17th October, 1853
My dear McLean,
I received your letter of the 4th yesterday enclosing Barker's receipt for £82 paid in by you to my account for Wairarapa, which I have acknowledged to Mr. Barker that he may have, as he had requested, my signature. We are all greatly disappointed that the Governor's intention of coming here has been postponed, because the impression is that His Excellency and you can get us a quantity of land north of Waiwakaiho, the scarcity of which is most severely felt, and increasingly so since ship after ship is arriving, and there is no alternative for old or new settlers but bushing it in some back outlandish place without roads --- indeed wanting everything to give one heart. Upwards of 50 from the Cresswell, and 70 from the Joseph Fletcher are roaming about, not knowing exactly what to be doing, most of them living in the Town on their capital. The John Taylor is now on her way with a further addition, and the evil of these accessions to our numbers (fancy using such a word) will continue until it cure itself. The Waiwakaiho purchase is to a certain estent complete, that is you and Cooper have paid money on account of it, but we have not possession --- questions of Reserves, and of disputed title have yet to be got rid of, and when they are, the block is only valuable as a concession from the Natives, for there is only a small proportion of open
country, and of that most is claimed under landorders selected in 1842. Cooper says if he had money he could buy, and as you are feferee in all Native matters from your great authority and experience, do get him funds, which should be no object, as it can easily and promptly be repaid by the Province under such arrangement as His Excellency may direct. The place seems to be taking a start. Hundreds upon hundreds are preparing to join us, and all we want is land, which will pay for itself handsomely. The people who come are not of a class to be sent in the forest, and besides they will not go. I earnestly hope for the good of all concerned that you will not delay your coming with the absentee natives you speak of, and above all things get a credit for a large purchase. It will take no time. Jump on that celebrated charger if you have him, and come here in a crack. By the way, Hare Purumene is very ill at the Hua. His illness is attributed to overexertion in speaking at one of their meetings. The kick may have something to do with it. Is there any chance of our getting Patea? You might enquire on your road. Will you send on in advance from Wellington or Wanganui, and Cooper and I will meet you on the road? At the latter place you will see Wicksteed who cleared out about a week since. Scarcely a soul said good bye. What a summary on his course here since 42!
Mercy, how I laughed over the serious way you discussed my marriage. It's all moonshine, I'm sorry to say. It was a part of the Election performance, and would have
come off if I had carried the day. I required some such strong inducement, and was under promise of the kind to some supporters who took my side on condition --- a laudable kind of bribery. I hope you have not told the story against me South.
It is publicly talked of here that the Council will abolish the Inspectorship, leaving Cooper to be called by his right name. The boobies think if Cooper be appointed Native Commissioner that the Province will be a gainer of £200 a year, whereas his salary would diminish the proportion of land revenue payable, after the charges upon it (including his salary) to the Province. I have always thought the appointment an unpopular one --- since you left it it should not have been filled up --- and Cooper who has everything to do with Natives --- treating for land --- mediator in all squabbles between the Natives themselves, and with Europeans should have been dubbed Native Commissioner, an officer necessary to this place, if not to every Province in the country. So I hope for his sake, and to defeat the machinations of his virulent unforgiving and malicious Honour the Superintendent and the clique by whom he is maintained in office that Cooper will be placed here beyond their reach by making his salary payable out of the Land fund.
Only imagine which you can readily do our surprise at Cutfields notice or Motion regarding the transfer of the managemt. of the Waste Lands from the General Assembly to the
Provincial Council. Our party was greatly indignant that he should have adopted such extreme views without notice, but it is one of Cutfield's peculiarities, to be doggedly obstinate on a position he cannot defend, and so we found him. There is little doubt that ultimately each Province will manage its own concerns, but that implies fitness and a different order of things to the present. I am sorry indeed that the Governor's time for departure is drawing so near --- the anti government men throughout the country want his master spirit to keep them in check. They have got power and will abuse it until they have become disciplined and experienced. I am writing in such a hurry for the post which closes at (wants 10 minutes only) that I am forgetting no end of things. Still it is better to write as I have done than not at all.
Yours in haste,
Told Mr. Woon is here from Waimati. Some of Mrs. Woon's people arrived in the Cresswell from England and are visiting at Riemen's --- a gay place for new comers. Mr. Boyce the Australian Superintendent of Missions was here the other day, and I am glad to say that Mr. Woon is placed by him on the Supernumerary list at £150 for 3 or 4 years, and if then unable to do duty, the old gentleman who is very feeble will be superannuated. He will probably go to Auckland. His son Garland and family arrived on Saturday night from
Wellington, so there is quite a gathering of the Woons.
I've got some excellent wines expressly for your coming. W. H.