Object #1004191 from MS-Papers-0032-0635

2 pages written 24 May 1863 by Sir George Stoddart Whitmore to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 digitised items). 103 letters written from Hawke's Bay and London, 1862-1869 & undated. Includes letter to Miss McLean written from Wellington by T F? Whitmore, undated; sketch map of area from just north of the Mohaka River south to Whitmore's run (undated). Piece-level inventory of letters accessioned pre-1969.

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

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English (ATL)

24 May 1863

On board the Stormbird
My dear McLean,

The captain of the Stormbird has represented to me that during the past 2 months the harbour has filled up so rapidly that in coming into Port this time he had only 6 inches of water below his keel. This would be fatal to our steamer but what would be still more serious is that in lying at the wharf she would be compelled (being 25 feet longer than this vessel which does so now) he says to lie on the bottom at any rate at low water and this would strain her so much that in a few trips she would become unseaworthy. He suggests that at any cost it is worth while to dredge the harbour mouth for 2 days which he says has never been dredged. I feel sure he did not speak with the prejudice of arival company as he was bidding for the command of the vessel. I therefore advised him to write to you officially and to put the subject before you in a practical shape. I mean to try to induce a boat builder to set up a proper punt at Napier for shipping stock while I am at Wellington. The Captain of this vessel says that he is of opinion that the North spit at a point nearer than Charltons affords a capital place for any sized steamer to load stock with a punt of proper construction if the harbour was ever so slightly dredged at one point of the entrance. He says he believes the boilers of the Huntress would not go wrong so quickly as people say for the strain on them in dredging is very slight but that a practical man might be easily got at Otago who would put the whole affair to rights in no time, i.e. a man can be got who understands the thing wh. we dont. I know how unpopular this affair is in Napier - But I also foresee that should War break out we shall be driven to ship stock or lose very heavily - Now it is for you to judge what should be done. If I can arrange the punt building for £150 and can get a man to work it who is steady can you either privately or provincially get shares taken, or in any way help me with a portion of the expence? It is atrocious that we are without even that means of shipping our stock and tho this is out of my line I feel interested in removing an obstacle to our progress which is very apparent and much complained of.

Up to this our passage has been quick and prosperous. Of course I'll write again from Wellington if I am there long enough -

I propose if H.E. means, when I reach Taranaki, to carry the War into Waikato to explain that we might be invaded by way of reprisal. And that it would be better to prepare a road by which we might take the iniative and invade ourselves if need be and that we should form the Defence Force on the verge of the Province as a menace at any rate I shall be prepared to offer to go to Otago to raise the men if H. E. authorizes me. But I shall stipulate that I first return by Auckland.


Truly yours
G. S. Whitmore

Part of:
Inward letters - G S Whitmore, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0635 (105 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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