Letter from P. Wilson, to Donald McLean, dated 14th. March 1853.
14th. March 1853.
My dear Mac,
I made pretty quite sure, last post, that I should hear from you in acknowledgement of my former letter, viz, --- that of the 17th. January, conveying to you a cheque for £166.5.6; also two Bank of England Post Bills, each £10, making in all, the sum of £186.5.6, being the amount due to you for your Waiwakaio property, sold to Mr. Gudgeon; also for the debt due to you by Miss Wicksteed, viz, --- £30.15.6; and for that of Will Black, after deducting from these amounts the sum of £20 unpaid to Mr. Sharland; and further, the sum of £2 paid to Mr. Gudgeon for a picture frame, for Mrs. Wicksteed, --- the receipted amount for which you took round with you to the Governor at Wellington.
I need not repeat that you are keeping Mr. Flight and Miss Wicksteed both on the fidgets, by not transmitting a Power of Attorney, regarding which Mr. Ritchie wrote to you when I did. But the fact is that Mr. Flight can, in consequence, go on with medi-
tated improvements; and that Miss Wicksteed is very sadly in want of her money. So much for delays in business, making true the observation of the fact that indeed Procrastination is the thief of time. All this castigation rests on the assumption that you arrived in Wellington when the Governor did. If you went to Ahuriri, or elsewhere, you are held to be sinless; but certainly not otherwise.
When I met His Excellency at Whanganui, I told him that I had fallen in with an immense deposit of Shell conglomerate or marl, on the beach betwixt Waitotara and Kahiwi; which I considered might be, hereafter, highly important to the Whanganui settlement. Having brought away with me some specimens, I have, since my return here, submitted them to examination; and find that, as lime, and for all the purposes of that mineral, it is a most valuable deposit; every hundred parts of the mass yielding as follows:-
Lime 70 parts.
Silicum sand 14
Now you must know that in many places, rocks are burnt, which contain only 20 and even as low as 13 per cent of lime. As the soils of Whanganui, and this place, are, in so far as I have examined, utterly devoid of
this mineral; and as on many accounts it is a most fertilizing addition to such soils, it has just occurred to me that if it were possible, as I suppose it is, it would be worth while to secure the beach and sand covered hills, which consist of the same material there-about, and in its vicinity, at and about from the South head of Waitotara, to near the Kahiwi, --- without assigning to the Maoris the why or the wherefore; for if you once kindle their cupidity by letting them know to what purposes you can turn it, they will appreciate it in the same ridiculous was that they now do, the lime and coal at Mokau. At any rate, it is but right that the circumstance of the lime's existence there, should be brought under Sir George's notice, as now detailed; and the more particularly, as it seemed to excite his attention when mentioned at Whanganui; though the good Bishop, who probably only saw an inferior part of the stratum, seemed to throw cold water on it. I view the matter very differently, --- begging His Reverence's pardon, for so doing.
Nor is pure iron sand, in the mass, peculiar to New Plymouth. At Tihei there are Fleet-loads of it.
But I am in time for the post; and with out united kind regards,
my dear Mac
ever truly yours
(Signed) P. Wilson
To D. McLean Esq.