Object #1009778 from MS-Papers-0032-0444

4 pages written 3 Jan 1861 by Frederick Edward Maning in Hokianga to Sir Donald McLean in Auckland Region

From: Inward letters - F E Maning, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0444 (67 digitised items). 58 letters written from Auckland and Hokianga, 1860-1870. Includes letter in Maori to Maning from Hone Mohi Tawhai, 1869; from Hoani Makaho Te Uruoterangi, Akarana, 1870; unsigned letter in Maori written from Weretana to Te Rauparaha, Sep 1869; T H Maning to his father, 1870; Maning to White, 1870; Harry H King to Maning, 1870.Includes piece-level inventory, 1860-1876 & undated (excluding 1969 acquisitions)

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

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English (ATL)

January 3rd. 1861.

Donald McLean Esq., Auckland.
My Dear Sir,

I write more to keep up an acquaintance the formation of which has been a great pleasure, than for anything I have to tell you in the way of news. It will not be however without interest to you to mention that the permission granted to me to let the natives have the gunpowder has had a most excellent effect, and the Chiefs and natives for whom it is designed take it as a pointed and particular compliment to themselves, and say that now they are sure the Governor confides in them, and as they are concious of deserving that confidence I feel myself extremely glad that the concession has been made them it could not have been made at a better time.

You will probably have heard that a half mad scoundrel of a native at Wangaroa (Hongi son of Hongi Ika) has called a meeting proposing to make war against the Govt. immediately on the meeting having been called an express was sent by a friendly Rarawa Chief to the Hokianga Chiefs in my neighbourgood to inform them they are about to send a deputation to him to caution him on the subject and if he will not listen to reason they propose to make a demonstration in the shape of a visit with five or six hundred men and ask him civilly to have it out with them. His tribe consists of about fifty men and he has made no men that I can hear of among the other Ngapuhi hapu - though I believe the natives at the Rawhiti Bay of Islands a small and demoralised hapu have no good feeling towards the Government; they are however an insignificant set and Old Walker is there to look after them. The Hokianga Chiefs are perfectly disgusted, and very much incenced about the meeting called by Hongi they hawever sneer at the idea of his in reality being able to do anything serious you will however no doubt hear all about it from time to time from Captain Clendon who was informed of it in the first instant by a native in my employ who was present at the meeting. Hongis natives told my man that they depended in the matter for advice on two Pakehas and were on the very point of telling who they were when they were stopped by one of themselves who cautioned them not to disclose their names a few days before the meeting took place I was at the Bay of Islands, and was at that time told by Mr. Harry Williams that the natives about that quarter were talking of going to war with the Govt. which is to say the least remarkable as no one else knew anything of it. Anyway I can assure you that the whole of the Hokianga natives and the Rarawa along the north west coast are in the best disposition towards the Government and anxious to prove it and they are the great majority of the northern people.

I am looking anxiously for news from the south as a serious action may be expected soon to take place there so many natives having gone down to Taranaki I hope seriously that the affair may not spread farther north for some time at least as I am struggling like a horse in a bog to wind up my business get debts in, shut up shop, and get myself into light marching order, for though getting rather old and stiff there is some fight left in me yet, and in case the northern natives should be called on to turn out which I do not suppose would be done except from serious necessity, I would have to go too either on my own hook as the highland fisherman said, or to act for the Govt. if asked to do so, as in a row I shall always put in my little weight for the Queen and all that sort of thing. I wish the Devil had all trade in his own hands, here I am tangled up and a row coming on perhaps, and a single native in this part of the north can't be shot that does not owe me more or less money - however the poor rogues are honest and are paying up as fast as they can.

I shall not neglect to write if there is anything at any time worth telling you from this quarter. Excuse this hurried scrawl, and believe me,

Very truly yours,
F.E. Maning

Part of:
Inward letters - F E Maning, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0444 (67 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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