Object #1001795 from MS-Papers-0032-0376
From: Inward letters - Surnames, King, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0376 (9 digitised items). Correspondents:J H King, 1851; Maria King, Wanganui, 1846-1847; Philip H King, Waiuku, 1871; Thomas King, Wellington, 1844-1846; W C King, New Plymouth, undated
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(Letter from Thomas King, May 26th. 1846, to Donald McLean Esq. care of Dr. Wilson Wanganui. Favoured by Capt. Taylor.) Wellington
May 26th. 1846.
This settlement is in the greatest possible state of excitement, - the daring behaviour of Rangihaeata, having put all the Europeans and natives on the alert. E Puni has taken up his quarters on the Hutt, with about 280 men, David Scott acting as interpreter. The soldiers are stationed principally at Porirua, to keep open the coast line, and check any movement from Rangihaeata's pa. The town has been guarded by a few Troops, and 70 Marines, and small arm men from the ''Calliope''. But these latter have been withdrawn. The Militia, consisting of about 150, have occupied the Porirua road, and the Thorndon portion of the town; Te Aro being protected by a corps of Volunteers raised in that place. It is difficult here to obtain correct information of the movements of the enemy, or of tribes beyond Porirua; but great apprehension is felt lest Rauparaha should be covertly succouring his old colleague, or Rangihaeata's force be strengthened by the accession of stragglers from the Interior. Pun has recommended that active measures be immediately taken against the enemy; having told Major Richmond that if he does not move in the matter at once, his men will cool in their ardour, and the
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confidence of the hostile natives increase. After the attack upon the Hutt, the consternation of the settlers was very great. The women and children of the out-lying Europeans, were lodged in the centre of the town; and arms and ammunition supplied to the whole sale population who applied for them. But now that a week has elapsed, and people are becoming enured to danger, the excitement has decreased. It has checked business in an alarming manner, and I fear the injury will be felt yet to agreater extent. The unfortunate cultivators have abandoned all thoughts of wheat sowing; and only the more confident have even grassed their lands. You will, of course, receive more ample intelligence from the authorities than I am capable of imparting; and I know, will set matters in a better position than the old women who govern, or rather misgovern, this part of the Colony.
I regret to say that I have been detained here for the last eight weeks. The ''Carbon'' having experienced such unfortunate weather when returning to Taranaki, and now being detained for repairs in the Hutt. I trust I shall be able to leave by the end of this week, or the beginning of next. I am tired to death with the ennui of Wellington, and have determined not to leave Taranaki again this year, if I can be fortunate enough
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to get there. I hope you left all our good friends there in good health and spirits. I got an extensive variety of letters from Taranaki, when the ''Carbon'' returned; but the news they contained was very little.
If you should be sending to Taranaki within a few days after this reaches you, perhaps you will have the kindness to say that I am quite well, and am using every exertion to reach, the settlement; but that the weather has been so unfavourable, and the carpenters so dilatory, that I cannot get the ''Carbon'' out of their hands.
I hope you have succeeded in getting a satisfactory arrangement with the Wanganui natives; and that you will get back to Taranaki with all speed; as we unfortunate settlers cannot possibly do anything without your valuable assistance. I am ashamed to ask you to excuse this sad scrawl; but really and truly I expect the ''Katherine Johnson'' will sail almost immediately.
Yours very truly (Signed)
To:- D. McLean Esq. Wanganui.
Inward letters - Surnames, King, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0376 (9 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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