Object #1004960 from MS-Papers-0032-0159
From: Letters - Francis Dillon Bell to W Fox & W Gisborne, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0159 (9 digitised items). Nine letters written from London and Dunedin, 1869-1870 (some undated)
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7 Nov. 1869
My dear Fox
The Rangatira brought me your letters yesterday. I sent you a telegram as soon as the prisoners were lodged in the gaol. Surely there were many of them whom it was never worth while to keep as prisoners at all? one old man so small and thin that he reminded me of Dickens' Mr. Smallweed (only without his temper) was half carried into the gaol from the steamer, sank down on the pavement in the yard, and had to be carried off like a child -- to die, no doubt, in a very short time -- several others are so old and decrepit that I should have urged if I had seen them to let them go about their business rather than feed them here for the rest of their short lives. They behaved excellently, taking places round the big prison yard in quiet -- and Tauroa promised for them all to give
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no trouble but be orderly and obedient,It seemed a relief to them to find when Herris was leaving them that Watt the Sheriff could talk to them in Maori, and in many ways the power to communicate with them will be valuable to us.
I minuted Trithers papers on the duplicates left by Vogel, and you will have received them before this. I am sorry for you, but none of your colleagues seem to give you any help or consolation in that affair. Like Vogel, however, I have the disadvantage of not having seen the evidence.
I return you McLean's letters which bear a little of the old savour that Fenton used to find so much fault with; but I really believe he has a very fine chance before him with the King now; and his ''delicate handling'' will be the very thing in their present state of mind. Do you know whether it is true that the King took Aihepene's
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daughter (Ngatitiata I think, Waiuku) to wife? That would be a thing in favour of peace.
I will ask the Provincial Govt. people about Croker, but I think their great aim is to shunt him on to us, as there are heaps of things they could have given him if they had chosen. I am very sorry for his family and there have been one or two subscriptions; but he is utterly out of the question for Govt. so far as I can judge.
Featherston's success is really very fine -I wonder what the Archdeacon says to it all.
Bathgate I telegraphed about. In addition to Johnston he gave me the names of 5 or 6 other solicitors here who are stll on the roll. He will stand for the Assembly for the goldfields or somewhere at the first vacancy, and having the gift of the gab will be a bore if he gets in -- he has a deadly hatred to Vogel and will do anything against him that he can; so
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it may be as well to let him alone about his trusteeship, as he hinted that in that case he would behave properly. The trusteeship is an empty thing and brings no pay but I suspect brings business.
The telegram boy has just brought me your message saying that the telegrams of August hadn't been received; and I have sent you a message saying that Mrs. Bell is still very ill. Indeed, though I do not like to encourage the feeling, I am beginning to be alarmed about her. Complete sleeplessness and a nervous state which/I had always believed to be affectation in women still I saw it in her, have prostrated her. If she can be moved we shall leave this on Friday by the Omeo and I should then have some days with you at Wellington before going on. I am very glad Featherston will be ready. This anxiety about my wife, is very hard just now when I want every moment of time and want my head to be quite clear -- but it cant be helped.
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I can only hope she will not be too weak to move, as I should not know what to do.
With regard to Knowles, I really hope you will give up the idea. If we succeed as Featherston expects (but not I) by a coup de main, it would be simply money thrown away. If we dont, the services of a Secretary wd be equally useless to us, as the very last thing we ought to do would be to get into a memorandummiad. My chief objection is on the score of expence. It would add many hundreds of pounds to the cost of our mission, and as regards Immigration could do us no possible good inasmuch as we can't enter into any engagements or do more than enquire. I should hate to look like big people, with Secretaries and paraphernalia. We We have clerical assistance gratis if we want it, as McLean lade it a condition with Rowan (wounded at Ngutuotemanu) in giving him fully pay leave that he was to work for us whenever called upon -- I never saw Rowan before, he brought me a letter and was introduced by Gisbourne on the wharf as we were leaving.
Yours very truly,
F. D. Bell
Letters - Francis Dillon Bell to W Fox & W Gisborne, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0159 (9 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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