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Volume 46 pages 259-264: Letter from James Atkinson to Alexander Berry, 4 June 18294 June 1829
Oldbury 4 June 1829,
I returned on Tuesday from a visit to our dear friend Wollstonecraft at the Shoalhaven whom I was happy to find in comparatively good health, and looking better than I had seen him for some time. As I am aware would wish me to communicate to you anything that struck me with regard to the management of your truly extensive establishment, I shall endeavor to give you my observations as shortly as possible, regretting my necessarily short stay did not enable me to effect a more minute examination.
The improvements you have effected in clearing, enclosing and especially draining, are extremely judicious, and reflect infinite credit equally on your judgment and spirit, and I have no doubt you will experience great and permanent benefit from them. I have never seen anything at all approaching to them in this Colony, and they are highly worthy of imitation. The improvements are in fact such in magnitude and character that I could hardly recognize the place as it is now six years since I was there last. The dry seasons have also produced truly astonishing effects combined with the treading of the cattle.
I regret I cannot speak so decidedly in praise of your system of Agriculture which I must candidly confess is anything but Farmerlike; the land first brought into cultivation is fast becoming extremely foul, and unless something is done to prevent it