|John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 5 April 1869
|Argentina - Murphy
|Murphy, John James
|Haysland, Co. Wexford, Ireland
|weather, state of the fields, cattle, family, correspondence, money
|Flor del Uncalito
My dear friends,
All through this last month has been the heaviest rains that I have ever seen at this season of the year. The camps has so much improved since, that a person would imagine that there were some artificial means applied to force the pasture to its present state. What a difference between the growth of grass here and that of home. Today your camp is as bare as the roads at home, and in two weeks time you have grass three inches high, so rich and rank that we do not let the flocks off to feed till between nine and ten o'clock every day. The cardos (thistles) still exceed the other grasses for they run up so rank and quick that numbers of sheep are lost on them from swelling as cows do at home on clover. William generally loose some every year, but others loose immensely from two hundred to a thousand out of flocks. I loose none as my camp produce a more mixed quality of pasture and less thistles. All kind of animals are very fond of the thistle, and they all improve and fatten on them when green an on the other seeds and leaf when dry. I keep a very heavy stock on Uncalito this year: 17,000 sheep head, about 16,500 in seven flocks varying from 2,200 to 2,600 each, about 200 rams, and about 300 fine ram-breeding flock, for which I keep from 2 to 4 special rams, generally European descent. These rams cost from £9 to £20 each, and yield from 12 to 20 lbs. wool (unwashed wool) each year if kept in good condition.
You say James intended sending Mary and Maggie to school. It is wise thought and he should if possible spare them one year or six months at least. They are just the age to profit and improve by the indulgence. Let me know how Sinnott (Crosstown) is going on, what you are doing with the two fields. How Frank is going on with the shop. If Cormick is still living. What of the little mare Brin O'Lynne. John Boggan tell me that the man that bought the bag mare at the auction of Crosstown was offered £76 for the colt three years old, which she was carrying at the time of the auction. I believe there are very high prices paid for young cattle at present, that mare was cheap at £20 for breeding purposes alone. When breeding from a horse like Brin O'Lynne.
Bs. As., 12th April. Patt Boggan (New Bay) left here for home on the 9th. I thought to meet him in Bs. As. before he left but he had started the day before my arrival. Fearing I would not see him in town before he left I wrote in to Kate Cormack to buy some ostrich feathers to send by him to Margaret. I hope she may like them. Had I met him in Bs. As. before he left I would have sent something else by him, as Ellen requested me to do so in her name. I might have start sooner were it not that I had to dispatch some lambs wool before I left. Patt Boggan is a neviu to Father Reville and first cousin to my and William's wife. He was in St Peter's College for many years intended for the church. He was one of the five or six that was dismissed from it some five or six years ago. He is very stupid and badly adapted to travel. I did not tell him where to have the plumero, so you had as well invite himself and sister of Fr Reville down some evening. James Murphy will be glad to see him there. Did another man go home with him by the name of Tobin from about Tenacre of Bridgetown. I was intent to send this by Boggan along with some papers. The French packet left here yesterday but there is a supplementary mail to start from [torn] here tomorrow to catch her at Montevideo before [torn] sending it by that mail, providing no disappointment occur. I am sending a bill of eleven pounds to [torn] Tom Neil from his son Laurence. I hope it [torn] safe. I got Nicholas Murphy's bill cashed in [torn] there were almost one pound (£1) discount charged, which is very little here in such bills. Be looking out for a man or two to send out to me by next August. In my next letter I will send you the conditions on which you will arrange with them. The young daughter is going on well. They say it's just like me. That reminds me of what the woman said to the monkey. You know women must have it like the father anyhow. Mrs. Cullen is still holding on to the cooking. We keep Ellen's sister here, more to take some of the work off her hands. She was not able for the whole. She is as good and as willing as ever. I shall not like to post her and she would never think of leaving, were it not for James humours. He is going on much better now. Peter, Kate and Annie Cormack are sending £20 home to their father. Mary Furlong is sending home some also to bring out her sister. I could not send this by French mail as I intended. With kind love and remembrance to all friends I remain your dear brother,
John J. Murphy