Object #1015477 from MS-Papers-0032-0516

5 pages written 8 Jul 1858 by James Wathan Preece in Coromandel to Sir Donald McLean in Auckland Region

From: Inward letters - James Preece, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0516 (44 digitised items). 43 letters written from Thames, Urewera and Coromandel (Stapleton), 1845-1870. Includes letter from Mary Ann Preece, 1861 re her son Wathen; letter from James Preece to his son George, 1870.

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

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English (ATL)

Stapleton, Coromandel
July 8th 1858

My dear Sir

On my arrival here I at once made arrangements to make the purchas of the Awa Kanae Block I got a map of the Block made on the printed Deed also one for the use of the Natives stating clearly what portions were to be purchased and what was to be excluded I had the Deed filled up ready for the signitures of the Natives yesterday they were to come to receive the payment they came and when I had counted out the money for them which was four hundred and ten pounds £410 they were so displeased with what they thought the smallness of the sum that they refused to sign the Deed or to take the money I believe that they intend to refer to you I told them that I should be glad for them to do so and that if you would recommend more to be given I would gladly do so, but that I was not authorized to offer any more I have done all in my power to make the purchas I am very sory that it has so far failed you said when I was in Auckland that if I thought it needfull you would come down I think now that it would be well if you could do so the importance of that purchas is great I beleive that the Coal is likely to turn out well.

I expect the natives here next week about the big Mercury my son is now engaged in making the maps on the Deeds for each parties claim I trust that I shall have better luck with that but I cannot go beyond my instructions I wish to keep myself free from blame I think that peice on which Hopa got the deposit is large enough to give them a good sum for without giving a large price per ann the contractedness of the blocks about here makes the whole sum appear but small one reason that makes the natives put such a price on their land is the large sum that they are making annually from their timbers on that land. Since writing the above Capt. Ninnis has been with me he says that the coal runs through the block that has been surveyed also that he is fully persuaded that the coals a very important and that they will turn out well I feel the more anxious about the purchas but it must remain untill you come in the mean time I will do what I can. The piece on which the coal has been found could be purchased but at a very heavy price the present block should be purchased first I make these observations because I see the importance of the land being purchased before the natives are aware of the coal existing in any quantity it will be a great blessing both to this place and the Province at large should it turn out as good as Captain Ninnis appears to be confident it will do. July 9th.

I have sent for Maihi this morning to see if he will come to any terms as I find that his claim includes the whole of that part of the block that is important as that contains both coal and Gold the coal that is at present being worked is on land just out side the present block but that is but the commencement of the sum that ought to be had if possible but I fear that the sum that they will demand will be considered too high although it will be obliged to be had before the other land could be worked to any advantage I will write to you by the first opportunity.

Believe me to remain yours very truly
James Preece
To D. McLean Esqr.
Chief Land purchas Commissioner Auckland

P. S. From an observation made by Maraia when the money was put out for the Land I thought that she wanted £500 for her share but I believe now that she meant that is the sum for the whole that is £90 in advance of what I offered. J.P.

Part of:
Inward letters - James Preece, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0516 (44 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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