|Title:||John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 23 February 1873|
|Collection||Argentina - Murphy|
|Sender||Murphy, John James|
|Sender Occupation||cattle breeder|
|Destination||Haysland, Co. Wexford, Ireland|
|Genre||correspondence, weather, cattle business, profits, politics, family, acquaintances|
|Transcript||Flor del Uncalito|
My dear Brother Martin,
Having for this last long time written you regularly every month, my last by the mail of the 14th inst. which should have contained a Bill to James for £200. This business (having to be trusted to a man in the City) I cannot warrant you its arrival in due time. I have wrote to him since enquiring if the business has been dispatched & I think if he delayed doing so it will not be later than this. As I said before, having written so frequent that I feel I have got very little to say on this occasion, but not wishing to miss so favourable an opportunity, I thought I should drop you a line or two by Kate, who intend as I said before to start about the first of next month. The rains & broken weather continue frequent & heavy up to the present. I have never remembered for my time in this country such a wet season for the time of the year. The camps in many parts has up to the present been very bad, & great losses of sheep & cattle. The Widow Kenny & a native Estanciero joining me had to move cattle & sheep off & several others, Duffy's, Dowling's, Pacheco's & all the Estancias in the direction of Bs. As. suffered more or less. I give the names, as George or any of the boys that's gone home know them. Myself, thanks to God, came out no way hard run, & for this last four weeks since the first of the rain has abundance of grass. I had no losses whatever more than the average run of other years. I proposed selling 2,000 sheep by the cut at $40 dollars. I have been offered $38 but won't take it. If I don't get $40 I will endeavour to hold them on, though my stock is very heavy. Last year I had during the whole winter about 22,000 sheep, 380 head of cattle & about 150 head of mares & horses. That is within a fraction of five sheep to the statute acre, beside cattle & mares. This year, unless I sell, will amt. to about the same. I don't think any land in Europe, even in England, the garden of the world, is able to do that all round the year. There is an advantage in holding an even at $40 dollars if it was possible. A person could do so, because 2,000 sheep that you sell now, you may calculate on 500 lambs going with them. Wherein holding them on till before shearing, say six months from now, the 2,000 would thus cannot, with lambs 2,000 at $40 (a low figure at that season), you make $20,000 dollars by the transaction merely for the grass they eat. The care is all the same. These are safe calculations, nothing to risk except the chance of meeting a bad winter, & if I don't succeed in getting $40 dollars now I shall be tempted to make a run for the $20,000 next September.
Frank Whitty's case still going on, a little point advanced in every three or four months. You may guess the class of people we have to deal with from the following. Dr. Agrelo, the head judge of the Minors' Court, has been thrown wity the Castle as presanger charged with having defrauded the minors & heirs of property of several millions of money during this last 17 years which he held office in the high courts. The government seized his office & its contents & ordered an examination with his officers, & it's found out that property & will cases of some 20 years standing has been all made access with. The greater part of same & the whole of others, amounting to some millions of £s. stg. This scandle brought to be exposed will do immense good in the country. Other high officers if examined into would be found as bad or perhaps worse. This exploded by the parties bringing a charge against the Judges secretely. He moved the responsibility on to the Judge. The Judge are a charge of fraud & defamation of character got the secretary pitched into prison. Little thinking that the secretary had kept copies of his instructions to him, both playing their cards out of one hand some times, and separately on others as circumstances required. The Secretary after being imprisoned appealed to the public through the press. Same of which has handled in a masterly manner so much so that the whole of the corruption has came to the surface. The Standard say very little of the matter, leaving it as he say amongst themselves. There are three or four Spanish papers printed here now that is a terror to the Government & those occupying high & responsible offices. They have to mind their P's & Q's now to be able escape their vigilance. Their old plain & careless way of robbing the public will not do. All such offices here are dens of corruption, hence the delay & annoy once in getting any business dispatched, where money or property is in question. The wool market here is still holding 10 or 12 dollars under November rates. It's in complete stand still, neither growers nor buyers seem inclined to give way. Such a strain has never took place between them before & both seem determined to hold out. But a few months more must invariably bring one side or the other to business prices. The European market will ride all here, & a rise or fall there will have its effect here. Patt Browne of Gardames, who was at home by my time, got married to one of the Brownes of the Moore & came out here soon after, is himself & children about to start for home next April or May. His wife died of small poc [pox] about twelve months ago & left him with a young helpless family. Browne's brother-in-law Mathew Pender, I believe had faced in Bail Grade at one time, left here for home last Jany. He has taken some cash home with him & I believe was not very particular hard it was got if caused he got at all. I with several other countrymen was staying in a Hotel with him at one time, where he made a clear attempt at the purse belonging to a Widow woman, a near neighbour & a most confidential funds (as she thought) of his own. Through a pretended interest in her welfare & a false friendship he very high succeeded in robbing her of her Wool money, some 50,000 dollars. He sought change of a Bill from her that evening, his object was to find out where she kept it that night, & he entered her bed room. But luckly she happened to put it under her pillow in place of under the mattress where he saw her take it from. Not succeeding in his search under the mattress he proceeded with the pillow where the process disturbed her & she gave the alarm. The matter was quilted down till morning, when it was found he had cleared out before any one was up. Of course the thing spread like it should do, so much for the want of something more interesting to tell you, perhaps it's not amiss to know him in case he drop into your neighbourhood. Browne, his brother-in-law is very different kind of man. I have almost run out my space before telling you that we are all well & all friends well. Ellen & the children are very healthy & desire kind love to all. They often speak of going to see uncle Martin & aunt Margaret & all the little cousins. My love to all, John.
P.S. Tell Mary Pender (the Hill), that James her brother is about to send for her in about a month time, & to hold herself in readiness. He is to send cash,