Scots Abroad: Stories of Scottish Emigration

John Salmond letter extracts


Letter of John Salmond to his father concerning his emigration to New Zealand. Dunedin, 4 March 1850:

'Then a very extensive fine country opens up, particularly the Tokomiriro plain … a plain covered with a luxuriant grassy herbage, capable of grazing thousands of kine and bounded by nice easy hills also clothed with a rich carpeting of grass admirably suited for flocks of sheep … The country between the Tokomairiro and the Molineaux and the Molineaux itself is decidedly the best of all.'

'The class of people who should emigrate to Otago are middle class men, farmers or merchants, then would undoubtedly soon find themselves independent * I beg readers will qualify this statement by last sentence in latest news. Labourers in the meantime had better stay at home, as we have more than money to employ.'

'The town of Dunedin is a wonderment to all. There is I suppose a good many over an 100 house choke full of folks. There are 4 or 5 provision & grocery shops, 3 butchers shops, 3 bakers, 2 or three cloth shops 7 hardware shops, a druggist, 3 or 4 surgeons, a tinsmith, 2 blacksmiths, tailors and shoemakers, milliners & dressmakers, 2 or 3 thoroughbred gardeners, a lot of weavers, they have not yet begun to work, house carpenters, wheelwrights, upholsterer, cooper, boat builders, engineer men. We are in great want at present of a watch maker … So you see we have mostly all sorts of hands.'

Letter of John Salmond to his brother describing his life in Karnford, New Zealand. Karnford, 27 October 1865:

'The flax dressing industry is being entered into with great eagerness. If it is a permanent successs, it may really inaugurate a new industrial era in the colony … Besides it would give remunerative employment to large numbers of work-people, a class not so well suited for the heavier & rougher work of field culture, and to keep up and increase our home colonial consuming market.'

'All hail to our nephews Pat and Joe when you see them again from us. Let them think of the Little Britain of the South. Necessarily we almost must grow into a maritime people. Our coasting and intercolonial trade must rapidly increase year by year, and the very curious configuration of the country itself … indicates that our future destiny on land and it to be the scene of great manufacturing operations.'