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Title: John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, circa July 1864.
CollectionArgentina - Murphy
SenderMurphy, John James
Sender Gendermale
Sender Occupationcattle breeder
Sender Religionunknown
OriginUncalito, Argentina
DestinationHaysland, Co. Wexford, Ireland
RecipientMurphy, Martin
Recipient Gendermale
Doc. No.
Partial Date
Doc. Type
Word Count1247
Genreinstructions for building a gig, passage arrangements, money
TranscriptNow, as to the sort of a gig or tax cart that will answer this country best, I think will be something of the tax cart kind. But let the material be good and it can therefore be made on a lighter scale. I would not wish it to be as heavy as the general run of them at home. Let the wheels be about the height of the gig I left you but not dished, but wider of further apart. Let there be seats as in tax carts before and behind with sufficient room for two persons in each. That is the hind part that contains the well to be made, so as to form a seat when necessary. This plan it is necessary to have the body erected on those on those sliding bars so as to regulate the weight on the horse’s back, as the case may need. You understand as to the hind seat that is the hind board of well to form the foot board for the hind passengers. As to the seat behind it is not necessary that it should be larger enough to hold two persons unless the make of the it will correspond with the make of the cart. Let it have a patent axle and in every respect made in first class style, as there are many countrymen here waiting its arrival to determine on sending for others, as it’s thought we may have them cheaper and better than getting them here. And for this reason I am sure the maker will do his duty. There is one circumstance connected with its make, that I should very much desire that is that it be made so low as the works will permit as being less exposed to be thrown over when struck by these sudden squalls of wind that’s so prevalent here. Send out with it the good set of harness I left at home, as being second-handed they pay no duty and perhaps they may serve to get the gig off as such also. There are no lamps nor apron needed. As to the maker I make no choice as yourselves can see best where you are most likely to get a good article for your money. Don’t dwell too much on saving four or five pounds as regards the sort of an article. I would like as all the other expenses will be the same for the best as for the most common you could send me. Make arrangements for getting it made as soon as convenient after receiving this. Also see Clinton and Kissane or perhaps better corresponds with Duffy or Farrell and see what would be the charge for sending it out by the steamer from Liverpool with the plough also, and the three passengers that you are to send me. These same line of steamers have an agent here, and the first time I go to town I shall see him on the matter. You need not arrange with any parties for bringing out the above until I write to you with instructions to do so, as perhaps I may get them out cheaper through their agent here. It will be a great advantage to have them coming out with the men you are to send me, as they can attend to the caring of them on the passage, and to see that they are well covered by a tarpaulin on all the way. It is better that the wheels should come separated from the body bound with straps and confined together. But I believe it’s better [to] leave the wheels under it, as it will be more easily manoeuvred, and when put on board the steamer at Liverpool they can take off the wheels if it suits better the convenience of the ship owner. I would not have written till the next packet were it not that you would as soon as possible get the things prepared, and have all ready to start with the men about the month of August next if possible, so as to be in time here for the shearing to give a hand. If the cash don’t hold out, draw on the Bank until next wool season, and I shall send home what’s necessary. The interest that Patt had out of Uncalito for his services came very high. What I calculated on at home he had, clear of all expenses, between stock and cash to the value of 280 £, not including the half of the flock he has in halves with me. With all this, how has my business been attended to when I arrived to Buenos Aires. I found himself, Mrs and child in town. The Mrs came under the excuse to be confined different to other women, as if there was not room in the camp, still worse as having left outside in the middle of the greatest drought that ever visited the country, and remained in town two months leaving the place trusted to their men outside, and each of them having enough to do with their own. Had he money of his own to meet those extravagant habits (which I saw no way mistaken when I was at home), the thing would not be too bad. But last year he owed me about 100 £ and this year he added to that something about the same amount. It grieves me when I see things squandered in this manner, more particularly when I look back at how you been to him at home. When I give a chance to them here to get a head in the word it’s only thrown to the wind and made a pretext of for their extravagance and waste. It is hard for me to think of leaving here again, knowing as I well do that things will go on as they did before. I am giving him the same interest in the establishment this year as I did last, though being here myself and of course things will go on better so long as I remain at their head. It is a lucky he had only a few lambs in the flocks during the watering season. Otherwise, we should have had a great loss. All the men are now taking care of the flocks on foot, though having sixteen horses. Yet there are only some one or two that would be safe to saddle as they can with difficulty support their own weight. I am getting ten or more young asses tamed in, and I shall then have a good supply so long as they are left with me. We are being sadly trespassed on this last year. Were it not for that, our camps would have not been so bad. This has become a sad nuisance in the camp, and the Justice of Peace is now giving powers to the parties to shut in a corral the trespassing cattle until they are paid for the damage. I am now making a corral and intend taking these steps, as they are the only means to prevent a continuance of it. I now conclude with the good news to you that all friends here are well, and sincerely hope that this may find yourself, Margaret, Bess, James and family in good health and a continuance of this blessing will be always the wish of your dear brother,

John Murphy