Object #1006708 from MS-Papers-0032-0266

8 pages written 1 May 1860 by Dr Isaac Earl Featherston in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - I E Featherston, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0266 (62 digitised items). 62 letters written from Auckland, Wellington, Napier and London, 1859-1876.Includes several draft letters from McLean to Featherston

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

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Page 1 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

Wellington

May 1 1860



My dear McLean

I duly received your note of the 28th, and was glad to find that in your opinion the position taken by the Governor is so good -- for if a tithe of the statements made to me could be substantiated, I fear he would not have a leg to stand on -- for instance is it true -- that Teira's Father objected to the sale -- that Teira has only an interest in a very small portion of the 600 acres,

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

that W. King, his wife and son have all an interest in some portions of it -- that the Chief of Teira's hapu (I forget his name) also claims a part and objected to the sale, that there are in short some 20 or 50 owners, whose consent was not obtained by Parris -- Of course as I said here right or wrong, the Governor must be supported -- for retreat is now impossible -- You will be glad to hear that the excitement both Native and European is gradually

Page 3 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

calming down -- and that there is not at present the slightest reason to apprehend any disturbance -- I have seen most of the Chiefs on the West Coast (except at Wanganui) and personally visited those of the Wairarapa -- and by Bullers assistance I think completely succeeded in allaying their suspicions with regard to the intentions of Gov. Those suspicions were solely created by the absurd Militia demonstrations and by reports of unprincipled vagabonds. As long as a trade could be driven in arms and ammunition, of course

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

the more the Natives could be alarmed the greater the trade and its profits. The Militia officers and prospective Contractors also found it their interest to get up a greater degree of excitement. Sweat the Commissariat, will now be the watch word of the Town population. The Governor's last instructions, offering (word indecipherable) will I hope put a quietus upon the movements and aspirations of these parties. There is a strong party at Otaki determined hoist the =Maori King Flag, sent down by Wi Tako, and I should

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

not be surprised if it ended in a row amongst themselves. Buller has been most invaluable to me in my intercourse with the Chiefs -- but he unfortunately leaves for Canterbury in the course of a few days -- As Walter Buller has about completed his task there, would it not be well to transfer his services to this Province for the next few months, I dont mean, as Interpreter, but as asst. Native Secretary -- He is very much liked by the Natives

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

and would be of vast service in going amongst them, circulating correct information -- and keeping a look out for parties disposed to bring on a collision. Your proposed Council of Chiefs ought to have taken place before the war was commenced, and would probably have averted it -- to convene it now may appear to betoken weakness, just alarm and a desire to compromise matters -- still I hope it will be attended with all the success you anticipate -

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

- Mind - give them a good feast - for Maoris equally with John Bulls are easily approachable by their stomachs - I look upon the Genl.Assy. as at an end for if a Session was held, it would only be a sham - for Ministers if defeated would not hesitate to dissolve, seeing that the Assy. would be so near its natural termination - I have just heard that there has been a disturbance amongst the Maoris somewhere near Poverty Bay - 20 men killed - is this about the King Movement - Verily it is difficult

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

to forsee the end of this present crisis - I earnestly hope, the war may be confined to Taranaki. I wrote to K. last Mail - pray dont use my name in the matter if K. falls into the Trap, it will be his own fault - I shall probably write again by this Mail-- Trusting you will keep me au fait at what goes on in the North

Believe me
Yours faithfully
I.E. Featherston

English (ATL)

Wellington

May 1 1860



My dear McLean

I duly received your note of the 28th, and was glad to find that in your opinion the position taken by the Governor is so good -- for if a tithe of the statements made to me could be substantiated, I fear he would not have a leg to stand on -- for instance is it true -- that Teira's Father objected to the sale -- that Teira has only an interest in a very small portion of the 600 acres, that W. King, his wife and son have all an interest in some portions of it -- that the Chief of Teira's hapu (I forget his name) also claims a part and objected to the sale, that there are in short some 20 or 50 owners, whose consent was not obtained by Parris -- Of course as I said here right or wrong, the Governor must be supported -- for retreat is now impossible -- You will be glad to hear that the excitement both Native and European is gradually calming down -- and that there is not at present the slightest reason to apprehend any disturbance -- I have seen most of the Chiefs on the West Coast (except at Wanganui) and personally visited those of the Wairarapa -- and by Bullers assistance I think completely succeeded in allaying their suspicions with regard to the intentions of Gov. Those suspicions were solely created by the absurd Militia demonstrations and by reports of unprincipled vagabonds. As long as a trade could be driven in arms and ammunition, of course the more the Natives could be alarmed the greater the trade and its profits. The Militia officers and prospective Contractors also found it their interest to get up a greater degree of excitement. Sweat the Commissariat, will now be the watch word of the Town population. The Governor's last instructions, offering (word indecipherable) will I hope put a quietus upon the movements and aspirations of these parties. There is a strong party at Otaki determined hoist the =Maori King Flag, sent down by Wi Tako, and I should not be surprised if it ended in a row amongst themselves. Buller has been most invaluable to me in my intercourse with the Chiefs -- but he unfortunately leaves for Canterbury in the course of a few days -- As Walter Buller has about completed his task there, would it not be well to transfer his services to this Province for the next few months, I dont mean, as Interpreter, but as asst. Native Secretary -- He is very much liked by the Natives and would be of vast service in going amongst them, circulating correct information -- and keeping a look out for parties disposed to bring on a collision. Your proposed Council of Chiefs ought to have taken place before the war was commenced, and would probably have averted it -- to convene it now may appear to betoken weakness, just alarm and a desire to compromise matters -- still I hope it will be attended with all the success you anticipate -- Mind - give them a good feast - for Maoris equally with John Bulls are easily approachable by their stomachs - I look upon the Genl.Assy. as at an end for if a Session was held, it would only be a sham - for Ministers if defeated would not hesitate to dissolve, seeing that the Assy. would be so near its natural termination - I have just heard that there has been a disturbance amongst the Maoris somewhere near Poverty Bay - 20 men killed - is this about the King Movement - Verily it is difficult to forsee the end of this present crisis - I earnestly hope, the war may be confined to Taranaki. I wrote to K. last Mail - pray dont use my name in the matter if K. falls into the Trap, it will be his own fault - I shall probably write again by this Mail-- Trusting you will keep me au fait at what goes on in the North

Believe me
Yours faithfully
I.E. Featherston

Part of:
Inward letters - I E Featherston, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0266 (62 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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