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Title: John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 31 August 1873
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 Count1336
Genrewedding, moral commentary, illness, family, financial crisis, cattle business, request for labourers, horse races
TranscriptDear Brother,
Your letter bearing date July came to hand of the 9th Augst. & contained much interesting news. Much that we were glad to hear, and some that we would have been glad to hear differently of, but which will be found amongst all communities all the world over, and which the Law of Nature ordain it so. I was indeed glad to hear of Bessy's marriage. James I hope has laid a good foundation on which to build the future prospects of his remaining family, and I trust Bessy will always show that gratitude to him and those that were instrumental in procuring her a happy and independent home by her kindness to those she left behind. I am also glad to hear of you all going on so well, & that you have this year a prospect of good crop. Amongst the many things that I am sorry to hear is of Jas. Fortune, whose misfortune is more to be attributable to his own weakness than to any other circumstance. Some cannot control nor has not the strength to combat their own weakness. Consequently are floated away with the current of hope till suddenly cast ashore on the barren coast of despair and poverty, and only think of saving the bark when not a stick of her is to be found. Improvident, though sometimes good men, oftentimes, when too late find themselves in shallow water & has not the fortitude to pull against the stream. Another circumstance for which I would not say that I am extremely sorry for is the slight hope you entertain of being ever relieved of your own affliction. I saw two very bad causes of sore legs here, one with Brother Patt & the other with Mary Evoy. An English Doctor here prescribed the same for both, medicine to purge the system and drive all to the surface, & it had such a powerful effect upon Patt that he got frightened and ceased taking it from the fact of it having thrown out sore over his whole body & influenced his leg so fearfully that he dreaded being poisoned. It had the same effect on Mary. Both after having ceased to take it applied dock leaves heated against the fire & after a little time cured both most effectively. I will find you the Dr. prescription if I can get it & make a trial if you choose. This last three months we have been passing through a financial crisis and in the beginning very grave circumstances were apprehended. But it is expected the thing will pass over without many failures or any serious effect on the general business of the country. Many has been & is still very tight, and only procured by the best signatures at the rate of 18 to 24 per cent per annum. This last two weeks the market has been something easier, & best Bills can be done at 15 per cent, and for stocks at 12 per cent for 30 to 60 days. This tightness was caused here by a lot of land speculators who bought up lands along the lines of Railway & selling them off at immense profits. These parties draw on the Banks until several millions very swallowed in the business. The Banks, when almost too late formed their cash getting scarce stopped discounting, with the land fever cooling down. The speculation formed they could not sell, even for the price paid. And when their Bills of 30 or 60 days fell due failed to be able meet them. Since the rise in cash, the Government to relieve the public wants issued an Emission of paper which will relieve the tightness & enable the business men & merchants to proceed with their business. Another reason was that so much of the Wool of last season being held over in deposit till the late part of the season left merchants not able draw on their houses at home. Consequently the value of their wools not being in circulation bore heavily on the money market here. Many speculators in Wool who bought in the first of the season at high prices, lost fearfully indeed. One company here, but a very wealthy one, bought largely at 80 dollars per 2 lbs & sold in Havre at 45 dollars. This company has lost some millions of pounds sterling for the season, but they are able bear it, & will buy largely the coming season. The Wool this last month has rose very much owing to the good news from Europe. My Wool at the time I shipped it was valued for 64 dollars per arroba (25 lbs.). It would get today in the thin market about 76 dollars. Had I thought the rise would come so soon, I would not have shipped it as there is great risk of a loss by doing so. However, it may do well & many think it will. It will at least be a trial of the business.
Dear Brother, in case Anne Flood don't come out to us, send us some other person, say a steady single Woman, or say a Widow, even if she has a child or two, providing they be the age of 8 or 10 years upwards. Or say a man & his Wife if they have none but grown children say from 10 years up. Boys or girls of 12 years up are useful in this country, & can always find imployments. The man & Wife for their passage from L-pool to Bs. As. say £12 each, has to work collectively the both seven 7 months for their passage, or separately the man six & the Woman 8 months. Any other expenses they incur they have from the time they leave home till they reach here, they are accountable for, apart from the passage, & have to pay it in cash if they have it or otherwise work it in at the current Wages of the Country. I would prefer a steady girl or Woman if they could be got. It would be a fine chance for a Widow if she had hardy children of the ages above mentioned. Let me know by return of post if there be any such persons about, & if there be any that you think will answer send them on without waiting to hear further from me. John Wash (Main Street, Wexford) is a Director of the St. Patrick's Society formed here, & he can send out people at a reduced rate, which has been agreed on between the Society & the Lamport & Holt line of steamers. I have brought out within this last two months two men & their Wives. One I kept – one a month and the second ten days – & I find to have kept both too long. Any one but a Wexford person you cannot depend on scarcely one without a fault. I expect to start for Bs. Ayres on Monday next, from where I expect to dispatch this letter. I am going on the look out of buying a Ram or two for fine point, as I don't like the Ram I got from England. I have only two more of the four I kept, the other two I sold at £32 each. I will sell the other two at the price I get. I will leave the finishing of this tale in Bs. Ayres.
Bs. As., Septr. 5, 1873. I start for home tomorrow. We are to hold some Races at the Estancia on next Monday. I take out the prizes with me, two saddles, bridle, whip & spurs. They are to be private Races for horses of the neighbourhood, for our own amusement, & to be followed by a dance that night. We are all well. I got the letters &c. by Kate Cormack, all right. Kind love to all & I remain your Dear Brother,