Object #1008277 from MS-Papers-0032-0528

5 pages written 3 Aug 1868 by Joseph Rhodes in Napier City to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Joseph Rhodes, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0528 (79 digitised items). 75 letters written from Napier and Clive, 1868-1872 & undated including letter in Maori from Te Waru, 2 Sep 1868.

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

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English (ATL)

3rd Aug. 1868

My dear McLean

There is no mail steamer in yet and none in sight - so shall write a few lines ready for her when she arrives - before I start home. I have had to stay in Town principally as the rivers were very high and are so still -

The telegrams quite rob one of the chance of giving you any interesting news by ordinary letter now. I shall send most of the despatches down the mail from which the Govt. have already had extracts. I send you a telegram this morning some time but I find the line is stopped, somewhere in the district between this and Waipukurau.

You would glean from the various telegrams to yourself and Col. Haultain that Whitmore had very little chance of seeing the enemy, if they purposed escaping - I cannot suppose for a moment that a flooded river would offer insuperable obstacles to savages crossing. I know a flood would not stop me and most natives can swim well and little children could be safely put across on a dry flax stalks raft - Unless they were flushed with their brilliant escape and victorious actions and foolishly decided upon attacking Wairoa, they are beyond present pursuit -

If all our old friends are back again I fear we shall have some solitary murders - Nikora's wife has started to join him - We are in darkness as to the number of men returned - The mate said 80 - where are the rest? They would not be likely to remain on the Island I think - What is our future to be? Is this imbecile mode of dealing with fanatics and prisoners to be ever followed? if so it will surely bring on a war of potting indiscriminately - alias extirmination - and during its progress which may last many years this Island will not be a pleasant place of abode nor worth living in by those who can afford to go elsewhere - I have stuck to it now for 24 years and I shall perforce stop a few more but there is a limit to patience.

I have a last hope that the gold fields may settle all our difficulties by planting inland Towns ere and there all over the Interior where sufficient inducement offers in quartzreef mining -

In the mean time good men should be got to keep in check any movement on either coast amongst the fanatics, and the money must be found - even if a direct tax is the result "a war tax" - No one would object to this tax if it could be spent properly in stamping out the last embers of rebellion - but all would object to a maudlin sentimental war very costly, and always in the end the most cruel of all wars.

Yours very truly
Joseph Rhodes
I am just going with Weber to examine the damages done last flood, and possibly may advise legislation on this point.

Part of:
Inward letters - Joseph Rhodes, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0528 (79 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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