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Benjamin Way

Letter from Arthur Edwin Way to Benjamin Way, 11 & 24 September 1842

Clevedon, Gresford, Allyn River, NSW Sept 11th 1842 Address: Arthur Edwin Way Sydney NSW My dear Ben, It is now some sixteen months since I wrote to Susan a long letter and have been for some time expecting a [Budget] of news from Denham and, as I am now considerably more settled than at that period, I doubt not that you who have always taken an interest in my welfare will be glad to know how I am getting along in this distant part of the world. The spot which I have selected for my home from where I write is about 130 miles from Sydney, and as far as I have yet informed myself it is decidedly the best district in the colony for a homestead, being within the seacoast range of mountains, a position which [ensures] us a plentiful supply of rain, one of the most important points to be looked at by a settler in this fearfully droughty country. Our farm was first purchased of Mr Townshend by my partner John Durbin, to whom I agreed to give stock of the amount which [he] had expended and so we set our heads together, and our farm is now become one of the best (for a small farm) in the district. It consists of 800 acres of which we have cleared better than a hundred, seventy acres being now under cultivation; the remaining [frontier] is fenced in and subdivided into grazing paddocks for the brood mares and one or two dairy cows which we keep at the farm. Our winter is just now ending and we have about fifty-five acres of young wheat looking as green and healthy as a farmer could desire to see it. Our home which was a miserable hut when I arrived is now a substantial edifice and having an abundance of limestone we have just plastered it within and without, which gives it a very neat appearance. It consists of one sitting & dining room 20ft square next to which is our business room & library 12ft square, adjoining is my bedroom 12ft square do, adjoining which is the Barracks or visitors room 20ft by 15ft. At the back is Durbin's bedroom, a small store & pantry, a spacious verandah runs the whole length of the front and round two sides of the house, immediately in front of the house is the garden & in the rear is the stables, barn, loose boxes, pig yard, men's huts etc: & now keeping my description in yr. mind, you have as good an idea of my antipodean stop as if you were upon the spot. We have had a great loss this last week in the death of our gardener who was a negro convict, I was talking to him at sundown apparently in good spirits, & the same evening while eating his supper, the poor fellow burst a Bloodvessel (sic)