Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Townfoot, 11 October 1880

This letter is in pencil, so it's harder to read than most of Marion Brown's letters.  Maybe she lost track of her ink and pen in the move from Castle Mains?  It also features a child's scribbles, perhaps made long after Marion's pencil left the page.  It's a newsy letter:  Aunt is working as a cheesemaker at Auchengruith, at the George White farm, while the usual family member is recovering from childbirth; Tam is trying work beyond farm labour, hoping it will be steadier.  Marion isn't well, but she's expressing religious resignation, and she's glad that her right arm remains unaffected by the current version of her troubles.

(George White of Auchengruith farm was buried in Sanquhar Kirkyard, grave number 63 in Wilson.  Not clear if this is the same George White mentioned in an 1866 letter from Marion Brown, though a longtime familiarity might explain why Aunt Agnes was asked to come to his aid.)

11th October 1880

My Dear Friends

We was all glad to see your very welcome letter we weary to hear from you when you are so long in writing Aunt and me was talking about you all a night or two before your letter came and wondering how you was all going on and we was glad to see from your letter that you was all well when you wrote and I hope this will find you all still enjoying the same precious blessing for it is truly said that good health is nine tenths of all the Lord has ever given to any man for what is all this world to us if we have not health to enjoy it 

I am glad to be able to tell you that Aunt is in moderate health but is trubled very much with pains in her legs and back she has been at Auchengruith at George White's for six weeks making his cheese one of his daughters has a baby and he was very anxious for Aunt to go and make the cheese till she was able to work again, we are wearing to get her home again at least I am I don't like when she is away if I had not been close confined to bed, but I do feel the want of her very much for her to be away from home and making cheese now but poor body she has always the spirit and there is nothing lifts her spirits like making cheese.  

Tam and his wife and little Samuel are all well Tam has been ????? [line of penciled writing is smudged at the crease] this some time he thought it would be a more steady job than labouring for labouring work is very scarce and for myself I may say I am a poor helpless creature lying in bed and scarce able to ???? [another smudged line on the fold] self  I have very little power in my left arm but I ought to be very thankful as long as my right arm is not affected but our heavenly father has promised that he will lay no more on us than we are able to bear but human nature is hard to bend and some times I feel it very hard to look at the bright side of the dark[?] clouds that comes before me, 

Aunt bids me tell you that she is pleased to know you have such a nice cow and she hops she will do well but she is not much taken up with the turkeys, as far as I hear there has not been good crops this year and potatoes especially and they are moderate in price in the meantime two shillings and four pence per hunderweight for the best early potatoes.

Uncle William and his family are all well I must stop for it has taken me a long time to write this and I am very tired I hope you will not be long in writing give our united love to uncle Joseph and all enquiring friends and except of the same to you all every one from your affectionate cousin, Marion Brown

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