[On side at top left corner of letter]
From Captain Erskine Please to return this to me J.M.
HMS Orion off Greytown Mosquito Territory 15th. Janr. 1857
My Dear Macarthur
Your letter of the 10th. Augt. by the Omar Pasha, reached me here a few days ago, and I must thank you very much for attending to my wishes with respect to the wine, that my agent has taken charge of. I have written to desire him to pay the account of the Invoice of Herries & Farquhar to the credit of your brother & I shall not fail to give a full account of how the wine turns out, when I get it, which I hope I shall have an opportunity of doing within in a few months. I was much interested in the that account you gave me of the new Ministry in N.S. Wales. I have since heard a report of Donaldson's resignation, on what grounds I know not. The composition of the government appeared to me to be such as to make it both a popular & useful one, & I trust if there has been any change, it is
only one of offices, & not principles, & I also hope they are to have the benefit of your assistance altho' I should be glad to see if given in office rather than without. I am happy to hear you like the Governor, for he is a man whom I respect highly & I think he must be pleased with the change from V. Diemens Land, where he had a difficult game to play, & by some party people, was disgracefully treated. But it requires but a first acquaintance to discover his zeal & integrity, & Lady Denison must comand the regards of all who know her – You must remember me to both, & say I have not forgotten their hospitality and kindness.
I have been, since last July, in this wretched corner of the earth where a repre-sentation of the deluge goes on daily in the hope of heavy rain. I was sent out with a strong squadron to endeavor, by it's "vis mertio" to keep heathens quiet, until the conclusion of a treaty with America. This has been concluded in England between our Gov. & Mr Dallas, but it has got to be certified by the Senate, & their concurrence seems doubtful. Still I hope to be relieved from this profitless work,
of which the only thing satisfactory that can be said is that we have received beyond expectation in keeping free of sickness in all ships. I don't know if you take any interest in the struggle going on between the poor inhabitants of Central America, & the band of land-pirates under Walther, who have been deva-stating that unhappy country for the last year or two. It appears to me & be a bile blot on the escutcheons of England & the United States, (if under that glorious republic conduces to acknowledge, such an aristocratic heraldic destruction) that such scenes should have been permitted in a country perfectly innocent of offence towards either, but I am glad to say there is at last a prospect of the coming to a conclusion by the defeat & probably destruction of the treasonable Walter being now harmed in & his communications with Jamaica, on which he depends on all his supplies, cut off. As this also implies the stoppage of the transit from the Atlantic & Pacific thro' Nicaragua for reputable travellers, I hope the U.S. will soon see the necessity of interfering to prevent such buccaneering expeditions for the future. At present the cool contempt with what most of these gentlemen talk of all obligations of law, honor or honesty, is rather apalling but a check & level example which is likely to be exhibited here will I trust be somewhat of a lesson to the new President
this government. I was very sorry to see so little of your brother, but I was held in town for more than a day or two at a time & I was looking for a promised visit from him at Portsmouth when I was suddenly ordered away. I fear by the time I return to England, he will have left it. He will tell you that my attempt to get James however with me again, did not succeed which I was sorry for, & more so to hear of some unpleasant disagreements in the family, which I trust however, the young man won't take a part in. I am anxious to hear of Thornton & Riddell talk of leaving Australia. If they are still there I must ask to remember me most kindly to them, as well as to the James's, when you see them. Mrs Macarthur's & Misses recollections of me & their kind remembrances, are very gratifying & do indeed recall the merry days I have enjoyed in their society at Camden. Altho' I cannot hope to meet them there again, I do sincerely hope I may have the satisfaction of seeing them some day in the old country. I must close this my dear Macarthur with all good wishes. However you are disposed to give me a few lines I will enclose them as before to my agent, I shall also supply them for Sir Wlm
Yours Sincerely John Macarthur