Thomas Macky to his parents, John & Eliza MackyAuckland
December 17th, 1850
My dear Father and Mother
I embrace the present favourable opportunity of the mission brig, John Wesley, a fine fast sailer, to write a few lines to you.
We are all, thanks be to God, very well and happy. I have not had or seen a letter from anyone but one from Kitty and one from William for the last 12 months. We had two papers by the barque Camilla which arrived here from London a few days since, but I can hardly blame you for not writing as I have been very remiss in that myself. I must make up for past neglect.
I wrote a short time since and mentioned that I thought I would be home myself, but I have not much hope of that now as the way in which I was going it not likely to prove successful. I do not think we will be shipping anything to California this season as we have had but poor account for it. The heavy losses that have been already sustained in connection with it make every one very cautious in dealing with its uncertain markets. There is nothing like a steady business.
We have a most excellent business here, enough to make any reasonable person content, and I would much rather go on quietly than go rashly into speculation. Captain Dacre wishes me to stop here, and if any shipments are made I am to have an interest in them. Indeed, both James and he have been very kind to me and very liberal, and with God's blessing I am not afraid but I will yet be very well off. I do not care for riches, give me sufficient for my daily wants, I ask no more, and that I have never wanted.
What I write most particularly about now is for you all to come out at once. Sell everything at what you can get for it and invest every fraction in goods. I enclose you a list of goods that will suit well for this market. We have invoices of the same description of goods at 50 per cent advances. Mr Baird brought a very foolish lot of things, old trash that would not sell anywhere. You must not attempt to buy yourselves but I will send you an introduction to R Brook Esq and go entirely by his instructions. Put the list into his hands and buy according to what funds you may have. I will write you again more particularly about the passage and if you attend to what I write you will find the passage agreeable ad comfortable.
Mr Baird is now comfortably fixed in a most excellent farm. He says himself there is no soil in Ireland half as good. He has got great praise from the surveyor general for what he has done to it. He has about 40 acres cleared and ploughed and about 30 acres in crop, built a very comfortable house and in about 12 months will be independent of anyone. Sam ploughs all himself. They have not employed anyone to labour since they came here except to clear the land and a carpenter to build the house. They are all gone down to live there three weeks since. I am going down to spend the Christmas with them and will have a run into the interior of the country.
Mr Baird tells me you are only waiting to hear from James to come out. Now I have given you nothing but a true account of the place all the times I have written and have written nothing without his knowledge and approval as I always asked not only his but several well-informed people's opinion. I once more ask you to come and trust me. As long as I have health and strength you shall never want. You can buy the finest land in the world for £1 per acre within ten miles of Auckland, close to a high road and nothing to do but burn the fern and put the plough into it and you have the benefit of water carriage to Auckland. Say you buy 150 acres, that is £150-- clearing say £60, fencing £60, and a house about £100. These are the outside of the charges. All you can make off it will be clear profit-- there are no taxes here, no rent, and you can now employ men from 1/6d, to 2/6d per day. I will not say you will make a large fortune but I will guarantee you will live well and comfortably and no annoyance. Do not care about £100 or £200 in selling but sell out at what it will bring. Do not fear, you will not want for nothing, there is plenty here.
I would bring any small things in the way of house furniture that will not occupy much room, and bring every kind of agricultural implements and seeds. Buy everything in London, but not yourselves. You will get them bought for about 1 per cent, and will save 20 per cent by it. The best season of the year to leave home is July, not later than the end of August, if you leave in...
(NOTE: Unfinished, apparently a manuscript copy.)