Object #1006869 from MS-Papers-0032-0817

12 pages written 26 Sep 1858 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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Page 1 of 12. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

26 September 1858

Maraekakaho

My dear Donald

I had much pleasure in receiving your kind letter and pocket book yesterday for which I thank you to be so thoughtfull but as I am a perfect bush man now and labouring hard with much pleasure to myself as I find the fruits of my little labours shuch as my time is here beginning to repay my simple industry. The pocket book will be esteemed and carefully taken care of till we will have the pleasure of seeing you here when you will find that your poor sailor brother with the assistance of Alex will make this place something to astonish the natives. I am now delighted I have come here as economy and rule is the order of

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English (MD)

the day but in spite of all, as you will see by my last letter, the expences are in my eye dreadful, and indeed will be so till the improvements will be so far finished that the work can be done by ourselves. The getting the timber from the bush is attended with heavy risk and labour but thank God we are getting on very well. Alexander is just as you told myself, very misterious in the ways of accounts but for all he is a pushing and noble fellow to manage land and he & I agree in everything only he says I am to anxious for this world but from what I see going west in many things it would be considered a good living in our mother land had we the timber close to us the expences would not be half as bad. You will see by my last letter the misfortune happened McLauchlin with the cow 23 days ago so that Alex or myself had to shepherd instead which has been lost time. Indeed I find McLauchlin's wife and family

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English (MD)

a fearful dra..k to this place. He himself is a most usless man only to look after sheep and even that he wants a propter [?]. We are obliged to keep a cook here when his wife ought to do the work when she lives by it but instead neigher of the two were ever brought up to work and I do not see but in the end of the year you could or Alex could get a man simple to do full as well as him for less pay. The idia of £70 a year and the keep of a family where everything is on the scale is fearful but my dear D I have done a good deal in my small way to put down expences. Little things will amount up to great ones in time. The potatoes and peas I planted are very well. The wheat crop is also doing very well but the fruit apple and peach which cost us nothing but the labour is doing beautiful. The willows and a few gums the same. I have no less than 30 apple trees in bloom and peaches bloom 60 native trees I have also planted, nios, etc. O my dear D I wish I was in this

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English (MD)

country sooner. You need not fear about any liquor coming here. I have sworn against all such west [?] about such a place. You would see by my last letter we were pestered by the Monanue tribe while at the bush cutting timber for you. Only had your sisters once on this place your expences would be coming to a close as I am willing to labour from there to the utmost. What a pleasure it will be for you to be the means now of making our dear sisters happy. Depend upon there are few in this world more deserving. By my wife's letter of April last the schooner was not sold and that ship I commanded was then five months in Suldanda [?] Bay in dificulties and cannot be got condemned owing to some mismanagement of the new master. Now to a little busness. She says my sisters were much disappointed at not hearing from John with the money he mentioned in his letters to them and that Annabella left her situation on the thought of it however I wrote them from Melbourne all about John's new arrangement

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English (MD)


5th
and told them all I could see them and the chance of nothing being done for some time. I can only venture to say in place of them being an expence to us here they would be a great saving. I have written my poor patern wife as you term her to prepare herself to come out and to bring six (6) dog carts with their harnis with her as we can sell them to a large profit in this districk and keep one for your use and the station that to have ready at her father's when she got the order to come here which I trust will not be long before I can do so. We cut all the lambs that were up on Domett's run last week and they yielded 90 per cent and all the dry ewes were sent back there for the rams again. The sheep here are still lambing and we will not cut till next week. The wool shed is in course of being commenced. I am securing the timber for it. Alexander works well with me. He I consider has a first rate head about this work. He is now away after

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English (MD)


6th
seed potatoes. Went of yesterday but the river has got so flooded I fear he may be detained a day or two longer than he expected. We planted last week with the plow all the seed we had about 3/4 of an acre. I am delighted to hear you are going to alter your way of living and that Jessy is going to take up a house of her own. It is fearful to be living in lodgings and my dear brother if you can, if you think of staying long in the government service, I would build a house for myself on your own ground there in Auckland, as feeding other people's walls is expensive and if John could make out to build a house on your ground it would be in the family and save the £60 per annum rent besides improve the ground. I have got so much taken up with the good of having land improved that I would strain all my nerves to accomplish it. I hope you will excuse me for being

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English (MD)


7th
so sanguine but depend upon it is well meant and I consider your property as my own and would do as much towards it as all I now require is bread for life and that I can labour for. I have got geese hatching two, one of them have young, one 6 nice birds and hens I caused to be layed on eggs and also duck eggs under hens. If God spairs me and us all you will find in one year this place a paridise to what it was. The idia of a sheepherd loitering all his idle time about a house and not as much as to have a hen house or any thing done for comfort was to bad. There was nothing done only when Alexander was about the place. Indeed I hope you will come here in the summer some time. I would be so pleased to see you. I am glade Dugald is getting on so well. I have great hopes of him. I never came across a youngster I thought so much of. I hope and trust in a few years you will be able to go home with him yourself to

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English (MD)


8th
spend a few months in your native land. Our poor old Uncle would be delighted. I know you would not remain long for you would I expect be like me care but little for all you could see there nowadays but a few months could be well spent there after your long and arduous labours in the Maori field. There is another thing I want to remind you of that is if possible to try and have all your influence to procure the extention to this run. Indeed it is nothing without it to make it of any value without the extention. It must be all made in padocks and sown with grass which is expensive and takes time. I hope you have not lost the run you spoak of at Otago. Please when you write let me know as I feel anxious about all those things. Fred is a very good young man and very usfull. He getts on very well with me. The only fault he is got is that he is thought less but he will loss that as he gets up in years. He had a great talk to me about

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English (MD)

his mother and appear to consider her greatly in fault and says that they would be in a miserable way only for the good management of the other woman and says his mother blames her for things. He says she is to good to be guilty of and since he says that the mother went against his sister in every way but he has written his mother to return at once to her home and to make peace at any price with her husband and also to look after her family. He told me very sencible of all his mother's folly and extravagant notions. He also says that he thinks any one interfearing in the dispute would be of very little use and if you will take my advice my dear D have nothing further to do with them as I very much fear it may

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English (MD)

lead to something very disagreeable to yourself and all of us. You have no cause as far as blood relationship is concerned to involve yourself in any dispuit between this man and his wife for was she a prudent woman she would act different to what she has done and really her son with every due respect for his mother related things to me about her mismanagement and want of thought that makes me consider it was almost necessary to have the other party as house keeper. Be that as it will I pray you will not in the least involve yourself in the quarrels of a most frivolous woman. I have had a little more experience in the world than you on these subjects and by interfering between one of our own aunts Mrs McIntyre I nearly got my head broken by herself. This advice my dear D comes from a sincear heart and hope you will make use of it. It is hard to say what trouble you might bring down on yourself

English (MD)

26 September 1858

Maraekakaho

My dear Donald

I had much pleasure in receiving your kind letter and pocket book yesterday for which I thank you to be so thoughtfull but as I am a perfect bush man now and labouring hard with much pleasure to myself as I find the fruits of my little labours shuch as my time is here beginning to repay my simple industry. The pocket book will be esteemed and carefully taken care of till we will have the pleasure of seeing you here when you will find that your poor sailor brother with the assistance of Alex will make this place something to astonish the natives. I am now delighted I have come here as economy and rule is the order of the day but in spite of all, as you will see by my last letter, the expences are in my eye dreadful, and indeed will be so till the improvements will be so far finished that the work can be done by ourselves. The getting the timber from the bush is attended with heavy risk and labour but thank God we are getting on very well. Alexander is just as you told myself, very misterious in the ways of accounts but for all he is a pushing and noble fellow to manage land and he & I agree in everything only he says I am to anxious for this world but from what I see going west in many things it would be considered a good living in our mother land had we the timber close to us the expences would not be half as bad. You will see by my last letter the misfortune happened McLauchlin with the cow 23 days ago so that Alex or myself had to shepherd instead which has been lost time. Indeed I find McLauchlin's wife and family a fearful dra..k to this place. He himself is a most usless man only to look after sheep and even that he wants a propter [?]. We are obliged to keep a cook here when his wife ought to do the work when she lives by it but instead neigher of the two were ever brought up to work and I do not see but in the end of the year you could or Alex could get a man simple to do full as well as him for less pay. The idia of £70 a year and the keep of a family where everything is on the scale is fearful but my dear D I have done a good deal in my small way to put down expences. Little things will amount up to great ones in time. The potatoes and peas I planted are very well. The wheat crop is also doing very well but the fruit apple and peach which cost us nothing but the labour is doing beautiful. The willows and a few gums the same. I have no less than 30 apple trees in bloom and peaches bloom 60 native trees I have also planted, nios, etc. O my dear D I wish I was in this country sooner. You need not fear about any liquor coming here. I have sworn against all such west [?] about such a place. You would see by my last letter we were pestered by the Monanue tribe while at the bush cutting timber for you. Only had your sisters once on this place your expences would be coming to a close as I am willing to labour from there to the utmost. What a pleasure it will be for you to be the means now of making our dear sisters happy. Depend upon there are few in this world more deserving. By my wife's letter of April last the schooner was not sold and that ship I commanded was then five months in Suldanda [?] Bay in dificulties and cannot be got condemned owing to some mismanagement of the new master. Now to a little busness. She says my sisters were much disappointed at not hearing from John with the money he mentioned in his letters to them and that Annabella left her situation on the thought of it however I wrote them from Melbourne all about John's new arrangement
5th
and told them all I could see them and the chance of nothing being done for some time. I can only venture to say in place of them being an expence to us here they would be a great saving. I have written my poor patern wife as you term her to prepare herself to come out and to bring six (6) dog carts with their harnis with her as we can sell them to a large profit in this districk and keep one for your use and the station that to have ready at her father's when she got the order to come here which I trust will not be long before I can do so. We cut all the lambs that were up on Domett's run last week and they yielded 90 per cent and all the dry ewes were sent back there for the rams again. The sheep here are still lambing and we will not cut till next week. The wool shed is in course of being commenced. I am securing the timber for it. Alexander works well with me. He I consider has a first rate head about this work. He is now away after
6th
seed potatoes. Went of yesterday but the river has got so flooded I fear he may be detained a day or two longer than he expected. We planted last week with the plow all the seed we had about 3/4 of an acre. I am delighted to hear you are going to alter your way of living and that Jessy is going to take up a house of her own. It is fearful to be living in lodgings and my dear brother if you can, if you think of staying long in the government service, I would build a house for myself on your own ground there in Auckland, as feeding other people's walls is expensive and if John could make out to build a house on your ground it would be in the family and save the £60 per annum rent besides improve the ground. I have got so much taken up with the good of having land improved that I would strain all my nerves to accomplish it. I hope you will excuse me for being
7th
so sanguine but depend upon it is well meant and I consider your property as my own and would do as much towards it as all I now require is bread for life and that I can labour for. I have got geese hatching two, one of them have young, one 6 nice birds and hens I caused to be layed on eggs and also duck eggs under hens. If God spairs me and us all you will find in one year this place a paridise to what it was. The idia of a sheepherd loitering all his idle time about a house and not as much as to have a hen house or any thing done for comfort was to bad. There was nothing done only when Alexander was about the place. Indeed I hope you will come here in the summer some time. I would be so pleased to see you. I am glade Dugald is getting on so well. I have great hopes of him. I never came across a youngster I thought so much of. I hope and trust in a few years you will be able to go home with him yourself to
8th
spend a few months in your native land. Our poor old Uncle would be delighted. I know you would not remain long for you would I expect be like me care but little for all you could see there nowadays but a few months could be well spent there after your long and arduous labours in the Maori field. There is another thing I want to remind you of that is if possible to try and have all your influence to procure the extention to this run. Indeed it is nothing without it to make it of any value without the extention. It must be all made in padocks and sown with grass which is expensive and takes time. I hope you have not lost the run you spoak of at Otago. Please when you write let me know as I feel anxious about all those things. Fred is a very good young man and very usfull. He getts on very well with me. The only fault he is got is that he is thought less but he will loss that as he gets up in years. He had a great talk to me about his mother and appear to consider her greatly in fault and says that they would be in a miserable way only for the good management of the other woman and says his mother blames her for things. He says she is to good to be guilty of and since he says that the mother went against his sister in every way but he has written his mother to return at once to her home and to make peace at any price with her husband and also to look after her family. He told me very sencible of all his mother's folly and extravagant notions. He also says that he thinks any one interfearing in the dispute would be of very little use and if you will take my advice my dear D have nothing further to do with them as I very much fear it may lead to something very disagreeable to yourself and all of us. You have no cause as far as blood relationship is concerned to involve yourself in any dispuit between this man and his wife for was she a prudent woman she would act different to what she has done and really her son with every due respect for his mother related things to me about her mismanagement and want of thought that makes me consider it was almost necessary to have the other party as house keeper. Be that as it will I pray you will not in the least involve yourself in the quarrels of a most frivolous woman. I have had a little more experience in the world than you on these subjects and by interfering between one of our own aunts Mrs McIntyre I nearly got my head broken by herself. This advice my dear D comes from a sincear heart and hope you will make use of it. It is hard to say what trouble you might bring down on yourself by taking up a family broil besides Fred says his mother quarrelled and was jealous of this woman long before they left India. He further says all his mother cares for is gaiety and besides he says only for this woman to whom they all owe a debt they would be destitute as his mother does not know housekeeping. I will say no more on the subject but hope she will soon return to her family and obey her son's advice for the sake of her family and give you no further trouble. I am certain you can get on very well with Jessy for I have every hope in her being prudent. I am shure you can mould her any way for she knows the necessity of it. Tell John to sell the chir [?] if he does not want it. It's one of the best could be made and cost me at home £40. I never will go to sea any more. I [am] certain I can do better on shore and be of more benefit to my relatives. I got a few lines from Jessy and was well pleased. She kept her promis. I will write her soon. I hope you will make out this scroll. I will wright again an account of the sheep after they are all cutt. I make poor Archy McInnis very useful digging and working with me. I do all I can to make him sharp but I fear I will not be very successful. He is a very good digger. I wish you would tell John to send the black boy as it would save a cook and that cannot be dispensed with till the new man come out. Alex says he will soon get in all the accounts and get me to fix them. He has not told me wither the money is payed for the place he sold as yet but I rather think not. He said he could hide nothing from me. I now end hoping God will prosper us and help keep us in health and straight to aid and assist one another in this far land.


I remain you 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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