|Title:||Normile, Michael Jr & Bridget to Normile, Michael Sr, 1855|
|Collection||Oceans of Consolation [D. Fitzpatrick]|
|Sender||Normile, Michael Jr & Bridget|
|Sender Occupation||storeman, carter|
|Origin||Lochinvar, N. South Wales, Australia|
|Destination||Derry, Co. Clare, Northern Ireland|
|Recipient||Normile, Michael Sr|
|Genre||description of the colonies|
|Transcript||Lochinvar April 1st. 1855|
My dear Father
I am to inform you that I received you welcomed letter on the 25th. March dated January the 1st. 55 which gave me and my Sister an ocean of consolation to hear that you my Stepmother Brothers and Sisters are in good health thank God. As for my uncles and Aunts ]erased: you never mentioned a word about them but] I hope they are in good health too at Same time, this leaves us in a perfect State of health thanks be to our Blessed Redeemer for his goodness towards us.
I am to inform you of the present State of the Country. The Climate of this Country is far differant to home. The winter is coming on with us now it is beautiful weather the same as home summer. The summer we past was dreadful hot, the natives felt it warmer than they did, many years before. The hate from the Sun is not the worst, but hot winds blowing off the land from the Northern Countries that lays N. or N.E. We had a few days of hot winds after Christmass. I heard that some [erased: new] people got sun struck, in fact I was a day and I would give a mouthfull of money for a mouthfull of fresh air. I thought it was Strange to See Such hot weather in the month of December. You would See for Miles around, the Bush in fire, and some time there do a great deal of accidance happen such as wheat stacks burnt and wheat fields too. These hot winds I mention does a great deal of harm, if they happen to come on the wheat fields before they are cut. If wheat be as green as a leek [erased: growing] after a regular hot wind for one day you could burn it at night, and if it's ripe you cant toutch it for they heads all drop the Same as if you cut them, that is if you go to reap on the Middle of the day time.
I mean to inform you of the fertility of this Country first. If a man has a Farm of land, he can do very well. He sows wheat on the Month of April and it grows first rate wheat. After Curing the wheat he ploughs i t and put in a crop of Indian Corn. He has that off before he wants the soil for wheat that is two Crops in the one year. They grow two Crops of potatoes in one year. All the Crops pays very well wheat from 11 to 1 5 Shillings per Bushel of 6o lb Corn 9 to 11 Shis. per Bushel. So a man having
Land free can live very happily. When a settler has good crops and has the luck of gering them in his yard or Barn, he has a gold Crop -in fact every thing he grows pays him well but they have not plenty hands to work the Land. The same as home if a man grows hay in all his Farm Such as Barley or oats it is no good but cut it whilst it is green and make hay of it. Barley and oats is kept curing here the same as Clover at home if comes, rain favourable. Some years they cut the hay I mentioned four times. It grows as rank as ever you seen it growing at home, and even they wheat if it is sowed early and comes rain favourable you must cut it when it is starting out on the air and then it is as good as ever. It shoots out a second crop and grows not as rank as the first then it is all right. This last year it was not Cut in many places for the weather being so dry for a long time. They have another kind of hay they call Loossom [?lucerne] much the same as clover. They cut that too, 5 or 6 times a year. Hay pays a man very well in this country. It is from 12 to 16 £ per ton. This Corn they grow pays well for it grows very numerous. They give it to their horses, or sells it to town people for their Horses. All these crops I mentioned and many more besides is grown on this country without Manure. The Manure of this Country is if their comes rain favourable.
I Seen this last Summer 4 months without a drop of rain and all that time hot scorching weather. You would See cattle strewed dead in water holes, or along the roads fine working Bullocks all for the want of water. There was no grass the weather being so hot it burnt down to the very clay. We have plenty rain from the month of Febuary last which renders the winter crop to look delightful. The grass is nee high in every place even on the roads.
You will get land here for Sale as much as you like from a 1000 Ac.
down to 1 acre, or otherwise you will get land here your rent the same as home. There is no poorrates or taxes but your rent to pay. You will get first rate land here for 1 £ an acre yearly rent that a pair of horses will work, the Same as home. If your take a clearing Lace [lease] you will get it 5 or 6 years free to clear it from Timber and if you built a house on it the owner must pay you for all improvements. A man wants a good Team of Bullocks to plough New Land and after it's ploughed once or twice with Bullocks a pair of horses will work it after.
A man coming to this Country he is nothing but a real fool for the first year especily Irishmen, for it is all the English system they have for working. If a an Irishman goes to drive horses or Bullocks here after he comming out from home, he might as well go whistle a gig [jig] to a milestone as to speak to them. I Seen Some people in this Country drive 10 Horses in a Team without ever a Bridle or rane to them. But a wissper just speak to them the Same as a commanding officer would to his soldiers and they would go here and there every place he wished, or even 12 Bullocks they do the Same.
This country is populated by every class and race of people. There is Irish, English Scotch, Chineas, Germans Yankees Natives and Blacks -and amongst all these there is no Employer so good as a Native.
A man in the way of earning Such as a Labouring man must be handy for many differant works. It's not the same as home. If he is he has work every day in the year, such as splitting timber for Fincing and making houses, for all the country houses are made of timber and many of the Town Houses are built of wood too. The split the timber whilst its green, for the Timber gets so very hard in a few days of the curing that no Axx or Saw could cut it. The roofing is cut 18 inchses long. They split them wide and narrow the same as slaiting and put them on the same as slaiting. They are called Shingles, the Timber they are split out of is called Ironbark. So a man must be handy to handle an Axx crosscut Saw and Adz. When harvest comes in he is sure of 3 or 4 £ a week if is a good reaper and able to plough. If he is that he is Sure of a good living amongst the settlers.
There is Some men in this Country and when they work for a week or two they go and drink their wages whilst it holds. A man having a comfortable living at home with his Family Convenient to Chappel and market and a good Bed to Lye on, I would advise him to stop there, for he has many ups and downs to encounter before he has a comfortable home in this country. A man convenient to Mass at home and comes here goes up the Country, for perhaps he may not get a place that would suit him convenient to the Towns. He wont See the Face of A Priest but once or Twice a year that is in Chrs. and Easter that is a Man with a Family.
A single man or woman is not to be compared to him for they are young and healthy to work and go about until such time as they can get settled in some kind of business for themselves. I would advise a young man or woman that has to work hard at home and has not much by it, to come here -although wages is coming down, for their is such numbers of people Emigrating to this Country from every part of the world.
If A man is a good horseman he is sure of good wages to go Stockdriving. A Stockmaster has 3 or 4 of these chaps along with him. This man has likely 4 or 5 Thousand Acres of Bush land. He has to go muster his Cattle Twice a year to Brand them. He goes for months riding about himself and his men Collecting his Stock to the Stockyard to get them Branded. He has A horse with a pack on to carry some flour and a water cagg [keg]. At night when he thinks to rest Lays down his Saddle as a pillow and throws a Blanket over him. Before he does that they make a fire down cuts a piece of Bark off with his Tommyhawk and makes a loaf of bread on it what they call a damper and makes his tea and has supper and what cade he has mustered all day generally stops convenient until morning for they give a good dressing of the stockwhip to them. Perhaps he comes once a week to his stock yards with what cattle he has, young and old. He brands the young and takes the Fat cattle to Market. Every thing is sold here by Auction at Market such as, Horses Cattle, sheep, pigs, and Land too.
It would take me too Long to let you know how people makes money in this Country. There is some of them that adores money before the Almighty such as them that thinks to make a fortune in a few years and go home. They go hundreds of miles to Diggins and every other place for money and the never think they are to Dye. A man cant make a fortune here so very quick if he minds his Duty to God and keeps convenient to Chappel and keeps clean and regular cloths on which I mean to do please god.
Whilst a man keeps from Liquir in this country he is liked well, and does well. You should pay 3d for every glassfull of spirits, much the same as poison. I did not take much Liquir in this country since I come there, that did me no harm –but one day that was Patrick's Day I drank plenty that Day in Remembrance to the old Shammerick Shore. There is Colloniel wine sold here very cheap at 2 shillings a gollon first rate drink. There is extensive Vinyards in this country from 20 to 50 acres. There is beautiful gardens that grows first rate fruit all round this neighbourhood -and keeps growing fruit from one end of the year to the other.
My dear Father I am glad to hear that you are in good health and in good circumstances and all your neighbours the same. I expect you will keep my Brothers at Shoolas well as you can For I never will forget you for what education you gave me. There is plenty Swells in this Country that is worth thousands of £ that dont know the letter B from a Bull's foot.
I am to inform you that I received two letters from Michl. Carrigg and I send him two. He and his Family is in good health. His wife has got a young native a few days after Landing a daughter named Susan. He informed me that he sufferd a deal of hardship after landing and along the voyage his wife being very sickly. He is earning 2 guineas a week. I will shortly have him here along with me plase God. I was sorry for. Misses McMahon [erased: loosing] I heard she had a young son and dyed in a few days after. I mean Mary Neylon. They are in good health. Now I wrote a letter to Richard McMahon the day I recived yours and to Michael Carrigg. Bridget Neylons and My letter came together, on the 25th. of March we recived them. We had great pleasure in reading them Concerning yea being in good health and to hear of these young men that got Married. Both Bridgets are in good health and liked very well by their Employers, and so is Ellen Ford and Annora McDonough. The latter is growing to be a cleaver girl. They swear they must get Married since the heard of these that got Married at home so I must look out for them.
I am to inform you that I wrote a letter to my Sister to America 3 weeks after writing to you. I received no Answer as yet. I am expecting an answer every day from them. I would be very thankful to you if you send me Sinon Nunan's address in your answer to this. Patt McGrath and Michl. Gready is gone to Melbourn.
Let me know how his the Revd. Dean Armstrong and Family Mr. James and Patt Shannon. Ihope they are in good health. Let me know how is Misses Lysaght and Son and not forgeting my old hero Martin McDonell. You will let me know in your answer to this how was the potatoes crop the last year. Let Me Know how is Mr. O'Loughlin wife and Family Dennis McMahon wife and Family Martin Neylon wife and Family. I hope you will let me Know how is my uncles and Aunts or did John get Married yet. I was sorry for to hear the death of Mr. O Connors: bur it is all our fate to dye. It would be too long for me to mention all the neighbours one with another so they must excuse me for not writing their names here but at the same time I wish them all an ocean of happiness, for I had no bad Neighbour during my time in Derry. I know Margy Kean would blame me if I should not ask how is she. Mr. Browns Sister that Send you that News paper you shall get more of them if you fancy them. I can tell you that I send my letter before that Newspaper whatever delayed it.
Dear Father I had to pay 12 £ for my passage and every other man. The Females had to pay but 6 £ that is the first £ 6. The other 6 £ they had to pay in 12 months time was Cancelled. I had to buy some Colloniel cloths and Boots which takes away a good deal of money. I must conclude by wishing you all the happiness this life can afford and etternal happiness in the next. Belive this to be the constant prayer of your beloved Son and Daughter
Michl. and Bridget Normile
We join in Sending our best love and Compliments to you our Stepmother Brothers and Sisters. I wished to God you came to this Country when you was young and able to work as you were a good while ago. You would be a happy man.
Dont forget in sending the children to shool and I will find a better place for them than to stop in Derry.