Object #1006712 from MS-Papers-0032-0282

6 pages written 28 Jul 1866 by Lieutenant-Colonel James Fraser in Napier City

From: Inward letters - James Fraser, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0282 (39 digitised items). 38 letters written from Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty and East Coast, 1865-1870. Includes letter addressed to Captain Rhodes, 1865

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

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English (ATL)

would have been perhaps short and certainly not sweet - I am at a loss to account for the malice which evidently has originated reports concerning me, such as that I drink immoderately etc., and I am sure I need only mention to you who have always been my friend that such stories are in circulation and have reached Col. Haultain's ears, for you to contradict them. I mention to you in this private manner, that I have been a strict tee-totaller for the last six weeks at least. You have mentioned in your note that there is some complaint respecting returns. I regret this very much but have written a letter to Col. Haultain which I think exculpates me fully - I am much obliged to you for your defence of the flag of truce business, Col. Whitmore says you "shut up", to use a vulgar expression, Mr. Graham completely - Having talked quite enough about myself I wish to tell you what you will however probably hear from other sources. The first is, that Arthur Tuke assures me that he anticipates a disturbance at the Chathams on account of the guard being removed, it appears from what I can gather, there are two parties there, the chief of the weakest of which, has been

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English (ATL)

to some extent, trying to get the Hau Hau on his side, this man is the one who told Col. Russell he would guard them. Tuke tells me there are so few fire-arms among the natives that in case of disturbance the Hau-Hau would be a very valuable and formidable ally to either party, and that if they join the weaker party they will make it by far the stronger. So much for the Chathams, and now for Poverty Bay - Biggs writes me a letter which I enclose for your perusal, and evidently whatever may be done no more men should be taken from there. This however is being done the H.B. Volunteers are being discharged, and the whole

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English (ATL)

force at Biggs disposal will only amount to about 46 men all told, scarcely enough I think. I would therefore strongly recommend that Gascogne be ordered from Waiapu which will make Biggs up to 63 or thereabouts and that you press on the Government the folly of discharging anymore men just at present. The Coast is at present quiet enough, but if "Aneru Matete" hear that the force at Pov. Bay is so weak, there is no knowing what may happen. My strength at the Wairoa will also be much reduced, I fear to about 50 men, and I really do not consider them sufficient.

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English (ATL)

I trust your Honor is enjoying good health, we are all looking anxiously for news of the great debate. Col. Whitmore goes down by the steamer and has promised to speak to Col. Haultain about the reports I have mentioned, Haultain it appears mentioned them to him - They forget at the Defence Office that the mouth of the Wairoa being shut no vessels could get out, and they have been pitching into me because Hussey's things have not arrived as if I could help it - Tuke has orders to send them as soon as he can, and as I go back to the Wairoa to-day myself I will see that they are sent, if he have not done so already, without delay. Please remember me to Mr. Ormond - and believe me


Ever yrs. truly and sincerely
James Fraser

I forgot to say that I have given Biggs leave to move his position to where he wished it. I think it myself a much better place for a few men. J. F.

English (ATL)

Napier
28 July 1866


My dear Sir

I am much obliged to you for your kind hint relative to my not going to Wellington without leave, I never intended doing so, but the reason I have stayed so long here is, that I was expecting my leave daily, as I understood you to say at the Wairoa when last there that you would obtain and send it to me. I am just as well pleased however, at not getting is, as, much as I would have liked to go to Wellington and share in the gaieties of the place, I have heard that I bear such a bad character at the Defence office, that I fear my stay would have been perhaps short and certainly not sweet - I am at a loss to account for the malice which evidently has originated reports concerning me, such as that I drink immoderately etc., and I am sure I need only mention to you who have always been my friend that such stories are in circulation and have reached Col. Haultain's ears, for you to contradict them. I mention to you in this private manner, that I have been a strict tee-totaller for the last six weeks at least. You have mentioned in your note that there is some complaint respecting returns. I regret this very much but have written a letter to Col. Haultain which I think exculpates me fully - I am much obliged to you for your defence of the flag of truce business, Col. Whitmore says you "shut up", to use a vulgar expression, Mr. Graham completely - Having talked quite enough about myself I wish to tell you what you will however probably hear from other sources. The first is, that Arthur Tuke assures me that he anticipates a disturbance at the Chathams on account of the guard being removed, it appears from what I can gather, there are two parties there, the chief of the weakest of which, has been to some extent, trying to get the Hau Hau on his side, this man is the one who told Col. Russell he would guard them. Tuke tells me there are so few fire-arms among the natives that in case of disturbance the Hau-Hau would be a very valuable and formidable ally to either party, and that if they join the weaker party they will make it by far the stronger. So much for the Chathams, and now for Poverty Bay - Biggs writes me a letter which I enclose for your perusal, and evidently whatever may be done no more men should be taken from there. This however is being done the H.B. Volunteers are being discharged, and the whole force at Biggs disposal will only amount to about 46 men all told, scarcely enough I think. I would therefore strongly recommend that Gascogne be ordered from Waiapu which will make Biggs up to 63 or thereabouts and that you press on the Government the folly of discharging anymore men just at present. The Coast is at present quiet enough, but if "Aneru Matete" hear that the force at Pov. Bay is so weak, there is no knowing what may happen. My strength at the Wairoa will also be much reduced, I fear to about 50 men, and I really do not consider them sufficient. I trust your Honor is enjoying good health, we are all looking anxiously for news of the great debate. Col. Whitmore goes down by the steamer and has promised to speak to Col. Haultain about the reports I have mentioned, Haultain it appears mentioned them to him - They forget at the Defence Office that the mouth of the Wairoa being shut no vessels could get out, and they have been pitching into me because Hussey's things have not arrived as if I could help it - Tuke has orders to send them as soon as he can, and as I go back to the Wairoa to-day myself I will see that they are sent, if he have not done so already, without delay. Please remember me to Mr. Ormond - and believe me


Ever yrs. truly and sincerely
James Fraser

I forgot to say that I have given Biggs leave to move his position to where he wished it. I think it myself a much better place for a few men. J. F.

Part of:
Inward letters - James Fraser, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0282 (39 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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