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This is one of 77 letters found in a bog. NEWS: TJ has arrived safely in Hong Kong; Slieveroe well, but fears of Home Rule & calling in the debt; all well in Ballinode (WRIGHT family); John W. JACKSON in London; Sally McCULLAGH married & in New York; death of young Howard REID; TJ's wife lonesome in England & thinking of joining him in Hong Kong; Willie CORR & Mr. JOHNSTON ailing.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 11, 2006

 

Urker May 24th 1893

[answd 28 June]

 

My dear Tom

 

            Though grown to be very bad at writing, I must write a line with my own hand to congratulate you on your safe arrival at Hongkong and to wish you the greatest success in your management there.

 

            I spent last week in Slieveroe [1] , all were well there, and all going on most agreeably. There had been no further word of calling in the debt; it was only a home rule fright; and people are so much frightened about home rule as they ever were some time ago. I trust in God that home rule will never come to pass. I was so much pleased with my visit and saw nothing to find fault with. I spent a day in Ballinode [2] , all were well there; and well pleased with the future profits as they may well be.

 

            I had another letter from England. John W. Jackson’s [3] foot is not yet so well that he can wear a boot. I sent him the remaining two pounds today;

 

            We have had a blessed rain after a long drought, and the crops look well. We got the crop in comfortably; and everything about the place is prospering.

 

            Sally McCullagh’s [4] wedding went off successfully, and we heard of the safe arrival of the ship she sailed into New York, but have not yet had a letter from herself yet. Derryvalley is a melancholy looking place now, and poor Miss Mccready [5] very doleful looking. Aunt McCullagh [6] is able to be downstairs now, and going about much as usual. All the rest of your friends are much as usual, but Mr Reid [7] has suffered a sad loss recently; a fine son [8] of his, fifteen years of age, has died of water on the brain.

 

            I need not tell you anything of your own household as no doubt you hear regularly from themselves. The last I heard was that the children were well over the measles. Minnie [9] is very lonesome after you, and wrote as if she had some idea of going out to you, which would be very foolish in my opinion.

 

            Willy Corr [10] is still an invalid, but able to be out of bed after long lying.

 

            Mr Johnston [11] is able to be outside the door, and can speak a word or two, but he will never be well again.

 

            All here and in Liscalgot [12] are as usual. I am in perfect health, but growing more infirm every day; and as for writing; I will in future get someone else to write, unless there should be something private to communicate. But I am as happy as the day in long; and when I have not to be drawn about in a Bath chair like poor Aunt Donaldson [13] , I may be well content.

 

No time for more, but with ten thousand times ten thousand blessings to my darling Son, and many a blessing to the old cow [14] , I remain your ever affectionate Mother,

                        Eliza Jackson.

 



[1] Slieveroe, Co. Monaghan, home of Margaret JACKSON and her second husband, Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH.

[2] Ballinode, home of the WRIGHT family – although I am unclear about who might be there at this time. Perhaps William WRIGHT & his wife Mary FIDDES. Or it could be Joseph WRIGHT.

[3] John W. JACKSON? I wonder if he may be the husband of a woman in a photo - “Mrs. JACKSON & Janie of Dublin”. There are also other JACKSON families in Crossmaglen & Tullyvallen but I can’t connect them as yet (See Freeduff BMDs.

[4] Sarah McCULLAGH 1852-1939) married Rev. William Sherlock WHITESIDE at Creggan church on April 13, 1893. Their son was born less than six months later – seemingly at full term. She was a sister of Andrew Bradford McCULLAGH who married Margaret JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[5] Mary MCCREADY, retired governess of the MCCULLAGH family.

[6] I am still confused over who this Aunt McCULLAGH is. The one who one might think  she is died in 1857 – if the burial record cited on p130 of “At the Ford of the Birches” is correct.

[7]Rev William REID (1829-1906), husband of Mary McCULLAGH

[8] Howard REID b. Sept 26, 1877

[9] Amelia Lydia DARE – wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON and based in England at this time.

[10] William CORR (1849-1911) This is the son of a William CORR who died a month earlier (which confused me at first). Creggan Gravestone: In dutiful and affectionate remembrance of William Corr for nearly two generations connected with this church and parish. He was acknowledged by all to be a faithful husband, a devoted father, a kindly neighbour and a true Christian. He died on April VI MDCCCLXXXIII aged LXVIII years (NOTE April 3, 1883, age 68, therefore born 1815) this obelisk was erected by his four surviving children. At the time of his death, there were 4 surviving children. It is possible the Frances Jane who married Thomas John SIMPSON was also one of their children since they are buried in the same plot. She was born abt 1847. The other three were Susan Elizabeth CORR, William Richard CORR & Rev Thomas John CORR.

[11] Mr. JOHNSTON? Is the old land agent? Is he the father of the governess at Liscalgot?

[12] Home of Elizer GILMORE & wife Sarah JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[13] Barbara BRADFORD 1783-1865) widow of William DONALDSON.

[14] “The old cow” the pet name for HSBC.

 

 

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