Object #1010196 from MS-Papers-0032-0817
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.
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17 July 1861
My dear Donald
I have received your letter of the 2nd inst yesterday and I am very sorry indeed to see its contents. I was always in the dark how matters were doing but thank God you give us all the details without any under hand or hiding about anything. The only pleasure I have got is to know how things are progressing with you for it is all the hope I have myself. I cannot conceive what cause or reason poor Alex has for trying to keep every thing dark. When he came home of the first trip he was in great spirits and I thought things went much better than I am sorry to find they have gone. There is no doubt but he is a good manager and good judge of cattle and horses but if we could only get him to tell what he was about their would be a great satisfaction and pleasure attending any busness to know the profits and losses over a year at all events but that under the preasant situation can never be properly got at. If I had you once down here I intend to point out to you plans that will answer you much better and gave me some chance to live but I will not say any thing about them till we meet. There is no doubt but this place has been managed at very heavey expence but the worst expence was in being so often away from home that was the cause of great grief to me. Of course any one in charge of a station will have to go at times to the port but they do not require to stay their for weeks. No one would do more for Alex than me if I had it in my power but I must say that all I could say to him about expences and other matters only made him worse. He detested my writing to you above all things
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and for the sake of piece I left that off for a time. I was told by Pelist that 600 sheep died the first trip. That greaved me very much and I must say that poor Alex was not all to blame in that for the ship was not half fitted up. But he did his best to have her differently fitted up the 2nd time besides it was two late in the season also there is no use in saying any more about it now the deed is done. The agents are sadly to blame about the vessel. Had the sheep been sold here at the time they would have brought in pound a head. I believe it would have been better by far and sheep bought there with the money however it cannot be helped now. I was in great hopes that things would have turned out much better but it is to be hoped it will do better than we expected if Alex was only to keep steady I would not be the least afraid of his doing some good down their before he returns. I have my faults myself but I can always be steady when I am happy or things prosperous and some hope of doing better I can only say that the station if my wife & self can will be much cheaper than ever it was but we would require to make some change to what things are at present in having control over the servants of the place but when you come down if Alex does not come back that I can be soon done what was wested before now keeps her and me that is blood puddings, haggis and all such things. I was wanting here to send you one up. They are so good and I fear they would not keep all the way so we will wait till you come down. Eggs & at box of candles & butter we will send you as soon as we can get milch enough. The cows are just beginning to calf now, the fowls are not laying yet
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but they soon will. Of course you would have heard of that rag about boy of Domett's having shot last year 16 of my Spanish fowls and the Spanish cocks so that we have only 9 old fowls but we have a brood of young one from the Golden Phesant & the Silver Phesant also the game. They are the real kind without doubt. She will also send you if God spares us next year plenty of preserves from the gardin so that it will keep you from buying those things. We intend to make candle of the tallow and sell them at the port. We also intend to sell eggs to help things allong. Catherine will not require any dresses for many years to come. She has abandoned of all kind of clothing with her. I think it would be better to sell all the charts & the hosbugh also the sextant if anything worth while can be got for them. The sextant cost me £18, the hosbugh £5. I supose I may content myself now on shore. The diggin is temporary one but I supose I cannot get away. Now to other busness. You will see by my list that I gave 119 wethers to Rich. They are rather small and will not average well. The price was to be settled between him & Alex when he came back. He would gave his bill at three months for them he said. I held out for £1 and said if you or Alex was not satisfied with 18/- that he would gave from a pound to 30/- but the next time I see him I will settle the matter. I do not think we can let him have any more fat ones that would bring 20/- and should you wish me to sell to make the 200 I will shear them then try for 17/ or 18/- for them. I never would think of selling any of your property without having your authority for it or yet using your money without letting you know what for. T K Newton sent me a bill for £5.5 for insuring the house and a bill of £66.0.7 for stores for station. He said he wanted the money badly & would take a three month's bill if that was any use to us. Their is also a bill of Brown's of £21.6 for things for station to be paid. I bought a chest tea
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from Brown the last day I was down for £11.5 (gross 112 lb nett 89lb) at three month that I hope will do us now the year. It was fearful the tea that was consumed here. Certainly some of it went to the bush men @ 4/- per lb on that their was profit off but the McRae woman used while here 32lb tea, besides what was used at the station. We are using now less than the half of the tea and sugar that was used last year. Their is fo[u]r M[a]ories included in those two bills to keep them quite in sugar and things £6-7 formerly and this last time for the mill in place of £30. I got them well pleased with 5 bag sugar 40lb each and 6lb of tea. They said they would not trouble me for six months after that but their word is not much. Alex told me it was the best thing I could do and was quite shure it would do good. You see our wheat is at the mill and the grinding of that would have to be paid besides they will have some payment for the plains so that those things is unavoidable. You would see by my last that I went to Alex place to see him and he always has proved our friend. He said he would come up here next week and gave me all the M[a]ori news. I must now tell each time I have been at the port it only cost me 10/-. I may say no one could do it any cheaper than that. I cannot tell you every thing on paper but I wish to God you could soon come down yourself. I was in hopes of your coming till I got your last letter. I see by it you are not able to come just now or you would not want the eggs. I do fear that the trees will be two late. You know those we got before were all gone being planted that dry summer. There is nothing like seed and rase them myself. However if you have bought them I will be proud of them and plant them in a good place. If this gets you before they are shipped let every care be taken that no salt water will get to them and let all the air possible be kept from them. I will gave you a scratch of all the wages that I know that is unpaid. Old Archy has been here now 2 years and 4 months. I do not know his
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wages. I believe it is £70 per annum if so he gets them very easy. I of course have a long bill against him for cloths and tobacco and some £7.10 cash paid on his account. He would do very well if other men could put up with him and that he could be reasoned with and not act the gentleman so much in the morning. I do not think he was doing poor Alex any good for he could wind him round any way and spin him a long yarn, however I supose he will be brought to change his ways if you were once to come here. He is very sly and I never liked any aye servants. Malcomb McRae has been here 1 year & 7 months. His wages the first year was £65, this year £70 but he is a good sheepherd. He had from Alex to my knowledge £35 cash and £2 in tobacco & from me. Duncan Liveston was here 4Â½ months, his wages I do not know. He had in tobacco from me about £2 if he had any money from Alex I do not know. John Baker cook is here now 7 months. I believe his wages is £50 per annum. He had from me in goods £7 and he owes Alex some money for a mare he sold him for wages before. I believe it is about £8. The stock lad Michael Baldwin is here a year & a month and he has had in clothing etc.£7 and he says 10/- cash from Alex but he would not tell his yearly pay having been told to keep it a secret. Of course my books will show you long bills against all those that have been here before and paid of for clothing & tobacco & those things swell up the merchants bills but of course they go towards wages payments and all they get in that way is duly entered & counted against them. The man that I had in the gardin I still keep
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so as to gave the stock boy time to get the bullocks and look after the horses and drive the bullocks to the plow but when Liveston comes back I will let him go but at preasant we could not do well without him beside the padock has got so bare that we will have to sheepherd the rams out for a week or two. You mentioned I was to keep a logg. I have been doing that all allong and I will send you a copy of what we are doing over a month. I do believe if we had a lever press that the wooll would bring 1d more. I wrote you about it but as you say we had better not do any more till the natives are at pease in cause of what may happen. We will leave it till a month before shearing but I would like to have it up for it will be a great saving in time & money & price of wool. I supose it will be better to settle Newton & Brown's bill with a three month bill if you are so pushed for money and that you want the proceeds of the sheep in that time perhaps money will be easyer. I would like to have a clear beginning and se[e] what difference will be in this year's expences. If things goes on as they now are their will be some £200 of difference. I find that Steward and Kinross have got 10 of the bales of wool, the other seven I no nothing about. The one left at the station I have told you about. I hope and trust Alex will be able to gave you satisfactory accounts of all but I much fear the result from the state of mind he was in some time before he left the first time for Otago but I will hope for the best. I wish poor Catherine was once here. She is very miserable where she is. You gave me a hitch about her two. You need no fear I am well lectured. I must end with best wishes from Catherine.
Your affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean
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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