Home Biographies History Places Documents Letters Family Tree Misc. Contact NEW Blog

 

1860 Jan 31 In this letter, Eliza JACKSON writes to her daughter Bessie JACKSON, age 17, of money disagreements between Eliza and her husband, the limits of female power and the need for women to have financial autonomy.
Sharon Oddie Brown March 24, 2022

 

 

Urker, Jan 31st 1860

My dear Bessie[1].

I wish you many and happy

returns of your birthday[2] if this be

the will of God. May he teach

you to remember your days so as

to apply your heart unto wisdom.

I received your letter and its enclosure[3]

which is a great deliverance

and I am greatly obliged to [Miss?]

McCready[4]. But I am not sorry

that I changed the pounds in

Newry, for I assure you I do not

intend to spend my youthful[5]

days as I have done, your Fa

-ther always calculated to strip

one of the last farthing, while at

the same time he would deny

himself nothing. Now I consider

 that I would lay out the money

something more usefully than

he has been in the habit of 

doing, and also that I have as

just a right to it as he can

possibly have, for I did not come

a pauper into this family[6], although

I have been as humble and self

-denying as if I had; which only

left him more to destroy, and

he did destroy all ever I saved[7].

He never knew what it was either

to feed, cloth or educate his

children; if I had insisted from

the first upon being supported

as I was well entitled to it wd

have given him something else

to think of than indulging every

whim that came into his own

head. People should not forget their

own rights any more than the

rights of others. However I hope a

new day is dawning, and I am

willing to forgive the past if the

future is better. I recd a note

from him today which I en

-close. I am sure it will be a

satisfaction to poor Grandmother to

see a line from the white son

again, although he does not seem

to be well able to write yet.

Wait by return of post with the

other ½ for I am as poor as Job’s

cat, the high price of the hay

is I suppose preventing people from

buying it, and I have neither

tobacco for the men, nor tea for

myself. I got a great fright with

Jemmy last night, I thought he

was taking croup, but by prompt

measures he is better today. He is

but poorly clad, and that is against

him. Andy is better and working

in the garden. I did not see

Peggy since this day fortnight

I must go to see her if possible

tomorrow. I hope your father's [anti?]

-cipations about getting the business

concluded this week may prove

true. I am living in fear of some

of the creditors. With love to Grand

-mother and all the rest I am

dear Bessie your loving mother

Eliza Jackson

I am sorry you did not say

how aunt B [?][8] her husband

was, I hope no news is good news.

Your letter had been late for

post it is stamped the 30th

I forgot your birthday, but I

remembered that just that day

two months darling little George[9]

was buried.

 

 

 

 

 



[1] Elizabeth “Bessie” JACKSON was Eliza’s eldest daughter and had just turned 17 years old when this letter was written. There was no envelope with this letter, so I am unsure where she may have been staying. One possibility is that she may have been at Cavananore, home of Eliza’s sister and Bessie’s aunt Mary Jane OLIVER and also of Bessie’s great aunt Margaret BRADFORD (1786-1874).

[2] Elizabeth “Bessie” JACKSON was born January 29, 1843

[3] At first, it seemed to be a bequest from the 1859- Will of Margaret Bradford. – except that she died in 1874, more than a decade after penning her will. If the money was from a bequest, this means looking at other family members who died in the decade before this money being available. One possibility is a cousin Sarah McCULLAGH (1816-1857).

To my niece Eliza Jackson wife of David Jackson the sum of fifty pounds, this sum not to be subject in any way to the debts control or engagements of said David Jackson and to be applied by my said Trustees (Thomas OLIVER & Mary Jane OLIVER) to the use of the said Eliza Jackson in such a way and at such time or times as they may think right. The receipt of the said Eliza Jackson to be a sufficient discharge and acquittance to them for the due and proper application of said money without the concurrance in such receipt of the said David Jackson. And in further trust to apply one hundred pounds of the residue of said sum of Three hundred and forty five pounds to and amongst the children of the said Eliza Jackson in the following proportions upon their respectively attaining the full age of Twenty one years namely. To each of her daughters Elizabeth , Mary, Sarah, and Margaret Jackson the sum of Twenty five pounds, and to his son James Jackson the sum of Twenty five pounds, and to each of his other sons, Andrew, David and George the sum of Sixteen pounds thirteen shillings and fourpence and in case any of the children of the said Eliza Jackson should die before he or she respectively attains the full age of Twenty one years my will then is that the proportion of said sum of One hundred pounds hereby bequeathed to him or her respectively shall be divided to and amongst his or her surviving brother and sisters hereinbefore named but should my said Trustees think it would be more for the advantage of all or any of the children of said Eliza Jackson that the sum or sums hereby bequeathed to all or any of such said children could be more advantageously disposed of to their or any of their advancement in life ~ My Will is then that it shall be lawful for my said Trustees  to apply all or any the shares of said sum of One hundred pounds to and amongst the children of said Eliza Jackson in the proportions bequeathed to each in such a way and at such a time as they may think right without being liable to be called to an account hereafter for such exercise of the power so vested in them

[4] Miss McCREADY. This is most likely Miss Mary Anne McCREADY (1816-1896). She was a governess to some members of the McCULLAGH family and later a housekeeper to James McCULLAGH. http://www.thesilverbowl.com/documents/1897_Will_McCready_Mary_Anne.htm In later letters to them, she signed her name as “Mother McCready”. She died at Urker Lodge, age 80, in the care of Mary GRIFFIN née JACKSON (1844-1921), one of the daughters of Eliza JACKSON. According to her death certificate, she had suffered for three months from Pleuritic Diffusion, Pulmonary Congestion, & Bronchitis.

[5] Youthful days? I am unsure if this is meant ironically or not. Eliza was 46 years old when she wrote this letter.

[6] In Eliza’s marriage settlement, her husband David JACKSON was guaranteed a £300 marriage portion aka dowry by Eliza’s brothers William OLIVER and Thomas OLIVER At the time, he had title to 86 acres in Aughaville, which he lost title to at some point after their marriage.

[7] Bequests in wills give some sense of the reputation of Eliza’s husband David JACKSON (1814-1889) with respect to money:

·         To my cousin Eliza Jackson otherwise Oliver I leave three hundred pounds for her sole use and benefit free from the power or control of her husband and to be given to her at such time and manner as her brother Thomas and her sister Mary Jane Oliver shall consider most judicious for herself and family. 1850, December 31- Will of Eliza Donaldson

·         To my niece Eliza Jackson wife of David Jackson the sum of fifty pounds, this sum not to be subject in any way to the debts control or engagements of said David Jackson and to be applied by my said Trustees (Thomas OLIVER & Mary Jane OLIVER) to the use of the said Eliza Jackson in such a way and at such time or times as they may think right. 1859- Will of Margaret Bradford.

 

[8] An Aunt of Bessie whose surname starts with B has to be either Sarah BARKLEY, wife of Rev. Joseph BARKLEY or Margaret BROWNE, wife of Rev. Daniel Gunn BROWNE. They were both sisters of David JACKSON. There were no aunts whose forename began with B. No news must have been good news since their husbands lived for many more decades.

[9] George William JACKSON died November 28, 1859. He was 15 months old and had died of croup. He was the youngest of her 10 children.

 

 

Site Map | Legal Disclaimer | Copyright

© 2006-2017 Sharon Oddie Brown