Elizabeth Mitchell's letter to her parents on her arrival in New Zealand

New Zealand, Greenisland
January the 25th, 1863

My dearest father and mother, brothers and sisters, I once more after a long season accepts of this opportunity with greater pleasure than I ever expected to obtain. Dear friends this leaves me in good health and high spirits thanks be to the most high for his goodness to me during our long and protracted passage and restoring me to my health again after a severe illness.

We arrived here on the Saturday before the new year. Everything was beautiful. The new potatoes was 1 shilling per pound and the ..... one shilling and 3 each, and butter 3 shillings pound, eggs three shilling dozen and meal only ten shillings per stone, and mutton 1/3 per pound, end everything is ..... here but I never required to buy any for there was a friend of mine (came) and enquired of me and I went with him to his house and stayed 7 days with them and I came out every day in search of Mr. Reid but I never found him.

I left my address for him and for Mr. Wilson. He was away before I landed. We had 2 or 3 storms during our passage, one which we had all given up thought of reaching the land of our adoptancy but God with his goodness and the atencion (sic) of our good Captain has brought us all safe across the stormy ocean. But that four and twenty hours I will never forget and the Captain gave it up and could do not more for us. The carpenters was on deck to cut away her masts and (hawser) her two and the mast tied.to let it take its chance, for all was done that could be done but God in a good time made the sea to calm and all was right again and I may tell you there was two births on board but no deaths out of 3 and seventy passengers and very little trouble.

I was the only one that was very ill. I was in the hospital for two months with inflammation in the left side. They never thought I would get on shore. I got every attendance that could be given and when I got better I could not walk. I got a half a bottle of ....... every day for three weeks and I was all right again and I may tell you all that I suffered I never wished that I was at home. I was just resolved to whatever might be my fate but I was met with open arms that I never expected and I got a situation the day after I landed. I was advised to go to the country for my health. It is a good way out of Dunedin and I may say I never have been so happy in my life. I never knew what happiness was until now. They are not like the people at home. There is every thing here that I could wish for. I would not take all Glasgow and return again. It is a most beautiful country. I get thirty pounds in the year and only 10 cows and four children. I have rought more for 2 at home.

Give all my dear friends my kindest love and will them all by the next mail. So I must conclude with love to you all. No more at present but I remain your loving daughter til death. E.M.

Back to Story or Return to Table of Contents