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This is one of the 77 letters found in a bog in Ireland. NEWS: Eliza WALLACE, wife of James McCULLAGH has died; Bess (JACKSON) DONALDSON and her son James are not well; Beatrice BROWN still suffers from jaundice; Julius (TJ's son) is recovering, but Thomas Dare JACKSON (son of Andrew) is doing less well; Urker farm is doing well; Amelia Lydia (DARE) JACKSON intends to come home before next summer; Eliza hopes the Home Rulers fail in the next election; Thompson BROWN is home from the Far East on leave; Sam GILMORE also doing well.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 23, 2006

 

Urker July 17th 1895

 

My dear Tom – As Mary Menary [1] is about on a visit to Mrs Wright [2] , I must endeavour to write to you, though I am a bad hand at it. My first item of news is that poor old Aunt McCullagh [3] died on the 12th inst. very peacefully. I am now “the pickle next the wind”; the oldest person in the family; in fact the only old person in it except poor Aunt Bess [4] , who is very weak & frail, even more so than I am. Johnny McCullagh [5] is still lying without much if any hope of recovery & James Donaldson [6] is as bad as ever; they are heart broken with him. Beatrice Brown [7] is still ill with jaundice; she rises for a little while every day, but never leaves her own room.

 

Now for the good news. Julius [8] is doing well; though Dr McBride [9] (who examined him last Sabbath) says that some days of his complaint remain still. But he is able to be up every morning & to take his meals with the rest. There was some rumour about him going to England; but I will not let him go until the Dr assures me that he is perfectly fit for it. Both Doctors say that his complaint had been working on him for a length of time; and they always said that his recovery would be very tedious. But thanks be to God that he recovered still. We often thought that we would have to lay him beside his little sister in Creggan [10] . He was the most patient & obedient little sufferer that ever I saw. He is a sweet little fellow; just as harmless as when he used to be sweeping the leaves before the door. Nothing could exceed the care his Aunts Mary [11] & Sally [12] took of him; they sat up with him every night through the whole of his illness, & Dr McBride visited him every day & sometimes twice a day. I gave Dr McBride the whole of the ten pounds you sent; none of us thought it a penny too much. He was very thankful & would have taken less. Eliezer [13] will pay Dr Wilson [14] out of Cavananore [15] money. Andy’s [16] Tom [17] has had a relapse; he made too free, which makes one the more particular about Julius. Tom looked right well during the fortnight that I spent in Forsterstown [18] , but Dr O’Reilly [19] said the remains of the complaint were there still; you can see he was right. Tom was worse than Julius; he was suffering from the complaints at once; influenza, whooping cough, & water on the lungs; for which last, an operation had to be performed. Julius escaped the operation, though he was in danger for some time. Four of Andy’s children were ill at once. Emily [20] told me that she did not take care of her clothes for five weeks.

 

            As for house news, we are all well & the old place is kept in good order. The road is not finished, nor will not be this year; but it is passable. The crops look well; and thanks be to God, everything prospered with me since I became sole manager, except the Prairie flower [21] ; she will never do another turn of work; but I could not find in my heart to get her put to death. I sent her abroad thinking she might have a foal but no foal came. Foaly [22] is a splendid horse & well supplies her place. It was proposed to me to sell him; but nobody loves a good horse better than I do, so I kept him for myself. Poor white lily [23] was got lying on the road in a dying state about a year ago; she seemed to have been worried; but no one saw it done, or knew what did it. She was the last of your Father’s pets. I was very sorry for her, but not so sorry as I was for the death of Dick [24] . Julius has a pet kitten in which he takes great delight. I do not know how he will leave it behind.

 

            I think from what Minnie [25] wrote, that she intends to be home before next summer; it would surely be more pleasant for her to be near her children; but what about you? Glad as we would all be to see you; I fear that “the old cow” [26] would not do so well without you. She never throve in your absence. Still I would not say a word to discourage Minnie from coming home. She must have fretted awfully about Julius; & it seems from what you wrote that Hongkong does not agree with the younger children, they are so liable to take turns of fever there. May the good Lord direct you all for the best; for it is not in mortals to direct their steps.

 

            These kingdoms are now in the throng of a general election. I hope that God will keep out the Home Rulers. Confusion to them for a pack of rascals.

 

            Thompson Brown [27] came up to see us. He is a fine looking young man; the East seems to agree with him. Sam Gilmore [28] is also a fine young man & your Tom I verily believe is as tall as yourself.

 

            I have no anxiety at present about any of my children or grandchildren, except Andy’s Tom; for Julius I hope is out of danger, if he takes care of himself.

 

            That the Lord may bless you all, from the eldest to the youngest is my daily prayer.

 

            With love to Minnie, Kathleen, Amy, Dorothy, and the younger children, & most of all to yourself, I remain your ever affectionate Mother

                        Eliza Jackson

 



[1] Mary MENARY, daughter of William MENARY & Mary JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[2] Which Mrs. WRIGHT this may be, I do not know, but I suspect William Joseph WRIGHT – a brother of the James Francis WRIGHT that Mary would marry in 1902. In this case, the visit is likely to Ballinore, Co. Monaghan.

[3] Eliza WALLACE wife of James McCULLAGH of Drummuck (I believe) at the time of her death. According to notes by “Blin” Sarah BROWN, she was "Of Clohog" - daughter of Attorney Wallace. The description as “Aunt” is likely somewhat loose. Her mother Jane DONALDSON was a sister of the John DONALDSON who married Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON – who was an aunt.

[4] Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON who married John DONALDSON.

[5] John Wallace MCCULLAGH (1840-?) – NOTE he had an older brother with the same name born in 1834 who died before he was born.

[6] James DONALDSON, son of John DONALDSON & Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON had suffered from mental illness for years.

[7] Beatrice Matilda BROWNE, daughter of Margaret JACKSON & Rev. Daniel Gunn BROWNE.

[8] George Julius JACKSON, son of Sir Thomas JACKSON & Amelia Lydia DARE.

[9] Probably Dr. John McBRIDE of Freeduff.

[10] Emily Bradford JACKSON, the twin of Amy Oliver JACKSON who dies as an infant in 1874.

[11] Mary (JACKSON) (MENARY) GRIFFIN –sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[12] “Sally” SARAH (JACKSON) GILMORE – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[13] Eliezer GILMORE, husband of Sarah JACKSON. They lived next door at Liscalgot.

[14] Dr. WILSON?

[15] Cavananore, Co. Louth, a farm that Sir Thomas JACKSON now held the lease for.

[16] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON – brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[17] Thomas Dare JACKSON, son of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON

[18] Forstertown, Co. Meath home of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON – brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[19] Dr. O’REILLY – presumably a doctor near Trim, Co. Meath, although the name also shows up in the Coroner’s Casebook that I have transcribed..

[20] Eliza Emily GILMORE, wife of Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON

[21] A favoured old horse.

[22] A horse mentioned in other letters.

[23] White Lily seems to be another favoured horse.

[24] I am guessing that Dick was another horse.

[25] Amelia Lydia DARE – wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[26] The family’s pet name for the HSBC.

[27] Thompson BROWN, son of Thompson BROWN & Elizabeth JACKSON – sister to Sir Thomas JACKSON – worked for HSBC and seems to be on leave.

[28] Samuel GILMORE, son of Eliezer GILMORE & Sarah JACKSON – sister to Sir Thomas JACKSON. He also worked for HSBC.

 

 

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