|John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 26 August 1864
|Argentina - Murphy
|Murphy, John James
|Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Haysland, Co. Wexford, Ireland
|local economy, property, emigration
My dear friends,
I am in receipt of your letter by this August packet. I cannot give it’s date as having sent it out to brothers in the camp, as having account of the three men you are about to send that he may arrange the business so outside to suit their arrival. The camps and sheep as when I last wrote you are in splendid condition. The season is beautiful but we shall need much rain yet to carry on through the summer is safety. The prices are high for wool and it is sure to turn out a splendid crop. There has advertised of 100 passengers arrived last week by the Zíngara and one of the Liverpool steamers. I am glad to see the latter has reduced the rate of passage. I suggested to them the propriety of doing so before I left home. As to the Consulate at Dublin, the government has not determined on the matter yet. For this office there is no pay but I might calculate on some commissions from shipping company, and there is a certain amount derived from according to the trade of vessels from there to here. Dear friends, as to my buying of landed property in this country, it still continues like a fever and what we see every one running after. We are tempted to follow the crowd and the obtaining of same has almost exceeded the rearch of small capitalists. But the government with their large amount of land still affords a facility to obtain it to men of small capital, but these lands are in the interior and consequently are sold on moderate terms. The law is in these cases the government makes over to you the squatters right for eight years at from $2,000 to 10,000 per league per year and power to renew the contract at the afford if the land law be not altered within that term or to purchase it at very reasonable terms. The land most sought after now is the lands in possession of parties in this form as the people prefer purchasing their interest in them to taking it from the government in consequence of the latter being much farther outside and more exposed and unprotected and much less adapted for sheep. In this business there has been a great many countrymen being badly taken in as having met bad camp, and so badly adapted for sheep that there losses for a few months has been more than would have bought them the best camp in the country. Yet the Irish are buying up these rights from the occupier at from $50,000 to 120,000 per league with the view of them one day getting good and kind for sheep. Which when they do their capital would never reach to purchase them. Now I am this moment in bargain for 1½ league of camp and will be likely mine before I finish this letter. I am buying the squatter right of it from the owner at the rate of $150,000 per league, with four years of unexpired time at $2,000 per league per annum. The latter amount is all the expenses is on it for the four years, and I expect from the exceedingly good quality of the land that I will clear with that term the $220,000 I paid for the interest of my predecessor as also the price the government put on these lands to make them real property, which price is now before the government. Dear friends, It was not on my own account altogether I bought as I felt quite satisfied with what had, but I saw that Patt could never hope to be able [to] make a home for himself unless through my interference, and I saw the longer I let it go the worse, as the people are really mad after land, and I fell in with this as if it was Providence threw it into my way. It is only ten leagues from Uncalito and not so much from San Martín, and 1½ league from the town of Rojas, which is also the name of the partido. If I was even to rent this camp it would being at least $40,000 per league per annum, so I calculate on making it pay twice that amount by stocking it myself from the increase of Uncalito, which is about 4,000 yearly. I expect to put five flocks on next March and intend to rent some of the remainder. You may think strange of me having bought it without seeing the land. I bought it from character and I could now sell it at decent profit. You may smile when I tell you that in buying this camp the probability of your future prospects did not escape my memory, and if these circumstances, which I have so often alluded to, ever occur I can ready afford you an acre for potatoes.
When I get this I will then have 12,375 acres, enough for any reasonable man. I will send more particulars by next packet. If you see Father Reville let him know that his niece Miss Roach is arrived out safe. She leaves town today for the camp to her sister’s, William’s wife. I send out also two men named Edmonds and Roach from Murristown. Dear friends, I believe I may say the camp above alluded to is now mine. The papers are all taken out and the money to be paid tomorrow. If I feel at any time disposed to sell the camp, I can do so at a profit. But the steps I am about to take is to make it pay for itself without interfering in any way with the profits derived from Uncalito. Then at any time I choose to lessen my property in this country and put it into cash, I can do so by selling Uncalito Bella Vista, and the new place will perhaps be sufficient for both myself and Patt, as it’s just twice as large as Bella Vista (Uncalito). I enclose in this a bill in favour of Uncle Patt Murphy, Ballygeary, from his son James, who wishes his brother Joseph and all the other neighbours enjoy the best of health thanks to God. Dear friends, I would have written a longer letter were it not that my time is so limited as having this morning to go to the Railway station to send those posters out. I have now to proceed to take out the Bill and then have my letter posted before eleven o’clock. I left the writing of this to as late an hour as I could so as to have the latest news to send you. Captain Stocks of the Zíngara has proved an exceedingly good man to his passengers and I would recommend parties sending out parties, particularly females, to be very cautious as to what class of man they send them with. It is much better people would wait a few months for such than trust themselves to the mercy of these they don’t know. The captain of the Raymond is also a man of worth, whom parties may rely on. It might be a benefit for the public if the People paper would make a few remarks to this effect, so as that the other provincial papers may take and copy it. You can give Mrs Sutton and Mrs Fitzgerald my name as a guarantee for the truth of the above remarks. Dear friends, Wishing all the blessings that you desire and soliciting your prayers in obtaining for us out here the same, I remain as ever your sincere and loving brother
P.S. Let me know if there be any more trouble in getting this bill cashed than the others I sent formerly of this Bank sell this bill cheaper than any here.