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3-104 (Raw)

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addressee,female author,male,Rogers, Frank,un
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Plaint Text :
Private Written
Private Correspondence
Niall, 1998
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3-104-raw.txt — 4 KB

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Yours of July 16th was received with others Dec 22nd and I assure you it pleased me much for I did not expect it. I will try and answer it to the very letter. In the first place we never have had what you call a Fog we have the rainey and the dry season. The rainey season commenced about the middle of April and ended in September. We commenced Stageing the 11th of October and have had only two storms sence and one of them was the day before yesterday it lasted about 4 hours and came down by the bucketsfull.
You say Fruit is scarce in Lynn, but if you were here you would say 'Lynn folks had a plenty' even if they had none. All our fruit comes from Van diemans land 600 miles. I have paid 75 cents a pound for cherries and [illegible] that 1 / 6 or about 37 cents for a fresh cucumber and 25 cents per pound for apples which was none of the best. You can travel 300 miles and not see a fruit tree not original this is a great country for comfort and ease where grows nothing but Possums Kangaroos and Gum Trees. I have seen about 200 Kangaroos in one drove some of them seven feet high and what is more Ive [sic] eat them and considered the finest flavoured meat I ever eat. As to the manners and customs of the people you must know the People are from all nations China included. and of all grades from the Gentleman with his Fifty thousand a year, down to the pauper pensioner who can hardly get his mutton and damper some make money, others lose it. But the most independent are the Yankees. those that dont like the country curse it and leave for California or some other place where a White Man is as good as a Nigger. There is one thing certain the americans get credit for their enterprise here. When they first came they found a cool reception among some classes but that class were mostly convicts, Old Lags and Ticket of Leave men. As to the manners of the people I must say they are rather hoy esk [?] everybody is for himself and the old gentleman for them all.
JAN 1ST 1855
The folks with whom I board at Caliban are of the real Old English stamp, I like them very much. It seems like boarding with Mr Hunting as they have a daughter about 18 years old and she plays the piano and sings first rate. [58] I have been teaching her card drawing etc for amusement.
The Hotel at Keiler Plains is rather different here the folks think more of a mans shilling than they do of him, when I stop here I generally go to sleep for the reason there is nothing to keep awake for.
I am glad you took so much interest in Helen. I hope James will give her as good advantages as you have got. You ask about Agriculture thriveing. There is but very little here at present owing to the high price of land, and the want of water, water in this country is very scarce. People in citys have to buy it out of carts, at the rate of one dollar and fifty cents for 150 gallons.
You say your [sic] a great horsewoman, hope you wont get hurt but if you were here I would soon show you how we do it. Perhaps you worl like to know how we drive. I'll tell you. Each driver drives 40 miles and has 8 teams to do it some 4 horses and some 6 horses. My rout is from Keilor Plains to caliban over the worst road I ever saw. The Black Forest is the worst, just immygeing a man driveing a 6 horse Coach from the High Rock over the range of hills, through the woods between trees and stumps, over rocks etc and you have a slight idea of our driveing in this country. I have to drive at the rate of 16 miles per hour over some parts, but in the Forrest which is 9 miles long it takes me one and a half hours to get through. In other parts we go at the rate of 10 & 12 according to the road. It is something never attempted in this country to go from Castlemaine to Melbourne in one day but we have done it in 9 hours, and now we have 2 oppositions but none can come up to our time for the simple reason they have got English instead of Yankee drivers and they dare not follow us. Think not I'm boasting but we have had more Presents and more complyments than all the drivers in Australia, and well do we deserve them for we do what they dare not, nor could if they dared. Tell Robert I am glad he is doing well it is my worst wish to anybody and should I chance to drop in to his shop unawares I hope he will ask me to take a cigar and walk into his loafing room. Tell Helen God willing I shall come back to see her tell Mother and Grandmother I often think of them although I do not write. Give my respects to all inquireing and believe me still to have some love for you I remain
You must excuse me from writeing more for when I arrived at Keilor Plains, after the Ostler unhooked the horses they all Bolted viz run away and I have been 4 hours in the Saddle looking for them. They gave me a hard chase but we finally got them minus some harness. I feel very tired but must close this for mail tomorrow.