Object #1033117 from MS-Papers-0032-0817

6 pages written 5 Sep 1857 by Archibald John McLean in Maraekakaho to 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 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

5 September 1857 [ie 1858]

Maraekakaho

My dear brother

I received your letter dated June 29th. I supose in mistake and hurry and was pleased to find you were all well but you never mentioned little Dugald. I hope he is doing well at school. I was much taken with his bold shrewdness. You mentioned something about sheep shears in your letter. I never spoak of any or yet bought any, as to the four pounds I was obliged to get it that day we sailed to keep my credit up as they made me coter of the mess and paid me at Ahuriri but I am surprised the clerk in the agent's office of the vessel did not gave you the letter I left with him for you explaining the circumstances about the four pounds. Be pleased to ask Harris's clerk for it if you have not got it from him as I do not want any strangers to know its contents. I am only grieved to having to write you on such a trivial busness but I did so in order that there be no

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English (MD)

misunderstanding about the four pounds. Now to busness. I must tell you I am much pleased with the life and further you will find when you come here that my being here will be to you a great advantage for I cannot be idle. Alex is doing all he can but with the Maoris and their trouble about the timber he has enough to do and owing to the weather and plowing and getting stores up we have not got any timber down as yet for fencing but we are going to commence next week tooth and nail with the stuff for the wool shed and wood to finish fencing the padock when the wheat and oats grass and part of the potatoes are sown. McInnis and myself work constantly. We have planted 3/4 of an acre of potatoes in the Little Bush and fenced in a nice garden there of about one acre and sowed all kind of seeds there. Also planted 50 peach trees I dug up in an old Maori gardin and some gosbery and different kind of fruit

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English (MD)

cuttings 3 weeks ago and they are doing well. We also commenced a gardin under the foot of the hill above the house close to a spring which will arigate it at all times. Most beautiful soil and their I have planted 12 fine apple trees and some 9 peach trees also about 100 cuttings of willow trees and some root willows. I can only tell you I am delighted with hard work and altho I say it myself I was much wanted here for with my help I will cause this place to be the best in the district. I am shure you would be pleased to see us all so busy and diligent. I am always the first up at day light for I always had the practice. I will not spare no pains or labour of which there is plenty to make myself make myself [crossed out] better on shore than at sea. I wish to God I only was here long ago. The sheep are doing, they tell me, very well and have a great number of lambs. We would be cutting them next week but John the sheepherd got goored with his own cow dreadfully in the calf of the leg which we had to send for the Dr to dress it. It is a dreadful gash and may confine him to bed for a month so that Alex has to sheepherd himself now. We were obliged to speak to the wife about her extravagance as I never saw in all my travils such

Page 4 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

a usless wooman. It is fearful the sugar was consumed altho Alex has done all he could to prevent it. Indeed it never will be much better till we put them on regular allowance and live by ourselves with the boys. We have two cows here that calfed and we will have plenty of milch and Alex bought some barley which I make the woman that is cooking make soup of with Maorie cabbage which saves tea, sugar and meat over a day. I am doing all I can to take care and economise in every way. I had a letter from my dear wife written last April. They were all well then. She says Anabella went to school on the strength of John's letter where he sayed he was going to send them something considerable also bring her out but she is disapointed at not hearing from him. She would be the girl for this districk of any of them. They would soon save the expence of bringing them out. Know one can tell only those that have experienced the economy of prudent women the vast saving they are to a house particularly in a country place. I am going to plant potatoes in the gardin above the house with the spade also about half an acre so God willing we will done with this a[w]full expence of provisions.

Page 5 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

It is fearful in my eye after every thing is working well and the wool shed finished so that we can live there. It will be much better and let John and his wife live by themselves. John I like much. He is a very good man and appears to take a great deal of interest in his business. Fred is a fine lad and so is the other boys since Alex has brock him in. McInnis worked very well with me when directed. He is a good digger but dreadfully slow at all other things and very stupid. We are so busy at present that Alex says he will get all his a/c by and by and send you all the returns. The money for the other place is not payed as yet but Alex says it soon will. From what I can see as yet he is doing all he can for this place. I hope you have not lost the Otago run. Please let me know. I hope you got my last letter and that all goes well with you at Auckland. My regards to John & Jessie & Aunty and my little Highlander.


I remain your affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean

English (MD)

5 September 1857 [ie 1858]

Maraekakaho

My dear brother

I received your letter dated June 29th. I supose in mistake and hurry and was pleased to find you were all well but you never mentioned little Dugald. I hope he is doing well at school. I was much taken with his bold shrewdness. You mentioned something about sheep shears in your letter. I never spoak of any or yet bought any, as to the four pounds I was obliged to get it that day we sailed to keep my credit up as they made me coter of the mess and paid me at Ahuriri but I am surprised the clerk in the agent's office of the vessel did not gave you the letter I left with him for you explaining the circumstances about the four pounds. Be pleased to ask Harris's clerk for it if you have not got it from him as I do not want any strangers to know its contents. I am only grieved to having to write you on such a trivial busness but I did so in order that there be no misunderstanding about the four pounds. Now to busness. I must tell you I am much pleased with the life and further you will find when you come here that my being here will be to you a great advantage for I cannot be idle. Alex is doing all he can but with the Maoris and their trouble about the timber he has enough to do and owing to the weather and plowing and getting stores up we have not got any timber down as yet for fencing but we are going to commence next week tooth and nail with the stuff for the wool shed and wood to finish fencing the padock when the wheat and oats grass and part of the potatoes are sown. McInnis and myself work constantly. We have planted 3/4 of an acre of potatoes in the Little Bush and fenced in a nice garden there of about one acre and sowed all kind of seeds there. Also planted 50 peach trees I dug up in an old Maori gardin and some gosbery and different kind of fruit cuttings 3 weeks ago and they are doing well. We also commenced a gardin under the foot of the hill above the house close to a spring which will arigate it at all times. Most beautiful soil and their I have planted 12 fine apple trees and some 9 peach trees also about 100 cuttings of willow trees and some root willows. I can only tell you I am delighted with hard work and altho I say it myself I was much wanted here for with my help I will cause this place to be the best in the district. I am shure you would be pleased to see us all so busy and diligent. I am always the first up at day light for I always had the practice. I will not spare no pains or labour of which there is plenty to make myself make myself [crossed out] better on shore than at sea. I wish to God I only was here long ago. The sheep are doing, they tell me, very well and have a great number of lambs. We would be cutting them next week but John the sheepherd got goored with his own cow dreadfully in the calf of the leg which we had to send for the Dr to dress it. It is a dreadful gash and may confine him to bed for a month so that Alex has to sheepherd himself now. We were obliged to speak to the wife about her extravagance as I never saw in all my travils such a usless wooman. It is fearful the sugar was consumed altho Alex has done all he could to prevent it. Indeed it never will be much better till we put them on regular allowance and live by ourselves with the boys. We have two cows here that calfed and we will have plenty of milch and Alex bought some barley which I make the woman that is cooking make soup of with Maorie cabbage which saves tea, sugar and meat over a day. I am doing all I can to take care and economise in every way. I had a letter from my dear wife written last April. They were all well then. She says Anabella went to school on the strength of John's letter where he sayed he was going to send them something considerable also bring her out but she is disapointed at not hearing from him. She would be the girl for this districk of any of them. They would soon save the expence of bringing them out. Know one can tell only those that have experienced the economy of prudent women the vast saving they are to a house particularly in a country place. I am going to plant potatoes in the gardin above the house with the spade also about half an acre so God willing we will done with this a[w]full expence of provisions. It is fearful in my eye after every thing is working well and the wool shed finished so that we can live there. It will be much better and let John and his wife live by themselves. John I like much. He is a very good man and appears to take a great deal of interest in his business. Fred is a fine lad and so is the other boys since Alex has brock him in. McInnis worked very well with me when directed. He is a good digger but dreadfully slow at all other things and very stupid. We are so busy at present that Alex says he will get all his a/c by and by and send you all the returns. The money for the other place is not payed as yet but Alex says it soon will. From what I can see as yet he is doing all he can for this place. I hope you have not lost the Otago run. Please let me know. I hope you got my last letter and that all goes well with you at Auckland. My regards to John & Jessie & Aunty and my little Highlander.


I remain 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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