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3-030 (Raw)

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addressee,male author,female,Brown, Eliza,41
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Hasluck, 1977
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3-030-raw.txt — 6 KB

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Grass Dale
November 26 1851
My dearest Papa,
Again you have an enormous packet of letters but without the usual apologies, which I am ashamed to offer upon again sinning in this respect after all the promises I have made of reformation. The fact is, this is an important time in the history of our colonising and I wish you to see how we stand publickly, privately and pecuniarily if I may use the term, and I do not know better how to inform you more genuinely than in the chit chat we have amongst ourselves.
If my letters have come to hand you are informed of the change that has taken place in our views with regard to going to Champion Bay, it is settled now that we become denizens of the Town; Mr. Brown has preceded me and is now in Perth doing the duties of his appointment as Police Magistrate which requires his daily attendance at the Court House to pass judgement on the offences committed against the peace of our Sovereign Lady the Queen.
When the new Colonial Secretary comes out we shall all go down to Fremantle for which place Mr. Brown is appointed, but is doing the duties in Perth now until Mr. Yule the acting Colonial Secretary is at liberty who will be Police Magistrate in Perth. You see the introduction of convicts is doing some good to us a private family and to many who have long been struggling settlers. If it should not be a pleasant place to reside in in after years, we seem likely from one source or other to have the means to quit the place if it suited our inclination to do so, but I am still a stickler for the advantages of this place notwithstanding all that has been said to its disadvantage; it would lead into too long a discussion to enumerate them. I never thought our slow and difficult progress attributable to the country but to the frittering away of its capabilities, in the first place by people being unaccustomed to the task they set themselves about to perform. Gentlemen turning labourers etc. at which they generally cut but a very poor figure, literally wearing themselves out at elbows and in very few instances putting money in their purse, for so great is the expense at which they do things that no profit remains out of all their labour, the products of the earth are more valuable than riches! more precious than comforts! [132]
To give only two instances out of many - a gentleman came home from the Salt river a distance of about 35 miles with a load of salt in his team. He had worked hard by way of example along with one or two men in collecting it. He came home weary and sore all over having stood in the briny water for hours together under the rays of a burning sun collecting it. The horses were unharnessed and the waggon or dray left some little distance from the house at the end of the pool. It was in the month of February. In the night tremendous rain came on, the first of the season, indeed rather before the season, and quite unexpectedly. Out runs this gentleman with a large and valuable Witney blanket in his hand and another over his back and carefully covered the precious mineral, for salt and sugar will melt but Witney blankets will not melt. I question if a thought whether they would or would not ever entered this gentleman's head but I have heard his wife say and smiling when she related this anecdote illustrative of her husband's zeal that the unfortunate blankets had lost all their niceness and one a great deal of the quality of comfort it had been wont to impart from the dampness to the touch ever since the briny immersion even if it had been well washed and dried.
Then after harvest, after the corn is threshed how many kind and good housewives have obeyed the call with alacrity to bring out their sheets, there is a sudden breeze and the wheat must be winnowed immediately, this sieve I have made myself! The wire was dreadfully expensive, it cost what three sieves would do in England, but there is no pleasure in them, there is nothing like doing a thing yourself and having a great deal of trouble about it, the trouble is a pleasure and never did sheets look so beautiful in the eyes of a wife than when put to such a purpose, why they do their part, passively it is true, in assisting the industrious settler, what could be done now without the sheets? Without them we should not have bread to eat. By and by it is astonishing how fast the sheets begin to wear and why they are all over holes already. Well! things do wear out faster in this country a great deal than they do in England!
Now the way for three of my boys seems very clear though it is dangerous to look into futurity. What may be the will of an over-riding Providence we cannot tell, but calculating upon human probabilities it is likely Kenneth will in a very few years be the settler at Champion Bay, Aubrey in one of the Govt. Offices, perhaps clerk to his Father, a very good beginning but he is too young as yet (though a very intelligent boy) Maitland the settler at Grass Dale. [133] In the meantime Grass Dale will be let most likely to Mr. Cowan (Native Protector), that is the house, vineyard, paddock etc. The Farm part is already let as I have told you before. It seems astonishing to me after all the pulls there have been on your fortune that you think of settling the £2000 pounds we are indebted to you on me. If it cannot be carried out I shall still feel extremely grateful as indeed I ought. The package is a delightful one. Alas! I have not heard from my Sisters. How much I deplore for Anna in her irreparable loss. Dear Aunt died as a good old Lady might be expected to do, she had found mercy, grace, peace in Him who is faithful. The account of her last hours is very edifying. I pray God that I may be enabled to lay it to heart, thank Mrs. Bussel again and again. I will certainly not fail to write to her. I have not had the consolation of knowing for certain that you have heard from us and I have written much and anxiously, so has Mr. Brown.
My dearest Papa
Yours devotedly and affectionately
Eliza Brown