13th June, 1847.
My dear MacLean,
Your letter of the 12th May Capt. Campbell only recd. today - where it has been all this time I cant say - it seems Mr.Cutfield only came as far as Wai Mati, and I suppose was afraid to come farther.
You will of course be aware of the sad times the unlucky Wanganui Settlers have of it now - between Maories and Soldiers it is hard to exist - both parties seem determined to fleece us of all we possess, for what the former leave, the later are sure to appropriate-to their own purposes, the Soldiers are most incorrigible thieves, there are 500 of them here now of the 58 and 65 Regts. there has been some slight skirmishing between them and the Natives but nothing decisive as yet none of the Soldiers have been touched, of the rebels there has been four killed for certain, and about thirty wounded, amongst the former is your friend "Maketu" a happy riddance you will say - Our House in Town together with five others in the same valey have been burned down by the Military, after being plundered the day before by about sixty or seventy rebels in broad daylight, without even an attempt being made by the 300 Soldiers then quartered in the place to protect the property they contained except what little could be done from behind the entrenchments and the romdons of Yankee's house which is now converted into a fortified barrack.
Our loss is comparatively small to what it might have been, for we took the precaution to remove the most valueable part of our property to a place of safety a few days before the attack - indeed all we had might have been saved but I never could get the old Captain to believe that the villains would prove so bold, or that the red coats would be such poltroons as to allow them if they did - this is a sore subject with the old man, he still stands up for the honor of the cloth - The villains have also taken to cattle lifting, they have either killed or driven up the River a great number of cattle - the extent of our loss in this respect I cant say, about ten days ago seven out of sixteen head that were on the Town side of the river were amissing, all of our best milkers, the heads of two of them I found when they had been shot by the scoundrels and the caraasses carried off I suppose to their encampment for provisions. All the cattle we have on the South side of the river were safe a week ago - I hope they may not now take it into their heads to pay them a visit, my house at the lakes is the only farm house left standing in the district, the Putiki Natives seem to be a great check on them going in that direction - they (the Putiki Natives) say that the Rebels wont medle with anything in that direction, at the same time they wont hear of our going to reside there until all is quiet again - I must say as far as I am a judge that the Putiki men have behaved remarkably well throughout the whole
of this affair - For further particulars I refer you to Dr.Wilson's letters and journal signed P. in the "Wellington Independent" which is upon the whole a tolerably correct account of the whole affair from the beginning -
You mention in your letter that Donald MacCaskill Rhuendunam has joined his brother on the Thames, all I knew of this was seeing his name as a passenger in the "Louisa Campbell" to Auckland - havn't heard from Allan Talisken for two years now, in that time I have written him three letters, the last, about three months ago when the overland mail was established, I cant account for his silence - Have you heard for certain that this Mr.MacCaskill passenger by the Louisa Campbell is Donald Rhuendunam, if so, will you be kind enough to let me know in course of post I am rather inclined to think that it must be him, for I haven't recd. any letters from home by the Mail and I can only account for it by them being given to him to carry out -
I am glad to hear that you are geting on so well with the Land Question at Teranaki, I wish our prospects here were only half as good, I am afraid this district wont be safe for country settlers for many years to come. Several of our settlers are leaving, Old Bellis off to Nelson in a few days with all his family - When you write let me know your opinion on the subject of this district being safe
for country settlers - Captn. and Mrs.Campbell desire to be kindly remembered to you and believe me to be
My Dear Sir,
Ever Sincerely Yours,