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This is one of 77 letters retrieved from a bog in Ireland. NEWS; Eliza has been at Blackrock having warm baths which have helped her knees; HSBC is doing well; TJ's brother David also doing well; news of TJ's siblings - all doing well; crops doing well; Rachel in Hong Kong; TJ expected to arrive at Dundalk in the early New Year.
Sharon Oddie Brown. October 9, 2006
Updated March 22, 2010


Urker Oct 10th 1888


My dear Tom


I have two letters of yours to answer those of the 18th of August and of the 25th. I was a week later than my usual time of writing; I was away at Blackrock [1] getting warm baths. They did me much good.. I had been annoyed with pain and stiffness in my knees; the pain is quite gone.; and the stiffness nearly so. My general health is as good as it ever was. Father also is well.


            What a mercy that the Bank is doing well! Business always prospered with you every place that you were in. As poor Johnny said, you had old Rose’s [2] blessing; and many a blessing.


            I shall be anxious about the Bank after you leave it. I can never forget “the old Cow” [3] and I pray that God may send a faithful an fortunate successor in your place. I am delighted to hear that David [4] is doing well. Indeed I have no cause for anxiety about any of my family [5] .


            Eliezer [6] and Sally [7] have just returned from a visit to Andy [8] ; and Eliezer says he is not poor Andy; but rich Andy; that he has 200 head of cattle. Eliezer himself is doing well, and always did so, and the American legacy [9] is coming duly in instalments. Thompson [10] and Bessy [11] are very industrious and careful; but with their large family they have enough to do. Jemmy [12] and his wife [13] are very happy and are doing well. So are Peggy [14] and her husband [15] .


            I know nothing about Mary [16] but I have heard that she boasts of being very happy. It is all well, if I would only believe it. Kate [17] and her family are well. She stayed here while I was at Blackrock. Minnie sent a likeness of dear little Dorothy [18] ; and said they were all well. As far as I can judge, Dorothy resembles Julius [19] more than the others. What a meeting you will have with them all please God.  Oh if you were only safe home I would have little in this world to wish and I daily entreat God to bring you safe. Your Father and I both entreat that you will not come by America, if you can avoid it. We both dread that route.


            Sally desires to thank you for your contribution to the fund for Mrs Austin [20] ; She intends to write to you by next mail.


            After a very wet summer we are having a fine harvest; and have got most of our corn safely home. I would be unwilling to neglect your advice; but I am not drinking the wine, nor do I need it. What more can I be than well? but if ever I require it, I will get it. I am sure you were surprised when little Rachel [21] landed in Hongkong. I hope the poor thing may have done what was for her happiness in leaving your service; but I greatly fear the contrary.


            I will not have many more letters to direct to you at Hongkong; it will be useless to write after January. And when you are coming to Ireland, write here before you let any one else know that you are coming; and your Father [22] will (D V) meet you in Dundalk. All the rest of your friends in Ireland are just as usual. Some of them are delicate, and always will be, as long as they live; Uncle & Aunt Browne [23] , James McCullagh [24] ; and poor James Donaldson [25] , who is worst of all for disease of the mind is worse than disease of the body.


            I recollect nothing more worth writing except that Father unites with me in love and blessing to our darling son Tom. That every blessing spiritual & temporal may be yours, prays your affectionate Mother                         Eliza Jackson



[1] Blackrock, near Dundalk, Co. Louth

[2] This "Rose" perplexes me.She is mentioned again Mar 28 1894 "My blessing go with you, Tommy Jackson" She is likely someone who died at the time that TJ went to the Far East, hence about 1864. Rose BRADFORD who died in 1853 at age 47 would have been too young to fit the description. The only other Rose was the wife of Robert DONALDSON, but she would likely have been long dead before TJ showed up.

[3] “The old Cow” was the family’s name for HSBC

[4] David JACKSON – younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[5] Except for her estrangement from her daughter Mary.

[6] Eliezer GILMORE, husband of Sarah JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[7] “Sally” Sarah JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[8] Andrew Coulter Bradford JACKSON – brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON. His farm was at Forstertown, outside Trim, Co. Meath.

[9] I have yet to find out who may have died in America, or at least had American assets in their will.

[10] Thompson BROWNE, husband of Elizabeth JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[11] “Bessy” Elizabeth JACKSON – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON.

[12] “Jemmie” James JACKSON – younger brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[13] Elizabeth Sarah BROWNE, daughter of Rev. Daniel Gunn BROWNE

[14] “Peggy” Margaret (JACKSON) (REED) MCCULLAGH, sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[15] This is her second husband, Andrew Coulter Bradford MCCULLAGH

[16] Mary (JACKSON) (MENARY) GRIFFIN – sister of Sir Thomas JACKSON, her second marriage was opposed strenuously by her family.

[17] Kate Maria Jane WHITING, widow of John JACKSON, older brother of Sir Thomas JACKSON

[18] Dorothy St. Felix JACKSON, daughter of Sir Thomas JACKSON & Amelia Lydia DARE – one year old at the time of this letter.

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

[20] Mrs AUSTIN? She is probably the widow of the Creggan Church minister.

[21] Rachel? This is a name that occurs in the earlier generations of the GILMORE family. There may well be one I have yet to learn about. It also may be that she was a domestic working in TJs household.

[22] David JACKSON (1814-1889)

[23] Rev Daniel Gunn BROWNE & Margaret JACKSON

[24] James McCULLAGH, probably the son of Eliza WALLACE & James McCULLAGH

[25] James DONALDSON had some sort of severe mental illness. His parents were John DONALDSON & Elizabeth Johanna JACKSON



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