Object #1014759 from MS-Papers-0032-0574

7 pages written 11 Apr 1853 by Sir Donald McLean in Wanganui District to Dr Andrew Sinclair

From: Inward letters - Dr Andrew Sinclair, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0574 (87 digitised items). 85 letters written from Auckland and Taranaki. Also includes two outward drafts by McLean; and letter from Dr Sinclair, Glasgow to Rev Donald McColl, Glenorchy Manse, Argyleshire, 29 Nov 1856.

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

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English (ATL)

April 11th, 1853.

My dear Dr. Sinclair,

I regret that I cannot go to Auckland as I intended as I find I will not be able to get back in time to meet engagements which the Governor has made to pay the Castle Point Natives £1000 - and the Ngatiawa's £300 due to them for land in May next.

I should not like to be the means of deviating from these engagements which should be faithfully observed, and I trust Sir George will find it convenient to supply me with the funds next month.

The disturbances at Rangitikei have been more serious and consequently delayed me much longer in this quarter than I at first anticipated.

Col.McLeverty or Mr. Domett will have informed the Governor that Mr. Ross who is settled at an inland station at Rangitikei represented that some threats were used by the Ngatiapas to revenge themselves on his family for being the chief evidence against Panapa one of their tribe who was apprehended for repeated acts of misconduct towards the settlers.

Mr. Ross was informed of this threat, by Natives of other tribes who cautioned him to be on his guard against the Ngatiapa, whether the threat was intended or not it created a most disagreeable sensation at the time as it led some of the more timid and unprotected settlers to reflect on the fate of the unfortunate Gilfillans of this place.

In the mean time while I was on my way to enquire into this matter a quarrel arose among the Natives themselves which originated as follows.

The Ngatiapa apprehended two Natives who were concerned with Panapa in his depredations and against whom warrants were issued, these Natives were of the Ngatiraukawa and Ngatirangatahi tribes who immediately interfered by rescuing one of the two, whilst the other was sent to gaol at Whanganui.

The Ngatiraukawa took some canoes potatoes etc. and collected a well armed party of Taupo Natives settled on the left bank of the Rangitikei to fight the Ngatiapa.

Both parties were preparing for a conflict that old enmity and unrequited wrongs might soon have kindled and led to consequences which might unfortunately involve the English Settlers but I am glad to say that a reconciliation was easily effected and that the district is now in a very peaceable state at least as far as I can judge after having visited the different Native Pas and some of the outstations of the settlers.

I find that this district which has a large native population of various tribes requires an officer besides the Resident Magistrate who would see the grievances of the Natives promptly redressed as many differences arise more from misunderstanding than from any intentional unjustice on the part of either race - and I feel that when tribes like these surrender their lands to the Crown that their improvement and the nature of their relations with the Europeans should be an object of continued solicitude and care on the part of the Govt.

I remain, My dear Dr. Sinclair, Yours very faithfully,
Donald McLean.

I shall delay some days in this neighborhood to all any excitement that may arise from the sentence of 21 years transportation to Panapa, I sent a trunk by Andrew Richmond which I requested him to leave at your house and it may as well remain there till I get another opportunity of going to Auckland.

Part of:
Inward letters - Dr Andrew Sinclair, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0574 (87 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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