Yesterday i discovered two more Letters written by Margrate Tattersall of Burnley, Linconshire, to her daughter and son-in-law, John and Mary Ann Tattersall Hamer in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.
May 19, 1853
My Dear Children,
I embrace the opportunity of writing these three lines unto you hoping they will find you good health as they have us at present. Thank God. I hope you will excuse my very long delay. I have been waiting expecting that we should have had a settlement of affairs relative to your grandmother's family, but it is not yet taken place or I would have given you particulars about it. That is the reason of my delay, but I hope, Mary Ann, you will not act otherwise and as you have the most time to write on a Sunday, embrace the first after you receive this long expected letter.
Now, my dear Mary Ann I will try to answer your letter as well as I can. I find by your letter that you have got plenty of work on week days, which convinces me that people emigrating to America has still to labor for the bread that perisheth. I am well aware that a family like yours cannot [be] brought up to men and women without great toil, but if you are both pulling together it will make the work comparatively easy. I should be very glad to hear tell that john has again joined the temperance society, but if he is not willing at present to do so, I hope he will have the government over himself as to prevent Drink being his termination, both temporally and spiritually. I have also to inform you that provisions have very much abound with us here, but there is unavoidable alterations in the price of provisions we have at times to contend with, but we must try to be patient in suffering. I shall soon have done and you are getting onward through this wilderness, but my child let it be your greatest care to finish well at the last.
I see from your letter that John has begun of trading. Now I am afraid that will not answer your purpose to well. I would say as farming has done so well for you to continue it. I am sorry that the Indians deprived you of one of your oxen. You say if I was a little nearer you could give me a nice piece of beef, but my child suffer me to say that if ever we see each other in the flesh the effort must be on your part. I have said a deal on this head before and I would just now say that I hope the idea of tripping over here has not left your mind. I think Alice would have got to walking by this time. You see they keep growing up one after another till you will become the mother of a large family. Tell the children that it is the wish of their grandmother in England that they will all be very good children.
I have to inform you that your Aunt Rose is living with your Aunt Elizabeth and following dress making. She is very well in health and still single. Your Brother John's wife is not very well. She is able to walk about, but nothing more. They are living at Lane End, Edenfield [12 miles south of Burnley]. Your brother has very well heath at present. They have got four children. There names are as follows: Mary Ann, James, John, and William. Your sister Alice and husband are very well. I think Mary Ann, if you look your old letters up you will find your sister Alice's husbands name best and should be under a mistake. I will give you his name now which is Thomas Crook, a mule skinner by trade. In addition to that he is a general dealer in all kinds of toys and a variety of other articles. They are doing very nicely and have got two children. Their names are Paul and Tabitha. Your sister Rose has got married. I think I have not told you before. His name is Henry Hartley. He is a butcher by trade. They also are doing nicely. Rose has become a mother of two children. There names are Jane and James. Next is your aunt Elizabeth. Her husband's name is George Eastwood, by trade a joiner. They have one child and they call it Mary Ann. They also are both well and doing well, and the rest of your uncles I may say are all pretty well with there families. Your brother Henry is still a firm teetotaler and he would like John Hamer to be the same. He thinks he will loose nothing by it either in health or circumstances. He hopes therefore when you write again you will be able to state that he has again joined the ranks of temperance. Your sister Tabitha is well and keeping company with a man of the name of George Broughton, a son of temperance the last and the youngest, Your sister Elizabeth she is very well and getting up to be a young woman. Perhaps you will not of any recollection of Elizabeth. If so, how desirable it is that you should just pop over to see us all once more.
My dear, you see my paper is getting full, but I must have a word with you on that part of the letter you call my own and I do assure you it filled my heart with sorrow and my eyes with tears. Had I known at the time sleepless would have been my nights. Surely your mother-in-law must have lost all natural affection to treat you and your baby in the manner she did in such a time of need. But you see my dear child, when you was comparatively forsaken then the Lord interfered and helped you in your distress. Do not forget that hand that supported you when others failed. Make him the strength of your heart and then he will be you portion. Forever may God grant it for Christ's sake, Amen.
You greatly surprised us by saying George Hopkinson turned out to be the thief that stole Mr Richard Astons whip from Gin Hall. Great has been the grief and trouble of mind which I have experienced through that unlawful act of his and hope God has forgiven him. My dear I must conclude at present by writing all our best wished and kindly regards to you and John from your affectionate mother,
Here is the third letter:
Nov. 4th, 1854
I received your letter and am very glad that you are still in the land of the living. I see by reading the contents of your letter that passage verified which reads as follows, "in the world you shall have tribulation." My dear child, you something know of the meaning of the above passage by painful experience for I see you are at present going through deep waters of trouble and when I think how you are situated at present, my heart bleeds for you. To think that you are left alone for such a great length of time among strangers in a strange land with a sickly child and no one to sympathize with you in the least for a moment and you left getting weaker and that will make you more unable to bear trouble of such a painful nature. I think many a time, but for this great expansive sea that there is betwixt you and me and beside that there is such a wide space of lonely land to travel, that being the case it prevents you and me from enjoying that unspeakable pleasure of seeing each other and how ready I should be to sympathize with you in all your afflictions. And by that means say to wipe the flowing tear from your dear face. But, at present this is impossible. But, I hope time will bring us nearer together once more and again I hope that happy day for I cannot conceive for one moment that you and John are comfortable and happy in your present situation and circumstances, that you have sacrificed the comforts of Old England.
Now my dear children I must candidly tell you that my mind sometimes is very much troubled about you. I fear that you are not doing so well temporally. Now when you write next time be kind enough to tell me honestly how things are going with you relative to this world and set my mind a little at rest on that subject. Dear child, in your letter you say it is hard to be sick in a land of strangers and having no one to lend a helping hand in time of need, but your Husband and children. When I think of all these things it adds greatly to my grief of mind and sometimes I think if I had wings like a dove then would I fly away to your relief and comfort you. [You] also say in your letter it is strange that you have neither Sister nor Brother that will come to America to see you, that they do not come. You must not think that they have forgotten you. Oh no, you still live in all their affections. I do not see any possibility of any of our family coming to you, but I do hope there is a possibility of you coming to us. Now, do not you think that Old England would afford you as much comfort as you are now enjoying where you are, especially when you consider the loss of family connections and friends?
Now my dear children, both of you suffer me to try to prevail upon you to take these things into consideration. Now, my advise is this to you: get all your property into cash as soon as you conveniently can and then make your way back again to you Native land that gave you birth. Oh, what a happy day that would be to me, [to] witness your safe arrival. You know I am getting older. I cannot expect to stay very long here now. Though after all, it may be years for hereto the Lord has been kind in sparing me and I hope it may please him to lengthen out my days till I see your face again, for it is a long, long time since I saw it last time. I think it will be altered since your marriage day and then you know there is all your children my eyes have never beheld. And if an effort on your part is not made I tell you seriously and I tell you feelingly also that I must never see neither you nor yours till we meet I hope in Heaven. I hope you will seriously think of the above and let me have your thoughts upon it when you write next time.
I must now begin to tell you something about our family at home. Now with regard to the money, I had to go to your uncle James Whitaker's at Toddmorden to draw it and that was about three weeks before your father's Death and the money earning(?) I was able to do better to your father in his sickness than I otherwise could have done. The money that I drew was £200, 7/ 0d. Since that time your brother John parted with his wife, but she left no children behind her. John is now working at the Burnley Rail Station and he is living with me. I have also to inform you that your sister Tabitha was married on the 10th of Sept. 1853 to a young man named George Broughton, a mule skinner by trade and your brother Henry was married on the 15th of the same month to a young woman named Mary Ann Thompson, a weaver by trade [Burnley was a large textile industrial town]. Your sister Tabitha was safely delivered of a fine boy on the 11th of September and they are calling him William Henry. Your sister Rose was safely delivered on the 3rd of September of a fine girl. She is calling her Mary Ann after you. Your sister Rose's little Jane died a few weeks after your father. What changes has taken place in our family. You see now me being left at home with only your sister Elizabeth. I thought it best to part of my furniture and go to a house of less rent. Therefore, when you write direct your letter for me to be left at the Red Lyon. Your brother James' wife was delivered of a fine girl in June last and called her Matilda and she was interred on the 15th of last month. Your sister Alice and family is all well. Your sister Elizabeth has got up to a fine young woman now. I have also to inform you that your uncle Whitaker's wife at Manchester died about a month ago and he has left the Public house in Parsonage Home and he is now living retired with his daughter Sarah and Robert his son is keeping the house on as usual. Your aunt Elizabeth and family is very well and her son John has yet to be a Pupil Teacher belonging to the church school. Your aunt Rose is well and living with your aunt Elizabeth.
As it is getting near Post time I must draw to a conclusion, but before I do so, allow me to urge you earnestly that you will answer my request above that is with regard to your temporal welfare in America and say what you think about making an effort to return home. I say home all this immediately after you receive this letter in the course of a week. I intend sending off for you a newspaper. Anxiously waiting your reply, I remain ever affectionate
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