|John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 22 September 1866
|Argentina - Murphy
|Murphy, John James
|Haysland, Co. Wexford, Ireland
|Murphy, Martin & Margaret
|cattle business, selling property, workers / gift, marriage, money
|Flor del Uncalito
My Dear Brother & Friends,
James letter of 7th August duly came to hand bearing to me that information which I am always so rejoiced to hear that of your enjoying good health, a blessing I have the pleasure of informing we also enjoy out her.
Dear Friends, the sheep business out here is going on with usual activity, and satisfactorily to those that mind as well as understand it their business. It is true there has and continue to be great losses in many parts of this and other provinces, but it's chiefly owing to the absurd and improfitable system of overstocking the camp they occupy, a system that has proved ruinous to many. I say too late, because many of those saw not the evil consequence the camp has been to run out that not even the roots of the grass are left so that their camps must be disoccupied until nature replaces what man (through his want of better knowledge) has destroyed. Sheep are selling at about 5 dollars per head, less than last year. The average price about 35 dollars, but numbers of sales made at much less price but under some peculiar circumstances from 15 to 20 dollars, capones (wheathers) are selling at 45 to 46 dollars. I sold on my new place (Caldera) for 45, which has surprised all about here, as there has been no higher price than 45 within 18 leagues all round though I refused selling for 46 a few days since. Last year I proposed to three or four friends to sell half of Caldera to them, but they declined, appearing to take no interest whatever in the place, whether their idea was that I should through necessity be compelled to sell it at a very reduced price, or that I had found out too late that my purchase was a bad one. It is evident that one or both these reasons were their motive for not dealing with me, as they were at the time in need of land. They have been since speaking to me about it, but I shall take care to let them (as they have been this last 8 or 9 months) dance on to the time of disappointment. These same men are looked upon as clever, experienced persons, but their self-opinion of a far seeing-capacity deceived them in the first place, and secondly they find but too late I am no peddler and am not to be trifled with in these matters, which leave them going by the walls as if blind folded. The Caldera this last year has established a character for itself that at least increase it's value one thousand pounds. In fine, my Dear Friends, I may say, and without exaggeration, that so far as temporal matters go I am of the fortunate in this country, thanks be to the Almighty as it's him alone we may thank as we can do nothing of ourselves. Uncalito continues to rank first amongst the sheep-farming establishments. It's increase and produce of stock is not surpassed and seldom equalled in this country. Though small it yields pleasure and profit to all concerned. I keep no men about me nor on the Caldera, but proper, well-conducted men that mind their own business and nobody else's, and keep clear of those drunken brawls which too often occur between Irishmen in the villages and other public places. Consequently are more deservedly entitled to respect and for same reason my establishments are more or less a model ones. They are all Wexfordmen. At Uncalito I have Frank Doyle, Mr. Brett, James Howlin, Nicholas Pierce, Peter Cormack, Laurence Neill, James Moore, John Cullin, and John Power from N. America, late of Muckstown. On Caldera, William Boggan, Joseph Murphy, Nicholas Pierce (Jacksonlane), Michael Scallan, Mick Browne, Andy Pierce ____, John Furlong, Ferry Town, and George Furlong to be next year. In all 17 sober good industrious men. Dear Friends, you will excuse this long passage of bombastic revalation, I fear it will not be very entertaining to you but the want of something else more entertaining cause me to make a letter with such as I have got. The War is still going on but as to it's probable result we cannot guess. I send you the papers to judge for yourself. The prospect of wool this year is not so favourable owing to the extra import duty put on wool in North America, which will have an injurious effect on the Bs. As. wool market.
Dear Sister Margaret,
You will before this time have received the little token I sent you by Mr. Lowe (the locket). I here enclose you the likeness for it. Cut it to the size to fit the locket, which of course can be only the head and part of the shoulders. I got it taken in Salto, and is as well done as might be expected. Chain and locket is warranted to me pure gold. Tell me what of Philip Keating, is there any likelihood of the business going on or is it down away with altogether? You know nothing could give more pleasure than to hear of you getting married, providing you get one to your satisfaction. And I know you have since enough to accept of none but those whom you expect to offer you happiness. I am still single myself, but soon, very soon, expect to change my life, as a single life to a man of my age in this country is miserable and disagreeable en every sense. Pray for me, which I know you will, that I may get one that will not only make me happy, but also tend to increase that happiness which I feel in the welfare of my dear friends at home. If I thought that my union with any woman would in the least diminish that regard and attachment that I entertain for my dear friends, I would repeal the idea for ever and console myself with the happiness of being loved by them alone. I am glad to see that poor brother Martin's leg is improving. I have left myself little room to make any remarks on his letter. I note his remarks about the passengers, also about the £4 to W. Furlong. Tell brother James that I gave him credit for the said £4 in his last year's account, and if it be convenient to him to pay to Willies uncle the £2 he got from him. W. Furlong left me (but agreeable to both) owing more than that amount, but he will pay me yet. Tell Mr. Stephen Hore that I saw Robert about 10 months ago. Himself and family are well and I believe doing well. I note about Frank's mother. I will speak to him. We are busy preparing for shearing, which we commence on 2nd next month. Your papers come ____. My kind love to all and I remain your sincere and affectionate brother,