Object #1012194 from MS-Papers-0032-0630

5 pages written 9 Dec 1868 by Charles Westrup in Turanganui to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Charles Westrup, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0630 (33 digitised items). 33 letters written from Poverty Bay, Hawke's Bay and Auckland, 1865-1871 & undated. Includes piece-level inventory for letters accessioned pre-1969

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

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English (ATL)


December 9th. 1868.

My dear McLean,

Every thing like a command of course is taken out of my hands by our friend Colonel Whitmore. My opinion is not asked on any subject in fact my presence is almost ignored. I was compelled to point out to Mr. Richmond (much against my inclination) this morning that if I remained here in any official capacity after the departure of the Troops, it would perhaps be as well that some slight show of friendship should appear. With this be fully concurred. Col. Whitmore has his Troops in Camp. This morning Mr. Richmond tried to settle the Land question by getting the surviving Maorie residents to cede the block or District of Poverty Bay to him. Every thing appeared going on well untill Rahuruhi spoke and said Is this Richmond? Are you Richmond? who tried once before to take our land in an impertinent way. The persons addressed confessed he was the Richmond of past and present. Then said Rahuruhi, ''I don't agree to let you settle the Land question. If you stay here I shall go to Napier, where I am agreeable McLean shall have a voice in the matter. Wait, why be in a hurry to do a thing which requires consideration?'' Hariwira then spoke, saying let us all go to Napier and get this matter settled there. You came to look after the fighting of the pakehate keep to that line and dont attempt the land question for we Ngatikahungungu have our claim to the land both here and at Wairoa. In answer to a question from Richmond Mr. Hariwira confessed that he considered the great duty of the Government was to pay the money and find the Maories in Guns, food and ammunition. Mr. R. got up rather in a rage and I thought foolishly told the Maories they were simply soldiers, receiving pay, and food, and of course what they conquered was for the benefit of the Government and further told them you find the food, guns and money and are where you would be. Then the most exalted Tareha spoke also in rage and with a most wonderful sneer on his countenance said I know you know who you are -- what you came for and who sent you -- You are right I myself know you are a Minister and I know you were not sent here to look after the land -- be wound up by saying that his tribes considered you as the chief person when speaking about lands. This Tareha's speech throughout was too impertinent, but it put a stop to the further proceedings of the meeting. To-morrow morning Mr. R. Will have another meeting but I scarcely think it will come off better. Whitmore explained fully to the Maories that you were quite a subordinate personage to Mr. Richmond. The Governor he said is Richmonds chief and Richmond is McLeans's chief -- they certainly went away unconvinced. Poor Mr. Richmond has not a happy way of dealing with the Natives, too undecided and uneasy looking, as the afraid of what would next be said. He does not let them expose their hands enough to guide him to anything like an easy course. I shall always be most careful in pumping my would be opponents as dry of their arguments as possible and then gently, slowly, surely expound my plans, laying them of course, that you steer through some of their arguments, and run over very few without first smoothing the road with a moral spade or shovel. Richmond told the Natives he was sent here to decide whether this place is to be held or not -- abandoned or kept. Mr. Richmond is not over-ruled by Col. Whitmore will leave a few men here untill the land question is settled, and the old Defence Force placed on sections.

Gascoigne asks me to mention to you that Ngatiporou will always come here to help us at either my call, Gascoigne's or Tuke's.

Capt. Montgomerie came ashore, when I got up a War dance for his benefit. The Officers also came ashore and enjoyed themselves very well. Captain M. appears desirous to obtain as much correct information as possible about the affairs of the country.

I feel very severely the many slights offered by the Colonel who is also very bitter against you and states you sold yourself for a sum of £5,000. He I know is anxious I should commit myself, which only makes me the more careful in my behaviour. He cannot give me credit for wishing to work for the country and in doing that help all I can in furthering any sound plans of his. I was sorry not to have heard this mail from you.

Tuke sends kind regards. Believe me, My dear McLean,
Yours very truly,
Chas. Westrup.
D. McLean Esqr.
P.S. Both Tuke and +I have felt much surprised and hurt by the hints dropped we should have been at the front. Now the very plan we marked out for the expidition was the absence of Europeans. Without a force of Europeans sufficiently large to represent the Pakeha respectably, I had not notion of taking the field. If I or Tuke had done so and got the credit heaped on us for what the Natives had done, it would have caused them to be dissatisfied. The greatest difficulty -- far beyond the fighting one was the Commissarist supply. It was simply impossible that Tuke or I could have been at the front and the Ration supply kept up -- unless every one had pulled well with us in working the Transport Corps. The Field force would have been compelled to retire. The rationing of nearly 1000 men at a distance of 40 miles from supplies, without a single pack saddle and very few ordinary riding saddles is a feat of modern times that both Tuke and I are proud of having accomplished. C.W.

Part of:
Inward letters - Charles Westrup, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0630 (33 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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