Object #1009809 from MS-Papers-0032-0817

10 pages written 19 Apr 1860 by Archibald John McLean to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 digitised items). Letters written on board ship or from various ports, 1847-1858 prior to his arrival in New Zealand in mid-1858. From then on the letters are almost all written from Maraekakaho about station matters.

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

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Page 1 of 10. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

19 April 1860

Mareaekakaho

My dear Donald

I now write you a few lines to inform you of how matters are doing here at home and among the natives of this districk. We are working away fencing and plowing and improving all we can. I take very opportunity I can spare to clean and burn on the upper part of the run and sow grass seed all about which in many places begins to spring very well. We always take every advantage of any spare time and make a party to put in seed on the hill tops with the hoe and rake which I hope will soon repay us for our labour. Everything is going on very well now here. The wethers are doing very well up above and will help to improve that very much. We had the dogs among the sheep on the

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English (MD)


2
lower run but did not do much damage this time. Only two or three killed. We have two of Hapuka's Maoris staying here and one of them was sent to kill the dogs to Pukawa and the Hapuka ordered him to kill every dog at the pa. 18 dogs were killed by him. That was very good of the old boy. He has been here two or three time since you were here and we were very kind to him. We had the most of the natives of this districk lately up here hauling the timber for the mill out of the bush and all the chiefs have been very friendly and gave us but very little trouble. They are all apperently very peaceable and want no quarrels with the whites if they are left allone. They had a meeting the other day at pa Okiro investigating into a feeling of distrust they had against some of the whites
3
for some threats that was hove out to them by Colinso, Rhodes, Tuke and some others which was very foolish owing to the disturbed state of the country at preasant but the meeting ended by them assuring they the natives did not want any quarrel but to live in piece with us if they were left alone and the superentendant in this part of the whites assured them that their would not be any quarrel and that their lands would not be taken from them. My mind has been very much disturbed with anxiety about you of late owing to a number of dreams I have almost every night about you and our family but hope and trust that you will be careful how you go among the natives much as they like you they may in a moment of excitement do you an injury but I hope my dear Donald you will use all care in moving among them

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English (MD)


4
and do not allow yourself to be led into any trap by them but I need not caution your own good sense will guide you under the protection of the all powerfull to whom alone we owe all our safety in the weary world of troubles. I hope my dear brother my anxiety will soon be relieved by a letter from yourself stating the state of your health and that piece is proclaimed in Taranaki. You would have heard of Ferguson's failure. It is no wonder for he has been acting the part of a rogue all allong in this accounts. I told you when here I did not like him. He was going to bring Alex in debt over £216 by their enquery and over charge. You never heard the like, money that was paid before he had it charged and interest at the rate of 10 per 100 on all his a/c of all the rascally accounts. I ever I saw his was one. He had moneys down

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English (MD)


5
against us that never was drawn or never had any orders to pay cash £1 pound here and their used no statement to whom it was gaven even old Woods he had goods charged twice over to him to the amount of £7. You never heard of such an account. Fortunately I found out the errors and over charges by my books and a/c when he was ashamed putting down cash and no name for who got it. He says in his bill cash to snooks. You never saw such a bill swelled up to make his criditors believe he had plenty of debt to pay with his own brag [?] 30/- in the pound. It took me two days to overhaul his a/c and I made a new a/c out with all the ittems correct and in place of being in debt £216 we find that he is in debt to Alex some £63. According to Alex statement to me he says that he paid him cash to the amount of £254 which he never

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English (MD)


6
accounted for in this a/c besides some £20 he owed for Brand and Pollard sold him three years ago. I was always warning Alex against him for I plainly saw from the way he was carrying on, drinking and coaxing others to do the same that all his kindness was fals[e], fearfully fals[e]. I myself told him and wrote to him never to gave any money to any one on our accounts without an order and I insist on Alexander to make him produce orders for all the cash matters. As for his goods account I can correct in one ittem in his calculation, sheep shears 8 @ 6/6 £5.12 in place of £2.12 and so on and some double c[h]arged. Altho I had my doubts about him I never thought he was so bad as that even
7
the pup he promises as a present he charged £3 for, that was nothing. It apears he has been doing so to others as well as us. He has even been c[h]arging the Government road party for things they never got and by all we hear all his best friends have found him out in his dirty tricks. If it was drunkenness he took very good care to make the mistakes on his own side. I just send this account of Ferguson so that you can see what kind of man he is. Alex will have to come in as a criditor for the ballance. When all is settled I will let you know. We have not done any thing by way of improvements up at the bush yet. I am very anxious to get up their for having the timber close at hand. I could do a great deal of work their myself in forming a place. The place down here begins to look well now

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English (MD)


8
with all the fencing but getting the timber here is fearful expensive and takes such a time but still it will make a fine property. The large padock I mentioned in my last will soon be finished now and will be a good one and of great advantage to the place and soon pay for itself. A store and acomodation house would be of great advantage here as it would take the travelers away from us and use up the wethers and other produce, could get a ready and shure market. I really think if a good party was got to keep it it would be worth your while to have one put up by and by. I had a letter from Flora Ann and her husband. She has had another daughter. The whole of our sisters are quite well and are in great hopes you will soon go home but I fear this native war will now detain

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English (MD)


9
you. My wife speaks of having got all ready to leave and says she may leave home for here this month but this mail will bring me full tidings about that. In your last letter you said you heard some bad a/c of me. I supose you were poisoned against me by some of my good friends. I did get a five gallon keg of rum for the people in the bush who paid well for it and I do own that when Ferguson was up I did take two much of it in his company but that is the only spirits I have tasted since and likely will be the last ever I may taste during my life. However it was no loss as I got more than it cost from the people that wanted it, besides things are always misrepresented. I am very anxious to make a little money and I do not know what way I can do it without

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English (MD)


10
I got a few sheep to call my own and let them increase so that I could be a little independent of a good brother. I feel altho I am doing all I can for your interest as well as my own here that if I could comence with a little of my own I would be more pleased and would not have always to go to you for my wants. I do not know yet what money my wife may brings but whatever it may be I want to put it in stock. If you will gave me leave to let them run with yours or gave me 200 acres for myself which will be all I shall want to keep me independent and I will pay you in work or in money when I can make it if I live for I see I could by cultivating mares and putting the rests in grass I could keep sheep enough in the rest of it to pay you for the land with interest in a few years. Besides the advantage I would be to you in looking after many things

Page 9 of 10. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


11
about the station, the a/c itself among many other things that are indispensable keeping a place in order and repair. I grieved to hear that you are likely to lose Acitia or has lost it. Perhaps for all the good it was doing for the last few years it will not be such a loss as I think if God spares you and this place continue to improve as it now is altho the outlay is great it will soon become a competency for you. I now must end hoping good will protect you and guide you during the troubles of those misled natives and that it soon will be at a close. How soon I would volunteer in the cause if it would be necessary for I would like to be the leader of a brave few against a rebellious people the same as I often had to do in China. But I trust all will soon be piece without my aid altho I would willingly

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English (MD)


12
tommorrow go so as to be near you if I had followers to go with me to a good cause. When I read of the Blue Jackets doing so well I feel so pleased and wish I was among them. Please write me on receipt of this and relieve us from anxiety about you. Alex is quite well.


I now remain your affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean

[Note on transcription: pa Okiro is Pa Whakairo]

English (MD)

19 April 1860

Mareaekakaho

My dear Donald

I now write you a few lines to inform you of how matters are doing here at home and among the natives of this districk. We are working away fencing and plowing and improving all we can. I take very opportunity I can spare to clean and burn on the upper part of the run and sow grass seed all about which in many places begins to spring very well. We always take every advantage of any spare time and make a party to put in seed on the hill tops with the hoe and rake which I hope will soon repay us for our labour. Everything is going on very well now here. The wethers are doing very well up above and will help to improve that very much. We had the dogs among the sheep on the
2
lower run but did not do much damage this time. Only two or three killed. We have two of Hapuka's Maoris staying here and one of them was sent to kill the dogs to Pukawa and the Hapuka ordered him to kill every dog at the pa. 18 dogs were killed by him. That was very good of the old boy. He has been here two or three time since you were here and we were very kind to him. We had the most of the natives of this districk lately up here hauling the timber for the mill out of the bush and all the chiefs have been very friendly and gave us but very little trouble. They are all apperently very peaceable and want no quarrels with the whites if they are left allone. They had a meeting the other day at pa Okiro investigating into a feeling of distrust they had against some of the whites
3
for some threats that was hove out to them by Colinso, Rhodes, Tuke and some others which was very foolish owing to the disturbed state of the country at preasant but the meeting ended by them assuring they the natives did not want any quarrel but to live in piece with us if they were left alone and the superentendant in this part of the whites assured them that their would not be any quarrel and that their lands would not be taken from them. My mind has been very much disturbed with anxiety about you of late owing to a number of dreams I have almost every night about you and our family but hope and trust that you will be careful how you go among the natives much as they like you they may in a moment of excitement do you an injury but I hope my dear Donald you will use all care in moving among them
4
and do not allow yourself to be led into any trap by them but I need not caution your own good sense will guide you under the protection of the all powerfull to whom alone we owe all our safety in the weary world of troubles. I hope my dear brother my anxiety will soon be relieved by a letter from yourself stating the state of your health and that piece is proclaimed in Taranaki. You would have heard of Ferguson's failure. It is no wonder for he has been acting the part of a rogue all allong in this accounts. I told you when here I did not like him. He was going to bring Alex in debt over £216 by their enquery and over charge. You never heard the like, money that was paid before he had it charged and interest at the rate of 10 per 100 on all his a/c of all the rascally accounts. I ever I saw his was one. He had moneys down
5
against us that never was drawn or never had any orders to pay cash £1 pound here and their used no statement to whom it was gaven even old Woods he had goods charged twice over to him to the amount of £7. You never heard of such an account. Fortunately I found out the errors and over charges by my books and a/c when he was ashamed putting down cash and no name for who got it. He says in his bill cash to snooks. You never saw such a bill swelled up to make his criditors believe he had plenty of debt to pay with his own brag [?] 30/- in the pound. It took me two days to overhaul his a/c and I made a new a/c out with all the ittems correct and in place of being in debt £216 we find that he is in debt to Alex some £63. According to Alex statement to me he says that he paid him cash to the amount of £254 which he never
6
accounted for in this a/c besides some £20 he owed for Brand and Pollard sold him three years ago. I was always warning Alex against him for I plainly saw from the way he was carrying on, drinking and coaxing others to do the same that all his kindness was fals[e], fearfully fals[e]. I myself told him and wrote to him never to gave any money to any one on our accounts without an order and I insist on Alexander to make him produce orders for all the cash matters. As for his goods account I can correct in one ittem in his calculation, sheep shears 8 @ 6/6 £5.12 in place of £2.12 and so on and some double c[h]arged. Altho I had my doubts about him I never thought he was so bad as that even
7
the pup he promises as a present he charged £3 for, that was nothing. It apears he has been doing so to others as well as us. He has even been c[h]arging the Government road party for things they never got and by all we hear all his best friends have found him out in his dirty tricks. If it was drunkenness he took very good care to make the mistakes on his own side. I just send this account of Ferguson so that you can see what kind of man he is. Alex will have to come in as a criditor for the ballance. When all is settled I will let you know. We have not done any thing by way of improvements up at the bush yet. I am very anxious to get up their for having the timber close at hand. I could do a great deal of work their myself in forming a place. The place down here begins to look well now
8
with all the fencing but getting the timber here is fearful expensive and takes such a time but still it will make a fine property. The large padock I mentioned in my last will soon be finished now and will be a good one and of great advantage to the place and soon pay for itself. A store and acomodation house would be of great advantage here as it would take the travelers away from us and use up the wethers and other produce, could get a ready and shure market. I really think if a good party was got to keep it it would be worth your while to have one put up by and by. I had a letter from Flora Ann and her husband. She has had another daughter. The whole of our sisters are quite well and are in great hopes you will soon go home but I fear this native war will now detain
9
you. My wife speaks of having got all ready to leave and says she may leave home for here this month but this mail will bring me full tidings about that. In your last letter you said you heard some bad a/c of me. I supose you were poisoned against me by some of my good friends. I did get a five gallon keg of rum for the people in the bush who paid well for it and I do own that when Ferguson was up I did take two much of it in his company but that is the only spirits I have tasted since and likely will be the last ever I may taste during my life. However it was no loss as I got more than it cost from the people that wanted it, besides things are always misrepresented. I am very anxious to make a little money and I do not know what way I can do it without
10
I got a few sheep to call my own and let them increase so that I could be a little independent of a good brother. I feel altho I am doing all I can for your interest as well as my own here that if I could comence with a little of my own I would be more pleased and would not have always to go to you for my wants. I do not know yet what money my wife may brings but whatever it may be I want to put it in stock. If you will gave me leave to let them run with yours or gave me 200 acres for myself which will be all I shall want to keep me independent and I will pay you in work or in money when I can make it if I live for I see I could by cultivating mares and putting the rests in grass I could keep sheep enough in the rest of it to pay you for the land with interest in a few years. Besides the advantage I would be to you in looking after many things
11
about the station, the a/c itself among many other things that are indispensable keeping a place in order and repair. I grieved to hear that you are likely to lose Acitia or has lost it. Perhaps for all the good it was doing for the last few years it will not be such a loss as I think if God spares you and this place continue to improve as it now is altho the outlay is great it will soon become a competency for you. I now must end hoping good will protect you and guide you during the troubles of those misled natives and that it soon will be at a close. How soon I would volunteer in the cause if it would be necessary for I would like to be the leader of a brave few against a rebellious people the same as I often had to do in China. But I trust all will soon be piece without my aid altho I would willingly
12
tommorrow go so as to be near you if I had followers to go with me to a good cause. When I read of the Blue Jackets doing so well I feel so pleased and wish I was among them. Please write me on receipt of this and relieve us from anxiety about you. Alex is quite well.


I now remain your affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean

[Note on transcription: pa Okiro is Pa Whakairo]

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 digitised items)
Series 9 Inwards family letters, Reference Number Series 9 Inwards family letters (1204 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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