Object #1011221 from MS-Papers-0032-0444

6 pages written 23 Jun 1864 by Frederick Edward Maning in Hokianga to Sir Donald McLean

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)


June 23/64

My Dear Sir,

I feel moved to write tho' indeed I have but little to say of interest to you. This is my first day on which I have been able to sit up for the last month I having been laid up ever since I saw you last I find I have been suffering from an injury in the hip occasioned by a fall I had some year or so ago which cracked some of the bones and I have ''kept never minding it'' as we say in Ireland till the consequence has become no joke I have suffered enough to have killed a horse, enough however of grumbling.

On my arrival at the Bay of Islands I spoke my mind to several of the Electors on the subject of opposing your old firend Carleton next election they all seemed delighted that I should have taken the notion to turn out as their representative and all seem to think Carleton would not have any chance against me I think so myself indeed his interest being merely that of the missionaries and not wholly that even; all the settlers not under the Mission influence which indeed comprise the great majority would vote for me at the Bay - and Hokianga I need not enquire about being wholly mine I therefore conclude that I have nothing to do but go in to win next Election, if I see cause to do so, but as I never do anything involving work without a real serious motive and as I also never do anything by halves when once undertaken I am asking myself why and wherefore should I enter the arena and for what good purpose? - it is evident unless a change not to be immediately expected takes place in the aspoct of things political that there will be heaps of fighting to do, and that the war and the native question will again be made a casus Belli in the house, and that moreover even supposing a favourable conclusion to the War that still the ''Native policy'' will be made a cause of much debate for all sorts of reasons fair and foul. Now if I enter the assembly I do so to do something and as I fancy on native questions there are few if any but yourself who can give me any information I would most likely as I am a person not given to knock under easily when I feel myself in the right have my full share of the fighting with the theorists who by volumes of mere words think to browbeat those who really understand the subject and conceal at the same time their own ignorance or worse - now what I would wish to do woud to be some good and to do that unless supported is not practicable and I have not sufficient experience as yet of my own abilities as a public man to know if they are of the order which creates their own support if I go in this question will soon solve itself but nevertheless tho' a huge patrot and a great philanthropist I want you to shew me some reason why I should take the take the trouble and get knocked and belted about by the words storm and all for the good of a grateful or ungaateful country as the case may be. You pretty well know my principles as to native matters and are aware I believe that I take up no cause which I do not believe to be just. Now just as you are accountable and moreover deeply responsible for having put the notion in my head please tell as what the Dl. is the use of it and all that. sort of thing, and also what you propose to effect, and what party to espouse or if your notion is to form a new one of our own if need be I of course take it for granted you will go in for Hawkes' Bay, Drop a line when you have leisure on these matters.

Of course everything as far as I am concerned depends on the recovery of my health and activity I hope the best but fear it will be long ere I shall be myself again if ever.

I am yours very sincerely,
F.E. Maning.

P.S. We are all pretty quiet here the only present trouble we have with the natives is to get them to pay their debts which are heavy if we succeed in this without driving them to desperation, we shall possibly go on all right till the sky clears for good there is however in some quarters a leaven of disloyablty not to be disregarded if Colonel Browne had remained I would have had every mothers son of them before this in Waikato fighting for the Queen and bound to us by all sorts of ties. The natives liked Col. Browne very much much more than they did some who were supposed to have a peculiar influence with them.

I hope your district may escape the devastation suffered in other quarters and that if you are attacked you may send the enemy to the right about in a clever manner I shall look with interest for news from you Quarter.

The ''Anti Britishers'' as I call them are beginning to shew peace again I think it a pity the sailors did not down with the ''New Zealanders'' castle the other day. I am the professed friend of the natives but not of their faults I am their friend in so far as they will let me but it is no friendship or humanity to either them or the Euorpeans to patch up a peace and leave them to think we are ubable to conquer them we must subjugate them to british law and the British sovreignty now we are fighting if we are able and if we are not able let us fairly acknowledge the fact and take some other course but let not it be attempted to humbug us into the false belieg that the natives are beaten when they are not so - or that it is just, or wise, or politic or in any way advlsbale to sacrifice all the treasure and blood already expended without having either conquered the natives or at least pummelled them sufficiently to cause them to become some what more plastic than hitherto to the manipulation of the statesman if we cant beat them let us say so like men and then see what is next best thing to be done. We can conquer them but have not done so yet or taken the whole means at our disposal for doing so.

I have to thank you for having introduced me to several very pleasant acquaintances particularly Mr. Domett.


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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