|John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 25 June 1872
|Argentina - Murphy
|Murphy, John James
|Haysland, Co. Wexford, Ireland
|acquaintances and their position, drought, cattle business, property, sending money, settling debts
|Flor del Uncalito
Dear Brother & Friends,
I am in receipt of your letter dated the 4th of April, & also that of Brother James of same date. We are all well, glad to see by them that all friends are in the enjoyment of good health, & that the boys has arrived safely home. Mary, Patt's wife, & Mrs. Brett had been in from Rojas this week. I received the letters. They came with Mr. Brett to meet Father Leahy on Sunday the 16th (being his day for officiating in Salto), to have their Mrs. Brett's first born, a young son, christened & received the name of Edward Edmond. Mr. Brett spent that day & night with us, & then returned to his place in Rojas, leaving the two women to spend the week at Uncalito. Mr. Brett has got a splendid situation, but a great deal to do, for which he is quite capable. His salary is five thousand dollars per month, found in everything, except clothing, £480 per year, a nice income for a beginner. It is his master bought the fat sheep from me last year, & has also done so this. He has already taken 1,000 head, half of the number contracted for $50 dollars each, six hundred of the number has to be old ewes. The refuse of the breeding flocks, which I keep apart with the wethers. He had his choice to take them conditions or pay $55 dollars each & part at selection out of the fattening flock kept apart specially for sale & meat. They keep working a slaughter house on the establishment, which has stimulated the price of fat sheep through the entire district. I am sorry to see by your letter that the winter has been so scarce at home. But the high price for stock & grain will I trust palliate in some measure for the consequences that must eminate from bad seasons, & with all I am glad to see that you are pulling along so bravely, that you are so united & happy & I pray God you may all live long together in happiness & confort.
Dear Friends, We are now in the middle of winter, & how strange to say, that many district are suffering from a drought, same in this partido of Salto. There have already flocks of sheep been moved for want of something to eat. The heads of cattle has strayed from their owners to wherever they can get food. Even at the Caldera things look gloomy enough. Brother Patt is speaking of moving a flock if rain don't soon come. The other flocks from being small will get along well enough, & with all the sheep are in good condition as may be seen from the fact of Patt been offered $53 dollars each for fat sheep to part at selection, young ewes excepted. Another chance for proving the utility of fencing, I have now 21,000 sheep, 5,000 more than ever I had before on Uncalito. I have also promised Patt room for his flock providing he should have to move. I have assured the purchase of 500 head of cattle, which I intend to receive in a few days. I have arranged with Brett's master (who live in the City) to buy & send me out 400 or 500 head of Novillos (bullocks) from Bs. As. Those from the City are cattle that been sent in for sale from camps not able to fatten them. They are generally thin & sell at about half price of fat cattle. The cattle from Bs. As. when fat I shall sell off, Brett's master do a large business in this way but owing to the state of the camps at present he do nothing. Moreover I can keep them at little or no expense, wherein he & others in the business has to pay for herding them &c., which take at least 50 per cent of the profit. I am sure & men in the business has also told me that I am sure to clear 100 per cent on the capital invested. I am sorry your member poor Devereux is getting on so badly, but I suppose his fate is designed to be such. What a misfortune. Out here we are not aware how Mr. Redmond has came in on Ballytreat, or is it rented he has it. All out here, Wexfordmen, wish him success at Election. We have not seen Flood as yet, but we hear that he left the parcel for me in Bs. As. But I don't as yet know where God knows how safe it may be.
Dear Brother, with regard to Ballecagly, as to how you manage it, it would be more than absurd in me to offer you an advice residing as I am over six thousand miles from there, even though I was on the ground I could not for want of practicle experience pretend to know as much of same business as you do. Consequently my opinion might prove more an interruption than a service to you. No man can be better adapted to dispose of the business than you are, & I thus leave it entirely in your hands. I don't remember if I mentioned to you in a previous letter of me having bought out the Caldera from the Government. It is now the simple property, & to make it so cost me now $260,000 dollars cost down. The cost for the sale of the 2,000 fat sheep I have made along with what I have already paid just clear all the debt off, so I will then be a free man again. To pay for the cattle that I'm buying I must draw on the faith of next years' wool money. If I cannot effect another sale of fat sheep, I am sure of a sale at Rojas, but that I do not calculate on been able meet the amount of purchase. Moreover, the bullocks which I intend buying I expect to sell them all off by the last of December all fat. I think from the above you will be able form an idea of what may be gained by fencing, & many of our countrymen are trying the experiment just now. But I guess it will became a failure in many cases from the fact of being as sparing with the cash, trying to complete a job with perhaps half the money they should, reasonably lay out. It is only now my neighbours are obliged (though reluctantly) to give me credit for the experiment of fencing camps.
Dear Brother, Mary Evoy is desirous to send her Father Matthew Evoy (Balingale) two pounds, £2. Consequently I must trouble you once more to give F. Reville the £2 to hand over to Father Murphy, P.P. Tagmond for him. If you chance to see F. Murphy before you see F. Reville you can give it to him, with directions what to do with it. I fancy I am drawing on your pocket for more than my credit account will answer for, & that those presents & New Year gifts will which I send you will be merely a shadow & not worthy of the name of gifts. I have just been looking over your letters to see & find out how our account stand, but your letters don't state whether the money laid out on my account was remitted to you in full or that it was taken out of your own funds. These are matters that did not cross my mind till now, & I wish you & James to send me out an account both Debtor & Credit of the money spent on my account, not taking into account what I send as presents or New Year's gifts, nor as money due to James from his business here. Think I must be much in your debt. Let me know all for I assure you it seem to me that I send for several articles & some passengers that I never sent the money to pay for, & I also assure I am really desirous to know how I stand with you. I send a slip with Ben Williams address, which you will send to Nicholas Pierce (Tacanshane). I send also a letter to him from Ben, but lest it might go astray. I send you the enclosed, since I commenced the letter the rain has come. Last night & all this day heavy rain but mild, it's a great God send for many particularly as having passed off without any severe cold storm. The enclosed letter you may forward with the £2 to Mary Evoy's father. Mary is a most excellent woman. I wish we had another like her. Mrs. Gaul is with her husband in the gatehouse. Tom & Mrs. Cullen is still with us & will be till the Whitty business is settled. We will be wanting one then, so if you know anyone that will suit us send her out, if Anne Flood came. We are all well, hoping this may find all enjoying the same blessing there, with kind love to all we remain your affectionate,
John & Ellen Murphy
P.S. Patt & Mr. Brett live close to each other.