Object #1006858 from MS-Papers-0032-0559

5 pages written 26 Apr 1870 by John Henry Herbert St John to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Surnames, St John, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0559 (77 digitised items). Correspondents:Felice St John, Auckland & Melbourne, 4 undated letters (ca 1876); Col J H H St John, Bay of Plenty, Wellington, Poverty Bay, Nelson and Napier, 1869-1875 & undated (69 letters, including some from other correspondents)

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

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English (ATL)

COPY. 26th. April 1870.

My dear Mr. McLean,

I am in a very savage mood at having missed Te Meikowa, and at other things besides. We ought to have had him as nicely as possible; for it was as good a chance as ever I had. Ten minutes delay on his part, I believe, would have sealed his doom. The worst of it is that my move was a mistake. It seems that Hoani Ngamu was in communication with Eru,- had actually got two of his children in his possession, and was likely to get him. He at once sent in a letter addressed to me and Mair, asking what he was to do. This letter I never saw, though Wi Kingi did. I have written to Mair officially to ask him if such a letter came into his hands; but had no answer. Meanwhile, Marsh, unknown to Hoani Ngamu, writes to ask me for help. I consulted with Mair,- at least I asked him what he thought of Marsh's plan of getting Eru on to an island, and then I went.. I'll never surrender my own judgement to natives again. I ought to have had the scoundrel. Meanwhile, after the mistake, Marsh rides back to Ohiwa, and tells Hoani Ngamu I have ordered the two children to be killed. Hoani, of course, refused to allow this; and on my arrival at Ohiwha, I was expressly asked whether they should not be killed. You can fancy my disgust, and the row I had with Marsh, in consequence.

Hoani Ngamu came in to-day; and he explained the whole matter. He is to furnish me with a copy of the letter he sent me; which, I fear, will lead to my having to write Officials. I don't like doing it; as Mair and I have hitherto pulled well together; but I can't understand his stopping a letter addressed to both of us.

Mr. Campbell went last Thursday; the case of Brown being against Walker for £20. Judgement £1.10 for plaintiff.

I am writing out a report on the state of the natives about here; which will enable me to introduce what I know of Robert's and Kemp's march.

You will see by my Official that the Whakatoeas are quite game to come up with me.

I find the claim against me is for some stock sold here in the old days; with which I had no more to do than the Man in the Moon. I never personally sold a head; and I think £10 was the utmost which passed through my hands, - and that I paid to Percival; so you must expect some heavy correspondence from me on the subject. I don't feel at all inclined to pay up for another man's misdeeds.

Ever yours truly, (Signed)
J.H.H. St. John.


Hoani Ngamu has asked me to let the two children stay with him. One of them is to go back to his father with letters; and Hoani thinks he can be successful in trapping him. It seems Marsh was the means of bringing him down at first. He is a treacherous old brute. He actually wanted me to lay in wait whilst a white flag was sent escorting Eru's children. I was indignant at the idea of such gross treachery.

J.H.H. St.John.

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, St John, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0559 (77 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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