We extract the following from a letter written by an emigrant to Australia, to his father, who lives in the parish of Seagoe. The information it contains must prove interesting, particularly to the labouring classes.
'You will be happy to hear that we like this place, we are in good health and making money, but this being the winter season, wages are lower than usual, at the same time work is plentiful, at from 18 to 25 a year, with rations, and it is supposed that wages will rise in the spring. I have been constantly employed since I came here, at fair wages, and I am able to lay by more, beside keeping us, than I could earn altogether in Ireland.
The productions of this country are equal, if not better than those of Ireland; wheat grows to great perfection on the same land for ten or twelve years in succession, without manure, or fallowing, or any other trouble than ploughing and sowing; they generally commence sowing in this month (July) and end in the next; oats and barley grow well, indeed oats are rather a weed here, as the ground seems to throw them up in any other crop, and some people sow them but once in a place, and they remain in the ground for many years together, without any other trouble; oats are also sown for hay, neither is artificial food required except for working horses, (that is saddle horses) for ploughing and drawing is generally performed by bullocks.
There is little rain here except in the spring months, which are August, September, and October; the grass and every thing else is green all the year round, but the principal growth is in the spring and beginning of summer; but the winter is very mild though there are occasional frosts.
The harvest commences with the oats, hay, and barley, about Christmas; wheat is cut above the knee and the stubble burnt; oats are only used for horses; this is a fine country for fruit, except currants, but gooseberries, plums, cherrys, apples, peaches, pears, quinces, &c., do remarkably well; I have seen a tree loaded with peaches the third year from the stone; there is a ground fruit here called melons which beats strawberries and cream out of cry, the fruit itself is larger than a quart noggin, and wonderful juicy.
The houses in the bush are widely scattered, there are often from three to ten miles between them; this is necessary for the sheep and cattle runs, but a poor man can get a horse or two run free of charge almost anywhere.
If any of the neighbours be desirous of coming out, you may let them know that I would advise them strongly to it if they can get. Please give my kind respects to the Rev. Archdeacon Saurin; I feel most grateful to him for his kindness in procuring me a passage here, where I can get a comfortable living, and lay something to the good.
If emigration from Ireland became free, (as I hope it soon will,) I expect to see a good many of my old friends here G.M.'