Main content

Title: John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 20 January 1869
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 Count1227
Genrepolitics, cattle season, plagues, need for employees, war, money
TranscriptFlor del Uncalito

My dear friends,
I have tried every plan and used all my endeavours to find out same way by which I could send you letters and papers more regularly and more to our advantage than thereafter, but I have failed in doing so and I must content myself with the old rule, as I see by your last letter that letters by steamer are the same as those posted by the mail. As for newspapers your must content yourself without them, unless when it happens that I am in the city to post them. The news in the country at present is very unimportant. The war in Paraguay is in stato quo. Every two or three months they have a little brush which results in some trifling advantage to one or the other side, or may so happen. And then another two or three months pass on as if there were truce existing between the belligerents, and so the business goes on from year end to year end to great disadvantage of the country. The season is going on very favourable up to now. The pasture is plenty but getting dry. We are not drawing water as yet though there are but little now in the camp. We are preparing to draw against the time comes. The langostas are very plenty this year, but on account of such plentiness of grass on the camp they may not be able consume it all before the season comes for them to disappear. About the month of February they deposit their eggs in the surface of the land and then they die. The eggs remain there till the next summer time, which bringing them to maturity for the next season. They are sometimes much plentier on some places than others. Now at William's and all about that neighbourhood they have eaten up everything in the shape of vegetables, plants, &c. But here they have not broken in on us as yet, but are likely to do before long. They are most destructive insect. Today you will be rejoiced to look at your cabbage, onions, potatoes, melon, corn, parsnips, lettuces, flowers, fruit and all in full blooming and in a week time you have nothing to look at, not even the root which they follow and eat as far as they can follow it into the earth. But their ravages will not be felt much about here, as there are plenty of pasture. We had a tremendous heavy rain since I commenced this letter. It has left the camps all on flood and of course will cause abundance of grass for the summer. John Boggan (Milltown) is with me now. Hands are rather scarce about here now. I wish I had another or two from home. Cullen and the wife is about leaving me. I feel sorry to part with Kate. She is extremely good, but Tom could be easily replaced. Look out for another couple and let me know if such can be got. There are a great many trials to making here now to see and turn the meat of animals in to more value. There are several meat-curing establishments, but they have all more or less failed in the experiments. There are now before government for their approval a project from a private company to transport live stock from here to England. God knows how this may turn out. The slaughter houses now through the camp are the chief means of consuming our extra stock. Brother Patt and Andy Pierce was in from Rojas on New Year's day. The people out there are all well and the camps are splendid. Andy Pierce remains lame. His leg is much shorter than the other but very little trouble to him. He is gone to see a man about it but I fear it's too late now. 20th January 1869. Dear Friends, I wish you all a merry Christmas and happy New Year, and many returns of same. I intended posting this letter by last English mail but the day of the posting it turned out unfavourable. Since the first date I have the pleasing news to inform you of the conclusion of the War with Paraguay. Lopez, the governor of Paraguay, has chased out from the remnant of his army that has escaped with him, say about one hundred. All the others has surrendered as prisoners of war. They are in pursuit of Lopez. It's probable they may take him. The time intervening between the two dates of this letter has been the heaviest weather I've ever seen at this season of the year. I have scarcely seen so much water fall in the same time at any season. Every second or third day heavy rains plenty of water and grass growing as if in the middle of spring. I sent a troop of fat sheep to market the week before last. They were sold at 25 dollars, about the highest price paid now, they being clear of expenses a little over 22 dollars, about half what we used to sell at some four years ago. I am in receipt of your letter of December 7th and the papers that accompany it.
They are all very interesting as the papers contain all the news of Elections which I am glad to see that Wexford has played her part manfully this time. When in Bs. As. last December I posted a letter for you which contained a likeness of myself & Mrs., which dear sister Margaret now ask for. I am always rejoiced when she asks anything of me. I wish she would do so oftener. Let me know truthfully if she be contended and happy. Tell her if God is so good as to spare me I intend to see her and you all in a few years more. Five years more will complete the term of purchase of my new place, and by that time I hope to have to spare (after paying the purchase money), wherewith to take a tour home to see my old friends. Pray to God to spare us life and health to realize this fond hope, which I so anxiously cherish. I send another likeness in this to dear sister, fearing the other may not go safe. In the taking I wore a blue necktie which came out white. It looks bad. I had a letter this mail also from Father Reville. He writes every month either to here or to Williams. He always speaks of my friends of Haysland and lets us know how you are. It is useless to say anything about Nicholas Murphy's money in the letter, as the business is before will be arranged before you get this. I wish you may have kept the £60, though you may not require it, as I wish you to send me out a couple more men, as hands are getting scarce. In consequence of so much new branches of work striking up in this country. It is strange that N. Murphy's brother did not know (his Nicholas) hand writing, as the letter was entirely written by him. Wishing you all again a merry Christmas and Happy New Year I remain as ever your dear and affectionate brother,

John J. Murphy