D4716/1: Sydney, New South Wales, 20th June 1841
My dear father and Mother, I have taken the opportunity of writing you these lines trusting the same will find you both in good health, Brothers and sisters, and all relations and enquiring friends, as it leaves me by the blessing of God in good health at present. I received your affectionate letters, and on account of being removed from my master prevented in answering your letters, my reasons for leaving my master, was that he objected to sign his name for my liberty. It gave me great pleasure in one way of hearing from you and I was very much grieved of hearing the death of my Uncle, and my cousin Elizabeth but, I trust they are gone to a better world, in which they will enjoy everlasting happiness. It was your particular wish to know the present state of the colony in regard of wages. If I was free I could get from thirty five pounds at least to forty pounds per year. I have been offered lately one pound per week and rations I have been engaged with a master at Wollongong. Soon even I am free and that will be on the 14th of October. I am very happy to think you have the intention of coming over, and there is not the least doubt of your doing well, provisions are very cheap – according to the wages. I am happy to hear from you, that I have learnt from difference Branches, since I have been in the colony. Should I have the pleasure of meeting you again in the colony, I shall be able to make you comfortable and happy all days of your lives. I have given up the thought of returning home, on account of your having the intention of coming out here, and it will give me a great consolation of seeing after so long a time, and if you have got a neighbour that would like to come, come all together and not have the least danger in crossing the ocean for it is a delightful passage a person can take by cutter. I conclude with my kind love to my brother, William and my sister Elizabeth and likewise to young Charles, and to the rest of the family and all relatives and friends, God be with you wishing you all prosperity and happiness trusting to the helps of a merciful providence of seeing you all out here. In the cause of twelve months. From your affectionate son, James Foster. Send me an answer if you intend leaving, before you sail so that I may know you are coming.