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William Macky to Thomas Macky

January 28th, 1850

My dear Thomas
    I am quite sure you will be very much surprised to see the bearers of this letter (our Uncle and Aunt Baird with their family) arrive in New Zealand. Mr Baird sold his farm before November and always had intentions of going to New Zealand, but we never knew anything about Aunt Mary Anne going with him until eight days ago. We were greatly surprised about it and there is a great deal of anger among those who expected her money.
    The Taits are in a bad way about it. Gallaugh people are nearly as bad, but as we never expected any of her money of course, we need not care what she does. But I think there is no fear but she will do well enough. There was an old attachment between them. She has £280 to give him which, together with his own, he must have have a great deal of money.
    I hope you will do anything in your power to assist Mr Baird to lay out his money to advantage. He made me a very kind offer to take me out with him and defray all my expenses (I was to pay him of course when I would earn it) which offer I would certainly have accepted had Kitty been ready to come with us, but as she has not received any supply from you yet, of course she could not go. She is at present in Cootehill but they expect her soon in Carnshanagh as Rebecca is near her confinement and of course she must be there then.
    As I wrote to you before, the city house is broken up. Old Mr Cochrane married Miss Cowan and went to America. James Mills went to America also and died there shortly after he arrived. He left Joseph to settle with the creditors as best he could. The Chrisla people will lose a great deal by them-- Joseph £600 and Sam £300. I think had it not been for that they would have done something for Kitty but I hope you will be able to send enough to take her out. And I trust that I will be able in some way to get out along with her.
    My father is not willing that I should go; and as we could not get Coshquin sold my father and mother could not go. Perhaps you will think I should not leave them but if you for a moment consider my prospect here I don't know what else you could advise me to do. I have done all I could with my father for him to sell Kilfennan, and pay his debts which are accumulating every year. They are now upwards of £700 but he would not do it, so that we are labouring under great disadvantages; and it would be a hard case if I would have to stop at home to work all my lifetime to pay off debts which there is not the least prospect of us every being able to do. If he had sold Kilfennan we would then have been on clear footing in Coshquin, which, bad as the times are, we might still have made support us in independence. He has written to James to say that if he would advance him money to pay his debts that he would bind over Kilfennan to him, but I am afraid, though James be doing ever so well in business, he would not have that much money to spare out of his business. Even if he had I think if ever he comes home he will get many a nicer place to buy than Kilfennan. And if I go we might be able to send home something every year to help to pay the rent. However, may God direct us what is best to do.
    I have not much news to tell you but what Mr Baird will be able to tell you better than I can write. John Cochrane was married to Miss Thompson and has gone to Australia. He went out in a government ship as a free passenger to Port Philip. Aunt Dunn is living all alone in Glenlough. She could not get her place sold and I don't know how she will manage. Mrs Cochrane of Chrisla is at present in Glasgow Asylum. She has been a long time deranged but not very ill; he intends keeping her there for six months and if she is not better then he will bring her home again. Mr Cochrane is still to take his water. He is rather worse this while as he is greatly annoyed about the city house affair.
    There is not much change about Derry since you went away. Mooney is very angry that you have not written to him. He is still in Mr Thompson's. The McCaulys are still there but Green has got the sack. I think he is not doing so much business as when you were there. Indeed, times are very dull now. There is a good deal of talk about doing away with free trade and putting some protection on the corn but I am afraid it is all talk.
    The tenants of the Templemore estate have had a public meeting and petitioned Lord Templemore for a reduction of rent. They have not yet received an answer.
    We were very glad to hear of James' success in business but we were at the same time grieved to think that his heart is so much set on this world as to make him forget his eternal welfare, but we hope that he will see the folly of depending upon the comforts of this world and lay up treasure in heaven that his heart may be there also.
    I think your California trade must pay well as from what we see everything sells very high there. It would be a good chance if Kitty and I could get out in that ship of James & Co. He would surely give us a free passage.
    Joseph Cochrane is going to America. James Mills took out some goods with him to sell for the benefit of the creditors, and Joe will require to go to see about it. It is very strange how they could lose so much in so short a time.
    You said in your last letter that you never had a letter from Kitty, but did you not agree that she would not write to you until she would have a letter from you first. When she did get one she wrote immediately to you. Do not fear, she does not forget you and I hope she and I will shortly be with you. Maybe I'll not be very welcome, but no matter. I hope I'll be no bar then to any of you. I have written to you five or six times, might say eight or nine, since you went away. I must draw to a close. Father and mother and Dorcas join in kind love to you all and may God bless and prosper you is the prayer of

Your ever affectionate brother,
William Macky