Mitchell Library, State Library of New South Wales

Clunie Family - letters from Andrew Clunie, 1856-1865

["My Dear Sister" Letters home from Australia 1856 -1865 19 letters from an immigrant to New South Wales from London, who intended to go gold mining, but took in shoemaking, operating a ferry etc., all with little success in the hard times of the period (both in NSW and England) and in the last letter, announces he has booked his passage home.]

Sutton Forest NSW
March 22nd 1857

My Dear Sister
I received your letter a fortnight ago dated Nov. 11th. I also received one from Howard a month previous dated March 56, nearly a year ago. Expecting a letter from you I wrote to the Postmaster and he sent Mr Howards letter stamped advertised and unclaimed though I applied personally at the P.O. last September and was told there was none for me, such things are not managed here like home. I am delighted to hear from you all. I think Mr B might at least be just if he cant be generous. I enclose a new half sovereign for Polly and to pay for her Bible and I will send my Poor dear Mother a few pounds as soon as I can get to a banking Town. I fear for the safety of this letter from the coin inside, the money is nothing the letter everything to me, it is a mere trifle but it is only sent to please a child. Everything is bad at home you say, it has been bad all over the world. I am now living on the main road to Port Phillip 94 miles from Sydney and about 85 from where I wrote to you last (Goulburn) everything was very bad there. I started for Sydney and at this place I found a shipmate from Twofold Bay he told

me that if I went to Sydney and got some tools I might knock out a first rate living. I did so but did nothing very grand at first but things are looking up now. I have been offered 8 years lease of 2 acres of ground and a good substantial hut put up for me if I would consent to remain a certain time. I am principally making boots but I will not bind myself to remain anywhere. I have not been to the diggings yet, the weather has been so bad, nothing but wet for months, it has, I hear, almost stopped operations. I have a little weather boarded hut on the road. I am my own Master and doing well if poor Sarah was alive I could be happy, but I get tired of living by myself. I walked 400 miles before settling here I was so sick of tramping I thought I would take a spell for a time but now I want to be on the move again. I am sorry to say I have lost my mate at least for a time, our letters have miscarried. I suppose he has gone to the diggings and perhaps got smashed. I am still unsettled. I may perhaps remain here some time longer and perhaps go to the diggings. There is at Goulburn one Henry Grieg a Baker he was sent out here 20 years ago not for his

good deeds: he was I think brought up at the Master Bakers school: he talks about his sister Emma but he wont be questioned. I think you know him. Dear Sister give my best love to my poor dear Mother. I will do what I said I don't think I am promising too much when I have the money in my pocket It is a great pleasure to receive your neat clean and perfectly well written letter. I read it as I would a book, when Howard's came or rather when I fetched it 20 miles it took me 3 days to decipher so badly written and spelt: he asks my advice about coming, he would do well no doubt, but he must expect to have to throw his wife overboard and most likely half his family. Give my kind love to all at Brampton and accept the same yourself, and also Charles and the little ones. I hope this will find you all in good health and my poor dear Mother cheerfull and I hope and really think we shall soon meet again and may the almighty bless and protect you is the fervent prayer of your

Affectionate brother
Andrew Clunie

South Gundagai NS W
Jan 17th 62

My Dear Sister
I received your letter of May 13th this morning and as the Mail for England leaves tomorrow the 18th I have just time to write you a few lines. I have not sufficient time to get the necessary papers from the Bankers for a remittance I have to send you, but the first of the series shall come by the next Mail but I could not let another Mail depart without writing to you, Dear Sister your news is indeed disturbing. I dare not ask how you have lived but it does seem strange to me that you should delay writing so long after what I told you in my letter. I am so glad to hear my poor Mother is well, you ask do I ever see an English paper! very seldom but the extracts are generally in the Colonial

papers, sometime I get hold of a Lloyds and it amuses me greatly to go through the columns of advertisements and read how a sure fortune is to be made by taking a fried fish or Beer shop & coming in about 20 particularly when I know the locality so well, or some rubbish about Australia but if you can send a cheap paper occasionally do but I did not like to ask you when you have so much trouble at Home. Dear Sister you ask am I married, I am not that is what I intend coming home for to get a wife, there is nothing suitable here - such a rowdy lot of Women, I would not get married in this country for fear I should never get out of it. I am in good hearth in the same situation. I have a comfortable little hut on ground (I have that Priviledge on account of the ferry) there is plenty of game and no game laws and my dogs and gun I find an excellent substitute for a wife. I could be very happy

if you were so, however I send you a small sum it will be on the way long before you receive this and in the meantime I will think well what can be done, when you write direct as usual but of course you need not write until you receive the next I hope this will find you all in good health and Charles quite recovered. Dear Sister so sure and unexpected as I came to this country so surely will I return providing the Almighty spares me but I will not come in poverty to work for a bob a day and grub. Give my kind love to my poor dear Mother Aunt Sarah and all at Brompton accept the same for yourself, so no more at present from

Your affectionate Brother
Andrew Clunie

South Gundagai New South Wales
May 1st 1861

My Dear Sister
I hasten to acknowledge the receipt of your two letters of Decr. & January respectively. I received them both together I returned to this place yesterday from the Lambing Flat diggings after an absence of 9 weeks, your first letter had been lying a long time at the Office, it being impossible for me to get there being so unsettled. I am so glad to hear from you and that you have received my little present. I am sorry to say I have returned rather lighter than I went. I did not pay my expenses thou' we got 3 oz. of Gold, many as usual got nothing. I shall write again before you receive this, when I am a little bit settled, everything very dull at present the most complete ruin seems to have fallen on the Colony. Dear Sister I must not make any promises

but you may rely I will not let a Christmas pass for the future without thinking of my poor Mother and sister and the cold English Winter. Perhaps I may put sixpence in my next letter. I am disappointed at the diggings but nothing daunted, you acted quite right in not going to Mrs Day if she treats you with contempt she treats me with contempt. You say the likeness is bad so I say I did not like to pay for such a Tinker. The country is overrun with travelling amateur Botching Artists. Dear Sister I now repeat that you must not be uneasy at any delay in answering your letters. It is very likely I shall be off shortly to a new rush. I think there is a nugget for me somewhere. I hope this will find you and poor Mother in good health and my Dear Aunt Sarah and all at Brompton. You must try and keep your Spirits above Zero.

I am still enjoying the best of health. I must now conclude with my kind love to you all

I remain
Your affectionate brother
Andw Clunie

Does dear Mother ever fret about me now if she does she ought not, but pray tell me in your next. I am thinking one day what I should do in England and the next what I should do here. Direct as usual: Post Office South Gundagai N.S.W

Mr. Andrew Clunie
Post Office
South Gundagai
New South Wales
To be called for

Sutton Forest Berrima NSW
Nov 2nd 1857

My Dear Sister
With great pleasure I now acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 11th Novr and with equal pleasure I now enclose Five Pounds for my Dear beloved Mother. I need not tell you to acknowledge the receipt as early as possible, [indecipherable] Dear Sister it is very hard as you say to be so far apart, I feel it, my mind has been made up to come home some time, but if I come at once what am I to do for a living. I suppose things are the same at home as they always were, you could not put me in a position to do anything, I have saved enough to pay my passage but then I can not land pennyless in London, it is doubtfull

whether I could work a passage home just now there are so many wanting to get back, but that I shall try at the proper time, I have done very indifferently the last year but I hope to do better, there has been nothing but rain for the last 12 months and one flood after another. Business has been almost suspended. I am lodging at a settlers within a few miles from where I wrote you last, I have been painting, the last two months. I am waiting for settled weather to proceed up the country. I am as unsettled as ever nobody seems to settle in this country, it is an unsettled place altogether. I do think and mean to come home as soon as possible, say about a year, but I will not give my word for it because you know that is good for nothing. I never hear from Days (do you) I wrote once to Mrs Day upon my arrival in the Colony they answered it a twelvemonth after and it was nearly 2 years

before I received the letter, I never replied 'twas not requested. I hate letter writing. I had a letter returned to me a month ago (I sent to Mr Howard) endorsed gone away not known where, I don't wonder at you not being able to read his letters, I received a letter from the Postmaster about 9 months ago it said there was a letter at Berrima for me. I borrowed a horse and rode there a distance of 20 miles there and back. I got the letter it was from Mr Howard a storm arose on my return I stood under a tree to try and read the letter and what with the drops and the blots I couldn't make half of it out.
I hope this will find you all in good health and my poor Mother cheerful. I will write to you from time to time and let you know how I am getting on and depend on my return as soon as possible. My best love to my poor dear Mother, yourself

and children and likewise all at Brompton. I am still in good health and dear Sister all my thoughts are upon returning to you and My Dear Mother. I will not forget the Portrait I must now conclude for the present
I remain, your affectionate Brother
Andrew Clunie

Nov 17th
When I wrote the above I thought of getting an English 5 note to enclose but could not procure one in this part of the country. I now enclose you a check for 5 on the Union Bank. I have two more to send by different Ships in case one should be lost but of course you will only present one.

Goulburn June 16/56

My Dear Sister
It is with the greatest of pleasure I acknowledge the receipt of your letter dared 11th Febr. it puts me in good spirits to hear from you all. I am glad to find that you are all in good health. I am in the best possible health. I am now living at the above address about 125 miles from Sydney. I worked at Sydney about 3 months after writing to you last, I did very well but I felt very melancholy there so I started out for the diggings and walked 16 miles beyond this place but turned back to this the nearest Town. It was so cold camping out, I shall most likely remain here during the winter and then start for the Tuena Gold Fields about 60 miles from this place. I am earning 1 a week with my keep but the work is not permanent.

I am also waiting for my mate to join me from lllawarra we are like brothers together, he is a young Scotchman and as anxious to return home as I am and I trust we shall be spared to return, together, it is very cold in this place almost as cold as an English winter quite a different climate from Sydney. I am quite resolved to finish at the diggings. The employers are such a Scrubby set, there are no gentlefolks here as at home, all sprung from the raff, the country is just like England but without its poverty. Give my best love to my poor dear Mother. I am determined to see her again. I am doing well and hope to do better. I placed a few pounds in the bank at Sydney before starting for fear of being stuck up, I feel nearer home now, Dear Sister you must not feel uneasy if any delay occurs in answering your letters, your last as been 4 months coming and then often has to travel over Mountains to reach me, and my mate is

true as steel so should anything happen to me you would be sure to hear, but I am in the best of health and in the best spirits at the thought of a return home but I must return with money or else I shall return without brains. I have written to tell you about McLeay's and shall write again shortly, remember me to Aunt Sarah and the rest, once more my kind a lasting love to yourself and my dearest Mother and may the Almighty preserve you in health till we meet again.

I remain
Your Affectionate Brother
Andrew Clunie

Mrs. Randall
13 Hasher Street
Chelsea
Nr. London

South Gundagai New S Wales
October 1st 1860

My Dear Sister
I have just received your letter dated July 5th. I enclose you a check on the Oriental bank for 5 for yourself and my poor Mother. I say for you both for when I sent the last you said I had forgotten you though I cant see how that could be I suppose you are living together, I will send the other paper by the next Mail. (I have two) Present the first that reaches you. I need not tell you to acknowledge the receipt of this by the first Mail Dear Sister what a dreadful accident to poor Mother, where did it happen and was she alone at the time, I wonder you did not think of writing to me earlier When you write let me know whether you have to pay anything when you get the money, any questions asked and such like. I want to know what security there is in

sending money this way. I have paid the commission on Exchange, you ought to have nothing to pay, and mind you don't get your pocket picked in Threadneedle Street for there are plenty of Thieves about there. Dear Sister recollect what I ask of you. I think you burn my letters as soon as read them then forget what I wrote about have you heard anything of the Howards? or anything from Days. I have left the situation I filled when writing to you last and am still as unsettled as ever. I shall not go to the Diggings unless fresh ground be opened up in fact it is nearly all a blow. I am too near already, everything is very dear flour 7d a pound and everything else in proportion, the country is completely cooked. If 1000 Men were wanted here they could be got without difficulty, men are offering their services for their bare rations. I am quite well but getting quite melancholy here by myself and your letters are not very cheering.

I hope this will reach you before Christmas, it will get you a few comforts, you have now a large family and pinched a bit no doubt.. What would it have been with me had I stayed in England without any trade, bad enough no doubt. I hope this will find you all well give my kind love to my Dear old mother also all at Brompton and with my best wishes for the welfare of yourself and family

I remain your Affectionate Brother
AC - I omit my name for safety of the check

Direct to me:
Post Office
South Gundagai
New South Wales

Mrs. N. Randall
41 Brompton Row
London

Adelong Creek
March 28th 59

Dear Sister
I wrote to you last July in reply to one from my Dear Mother, so long a time has elapsed that I think my letter has miscarried or yours to me. I have nothing particular to say. I am still at the diggings, unsuccessful but still hopeful, getting a good living and well in health and that's about all, if you can find the time to write I shall be glad to hear from

you, if you have written I shall get your letter in due time and you need not answer this, if you can send me Howards address I shall be glad if you write do so immediately by Mail and direct Adelong Creek near Gundagai NS Wales to be left at Doyles Store. Of course I shall not remain here if I can do better elsewhere but I shall remain in the district long enough for a reply to this. My kind love to my Dear Mother,

yourself and family likewise all at Brompton, it is no use returning until I can make some sort of a pile, I have not the slightest inclination to come home to turn errand Boy. Hoping this will find you an in good health

I Remain
Yours affectionately
Andrew Clunie

Dec 8th 1857
Sutton Forrest NSW

Dear Sister
I wrote you about 3 weeks since in reply to your letter of 11th July and enclosed a check for 5 for Dear Mother, I now send the second, I am directed to send 3 by different ships in case one should be lost, you can take the first that reaches you and get cashed, I have written every particular in my last letter but it is possible you may

receive this first. If you hear anything of Howards tell them I had my own letter returned to me and that is what I hate but I should like to hear from them, I hope this will find you all in good health, my love to dear Mother and all of you, write as soon as you get the Money. I write this in haste. I must send you a longer letter next. I am quite well. God bless you

all.

Yours affectionately
Andrew

Sutton Forest
Dec 20th 57

Dear Sister
I enclose you the third of the set for 5 for my Dear Mother, I hope before you receive this you will have obtained the Money and written an answer back. I am very anxious to hear from you, I did not intend to send you this thinking it unnecessary but perhaps it may be required. I hope this will find you all in

good health as it leaves me. My kind love to all.

Yours affectionately
Andrew Clunie
Direct as usual

(per envelope, Sept 1862)
South Gundagai N.S.W.

My Dear Sister
I wrote you by last Mail enclosing a check on Oriental bank tor 5 which I hope you will safely receive d. I now enclose the second in case the first should be lost, I wrote my last in Sydney. I am now again in Gundagai quite safe and well neither having been stuck up or broken my neck, two very common things to Mail travellers in this country. We were capsized once but escaped unhurt, the mud breaking the fall. I never knew the value of mud before.

In short we have got one 520 miles of the most horrible jolting I ever had. I shall write you a graphic description of it some day. Dear Sister I hope this will find you in good health, give my fond love to my poor Dear Mother. Don't fail to acknowledge the receipt of my first, what a wretched prospect England presents, with the Starving operatives of Lancashire. We are raising subscriptions all over the Colony for their relief. I can contribute a trifle for their relief, but if I was

in England I might want relief myself so don't wonder at my delay in returning. I long to see you and my Dear Mother but still will not come home in poverty, you must do the best you can with the trifle sent and perhaps by the time I receive your answer I may find a golden hole. I must now conclude. Give my love to all at Brampton also to my poor Mother. Accept the same yourself. May God bless and protect you all so no more at

present from

Your Affectionate Brother
Andr Clunie

Dear Sister let me know what the children are doing and how they are getting on.

South Gundagai Feb 16th 63

My Dear Sister
I write to acknowledge the receipt of your anxiously expected letter. I am so glad to find you have received the money safe, and also to hear that you are all well, many thanks for the tunes, they were mostly new to me and very pretty. Neil Gows was not the thing I meant tho' it will do as well, Music is a source of great pleasure to me I should grow melancholy without it. Dear Sister I will not forget you. I did not get the Newspaper. I think, perhaps, you do not put a stamp upon it as

required there must be something amiss others get their English papers here. I will send you a newspaper by this Mail and by succeeding Monthly Mails and you let me know when you write whether you get them. I cut the enclosed Paragraph out of a Sydney paper it is curious and may interest you. I think it might possibly be Mrs J Clunie's Son. Dear Sister I wish you could discover something of the Howards. I should be so glad to hear from them and I am sure they would from me, let me know in your next how the children are getting on and whether Polly is doing anything yet and also whether Symons' Jim is with his father still and what he

is doing. I should like to hear something of him at times and also Aunts Jane & Margaret. I have resigned the situation I am in and leave in a few days. I shall most likely remain here during the ensuing winter, but will write again when a little settled, it is possible I may return next Christmas, but at all events I intend to leave this colony, the heat during the summer months here is frightful, I am quite tired of it but I think when I return it will be only on a visit I don't think I could stand the Winter now. I think I could only flutter like a butterfly during the summer

months. I will now conclude give my kind love to my poor dear Mother also all the Brompton folks accept the same yourself and family and hoping this will find you all in first rate health as it leaves me.

I remain
Your affectionate Brother
Andrew Clunie

South Gundagai NS Wales
May 17th 63

My Dear Sister
I take this opportunity of sending a few lines by the outgoing Mail. I have also to acknowledge the receipt of a newspaper within two months of publication (a rare treat). I wrote you sometime back and stated in my letter that I had not received your paper, but it was delivered to me a day or two after writing from some cause the newspaper mail was delayed in Sydney, I shall most likely get them


[Page 40]

regularly now. I told you in my last I was about leaving but I have been induced to remain to the present time but I am tired of shepherding rogues. My present employer is negotiating for the purchase of a Store which he wishes me to manage, but more of this in my next, I am anxiously expecting a letter from you, you so seldom write and when you do your letters are very meagre not a word about the children. I know Charles is living because you told me he sprained his ankle or I should have thought he had been dead some years

give my kind love to my dear Mother. I am very anxious to hear from her. I send you a newspaper occasionally, do you get them!! I shall write again shortly that is if I have anything .worth sending. Give my kind love to all at Brampton and also to my dear Mother. Accept the same for yourself and family and hoping this will find you all in good health as it leaves me

I remain
Your affectionate Brother
Andrew Clunie

South Gundagai New South Wales
Sept 17th 1863

My dear Sister
I received your letter of 17th May but I lost the last Mail from a cause I will explain presently, in the first place I enclose a check for 5 which I wish you to dispose of in the following manner give my dear Mother 2, accept 2 yourself, give Polly 10/- and the little one that walks to earls court daffy 10/-. I procured the check for the last Mail but the Banker put the wrong name which you will see and I had to return it and so lost the Mail. Now Mrs Hasker would have done as well as Mrs Randal if this would have paid the money, but do they ask your name! are you requested to sign it! of all these things I am ignorant.

You will recollect I wrote you for particulars and your reply was they paid it without any demur. What a provoking answer after waiting six months for it Dear Sister, I am delighted to hear that you are all well. I received the Newspaper also the tunes, many thanks for the same. I am sorry to say I am unemployed at present. There were two Lessees of the Ferry and one with a lot of growing Sons has Purchased the other ones share and put one to my place which the other one would never allow so you see I am very unsettled. You say you expect to see me at Christmas but Christmas would be the wrong time to arrive. I could never stand the winter, but I may come in the spring but it certainly looks anything but encouraging when you tell me your little girls work for such miserable

wages, everything is very bad in this colony thousands upon thousands unemployed. I so long to see you and am always thinking of home but I am afraid to dwell too long on the subject for fear of going cranky. I will send the other check by the next mail and then perhaps I may be able to let you know more. Answer this by return Mail. Give my love to my dear old Mother and tell her to keep her spirits up, for nothing so cheers me as to hear of her welfare. I must now conclude with my best love to you all and hoping this will find you all to good health as it leaves me.

I remain
Your affectionate Brother
Andrew Clunie

South Gundagai NS Wales
Oct 19th /63

My Dear Sister
I wrote to you last Mail enclosing a cheque for 5 which I hope you have duly received. I herewith enclose the second which you will present immediately provided you have not received the first but I hope you have both received and answered it. I received a newspaper in the last Mail many thanks for the same it makes me feel as if I had somebody belonging to me Dear Sister I am sorry to say I am still

unemployed everything is stagnating. I never saw the colony so miserable before - if I can clear out at Christmas I shall certainly come home at all events I shall go somewhere but whatever steps I take I shall write you full particulars. I hope this will find you all in good health, give my love to my poor dear old Mother and also to all at Brompton Aunt Sarah in particular and tell her I hope to see her again. Accept the same yourself and family with blessings on you and yours. I have nothing farther to add except

that I am in good health and manage to keep my spirits above Zero

I remain your affectionate Brother
Andrew Clunie
I shall write again shortly

Melbourne Victoria
April 25th /65

My Dear Sister
I write to inform you that I have at length taken a passage in the ship Suffolk belonging to Messrs Money Wigram & Co. of Blackwall London. I sail on Saturday the 29th April and expect to be home almost as soon as you receive this, I dare say you have been wondering at not hearing from me before

but I have met with so many vexatious delays and delay'd writing until I had taken a Passage. I am in good hearth & spirits as I hope and trust my poor Mother is alive as I am going through so much to see her, I will send you a letter or Telegram as soon as we reach the English coast Dear Sister I hope you will look out for the ship in case anything should befall, what money I have is payable at Oriental Bank.

I expect to reach England about the middle of July. The Suffolk is a fast ship, she made the passage out in 69 days. I enclose my Photograph you will see what kind of being to look out for, give my fond love to all. I must now conclude, hoping to see you shortly.

I Remain
Your affectionate brother
Andrew Clunie

Mrs. Randall
16 Hasher Street
Chelsea
London
England

[Blank back of an envelope]

Adelong Diggings
July 11th 58

My Dear Mother
I received your letter a week or two back but have been too unsettled to reply till this present time. I am pleased at your writing I value it highly. I am now at Adelong Quartz reef Murrumbidgee 300 miles from Sydney and about 200 from where I wrote you last it took me a month to get here. I am doing nothing very grand, many doing better many worse, but I am still in hopes

of fortune. I have been here four months, I have just completed my building, a calico affair, it consists of a frame work in the shape of a dog kennel covered with calico and a large fly at top and forms a verandah, in front is a chimney built of sods at bottom, then bark with an old gunpowder barrel for a chimney pot, it is a comfortable affair and much admired.
Dear Sister I should have liked a few lines from you in reply to mine but I suppose you thought dear Mothers' sufficient. I am in first rate

health, I have just spent what I had in the undertaking, it is coming back in dribs and drabs. I have had no opportunity of sending what you requested but I wont forget it Dear Mother I have no opportunity of sending you a present just now there being no post from here but rely on it my poor dear Mother is always uppermost in my thoughts, try and be tranquil and dear Mother don't worry and fret if you don't hear from me so quick as you would wish, I am

in strong health and live like a fighting cock and doing very well. I hoped to have returned by this time but I cant return empty handed, things are getting very bad in the colony, large meetings of unemployed at Sydney and Port Phillip in fact the country's overdone. I hope this will find you all in good health your letters being so scant has left me nothing to reply to. My kind love to all

I remain your affectionate son
Andrew Clunie
Love to all at Brompton

South Gundagai
New South Wales
Novr. 1st 1860

Dear Sister
I sent you per last Mail a check for 5 which I hope you have duly received. I now enclose the second, present the first one you receive of course, you will only present one. I also sent you my Photograph as requested, you must tell me what you think of it, it is very correct but absence of colouring makes me look very like a Tinker, and being taken in the open air and in a strong light has given me a frown I don't generally posses. However you have it such as it is.

I told you in my last to direct Post Office South Gundagai be sure and spell the place correctly for fear of mistake. I am still living in this neighbourhood to be near the diggings in case anything fresh should turn up. I shall remain till I hear again from you but I hope before you receive this you will have received and answered my first. I am still in good health, my kind love to you and your dear children, my poor Mother, my Aunt Sarah and all the rest hoping this will find you all in good health and cheerfull

I remain
Yours affectionately
Andrew

Regd.

Mrs Randall
Care of Mr. George Symons
41 Brompton Row
London
England

[Blank back of an envelope]

South Gundagai New S Wales
March 17th 1864

My dear Sister
I write to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated 17th Decr. I also received a newspaper the Previous Mail. I am delighted to hear that you are all well, Dear Sister I mean to return home as soon as I can clear out of here, I intended to return this season but I fear it will be too late, money matters prevent my leaving at present as soon as I can turn my things into cash I shall leave here. I may perhaps be home in August but it will not


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do to return at the beginning of an English winter. If I can clear out in a month I shall start at once, I will of course write you full particulars respecting the ship &c. but I think it is most likely I shall remain here the coming winter which commences in May and Ship from Port Phillip at Christmas. Nothing shall prevent me returning at that time if alive and well; they say in this country that after a long residence here ones blood gets so thin and poor that they are unable to stand the cold of Europe

and that if in health they return immediately and if not in good health they die. Such is the yam in this country. An Old Navy Doctor was spinning that to me a short time back, all Bunkum. I can find something in Beef and Porter to thicken my blood. Now for local news, the Harvest nearly throughout the Colony is destroyed by rust, no money afloat and nearly every one Bankrupt. I trade for myself and earn a bare subsistence. Dear Sister It was painful to me to

read the trouble you had about a Penny stamp. I would have given 5 more to have been there at the time, something more than a shilling would have been cracked. Dear Sister I hope you will take great care of my Poor Dear Mother this coming winter if I am not at home and believe me I will possibly return in the spring if not before. You used to gammon me you did believe me at one time, if you do not receive another letter by next mail, please to answer this. I am

only waiting for money due to me and to sell what I possess and it is very likely I may be on the move in a month in that case I will write. If as I say you receive no letter write and direct as usual and let me know if there is anything I can bring you. Of course you would like a nugget of 60 oz. I should like to bring it you, but I haven't it. I mean any natural Curiosity or the like. I send you a newspaper. Dear Sister I hope this will find you all

in good health my kind love to poor dear Old Mother. I am only sorry I did not set about coming earlier but I had no idea of the difficulty of getting away. I must now conclude with my kind love to you all, also all the Brompton folk and hoping this will find you all in good health as it leaves me

I remain
Affectionately yours
A Clunie

It is quite refreshing in a place like this where ignorance so much abounds to read your well written and well spelt letters. I must here relate a thing I witnessed in Sydney soon after my arrival in the Colony, a Bass was started painted in gaudy colours (a light scarlet body) and on the side in large Capitals were the words (The Invisible): it ran for some time before the proper word was substituted (The Invincible). When you write direct as usual unless you hear from me in the mean time.

Mrs Randall
16 Hasher Street
Chelsea
London

South Gundagai Nov. 16th 1864

My dear Sister
I have received your tetter. I am so glad, I have been in the most dreadful suspense not knowing whether you have received my letter or not, and the time draws near for my departure. I have not received the paper yet the letter have just arrived and the down Mail starts at 9am. Tomorrow they don't bring the papers with the letters, they wait a convenient opportunity to send the papers. I shall get them no doubt, I send you a paper by this mail.

Dear Sister it is my fixed determination to come and if possible to remain but we will talk that over by and by, this country is now in a frightful state, the harvest fail'd last year and appears likely to fail this year, the roads are infested by bands of armed Bushrangers that people are afraid to travel, the Mail was robb'd twice last week, again yesterday Friday and this day was sent down by a guard and the news has just arrived that the Sergeant in command is shot dead. O this will

be a fine country when it is fenced in. I take from the papers occasionally the case of emigrants newly arrived, who after walking about for some time unable to get employment commit suicide from sheer despair. I shall leave in January for Sydney or Melbourne. I shall take a good Ship and a fast one. I shall be like Old Wellers stage coach carry very little luggage. Dear Sister you need not reply to this there will be no time, and rest assured that if the Almighty

spares me I will be with you in the spring. I leave this Colony without regret. I hope God will spare my Poor Mother yet a little longer and that he will bless and protect you and your family. I shall write again shortly. I have much more to say but for the Present I must conclude with my kind and lasting love to you all

Your Affectionate Brother
Andrew Clunie

[Transcribed by Judith Grant]