Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Castle Mains, 11 February 1878

A new year and a new return address for Marion Brown, Aunt and Tam Scott:  Castle Mains by Sanquhar.  This is the only surviving 1878 letter, but it's a long chatty one that shows how precarious the health of all three Sanquhar family members has been--Tam Scott with his ongoing lung issues, Aunt with her bad chest cold, and Marion unable to walk, barely able to speak.  Perhaps in response to the financial straits that prompted their move, James Bryden has sent the household a gift of (presumably) money.   The spurs a reflection on dependence and gratitude from Marion, and lavish thanks and well wishes for the American kin.  There's still mention of trying to get Aunt to emigrate; and further mention of Aunt's cheesemaking skills.  The Americans are instructed to get photos taken, so that Aunt can consider who young John Bryden resembles most. 

Castle Mains
By Sanquhar
Feb 11th 1878

Dear Friends

We was all very glad to see your kind and very welcome letter for we was wearing very much to hear from you.  I hope this will find you all well when it reaches you and I am glad to be able to say that Aunt is just about her useal way again she got a bad cold when we flitted but I think has got clear of it now  Tam was off work for a fortnight with a bad cold to his chest is not very strong and when he has a cold it always takes hold of his lungs but he is a good deal better and able to work but he is drinking cod liver oil and the doctor says he has to drink it always to keep his lungs soft.

I am glad to be able to tell you that I feel no worse this two or three weeks I can speak a little but not much I have to do the most of my talking in writting yet and I am very bad at walking but it is my back  that makes me so bad at walking it takes the power from my legs altogether at times.

Now James you must give uncle our very best thanks for his kindness in sending us such a present.  The truth is this if it was not the kindness of my friends to me I dont know how I would do for I have never been able to work for myself and seems to be as unfit for work as ever but our heavenly Father is always kind to us and gives us far more than we deserve and I ought to be very thankful that I have always had kind friends to take care of me for Aunt has been a Mother to me and I have to tell you from her that she hopes you will always have plenty and she would be very glad to see you come steping in.  in summer and perhaps she would not be so hard to advise to go over with you this time and she thinks altho the cows is not her own she could get you some curds when you come and she says you are to be sure and get your son's likeness taken uncle Marion you and John altogether  and then she will see who he is like.

Uncle William and all his family is well in the meantime my Brother and his wife and family is all well but the youngest one that is my namesake Marion she has had a very bad turn with Bronchitis but is a little better if she continues and I hope she will.  You must give uncle Joseph and them all our best respects we have had a very mild winter and I hope the spring will continue as mild.  

Now I have to tell you from Aunt you are not to be so long in writting for she says if you had not been so far away she would have tried to have gone to see what was keeping you from writting now I will stop hopping this will find you all well and also hopping you will writing sooner and with kind love to you all and all friends I am your affectionate Cousin Marion Brown

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