Object #1008460 from MS-Papers-0032-0565

3 pages written 13 Sep 1858 by William Nicholas Searancke in Raukawa to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 digitised items). 60 letters written from Waiuku, Ahuriri, Waipa, Auckland, Awhitu, Wellington, Masterton, Wairarapa, Otaki, Manawatu, Tuaranganui, Te Purupuru, Greytown, Rangitikei, Waikato, Whangarei, Ngaruawhaia. Includes piece-level inventory (1969 accessions not added). Contains letters from Searancke to McLean with regard to the purchase of Maori land in the lower North Island in the 1850s and 1860s, in Wairarapa, Horowhenua and Manawatu; the letters also contain information about disputes that arose from the sales among Maori and between Maori and the Government; there is also information about the disposition of Maori, and their attitudes towards the King Movement, in these areas during the New Zealand wars of the early 1860s There are also some letters about Searancke's work in the Waikato district as a resident magistrate, with information about his observations of the Kingitanga

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

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English (ATL)

13th. Sept. 1858.


My dear Sir,

I returned from one of the high ranges of the Ruahine on Saturday evening late, having succeeded in taking bearings and making a good sketch of the upper part of the Hiriwanus Land and the first fine day start for the lower boundary at Oroua where some portions are disputed by the Ngatikauwhata Tribe, the Natives are now satisfied with my seeing and making a sketch of the Land, but I still am apprehensive of some difficulty about the price the extent of the land I believe to be about 170,000 acres which may be subdivided thus

N. Reserves 5000) Level Agricultural land 75,000) Agricultural but rather hilly 30,000) good useful timber Rivers Swamps etc. 5,000) Hilly land, good 20,000) " " unavailable 35,000) bush and timber not very good 170,000 acres.

The whole is heavily timbered --- the price has not been more than hinted at, I wishing to get their ideas, they on the contrary wishing to know mine. The price which I have determined to offer them is £5000 in payments, but am prepared to rather than lose the purchase to give more say £7000. I should very much like to have your opinion on this subject as I feel a delicacy in giving so large a sum without your sanction. One thing is certain that no other Land will be sold untill this is settled. I therefore feel the more anxious to conclude the negociation by a purchase on which so much depends. I have kept Grindell with me and find him very useful tho rather awkward on some points.

Yours very truly,
Will N. Searancke.
D. McLean Esq.

My pens and paper are all expended, you will therefore excuse this.

I am quite unable to move at present from the heavy rain and I very much doubt whether my Messenger will be able to arrive at the Awa hou in time for the Mail.

In all my experience I never met with Natives so destitute of energy so powerless or so miserable or so unwilling to better themselves as the Natives of Raukawa, they are fast dying out and will soon be known as a Tribe that was, but is not. I shall see Capt. Smith in Port N. when I will ask him about your Cash. I trust you will not consider that I am wasting time in this negociation. I am doing everything in my power to bring it to a favourable termination feeling that much depends on it in this District generally.

Part of:
Inward letters - W N Searancke, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0565 (58 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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