Object #1002590 from MS-Papers-0032-0644

4 pages written 10 May 1863 by an unknown author in New Plymouth District

From: Inward letters - Helen Ann Wilson, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0644 (90 digitised items). 84 letters (including some incomplete and fragments) written from New Plymouth (Henui & Calpe Cottage), 1849-1870 & undated, written to `My dear son' (Donald McLean)Letter from Helen Wilson to Isabelle Gascoyne (Gascoigne), Jun 1858

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

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English (ATL)

Don't forget the name that Sir George calls you - get rid of it as soon as possible - by paying handsomely! this is the best advice your old Mother has ever given you. New Plymouth
10th. May 1863

My dear Son,

Your welcome letter of the 18th. ult. reached me on the 3rd. Inst. and glad I was to find that you had not quite forgotten your old Mother - the Papers were also most accep table, after reading all these pleasant communications, I anticipated writing you such a merry letter, in which I was to be assisted by Sir George Grey who was much pleased with all your really good speeches - but desired me particularly to tell you from him, "That you, Donald McLean, was a real and a true Humbug as regards what you say about being too poor to send me your mite towards our Organ fund, for that he knew that you are the richest man on the Island" he and I were to have had some fun with you about the sale of your wethers! but all this fun and amusement has been put a stop to by the very dreadful affair of the 4th. Inst. as you will see by the Papers - a more unprovoked murder could hot be - ten men coming from Tataraimaka quietly along the Beach area attacked by a set of the savage Ngataruanui who were lying in ambush and shocking to relate they managed to kill 9 out of the ten - the poor fellow who managed to get back to the camp did it most bravely - for which he ought to be rewarded by the Government - and also by us settlers - and I hope he will be so - no communication could be held with Tatara except by telegraph, until the mail steamer arrived from Auckland, when the General availed himself of her to take him and provisions to the relief of the little band so cut off - the General returned in the afternoon bringing the poor man who so bravely escaped from the savages, he is wounded in the leg as also in the arm, he states that three fell by the first volly - 4 by the next - poor Lieut. Tragget was lying badly wounded on the beach and he told the three who were still unhurt to tie his white Pocket handkerchief to a ramrod and with that to advance up the Hill and surrender themselves but the horrid wretches actually fired on the poor men while they had the flag of truce in their hands - two fell, the only remaining one ran and placed himself under the shelter of a sand hill from whence he fired, and shot one of the Maories, and while the others were draging the body up the bank he started to run for it - he soon found that he was pursued by some ten or twelve, he kept loading and turning round and firing at them - but soon found that they were gaining on him - he therefore took to the fern to hide himself - as soon as he was seen to do this, his pursuers turned, and fled in all haste, well knowing that it was his turn now to lie in ambush - when they got out of sight, he could proceed to the Camp, where the poor fellow arrived pretty well exhausted. The man of war steamer came in this morning with some of the 40th. and 70th. she is to leave again this evening for more troops - and we have just been told that we may soon look for three Regts. from India - the more the better - and we all most earnestly trust that the Southern Native will at last get what they richly deserve - and get it they will no doubt we have very different Commanders now to what we had before - a Cameron is not to be trifled with - and I very strongly suspect that some of our wise heads will ere long find that a "thistle" is a dangerous plant to play with - the Waitara question has been laid on the shelf for the present, the soldiers are to be withdrawn from there. We are glad of this as it will keep the folks at home quiet - consequently all parties will be now united in the present just war and not to grumble at the unjust one on the Waitara question - the people of New Plymouth (strange to say) actually seem to be pleased with the withdrawal of the troops from Waitara they very justly say - Sir George must have a reason for acting so. I wish he would prevent the natives from coming into town - there are a great too many of this sort of cattle allowed at all hours in the town they do much mischief the Militia men on guard the night before last found two of them armed with a double barreled gun each prowling about at 2 o'clock in the morning, what could they be out at that hour for? - No good, you may be sure. This is a sad state of things all the poor people who had ventured out to their farms in the neighbourhood have all been obliged to come in again - I am very glad that the "Gudeman" sold the bit of land at the Henui - a short time back there was such a good prospect of peace that had we still retained the land we might have been tempted to build a cottage and only gancy if we had done so how provoking it would have been to have had again to abandon it. I must now try and give you some little account of Sir George - when he arrived here he was really very ill - I am happy to say that he is now quite recovered the air of New Plymouth has agreed famously with him. Mrs. Cutless has proved herself a very good nurse to him I was always sure that she would which made me so anxious to get him to take up his quarters under her roof when Sir George leaves us we shall not know what to do without him - he calls in to see us every day to have a quiet chat - you are very often the subject of these little friendly "Korero's" he certainly is a most delightful companion. I often very often think to myself what a fool Lady Grey was to forego the society of such a man - he is very pressing for us both to go on a two months visit to him when he returns to Auckland, we may perhaps accept it - if all goes well. Don Pedro, or as you Honor has dubbed him "Sir Peter" will certainly avail of the kind invitation, but your old Mother must take longer time to make up her mind to a sea voyage. It is no use talking, or thinking of such things now! our situation at present prevents us building castles in the air. Sir George feels himself so much at home with us that will always come and sit with us in our little kitchen, and he told me the other day that he should of all things like to live with us, and live just as we do - he tells us so many and pleasing stories about the Cape - and so much about his favorite island the "Kawau" that we quite long to see it. The Brown clique are very much against Sir George - but as you may suppose he cares but little for them - they certainly have worked hard to annoy him - and are still doing so - even up to the other day while the inquest was going on about the murders committed by the Natives. H. Atkinson was doing all in his power to throw all the blame upon the Governor and Flight was fool enough to allow it. You will be surprised to hear that Flight is quite turned over to the clique! Charlie will make another catspaw of him, as he has done of Parson Brown! - the news from the Potoko this morning is that the natives arebuilding a very strong Pa on the spur of the "Haurangi" hills - from the number of natives seen their number is guessed at about 7 or 9 hundred as soon as the rest of the troops arrive from Auckland we suspect an attack will be made upon the said Pa. Perhaps the General's policy will be to allow them to collect a good bagfull before he attacks - and then pursue them, till he finishes them - I think you must be rather tired of this long story so I will put past my pen until the next time I am inclined to punish you. So I will say no more at present except to remind you that Sir George assures me that you are a "Humbug" so you had better make haste and sell some of your wethers and send me a good and proper donation such as a person in your exalted situation should do, so as to enable us to say that the Governor has given you a wrong name. Sir George and Sir Peter both desire to be kindly remembered to your Honor and I beg that your Honor will not forget to write to your old affectionately attached old Mother

H. A. Wilson. Sir George has given me £10 for the organ - you of course cannot give much less!!! so look out!!! just fancy how proud your old M Mother will feel when she presents a handsome sum from her Son!!!

Part of:
Inward letters - Helen Ann Wilson, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0644 (90 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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