March 22nd 1875
I received your kind and welcome letter last week and was sorry to see from it that you had been so bad with the cold but I hope by this time that you are greatly better if not well altogether. It has been a very severe winter in this country with trouble I never remember of as much trouble and death since ever I began to take notice. I am sorry to tell you that Aunt is not at all well she took a cold at the new year and has never got quite of it she has a very bad cough and her chest and side is very sore at times but I hope if the weather would get a little warmer that she will get a little stronger for when any thing is wrong with Aunt it is not like our own house.
I have to give you her kind love and say if you would do her any good it is time you was here for she has had a very dull winter and she thinks you would be nothing the worse of a sail across to see what the old country is like once more and she says you are to bring Marion along with you this time
I am very glad to be able to tell you that Tam is keeping well this some time he is left the coals and is working farmwork this last month and surface work agrees best with him
I have very little new to write this time. I was down at Sanquhar last week and saw Sarah Johnstone's grandmother and she wanted me to ask Marion to send her address to me and then I could give it to her for she has not heard from Sarah for a long time and she is going to write to her if she know her address. please to send the address the next time you write or tell Marion to send it if she writes before you for the poor body is quite distressed over Sarah.
give my kind regards to Marion Uncle John uncle Joseph and all friends and execpt of the same to your self from your Affectionate friend, Marion Brown
write soon and perhaps i will have more news next time and be in better spirits M. B.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
And now it's 1875, and "a very severe" winter has passed in Sanquhar since the last surviving letter. She mentions that there's been a lot of "trouble and death," but doesn't say who died. Aunt has had a cold for many weeks, but takes the opportunity to send a message via Marion Brown's letter to America (her lines are in blue); another friend, Sarah Johnstone's grandmother, sends a request in this letter too (green lines). Tam is working on the surface, not in the mines, which Marion judges to be better. And Aunt half-jokes that James Bryden should return to Scotland for a visit, with Marion Glencross in tow.