This a copy of a letter , 30th July 1850, from Matthew  Henry Crosby  to his brother Dr. John Crosby, Ouseburn, England

The original of this letter was lodged With The South Australian Archives In 1952 Adelaide, 30th July 1850
             
My Dear Bro',
    We have now entered upon the second year of our Colonial life, may God grant that this year may be more favourable , than the last one has been. I received your long expected letter along with a few others from my  dear relations in England   by Mrs . Cordaker which were all of them gladly welcome by us  when we heard you were all much the same as when we left old  England with the exception of poor old Benj Cass whose death  we were not at all surprised  to hear of .I was  rather surprised that you had not got either of my letters when you last wrote but hope by this time they will both have arrived safe . I have likewise sent three or four newspapers, one for you, which ought all to have landed by this time.

            We feel sorry that our friends in England do not remember us with  a Yorkshire newspaper sometimes , hope they will be more thought in the future if we are spared. Now my dear Bro' you  say in your letter  I am to have good heart, that honest industry may for a time  be under a cloud but  ultimately it will be rewarded. I quite agree with you, honest industry  will have its rewards especially here , to the man that has his health , but when I tell you that for the last five months I have not been able to do anything  at all through  ill health, you may perhaps wonder how you have got on but by trusting to providence  and having kind friends  we have never been in want yet.

           My illness began with a low fever and has left quite a weakness in my back, my bowels  all the time being very much out of order. I am still under the Doctor's hands  buy cannot get him to tell me my complaint any further than he says  is all weakness through interposition of friends .I have the attendance of the Colonial Surgeon, Mr. Marsh, who allows me one bottle of wine  per week  and medicine gratis. which is indeed a great help to us as Doctors fees are enormously high. They all seem to be doing good  who are in the Physic Trade.

         Eleanor although not quite well is I am happy to say better now than ever she has been since we arrived in the Colony. She has been very much afflicted , the children and Mrs. Sootheran enjoy good  health. In my last letter directed to Mr. Rooke  I told him that we had lost our youngest child  about a month after our arrival here, the particulars of that you will have no doubt heard by this time. I had just  got  comfortably settled in a very respectable house in Adelaide when I fell ill.

        I had been five months getting my pound a week  and my grub. There were five of us without the employers  and all lived very contentedly together. I am afraid I shall not be able to fulfill my situation again but all that we must leave to providence. The name of the firm is  J & T Waterhouse. They came from   Derby and have been in the Colony 10 or 12  years and have gained quite an independency. One of them is now over among his friends in England , he left Adelaide during the time I was with them , the other intends coming over on his return. They have shown very great kindness to me and are of great repute in the Colony.
     This is  now our winter season, the old colonists  say  they never knew such a fine winter as we have had . so far ,they generally  have a great deal of rain during the months  of June , July  and August, but for the month or six weeks  the weather has been so bracing , frosty at nights  but not so severe as to cause  ice to make its appearance , and a fine clear sky  with a beautiful shining sun  which makes all look so pleasant around  us that so far we like winter best.
                                                                                                                                               The summer months are hot and very unpleasant  during the hot winds  there are times when you scarce see across the street  for the clouds of dust , but this only occasionally , still quite often enough . There are a few of the natives  scattered around the town but they are very harmless, they build their huts near the town  in the winter time and in the summer season they are driven further up in the country as they are considered to be rather injurious about the town in the hot weather. They have a disagreeable smell about them . The males are some of them very fond of dress, sometimes you will see one of them with a policeman's jacket and trousers on and walking up and down the town with as much consequences  as any of your first rate gentlemen in England and another with perhaps  a fine white shirt and collar above his ears  with a first rate surtout coat , white waistcoat and trousers to match all  of which he had given to him , they are very fond of money and sell a deal of clothes they get given one among the other .If they should ask for money , which they often do they have got neck enough  to ask for which money ,meaning silver, they will say give me white money, white fellows got plenty money.
       Upon the whole they are a very idle set of people  some few of them will chop a few sticks sometimes , but then they want both tucker and money and they soon tire  The women are not so much for  dress as the men, most of them in a state of nakedness , just  a bit of a blanket thrown over them there -- they will walk up and down the town , the men are most of them tall and a straight race of people with a beautiful set of teeth, and fine open countenances  and are considered very honest .
 
         You say in your letter , I am to give you an account , if a man was to come over with five hundred pounds , how he might lay it out  to the best advantage. What I have seen so far of the country is certainly beautiful although I have not seen much of it yet. I have been  full thirty miles out and the and the different directions that I took had a very pleasant appearance , there is some of the land  rather thickly covered with wood , but on the other hand   there is a very great deal quite ready for the plough, water  in some parts rather scarce , buy on the whole it is a fine climate. A person coming out with a small capital, I would not recommend him to go headlong into farming. He may make much more money in the town if he be a sharp man  and look well about him .
       There are auction sales nearly every other day, either of land or merchandise  and there is often some very good bargains on the part of the purchasers . Money too is so valuable here you can always get very good interest for it and on good security .We have got, gold, silver and copper mines  within a short distance  of Adelaide. There has been a gold mine found out since we came here , but I think it is not likely very prosperous , the silver mine is doing pretty well  and the copper mine at the Burra  is paying amazingly .Those who have shares there  are all right.
         Another way a man might turn a small capital to advantage in town , that is building houses, rent is very dear indeed , the greatest  part of the houses are built very low, only one floor ,no upstairs work in  many of them as you have in England and a small cottage with rooms will let for seven or eight shillings  a week and more than that near the main streets , but after all there are some splendid houses , shops, and public places. There is a fine large bank , magnificent Post Office, and a beautiful Court House , all on the way of nearly finished . Many other buildings going forward , there has been an innumerable number of both brick and wood houses built since we came .They seem to spring up like mushrooms in a night , but still Adelaide is only in its infancy.
        They are beginning to get the streets in good repair and  the town seems is getting to be a large bustling place .There is a very great  deal of business done in it and in time is looked for a great deal more traffic going forwards , railways in different directions have been talked about , but do not seem to go forward . I have no doubt but that ultimately we shall  have our puffing engines here the same as you have in England , them that are spared to live to see it.  


       There are likewise a great many public houses , and a vast number of deep drinkers , the Innkeepers most of them seem to thrive well but a many of them are a low set of people , here is also the Foresters and Odd Fellows Club with Benevolent Societies  of various kinds similar to what you have at home, all seems to be in a thriving state  by what I can here.   I was sorry to hear by your last letter that times were so hard in England , hope before long that they will have a turn for the better. How glad we should be all of us to see you pop in some day with a " well Harry, how goes it my lad/"., but that day we shall never see. I would not advise any of my friends to come out except  they could make up their minds to turn their hands to anything although I do not think that a steady industrious man may do a great  deal  better here than in England  providing he has his health , but people must not come over here thinking they can live without working  for I can assure you it  is not the case.
       Now I must begin to answer your questions  which I will be most happy to do so far as I am able , perhaps I may not  answer them so correctly  as I might Have done  had I been able to go, out  to make enquiry respecting some of them having not been in business for about five months being confined to the house through ill health .. I shall be rather excusable if some of them are not quite right although I have friends popping in sometimes and I gain a little information when I can from them.
       !st. A steady industrious warehouseman in Adelaide can get from fifteen to twenty shillings per week with board and lodgings , but there is not much call at present for that class of man for a tradesman  has got a person that he can place with confidence  in they are rather loathe  to part with him, it should be so.
       2nd. A labourer that is a farm servant  may get twelve to sixteen shillings per week  with rations , but wages are very much reduced within the last two or three years owing to the great quality of people  who want employment  as soon as they arrive . We want a few shiploads of you money men  from England to create a little more work in the Colony , then we should be alright , there is plenty of room yet  you should not be afraid there will not be any land left  for you to rent or purchase.
      3rd & 4th. It is rather a difficult question to answer  as it depends  so much on the locality of the land . I asked a friend the other day  and he said you may buy cultivated land within 6 miles of Adelaide  at ten pounds per acre that will grow wheat, oats and barley, but I would not recommend any person coming quite strange into the colony to purchase land until he had looked well about him and could see his way clear.
 
        I think a person with small capital coming out to farm here would be by far  the best way for him to bring a good dairy man or maid with him who thoroughly understood the making  of butter and cheese, instead of buying to rent two or three sections of land as both these articles are very dear in the colony .You may purchase good milk cows  at about four pounds each. He might also breed pigs and poultry for bacon, eggs and fowls , all meat with a ready sale and fetch a good price-- the retail price at the present time for butter is 18 pence per pound , bacon 9 pence ,eggs 16 pence per dozen  fowls 4 shillings and sixpence per  couple, geese 6 shillings each, turkeys 6 to 9 shillings each, pigeons 2 shillings per pair , al these could pay well at the present prices and you may rent two or three sections of land from  3 shillings and six pence to 4 shillings and sixpence per acre, but the average price is 4 shillings.
        5th Wheat per bushel  at the present time is 3 shillings and six pence to 4 shillings , but it is very seldom so high as it is at present sometimes down to 2 shillings and six pence per bushel
       6th Beans, none for sale. I cannot  here of any grower of beans in the colony.
      7th Oats, 3 shillings to  3  and sixpence at present time , Barley, 2 shillings and 9pence.
     8th The uncultivated land has not at all a bad appearance , the greatest part of it , some is thickly wooded , some just a nice quality wood on it to be useful such as fencing with, and some quite clean of wood with a nice herbage on it, some of it hilly, but a great part of it flat and you may continue south .about thirty miles from  Adelaide .
     9th There are three brewers in town  and  two or three more in the surrounding villages round about.
     10th Their price for ale I have not been able to find out . The Publicans retail it for 6 pence and 8 pence per quart, and the best of it is only middling.
     11th  Brewers wages are from 25 shillings to thirty shillings per week. The brewers in town seem to be doing pretty well all of them.
     12th Tallow Chandlers wages about the same.
     13th Mould Chandlers are sold at 6 pence per pound . There are no small candles made in the colony, have never seen anywhat your  cal dips  since leaving the Old Country .
     14th Tea from 1  shilling and sixpence to  2 shillings and sixpence per pound, coffee is higher  now, or else up till late there was none above  1 shilling per pound . Now it is 1 shilling and 6 pence to 2 shillings per pound  owing to scarcity of the article . Sugar from 2 1/2 pence to 4 pence per lb., rice 2 and  1/2 to 5 pence . Beef 1 and 1/2 to 3 pence, mutton the same. Beef  here is not quite  as well fed  up as in England and is rather coarse. Mutton is very sweet and good.
     15th A respectable servant woman here can get from ten to fifteen shillings  per week and good servants are in request , there are so many indifferent ones come out  that there is a great want of good. Ones.
     16th The 16th last question  is almost answered by what I have stated above considering the sickness we have had  you may be sure my pocket will stand low, but although in a far away land we have had and hope to have our friends  therefore need not complain. I do not think that with the same sickness in England we should have been any better off , thus  far we have always had sufficient food and clothing and we must trust to providence for the rest, hope  am spared to have my health again we shall still be able to gain an honest livelihood in this land of plenty for  I have no reason to call it any other thus far, and I hope and trust never shall have . This finishes the answering of the questions you put to me  which I have done to the best of my  knowledge not using any flattering at all respecting any one of them but contrary wise if anything.
       We often talk about our friends in England  and wonder how they are all getting on , whether any of them will follow our example in coming to this or going to any other colony . I'm afraid England will get to such a pitch that many will be induced to leave it and try their fortunes in some foreign land where they will be  remunerated for their labour , but where they will have many more difficulties to put up with fir the first few years than they ever had at home , but still if a man finds himself fairly set   what with rents and  enormous re         why not at once pluck up spirit and emigrate to some place where he will be more likely to succeed in my humble opinion .
      A steady industrious man has nine chances of getting an honest livelihood  in some of the colonies to one in England where he has nothing  to depend on but his own industry . There is certainly the pain of parting with relations and friends whom you have associated with and perhaps spent  many happy hours together for a number of years . This in my opinion is the greatest difficulty for anyone leaving home.
     Do give our united love to all our dear relations when you see them and as for advising any of them to come out I shall remain passive on that point for fear they should not find things according to their expectations  and afterwards I should get the blame, but we should be very glad indeed to see any of our relations or friends out here to share their fate with us but those of you are doing well where you are  if you want  to enjoy the comfortable life after  all   a person like yourself would enjoy very much a trip to the Australian Colonies  if you could get anyone to manage your business for twelve months or so ..I think you would not regret nor yet begrudge the experience in coming to see this fine country.
    You would be delighted in going to see the different copper and silver mines and taking a regular survey of the country. There is such a fine range of hills about five miles from Adelaide I often think Mr. long would be very fond of the country.
    James Jepson, Eliza and Charles al well and have enjoyed good health since they came here. James has got a good situation as assistant draper in Adelaide. His salary is 30 shillings per week , but he has to find his own grub. James I am happy to say is likely to do well in this fine country . They desire their kind love to their friends in England , but he wrote to Charles not long since  and would tell him all the particulars .
    Now I will relate to you a few words respecting Colonial life and than conclude..
    If you were to pop in some day to see us we have not an arm chair for you to sit on  nor yet a table for you to get you dinner off, but, Colonial like ,we have a good large box that answers the purpose of a table and some smaller ones we use instead of chairs and couches to sleep on . We have no coal here and nothing but hearth fires so we burn nothing but sticks . There are comparatively speaking so few, but of course we have bake houses and many of the bakers are doing uncommonly well . Some of the large merchants have got their country houses a short distance from Adelaide and live in splendour  and a many who live in their snug cottages in town with a beautiful garden that will grow all names of vegetables and fruits , and nice verandahs to their houses to secure them from the summer heat. They seem to quite enjoy themselves . I must now draw this long rigmarole sort of letter to a conclusion or you will weary before you get it read.
     Give our kind love to Mr.  and Mrs. Rooke . and their families , hope they are all well. I sent an account of our voyage to Mr.R. …… was sorry that he had not received it  when you wrote but hope it now arrived safe . Do give our kind regards to Mr. and Mrs. Cass and we were sorry to hear they had lost their little girl , but I should think by this time they will have another in her place. Our relations , when you see them , give our united love to them and shall be very glad to see  any of them if they can put up with a Colonial life, but mind you, I would not advise any although do not regret coming myself.
     Jane Grace is a teacher in the British and Foreign School , she lodges with us .Mrs. Sootheran is with us , likewise William and Mary Ann both enjoy good health. William goes regularly to school . Eleanor is middling and I think feels better than when I commenced my letter .
     I remain, my dear Brother, Your affectionate Brother
                            Matthew Henry Crosby.

Note. On  the corner of the first page . "When you write direct for me at the Post Office , Adelaide , South  Australia, as are always on the lookout when an English ship arrives.