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State Library of NSW
Volume 46 pages 259-264: Letter from James Atkinson to Alexander Berry, 4 June 18294 June 1829
a small moveable stage about 10 ft high for a man to stand upon would be useful thus all the men required in building a stack would be 3 or if high 4 – 2 men would be sufficient in the field to pitch and load – and 3 carts going and coming or 4 if the field was distant. 2 men should be constantly employed thatching – with this strength constantly employed, provided the steddles and straw for the thatching were ready before-hand, I have no doubt your whole harvest might be got in and secured in about 5 weeks, which time I suppose your harvest generally occupies, and you might employ about 30 or 40 reapers. By appropriating some of your best men to this purpose, and giving them a glass or two of spirits or some Beer extra, your harvest would go regularly forward; you would never have any large quantity cut but not carried, and never above one or two moderate stacks uncovered at one time; as you [have] plenty of bullocks you could let one set to work in the mor[ning] and another in the afternoon, with the same men, this plan [indecipherable] always follow in Harvest. There are many other things I wish to say to you but at present have not time, I hope to be present at the Anniversary dinner of the Agricultural Society on the 13th of next month when I shall expect the pleasure of seeing you. Mrs A and our little girl are quite well, and I am quite recovered myself. The season is dreadfully dry, and the weather cold and frosty. The young wheat look healthy but have not yet made much progress. Mrs A joins with me in Kind regards to Mrs Berry and believe me
Yours ever faithfully
PS: There is a Bill of mine in the Bank which will be due sometime this month, I shall be obliged to you to retire it, and send me another for acceptance excluding by about £20 the amount that will then appear to my debt. I shall not have occasion to draw much for some time as I have considerable funds in R and M’s hands which I am anxious to draw out as fast as I can. There are said to be a number of new Settlers with money, if you know any who want to buy a flock of sheep, I would deal with them on very liberal terms. I am much overtaken and would rather sell them than [farm/form] any new establishment.