Object #1023048 from MS-Papers-0032-0817

11 pages written 12 Jun 1861 by Archibald John McLean in Maraekakaho to Sir Donald McLean

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.

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

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Page 1 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

12 June 1861

Maraekakaho

My dear Donald

Your kind letter came to hand yesterday and I was sorry to see by it that you are not coming down so soon as I would wish. You say that you are pleased at the keeping up a correspondence. I never would neglect that if I was certain it would gave any satisfaction. I certainly did neglect writing you for some time as I never was hearing from you which made me feel very miserable for many a day but I am now thankful to find you are willing that I should gave you all the information regarding how we are doing here. That I will chearfully do at all times.

Page 2 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I always thought that Alex was writing you all particulars therefore as he never would tell me any thing as regards busness of any kind I was left groveling in the dark, only what by chance times I might hear from others. Ever since that affair of the money between him & McDonald I could never get to know any of his transactions which made me very miserable and discontented to be living at a place and striving to keep accounts and things correct and could not get even from a brother the proper state for doing so that was my reason for not corresponding with you. I had my mind made up to leave the place and if my wife had not come out when she did I would had written you to that effect as I could no longer remain seeing things as they were after doing. I will not say any more on that head till I will see you then we will talk matters over. I am sorry you are displeased at me going among the Maories about the plains. Indeed my dear Donald I did with the best possible feelings and I was well awair it was against the law but I considered my having no place and every one round ready to grasp at the plains that if I could manage to retain them in my name it would not at all effect you in any way but would be a desided benefit to us all that eigher [either] me or Alexander could retain them. The natives think that Alex is not coming back and all I can say to them will scarcley make them believe

Page 3 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

he is coming as he has not returned at the time he told them and Mr Rich the butcher was telling me the other day that he can have the claims if he chu[s]es but said he would not like to do my brother or me out of them if we wanted them. Indeed everyone that can get Maori places are trying all they can to procure them and why should we let our bread run away from us without making an effort to retain it. They told me whenever the back rent would be settled they then would let the plains to me or my brother before any other party providing we gave them the same rent as others were offering if there is any alteration made by the General Assembly

Page 4 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


2
Assembly are now sitting and the general belief here is that some code of laws will be put in force to legalize the leasing of Maori land, if so what a shame it would be for us to lose so good a chance for I do not see what you can do with the sheep but send more to Otago if the plains are lost. Besides the number of sheep it would keep with the run attached would soon if successful make matters easy. All the rent they have been offered as far as I know is £160 an annum. That would be an easy matter to pay even with sheep on thirds for if wanted plenty can be got on terms. I was offered 2000 if I had a place for them but

Page 5 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


3
of course I could not take them so their the matter ended. Now to other busness. You day that the return of the sheep does not accord with last year's returns. Perhaps you have not been informed of all that has been sold of the station since that. I of course believed that Alex kept you posted up in all those matters and as I did not know what bargains were made in selling them I could not gave a true account but I will gave inclosed an account of all that left the station since last shearing.

Sheep shorn 1859 = 5857 including in this number 1498 lambs & 80 rams left the station since shearing

January 2nd 1860 Danvers account of wages 20 ewes
Hoggs, ... island for mares 08 ewes

Brought over 128 ewes
Mr Hamlin 100 Do & 2 rams
Payment for entire Farmer
February 28th J Gorge 105 ewes
" F Gascoyne 50 Do
" 29th J Carrol 42 Do Young for Mr Morris
" " 40 Do Aged Do
" J Carrol 82 & 2 rams
April 10 Mr D Canning 44 ewes various age
August 9th Mr Oliver 100 ewes 2 tooth
691 = six hundred and ninety one ewes


Take that from 5857
691
5166

Wethers 591 left station & killed
Old sheep left 4575 = then their has
Left the station 156 lambs that bought to count in this year's shearing also but they left long before shearing

Shorn this year
3397 ewes
1764 wethers
89 rams
5259 old sheep
1017 lamb
6267

Page 6 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

5
Total shorn this year = 6267
Sheep left for Otago 2691 6 of that number died before leaving Napier
3576 that ought to be about the number on station after deducting
I may say at least 2 1/2 .. 3 percent for losses on the whole which I did not deduct. We had the sheep in today and docked the lambs and I may say we had a very good lambing considering the number of ewes that went away 1150 lambs 590 ewes & 560 wether. Their may be a few more out yet that may make up for losses after docking. Men on station old Archy McLean plowing at his leisure with the bullocks. Two sheepherds one of them drives the bullocks to the plow when not required at sheep.

Page 7 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


6
One lad looking after cattle and horses and milching the cows and bringing the bullocks in in the mornings and a cook McRae's sister is still stoping at the out station but she is going away and I am glade of it as she was expensive and for no earthly use at preasant as her brother stays here we have no sheep on the run so the out station was no use. There is no bush work going on for us. I am hard at work planting blue gums under the hill behind the house in the padock I fenced myself last year. I have planted 450 within this last fortnight and I had 180 planted before they are all doing very well. I am determined to make a bush so as to be independent in a

Page 8 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


7
few years for fire wood. I have also planted out a number of fruit trees my own grafting & rising. I was obliged to get a man to assist for a few weeks now in the season to plant the trees and prepair the ground. You know I could not put anything in the ground will be more valuable in time than timber. I intend to have 800 or 1000 in if I can get them. I exchanged some fowls for some blue gums and I think I will get two or three hundred more and get them in this month. I can assure you I do not idle one moment of time. The man I will send away whenever I get all the gums in. I only
8
pay him 15/ per week and three weeks will do. We have put in a good piece of grass and it is doing very well. I am in hopes the padock will be finished with sowing this spring. We are plowing up wheat ground and will do it next week. The house is now very comfortable and Catherine is doing all she can to make things look well. She misses sister Catherine very much poor dear. I hope there is something in store for her before long for she is a very deserving girl and

Page 9 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


9
worthy of a good husband. I had a letter from your old friend Alex yesterday saying he was coming up to see me. He has put in this month and last month 700 blue gums. I will get all the Maori news from him. He is our great friend in Maorie matters and he is keeping very steady this while. I could not say any more about the accomodation house till God will spare us to meet. I have not heard from Alex since he left. You are awair that Stewart went down with him or that I will not forward

Page 10 of 11. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


10
Steward letter till I hear from there and his address. I think I have given you all the news that is of any use now. Rich got 109 fat wethers the other day. He said that Alex told him to take 200 but he would only gave 17/. I said 18/ but he said he would settle that with Alex. He told me he gave him £50 on a/c of them before leaving. I do not think it prudent to gave him any more till I hear from you or Alex and wrote him to that effect and said that 20/- would be little enough for them now as shearing time is getting on and I am certain he will have

English (MD)

12 June 1861

Maraekakaho

My dear Donald

Your kind letter came to hand yesterday and I was sorry to see by it that you are not coming down so soon as I would wish. You say that you are pleased at the keeping up a correspondence. I never would neglect that if I was certain it would gave any satisfaction. I certainly did neglect writing you for some time as I never was hearing from you which made me feel very miserable for many a day but I am now thankful to find you are willing that I should gave you all the information regarding how we are doing here. That I will chearfully do at all times. I always thought that Alex was writing you all particulars therefore as he never would tell me any thing as regards busness of any kind I was left groveling in the dark, only what by chance times I might hear from others. Ever since that affair of the money between him & McDonald I could never get to know any of his transactions which made me very miserable and discontented to be living at a place and striving to keep accounts and things correct and could not get even from a brother the proper state for doing so that was my reason for not corresponding with you. I had my mind made up to leave the place and if my wife had not come out when she did I would had written you to that effect as I could no longer remain seeing things as they were after doing. I will not say any more on that head till I will see you then we will talk matters over. I am sorry you are displeased at me going among the Maories about the plains. Indeed my dear Donald I did with the best possible feelings and I was well awair it was against the law but I considered my having no place and every one round ready to grasp at the plains that if I could manage to retain them in my name it would not at all effect you in any way but would be a desided benefit to us all that eigher [either] me or Alexander could retain them. The natives think that Alex is not coming back and all I can say to them will scarcley make them believe he is coming as he has not returned at the time he told them and Mr Rich the butcher was telling me the other day that he can have the claims if he chu[s]es but said he would not like to do my brother or me out of them if we wanted them. Indeed everyone that can get Maori places are trying all they can to procure them and why should we let our bread run away from us without making an effort to retain it. They told me whenever the back rent would be settled they then would let the plains to me or my brother before any other party providing we gave them the same rent as others were offering if there is any alteration made by the General Assembly
2
Assembly are now sitting and the general belief here is that some code of laws will be put in force to legalize the leasing of Maori land, if so what a shame it would be for us to lose so good a chance for I do not see what you can do with the sheep but send more to Otago if the plains are lost. Besides the number of sheep it would keep with the run attached would soon if successful make matters easy. All the rent they have been offered as far as I know is £160 an annum. That would be an easy matter to pay even with sheep on thirds for if wanted plenty can be got on terms. I was offered 2000 if I had a place for them but
3
of course I could not take them so their the matter ended. Now to other busness. You day that the return of the sheep does not accord with last year's returns. Perhaps you have not been informed of all that has been sold of the station since that. I of course believed that Alex kept you posted up in all those matters and as I did not know what bargains were made in selling them I could not gave a true account but I will gave inclosed an account of all that left the station since last shearing.

Sheep shorn 1859 = 5857 including in this number 1498 lambs & 80 rams left the station since shearing

January 2nd 1860 Danvers account of wages 20 ewes
Hoggs, ... island for mares 08 ewes

Brought over 128 ewes
Mr Hamlin 100 Do & 2 rams
Payment for entire Farmer
February 28th J Gorge 105 ewes
" F Gascoyne 50 Do
" 29th J Carrol 42 Do Young for Mr Morris
" " 40 Do Aged Do
" J Carrol 82 & 2 rams
April 10 Mr D Canning 44 ewes various age
August 9th Mr Oliver 100 ewes 2 tooth
691 = six hundred and ninety one ewes


Take that from 5857
691
5166

Wethers 591 left station & killed
Old sheep left 4575 = then their has
Left the station 156 lambs that bought to count in this year's shearing also but they left long before shearing

Shorn this year
3397 ewes
1764 wethers
89 rams
5259 old sheep
1017 lamb
6267
5
Total shorn this year = 6267
Sheep left for Otago 2691 6 of that number died before leaving Napier
3576 that ought to be about the number on station after deducting
I may say at least 2 1/2 .. 3 percent for losses on the whole which I did not deduct. We had the sheep in today and docked the lambs and I may say we had a very good lambing considering the number of ewes that went away 1150 lambs 590 ewes & 560 wether. Their may be a few more out yet that may make up for losses after docking. Men on station old Archy McLean plowing at his leisure with the bullocks. Two sheepherds one of them drives the bullocks to the plow when not required at sheep.
6
One lad looking after cattle and horses and milching the cows and bringing the bullocks in in the mornings and a cook McRae's sister is still stoping at the out station but she is going away and I am glade of it as she was expensive and for no earthly use at preasant as her brother stays here we have no sheep on the run so the out station was no use. There is no bush work going on for us. I am hard at work planting blue gums under the hill behind the house in the padock I fenced myself last year. I have planted 450 within this last fortnight and I had 180 planted before they are all doing very well. I am determined to make a bush so as to be independent in a
7
few years for fire wood. I have also planted out a number of fruit trees my own grafting & rising. I was obliged to get a man to assist for a few weeks now in the season to plant the trees and prepair the ground. You know I could not put anything in the ground will be more valuable in time than timber. I intend to have 800 or 1000 in if I can get them. I exchanged some fowls for some blue gums and I think I will get two or three hundred more and get them in this month. I can assure you I do not idle one moment of time. The man I will send away whenever I get all the gums in. I only
8
pay him 15/ per week and three weeks will do. We have put in a good piece of grass and it is doing very well. I am in hopes the padock will be finished with sowing this spring. We are plowing up wheat ground and will do it next week. The house is now very comfortable and Catherine is doing all she can to make things look well. She misses sister Catherine very much poor dear. I hope there is something in store for her before long for she is a very deserving girl and
9
worthy of a good husband. I had a letter from your old friend Alex yesterday saying he was coming up to see me. He has put in this month and last month 700 blue gums. I will get all the Maori news from him. He is our great friend in Maorie matters and he is keeping very steady this while. I could not say any more about the accomodation house till God will spare us to meet. I have not heard from Alex since he left. You are awair that Stewart went down with him or that I will not forward
10
Steward letter till I hear from there and his address. I think I have given you all the news that is of any use now. Rich got 109 fat wethers the other day. He said that Alex told him to take 200 but he would only gave 17/. I said 18/ but he said he would settle that with Alex. He told me he gave him £50 on a/c of them before leaving. I do not think it prudent to gave him any more till I hear from you or Alex and wrote him to that effect and said that 20/- would be little enough for them now as shearing time is getting on and I am certain he will have
11
to gave that for them before long so if you approve of selling any more we could spare 200 if he gave 20/-. He gets sheep from other people for 15/ 16/ & 17/ shilling but when he is hard up and cannot get any where else in winter he has got to come here. Catherine desires me to be kindly remembered to yourself and little Douglas. She is very anxious to see you both. I will write you again soon. Let me know what to do about the wethers.


Every your affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean

Part of:
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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