Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Owen Family Letters

At the Auckland Museum Library. Manuscript 1164
Twelve families came from Prince Edward Island to New Zealand on the 14th of May 1859 seeking the Britain of the South and fleeing the brief summers and long winters. What a journey!

George W Owen wrote to his father of his experiences in the new colony.

Extract.

Queen St, 1860 from book
decently and in order
The steam engine is yet unsold and has cost me a good deal of money, and the trade here altho greater is far more cut up than in Charlotte Town. Had I a stack of stationery, I would do well, but the meagre lot I have, not half the things enquired for operated against me, and again having to contend against old hands in the business.  Auckland is unlike Charlotte Town which is supported by a back country with a population 10x greater than the town. The city of Auckland is as populous as the country around it and is more supported by the natives than the white people.

Again the emigrants arrivng here finding all the accessable land in the hands of land jobbers and the difficulties almost impossibilities of going into the north to settle away from roads and settlers, are many of them compelled to open small shops and to eke out a living.

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