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2-166 (Original)

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addressee,male author,male,Best, G.,un
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Private Written
Private Correspondence
Connell, 1980
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2-166.txt — 7 KB

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My Dear Brother
Time when fully employed flies quick and day after day passes almost imperceptibly but as Coulton says "Wisdom walks before it, opportunity with it, and repentance behind" had we the gift of prescience we are apt to think we could live to better purpose doing this and omitting the other so had I come out here 5 years ago in all probality I might now be rich but had I stayed at Richmond I might now have been in your much loved society but were you all here I would then give the preference to this place, as it is I may not be rich but having health & Gods blessing on my labor, shall live with rather less care & anxiety than in England and my children may reap the fruits if they are industrious, the want of which is often seen in the victims of the Emigration Society a parcel of useless drones who eat up the food without increasing the resources of the colony coming here with high expectations which when they find not realized they take to drinking & both men & women for the most part are living nuisances - [98] indeed we have quite mechanics enough of the lower order, the poor are sent from England to pauperize this Colony and relieve your parishes at the expense of this, we have of late had large importations of them, and furniture, but which furniture does not appear to affect us at present as on Account of the cheapness of cedar we are able to make up furniture at less expence and nearly as good looking being all solid it stands well while the english being veneered it is constantly coming to pieces, but to obtain a profit & get sale for his furniture a man must labor himself or he will gain but little, a good workman will not work for another under 7/ or 8/ - a day, while many indifferent hands work on their own account and do not average so much - I expect you have heard we have a new Governor Sir John Franklin, he was received with every testimony of respect, much is expected from him, and I fear more than is possible to be realized as of course he will act from orders, which however detrimental to the Colony must be adhered to, as for instance it is much desired to see the present system of land regulations abolished, we see occasionally a wealthy propritor making a large purchase or squaring up his property by buying a mile or two of rocky tier to save him fences - but the country beyond is but little explored - under the present system a man may spend some weeks or months in Seeking for land & when put up to sale it is snatched from him by the wealthy, or indolent, or the land jobbing Jew, the thing most desirable appears to be the sale of land at fixed prices, varying from 3/ - to 5/ - per acre with personal occupancy and improvements as the indispensable conditions at present there are many estates of from 1 to 5000 acres and some even 12000 acres and do not cultivate corn enough for the consumption of their own Laborers, but the whole in a state of nature for sheep runs allowing one acre for one sheep and for the most part boundary fences of rock or rivulet at once defeating the designs of the legislature & making us tributary for corn &c but in many places the land if obliged to be fenced in is not worth having at a gift and therefore requires to be searched for if required for small farms, there has been great speculations in Land, and in many cases losses have ensued, the land has been thought to be invaluable through a sort of mania, but which bubble has now burst as better land is found at Port Phillip & other places and then as to Town Allotments the holders have kept them back so long that now these are falling instead of rising except in very good situations those who came out about 10 years ago have enriched themselves by obtaing free grants of land and Town allotments and selling them without any improvements except fencing which has produced them thousands, many of whom have returned to England leaving others to fight about titles and quit rents to their ruin, a linen draper of the name of Cameron who lately returned to England has sent out 74 packages of chairs, and another of the name of Welch sent out Cabinet furniture bought of Siddons to the amount of £950 some of which is selling off by auction, another Linen draper of the name of Robertson left about 2 months ago intending to send out goods of all kinds, his brother managing the business in his absence as they are partners - there have been many failures here and not to be wondered at as many transact their business in a careless mad headed way and then escape by benefit as they call it of the insolvent act, two Carpenters fail'd to the Amt of £7000 they kept from 20 to 30 men and kept no books of course their contracts were lower than others and they took care to draw money in advance & left some of them unfinished - [99]
I go on much as usual in business but there is but little doing just now owing to a stagnation in the money market. I think I keep one man and an assigned servant who is very useful as he polishes & we are very comfortable having all the necessaries & some of the luxuries of life for which I wish to be thankful to the Great Giver of all good we have a nice little garden out of which we had some melons a short time ago, apples we have bought at 5/- a bushel potatoes from 5/- to 6/- the Cwt - we all live on very good terms having each others welfare at heart the business is carried on in my name and David has what he can do. James works for him now as a journeyman and has one apprentice, I have the trouble of looking after the orders & the money for which he allows me 5 per cent - Mr Cole has plenty of work in the building line, he generally attends Mr Price (Independent) D.B. the Scotch church & I Mr D [...] the two first are rather of the modern stamp but Mr Dowling has a very [...] congregation chiefly his own family (about 20 in all) but he Recieves a Stipend [?] as well from Goverment as Catechist or teacher to the convicts of as I have heard £150 per annum he is going to build a chapel, Mr Price is building one as large as that in the vineyard without gallery so we shall have plenty of chapels - Since writing the above the Governor has very properly stopped Emigration of the poor for the present, that Marshall ought to be hanged for the misery he has entailed on hundreds of poor sent out here and most of the female emigrants are on the Town - it is the rich settlers we want no one ought to come without some little money if it is only to keep them till they get into employ. I will send you a paper in which you will see a letter written by our Cole on emigration which is worth reading - people imajine [sic] there is employ as soon as they arrive & high wages forgetting it is only by strict economy & denial of many things which they may have accustomed themselves to, that money is saved, for London porter is 1/- per pot and gin 7d a glass butter 2/- per lb cheese 1/6 lb all of which may be dispensed with, there are so many of the convicts here equal to the free labor that they get employed first, being cheaper & on the whole as little trouble, as the greater number of the free in general are both idle & saucy as well as intemperate, habits they contract on board of ship in coming out.