Object #1015987 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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5 November 1861
My dear brother
I received your letter of date October 12th which certainly proves to me you have had very false information regarding the Munn affair and other matters. It appears all my doings are always wrong therefore I think it is now high time for me to try and do something for myself for I find the more I strive to forward this place under many disadvantages the less I am thought of. It was better for me had I gone with a stranger when I first came here and if so I would have got some credit for my anxiety and labour about this place. At all events he would do me the justice of seeing for himself and not believing people that had no interest in his affairs. You postively speak to me in your letter as if I was a perfect fool and had no feeling whatever and blame me for introducing my sister to that fellow Munn. Let me tell you that Munn introduced himself before ever I saw them and told your sister that he was your most particular friend and here I am blamed for it like many other false reports. I certainly took my wife and sister over to see Munn's private house where you used to stay thinking it would be more private than McMulties, and they did not like the place so that ended their going their. They were asked to tea by Willie Cooper and his wife who was staying at Munn's which I refused. However he would not have a denial and came himself to call for them. I went home that day and left them in charge of Alex so I cannot see the great harm in their going
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to take tea with a neighbour when he put himself to so much trouble about them. However I did not take them or did I like it for when I heard at home they were their I was very much displeased. That is the true feature of that affair for which of course I would be blamed for by your informant whoever he was.
The next part of the affair was that Newton & Munn came up here to the station and to my utmost surprise and astonishment the beast asked me out and said he had something very particular to say to me. Then the fool or I may say mad man said he had come up to propose to my sister and he new if you were here that it would be all write. You can then fancy my reply. It was to the effect that I turned on the fellow and asked him if he was deranged and said if it was not that I did not want to expose myself that I would horse whip him but what would be the use of making a noise with a mad man therefore I consider the way I took the best that was treating it with contempt. I little thought that the beast had told all about Napier what he came up for. Of course every one that heard it considered it the presumption of a mad man. He sent her some small preasant which I went down to him with and told him if he ever dare to mention her name again I would make a severe example of him. I now feel it very much to be abraided without any cause or reason and ground down as if I had no feelings. If I went to Yankie town to try and get more sallery for my profession and perhaps learn a few useful lessons for my benefit had
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missfortune not crossed my path I could have made a good living among them. If I had not been done out of my money among them I should not have come to New Zealand to try and make a better of it. I am not afraid but what I can yet battle the watch as well as many of my neighbours that come out here as penyless as myself. Certainly I was a fool in saying I had money in America to get when I did not get it however I was only telling what was just and I may even yet get it. I am neither lame or lasy or all together without some little brains left altho it appears among my own relations I have none but let my acts here be the proof. Altho I was not brought up all my life among stock I think I can do as much among them as a great portion of my neighbours that rent runs all round me and I must say nothing because I am supposed to no nothing. I can not in justice to myself labour on as I have done groveling in the durt. I have been offered sheep to put on Maori land & I see without you gave me some chance to live it will be my only plan to take advantage of it for I plainly see the more I do here the less I am thought of. If I will gave you rent for your sheep or 2000 of them equal to what any other one can do I think it is nothing but fair that you would gave me a chance when I am able and and willing to do all I can for you but from what I learn from Alex you want to send some other manager here. Of course you can do so but I pity your judgment on that point for were you
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to come here and see for yourself before you would come to any conclusion you alter your idias and arrange better for your own interest and mine. The best of my days will soon be gone and I must try something to lay in some sort of store for old age. My poor wife is willing to do her part but she plainly sees that the only field we thought of gaining something by is likely to be sent up against us and perhaps allowed to go to less deserving parties. I could have got Condie's sheep on thirds and himself to look after them if I wished and Captain Carlyon said if I wanted sheep he would gave me a thousand but when I have a brother with plenty of sheep I do not want to have any thing to do with stranger if he at all allows me a chance to do for myself. I cannot understand how blind some people are to facts and at times to their own interest. Alex tells me that you are speaking of going home soon with Douglas. If so I hope and trust you will come down here at shearing time and enter into no arrangements before you come. I did not want to make you any proposals for rent till I saw you but I find from what Alex says that I must look after myself. I am not going to say any more at preasant but will act the philosopher for a short time. We are all well here but Alex who came home on the 30th ult very poorly. The fact is this Donald I ought not have told so much truth about the affairs of the station in my letters for dirty water has been hove over all that I have acted. Whatever I am to have I must have it on my own repsonsibility for I am able enough to act for myself and take care of any little I may make after paying you rent. I hope you are not disapointed in my oppinion of Condie. I wrote you that I strongly advised Alex to take him with him. My reason was that he was a very nice and proper honest man and one I know would tell you all the truth in a straight forward manner. You have been made believe that I cannot get on with men. How is it that I have done more work the last 5 or 6 months with half the number of men than formerly employed than was done before which the place shows for itself. I can always get on with men I hire myself but not with other people's servants as they consider themselves, think over that. I will write you again when I will send you the October diary.
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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