Australian Access Federation

You are here: Home Corpora Corpus of Oz Early English 2-211 (Raw)

2-211 (Raw)

Item metadata
addressee author,female,Menzies, Margaret,22
Narrative Discourse
Word Count :
Plaint Text :
Private Written
Clarke, 1992
Document metadata

2-211-raw.txt — 11 KB

File contents

Saturday 29th February
Passed a very uncomfortable night at Wollongong suffocated with spirits & tobacco & eaten up by bugs. On Sunday called at Dr John Osborne's rather a Gentlemanlike man but not as sterling as Henry & Mrs John the most unladylike lady I had seen for a long time - the children Bah! want civilization sadly.
Proceeded in the afternoon to Marshall Mount 15 miles Mr H. Osbornes & met a very hearty welcome. Mrs Osborne a very gentle nice woman, hope to know her better & Mr O one who I think will be a valuable neighbour to dear Bob - they wished us to remain but I felt anxious to finish my journey and we left next morning calling at O'Mere's on the way where I had my first meal in a log hut & enjoyed it very much - arrived at Kiama about 5 afternoon 3rd March, heartily glad my journey was at an end but surprised the Alexander MacLeay had not reached this harbour before us, we remained in great anxiety respecting it until the Monday following when she arrived & our cargo living & lifeless in safety but the former quite sick of the sea - that evening & the next day the 12th March got all our goods on shore & took possession of our 3 rooms which we rent from Smith at £2 per week. Robert had been to the Farm the 2d day after our arrival here & saw our huts commenced - he & Charles have been going every second day since but Connor the carpenter being given to drink gets on very slowly & keeps us anxious about being settled there before winter sets in - Robert is very much pleased with his property which we have named Minamurra from the violet which bounds it in part & every one says he has been very fortunate. Were we only there which I trust we will be soon I have no doubt we should with the blessing of God get on very well - Charles went to Sydney a fortnight since & hired a Farm servant who arrived here last Saturday and on Monday he & Charles went to Minamurra & commenced erecting a hut for themselves which they took possession of last night & intend being busy erecting our houses & putting in some garden seeds &c &c. John Cusack is a strong & seems willing man, an Irishman, hope he will turn out better than Garrit Lynch our first servant who was sent to Wollongong to bring back the horse I rode - got drunk - was put in the watch house & did not return till a day after his time - he was dismissed instantly for his conduct most happy I was to get him off having disliked him from the beginning. [171]
Robert went to Wollongong yesterday. I expect he will return tomorrow evening - feel lonely when he is absent having little variety of work to amuse me - Kiama is a very pretty place to be sold in town allotments & will be most convenient for our sending our crops to Sydney the harbour being such as to admit of small vessels. The coast is very indented [?] to numerous pretty bays & diversified [?] rocks indeed had we only ruinous castles & valiant knights there could not be a more romantic country - you may lose yourself amidst the vines & creepers of an interminable forest & in five minutes if you be like minded throw yourself from a precipice into the Pacific Ocean.
There is no society here & I sometimes feel that we have left a great deal behind us there is some chance of our becoming savages but while dear Rob is happy I ought to be so too & certainly the great improvement of his health more than makes up for many comforts enjoyed in Scotland which we cannot expect here - intercourse with well bred people "one" Mrs H. Osborne is the only Lady near me I expect to enjoy - went with Robert one day to Mr [Michael] Hindmarshs Alne Bank. Mrs H a regular dowdy & a currency - Kind & well enough but quite a money making couple seemingly now although money is all very well & certainly the great cause of our coming to N S Wales it ought not to be the sole aim of creatures born for nobler purposes & I trust neither R C J or I will ever so far debase ourselves as to make that the chief aim of our existence which should only be sought in so far as it may increase our own comforts & the means of doing good to our fellow creatures in need - had a walk this afternoon took Morwen & Tay with me, when shall I be on the Banks of the sweet winding Tay again I do not like to be so long alone it only makes me think of & long after home & its dear minister & all to no purpose I wish I had a letter from Minnie or some one else how many changes may have taken place since last September. [172]
Friday 19th April
Some weeks since 3 emigrant families arrived in the harbour to take a clearing lease on Mr Robbs farm - they are from the north of Scotland & only 2 of them can talk English - poor creatures they have been badly off since coming here living in the bush & before they got a hut erected suffering from the rain which commenced about that time as well as from hunger having brought no provisions expecting to receive them from their employer & finding they could exist no longer in that way they have procured places elsewhere - one man goes to Mr Stevenson - the Mackenzies to Mr Osborne & the Smiths as yet undecided whether to go to Mr Osborne Capt [J. G.1 Collins or come to us - we took one of their boys James who is just beginning to understand what he has to do & his Father takes him to Marshall Mount which I am sorry for, we are uncertain about taking his Brother who is a smarter boy but of inferior disposition being pert & not given to tell the truth I fear however if he comes I will try to drive that out of him. 
Thursday 25th April
Robert and I set off to Marshall Mount remained at Minamurra 2 hours while the rain lasted & reached Mr Osbornes by 6 oclock, was more pleased with the hut at the Farm than I expected - wish it was finished Charles & John Cusack living in primitive simplicity working hard - Robert left Marshall Mount on Saturday taking a Timor Poney with him which he exchanged with Mr Osborne for old Charlie & very glad R was to get rid of the lazy beast - on Saturday Dr Alick Osborne & Family dined at Mr H 0's & on Wednesday Mrs B & I went there to dinner - they seem a nice Family much more agreeable than Dr John Osborne's at Wollongong - Mr H O went on Tuesday to the Kangaroo ground with Mr Brown.
When we arrived in the Colony the country was in a dreadful state for want of water and from that time 2d January till about the beginning of April we had scarcely a drop of rain excepting occasional thunder showers which did not at all benefit the ground - complaints were loud from all quarters of the want of water for man & beast & even in this district which is truly a Paradise when compared to other parts was parched & the grass withered up - every thing rose tremendously in price & dreading there would be no wheat crop next year ships were to be sent to foreign parts for supplies - first flour is now 46/- per cwt & second do 43/- an immense price & actually ruinous to those who like ourselves are newly arrived and have to lay out money for every thing - we ought to be thankful for having the needful and trust next year may be better - [173] the rain came on about the 1st April we had several days of continued & heavy rain which has done an [NN] deal of good - it is truly wonderful the change that has taken place I could imagine I saw the grass growing & although we have had some very dry days since what before was a field of black earth is now covered with green grass & although short affords a good picking for the horses - Winter commences next month & I trust we may have yet abundance of that most necessary article, rain which would quite change the present aspect of things & make us all look cheerful.
Monday 6th May
The first dray load of things went to the Farm; house nearly finished on Friday 10th Mr Tait (Rev. John Tait), Presbyterian Minister at Wollongong dined with us on his way to Shoalhaven & on Sunday Dr EG. U.I Alley - Mr Brown & Mr Annesley came about 11 oclock the two latter gentlemen to see the district - they lunched with us & returned same afternoon - Monday saw Mr Tait again, Robert went to Minamurra in the afternoon was called to see a man at Shoalhaven who was said to be dying - he set off [?] with the messenger had some tea here in passing & did not reach Shoalhaven till 6 oclock; found the man not so ill & came home next day very much knocked up - hope he will not be called away again is a great nuisance & he is not fit for exertion - before he returned on Tuesday evening a whole cavalcade had arrived here from Wollongong consisting of Lady Franklin, the Governor's Lady of Van Diemen's Land & companions.
May 18th
Left Kiama May 18th Robert came to Minamurra 2 days before & is much engaged with a man at the Mills who had his hand dreadfully lacerated so that when Jessie & I arrived here we found no one to welcome us & the hut in sad confusion - set about making tidy & by the time Bob came from his Patient had tea ready - only 2 rooms finished then one serves as kitchen & Jessie's sleeping place & the other as our bed room sitting room &c &c - Charles slept in a place off the store erected by himself & John Cusack - very busy afterwards inspecting china &c & soon managed to make ourselves comfortable in the one room where we remained for 4 weeks - had 2 visits of Dr B Brien 1 of Dr Alley & 2 from Mr Tait during our stay there & could not have believed some time ago that we could have put up with so little accommodation & at the same time had things tidy about us - found one sofa most convenient for sleeping on, it was made down every night & up in the morning & was really useful - Mr Tait remained a night with a Mr Reid from Greenock & fortunately our second bed room was so far finished as to admit of his sleeping in it - funny that a Minister should sleep the first night in it - we are now 24th June fairly settled & confortable in a nice sitting room 22 feet long containing a side board - Piano-----Book Case Sofa - large table & 8 chairs & a snug bed room off it where we have many mercies & comfort to be thankful for - getting a Porch made at the door - weather excessively cold - 5 assigned men assisted on the 23d much to Bob's joy who will now get on with his opperations... [174]
Wednesday 17th [July]
... white cow died Tuesday obliged to buy milk again much good we have derived from Mr Osborne's cows truly - we know what we know - during Bob's absence had Gardener here putting flower borders in order and sowing vegetable seeds in small kitchen garden behind the house vines planted round the walls & 4 fruit trees. Dr Alley fixed on coming to Farm in our neighbourhood - hope they may prove pleasant neighbours - Jessie put her wages in the Saving Bank - Tay had 5 pups, one died...
Friday 26th July
Dr Alix Osborne, Mr Henry Osborne, Holden called here former invited us to a dancing party on the following Monday - got loan of a horse from Mr Osborne & went, very tired & passed a wearisome night disappointed of half the Party - left about 5 this Morning - went to Marshall Mount & slept for a few hours intending to return home in the afternoon but prevented by rain - came home Wednesday Morning & think I shall not leave for some time again - saw no place like home - 
On Sunday 11th August James Ainsworth & Allen were Pleased to take to the Bush - Charles saw Allen in bed at 9 oclock & James was in at Players at half past 8; next morning both were missing - they were caught at Appin on the following Thursday. Robert goes tomorrow to see them tried at Wollongong, been very busy had a bullock killed last week & another this week have now plenty of Beef in the store - 
Thursday August 18th
Robert went as intended, to appear against our runaways on Friday 19th they were sentenced to twelvemonths work in an iron gang & to be returned here at the end of that time. R returned on Saturday afternoon. [175]
Minamurra 4th September
Took a walk on Sunday, with B & Charles and saw some beautiful creepers one a scarlet or crimson flower very splendid & another little simple thing as graceful, wish the folks at home could see them! -