Object #1013996 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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28 July 1860
My dear Donald
It is now a long time since I heard from you and since I wrote to you. I was very much grieved and vexed at myself not having seen you when at the port after staying for the express purpose of seeing you and dear little Douglas. I left Munn's early in the morning on Sunday and was told that the Victoria had started for Auckland by a man that met me on my way towards the Spit. I was so chest fallen that I took the road for home and never thought after seeing the steamer under weigh but she had proceeded as I was completely out of sight of her. When she got round the island and having made no further inquiry home I came. I can assure you when I heard you had stayed two days after that I felt dreadfully annoyed at my own credulity. I was glad to hear from Alex that you were looking well and that Douglas was quite manly. I should have been so pleased to have seen him and I had a great deal to say to myself but I hope and trust I will soon have the pleasure of seeing you after you will get clear of all the arduous duty you have now to perform owing to the state of affairs in the country. I wish to God you were only living among us here and then I would have some comfort of my life. I well know you would see things in their proper state and see what could be done by providence in the way of improvements. I have gaving over saying any thing now to any one about the place when Alex is at home or away for it appears he does not like to be interfeared with and for the sake of piece I hold my tongue and he never will gave me half of the accounts or tell me about any thing that takes him two often away and some times stay to long
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from home that it make it very disagreable for me altho I do all I can to keep things correct but without I have a true account of all that is bought and sold how can I manage to gave you a straight forward account of all is done here. Alex is very good but he completely detests the idair of being asked any thing about accounts so that I only keep the small things correct what the people get and their time etc. There is a good deal of improvements done since you were here but not as much as I would like to see. If I was at the bush I think I would make a good place their cheap having the timber close at hand. Dragging it down here will cost a fortune and take a long time before there is much to show for the outlay and if I had one man at the bush with me I would safely say I would do more by the way of improvements on that good land than 4 men will do down here. Certainly it would be well to plant a good many blue gums here being so bare that I have done already. If they will do well and the ground being now in order for if more can be added every year certainly it would be better were the improvements centered all in one place but I can see to keep hauling timber down here to make a homestead of it will cost time and money to no great end and I want that while I am able to work that I may have a place to work on I can improve cheaply and make it valuable for you in the end for all your goodness towards me. I have repaired the house that Mr Ormond lived in up on the run close to Oliver's for Malcomb McCray and his sister to live in and made a very comfortable place
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of it so that if my wife comes I can take her their for a time till I see if you will come down yourself and see what is best to be done. I had a letter from her by this mail stating that she was at Edinburgh seeing our poor dear sisters and she says Annabella is made great improvement in every thing but musick and that she says she is afraid she was two old before beginning to make great progress in. She states they had a letter from you saying you were going home but this war I fear will disarange your plans. Poor things they were very much cast down, Catherine in particular at being left behind. I had a letter from Catherine's brother saying he was coming out with his sister. It appears they are all New Zealand mad, hearing such flattering accounts of it at home. I never gave him any encouragement but quite the other way but he says he thinks to do well on the other island. If so of course he can only try his luck. It appears by this last letter that the vessel that was to leave Liverpool for Auckland is not now coming and will not sail now till June in place of May as stated in the former letter. Today we had a heavy fall of snow here something that has not perhaps happened for many years. We had it 4 in deep on the flat before the woodshed and the hills completely covered. We intend to dock the lambs in a week or so if the weather is good and after docking I will write you again the particulars. I hear that the government is likely to purchase the White Swan, if so could you not see and get me the appointment for two years see if I could get hold of a little money to buy land for myself. Much as I love to work and improve here still I have a great wish to get something for myself to be independent of you for all my wants. I think if I could get into one of the steamers for two years I might make a few
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hundreds with care to buy some land with. I like my presant occupation very well but I would like to begin a place that would tell in time of industry and what can be done by perservance. This place here is now in good order but still where there is a good deal of fencing it requires a handyman always employed repairing and keeping things in their place or otherwise it will soon go to wreck so that I feel that little as I do if it was not done it would not be done at all and the place would be a west. That is the only thing that comforts me that I can allways get plenty of employment and don't spend my time with foolish palaver always doing something usefull. I had to gave Munn an order on you for seven pounds that I owed him. I did not like to ask Alex for it. Archy McLean was very thankful for the watch. He still works the bullocks. We have a Mr Condie staying here, one of the best men ever came about the station. He is very industrious and really has a great wish to forward the work. Him and old Archy plows. The sheepherds are very attentive. We have great trouble with Tuke that continually mixing with the wethers. Their never will be piece with them till fenced. I find Warner a very nice young lad. He is a good deal with me. I used to milk the cows myself for a time and he does it now and does any thing without any trouble. The milk saves a great deal of tea we also make butter that the cook makes. A new hand we have got, a very good one and as careful as the last if not more so. He gets £100 for the first 6 months. I only wish you were living with us then I would be happy I think but I hope to see that day before long. Pleas write me your oppinion about me going to the
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bush. I am certain much as I like this place that the bush would be more to your advantage as there is better land their and the purchased land should be improved as soon as possible and padocks made up their. When I ask Alex about it he gaves me no satisfaction so that I feel the time is lost here waiting for timber could be employed their but still for all I would sooner be all together if I saw that as much good could be done down here as their but that I cannot see and two men when willing will do more that you would imagine. This cook is a very early man. He has got breakfast ready at sun rise for all hands which is a blessing. Please tell Douglas I hope to see him coming down with his aunt for a while. I now must end with every affection
Archibald John McLean
P.S. I suppose Alex writes you now oftener. I always tell him to do so.
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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