|John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 26 October 1864
|Argentina - Murphy
|Murphy, John James
|Buenos Aires, Argentina
|Haysland, Co. Wexford, Ireland
|property, new arrivals, gifts, request for a carpenter, local economy, emigration
I have had the misfortune of leaving getting out the Bill until today and I have been sadly disappointed in founding that the Bank have sell bills on the day of the packet sailing, so I now cannot send it until the English Mail leave here, which sail be on 27th this month.
Buenos Aires, 26th October, 1864
My Dear Friends,
I received your kind letters the last of September 6, the others not reaching me in time as also not containing the particulars of when the passengers were to leave L-pool caused me not to be in Bs. As. to receive them at their landing. However these were circumstances that could not be advised neither have they caused any serious inconvenience to me or them or to the articles entrusted to their charge.
Dear Friends, for my experience in this country for I may say this last twenty years I've never saw as good a year as this. The state of the camp and sheep cannot be exceeded and I am happy to inform you that Bella Vista enjoys its share of these two great blessings. I have sold 674 capones at $55 each and expect to sell more after shearing, which we have already commenced at William's, and will afterwards at ours when finished there. The buying of this last land will be a heavy pull on me I did not expect it to have come to so much I did not see the place when I bought it I knew the land from character but there turned out a great deal more value on the place than I expected to find on it, and that I had to take at valuation through it's cheap at the price. Yet there are a great many things on it that I could have done without for some time. It stand me now $300,000 for the league and a half of land worth all that's on it. That is now £2,100. That amount is only for the interest of the late owner and I have yet to buy it from the Government, for which there is a project before the Senate now setting to make the law so as to compel all persons that occupy land in this way to purchase it and make real property of it. The price the Government has put on these land according to the project above mentioned is $250,000 per league, which for the 1½ league I hold will stand me $375,000 dollars, with the 300,000 dollars already paid for the interest of it will amount to $675,000 or about £4,700. But the terms of the Government are very moderate. You pay at the time of purchase ¼ of the amount and ¼ every succeeding year until the sum is all paid. But for the time you get to make those payments you have to pay interest at the rate of 6 per cent, amount which is very moderate in this country. I intend to send five or six flocks onto it next March, so as to make it pay for itself very quick. I have taken a mortgage out on Uncalito of £2,500 that I will pay the most of after shearing and in less than three years I hope to have all clear and some to spare.
Dear Brother, the passengers arrived out safe and well, and came very opportunely for the shearing. The patched books and likenesses also safe to hand. I cannot express my feelings at receiving the little present from sister Margaret. It is not it's value I look to it, is the intention and the feeling of the donor that I value more than if it were composed of costly diamonds and I shall look upon it as one of the most dearest works of her regard for me. As to the likenesses they are better done than I could have imagined from the report in your letter of then I shall give one of each of them to Patt's and William's wife. The others I shall keep myself from my frequent looking at them. These last three or four days I have fancied almost that I am still in Haysland enjoying the happy hours of your society, which often helped to pass away the winter evening over the happy fireside at the old house at home. Oh dear happy home. Oh sad fate, how ungenerous thou hast been to have called me thus far from those pleasures and separated me from those whom above all in this world is most dear to my heart. There are some changes made here lately in the post office regulation, so it may be safer to direct your letters as heretofore to the Standard office, as follows: c/o Standard Office, 74 Belgrano. For me Uncalito, Salto. We [torn] the old name again until I send you more. Dear friends, The Zingara left here before I came to town, so I had no chance of speaking to the captain before he started, but I did about six weeks previous though did not come to an understanding with him about those I am going to send for, but was very desirous I should get out some passengers by him. In consequence of which you will have no difficulty in doing so. I spoke to you before to look out for a carpenter. It's necessary he should bring tools with him, not a great quantity but just sufficient to make plain doors and windows and the other work will be principally house roofing. The following are the conditions which you are to agree with on. He shall work for me at any thing I put him to the same, and on the same scale as the rest of the men, and at the end of twelve months after having some experience of the business I will give him sheep on thirds for providing he turn out a man deserving of them. You will also send me out a mason, the conditions to be the same. It's all brick work here but a mason from home is easily accustomed to brick work. You know the sort of a man that will answer me best without any further remarks from me.
Dear Friends, I spoke in my previous letter and also in this opportunity about sending out a mason also, but that I have now declined sending for as he would be but little use to me. But send out the carpenter, also as relating to the conditions he has to do any work that is to be done at his trade on the Estancia during his time with sheep by me putting a man to mind the flock during said work and without pay more than the profits derived from the sheep. I wrote this letter to go by the last English Mail but did not send it afterwards, since then I have spoken to Captain Stock of the Zingara, which I then thought had left but did not until Tuesday the 8th this month. You can send any passengers by him you please on my account. He expects to be in Liverpool by Christmas and is not likely to make much delay there till he returns. Brother William will be in town on next Sunday the 13th with his wool. I shall not learn till he arrives. I had a letter yesterday from there; they are all well. William has got a young daughter a few days since. Both itself and mother are doing well. All the boys in that neighbourhood are also well. I here enclose you bill for one hundred pounds. I don't know if it be sufficient for all your calls, however it will be sufficient to restore confidence by the Bankers. It is at your services to lay out for whatever purpose you think fit either for me, you , or James. I don't know if I shall be able send more this year. If not draw on the Bank for whatever amount you may require and I will be accountable. The interest I pay here is nine per cent per annum, so there is a saving by not raising money here to send home if it can be got there conveniently. Between what I make this year and what I am to owing I could have nearly paid all, were it not that I have to hold on so much for to pay for brick-making and building purposes. The Government have such quibbling about the land law it's doubtful if it ever pass. They have now put the term to pay the purchase money six years, so that is at least a move in favour of me and late purcharsers. At present there is an awful dullness in the wool market everyone that can afford it is storing. This help to make the remainder saleable through at a low figure. This next packet is expected to bring some buyers out. If so, it will bring a stir in the market. The wool from Uncalito won't likely be in before the last of this month. I will send the second bill by next English packet. Paper money is exactly fifty per cent lower now than some five years ago. We have to make some changes in the flocks this year and also in the Rincón flock, as the time of contract is up with the man in charge. The flock did very well. I shall give particulars of after making the above arrangements. The name of Buenos Ayres is now gone over the whole world. The people are flocking here from all parts. Many of them men of capital coming to invest in land and sheep. This will cause property to run up very much, and has already done so since last year. Tell James to let me know how much money he may require this year or if he can manage to raise what he requires in the Bank. Dear Friends, owing to the business I had on hands about the camp, I had to decline writing as often as I should wish because after leaving town I shall have better leisure to fulfil this duty. You may expect to hear from me after, and I hope at each time to be able to send you good news of all being well, a blessing I sincerely wish you all. My love to all the little ones as also to all you my dear friends is the feeling most dear to the heart of your loving brother,