Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bogg, 28 July 1869

A long newsy eight-page letter on green stationery reports that Marion's been very unwell, and who's working where this year. There's a short note about Helen Brown's mother (Marion Glencross's maternal grandmother) being in service at Dabton. Another photo of Marion Glencross, age 17, has been sent to Sanquhar--and all approve, including Tam Scott and Mr. Kennedy the landowner. This letter gives a strong sense of what, besides letters, is crossing from Sanquhar to Dunmore: Aunt will be sending John Glencross a pair of trousers, and a "wee cheese" she's made, and Tam Scott included a feather from one of his prized chickens, and a photo or two are also promised.

Bogg July 28th 1869

My Dear uncle

You may well think me very careless in not writting to you sooner but I will make no apology about not writting sooner for I will just tell the truth and I suppose it stands longest, I have been very bad since about a week before I got your letter. I was nearly blind for five weeks but I am very thankful that my eyes are better now for I felt rather lonely when I could neither speak nor see, I made Aunt laugh that day I got your letter I was vomiting when the post came in and after I got hold of the letter I vomited no more for an hour and she laughed and told the doctor when he came up that uncle Johns letter had feared me from vomiting for one hour and he wished you was here if you would have any effect to make me better, but let me be thankful I am rather stronger this two weeks past but not able to be up any yet. Dear uncle you see I need a great deal of nursing and every one is so kind to me it makes me take many a serious though [sic] when I think I can do nothing for my self and to see every one so willing to serve me--

I think it is high time I was asking for you and Marion now I hope you are both in good health and getting on well with your work you was just in the midst of it when you wrote to me so I hope you got well through your garding plainting and what other work you had to do I was very proud over the card Marion sent me and I think it must be like her for the most of our friends that has seen it points out some resemblings she has to some of us. I was letting Mr. Kennedy see it the other day and says she is very like what her mother was when she was young. he was asking very kindly for you and wondered if you never took a notion to come home. there is great changes now about Brandleys MissKennedy is going to be married on the eleventh of August, and John went away to a farm at Whitsundy. you will know it, it is the Stenes down in Tynron, so you see in a short time Mr. Kennedy will be left with his second wife the same as when he brought home his first, but one thing the present Mrs. Kennedy never will be like the first one she is a very high proud woman just as if there was nobody like her but the master is the same yet he comes in and askes for us all as homely as if we were his equal

you wanted to know if I knew any thing about Helen's mother. it is about six months since my Aunt was up from Carronbridge and she told me that she was always working at Dabton and was wonderful well but I have heard no word of her since. Now here is Aunt come ben she has been busy baking and I have to tell you that she is standing the works wonderful well this summer but just about roasted in the boiler house this hot weather it ias been so hot this some time past

Dear uncle it is wonderful to see Aunt standing so well for she has so much to do now although Tom does very well he has ot so much sense about things yet Aunt made nearly out with the cows last year she wanted three stones but the master was very kind he said it was the first time ever there was any of the rent wanting since she came to the Bogg so he would just let it go, we have a good lot of swine this summer we have two breeders and one of them had six and that served ourselves and the other had twelve and they were all sold at twenty five shillings each and Aunt says the price of the twelve pigs will pay the winning of her hay and to appearance we are going to have a good crop of turnips and potatoes and we are begun our hay this week but they say it is not so good as it was last year the dry weather has been against it uncle Joseph and uncle William and one James Menzies is our mowers and we have William Halberts daughter for one of our girls and a sister of uncle William's wife for the other she was with us all winter she is a very quite [sic] girl and can help Aunt very well and that is a good thing, and Aunt says I have to tell you she has plenty of cloth for two pairs of trousers to you but she is getting a new web made and she wants you to get a pair of it and John White is speaking about going to America after the harvest and she expects to get them over with him and she has a wee cheese in the chesle for you and she will be very glad if she gets it over when it is in season.

uncle Josephs wife and family are all well he has four three boys and one girl their names are Tom, William, Samuel, and Agnes, and I was to tell you uncle Joseph would write to you soon but he is very lazy at writting or he might have wrote you long before this. uncle Williams wife and family are all in good health to he has five three in the first family and two in the second Helen the oldest girl is our cow herd this summer and Tom and William and these are what Martha had and John and James are what Janet Young has I have to tell you from Tom that he has four kinds of hens silver penciled and golden penciled and silver spangled and golden spangled and he gave seven shillings for one of the hens and these are some of the golden penciled ones feathers and that is one of his card he has sent to Marion. and I will just tell you what he said when he saw her card that she was the best looking friend he had and he thought he would soon be over to see her. he does not incline to work among the cows very much but I think he is not sure what he would like to do yet.

I told you about Robert Wylie in my last letter and he was here last week he is going to give me one of his cards to send to you the next time I write he is a mason and working at Penpont just now, his father and mother and all our Douglas friends were well when he was here. Brother James is at the Tower this summer and he is Mr. Hyslops cheese maker but he is not agreeing with it very well but perhaps he will get used to it his wife and his son George is in a moderate state of health they have had the measles but are in a bettering way my father is wonderful well in health but is very bad at walking.

now uncle I have given you a pretty fair account of things here, but I had nearly forgot Aunty and Mary at Mennock are wonderful Aunty is spinning the yarn for the new web you have to get your trousers of Aunt joins with me in kind love to you and Marion and tell Marion I will write to her next time for I am tired of writting lying in bed and perhaps I will can sit up next time give my kind regards to all enquiring friends and except of the same to your self from your affectionate neice Marion Brown

pleas write soon and if well I will not be so long in answering you

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bogg, 7 April 1869

A long gap, almost a year, since the last letter--but Marion Brown acknowledges a long gap in her first lines; still, she also says this is her fourth letter without a reply from Dunmore in the past year, so we may be missing a few in the sequence.

Marion's writing at least part of this letter lying on her back, it's been weeks since she's left her bed, and she cannot speak either--she makes several comments of religious resignation to her "afflictions" here. Thomas Glencross "Tam" or "Tom" Scott, Aunt Agnes's son, has a bigger presence in this letter than we've seen in previous letters--he's "crased" about hens, an interest we'll be hearing more about in coming letters.

Another young man also makes an appearance: "Cousin John Glencross" is Uncle John Glencross's son--Marion Glencross's half-brother. When Uncle John left Scotland with his new wife Helen Brown in 1852, he left behind a son, John, whose mother was Christian (or Christina) Neilson (or Nelson), a woman Uncle John apparently never married. The boy was named for Uncle John, and stayed in contact with the family at the Bogg; at the time of this letter, young John was living with his mother and working as a herdsman, a "straping good looking young man" more than six feet tall, according to Marion Brown. There may be a photo of this young John Glencross in the albums, but there are a lot of unlabeled young men's portraits in there--so who knows?

Eight sides, paragraph breaks and links added.

My Dear uncle After a long silence I lift my pen to write you a few lines hopping this will find you and Marion both in good health and this leaves us all in a moderate state in the meantime for which precious blessing we ought to be very thankful if we have not health what can we enjoy but it is well for us to be afflicted at times or we would forget alltogether what we really are I am never very strong and has not been so well this some time past as I was I have been close confined to bed for the last three weeks many a time when I am lying all alone I have mind of you tieing a pink ribbon round my head and making me walk across the floor with my mouth prim. but what a change is come over me now when I can neither walk nor speak but no doubt all this affliction is sent for my good so I must just wait with patience and try to submit willingly under my cross----

Dear uncle I have had such a time dreaming about you I have had you twice at the Bogg this last week but I thought you would never sit down so I don't know what you are about at all we have been wearing very much to hear from you this some time for I have sent away three letters and this is the fourth and I have never got an answer although we hear how you are sometimes it is never like a letter from yourself perhaps you will not think it is so long as it is since we got a letter from you but it is a year past and no wonder although I dream about you. Now I must begin and tell you how things move on about the Bogg we had uncle Joseph last summer for my Brother left us last Whitsunday it was rather a hard summer with us for the weather was very dry and warm and the cows were not so good but I think Aunt had her quantity of cheeses but no more and the master was very well pleased with them so that was so far good it cheers one up to know of a thing being right after working so hard with it and we had a very bad crop of turnips but we had very good potatoes and what corn we had did wonderful but we had not much Aunt had to sell all her swine before they were fat for she had no meat to fatten them off. we had no man through winter Tom has been our man and we expect to do without one till May begins if we all keep well. Aunt has two breeding swine just now and the pigs is very high in price and if they do well she will get something of them to help her through summer. we have seven cows calved and they have all queys so we have got all our calves at the very first which is a good thing.

it would be worth your while to come over and have a crack with Tom about hens and sheep he is just crased about them he is talking about giving five shillings for some kind of hen just now but I don't know what kind it is Tom is a real Scott he has not an inch of his mother in him he is turning as like his father as can be he says he will be in America before he is much older if he keeps his health. uncle Joseph is here delving the garden this two days he has very little to do this winter every thing is very quite here the farmers is doing nothing and there is scarcly any work to be got he is going to Lochside to live this summer his wife and family is all well and he has been very well this some time better than I have seen him for a long time. uncle William has been working with masons all winter when it was weather he could work and be away to Crarapark this week and he expects to have the most of his summers work there if well his Master is Robert Wylie from Douglas a Cousin of your own and a very fine quite man he is, uncles wife and family is well and he has another son and his name is James so he has both James and John Glencross now. but uncle there will be many a James before we get one like the one we have lossed but it was Gods will to take him from us so why should we murmur but he was just like my father and always I feel the more miss of him

I am forgeting what I meant to say but here comes Aunt from the byre to tell me what she has got to say to you and she says I have to write every word she tells me. she has her kind love to you and Marion and she thinks you have forgot her altogether now you have been so long in writting and she thinks you might have had a letter here long before this and you are to tell Marion if you dont write she has to write herself and she thinks she will have a better summer this summer if spared and well Dear uncle Aunt has such a spirit she works on and she is getting very thin now and not very strong at times but still she goes on as long as she can some times she wishes she was beside you to see what you are doing.

We had a visit of Cousin John Glencross last Sanquhar fair he is a straping good looking young man I am sure he is above six feet he is herd at Carmacoup and his mother keeps house to him he has a married herding this four years passed he is very like you I have got his carte but it is not very like him he is going to get his likeness taken again and if it is any better than the one I have I will send it to you. now uncle I am getting tired writting lying on my back and I think I have given you a pretty fair account of things as they stand just now. give my kind regards to David Williamson and tell him it is time he was married now all friends and acquaintances is well at present as far as I know so with kind love to you and Marion I remain your affecitonate neice Marion Brown

write soon