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The 1820 Rising
The Radical War
Letter from Thomas McCulloch to his wife 12th October 1821

New South Wales,
October 12, 1821,

My Dear Wife,

I send you those few lines, hoping they will find you and the children in good health, as they leave me at present thank God for it. We arrived here. on the 18th of May, all in good health, (after being at sea five months; I was taken off the stores by a Mr. Panton (Paton ?) a native of Scotland, and employed by him as a labourer; but not agreeing with me, he was so kind as to transfer me to a Captain Irvin, and I am to be with him as a house-servant, and I am going to remove about 40 miles up the country.

If you think of coming here, there shall be nothing wanting on my part to bring you, as I have every encouragement from several Gentlemen that can enable me to do so, as your presence here will free me from bondage; as any man’s wife that comes out here as a free settler, can take her husband from Government employment or being a servant to any man. Captain Irvin has promised to do every thing for us to make us comfortable. By our friends applying to the Secretary of State at London, you could obtain for us 300 or 400 acres of land. It is Andrew Dawson’s wish that his wife would come here also, and we will endeavour to get you out both together; but if you do not think of coming, I hope that you and the rest of my friends will do all they can to obtain a mitigation of my sentence, as my mind never can be at rest till I be with you and the rest of the family.

Sir Thomas Brisbane arrived here two days ago; he is to be our new Governor and the Governor can pardon any man he thinks proper; a great many have obtained their liberty since we arrived here; Captain Irvin. Mr Wyeems, Commissary-General, and other Gentlemen, have promised to befriend us; and the whole of our party is much respected here by the most respectable people in this country, and if you will only come out, a steady man and women can do very well, as they are very rare articles to be found here.

Andrew Dawson, James Cleland, John McMillan, and Allan Murchie, are kept in Government employment, on account of their being blacksmiths, who are very valuable in this part of the world; W. Clarkson and John Anderson is with Mr Lord, a respectable Gentleman, who much esteems them. Alex. Johnson is principal servant to the Commissary-General; Thomas McFarlane and Thomas Pink are with the Barrack Master; James Wright is shopman to a Dr. Phillips; Benjamin Moir, John Barr, and David Thomson is with Sir John Jameson: Andrew White, Bookbinder and Alex Hart, cabinet-maker, are in Paramatta with Dr Douglas; Wm. Smith is also at Paramatta with Mr. Marsden; Robt. Gray and Alex. Lattimer, is in Van Dieinans Land with Mr Mulgrave.

This is a fine country. and will grow any thing that will grow in any other country, and in, general have three crops a year. Loaf bread 3d. per lb., butter 2s per lb., beef and mutton 10d, eggs 2s a dozen, tea 2s. 6d. per lb. sugar 6d, potatoes 10s per cwt. A free labourer gets from 25s to 30s a-week, and a tradesman who has a trade to suit this country the country can make it a great deal better. I see Gilbert McLeod, (late Printer of the "Spirit of the Union") often, he is very well, and is acting as a schoolmaster.

Yrs. etc

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