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Title: John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 22 July 1865
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 Count1363
Genreproperty laws, politics, local economy, possible wedding
TranscriptMy Dear Friends,

After hoping this may meet you in the enjoyment of every blessing, I take this opportunity of informing that Joseph Rossiter is with me since the 22nd of the last month, and your letters by packet of 6th May I received on the 18th, by which I was glad to hear of you all being in good health, a blessing which we all here enjoy, thanks to the Almighty. You appear not to know perfectly the law with respect to the government lands. I will explain to you. The government heretofore and as still rent land in the frontier to any one that apply for it, but not less than one nor more than three square leagues to any one individual at $2,000 per league per year, paying each year rent in advance. And you not establishing some kind of stock on it within the first year, you lose your claim to it and your rent paid in advance also. The government gives you a lease of it for eight years and renew it when out, so long as there do no purchaser come forward as the government has reserved the power to sell whenever you or any purchaser come forward to buy, but the tenant in all cases entitled to the preference. All these lands that was once the on the frontier but now considered inside, are now offered for sale, and the new Land Law recently passed compel every man within certain limits to purchase or run the risk of the land you hold being put up to auction. Therefore, those that have good land, or whatever portion of what you hold being good, you had better buy as you will not run the risk of it going to (what is most likely) a much higher figure than the government price. Those that have only a part of their land good will of course buy that part, and the bad or unrefined part there will be no purchase and will therefore remain in your possession as before at the old rent until such times as it's refined and yet good then you can purchase it according to law then in force. My position with respect to the land I have it is as follows. The late proprietor, a Frenchman, had three square leagues of camp rented of the government as above mentioned, the half of which I bought of him or in other words his title of it at $300,000 for land, houses, etc. and consequently became tenant to the government for same. This camp had some two or three years ago been all coarse not fit for sheep. But about one half that had been stocked during that time has become refined and has sufficient room for six flocks of sheep. The other half like most of the camp about it will become refined by the same operation and will after some time become as valuable as the rest. When I purchased there was then four years of the government lease unexpired at three thousand dollars per year for 1½ league, and on these calculations I purchased. But in a little time after the government, in order to redeem the paper money, made a new law to sell all their land within a certain limit as heretofore mentioned, and of course I as well as others that hold public lands fall within their limits and of said law. I may here mention that the holders of public lands forwarded a petition to government to grant more liberal terms on which account they postponed the sale to the first of next January to consider the justice of the petition, and it's thought the petition will have the effect of obtaining better conditions for the intended purchasers. Now my way of proceeding is (when we are compelled to buy) is to buy the half that's already refined. The other half I am sure there will no one interfere with and for which I still continue to be a tenant of the government as above mentioned. There is no ____ likely to offer himself as purchaser between the tenant and the government, knowing as they do that the tenant has the preference and will in the end be the purchaser. As he is in possession will not likely let it go providing it's not much above its value. What I must by saying the good half will pay for the bad one, is that the former being of a quality to stock with sheep, that the income each year out of that half will pay interest for the capital laid out for the whole, and also pay the yearly instalments to the government for the purchaser of some with the other expenses concerning it. It frequently strikes me to sell half of it so as to relieve myself of some of the debt, but as often decline doing so and let's the idea postpone. Brother Patt I hear has bought a place alongside mine at Rojas. This speculation will learn him how to live and how to work for it, as he has up to now being fed with a silver spoon in his mouth. He never since he came to this country has eaten his own bit, and the foulest ingratitude he has recently shown for it. Many of the men has been telling me that his carrying on both now and heretofore has in a great measure been owing to the Mrs., who comes very high the old saying at home (make a good poor man's wife) as she is sure never to let him get sick. I cannot say whether from cunning or neglect of duty that I have lost a great deal by him the last year. He was on Uncalito and James did not escape the dodge fear it cast him ____ Rincón flock about £30 for his part.
Dear Friends, we hear of know very little of what's going on in the War Department, and it's so much the better for us. The account we get are very vague and such as would cause great doubts as to the truth of what is really going on. There has been a great number of men taken up out of every district. In that respect the war has been a benefit to us and a greater if they never come back as there are always too many of this sort knocking about. All those that has escaped going is at work very diligent for fear of being drifted off. Also every thing in the camps are flourishing but in the City trade is very dull owing to the difficult of getting money in or raising it even at an interest of 24 per cent per annum. The Banks will not even give money on mortgage property now. What a nice penny my money would have bought for me here had I to have brought it with me. However perhaps it may do something there yet. But you know I've been rather unsuccessful in speculations at home. I hope there will be no disappointment as regards the money for Margaret in case it should be required It's not unlikely that I will be the last of the family to get married, yet at least for what sign there is of it Mrs. K. is here yet there is nothing particular on the wind. Father James Walsh may know something when in Ross. His name was William Roche, kept a wine store and I believe son to a rich Miller in the neighbourhood. We are so busy building that it's only by chance I can spare a moment to write you. As Rossiter is come out to me you need send only two men if there be any coming on their own hook and wish to come out to me send only one. The conditions is as the last: 14 months for the passage to Bs. As. Dear Friends, hoping this may find you all in the enjoyment of every blessing, remain your sincere and affectionate brother,

John Murphy