Object #1003449 from MS-Papers-0032-0482

6 pages written 1 Nov 1866 by John Davies Ormond in Wallingford to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0482 (74 digitised items). 72 letters written from Wallingford, Wellington & Napier, 1866-1868Includes piece-level inventory.

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

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English (ATL)

Novr. 1st./66

My dear McLean,

I sent you a few lines today by Hodges. Tonight (just now) eleven O'clock your messenger with the rifles arrived here, he brought 15. By Hodges I advised you of the receipt of the ammunition etc. and now I think we have all we want to take are of ourselves if, Mr. Ngairo should come this way.

This morning Henare Matua came up from Porangahau to see me, he was in some alarm at a letter which he brought to shew me. The letter was dated 15th, Oct. Wairarapa, the name of the writer I forget, Piripi something. The contents of the letter were that Ngairo and Wi Rape did intend to come to Heretaunga and did mean to fight there to revenge Rangi-hiroa's death. The time of their coming uncertain, perhaps at once, perhaps in a week or two. In the meantime their object was to make converts and increase their strength. The writers there were two names to the letter, said all Wairarapa was gone over to the Hau Haus --- a visit to the lower Wairarapa Natives was to be made before they came this way. Henare who is a very reliable Native (in my opinion as good a man as we have) considers that the chances are the Poti will come. He says the letter he brought me was another indirect request for an invitation from him and his people to ask the Wairarapa Natives to come up. He has sent another reply telling them not to come. He has also ordered the Hau Hau Natives at Matikuna and Castle Point to either give up their faith or clear out and take themselves off to Wairarapa. He did this without consulting me and I blew him for doing it. He says it will do no harm and that he believes the Coast Natives will give up Hau Hauism and come up to be under his protection.

On the whole he gave me to understand that he thought the Poti would come and that the time was uncertain at which they might do so.

Confound these Wellington people it is very hard indeed that they can't look after their own Natives. As to Haultain and his proceedings at Wairarapa they are a disgrace to the Colony - a Minster indeed treating with a handful of scoundrels like these, under a flag of truce, and in the midst of a population of some 4,000 people.

It is strange what ups and downs we get in the way of information. For instance this morning I thought the chances of an incursion from Wairarapa quite over and wrote you so - tonight it seems on the cards again. That Wairarapa letter was very nasty - it said that Ngairo and Wi Hape meant to fight and to fight at Napier to avenge Rangihiroa and Panapa/I ought to have kept the letter but Henare said he wanted it to shew his people and I let him take it back.

Would it not be well to make up our minds definitely as to where we will allow these scoundrels to advance to. If they come to Porangahau, they may not be inclined to go on to Ahuriri. It is strange they shld. urge so much as they do the point of getting a gooting at Porangahau. I am sorry to have to write you news from this side so unsatisfactory when things are looking so bright on your side. However this may come to nothing after all. In the meantime I rely on the Natives thoroughly for early information of any movement - and of course you will get anything of importance transmitted to you at once. I gave Henare 5 or 6 Ibs of Powder today to make up into cartridges and my own Natives 3 Ibs with some caps. They are behaving very well and a little consideration like that can do no harm. What a different position ours is, with our Resident Natives trustworthy and friends, to what it would have been if we had had war here 2 or 3 years ago when they were all on the balance. It is very well to sneer at our Friendly Natives. Their services and usefulness cannot be overestimated. If war parties from without give us the concern they do, what wd. our position be with our resident Natives against us. In my opinion we shld. abandon under such circumstances a large portion of our Province. It is late so good night. You shall hear from me at once if I have further news of importance.

Yours always,
J.D. Ormond.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0482 (74 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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