall live there after I am gone; and she and her daughter [7] have enough of their own for their personal expenses. But if you can spare a little to Jemmy [8] and Peggy [9] , and Andy [10] , it might not be amiss. You know how Andy was treated in Cavananore [11] and poor Jemmie was treated worst of all; his Father made him pay all the expenses of Legmoylin [12] for years in Harriet Donaldson’s [13] time. Rent [?], poor [rate?] and wages; [used so?] swallowed money in that way. It was kept a secret from me till after your Father’s death; for though I knew about bills being got for Harriet, I was lead to believe that she met them herself. I am doing all I can for those who are in need of help; but wages are so high and produce so cheap that it is hard to make much of agriculture at present. Andy McCullagh [14] is doing well; and they are very happy; but he was left in debt by his unfortunate old Father, which keeps him down. But for that he could do very well. Their place is beautiful and seems to be prosperous.

 

            All your friends in Ireland are well as far as I know; except poor Aunt Bess [15] ; to judge by her looks, she will not be long for this world; She looks ten years older than Aunt Brown [16] or I. James [17] is no better, he is shocking to see. We look forward to your children spending next summer’s vacation with us; they will have more time to enjoy themselves than they had last time. They are dear good children; and seemed to like Ireland very much.

 

            The road between [Moreny?] hill [18] and Pat [Hennessey’s?] [19] has been cut down so low that it will never require to be cut down again; and of course our lane had to be cut down also; we have had a great job of it, but it will be a great improvement.

 

            Now I have accomplished a long and tiresome job in writing this letter; and several times was almost tempted to give it up; but now I have no more to say but that with love and blessing to you and yours, I remain your ever affectionate Mother

                        Eliza Jackson

 



[1] Killynure, Co. Armagh home of Thompson BROWN & Elizabeth JACKSON – sister of Sir Tomas JACKSON

[2] In May 1894, bubonic plague erupted in Hong Kong's overcrowded Chinese quarter of Tai Ping Shan and at its peak, killed 100 people per day in Hong Kong, - a total of 2,552 people that year. 100,000 Chinese fled the colony. Interestingly, it was during this epidemic that Alexandre Yersin (1863 – 1943) discovered the plague bacillus and a cure was subsequently found.

[3] Isaiah 26:3

[4] The family nickname for HSBC.

[5] David JACKSON, younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[6] Mary (JACKSON) (MENARY) GRIFFIN

[7] Mary MENARY (1872-1946)

[8] “Jemmy” James JACKSON, younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[9] “Peggy” Margaret (JACKSON) (REED) MCCULLAGH – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[10] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON, younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[11] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON had n=been managing Cavananore when Mary Jane OLIVER and her aunt Margaret BRADFORD lived there, but after their death, the lease was awarded to his cousin Sam BRADFORD who ran it to ruin.

[12] Legmoylin - "Local knowledge suggests that Sir Thomas bought Legmoylin House and lands for the couple” SOURCE: Mary Cumiskey.  It is a townland of 342 acres in the Parish of Creggan, Co. Armagh.

[13] Harriet DONALDSON (1817-1891)

[14] Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH, husband of Margaret (JACKSON) REED.

[15] Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON wife of John DONALDSON

[16] Margaret JACKSON d. February 2, 1895. She was the widow of Daniel Gunn BROWNE (1808-1892)

[17] James DONALDSON –son of Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON and John DONALDSON had a mental breakdown from which he never recovered.

 

 

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