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Dorcas Macky to William Macky

April 18th, 1853

My dear William
    I sit down to write to you hoping that you are happy and well and I trust you have arrived safe in Auckland long before this reaches you, and will be with our friends there. All of us here, thank God, are well and are getting along as well as we can. I am sorry to say we are cropping Coshquin once more and Kilfennan is let to different people as neither place is sold. We have had a very severe winter, as you know yourself, and there was no corn sown until the 8th of April from the severity of the spring as there was frost and snow all the month of March.
    Dada intends sowing 12 acres of flax, the Whitelea and the horse park and as he has got forward money for Kilfennan he will be able to purchase the seed. We have got potatoes in the bog where they were last year.
    Strange to say there is not a letter from New Zealand yet. Carnshanagh people and Mrs Alexander are very much surprised at Katy not writing. We do not know what to think. There have been a great many letters from the young men that went out last summer from Derry to Australia and there is one from William Macky who has begun carpenter work at Geelong and gets a pound a day. There was a letter from a son of Captain Allan, formerly of Buncrana, who mentions seeing brother Thomas in Sydney who told him he had been at the diggings and had got a great deal of gold. We think it strange if he was there that he did not write from Sydney where there are so many vessels leaving for England. But I hope you will not forget us soon, dear William.
    I left school in February and am now going in each week for music to Miss Hamilton at Shippinggate and can now play some tunes but I have a very bad instrument to practise on. Mr Watson continued the singing class through the winter, but he has now left Derry for London where he has got a situation. The class still meets every Friday evening and John attends it. The three boys sing very well, Samuel in particular. Margaret was with us for six weeks and is a very good child and Lizzie is thriving well.
    Mrs Ann Cochrane sees so badly that she cannot attend meeting. Rachel McNutt has got married to Mr Campbell, the school-master, and Andy McNutt has got Miss Brown of Glenlough and Thomas McNutt and one of the Mr Drums have gone out to Australia. The Hon Mr Gray is going to be married to an English lady with £5,000, and everything is settled for their marriage which is to take place in June.
    There have been a great many deaths this winter, there was scarce a Sunday but there was a shoulder-scarf or two, sometimes three on the pulpit. Mr Joseph Thompson of Ballgarnet and old Mrs Macky of Gallaugh and James Osborne of Springtown and old Mrs Macky of Tooban all died in March. James Alexander was very poorly all winter but he is now recovering and comes sometimes to see us. He still speaks of you as his dearest friend. George Mooney has for a long time been confined with rheumatic fever and is not well yet. Mr Andrew is quite well. Andy Rosborough is still in Mr Patterson's. He comes out sometimes to see us but it is principally for the purpose of going to Mr Wallace's as Sarah is come home. Mr Wallace's family are all well and I am sure if they knew I was writing to you they would have a good many loves to you.
    Aunt Dunn is quite well and sends her love to you but she has a great deal of trouble getting her money from Mr Jack Ashdown as Mr Dunn has left Derry and is gone to live in Scotland.
    Uncle James is here, he is very poorly and sends his love to you but he thinks if you and James were here his tobacco wouldn't last so long.
    Give my love to James, Ann and the children, Thomas and Kitty, Aunt Mary Ann and family and not the least share to yourself and may God bless is the fervent prayer of

Your ever affectionate sister,
Dorcas Macky