Object #1003019 from MS-Papers-0032-0162
8 pages written 10 Jun 1864 by Reginald Newton Biggs in Tangoio to Sir Donald McLean
From: Inward letters - Reginald N Biggs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0162 (43 digitised items).
39 letters written from Wanganui, Tangoio, Wairoa, Christchurch, Tuparoa, Turanganui, Poverty Bay. Includes map of Wanganui sections, 1857 [?]. Names on map - Crass [?], C G Doughty, Thomas Kettle, F Watts, Awamoho, Pehira, W Jowett & R N Biggs (sections 26 & 27) by the Wanganui River. Includes letters from Biggs to Deighton, and Biggs to Fraser.
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
10 June 1864
My dear Mr. McLean
Hearing from Maro that the Maoris were to move their provender yesterday I started early under the pretence of looking for stray sheep and met them on the hills on their way to the Pohui. There were five men and seven women with pack horses; all the men had guns, and two of the women. I detained them some little time so that I might have a good look at their loads but I could not see anything that looked in the least like a cask of powder the kits etc. held chiefly what natives generally take with them when moving from one kainga to another they told me that were going to Maunga Haruru to store some potatoes which they planted there last year. The other Maoris of this place are to go today and they have told me for the last week that they intended going to Maunga Haruru that is very likely true and they may be doing two things at once storing ammunition and potatoes. On Tuesday my shepherd in coming from Waipatiki met two natives from Ara paounui each with a cask of powder. Why he supposes them to have had powder is that he saw the head of one cask the wrapping having come untied. One party of Maoris are gone to Tutira and I hear that it is their intention to store some ammunition there in fact they will place it in different spots so that in the event of a fight they will be able to
fall back and still have plenty of it. The Tongoio Maoris have been lately very busy breaking in horses many of them not two years old so that they can get them away without much trouble and they purpose I hear taking everything away by degrees so that their movements may not be noticed by the Europeans as of course a general mustering and driving away in land would be.
Now that I have told you all I know indicating an outbreak on the part of the Maoris I must tell you also the other side and leave you to judge as to what is likely to happen. Nothing could have led me to think for a moment that there was the slightest ground for suspicion from their behaviour and general manner. Since their return from Waikato they have been most civil some of them coming daily to the house bringing potatoes kumeras etc. They never make any fuss about the sheep going on their side of the river and they have the last week been very anxious to let me some more land and had Toogood been at home we should probably have arranged with them about it. Te Teira is anxious to pay some money to me that has been owing for some time and is to kill a bullock this week and I am to have some of it as part payment he is also continually talking about the sheep he is to have at the end of the year in lieu of money for the rent. What conclusion is one to come to? My own idea is that the Maoris are much/in the same state that we are they dont know
what is going to happen but wish to be prepared for anything that may turn up.
I must apologize for writing such a long letter with but little in it but I thought it better to let you know all and therefore could not cut it shorter.
Reginald Newton Biggs.
Inward letters - Reginald N Biggs, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0162 (43 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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