Sept. 14th 1855
My Dear Mr. McLean,
You have long been expected at Manawatu, but I fear, from what I heard the other day you are not likely to be this way for a considerable time yet. When you come, I think you will find things somewhat more prepared, than when you were last here, for negotiating with the natives for their land. Taratoa and others seem disposed to yield so far to Te Hiriwana; and Ihakara was surprising some of them a week or two ago by avowing his willingness to dispose of part of what he owns. He says his mind has been changed partly by the numerous deaths that have lately taken place amongst them. Wiremu --- old Paora's son died a few weeks ago and his wife followed shortly after. Pataka, Taratoa's son died yesterday. Fever has been prevalent here for several months and has proved very fatal. Our girls were ill; and for some days Jessie was in a very critical state, but she was mercifully spared to us; and we are all I am thankful to say at present quiet well. Mr. Robinson's children have all had fever and I am sorry to add, that he has lost Jamie the second boy. The other children are recovering. Mr. Cook has one boy still dangerously ill.
I hope you are enjoying good health. I am longing much to see you.
You remember I dare say, having proposed that a piece of land adjoining our premises should be given up by the native s for the benefit of the mission here. You suggested
that as I did not think this mission likely to be permanent, and as I did not, on that account, feel disposed to lay out much improvements, the land might be given up by the natives to the Government to be afterwards purchased by me, and for which I would in my own right, receive a crown grant.
The natives here have readily agreed to give up all right to the piece of land we spoke of when last together.
The following is a copy of their written agreement.
Ko matou Ka whakaae Ki roto i tenei pukapuka ki te tuku no kia taukana Minita tetehe wahi o matou whenua Kei Manawatu. Ko tenei one one e takoto ana ki waenganui o te matou pa te whenua hoki o te Ropitini --- ewitu tekau eke pea ki roto. Ko te rohe tata ki te matou pa ko te taiepa o tana Kari, haere tonu ki te ara ki uta. Katahi ka watia, ka rere tonu i te taiepa rakau tae noa ki te taiepa one one, rere tonu ki te nga herehere, piki tonu atu i runga i te hiwi, heke tonu ki rara ki te ritenga atu ki te rohe o te whenua o te Ropitini. Ko tetetu atu rohe a o te whenua, ko Manawatu.
Ko tenei hoatutanga one one he hoatu tonu atu kia ia hei mahinga ranei hei hokoranei kia ia te whakaaro mo te whenua. Ka hoatu matou tenei whenua kia taukana ano; ka hoatu ia te Whakaaro mo te whenua. Ka hoatu matou tenei whenua kia taukana ano; ka hoatu roa ranei kia Kawana, kia te Makarini ranei hei hoatu kia taukana.
Na Ihakara Tukumaru
Na Nepia Taratoa
Na Paora Taikapurua
Te Awa hou
Na Kururo Rangimaru
I have got one side of the land fenced from our house back to the bush, but I now feel reluctant to do more until I the land secured to me by the Govt.
It has occurred to me that since the natives have have thus agreed to give up the land to the Govt. for my benefit, you may be able to obtain from the Governor a crown grant for it, or at least a guarantee that a crown grant shall be given on payment of a specified sum. If you can get this matter settled for me and will be kind enough to do so I shall feel greatly obliged.
Will you be so good as write to me as soon as convenient. The document with the signatures of the natives I shall send to you if required.
Mrs. Duncan unites with me in Kindest regards to you.
I am my dear Mr. McLean
Yours most affectionately
D. McLean Esq.,
Land Commissioner etc. etc.
Inward letters - James Duncan, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0252 (18 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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