1st July 1853
When I received your letter I was not able to sit up in bed to read it. I cried with
vexation. I now am sitting propped with pillows striving to write you a few lines. I have
had no health this last eight months. I had twins three weeks and have not able to leave
my bed since. I have now seven children four boys and three girls. The last is a pidgin
There is two called after you and James
and two after them that is gone. They are strong and healthy. You wished to know how I am
circumstanced. We rent 400 acres of ground for which we pay ten pounds a year. The land is
not good. We had not one hundred bushels of wheat off thirteen acres ofground last year.
We have a team of bullocks and a dray, plough and harrow. We have about forty head of
cattle, a mare and might have been able to put by forty pounds but for my want of health.
We could not get a woman if we gave thirty shillings a week to mind me and the children so
Thomas has to be cook, milk maid, children's maid and to wait on the sick heifers. His
hands full he happened a sad accident about eighteen months ago. He was riding after
cattle through the bush and the horse threw him and he lost the use of his arm for six
months. He can use it underhand and your namesake and him put in the crop themselves about
twenty acres and four to put in.
I have never seen any hawthorn in the
country. The prunings and fruit trees he would send you but for my bad health he cannot
leave the place but if I get any better he will go to Sydney and put them on board.
I am very sorry to hear of your bad
health but I hope it will recruit. I would wish you were down with us as the change of air
would be of use to you. William sent me down your letters to read. He received your last
and I am very glad to hear you are doing so well. I could not make you (?) in Ireland to
write to you. I wrote twice for Annie but got no answer so I expected no person would
answer me. I have your letter written ten years ago and have dropped some tears on it. I
am very sorry to hear of the death of James two children but hope this one will be spared.
Mary might recollect me when she came
over with her Mother. I am thankful to her Mother for her opinion. Oh what would I give to
see you and James and wife but I fear I will never see you as I think my days are
We did intend to sell what we had and
purchase land near Uncle Irvine. I have been going to write everyday but could not. When I
could take the pen I could not write. Remember me to James and partner.
I remain your affectionate sister.