Object #1012395 from MS-Papers-0032-0814

15 pages written 15 Mar 1857 by Alexander McLean in Ahuriri

From: Inward family correspondence - Alexander McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0814 (27 digitised items). Letters written from Australia, 1844-1849 and from Hawke's Bay (mainly Maraekakaho), 1857-1859. Includes one letter written by Donald to his brother Archy, 7 Feb 1846. The latter correspondence relates mainly to station matters

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

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English (MD)

15 March 1857

Ahuriri

My dear brother

I received your kind and welcome letters some weeks and was glad to hear you were well. Hopeing this will find you the same and I am happy to tell you that I enjoy good health since I saw you last. I hope you will forgive me for my neglect for not writing you more regular but for the future I shall. Since I came hear last I have been at very hard work forming a new station which I find is not an easy matter in this part of the world when you have to pack and work but I am glad to tell you that I have got the upper hand of it now and my place is in good working order.

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English (MD)

I have a splendid crop of potatoes and cabages growing at my place and I am going to sow some wheat next month so that next year I shall have none to pack from the harbour.

I am much pleased with my run, one of the best runs in the place if I had a good road but I intend to make the sheep carry their own wooll to market and shear at the harbour and I shall be alble to get it done far cheaper than the inland settler for a few years till such time as I can improve the road. I have eight hundred and eighty splendid young sheep on halfes for a term of fourteen years halfe wooll halfe lambs and I am getting four or five hundred more soon and in the course of three or four years I shall have a verry large flock of sheep if I have luck. I am of opinion that this run will grass about sixteen thousand sheep and I am going to try for another year for you

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English (MD)


and myselfe and I must have it for I want to keep all the land I can as I am sure to get plenty of sheep to stock them and rams will not be got in a short time and I intend to take posesion with some of your wether if I can find no other way for runs is getting most valuable and your present one is small. I think it will carry about six thousand sheep now. I must let you know all the particulars of your own place. John MacLauchlan is doing very well. He looks after the sheep very well but he is no manager. He has no notion of work or forming a station but he is a good honest man but he cannot keep men in their proper place. I have been their for the last ten days and when I got their he was doing nothing as it should be done but I think he will be getting better. I am not pleased with the way that our friend Gollan behaved about the sheep when they

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English (MD)

were taken away from their but you have yourselfe to blame for all. You never wrote me to take your sheep and you never wrote McLauchlan and when I got their I would not interfear with the drafting of your sheep. The sheep were all in the yard ready to take away when I got their. If you wished me to take your sheep why not write Gollan to that effect and me and then I should get your sheep properly drafted. The day they were drawing the sheep he sent John out of the yard so that he would not se which was young on their and they give you all the coarse sheep in the flock and give you the worst of the lambs. When I went to look at the sheep Gollan asked what I thought of them. I told him that their was a great many old sheep among them. His reply was they shoul[d] onley be

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English (MD)

one hundred and thirty old sheep and I asked him how many old sheep their was at first and he told me 200 and I then said there is more than that number in your lot. He said their could not haveing no authoryty from you to take charge. I said no more. I looked quite foolish. I did not go their to take your sheep. I only went to take my own and when I got their he told me I have your brother's sheep ready to start. You have better send them of today and get your own tomorow. I then asked him if my sheep were allso drafted. He said they are all ready. I then said well I must se what they are like for mine must be all young for we are paying money for our sheep. He then mixed my lot in the flock 2000 and he told me

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English (MD)

well you shall draw your own tommorow. He then asked me how shall you have your sheep. I shall have all good young sheep. We began and I found fault with some of the sheep that they were giving me and I would not have them. Gollan then left the yard and he told me you shall do nothing but what is required and I may go. He then went and I saw no more of him till I got my sheep. He then came and said you have got some of the best of the sheep. My answer was no I have got the average of the flock and I wished for no more. He then said I wished you were hear when your brother's sheep were drawn as you were not their it is not likely that your men would pick the best of the sheep

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English (MD)

to be sent away of the place. He then got very friendly and wished all manner of success to all our sheep and anything that he could do for me he would which I believe that he would however when I went to your place the other day I told McLauchlan that I wanted to se the sheep in the pen and get a fresh earmark on them. We found that their was 250 old sheep in the flock and Gollan told me their should only be 130 at most. So when you deduct your ewe lambs from the number and your old sheep your flock of breeding ews is very small for this year. I wish you would send me a coppy of all the returns of your sheep and the number of sheep you give Gollan at first you should have no more old sheep than you

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English (MD)

give him at first send me a coppy of all the different returns you had from them. I believe the number you give them at first was small and they have paid you well if you got the average of their flock you got your wether you got all right but they give you the worst ews they could find in the flock. Gollan had no right to send John out of the yard when they were drafting the sheep. The average weight of the flock last year was 3lb and if they only cliped three lb last year they shall do no more this year. You shall shear fourteen hundred or their abouts if you clear one shilling per lb that will only earn £210. John got £80 per annum, his wife and three children. Another man at £50 and his keep you shall have verry

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English (MD)

little left to build a house, a woolshed and pens. For all that sort of work comes expensive hear and to buy the timber of the natives and cart home, get your run surveyed, pots and pans and all other kinds of tooll that the station may require shall amount to a great sum of money. If my place was near yours then it would not be halfe the expences. I have sent all that is required their for the present time but John is not likely to get aney work done their. He wishes to get men put on all at once to get pens, woolshed build and a grand wooden house for himselfe and his faimeley. He allso wants milking cows and when he gets them he shall have enough to do to look affter tem and his children. If I employ men to do all this work I do not no where the money is to come from to pay for all this work as I have the most of my own work done and as McLean

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English (MD)

is at my own place and a boy I have got for three years a an aprentice. I shall bring MacInnis allong with me to your station to split timber and build the woolshed and all the fencing that may be required on the place to save tow or three hundred pound at the present time as we can not afford to lay the money out.

I have not he[a]rd from John since I saw you but I had a small sum of money from Melbourne that kept me going as yet and I hope to have some more shortley. I believe John must have bought another vessell. I cannot sell any horses. They are under promise to the natives and I cannot get the money. Your mare is at your own place and one of the horses packing provision. The mare has got a strong horse foall. The donkeys are at my place doing well. I want to breed mules. They will be most useful.

English (MD)

15 March 1857

Ahuriri

My dear brother

I received your kind and welcome letters some weeks and was glad to hear you were well. Hopeing this will find you the same and I am happy to tell you that I enjoy good health since I saw you last. I hope you will forgive me for my neglect for not writing you more regular but for the future I shall. Since I came hear last I have been at very hard work forming a new station which I find is not an easy matter in this part of the world when you have to pack and work but I am glad to tell you that I have got the upper hand of it now and my place is in good working order. I have a splendid crop of potatoes and cabages growing at my place and I am going to sow some wheat next month so that next year I shall have none to pack from the harbour.

I am much pleased with my run, one of the best runs in the place if I had a good road but I intend to make the sheep carry their own wooll to market and shear at the harbour and I shall be alble to get it done far cheaper than the inland settler for a few years till such time as I can improve the road. I have eight hundred and eighty splendid young sheep on halfes for a term of fourteen years halfe wooll halfe lambs and I am getting four or five hundred more soon and in the course of three or four years I shall have a verry large flock of sheep if I have luck. I am of opinion that this run will grass about sixteen thousand sheep and I am going to try for another year for you

and myselfe and I must have it for I want to keep all the land I can as I am sure to get plenty of sheep to stock them and rams will not be got in a short time and I intend to take posesion with some of your wether if I can find no other way for runs is getting most valuable and your present one is small. I think it will carry about six thousand sheep now. I must let you know all the particulars of your own place. John MacLauchlan is doing very well. He looks after the sheep very well but he is no manager. He has no notion of work or forming a station but he is a good honest man but he cannot keep men in their proper place. I have been their for the last ten days and when I got their he was doing nothing as it should be done but I think he will be getting better. I am not pleased with the way that our friend Gollan behaved about the sheep when they were taken away from their but you have yourselfe to blame for all. You never wrote me to take your sheep and you never wrote McLauchlan and when I got their I would not interfear with the drafting of your sheep. The sheep were all in the yard ready to take away when I got their. If you wished me to take your sheep why not write Gollan to that effect and me and then I should get your sheep properly drafted. The day they were drawing the sheep he sent John out of the yard so that he would not se which was young on their and they give you all the coarse sheep in the flock and give you the worst of the lambs. When I went to look at the sheep Gollan asked what I thought of them. I told him that their was a great many old sheep among them. His reply was they shoul[d] onley be one hundred and thirty old sheep and I asked him how many old sheep their was at first and he told me 200 and I then said there is more than that number in your lot. He said their could not haveing no authoryty from you to take charge. I said no more. I looked quite foolish. I did not go their to take your sheep. I only went to take my own and when I got their he told me I have your brother's sheep ready to start. You have better send them of today and get your own tomorow. I then asked him if my sheep were allso drafted. He said they are all ready. I then said well I must se what they are like for mine must be all young for we are paying money for our sheep. He then mixed my lot in the flock 2000 and he told me well you shall draw your own tommorow. He then asked me how shall you have your sheep. I shall have all good young sheep. We began and I found fault with some of the sheep that they were giving me and I would not have them. Gollan then left the yard and he told me you shall do nothing but what is required and I may go. He then went and I saw no more of him till I got my sheep. He then came and said you have got some of the best of the sheep. My answer was no I have got the average of the flock and I wished for no more. He then said I wished you were hear when your brother's sheep were drawn as you were not their it is not likely that your men would pick the best of the sheep to be sent away of the place. He then got very friendly and wished all manner of success to all our sheep and anything that he could do for me he would which I believe that he would however when I went to your place the other day I told McLauchlan that I wanted to se the sheep in the pen and get a fresh earmark on them. We found that their was 250 old sheep in the flock and Gollan told me their should only be 130 at most. So when you deduct your ewe lambs from the number and your old sheep your flock of breeding ews is very small for this year. I wish you would send me a coppy of all the returns of your sheep and the number of sheep you give Gollan at first you should have no more old sheep than you give him at first send me a coppy of all the different returns you had from them. I believe the number you give them at first was small and they have paid you well if you got the average of their flock you got your wether you got all right but they give you the worst ews they could find in the flock. Gollan had no right to send John out of the yard when they were drafting the sheep. The average weight of the flock last year was 3lb and if they only cliped three lb last year they shall do no more this year. You shall shear fourteen hundred or their abouts if you clear one shilling per lb that will only earn £210. John got £80 per annum, his wife and three children. Another man at £50 and his keep you shall have verry little left to build a house, a woolshed and pens. For all that sort of work comes expensive hear and to buy the timber of the natives and cart home, get your run surveyed, pots and pans and all other kinds of tooll that the station may require shall amount to a great sum of money. If my place was near yours then it would not be halfe the expences. I have sent all that is required their for the present time but John is not likely to get aney work done their. He wishes to get men put on all at once to get pens, woolshed build and a grand wooden house for himselfe and his faimeley. He allso wants milking cows and when he gets them he shall have enough to do to look affter tem and his children. If I employ men to do all this work I do not no where the money is to come from to pay for all this work as I have the most of my own work done and as McLean is at my own place and a boy I have got for three years a an aprentice. I shall bring MacInnis allong with me to your station to split timber and build the woolshed and all the fencing that may be required on the place to save tow or three hundred pound at the present time as we can not afford to lay the money out.

I have not he[a]rd from John since I saw you but I had a small sum of money from Melbourne that kept me going as yet and I hope to have some more shortley. I believe John must have bought another vessell. I cannot sell any horses. They are under promise to the natives and I cannot get the money. Your mare is at your own place and one of the horses packing provision. The mare has got a strong horse foall. The donkeys are at my place doing well. I want to breed mules. They will be most useful.

Your cattle is worth verry little they are running willd in the bush. You shall never get aney satisfaction from them. Sell them if you can. They are not worth the keeping. Mr Kellem gave them to the greatest ass in the place. Abott and he never will give a proper account on them. MacInnis is a great trouble to me. I wish he had not come hear. He fell out with all the men I have about me when I am away but when I am at home he has nothing to say. I have got him good under good command. I should like to send your wooll and my own to Auckland next year if the peopple their would buy as goods is far cheaper their than in Wellington then you could sell the wool and sSend me all that I might want from their.

Mr Rich is bringing some sheep up by vessell. You shall se how they sell. You have some good wether hear that it would be a loss to sell as the wooll pays well and the run not stock but in the course of a few years I hope we shall be alble to sell largely and make money to buy land in Auckland or else where. I should like to have a paddock near Auckland for our stock.

Dear brother I have to tell you that if I have the manageing of your station I want to have the management. You should have wrote Alexr and Gollan and McLauchlan to tell them so and then I would no what I was doing for you must know I shall do all I can for you.

When I get the run properly set in working order I shall send you a coppy of all the expences if do not get some money shortley for the horses or from Melbourne I must draw upon you as you have to get money for your wooll and for the sheep you sold Munn. I wish you could spare time to come down hear and se for yourselfe. It would give me great satisfaction to have you near for a few days. I have to thank you kindly for the books and cloths you sent me and for all other favours. I have a great many [crossed out] box of cloths at McFarland store in Auckland.

I hope you will get sent by the first oportunity. I do not stand in need of anything particularly. I shall write you soon and let you no if I want anything but if you could send me a grinding stone as there is none to be got hear at present. As I am in a hurry I hope you will be alble to make out this scroll. I have no more to say at present. Hoping to hear from you soon. In haste I remain


Your affectionate brother
Alexr McLean

PS I hope you will continue your correspondence with Gollan and Alexander. Allso they did not give fair play. The sheep they may make it all up when I tell them the number of old sheep they give you. I should not say anything till you see them next when I hope it will not be long.

Your affectionate brother
A McLean

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Alexander McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0814 (27 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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