Object #1012588 from MS-Papers-0032-0664

4 pages to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Fragments and letters from unidentified correspondents, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0664 (176 digitised items). Large folder of letters, many from unidentified correspondents. Those that have been identified include the following: Herbert E Leadam (1866); Richard W Woncken of Wanganui to George H Davies (1876); fragment from his sister-in-law Catherine McLean (undated & 1866 fragment); Charles Weby of Napier (1868); D Schmit re discovery of gold (undated); Clifton College (1869); H Te Mautaranui of Auckland (1860); J Smith of Dunedin (1872); J W H Maclean (undated fragment); Henry Crowdise of Napier (1862); Thomas Chargellray of Ireland (1871); CGC [C G Crosse?](undated); Joseph Busland of 360 George Street (1874); Birthia W (1852); A Domett (1863); Agent General (undated); Catherine Stevenson of Glasgow (1853); S.K. of Wanganui (1848); letter from George McLean of Glasgow re death of Donald McLean's brother Captain John McLean and giving news of his family (1872); Henry Bodaan of Napier (1866); J Meisen of Dunedin (1876); H M S Esk (1865); Robert G Harvey of Napier (1865); letter written from Parawai (Mar 1876); C Marshall of Auckland (1872); J Watson Bain (1858); Catherine Wray, Ireland (1871); E D H Fairtlough (1875); letter addressed to Dear Thatcher (Frederick Thatcher?), undated; letter to Editor of Wanganui Chronicle, 1856; letter recommending John Oakley from a London correspondent (undated fragment). Many other letter fragments or letters with indecipherable signatures.

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

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English (ATL)

COPY Extract of Miss B's letter of the 20th. March 1859

''My chief reason for troubling you with another epistle so soon is really to give you trouble, by asking you if you would procure for us through General Wynyard, any information as to the best place for a shepherd and his family to set about emigrating to New Zealand; and also what prospect he would have of making a livelihood when once fairly arrived there? I think you must have heard us speak of John Armstrong, who has been in papa's service for about 30 years, and for a long time had the entire charge of Ross-shire sheep farms. He is still in the prime of life, for he was quite a youth when he first came from the Borders.

Papa's giving up Corriewick (?) throws John out of his situation; and he is not inclined to look for another of the same kind; because having a very large family of children, he finds that even with the handsome wages he has had, he can hardly keep clear with the world. So he thinks now is the time for him to make a decided change in his course, and he, has come to the conclusion that the best thing for himself and for the benefit of his children, would be to go to New Zealand,

He is a clever man; very intelligent; and very honest and trustworthy; and Papa says he is uncommonly active, and can turn his hand to almost any kind of out-door work. The most of his children, I believe, are girls. His present plan is to leave his wife with three youngest children with his parents in the Highlands, and to go out with his two eldest, and then to send home for the others when he could afford it, and had a home ready for them. Papa promised to try to procure some information for him about the country to which he seems most inclined, viz, - New Zealand; and it is at his request I write to ask if you can give us any light on the subject. He would like to know if Government hold out any help or encouragement to men of his class, going to settle in New Zealand, and what prospect he would have of getting employment as a shepherd immediately on arriving there; for you see he will have no capital either to invest, or to subsist on. If General Wynyard knows any great land-holder, or sheepfarmer there, perhaps he might be so kind as to give John a letter of recommendation. I don't suppose the Armstrongs will be ready to leave the country until far on in the Summer, but Papa wishes me to write about it at once.

I hope you will kindly forgive us for giving you this trouble, and I think you will; as you always like to do a good turn to a deserving man; and such is John Armstrong. We, at all events, ought to do whatever lies in our power to help him, for he has been a faithful servant; and although Papa's Rossshire farms were so remote that he seldom had time to visit them, he has always found John as attentive to, and as conscientious in the fulfilment of his duties, as if his master had been living close at hand. At one time he had as many as 6,000 sheep under his charge. It is a pity that such good people should leave our country; but what can a poor man do here with nearly a score of children? In the Colonies they may help him to grow rich, but here they keep his head below water. So when Papa found that he was inclined to emigrate, he rather encouraged him to do so. Any information, or advice, therefore, that you may kindly send us on this subject, we shall feel grateful for. Perhaps you may know and suggest some better locality for John to turn to, than New Zealand? .....''

To:- Donald McLean Esq.

Part of:
Inward letters - Fragments and letters from unidentified correspondents, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0664 (176 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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