J.H. Watmuff Profile,
1 1859-1862 Bendigo, Dunolly, Sandy Creek (Tarnagulla), Loddon , (Mt. Hope Rush), Ararat, Chinamans Flat, Moonlight Flat, Mt William (trek with guide), Pleasent Creek (Stawell), Melbourne,
2 1859 Bendigo Melbourne 1862 Otago N.Z.
3 1863 Otago
4 1863 Otago to 1865 Melbourne
5 1865-1866 Melbourne
6 1866-1869 Melbourne
7 1869-1870 Melbourne
8 1870-1876 Melbourne
9 1879-1881 Melbourne
10 1881-1882 Dribs & Drabs
11 1884 Sydney & Misc.
12 Lusitania Voyage
13 Lusitania Voyage
14 Lusitania Voyage
15 Lusitania Voyage
16 and 17 England, letters and Journal
18 Garonne return Voyage
20 (Journal 19) Mildura
J.H. & Bessie Watmuff's Photos
Olive Watmuff's Photos
Journal 19 Mildura
[1893-05-06-Saturday] May 6th Wrote to Fred re my
affairs & Comm Bk matters and
[mortg]ages Josephine of??al?-
wrote her a ?note____Friday?
[1893-05-10-Wednesday] 10th Got letter with 2 months
rent – just as we were totally
stumped. 1st Popular Concert
Bessie conducted [connected?] with Chittey [Chitty]
& others, £9.0.0. The house just
paid expenses, with a few
shillings each for their [pains]
with it. 2nd Concert on the
20th. Poor house – settlement without means or money to
attend. Got a letter from
Bond – very dismaying read
narrated in same of present [&]
future prospects - letter from
Mrs. Melville – same tenor.
Charlie gone to work for
Ford, got loan of his horse for
a few days for his services
[to] plough block 9. Commenced
pruning vines Queens Birthday.
Wrote letter to Bro Fred.
Went to Mrs. McFadzens
Dow Avenue, Rehearsal in the
afternoon at Chittys, for the next
P Crt [Popular Concert] on the next Saturday week.
[Chi]ldren went to Congregatio[nal]
[pi]cnic. Wednesday afternoon
Bessies rehear[s]al for next concert.
[On] friday commenced to rain
[he]avily 3 days it came down
furiously Pumps sta[r]ted for a
[few] days – did not avail myself
[the/my/our] land having been well
watered from the heavens -
tho’ I wished I had tried
to water my Lucerne patch which was replanted & graded about a month ago. No further news
concerning the banks.
27 - Bessie wrote to Josephine.
29 Raining heavily in showers
fearfully muddy. Went to
Chittys – only Mr Crowther & Mr Lee attended rehearsal vo[ice]
dre[a]dful had to walk to & from.
Sent paper to Islip.
Received from Comml Bank
intimidation that 45 £10
shares was to [be] alloted us
& the balance £59, to remain
as a deposit for 5 yrs bearing
interest for the former at 5%
the Deposit [itself bearing] 4½% - not a
penny can we obtain to pay
off any of our liabilities.
We sent cheque for the whole
amount through my Brother Fred
requesting the probability of
raising something on the shares
& securities thus raised
everybody here in a similar fix – no money in the settlement
a most disastrous state to be
in. Bessie sang in the Concert on the 3rd – did not pay expenses – shall give them up. June 10th Rcd a letter from Pirani, enclosed was P O £1 also letter from my Bro Fred had seen Comml [Bank] authorities who are to allot me 45 £10 shares and Deposit receipt for £59.1.7 – they to discount & place it [to] my credit & allow [me] to draw cheques to that amount - replied accordingly. Also wrote to PW & Co who are pressing for their unmet £10 cheque which was not presented when Bank was [in] suspension.
12th Planted potatoes & onions.
Went to town called at P O, Shillidays about a horse which I must have to enable me to work the ground necessary.
17th Got letter & cheque for rent up to June 5 through my Bro Fred. Coml Bk shares not to hand as yet
19 Wrote to Fred in reply to his of the 17th Still pruning & looking after my vegetables etc
22nd Fine day Miss Biddle & Miss Ernst called very nice.
[1893-06-24-Saturday] 23 Saturday - Went with Bess in the evening, last (4th) of the Popular Concerts – slight increase in the attendance, but will not pay. So far Bess had not
received 1/- for the four concerts expenses swallowed up receipts. Road dreadfully muddy rendering it next to impossible people in the settlement visiting the town that combined with the suspension of Bank National, being the cause of non-attendance. Going to have a clearing up on Wednesday the 28th to discuss the chances of continuing the concerts.
25 Sunday - Visited the Evans several visitors there the weather during the last month has been very cold & showery – vegetables will not grow. Set potatoes last week & planted a lot of cuttings & things around the house – passion fruit & [sweaty fingerprints]
several varieties of vines - been busy, when not too wet, pruning our vines – got about 10 acres done.
29 Wrote to Fred – enclosed receipt T & Ex £1.4.1.
30 Went to town. Paid into National Bank cheque for £10.10.0 which we drew from Coml Bk I hope it be honoured so [h]as to be available to draw upon locally
July 1st Mr. Ford came & ploughed for a few hours Mr. Williams horse on trial run I will try to secure. Got a letter from Joe in reply to our request to Mr Lee to secure us an express waggon & harness
he has our order pending our arrangement re payment & forwarding
2nd I went for a long walk (for me) in the morning.
[1893-07-04-Tuesday] 4 Mr. Hewitt to tea - he is thinking of leaving Mildura Went to a Conversazione in the evening, Bessie sang *?Class (or Close) out house.
5 Went to Mildura - Called at the Cultivator Office, bonus Rode home with a neighbour Wrote to my Bro Fred also Mr Lee Re Buggy & Harness.
8th Sent Application to Secty of Agriculture for bonus.
4th Bessie & I went to Mr. Hewitts Conversazione ‘Independent’.
8th Went to Bank got £3-old deposits still not to hand Got from Graham 1 ton Chaff, £3.10.
July 9th Went for a walk morn. Evans in afternoon. 10th Wrote to Scott & Co, Re: Hawthorn rates. Got letter & £1 from Pirani. Bessie wrote to Mrs. Broadbent-Elwood. Put up addition to Stable & fowl house – bought the material from Shillidays. We finished our pruning vines. Mr. Lawrence planted 5 acres of oats – rented block £1 acres - pr [per]season for same.
[page 19-012, probably belongs here]
11th Bought 6 fig trees & 4 ?*Grape vines from Sturm & planted same.
12 Went to Mildura for things we wanted
13 Received a letter from Chaffey Bros – a claim for 2 quarters
interest, £22.15.0 which 1 qr was paid ending March by Contra Oats & Grapes & then leaving a balance for £4 odd in our favour Also received Telegram from Arther Lee stating he was sending waggon & harness which I must suppose my Bro Fred has arranged for anxiously awaiting further information. Wrote to Lee Re Chaffey Bros claim.
16th Went to Sturm who has promised if possible to prune my trees or else show me how to do them
18 Bess & I went to town. Wet called at Bank got our old
July 10 Bought from Sturm
2 fig trees Bk Turkey
2 - - White Genoa
2 - - ?*Bona ?*Vita
July 28 1 - - Loquat
19 Apricot Moorpark
[Nothing written on this water damaged page. Pages 19-014 and 19-015 have both bled through to this page]
deposit balance, also drew
£3.10.0. Met Mr Lee also
Mr Boyden re our proposal
to Chaffeys they hope we will
now be able to come
to a settlement within the
next few days. Went to
Will[i]ams, for stores, Very
much disappointed not receiving
a letter from my Bro who
I have heard interviewed Mr
Levien & Mr G Chaffey in
Melbourne Re our affairs
so I am very anxious on
the whole. I sent a letter to
24th Went to town early Went in
company with Boyden & Lee to
Chaffeys. Had a long confab, eventually agreed to our proposition on terms which will or are to be considered during the next few days which I hope will terminate satisfactorily. The Chaffeys are making great concessions in our favour according to their version. Found Mr Boyden – when he came up from Melb – brought a letter from Fred to us enclosed found a cheque for £1.7.0 being balance to our credit in Com Bank after paying Lee for the Trap & harness the latter is sending up through PW & Co. I hope he has arranged for the freight here as I have no means to pay same. Have not yet received any news
news of our preferential
shares which causes me much
anxiety, as everything is hanging
25 Sent a long letter to Fred
explaining how affairs stand
26 Went to town with Bess
called on Boyden & Lee. Went with
them to Chaffey Office too much
engaged to attend to us, but we was
informed that our proposition was
not entertained favourably.
We meet again for free Repostulating next Monday 31st inst. Sent
Telegram to Fred & also wrote a
Long letter to him & asking him
to see Levien Re our trouble
Visited the Williams & also
Chittys. Affairs look dark &
gloomy - altogether what with
one thing or another.
28 Went to town. Got a
telegram from Josephine stating
that I understand that Bro Fred had
paid all charges on trap & harness
& the same is now in transit so
we hope to get same early next
week. Sent letters to Bessie[’s]
Brother Pitts & to Miss Cherry & Joe.
Bess & I went to town Received
a letter from Fred enclosed scr[i]p from
Com Bank (£450 worth) which
I must get divided in a more portable
or negociable form. Went to Chaffeys
had interview with Waddington,
Chaffeys manager made another proposition which is to be at once considered, that is to give £300-0 worth of shares & give up 12 acres of land & we to pay all arrears of interest to date. Mr Boyden present, Afterwards saw Mr Williams & got an order from him to get possession of his mare that we had arranged for which we got home this evening - horse very fresh I hope it will get quieter after doing some ploughing. August 1th Went to town had an interview with Chaffeys in company with Boyden will not agree to our terms tho Fred say[s] Levien - at our instigation
who agreed to same, so many difficulties arose over the matter that at length Ive agreed to give up 2 addtl acres, which they at length decided to consider after which we went to Williams Got an order from him for Charley to get the horse I alluded to, from the Common where it is grazing.
[1893-08-03-Thursday] 3rd Augt Went to town – called at PW & Co. “Nile” not arrived in which our Waggonette & harness was coming. No news from Chaffeys Got the horse home, no good for us too fiery, Got the Buggy home. [1893-08-04-Friday] Augt 4 Went to town – told Williams to take the horse away as we cannot manage it.
Chaffeys now want us to agree to give them 4 acres additl & give them p[aymen]t £300 & pay up interest to date or they will give us title for 20 acres & accept a mortgage of the whole for £100. However we are to meet with them tomorrow when we propose to offer to offer them 3 acres additl which will leave us the house & 17 acres. This is the most I will allow so we are paying dearly for what we have – Chaffeys are very hard to deal with. Got a note from Joe Re the waggonette & harness. [1893-08-05-Saturday]5th Augt
Went to Chaffeys Office – would not listen to our proposal – informed
us of their views - - suggesting two propositions Viz 1st to give up 4 acres of the land we paying up back arrears of interest Etc & the £300 P.S,. 2nd to mortgage the lots 8 & 9 with the house for £100 p/a[nnum] for 3 years & so we left them to assess these alternatives until Monday 7th inst.
[1887-08-06] 6th August (Sunday) I went to try to get a horse to use for a month with option of purchase if suitable – no result - I sent the one we got from Williams back being to friskey [sic] for me to manage. tho believe it was a good one. In the afternoon Boyden called to advise us to decide upon the mortgage s[c]heme if we could affect [effect] it on the 10 acres lot 8.
7th Augt 1893 Bess & I went hoping to see Chaffeys when we decided to take Boydens advice but alas we could not see them, being absent – will try to visit them tomorrow. Charley absent somewhere – same yesterday - no letters. Got a bill from PW & Co £6.14.6, freight on waggon & harness I am sure I don’t see any chance of paying it at present – I seem surrounded with difficulties – enough to break my heart as I am in such a nervous, troubled state. [1893-08-08-Tuesday] 8 Augt Visited the Chaffeys & verbally
arranged with Mr Waddington & agreed to the following terms, “to give them a mortgage on lot 8 for £100 @ 7% for 3 yrs & we paying the £300 & interest due to date”. “Wrote to West in reply to his of the March 25”[*28th?] Got a letter from Fred informing us how to raise money on our shares alloc[ation]. Went to Williams & got him to draw to the extent of £20 giving him 2 pref’ shares Got a cultivator & a lot of groceries on a/c
[1893-08-10-Thursday] 10 Augt Met Plush & from him got a horse on trial @ 10/- a week, if we dont like the animal the rent going towards the cost, £9. The horse is
old but will perhaps do us. [1893-08-11-Friday] 11th Augt Got horse home after some trouble ploughed all right.
[1893-08-12-Saturday] 12 Augt Friday Horse at work slowly – shall not be happy until all done been burning up cuttings on the ground Reggies birthday.
[1893-08-13] 13th Sunday Tried horse on the trap – very s.. quiet - went to Fords nursery & in the afternoon – went in the trap to see the McFadzens. Got home at dark after a pleasent day. Got P[ostal] O[order] for £1 from Pirani.
[1893-08-14-Monday] 14th Been at work ploughing. Atkins called.
No letter from Fred, getting anxious for response of my last. [1893-08-17-Thursday] 17th Went to town, saw Lee. Got a letter from Atkins renewing claim of £40 for planting trees Etc which I paid for through the late insolvent Mildura Ex. Co. Very annoying after payming to have a claim sent in a second time threatens law proceedings. Lee I fancy, is a bad egg being as cognisant of the whole affair, yet is now alarmed to speak out. Called at Williams, very tired with our walk home McFarlane our next neighbour
spent the evening with us. [1893-08-18-Friday]18th Wrote a long letter to Atkins , sent it to post on which I repudiated all claims tabulated. I suppose I shall hear further from him to add to my present difficulties. [1893-08-19-Saturday] 19th Nice rain falling on the grapes & trees good could not be better*. Got a load of wood from the bush, the boys being very handy. Wrote to Pirani.
[1893-08-21-Monday] 21th Rcd letter from Fred cheque for rent (less rates for Bournville, £2.16.0) £4.3.6.
[1893-08-22-Tuesday] 22th Fine day, went to town with Bess - called at Bank drew out £2.15.0 - lodged balance at call - called at Williams - who is inclined to assist me with regard to disposition of shares
[1893-08-24-Thursday] 24th Recd letter from Atkins & Co threatens law. Sorry Receipt from Mil Ex. Co is lost having given it to K. Lee for some purpose best known to himself - he states he returned it me - I sware [swear] he did not wrote to Pirani, also Bro Fred
[1893-08-26-Saturday] 26th Bess & I took advantage of our trap - went to town saw Mr Williams made out a transfer for four shares which he [is] going to negotiate in Melbourne for us. I shall call at Chaffeys next week & see if they are doing anything to advance our transfer for the land. Crowthers & Risleys spent evening with us. [1893-08-26-Monday] 28th Been busy ploughing the Vineyard - - had to knock off this afternoon raining – just when we ordered water to irrigate - however it may not be much, & we want a
deal to satisfy our wants so I trust we will get it before the pumps stop & we irrigate our trees.
[1893-08-31-Thursday] Sept 21nd Thursday - Went to town - drew £2.10.0 from the bank Called to enquire from Waddington (Chaffey Bros Manager) – found our affairs were in train at the office in Melbourne. I wish they were settled. Saw Lee nothing fresh Re Atkins Called at Williams - - Called at P.[ost] O[ffice] got a notice Re Bonuses from Agricultural Dept - - Been busy ploughing & tending repairs of channels – nearly finis.
[1893-09-02] 2nd Sept Saturday [correct] Pumps started after the furrowing was done. We watered the fruit trees got half of them done then we got notice we could not have the water for some days - however it is not wanted as it has been raining heavily *so *we *are not concerned. Got a letter from Fred enclosed was one *sent from Mr Islip. Very tired & feel getting no stronger tho I can eat well yet I shall get thoroughly well – I shall have to trust to my boys who are Growing up & I hope in a
few years if I can hold out & struggle on, that vineyard & the orchard will give them a good living. Charley has good abilities & takes to the work very well. He is my mainstay at present. I find the worry & anxiety I experience is preying upon my mind as well as body. [1893-09-07] 7th Thursday Went to meeting of Irrigation Co to discuss a set of new rules & regulations arising on the proposed settlement of lately vexed questions & the Chaffeys suggested Contract of settling the water – viz supplying water for 5 yrs at 15/- an acre & the formation of a “Water Trust” in
lieu of the present “Irrigation Co. The meeting was a quiet one & nearly all resolutions proposed passed with slight amendments. Remained till 5pm when meeting was adjourned to the 7th for further considerations. Called at PO Got letter from sister Bond. Came on to being very cold – no more water wanted at present. [1893-09-08] Friday Wrote to Fred, land too soggy to work [1893-09-09-Saturday] 9th Fine day, continued cultivating. [1893-09-11] 11th Monday Busy cultivating - Got a letter
from Joe & 1 from E. Clark – also a note to call at Chaffeys Re mortgage Etc. I wrote a note to PW & Co Re freight & balance of previous a/c proffering a share on a/c [of] same. Papers show quotations over 50% discount on £10 P S Comml Bank, bad look out for us, as they are the only things we possess to carry on with. I am distracted with the collapse of apparently everything - - Mail not in, from Melb thru the weather to night. [1893-09-13-Wednesday] 13th No letters last mail Bessie & I went in our trap to town to day called at Chaffeys office – saw the mortgage (old) cancelled after parting
32 £10 P Shares which we paid & made another mortgage for £100 @ 7% for 3 years & after signing a number of papers appertaining to the land we expect to get our transfer for 20 acres shortly after coming home being busy writing to Fred & also to the Bank allotting the shares we have to dispose to Williams 4 P Chaffeys [th]at leaves us 9 which I should convert to cash if we could sell them at ‘par’. We have certainly done better than I had anticipated yesterday. The old mortgage was met as far as *we are concerned on the 1st Augt. New arrangement now to date from
the 9th Sept/93, tho’ all papers were signed off to day the 13 inst. 14th Mail arrives tonight bringing letters from [Fred] with cheque £5.12.0 enclosed being 4 weeks for rent of Bournville, Auburn. Tenant Mr Martin wants at my expense to have a water gratre [grate] placed on the ground which means a cost of close at nearly a months rent, which I am not in a position to pay for - although Fred advised me to do it as it will improve the value of the property. [1893-09-16-Saturday] 16th Sent a reply to Fred letter. Went to
town & banked cheque. No news from Pirani so on my return I wrote a stiff letter to him expostulating on his want of faith & dilatoriness which I trust will stir him up to be more punctual I forgot to state that I sent thru Fred a transfer for one P.S. to PW & C[o] which I hope will be accepted by them. [1893-09-17] 17th Sunday Went for a drive with the boys this morning - & in the evening I did ditto in company with Bessie attending a service of the Episcopalians at which Dr Thornton bishop of Ballarat preached a very good sermon of more like a
Lecturette on the subject of the resurrection - lovely evening but cold for Mildura.
[1893-09-20] 20th Wednesday
Went to town called at the Irrigation Office & left order for water - when the pumps start – supposed on 26th We must hurry with the cultivator & hoe as we are all behind.
[1893-09-23-Saturday] 23th Very hot, 86º in the shade the last 3 days busy hoeing up round the vines & trees. Spent a pleasent evening - Misses Williams, Ives Mrs McF [Mcadzean] Misses Crowther
K Lee, Mr. F. singing Etc. 11.30 when all went home lovely moon light evening. Sent a sharp note to Pirani by post Re remittance.
[1893-09-24] 24 Sunday. Very warm on the eve of a change, always the case when the pumps are advertized to work. Afternoon at Evans. Got a book Visiting Bees. Wrote to Joe & also Bessie Bond. [1893-09-28-Thursday] September 28/93 Pumps supplied us with water at 4pm. Spent evening *uat Crowthers. Home 10 30 September Been irrigating – find it a difficult to put on water owing to bad
grading - half done so far. Got a letter from Atkins threatening litigation over the old subject wrote reply informing him I will abide the result, vexing the proverbial last straw on the camels back.
[1893-10-01] 1 Octr 93 Sunday -showery Went for a drive in afternoon. Bessie called at Williams, practised for a while as she is singing next Tuesday at a tea meeting for the Independants.
[1893-10-02] Monday Busy irrigating very hard work & tedious owing to bad grading. Tuesday 3/10/93 Busy with the water. Went with
Bessie to Independent meeting where she sang for them Got a lawyers letter from Atkins gives us a week to settle matters [1893-10-04] Wednesday Went to see Lee Re Atkins letter. Called to see James solicitors absent – - how long - interview with Williams J.P who heard & read everything appertaining to the case - who informed me to try & compromise the matter as I had not a leg to stand upon makes out I am liable as the M Ex Co were simply my Agents, who failed to pay my debts - so I am in a debt Mr Lee is a shuffler – has talked
me into a feeling of false security he has promised to see Atkins & Bucher the solicitor & try what can be done in the way of Compromise during the next few days [1893-10-05] Thursday Got a letter from Pirani PO for £1 - informs me many of the old M & HBU Rly employees have been dismissed. [1893-10-08] Sunday 8th Octr Took a drive this morning all children accompanying me to Dow Avenue Visited the McFadzen[s] Mr & Miss Crowther & Mr M’Farlane spent the afternoon & staid [for] tea & evening.
Wednesday 11th Octr Went with Bess to Mildura saw Lee & Williams Atkins has not returned from Renmark so Lee could not effect a compromise for a few days which I suppose ?he soon will? avail compromise. ?we? went ?to? PO got £1 PO from Pirani been busy weeding among the trees & vines. [1893-10-14] Saturday It has rained heavily. Find I shall have to sulphur vines as mildew is [in] some. Wrote to Pirani Sunday 15th Morning & afternoon, took a long drive to Fords & Wms with the children. Pulled up many things
we had growing, Peas in plenty, Beet & cauliflowers - sorry Cabbage & potatoes dont look promising [1893-10-17] Tuesday 17th Owing to the horse having a sore shoulder I had to walk to Mildura & back. Went to the Bank & banked cheque I got for rent from Fred & also one from T & Ex. A Co I received on Saturday = to £5.3.0. then went to store & ordered a lot of things. Went to the postponed Irrigation Co Meeting to agree about the Bill proposed to send before Parliament - great effort made to get same passed
this session, too late Im afraid Met Lee his seeing Atkins not yet accomplished still in abeyance. Wrote to Fred. Been busy weeding & cleaning Cart to paint. Saturday 21st Octr Been busy among the vines giving horse a spell. Charley busy painting Cart etc. Paid to Graham 30/- for chaff owing also £2 to Baker. [1893-10-22] Sunday 22 At home all day Went to Evans to borrow a book this afternoon - Very hot.
Tuesday 24th Busy sulphuring & working about this place etc. Nothing further done about Atkins. Spent the evening at Williams rode in & out with Crowthers Spent a very pleasent night.
[1893-10-27-Friday] 27th Got a summons from Atkins solicitor - went in to see him in the morning – not at home. Got a new collar.
[1893-10-28] Saturday 28th Went into town. Saw Mr Lee & Atkins for a long time could arrange no terms at length thru the kindness of Mr Williams arranged for £30
£5 cash 3 more Bills for £5 & transferred 2 £10 shares in a very unpleasent settlement or compromise to have to avoid a court case on the matter I shall ever be grateful to Mr Williams for his kindness over this & other affairs My friend ? Mr Lee has not acted altogether straightforwardly – runs with the hare & hunts with the hounds. 29 Got some wood in the morning went to Evans in the afternoon, home the rest of the day. [1893-10-31] Tuesday 31st Octr Went to the conversazione at the Institute Bessie sang – attendance very large Performance very successful being in
reality the intention of the Mildura Museum which will eventually prove a grand institution & a useful one. Mr. Williams went to Melbourne. Wednesday, November 1st Novr. Been hard at work sulphuring the vines & mildew. evening wrote a long letter to Harry Vickerman in response to one from him of 3 months ago. Put in potatoes. [1893-11-05] Sundy Novr 5th Went to see McFadzens spent the afternoon with them Got a letter from Fred, Eliza a little better. [1893-11-08] Wednesday Rained all day. Pumps were
to have worked to irrigate stopped now for a week. [1893-11-09] Thursday Went to see Cooks block to report on in answer to a request from C. Bradley which I did & wrote accordingly to him this evening. Been busy weeding getting land clean. Very anxious as to coming arrangements about crop which is now coming on. Friday Still busy weeding. Lee called apologising for action he took re Atkins affair 11th Saturday Rain again commenced early will I hope do good, but sadly
afraid of mildew & odium setting in the vines. Can do nothing outside No letters from Fred Want rent very bad Graham pressing for the balance of his a/c for chaff (£2) [1893-11-15] Wednesday 15th Been hard at work cleaning land of weeds - grapes setting very badly - owing I fancy [to] late wind & rain flower blowing off before forming the berries ripen or fill, or set. Thursday 16th November Went to Mildura Called Williams. Posted letters. Got some stores. [1893-11-17] Friday 17th Charleys 18th birthday. Worked
the last 8 days unfortunately water was cut off 2 days too soon to finish watering our whole blocks - - great interest is now our concern as to the best means to gather & harvest the fruit on completion of growth. The firms or associations at present in existence are not in a position to assist the settlers to the extent necessary. I wrote to Fred last Monday, Bessie wrote to her Bro J. Pitts same time, got a note from my sister Bessie, all well. A neighbour going to Melb in a day or two shall send to Fred by him, Mr McFarlane.
C. Bradley wrote to me some time ago asking me to make a report on some land to enable his form Re advancing money on it which I did. Mr Cross called to say the affair is off as he can do better elsewhere - so I did not advance any claim for my trouble - he being a neighbour Etc.
[1893-12-09-Saturday] December 9th Some days since journal, on the 4th inst attended a meeting of settlers when Mr Williams suggested a scheme to organise a combination in Melb of merchants with capital interested in the fruit industry to assist to make advances
to the struggling growers to enable them to gather in & prepare the raisins Etc in a marketable form -- then after a discussion Re the necessity of a distillery being organised for b[r]andy making out of the surplus grapes used for raisin making - for which there is at present no use of the subject is surrounded with some disabilities owing to the settlement being established as a temperance one however it is ventilated & I think from what I hear it must soon be established. On Wednesday drove Mr Mcfarlane
to the boat enroute to Tasmania Thursday busy irrigating water very intermittent owing to pumps breaking & banks leaking however we completed our Block, after fashion this week Friday went to town so [saw] Williams he has not yet received his scrip. We have got the length of our credit on the same so I am anxious Last week I got a cheque for ”Bournville” rent, £5.10.0 & in reply to letter to Fred I alluded to Mr. W[illiams’] scrip & have requested him to go to Bank & make the enquiries necessary. I also received on the 8th letter from
Pirani containing 25/- which arrived app[r]opriately. heard Mrs MFalzeen [McFadzean] was ill so to day we drove out to see her from her suffering from general debility – - Things not going on very satisfactorily – with them. Very hot, 100º in the shade. Weather very warm cannot say I feel well under all circumstances. Apricots in & plenty. I have none yet, the trees too young to bear for the next two years thou’ they look promising I must turn my attention to the vines which I think if I can struggle though [through] will
turn in a little profit to help moving on, & enable me to pay next years water rates, busy furrowing in & keeping weeds down. Sunday 17th Decr/93 Been very hot - some days 100% in shade - a week since I wrote last. Very busy cultivating & weeding Not been from home during the week Ground very clean not a weed to be seen - received a long letter from Pitts also one from Fred enclosing a cheque a/c of rent for “Bournville” for 4 weeks £5.12.0 – all well, shall bank it tomorrow D.V. Mr Williams scheme in abeyance
until next season. I really dont know how I shall pull through, without Micawber like something turns up, that at present I dont anticipate. Bessie just wrote to Miss Campbell & also to Miss Rose & Mr Glendinning. I find the high winds are very destructive particularly among the vines. The water is very hard, applied at the the approp[r]iate time & place. Monday Xmas Day 1893 A fortnight since I wrote. Xmas around again – try and think everything looks well & promising if only comparative
trees & vines are looking well & healthy so far - so we must rest our souls in peace & patience until they yield fruits Pumps stopped for this year - next year the rate is to be £1 pr acre which will be a heavy handicap to raise to poor non-producers The fruit in some cases to those who have bearing trees will prove very remunerative particularly apricots for drying. Bessie very reluctantly bought 60lbs from Levien for jam making We got a letter from Fred on the 18th – cheque happily in full, from Scott, £5.12.0 rent of Bournville, paid £1 to Plush & secured a lot of groceries & pd our bakers bill so we are doing as
well as we can Charley has been working for Bucher fruit picking – earning enough to get a few shillings to buy boots Etc he is doing painting for Bertram on a small place he has built Bessie sang on the 22nd Institute Concert, no money attached. Spent a very [?nice] evening at Williams on the 19th I arranged with Chaffeys thru Mr W[illiams] for them to convert my grape crop when up, into raisins & make them marketable which they do for 1d pr lb which as I cannot purchase trays & grade & pack them, is a fortunate thing for me ? as I can at once get an advance of 2d lb until they are
fully realized upon so I trust we shall get a fair crop young as the vines are. If I can afford it next planting season, I shall plant fruit trees & gradually eradicate the Gordos as I find too many are planted in the settlement to be payable my land is not adapted for citrus fruits. I am trying the orange & lemon but feel they will not succeed. The weather has been terribly hot – several days over 100º in the shade I have done very little work on the block beyond burning off weeds & getting the place tidy. Bessie is singing for the benefit of the Hospital this evening at a concert in the Institute - hope it will be a success - pecuniably doubtful.
Jany 1st 1894 Been very hot done nothing in the way of work during the week. Received Cards from Relatives. Charley been working for Benham could not get his money. Got a most surprising & not to be understood notice from the Municipality demanding £11.13.0 rates due & assessed for which this is the first intimation we have received. I must after the holiday come to some understanding – very annoying altogether this has been financially the worst
year ever known in Victoria so many total collapses in public Institutions & private fortunes & business it seems nothing but contending and struggling with adverse fortune & circumstances everybody at their wits end to exist - depression & misfortune all over the colonies if not in the world. Tis to be sincerely hoped the New Year will lead us into a more prosperous one & times. I am anything but sanguine about our prospects in Mildura considering - the crippled state of my health & body with the numerous difficulties attending fruit growing & water rates Etc the latter will amount to £1 Pr acre.
I can see that our grape crop is not to be a good one after the expenses of drying, grading & packing, etc. Saturday an old Victorian Musician Professor Hughes came on a visit & gave a concert at the Institute – 14 audience. Bessie & I in company with the Crowthers went, e/[?each] 1/- very poor their sophano very ill could not sing. Got up a musical Melange on Sunday evening for the Hospital Bessie sang well at it but being free there was a good number Collection made but I dont think it will it will pay rent of hall This
morning, as per arrangement, and supposed to be a holiday we got out our horse & trap & took all the children (6) for a drive to the Tank beyond Dow Avenue called at Barlows on our way home got some wine made by them - he is an old N Z man & knocked about the rushes in Otago – same places & time I was there. Sorry to find Mrs McF [McFadzean] intends leaving the district on the 7th for good I shall regret her absence – particularly Bessie. Mr Hughes has got us nicely if mixed up in a mess with his company who came out to our place yesterday
& remained a few hours relating their troubles We have enough of our own let alone being troubled with other peoples On the 5th Jany we went into town & saw the Shire Secty Mr Sheridan Re Rates which are to be readjusted Called at the Bank & endeavoured to obtain an overdraft on the strength of the Scrip we hold on 7 shares, Coml Bk - no success. Met Mr McFadzean who is going to remain with us for a few days after his wifes departure tomorrow. We got a lot of Xmas by post from old Melbourne friends - been busy irrigating & mending channels
Children taking holidays all at home. Visited Evans last night Met Crowthers Miss has left we gave her a letter to my sister Bessie. Charlie finished his painting job at Benhams got no money as yet.
[1894-01-09-Tuesday] Jany 9 1894 Weather hot. Wrote to Shire Secty yesterday Protesting Re Rates. McFadzen left to go to work for the Co. Received a PN for £1 from Pirani same day – I responded to day In the evening after a nice thunderstorm which has made the atmosphere cooler Bess & I visited the Ritchies in Caradoc
Avenue – very nice people Met Mrs Bennett, Mrs R mother a very old colonist & very intelligent lady - she lives in Wentworth has a large family of daughters most of whom are married & reside in the district - spent an interesting & pleasent evening Got home with difficulty about 12 being dark & the roads not like bowling greens. [1894-01-14] Sunday 14 Jany/94 Been weeding find the crop of grapes anything but promising, rendering me very despondent & feeling sad at our future outlook I am sadly afraid we shant get enough to our
paying the water rates let alone our pressing needs outstanding being met such as Atkins PN on the 31st inst & our bother over the Shire rates & as our Auburn rate[s] are likely to swallow up rent from Bournville altogether I am miserable & in my enfeebled health I feel the little spirit I had is getting crushed out of me. Wednesday evening we spent at Williams had a pleasent time of it - heard there is poor prospects of Chaffeys loan coming off, but heard the railway is likely to be started shortly. Spent an enjoyable night on Thursday at Rytons our neighbours. We heard from the Shire Council – want to know
more particulars concerning our objections, re rates, which we supplied still, sub judice, this morning went with the trap to 16th St saw McFadzean & brought him home to dinner – staid to tea, Mrs McF [McFadjean] he informed us got to Swan Hill all right she sent a telegram to Tom. Bess has gone into town to try & get Signora Amali to come out & tune our piano which sadly wants it, the hot weather is very trying to musical instruments as well as to furniture of every description. [1894-01-27] Jany 27 /94 Fortnight since I last wrote Scarcely can recall any events
of importance worth noting had a letter 10 days ago from Fred cheque for rent, less water rates also cheque from T & E Co altogether £7.4.0 which will carry us along for a time - been busy trying to irrigate the land grapes ripening - got water on the 15th – intermittent since. On the 21st in company with Evans took trap & visited the township of Wentworth on the junction of the Murray & Darling 20 miles & return same same I will never again try to do the journey again in one day we bought an old
Bdy Cask & will try to make a little Wine for home use We have heard nothing further of the Shire rates. We have to meet Atkins Bill on the 31st. just got a letter containing £5 from Pitts who has kindly lent us the money to tide us over this matter which is a great relief of our minds. I do begrudge paying this sum again, unfortunate. I suppose next week we shall commence picking grapes for raisin making – sorry there are so few. I dont care if we make enough to pay our water rates
Mr McFarlane has returned he visited Fred, Bessie & Pitts. Wednesday evening the 24th Bessie sang at concert, Irymple very successfully as far as meeting concerned - had plenty of fruit given us to partake. Weather very hot - averaged 100% shade every day the last fortnight. Very heavy thunderstorm from yesterday accompanied unfortunately without any rain
[1894-02-04] Sunday 4th Feby Very cool nice weather during the week. Very hot again to day been filling in furrows – pumps stopped an attempt is being made to employ settlers to attend engines
& fires - the old hands struck work, owing to there being no money available to pay their wages We went to Bank on 31st Jany & paid in the money to settle Atkins bill Wrote to Fred & told him all particulars. Allen the expert called and arranged for trays necessary for drying the grapes – which we hope to commence picking next week. Allen states our crop looks very poor many acres not worth picking I only hope we shall [have] enough to pay the water rates, built a neattie shed & finished it to day.
Visited Evans to day he is busy making some wine for home use with grapes he has purchased from a neighbour cheap. McF & Bro spent an evening with us, he gave me a few bags of old chaff he had no use for I hope our old horse will negociate it Paid balance owing on the animal to Plush when we were in town also pd McFadz what we owed him - re poultry. No news from Mrs McFadz. 10 days 105%
Sunday 11th Feby /94 Weather very nice & cool – busy irrigating, very good supply of water, satisfying
Received a letter from Pirani on the 8th, £1.0.0 & 10/- int I heard Lockhead came up on the 5th left on the 7th did not see him, came up on Depart Business. Very sorry I did not meet him We went to town on the 8th called at P O & Williams saw Allan - we are to get drying trays supplied next week grapes are ready to pick, sorry we have such a poor crop neighbours busy picking & drying some good crops. McFadzn spent this afternoon no news from Mrs McFzn Mr McMfl [McFarlane] & his Bros
spent Friday evening with us. We have a good supply of melons for home use & with plenty of grapes we live pretty well on them anxiously waiting to hear from Fred. Re Bank Etc,- heard nothing more from Shire Council,– all in time.
[1894-02-17] 17th Feby/94 Very busy started picking grapes on Wednesday - found it more difficult than we had anticipated - to distinguish what to pick & what not fit 50 trays I believe will be condemned. Weather very hot, the expert Mr Allen called on
us & advised. We found we have to cart our trays so have to procure a few on a/c 400 will be the quantity we are supposed to require for our 15 acres. I hope we shall manage all right, my boys home from school, more bother than worth. Charley is trying to go to Melbourne with Ford, of course I cannot agree until I see our grapes picked & all in the sweat boxes. We have been to town several Times, last night I got a letter from Fred and a cheque for Rent & accrued interest on 7 shares of Com Bank £1/15/0 & £1.4.6
residue of my a/c at Bank with rent from Bournville altogether £9.19.6 – shall bank it tomorrow. Bessie Bond had let her house at Hawthorne furnished for 3 months and had taken one at St Kilda when their own tenant after 10 days left, after paying 4 weeks rent in advance leaving things in an unsatisfactory state things are in a fearfully depressed state in Melb Painful to read the papers – full of insolvencies and financial difficulties on all hands, it seems the same all over the world, enough to drive one out of his mind
Saw Mr Barthold is dead so another good man gone. I heard Joe was married on 20 June to Mr. Lee by Revd P Brown – very glad she is! Bessie wrote to Fred. I will reply more fully next week. Mr McFadz spent to day & night with us. Mrs. McFadz has not yet written to him the Murray is falling fast traffic by the regular Boats stopped, so I can see prices will go up for provisions Etc. Mildura is pretty well in evidence just now with her fruits when the Railway is accomplished I think things will go
ahead more satisfactorily Many now are getting good returns – or expect to do so. I wrote to Fred tonight. [1894-03-04] March 4th 1894 Weather very hot tho it has been threatening change & rain several times - all hands been very busy picking - find our crop very thin & poor, up [to] to day we have got 350 trays which supposing we can cure the grapes properly, will only give us about a ton of raisins. We have got all the trays we shall require & must now dry for the sweat boxes tiresome work turning the trays & packing up in stacks & redistributing same whenever it is too hot, or likely to rain.
This evening a severe thunder storm came over but not so far attended with rain This afternoon went to visit Capt. Stokes. His land is good & trees thriving & vigorous & look promising, did not stay long. Went several times to Evans & McFarlane the latter very kindly let me have a lot of chaff which is very acceptable as my lucerne patch which Benham was to make so satisfactory turned out a failure. P.W. & Co. are bothering me for a settlement of their a/c which must stand over till better times. I trust the raisins
will be good enough to square up the water rates. Prospects do not look bright at present. Mr McFz called last night no news of Mrs McFz except what Bessie has received which shows no prospect of reconciliation. Our neighbours are all busy picking & winemaking I shall endeavour to get a few grapes of second crop & make a few gallons for the winter use I am thinking of writing to my old friend Jim Hamilton supposing I can procure his a/d [1894-03-11] March 11th /94 Weather very fine Been busy finished picking grapes about 360 trays. Ma[n]y of same dry enough & got some of them
into the sweat boxes I wish all was done & dry & sent into the factory & cured very anxious time regarding rain particularly should the crop get wet now means total destruction. Got a pressing note from P.W. & Co requesting payment of a/c owing wrote to day in reply asking for extended time. Had a letter from Joe – she expects to be confined in a week or two[‘s] time. Charles has not his money from Benham. Must get it to enable him to go to Melb as I have none to assist him Got £1 from Pirani on the 6th very acceptable. We have
been to Mildura twice this week for things at Williams & Yule in whose hands I am in Re the Raisins. Visited the Evans & Lawrences to day sampling the wine they have made, also Campbells - sampling the figs & looking round been getting sweet potatoes & other things I am afraid we have picked all the grapes we are likely to get into the sweat boxes and get dry. [1894-03-18] 18th March When I wrote last I thought there was a possibility of the weather being changeable if not wet. The weather has been changeable Got 10 sweat boxes packed & took them to the factory but they were returned as
not dry enough to stem & grade so had to turn them out on the trays for a couple of days & dry & dry them farther took them in again on Friday, all right, when I expected to complete my drying before the week was out, but the weather was so changeable that we have done nothing else but stack & unstack trays without advancing the raisin curing I am now beginning to despair that the weather will ever get hot enough to complete the curing They are nearly ready we got a couple of hot days - others are in the same fix while others again who had plenty of
trays have successfully harvested to make matters worse Charley is has gone to town he did his best before leaving, we had to advance his fare from Swan Hill & procure him a lot of necessaries he required. We got a letter from Fred on the 17th with Rent £5.12.0 with an intimation that our tenant will only remain such unless we reduce the rent to £66, wrote to day agreed to same - houses are now so unlettable that we cannot afford to do otherwise I do hope things will brighten been to town several times Bessie also once to attend a rehearsal for a concert she is to sing at free on Good Friday.
[1894-03-24] 24 March /94 Since writing, the much dreaded rain, in our position came on at last last Monday evening accompanied with a terrific thunder & lightning storm Fortunately our trays were stacked up & sheltered from the wet, but the atmosphere is so damp - that I am that I am afraid our raisins will not cure properly so farewell to paying our rates & debts that are pressing. 2½ inches rain fell during the storm destroying a great quantity of fruit & doing much damage. Tuesday we went to Williams spent a very enjoyable evening went in with Mr Crowthers For 2 days got some
fine weather thought it possible to save some of my crop but on Friday (Good), came on to rain again necessitating more stacking up trays - it looks now ( as if it would clear up. Charlie got away with Ford last Sunday, today he could not get squared up with Benham so I advanced him his fare from [Swan] Hill & for necessarys he requires. Benham paid me £2 on account which just covers what I advanced to Charlie, I miss him very much as things connected with the crop Etc are so mixed owing to the unexpected change in the weather I wrote to Fred informing him of Charlies trip to Melb. We made many improvements about the place planted vegetable seeds Etc.
& made a vegetable garden hope it will prove a success.
[1894-04-01] April 1th 1894 Weather been unsettled yet we got a few boxes into the factory I question if we will get the whole dried before the end of the coming week not good drying weather. Many are dipping, especially the 2nd crop grapes. We got a letter from Charlie last night, he had a very wet trip to Swan Hill got to Melb - late on the Saturday, no money – made at once to St Kilda to Freds. I Glad he got safely to town I am glad we have got along so far without him Mr. McF zn & Mr Champ called last
night the former stayd all night & spent to day with us we drove out & had a pleasent drive round the settlement. I wrote to Fred & sent all the money we could spare to Charlie to enable him to pay for fares on tram & Rly while in town. [1894-04-09] April 9th 1894 Lovely weather Got all our grapes dry at last - shall send the last 2 Sweat Box[es] to the Factory tomorrow – took in 7 last Tuesday - hope we have 30 Cwt altogether - been busy doing odd jobs Yesterday went out to Capt Stokes who gave us about 100 weight of wine grapes with
[bleed through, pg 19-091 “stayd” the d Joins bleed through of pg 19-090 “April” (looks like a heart) the obliterated writing is just below that faint writing]
press? w pick*? in our place to enable us to make a Cask of wine for home use. Sent a letter to Fred also received one from him to day enclosed was one from Charlie who is visiting his old friend with his limited means he has to Knock about on shanks pony. We went to town to day posted a letter to Fred & sent Charlie a PN 10/- called with raisins to factory Called at Williams got some stores & paid our months Bill heard of the poor price raisins are fetching - which is very low considering there is 3d lb duty on those imported & not to be compared in quality with Milduras production
[1894-04-15] 15th April/94 Been busy all the week making & getting grapes for wine succeeded in converting same into about 40 glns. [gallons] Heavy thunder storm last night. Got a letter from Fred, ch[eque] from Scott. Heard the[at] Charlis has got into a nice muddle with Ford from what I can gather Ford did not adhere to his plan of driving up to Mildura but took the train to Swan Hill after vainly endeavouring to find Charles he telegraphed to Melb requesting Ch[arles] to go there, he the latter had no money at length his uncle Fred advanced him the money on my a/c, – for his train fare as well as the
Steamer, altogether about £2 he is to leave Melb on the Wednesday the 25th. I never anticipated this to have to pay for a pleasure trip for Charlie & I can ill afford it as I am a[t] present situated however such is the case I would not grudge him were I differently situated I got my voucher from P. Union about 30 Cwt which I hope to get an advance on from Mr Williams Went to Bank on Monday Bkd what I could on the 17th. Paid Baker for the month £1.3.9.
[1894-04-22] April 22 1894 Splendid weather been to town several times Ford is back & explained all the difficulty concerning Charlie in which I see no cause to blame him – confirms what Fred has written me. Miss Crowther is back failed to see Bessie Bond - saw Mr Knight the bonus Inspector, who checked my application for planting bonus & also for raisins dried by me have written to Williams, Re the Latter, no reply at present. I went to town Friday - took in some dipped lexius for McFarlane got my spectacles from Glasson & also visited Finlay Secty, P Union got a duplicate receipt for produce - called
at Bank got £1.5.0 also some stores from W [Williams] & Yule. This morning McFadzean and my family all went out to see his block, 18th St splendid land & nicely situated partly planted with apricots home for dinner after tea Bessie & boys went to Chapel. [1894-04-29] 29 April /94 Fine weather, been to town to P.O & get stores Yesterday evening Charlie arrived by the Invincible after a present [pleasant] trip from Melb where he must have had a very enjoyable time staying with relatives & friends cost me more than I anticipated
his trip doing. However he is looking well & has improved in his manner & style brought up a letter from Joe & one from Fred all well he insured my house Bourneville last week for £250 I am sadly afraid I am going to have bother Re Municipal Rates here I dont know what we are rated for no lighting, bridging charing & road repairing. [1894-05-06-Saturday] May 6th Fine weather - finished planting lucerne patch – waiting for rain to start it. Spent evening at Williams Bessie going to sing on 13th for Masons service, On Wednesday I was received another parylasic
Stroke - in the throat which has destroyed all muscular power to eat & swallow anything but slops & liquids completely paralysing my mind & body fearful sensation cannot receive any enjoyment with a dismal future Saw Dr Cameron who could only order me tonic. Neighbours very kind. Bessie proving the the must [most] self sacrificing k[i]nd good creature every man was blessed with for a wife - without her I should prove a poor helpless wreck, no letter so far from Fred this week.
[1894-05-20-Saturday] 20th Still continue to suffer from my recent attack tho’ on the whole I am beginning to swallow much better Mrs Evans & Mrs Ritchie kindly sent me gelly & goat[‘s] milk I cannot work – Charlie doing what is necessary, until pruning commences Not yet settled with Williams, he has paid so far £10 on a/c of water. I got a letter from Fred last Night, found after paying my rates on Bournville £4.4.0 & 10/- fire insurance I only had 13/- to receive God knows how we are going to get along. Bessie sang on 13th at the Masonic Service a very successful affair. I wrote a long letter to Pirani last
week also to Fred to day giving him all particulars so far. Mr ‘F went to town on the 16th for a few weeks Mr E[vans] is planning us a front garden with Charlies help. Spent all afternoon at Mr Crowthers on the 17th. [1894-06-03-Saturday] June 3 Not done much work. Weather showery do our propos[e]d front garden we are engaged on good! Planted lawn with Buffalo grass put in a lot of cuttings. Commenced pruning our vines previous to ploughing. McFadzean spent last Sunday No news of Mrs McF. Got a letter from West –
also one from H. Vickerman. I am thinking of setting [selling] my few remaining Coml[Commercial Bank] Shares & planting about 3 acres of my vineyard with apricots as I see there will be no returns from raisins. So I must do something this coming planting season to be coming on or growing. I have heard nothing of the sale of my raisins. Mr. Williams has left Mildura for Melbourne sorry I had no settlement with him prior to his departure. I find he got 6 months Water rates paid on my a/c at the Irrigation Co & I suppose he paid Chaffeys for the cost of converting my raisins at the Planters Union.
My throat is still very weak but on the whole getting better.
[1894-06-24-Sunday] June 17th A fortnight since I last wrote Last week just as usual been working transplanting a lot of peach trees for the purpose of budding them as the trees at present are no use commercially on the 14th I received long letter from Fred enclosed cheque for rent of house after deducting rate for water 14/- & also for fire insurance, placed same with last cheque for 13/- & this for £4.13.0 in the Bank gave £3 to Williams & got the last a/c from him adjusted - been pruning & got a little *
ploug[h]ed this week. Very showery & little work done viz pl[ant]ing & ploughing. [1894-06-16-Saturday] Went to an object lesson Atkins pruning apricots at Isards on the 14th inst Bes[sie] sang at the first Concert of the Orchestral Sty [society] at the Institute not so well attended as the program deserved. Bess got a small fee for a wonder. We drove into the concert two of the boys went with us Lee & Bess being [were] the only vocalists. A few days ago I wrote to J. Hamilton who is living at St Kilda with his b[r]other in law, R Williamson Jim is doing nothing – I wish I could afford to enable him to come here. Fred states Jim is hard up
[1894-07-01-Saturday] July 1st Wet the fore part of the week still persevering with pruning Wrote a long letter to Harry Vickerman. Having no horse feed we could not go on with the ploughing
[1894-07-07-Saturday] July 7th Weather cold frosty in the morning been busy pruning Tuesday Mr Ritchie & Miss Bennett with Mr & Mrs Butcher Neighbours, spent the evening, with us, very nice people, pleasently.
[New Zealand Essays - Cover Note]
I compiled the following Essays while living on the Gold Fields of New Zealand (Wetherstones) when a member of a Debating Society that was established by a few friends for the purpose of sec[uring] improvements & interchange of ideas – I may al[so] state that at that time there was nothing in the sha[pe] of a library in the district, in fact for a period of s[ome] months I only got hold of one Book, & th[at] at a St[ore] & a few Newspapers comprised my reading for [the] whole of the time, which must plead my exc[use in] the disjointed rambling crude & jumbled ma[nner] that I have jotted down in the following pages, each mem[ber] of our society was supposed to deliver an essay in [turn] the following was mine & met with the approval of the [members] but some portions gave rise to many serious debates [???] the Society did a deal of good, the main feature being that every thing said & written was original, more than ca[n be] said of secular institutions held in towns & cities, whe[re] assistance & quotations can be obtained easily whe[n pre-]senting on any subject. John Henry Watmuff
- ↑ Subjects he spoke on were: July 1862 which did the most good for Society the "Minister or the Schoolmaster" [Manuherikia Mutual Improvement Society. Commencing April 1863,"Which is the greatest source of Evil Riches, poverty or Intemperance"
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