Object #1010690 from MS-Papers-0032-0276

4 pages written 9 Mar 1869 by Josiah Flight in New Plymouth District to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Josiah Flight, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0276 (45 digitised items). 43 letters addressed from Mangoraka, Te Ika Moana, Resident Magistrate's Office, New Plymouth, Henui, 1846-1872, and undated. Also letter from A D Flight, 6 Mar [187-], New Plymouth to Sir Donald McLean; letter from Josiah Flight to Thomas Kelly, 22 Jul 1870 re Cape Egmont Flax CompanyAlso poem addressed to `My dear Donald McLean' entitled `No Land' (on verso) written by Josiah Flight

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

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English (ATL)

New Plymouth

9th March 1869



My dear Mr. McLean,

The diabolical manner in which our mutual, beloved friend Mr. Whiteley has come to his end here has carried my reflections back to a period when you were with us, and then labouring with him and other true philanthropists for the elevation of the Native character: for the improvement in the social moral and spiritual condition of the Maoris; amongst whom In my belief we had no business to have come unless prepared to assist by our example at least in bringing about such improvement. There has been a very melancholy failure - Not total - I would feign indulge the hope that it is but partial - And I fully believe that we have in New Zealand patriots both among the Colonists and the Aborigines who if they were brought to act together might yet save this country from ruin - From an observance of the Native character especially in my dealings with them as a magistrate I have been led to the conclusion that it is very

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English (ATL)

amenable to law and order - During the time (nearly sixteen years) that I was appointed and continued to act as the Resident Magistrate in this district I had many opportunities of discovering this and believe that whilst acting towards the Natives with a determination to make them submit to the law I in a great measure succeeded in bringing them to understand and feel that the law protected them. From the lesser number I draw the inference that the greater if treated in a similar manner would shew a similar result. Then presuming the inference to be correct we are led to enquire from the present state of anarchy and wild confusion raging in so many parts of this island have the Natives been so treated? It appears to me that the great end socially and politically to be arrived at is to obtain and maintain the supremacy of the law. Every breach of the law should be enquired into and punished by the constituted authorities for carrying out the provisions of the law - All force whether of a Military Naval or Constabulary character

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English (ATL)

should only be used for the assistance of such authorities with a view to bring offenders to justice. I believe the trials of Hoera and of Hina at New Plymouth, and of the murderers of Volkner at Auckland acted very beneficially on the Native mind. Not so the treating of the Natives at Auckland, Wellington and Chatham Island as prisoners of war - Military display I feel assured you must now see if of little or no use in New Zealand and Military supremacy to be ruinous - You will gather from what I have now written that I place all my hope for the pacification of this Colony in a determination on the part of its Legislature that Law shall be obeyed and respected by all Her Majesty's subjects here whether European or Native and that to effect this they the Legislature will bring all their powers to bear for the upholding of the majesty of law - The prerogative of mercy would then be exercised with propriety. Justice being first satisfied.

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English (ATL)


I feel assured from the kindly way in which you received some of my former lucubrations that you will look on these in the same spirit; and I indulge a hope that you will notwithstanding your many and onerous engagements spare time to write to me in return.

Mrs. Flight with my daughters desire me to kindly remember them to you


I am, my dear Mr. McLean, Your's very sincerely
Josiah Flight

English (ATL)

New Plymouth

9th March 1869



My dear Mr. McLean,

The diabolical manner in which our mutual, beloved friend Mr. Whiteley has come to his end here has carried my reflections back to a period when you were with us, and then labouring with him and other true philanthropists for the elevation of the Native character: for the improvement in the social moral and spiritual condition of the Maoris; amongst whom In my belief we had no business to have come unless prepared to assist by our example at least in bringing about such improvement. There has been a very melancholy failure - Not total - I would feign indulge the hope that it is but partial - And I fully believe that we have in New Zealand patriots both among the Colonists and the Aborigines who if they were brought to act together might yet save this country from ruin - From an observance of the Native character especially in my dealings with them as a magistrate I have been led to the conclusion that it is very amenable to law and order - During the time (nearly sixteen years) that I was appointed and continued to act as the Resident Magistrate in this district I had many opportunities of discovering this and believe that whilst acting towards the Natives with a determination to make them submit to the law I in a great measure succeeded in bringing them to understand and feel that the law protected them. From the lesser number I draw the inference that the greater if treated in a similar manner would shew a similar result. Then presuming the inference to be correct we are led to enquire from the present state of anarchy and wild confusion raging in so many parts of this island have the Natives been so treated? It appears to me that the great end socially and politically to be arrived at is to obtain and maintain the supremacy of the law. Every breach of the law should be enquired into and punished by the constituted authorities for carrying out the provisions of the law - All force whether of a Military Naval or Constabulary character should only be used for the assistance of such authorities with a view to bring offenders to justice. I believe the trials of Hoera and of Hina at New Plymouth, and of the murderers of Volkner at Auckland acted very beneficially on the Native mind. Not so the treating of the Natives at Auckland, Wellington and Chatham Island as prisoners of war - Military display I feel assured you must now see if of little or no use in New Zealand and Military supremacy to be ruinous - You will gather from what I have now written that I place all my hope for the pacification of this Colony in a determination on the part of its Legislature that Law shall be obeyed and respected by all Her Majesty's subjects here whether European or Native and that to effect this they the Legislature will bring all their powers to bear for the upholding of the majesty of law - The prerogative of mercy would then be exercised with propriety. Justice being first satisfied.

I feel assured from the kindly way in which you received some of my former lucubrations that you will look on these in the same spirit; and I indulge a hope that you will notwithstanding your many and onerous engagements spare time to write to me in return.

Mrs. Flight with my daughters desire me to kindly remember them to you


I am, my dear Mr. McLean, Your's very sincerely
Josiah Flight

Part of:
Inward letters - Josiah Flight, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0276 (45 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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