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This is one of the 77 letters found in a bog sometime before 1960. There is a gap of 4 years between this one and the one previous. NEWS: Sir Thomas' & Minnie's children are all well; Minnie's Mother & brother have died in Yokohama of cholera; books are sent for the children; Eliza's childhood reading; concerns about rent payment; David JACKSON to go to Yokohama (Eliza understandably concerned after cholera deaths).
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 4, 2006
Update: Footnote - September 24, 2014

Urker Novr 18th 1879.

My dear Minnie [1] ,


            I am glad to learn by yours of the 11th that the children are better; and that you are calmer than you were. Oh my dear, submit to every dispensation of the All wise, and All merciful! Only think that great as your cause of sorrow is; how much worse it might have been! You have lost a beloved and respected Mother [2] . Well, in the course of nature; she would have been removed before many years [3] . You have lost a dear Brother [4] ; what if it had been a dear Husband? Where there is hope in the death of friends; the sorrow of survivors is but unselfish sorrow. Yet it is both natural and [lawful?]; Jesus himself wept at the grave of Lazarus.


            I now send you the promised books, twenty three in all. Two are for yourself; the rest are for the children; with Grandmother’s love and her fervent prayers that the books may be blessed to their edification and Christian instruction. They are all Christian books but one “Esop’s fables”; but I believe it to be one of the wisest books ever written by an uninspired author. Two of the books are not bound, as I could wish; but inside merits must make amends for the outward defect. What advantages the children of the present time have over those of former generations; in the number and variety of suitable books! My mind in childhood was nourished solely by Watt’s hymns [5] , Esop’s fables, and the Shorter Catechism. These were the only books I had besides the Bible. A limited library; yet many a heart-headed and stout hearted man and woman did they help to train. I send you all three, for old times sake; the two first will be available at once; your children [6] are too young yet for the latter; but you may read it yourself; and any thing in it, not proved by the Scriptures you need not believe. It is the most admirable compendium of Christian doctrine I ever met with; and for more than two centuries has been esteemed and taught in all Protestant Churches over the world.


            Nothing new has occurred since I wrote last; we are all much as usual. Tom [7] seems anxious about the payment of our rent here; tell him that it is by the advice of our Solicitor Mr Bailie [8] ; and with the concurrence of the agent Mr Brooke [9] that it is not paid until the new lease has been granted; and we could pay it before night if required. We have often and often informed the agent of our readiness & willingness to pay. David [10] went to Castleblayney about it last week. Messers Brooke & Bailie promised that all should be settled before Xmas. The promise is probably sincere this time; for so little can be got from the tenants this year that they will be glad to catch it.


            I feel for your Brother [11] in going back to Yokohama. Could it not be arranged that he should be sent to some other place?


            I hope your Sister [12] is well; her trial was even harder than yours. She saw the suffering that you only heard of. But you and she will comfort each other.


            With love and blessing to you all; ever dear Minnie,

                        Your affectionate Mother,

                                    Eliza Jackson


[1] “Minnie” Amelia Lydia DARE, wife of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[2] Sarah Strieve (PARKE) DARE, mother of “Minnie”. She died September 10th 1879 in Yokohama of cholera after nursing her son who died five days earlier of the same disease. She was 62 years old.

[3] NOTE: She was two years younger than Elizabeth JACKSON.

[4] John Julius DARE (1841-October 5, 1879) died of cholera in Yokohama.

[5] Isaac WATTS, a Calvinist clergyman and hymn writer, known amongst other things for  “When I survey the wondrous Cross”, “Joy to the World” and “O God, our help in ages past”. He “virtually single-handed introduced, developed, invented, the hymn as we know it today”. SEE: http://www.urc.org.uk/documents/isaac_watts/watts_index.htm

[6] Her three surviving children are ages 3, 5, and 7.

[7] Sir Thomas JACKSON

[8] BAILIE? Probably Robert Ellis BAILIE (1847-1911), a solicitor in Castleblayney.

[9] BROOKE? He was the agent for the landlord, and had made quite a mess of things (according to Eliza in a later letter), and was replaced by JOHNSTON.

[10] David JACKSON, youngest surviving brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[11] Alfred Henry DARE (1853-1924) – worked for HSBC as well. His mother Sarah Shrieve PARK (1817-1889) & his brother John Julius DARE (1841-1879) had just died of cholera in Yokohama.

[12] There are many DARE sisters, but it was most likely either Sarah Elizabeth or Florence Gertrude. Out of the living sisters, the others were further away from Yokohama at the time..



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