Letter Discouraging Emigration To Australia
Letter Discouraging Emigration To Australia
Letter Discouraging Emigration To Australia
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Letter Discouraging Emigration To Australia

1838. Four pages of text in ink, dated “Sydney, 15 Dec. 1838”, postmarked “Paid ship letter. Sydney. Dec. 24, 1838” with Glasgow postmark verso, 32.2 x 19.8cm. Missing portions, discolouration, tears, and old folds with archival tape support.

The letter, addressed to George Hutchison in Glasgow, was written by William McGarvie who at that time was one of the owners of the newspaper The Sydney Herald.

Text includes “A few days ago upon my arrival from Port Macquarie I read the letter which you had written to my brother about the prospects held out for your emigration to New South Wales. As I have had ten years’ experience in the colony and two years’ actual experience as a bush settler besides in the above time having travelled over a considerable part of the colony, I will tell you how things really stand. I should be very sorry to advise you to come to this part of the world considering the very comfortable situation you now hold…[however] with your small capital…I would not advise any person to come here as a settler who cannot command upon landing a 1000 pounds...”

McGarvie advises that Hutchison’s emigration information from a pamphlet is out of date and “totally inapplicable and calculated to do much mischief.” He then provides details of the rising cost of sheep, labour and land, and the increasing population i.e. that up to 10,000 people emigrated during 1838, indicating that the colony is booming and therefore it is expensive to get established.

At the time of the letter, George Hutchison was working at Cochran & Co., merchants of cotton yarn and cloth manufacturers, at 27 South Frederick Street, Glasgow.

Born in Glasgow, William McGarvie (1810–1841) was a journalist, bookseller and pastoralist in the Port Macquarie area. In 1831, he was a founder of The Sydney Herald which was purchased by John Fairfax in 1841, who renamed it The Sydney Morning Herald. Ref: Scottish Post Office Directories, 1828-1912; ADB; Wiki.

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Item #CL201-6

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