January 9th, 1873
My Dear Uncle,
As this is the first time I have wrote to you this year I wish you all a happy new year and I hope this will find you all in moderate health when it reaches you. I am glad to be able to tell you that we are all in a moderate state of health in the meantime Aunt was very bad with the cold for two weeks but she is getting better again. We have had a great deal of wet weather and very cold to so there is scarcly anyone missing the cold there is a good deal of trouble around here just now the doctor says that it is owing to so much wet weather.
Uncle Williams wife has been very bad and does not feel very strong yet but is able to get up an hour or two every day now. Uncle bids me ask a favour from you the way things has been with him this summer he is very hard up for money and he would be very much obliged to you if you would send him six or seven pounds for some time and if you do send it if you would send it here it is more convenient to get it as at the Whitecleugh. Uncle has had a very hard summer to begin with I dont know how he may get on if he stops on.
I am very glad to be able to tell you that our cows is all healthy but Tam is beginning to think they will be scarce of hay. Tam is fairly tired of the cows but Aunt will not hear of leaving them but the cows here is not near paying themselves now and Aunt is daft to keep on as she does but it is just her nature to work among them and we cannot get her to give them up but if the cows is no better for the coming summer as they have been the last one I know they will not near clear themselves.
I have to give you Aunts kind love and say that she is wearing very much to hear from you all. What is James Bryden doing we have had a great time dreaming about him give all our friends my kind love and tell Marion to write soon and let us know how you are all getting on Aunt thinks Uncle Joseph is turning very lazy at writting and when you do write you are to send word about all the boys now I must come to a close with kind love to you all and may God be your guide is the sincere desire of your affectionate neice Marion Brown
be sure and write soon
Tuesday, January 19, 2010
In this letter, we can feel the problems building for the Glencrosses and Scotts in Sanquhar: "there is a good deal of trouble about here just now" refers to illness, but it also applies to the broader questions of sustenance. Marion conveys uncle William Glencross's request for money to his American brother; Marion's also doubtful about the longterm wisdom of keeping cows that don't produce enough milk to pay their keep. Tam Scott, Aunt Agnes's son, would also like to be done with cows, but "it is just her nature to work among them," and so they stay for now.