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Title: John James Murphy to Martin Murphy, 20 June 1865
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 Count1618
Genreprofits, politics, prospects, request for labourers, family, friends, emigration
TranscriptFlor del Uncalito
My Dear Friends,

Many are the occasions I would fain write to you, but business and other circumstances often times prevent me from embracing those many favourable opportunities. However, I mean not to let this one pass without reminding you that I will think and remember of you all as heretofore, and that we are all here in good health, a Blessing which I hope this will also find you all enjoy at home, thanks to the Almighty. Dear Friends, this winter has set in very rainy such as our winter some fifteen years ago. The camps are excellent in most places. Uncalito is amongst the flower. The sheep are very fat and increase has been exceedingly good. The following is a list of the number señaled-marked. Estancia flock principal 1,808 marked. 575 lambs = Lanata’s 1,500. Marked 464 = Pacheco’s 1,200 – 448 marked Kincan 1,200. Marked 375 = Donnolly’s 1,636. Marked 444 = William’s puesto or old place 2,180, marked 644 = Total: principal 9,524, marked 2,950, not counting the small flock 150 ewes. The above is only from the first lambing. The other lambing season do not commence till about 1st August. I am giving a young man (son of the Revd. Mr Brett [of] Rathmanee) an interest of 1/10 in the Establishment as Manager, but I may say I do all such business myself. This will come to his part about 24,000 $ or £170 per year stg., clear of expenses. The above amount I think would be a nice income out of all Haysland and Ballyconnor, and along with that our work is light and we are well fed if we choose. The climate and seasons you may see anything like it in Ireland, and for security of life and property I see no risk providing people carry themselves correct and fair. When at home I imagined these were great danger in living in this country, but this feeling took possession of my mind through a debility, and from the fear so much apprehended by people at home, as you remember how much we used to talk of these matters over our comfortable fire during the winter nights. But this has all vanished, and the danger I so much dreaded I find to be nothing more nor less than imagination and I now (whatever it has been from heretofore) see no cause for those fears, as I never saw an instance of murder or &c. without having been provoked and that in most cases caused through a drink and its effects. The War up the River I can say nothing of it yet, as there has up to this time been very little done on either sides, and we are not likely to hear much truth of how things are going. And I hope it will remain where we are sure to know little about it. I am commenced to build but owing to the season cannot do much this year. I am getting up a house of three rooms at the Estancia and also two small houses at two of the puestos for the shepherds. I intend (if I can reach to do so) to build a dwelling house at the Estancia next summer, also a wool room and large shed for the small flock and to shear under. I waited a long time for the bricklayer I now have. He is a countryman and very clever at his business. I am glad you did not send me out any one as they would be only fools at the business here, not so with the carpenter, as his work is much like home. He appear[s] a handy fellow. Look out for a couple of labouring men to send me out by La Zíngara next trip. She will likely leave here about a month time. I told the Captain not to neglect writing to you. Kate Cormack and John Patts are about sending for their sisters. You will likely have to arrange for their passages, that is to send them in my name. The same as the two men I order. I mentioned in my last something about selling off the shares in the Natl. Bank Liverpool. If you think well of doing so, pay the passage of the two men I send for. If there be any other men coming out on their own hook, tell them I or William can give them employ if they choose to come out to Salto. Jams. Moore was speaking to me before I left home. I don’t know what you think of him, however I will leave you to yourself to choose as you can do so better than I can. In some previous letter I spoke of Martin Doyle. He refused complying with my orders to go out to my new place, but I think he was put up to it by a man on the place, whom I have since got shut of. Outside of that he has been a very good man. Furlong & Carr also good for has got an exceedingly stout man, and Willy Furlong has got very fat and stout also. Matt & Mrs Connor is with me now. They are only beginning to learn the work of the camp. Matt is very industrious and willing. If it’s a thing I build the big house next summer, of course the first thing I want then is some one to take care of it. It’s probable I may go home for one. If so it may be that some of you will be inclined to accompanying me out to this country again. There’s a talks here the Philip Lambert, Ballygilane, is about coming out here I am thinking the longer people stops in that country the worse for themselves, as things is getting still worse every day. And I am quite satisfied that there is no change of laws or anything else likely to be made that can be of any benefit to the tenant farmer, as there will be always some gap left open by which the Landlords will be able to keep the tenants nose to the grinding stone. And in case that Phil Lambert is compelled to come, I consider it a lucky circumstance for him, & to do so, while he has anything to take him, the change is sufficiently proved by what those men can say now, that had to leave home and come to this country under similar circumstances. What surprise people most on their coming to this country is to find it so much different to what they expected it to be when at home. The generality of people at home thinks we are living in a half civilized, half savage, a sort of desert wilderness such as we read of in Sin-Bad the Sailor, and other like fairy tales. The five years that I was at home, there were a greater change effected towards the enlightenment and the social life and happiness of foreigners living in this country, than there were for all the previous years of its Independence. My Dear Friends, you can with confidence believe me when I tell you (as I have on all occasions been truthful and sincere with you), that either with a family or without one, a man can live more happy and independent here, whether with half or 1/3 interest in a flock of sheep, than the best of your farmers can do at home. And I am sure Jame’s 1/3 of Rincon flock is another proof to the truth of what I say. Dear Friends, had I any hope, as could I calculate on any of you ever coming out to this country, I would endeavour to hold on to the whole of my last purchase. The camp no doubt will after some time be worth double the amount that it cost me, or that I could get for it now. Also my position would be more adapted and my means better suited to accommodate you in case either of you or you all would ever think of coming out to us. If there be no man coming from the neighbourhood but the two men (that would likely come out to my place) but the two you send me, you might as well send three men out to me, as I shall want them all. This year we have been very scarce of hands. We were a great part of the time with no man but those that were in charge of the flocks. And William was still worse off as himself and one man had to mind three flocks at the Estancia. I had to put off building till too late a season for want of hands to tend the bricklayers. In my last I sent home a Bill of 8£, two for Frank’s mother and six for Moses Browne (Kishee), though the Bill was in William Furlong’s name. You have had a nice laugh at the blunder I made of it. Dear Friends, I expect by the time you receive this there will be something of Margaret’s wedding whether it is to go on or not. May God and his Blessed Mother direct her for the better, not recollecting of anything more to say now than recommending my love to you all, and believe me to be ever and faithfully your very sincere and affectionate Brother, John Murphy
P.S. Direct your next letter as follows till I see if it come safe, send paper also as I cannot get any.
Sr. Don Juan Murphy
Estancia Flor del Uncalito
Buenos Aires