1st Octr. 1859
My dear McLean,
Hearing you are in Wellington and finding that Mr. George is going there on his way to Hawkes Bay pr. tomorrows steamer - I take up my pen to inform you that James has gone on to Auckland where he arrived last Saturday aftn. in order to report personally to your Department his proceedings on the West Coast -
I wrote you officially to Auckland on the 16th Augt. announcing that James was detained at the Grey awaiting the arrival of the Milford Haven and other natives, at the same time enclosing a private note which I trust Mr. Smith has forwarded on to you, and which would keep you informed of James's doings, and whereabouts. It appears after he wrote me it was fully the end of July or early in August before all the natives interested in the Sale of the Land arrived at the Grey, and it was soon found out the Southern Natives would not accept the terms James offered. The Mawera Natives were not so difficult to deal with, but, still he could not give the money that they asked, and the
Southern ones went away and left him; and after offering Tarapuhi £100 for the land North of the Grey which he refused, there was no remedy for it but to leave and report progress to the Government. James and his cousin with Tarapuhi and another native started about the 4th or 5th Augt. to come by the Valley of the Grey over land to Nelson, with nothing but a kit of Potatoes a piece and 6 lbs. of Rice, and after being about 12 days out, Tarapuhi knocked up and returned to the Coast, the others still proceeding, but finding the weather broken, and only about 50 potatoes each left, and no wekas to be caught, they beat a retreat returning to the Mawhera Pah, to save being starved in the Bush - After this they resolved on returning by the Coast (James' old route) to West Wanganui and Massacre Bay. On reaching the Buller they fortunately found Mr. Rochfort had arrived there in the ''Supply'' with supplies, so they tasted flour once more, after being without bread for fully 12 weeks. They of course took advantage of the God send in the Supplys being there, and returned in her to Nelson, which they reached on the Evening of the 19th and finding the ''Airedale'' going off next day to Auckland I recommended James to proceed in her, as it
was quite impossible for him to write at any length by her on so short a notice, and as no other opportunity would offer for fully a month, and if this West Coast business was to be settled it had better be done at once, and not occupy months in correspondence with your department, and again make a winters journey of it. I hope you will agree with me that I have advised him right. There was also in your Department some six or eight bothering letters from the Kiakoura Natives which required his report on, involving no end of writing-
James has ordered the Natives to take his stores brought by the Supply on to the Mawhera to await his arrival, and I believe I am right in saying that he can settle withthem for £400, but the Government should not hamper him for £100 or so, to settle this, the last claim in this Island, setting at rest the title to at least 8,000,000 acres of country -
Poor despised Hilly Nelson is after all to be the richest province in New Zealand so says Dr. Hochstetter, but I must not say more on this head,
as you are now residing in the Empire city. My party are all very well, but I the old man am suffering from a cold - Trusting you are well, with usual kind regards
I am, My dear McLean
Yours very Sincerely
Do not be surprised to see James Gazetted Warden of the Gold Fields - Will you oblige by looking after his interests for the present service he is on? He has lost no end of money by being absent, and you know the Salary for Golden Bay work, is not adequate for facing snowy ranges, and West Coast starvation, and 7 Months absence from his run - Is not my Nephew also entitled to some pay, as James could never have gone by himself in case of accidents, and also with so much gold about him?
J. M. K.