Object #1002766 from MS-Papers-0032-0817

4 pages written 14 Jan 1861 by Archibald John McLean in Maraekakaho to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 digitised items). Letters written on board ship or from various ports, 1847-1858 prior to his arrival in New Zealand in mid-1858. From then on the letters are almost all written from Maraekakaho about station matters.

A transcription/translation of this document (by MD) appears below.

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English (MD)

14 January 1862

Maraekakaho

My dear Donald

You would expect a letter by last steamer from me. I did write but the steamer was gone before it got to Napier therefore I send this to embrace the first opportunity in case it may overtake you at Wellington before leaving for here. It made me very unhappy not having seen you before you went on but I sincerely hope you will soon come here for I long much to see you so as to arrange matters better than they at preasant are, however I need not say anything about them things at preasant as I hope soon to see you. All I can say is that we passed a better New Year here this time than we ever did before. We were only saying how much pleasanter it would have been had you been here with Douglas but no doubt his dear old grandfather would enjoy your company equally as much. There is nothing diffinate done with the Maories as yet but I think that we will manage to retain the plains but at a rent much higher than I expected. The sheep have done remarkable well this last year. The lambing and lambs are excelent. There is over 2000 lambs between the two dockings so that is not so bad after the number of breeding sheep that went to Otago. We shore this year 4062 sheep included in this number about 80 lambs making (46 1/2) forty six and a half bales. If God spairs us next year their will be 2000 lambs with heavey fleeces on them to shere. The wool has all gone to Napier but 8 bales which will go this week. It is at Smith store. I do not know what Alex is going to do with it. I wrote

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English (MD)

Janisch to send me the weight of the bales. I am very sorry to find the price of wool coming down but I hope before this year's will go home it will rise again. It is very likely it will for the American War will prevent the usual quantity of cotton to come in the market. You would here of poor Mrs Ferguson's death. The poor old man was in a sad state. I went to the funural and took him to Catherine up here with me the next day and he staid with us up till yesterday which he said was his salvation and he went away very thankful indeed. It was charity to look after him at such a time altho I said I never liked him thinking that he often led Alexander away. Really when I came to see him in trouble I could not but feel for him. I find after all that he was Alex friend more than otherwise, indeed poor fellow, if he does not take care he will soon go himself. As for Alex I do not no what to make of him lately. It appears to me there is something troubelling his mind that he has been doing. I fear it is money matters. I cannot be happy as long as I live mixed up with a man that will not tell what he does with money. I always like to know where it goes and how it comes. Of course a man must spend some in many ways when traveling but why not account for it. He had £200 from Rich before he went to Auckland for which he was to take sheep but it appears Rich will not have the sheep now & wants his money. His partner is here now about it. Of course the Maories have to be paid and many other things. If it goes in that its all well. I wish you would only rent the place to me

Page 3 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

or the half of it and I would gave you as much rent as any other one for it and I need not say but I am certain it would be more satisfaction to yourself and gave me a chance to make a living. At all events you then would know what was coming to you every year for the time you might be disposed to leace it to me. I know that if any other man would make it pay I would but if it is going to be the way it has been it will be no satisfaction to you or me. As to looking after stock if allowed to do so from what I have seen I can do it equally as well as any other that was not all his days among stock. No doubt Alex is a capital manager but what of that if he does not attend to it but leaving men just to do as they please and of course some of them consider I have no busness with them for they have been told by him I had not. I have often told him to tell this boy of his the stock boy that he was to obey me when he was away but he said no. The consequence is the lad does as he pleases and time is in that way wasted that could be put to good account if he was to stay about the place and carry on the work. I would be quite happy fencing, burning and sowing seed but of course I strive to do what I can under many dificulties just to keep things in their place. Both the Catherines are quite well keeping things in as good order as they can. We got all the sheep nose branded and it vexed me much that all the time we were at that work which is the most particular time for a manager to be among the flock that

Page 4 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I had to attend to it all but one day owing that Alex was a[bsent] just owing to his being in bad state from drink. I cannot stand it any longer for I have done all I could but I find it is taken no nottice of. Poor man even his sister has done all she could but to no purpose. I do not know what this year may bring in. He may change. The beginning of it was very bad. I now plainly see that if I do not try and make some arangement with you before you leave the country that I have nothing to depend on. If I cannot rent from you I must try some other one but I certainly would rather stay here and do my best to improve your property with as much economy as possible. Rent me the half of your sheep and land, half the horse & cattle. Gave Alex the other. Let me pay half of all charges, find my own men and let him do the same. Then you will find the working man out and you will find your property improved and it may gave him a stimulus to go ahead and attend to his busness and you will no what you are doing then. If I did not duly pay my rent treat me as any other tennant, turn me off but the rent I do not dispair of paying, besides making a living in an independent way. I always had this proposal in view to see if you would approve of it. I now must end with the compliments of the season from the ladies to yourself, Douglas and the good old Mr Strang.


I remain your affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean

English (MD)

14 January 1862

Maraekakaho

My dear Donald

You would expect a letter by last steamer from me. I did write but the steamer was gone before it got to Napier therefore I send this to embrace the first opportunity in case it may overtake you at Wellington before leaving for here. It made me very unhappy not having seen you before you went on but I sincerely hope you will soon come here for I long much to see you so as to arrange matters better than they at preasant are, however I need not say anything about them things at preasant as I hope soon to see you. All I can say is that we passed a better New Year here this time than we ever did before. We were only saying how much pleasanter it would have been had you been here with Douglas but no doubt his dear old grandfather would enjoy your company equally as much. There is nothing diffinate done with the Maories as yet but I think that we will manage to retain the plains but at a rent much higher than I expected. The sheep have done remarkable well this last year. The lambing and lambs are excelent. There is over 2000 lambs between the two dockings so that is not so bad after the number of breeding sheep that went to Otago. We shore this year 4062 sheep included in this number about 80 lambs making (46 1/2) forty six and a half bales. If God spairs us next year their will be 2000 lambs with heavey fleeces on them to shere. The wool has all gone to Napier but 8 bales which will go this week. It is at Smith store. I do not know what Alex is going to do with it. I wrote Janisch to send me the weight of the bales. I am very sorry to find the price of wool coming down but I hope before this year's will go home it will rise again. It is very likely it will for the American War will prevent the usual quantity of cotton to come in the market. You would here of poor Mrs Ferguson's death. The poor old man was in a sad state. I went to the funural and took him to Catherine up here with me the next day and he staid with us up till yesterday which he said was his salvation and he went away very thankful indeed. It was charity to look after him at such a time altho I said I never liked him thinking that he often led Alexander away. Really when I came to see him in trouble I could not but feel for him. I find after all that he was Alex friend more than otherwise, indeed poor fellow, if he does not take care he will soon go himself. As for Alex I do not no what to make of him lately. It appears to me there is something troubelling his mind that he has been doing. I fear it is money matters. I cannot be happy as long as I live mixed up with a man that will not tell what he does with money. I always like to know where it goes and how it comes. Of course a man must spend some in many ways when traveling but why not account for it. He had £200 from Rich before he went to Auckland for which he was to take sheep but it appears Rich will not have the sheep now & wants his money. His partner is here now about it. Of course the Maories have to be paid and many other things. If it goes in that its all well. I wish you would only rent the place to me or the half of it and I would gave you as much rent as any other one for it and I need not say but I am certain it would be more satisfaction to yourself and gave me a chance to make a living. At all events you then would know what was coming to you every year for the time you might be disposed to leace it to me. I know that if any other man would make it pay I would but if it is going to be the way it has been it will be no satisfaction to you or me. As to looking after stock if allowed to do so from what I have seen I can do it equally as well as any other that was not all his days among stock. No doubt Alex is a capital manager but what of that if he does not attend to it but leaving men just to do as they please and of course some of them consider I have no busness with them for they have been told by him I had not. I have often told him to tell this boy of his the stock boy that he was to obey me when he was away but he said no. The consequence is the lad does as he pleases and time is in that way wasted that could be put to good account if he was to stay about the place and carry on the work. I would be quite happy fencing, burning and sowing seed but of course I strive to do what I can under many dificulties just to keep things in their place. Both the Catherines are quite well keeping things in as good order as they can. We got all the sheep nose branded and it vexed me much that all the time we were at that work which is the most particular time for a manager to be among the flock that I had to attend to it all but one day owing that Alex was a[bsent] just owing to his being in bad state from drink. I cannot stand it any longer for I have done all I could but I find it is taken no nottice of. Poor man even his sister has done all she could but to no purpose. I do not know what this year may bring in. He may change. The beginning of it was very bad. I now plainly see that if I do not try and make some arangement with you before you leave the country that I have nothing to depend on. If I cannot rent from you I must try some other one but I certainly would rather stay here and do my best to improve your property with as much economy as possible. Rent me the half of your sheep and land, half the horse & cattle. Gave Alex the other. Let me pay half of all charges, find my own men and let him do the same. Then you will find the working man out and you will find your property improved and it may gave him a stimulus to go ahead and attend to his busness and you will no what you are doing then. If I did not duly pay my rent treat me as any other tennant, turn me off but the rent I do not dispair of paying, besides making a living in an independent way. I always had this proposal in view to see if you would approve of it. I now must end with the compliments of the season from the ladies to yourself, Douglas and the good old Mr Strang.


I remain your affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 digitised items)
Series 9 Inwards family letters, Reference Number Series 9 Inwards family letters (1204 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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