Thomas Macky to Catherine CochraneAuckland
February 14th, 1851
My ever dear Kitty
With this you will receive a bill for £70, which John or anyone will get you the cash for. The bill will be drawn at San Francisco, as the barque, Helen Page, sails this day for that place and Mr R Graham will enclose it to you. I think it will arrive nearly a month sooner than if I were to send direct from this. Mr Graham goes to California this season in place of me, which I think is better for me, as, going away often you very soon learn to like roving. Thank God I am very well and happy here. I only wish you were out and I would not think of home.
I am kept very busy-- we ship to San Francisco this season an assorted cargo, potatoes, barley, oats, wine, beer, drapery goods etc. which I think will all pay well. We have had several arrivals here from home but no letters. However, I dare not blame anyone. God knows, although I do not write, you were never absent from my thoughts but I had nothing satisfactory to write.
I must make this a very short letter as Mr Graham goes on board immediately. The William Hyde will sail for London some time next month. By her I will write you full particulars, but should you receive this long before she may arrive do not wait for it but come on the first ship. August or September is the best time to leave. I sincerely hope that my father, mother, John and Rebecca and all will come along with you. I wrote to John per John Wesley and urged him to come out. I trust he will come. Our church is still supplied by the Wesleyan minister which is really very kind as they have a great deal to do for their own.
If you can bring a good faithful servant girl with you, try and do so. They are the worst lot here I ever knew. If all came, there may be a good arrangement made with Willis & Co to get the whole cabin of the vessel. I think with so many coming out, and bringing a good quantity of freight, the passage in the cabin will not be more than £30 or £35. It might be well to bring some little necessaries in the shape of food for the voyage as in some of the Willis' ships the passengers complain of a stint of that. In the Duke of Portland we had abundance but some are not easily pleased. I think you will enjoy the passage. I like the sea very much-- do not bother about bringing anything with you, everything can be obtained here nearly as cheap as at home.
I am very sorry to have to inform poor Thompson's friends that he is no more an inhabitant of this world, he died last night of apoplexy. He went to bed apparently well last night and was found dead in bed this morning. Poor fellow, he was a good deal addicted to the use of strong liquor latterly. I used to remonstrate with him but he would only say "I know that I am a wretch". He lived with Mr Brigham.
I must conclude. God bless you and send you in safety to this land. Remember me to all. I have not time to write to any but yourself, at this time. I trust ere many months go about to be able to tell you all without writing. Do all you can to bring Rebecca and John-- I think my father and mother will surely come. James is about buying some land near where Mr Baird has bought. The weather has been very hot for the last four or five weeks, hotter than I have experienced it here yet.
Farewell for the present, pardon this hurried epistle and believe me, my dear Kitty,
Your ever loving,