Thomas Macky to his wife Catherine MackySydney
January 12th, 1855
My dear Kate
As I expect to leave tomorrow (Saturday) for Melbourne, I must write to you as I promised to-night. We had a very good passage up, delightful weather all the way and a fair wind. I cannot say I was at all sick and I was very comfortable indeed. The accommodations and living on board the Denny are so good that you can scarcely believe you are at sea at all. The passengers were all very agreeable and quiet. We had service on Sunday morning and evening. Mr Buddle preached in the morning and Mr Whitely in the evening.
We arrived here on Wednesday at 4 o'clock. This is certainly a very fine city, the buildings are magnificent, far beyond anything I expected. However, it is the dustiest place that ever I was in-- it has been blowing very much the last two days and there is a constant cloud of dust that almost blinds one entirely.
I went first to a Tom Donoghy, (James knows him well) from whom I received great kindness. He has done nothing but go about with me and has been of great service to me in every way.
Last night I was at a Mr Thomson's home. He once had a shop in Derry in Ferry Quay St and claims some relationship with us. He has a sister and a partner named Miller, also a Derry man. They were very glad to see me and were very kind. They have a fine house and have done very well here. Tom Donoghy took me to see old Mrs Barr (Aunt Mary used to lodge with her in Wapping). Poor old body, she does not seem very happy and wishes herself back in Derry. Tom says that her daughter-in-law and she cannot agree.
Today I went out with Captain Dacre to his house and have been there all day. Mrs Dacre is a very nice person indeed and the children are like her. He has three sons in situations in Sydney and one (also grown up) at home that is to be a farmer. They are all very quiet but very intelligent. I do not see a lot of change in him-- he is a terrible hand to grumble and talk.
Well, I must now tell you what I have done for myself-- which I am sorry to say is very easy told. The potatoes are not anything like the price we expected. We tried them at auction this morning and all that was offered for them was £12.5 per ton. However, we only sold five tons at that price-- and have since sold a quantity in small lots at £14, which I am afraid is as much as I will be able to get for them. I hope the Melbourne lot will turn out something better than this. However, we must only do the best we can as there is no use fretting about it. I think I will be able to make something by the purchase of goods at Melbourne which will make up a little for the low price of the potatoes.
Now my own wee woman must keep up her spirits and take care of her health-- if we have God's blessing with a little it will be all well. I trust that neither of us may have our hearts too much set on getting gain.
All the wee things that you want I will get and bring with me if possible. I shall be heartily glad when I have got everything done here and on my way back to Kate. I may not get away to Melbourne tomorrow-- if not I will write you again from Sydney as the William Denry will not leave before Wednesday or Thursday and I cannot get to Melbourne before Wednesday if I do not get tomorrow.
I trust in God to take care of you and the wee manny-- which I know He will do, and may you be enabled to cast yourself with faith upon His Almighty protection knowing that He careth for us, is the prayer of
Your ever loving husband,