Object #1001731 from MS-Papers-0032-0236

4 pages written 28 Dec 1863 by Edward Spencer Curling in Patangata to Sir Donald McLean in Napier City

From: Inward letters - E S Curling, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0236 (21 digitised items). 22 letters and memo written from Te Kopanga, Te Aute, Ahuriri, & near Patangata, 1857-1866. Includes letter from McLean to Curling, Jun 1859.

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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English (ATL)

near Patangata
28th. Decr. 1863.

D. MacLean Esquire, Napier.
My dear MacLean,

I am very much obliged to you for yours of the 21st., the contents of which I duly observe and I will not fail to attend the Council in January. There are I think 4 men in it who will oppose you on any measures including Tiffen. He has not much ability to do harm, and the remainder of them you not fear. I am sorry about Tuke's affairs. I thought he behaved very well in Council.

Who will succeed him I cant imagine. Doubtless Gollan would be a good man to have, but I have noticed that he is more of a thinker than one who acts. Perhaps you, or Russell might induce him to accept the trust.

I may tell you so occupied have I been for months that I have seen no one of the inland settlers. Many affairs have prevented my leaving at all.

I purpose writing to Domett - the present Govt. I have no doubt are under obligation to him, as many of his ideas and plans they will adopt, and he was not a likely man to truckle to the Maori party, or be led by local feelings or interests. If we had General Cameron as Governor for two years we should hear of no more Native wars, and defying the law etc.

He seems to me to be a man of the Lord Clyde stampe.

As far as this Province is concerned I believe that your calling out the Militia and adopting vigorous measures has been the main cause of peace with us. Now the Native motive may be different - alarm about confiscation - defeat of their friends, and our Troops in the heart of the Waikato Country.

Then they have considered their rents here etc. It is from no love towards us, that we have not had an outbreak, and I still think that if invaded by hostile Natives many would join them.

The people at home no longer sympathize with the Natives, or I believe the Clerical set. The war in America has made them less squeamish about fighting, and deeds of blood and war.

They begin to see that the Natives must be subdued at any price. Perhaps this fact will encourage the Governor to be firm.

You may be quite sure that I was very unwilling to trouble you in times like these with the lawless doings of our Natives - with acts like those of Taranaki - felony and forcible invasion of private property. To this in truth it had come, and I saw delay was dangerous.

Renata is a very bad character, but Maika, Tomati his brother and all hands of that set are concerned in it and no better.

About me their doings for months caused a good deal of talk among those who witnessed them. By loss of lambs I have suffered - by dogs left about - by washed sheep driven into rough hills - and perhaps some off the run, and, I may say, that Iintend to claim damages for those acts, for treapass and the felonious removal of Timber. They will not escape as they imagine. You will find it will soon be necessary generally to enforce the law of trespass in this Province, as regards Natives.

I should like to see a Road laid out to their reserve of Bush. To the fencing act also they will find themselves hereafter amenable. Matters have quite changed - they keep horses without number - turn them out anywhere and cause disturbance thereby.

Although unaware what course you intended pursuing with these men, I think it is only proper that I should privately state to you my intention of claiming damages - it has become necessary in self defence - many persons have said to me I ought to do it on public grounds - and I certainly feel that these men ought not to escape without a punishment they most richly merit.

It is only after very mature consideration - from no haste - that such a course on my part appears to me indispensable. I have their security for the future. All their conduct was accompanied by much bounce, and declaration they would go where they like. etc.

They all decamped before Mr. Locke arrived being alarmed at my telling one of them who came to see us drill that would have some of them in jail. This was on Saty. On the Monday, they were off.

I think it will lessen your difficulties hereafter when they find they must feel, and pay for lawless deeds. You must indeed have had an arduous time for months, and much anxiety, and it has been very unpleasant to me to find it necessary in any way to add to your duties - forced upon me by the above mentioned Natives.

They have lost muchshearing by their cupidity. For the last 3 years they have been very troublesome to manage. I have been at work with 4 hands and my own men. Gollan I hear has discarded them.

I wish you the compliments of the season, and hope you will have all hands on the 18th. Jany., in case the enemy should shew fight.

Believe me, My dear Sir,
Most faithfully yours
E.S. Curling.

Part of:
Inward letters - E S Curling, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0236 (21 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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