September 8th 1879
My Dear Uncle
I hope this will find you all in good health. you will most likely have got a letter from my cousin Tom before you get this from me asking you to pay our passage to America and Aunt has made me write to you to say that it would be much better not to go till the spring at any rate but Aunt is very sore against going she has just been like a person not in her right senses since ever her wrote the letter to you and there is another thing I am not fit for the journey at this time for I am told there is ten chances to one if ever I got to the other side of the water alive it is very hard for me to be as I am not able to do for myself and a burden to my friends and the way I have been for the last six month needing the doctor so much and Tom being so long out of work in the winter and now out of work again it has brought us to be very hard to get on at all and Aunt bids me say if you would send Tom part of the money it would take to pay our passages to help us on to see what will turn up she would be very much oblige to you, and there is another thing the doctor that has been at Sanquhar is going to leave an I will owe him two or three pounds and I was going to ask you if you could send me that much and if it is in your power to do so send what is to me in my own name it is Dr. Kennedy that is going to leave uncle Joseph will know him. if you send me that much money at this time to pay the Dr. to all appearance I will never be able to pay you but I hope God will reward you for your kindness now I must stop hoping you will get this before you take out our passages and hoping to hear from you soon I am your affectionate Neice
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Castle Mains, 8 September 1879
And now, the immediate aftermath of Tam's letter (see previous post). It seems Aunt and Marion Brown believe Tam has asked for all the Sanquhar family's passage to America (he has not, in the letter that reached America); and they are a panic that this is not what they want at all. They need money; that much agrees with Tam's letter. But they'd rather stay in Sanquhar and pay their bills, than endure an ocean crossing. Marion is convinced she'd risk death in the attempt; Aunt is "like a person not in her right senses" since Tam brought up the subject. Much of this letter is at Aunt's dictation: "Aunt has made me write to you... Aunt bids me say..." Meanwhile in Sanquhar, the local doctor is leaving, which is a major event for Marion Brown; she owes him money, and she frequently requires his attention. (Probably Dr. W. J. Kennedy, who was provost of Sanquhar from 1872-1878).