Thursday, November 20, 2008

Bogg, 5 May 1870

This incomplete letter is very damaged by torn and worn-away edges (the damage happened while the letter was folded, which quadrupled the loss), but I'll try to share as much of the contents as are readable.

My dear uncle

I again lift my pen to let you know how we are all getting on at the Bogg and I am very happy to be able to tell you that we are all in a moderate state of health at present for which we cannot be to thankful for. it is astonishing to see how strong Aunt keeps to have so much [torn] for she is always working [torn] have all the thinking to do to ge [torn] thinks kept right. I hope this will find you and Marion both in good health you will be busy getting all your garden put right everything comes in its season Tam is wondering what kind of [hens? torn] have because if ever he [goes? torn, more than a full line lost] like them in America [torn] great man for all kinds [torn]

Mr. Kennedy thinks he can [torn] the pedigree of the Bogg cows since he was four years old. our cows has done very well this spring but we have been very scarce of hay and although the cows are not to be called lean they would have been the better of more to eat. we have a [torn] littler of young pigs just now [torn] ere is twelve of them and they [torn] doing very well and we [torn] sow to pig about this time [torn] if all goes right with the pigs they will be a good help to Aunt for they are very dear just now we have got our potatoes planted two weeks since but there is no [torn] this year Aunt thinks [torn] just as well to buy all [torn, more than a full line lost]

Kerr of Whitehill [torn] begun to make cheese again [torn] busy in the boiler house just now putting boiling whey on the curds. I hope by this time you will have got your parcle from John Moffat and the tailor is wondering how your trousers will fit he thinks you might come over some Saturday night so that [torn] could get measured for he [torn] there will be a difference of [torn] now, give Marion my kind regards and tell her she will get a surprise some day that will make her boil the kettle quickly we were all sitting at the fire the other night and we made a settlement that we would just all go of to America and [torn, more than a full line lost]

that is the girl that [torn] us for a year and a half [torn] to do all the messages [torn] says if he is not in America in less than two years he will be a soldier so you see we have all things settled the same as if we were going to start tomorrow uncle Joseph and uncle William are both at Greenock draining [torn] I had a letter from them this week and they were both well their families are all in good health at present my brother James has got another addition to his family a little girl and I think it will be named Margret for my mother, I wrote the most of her last letter lying in my bed but [torn] to sit up and write [torn] on the table at the window [rest of letter lost]

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bogg, 6 April 1870

A newsy eight-page letter from Marion to her American uncle. The news is of Marion's health (poor--her head has been shaved and she's had blisters applied to treat "an attack of inflam[m]ation of the brain"), crops, work, emigration, and family connections. This letter was written just a few days after the letter to James Bryden (previous post), but there's no mention of Bryden here. Marion's sense of her health as a chastisement from God is described more explicitly here than usually. Two local men will be emigrating to the Scranton area soon, John Moffat and Robert Watson, to carry more handmade clothing for John and Marion Glencross.

Marion talks a bit more about her own family here--her father is "lame" now, her half-brother is working, her brother James has a little son with (what sounds like) a permanently dislocated left shoulder. The men in the family are working at draining, much as John apparently did before he left Scotland.
My Dear uncle

After a long silence I take up my pen to write you a few lines to let you know how things are moving on about the Bogg. I am very glad to be able to tell you that Aunt and Tom are in moderate good health and has been all winter for which we cannot be to thankful. and for my self I am very glad to be able to tell you that I am recovering from an attack of inflamation of the brain I was quite insenseible for ten days I got my head shaved and has had on six blisters and they have done me a great deal of good and now altho I feel very weak I am greatly better and can sit up for about two hours which is a great releif.

dear uncle sometimes I think I have been sorely tried in my journey in this sinful world but no doubt but our heavenly Father has seen I have need of chastisment or he would not have afflicted me so long. He knows what is best for us in whatever way we may be placed.

I hope you and Marion are both well. and as the spring is come round again you will be busy getting your garden planted we are not begun to our garden yet it has been very hard dry barren weather here this some time every thing looks ready for rain. our cows are begun to calve and we have got all the queys calves we need the Master wants seven and it is very lucky we have got the queys first the hay is going to be very scarce this year which is a bad thing when the weather is so backward but we are to get a load or two more meal and that will help so far for the want of the hay

Aunt has her kind love to you both and I am to say that she thinks you will think she is turning daft in her old days if you are spared and well to see the trousers and waistcoat she has sent with John Moffat to you there is far more orang in them as she expected and you are to send word soon what you think of them and there is some other person going away from Wanlockhead about the middle of May and perhaps she will have some thing else ready to go with him. his name is Robert Watson he has an uncle some where not far from you one James Watson and you must let me know what you think of your socks and how Marions stockings fit her if all goes right so that you get your parcle. I knitted both the pairs lying in bed it is good amusement for me when I can do nothing else since my head was so bad I have not been good at ???ing but my sight will improve as I get stronger.

uncle Joseph and uncle William are away to Greenock to work again there is nothing going on here at all uncle Joseph has got another addition to his family he has four sons and a daughter now and his young son is named James for uncle James both families are all well at present. I have found Helens Mother at last I got a letter from her the other day and she is well and very comfortable she is housekeeper to a lady and just goes about with her it seems they are not long in one place but now when I have found her out I will can send her the money to the address she has sent me and she would like very well if you would send your likeness and Marions both on one card and you are to send the card to me as I cannot tell you how long she may be at the same place and I will send it to her.

I have not had a letter from cousin John Glencross this some time but he is stoping a little at the shoulders when he is walking the last time he was here he had very busy whiskers and I was for cutting them but he told me they would keep his neck warm when the cold weather set in. You must send him one of your cards when you get them taken--

we have had a very dry summer here the water was very scarce for a long time we had it all to cary from Lochburn and it was very bad. we have got all our hay in and the stacks thached but we have not so much hay as we had last year but it is very good what we have for it scarcly ever got a shower either growing or after it was cut. the cows has not been so good either it was so dry and warm that they could not settle to eat and they grass was not very plenty either our turnip crop is very good and the potatoes are thick in the ground but very soft and watery the corn is nearly all in so I think the busy time will soon be past for another season.

the swine is doing very well as far as is past yet and Tom is going on with his hens as brisk as ever I ont tknow how many kinds he has just now--I cannot tell you very well what uncle Joseph and uncle William is going to do now they have been talking about going away to Greenock to drain for there is no work in this place of the country. but I am not sure when they will go away.

my brother James was down from the Tower seeing us last night but I think he is not agreeing very well with the cheesemaking I told him he had as little colour in his face as I have and that is not much now and he is very thin to. but he is hired for another year so if he keeps his health he will be cheesemaker another summer yet he has a son named for my father and he is very like James and is getting a very stiring boy but he has got his left arm of joint at the shoulder and he cannot use it at all and the bonesetter cannot put it in it might have been some thing worse but it is a pity to see as little a boy as he is to have no power in his left arm. my father is very lame now he can scarce walk a step and has not very good health at times either but can go about to I have a half brother that drives coals to Wanlockhead he is not very big but stands the storms going up Mennock wonderful well--

this new Mistress is making some turn ups at Brandleys this term all the servants in the house is going to leave at Martinmas and the cook has been there for eight years she is Grace Hunter a daughter of James Hunter that was living at Meadowbank when he went away many a time she tells me about my uncle John draining at Auchentaggart and a little dog with you.

give Marion my kind regards and say I wish she was over here to keep me in company when I am sitting all alone in the room and I have to tell you from Aunt that you have to write soon and let us know if you get your things all right and between Marion and you I am sure you need not be long in writting give my regards to David Williamson and say I was dreaming about him being here the other night give my kind regards to all enquiring friends and except of the same to you both from your affectionate neice Marion Brown