Main content

Title: John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 25 September 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 Count1353
Genrerequest for goods, news, family, horse races, local economy, acquaintances
TranscriptFlor del Uncalito

My Dear Friends,
Having written a long letter by last packet have me but little to say on this occasion, but knowing as I do that you are always glad to hear from us induces me to be writing you a little by every opportunity. My chief reason for writing this letter is, in order you may receive it before the Zingara sail, as the parties you send leave home. I shall also trouble you to send me by Katy Cormack's sister, or any of the others you choose, a pair of blankets, a pairs of shirts, and a pair of good comforter quilts. The seasons are got much colder here now than formerly. I had to be on the borrowing hand last winter. There are also more intercourse between countrymen than heretofore. Visiting is become quite common, and all Englishmen now ride in saddles and consequently they have to be provided with a bed when they come to your house, though being a bachelors hall. Our little priest sometimes stops with us. The season up to now and is yet very dry. The sheep-farmers in many districts are got alarmed on account of this camp got quite destitute of pasture, and many of them are knocking about looking for some place to move the sheep to, and some has had to move more than a month ago. We are still in luck in this neighbourhood. There is no want of grass in Salto, and all kind of animals are fat, and sheep-farmers all in good spirits. I have also the pleasure of informing you that my place and stock at the Caldera (Rojas) are the same, and the camp the flower of that neighbourhood.
I was out at the Caldera last week. Patt and family are well. I did not stop with them as I fancied myself a rather an unwelcome guest, though in my own house. William, John Donnelly and Peter Cormack was with me. They stopped at Patt's. We saw his new purchase. I think it will scald him before he have it clear, unless they both alter very much from what they have been on Uncalito. He consulted neither me nor William about it, though I was speaking with him in Bs. As. when he came in to close the bargain and pay the money on it, which he had to borrow at an interest of 24 per cent per annum. I think this speculation will learn him and her how to live and how to make a living, which they never had occasion to know while on Uncalito. Matt Connor is still with me. He is an excellent man, but Mrs. the worst dispositioned woman I've ever known from Wexford, and the least goodfer to assist her husband to make either a character or a living for themselves. I have to suffer a deal from her on Matt's account. I am looking out for some chance for them to get shut of her, as I do not like to do so otherwise. In a word, she is the greatest liar, the lest goodfer, and the dirtiest woman I've ever known from Wexford. I would recommend every man coming to this country to get married, but I caution them as to the choice they make, as in this depends a man's happiness perhaps more in this country than in any other I know of. I was expecting some time ago to take a horse in to run in the English races, which you see advertised in the Standard for the 1st November, but owing to the shearing coming on I declined doing so. But I will have better time against the Autumn meeting, which generally takes place in March each year. I don't recollect if I sent you a paper with some letters in it about our races last March, by which you may have seen that my horse beat at his ease some very crack- horses that was brought from far off to beat all before them. There are many of the opinion that camps must fall in value, but I am of a very different one, as there are too many looking after them. There are numbers passing in every direction out here coming from inside in search of camps, as the seca this last season has done up these camps in most places. I have not offered my place for sale yet, but intend doing so in a few days. I will stand on a profit by the half. I intend selling at $50,000 dollars, or about £360 sterling. I will sell it for no less and I don't think I will have much difficulty in obtaining that. I wish you to send me out by the passengers also Ewett's Farier Book on sheep. You will get it at Prendergast's the stationer. I believe the price is 7 or 8s. The breeding of good sheep is much studied now, and the prices of select rams are very high, and are also subject to many complaints as at home. Cover the book with an old newspaper and turn down ____ ____ as if it had been often read over (to save duty) but I now remember there are no duty paid on books imported.
On the 13th we had a splendid rain for seven hours. It left the camps flooded and without wind to disturb the tranquility of either the sheep or the shepherds. On Uncalito our increase up to now is 37 per cent. I believe the Caldera has done about the same, and I am certain there is no establishment in the country has exceeded like this. The reasons are that I attend to the business, I've good men, we have good camp, I have profitable sheep, and I have what's more than all the blessings of Almighty God in the distribution of his favours. Thanks to his Holy Name the seasons here are very much altered. While in some districts are suffering from droughts and other misfortunes, and others they are helped with rain and seasons suitable to the business of the country. When I commenced this letter I expected to send by the French packet, but missed doing so and I have now the pleasure of informing you that we had another splendid rain on the 17th. It continued all day and night and has completely removed our fears of having to draw water until after our shearing is completed. This is the best season for rain in this country as it leaves abundance of grass on the camp for summer. I was sorry to hear of your leg being bad again it's likely owing to having exerted too much on it during the spring season. You look out for a man capable of sowing the land &c. so as not to be laid up again. I enjoy very good health thanks to God, and give myself plenty of exercise, sometimes more than agree with me. My respect to Father James Walsh, Fathers James and John Kavanagh, and Father John Furlong (Ballygeary). Let me know how the people of Kilrane and Ballgeary are getting on. If James Murphy is coming out again I could now give him a chance on the Caldera as Patt is leaving next season. I hear Margaret Connor has got James Devereux's place. She wrote out to Matt to send her the money he got to pay his wife passage out here. He of course laughed at the idea. She says he left them beggars though he brought no money with him to this country. I wish I could get a good man and wife from home that has no family nor likely to do. Those that get a family in this country, no matter how poor they are, in place of acting as servants to others should require at least one or two servants themselves. Dear friends, the blessing of God be with you all and remain as ever your sincere and affectionate brother,

John Murphy