Diary and notebook
Reference Number: MS-1195. Object #1015764
Includes diary entries for 5-12 January 1845, describing McLean's preparations for a journey to Wanganui and his experiences on the way. It includes mentions of Europeans and Maori who accompanied him or who he met. The back section contains copies and summaries of letters, including one to John Whiteley and one to Richard Taylor, notes, and a detailed summary of a case heard between a Mr Spencer and Puketapu Maori.
38 pages written 1845-1845 by Sir Donald McLean.
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Sunday 5th. January 1845
Received intelligence this morning from Whania of Taranaki, who came expressly to acquaint the Rev. Bolland and myself that a Pa near Wanganui had been beseiged; and wished to have our consent and advice as to whether the Taranaki tribe would be justified in going to the assistance of the native relatives; and earnestly, on behalf
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of himself and all the tribes along the coast, requested our interference. He had travelled a distance of forty miles in eight hours, to acquaint us of what he had heard; after which he returned home.
I attended Church as usual and conferred with Mr. Bolland after Church time, telling him that I had fully made up my mind to start without loss of time, to Wanganui; and thought it might be well for him to come also; as his influence with the tribes of Taranaki connected with the Church Mission, might have a good effect. He agreed to be ready at an early hour on Monday.
This evening several natives called on me for advice, as to their coming with me to Wanganui.
About 12 o'clock at night about 60 of the
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Puketapu tribe, who had come from Otumatua, roused me from sleep, singing out at my bed-room window, - "Te Makarini", or "Mr, McLean" several times. I had heard their first call, but did not answer till I had prepared myself. They had most lovely torches lighting in their hands; and the scene was most affecting, in wettish, drisly night, as it was; some carrying their children on their backs. Having previously duly remembered the Sabbath, had then come to seek for advice as to what they were to do. I was then prepared to answer them, and told them, - "Go in peace, and be guided by your Minister; and I will be there along with you." To this they answered, - "Come, come along with us." I could not do
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this, as they were taking a road through the bush, and I wished to visit the natives along the Coast.
I told them as they had themselves determined to go to Wanganui, I would just request them to wait at Waimate for my arrival there, should they be before me, as they were taking a shorter road by 30 miles. This they agreed to, and went quickly to their houses and homes.
Monday 6th. January 1845.
At half past four in the morning, I was preparing my luggage and provisions for the journey to Wanganui. Wrote a letter to the Chief Protector, acquainting him that I was then on my journey for the scene of strife, to meet the Taupao's; and hoped my visit would be attended with good results; after which
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my natives get their packs on their backs and started.
Called at Mr. Bolland's, who came along with me, From the village several natives followed us; also James Webster Esq. who came along with us the first day's journey.
Ewaka, one of the Ngamotu Chiefs, strongly advised his people, who came with us, to place themselves entirely under our control and guidance.
In coming along the Coast, we heard many reports about Heu Heu's proceedings, which we did not give credence to; knowing how apt natives are to exaggerate matters like the present.
Stopped at . . . . . for dinner, after which we came on to -----. Had our tents erected; Evening Service, with a congregation of upwards of 100 natives, who were
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crowding round us for news and information; wishing particularly to know how they were to act with some profligate and intolerable characters amongst them, who had committed many serious crimes, adultery, etc., and wished to know if they ought to be allowed to accompany the rest to meet Heu Heu; stating that if they went, it would be inconsistent with their ancient customs.
The settlement of these questions was undertaken by Mr. Bolland, as their Pastor; and those not engaged in discussing this matter had long and interesting conversations with me on various inferesting subjects; which would almost, from their simplicity and humourous manner, impress the idea that peace had been declared, and war-faring was at an end.
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We had our evening repast, and some further conversation to satisfy our inquisitive neighbours; and retired to rest, to be prepared for the next day's Journey.
Tuesday 7th. January 1845.
Mr. Webster takes his leave of us. Several of the Ngamotu natives are seen coming along. A letter has been received by Mr. Turton, from the Rev. J. Whitely, acquainting him that he had used his utmost exertions to have the Taue returned, but was unsuccessful. We hear, also, Mr. Turton is on his way after us, though he had told me on the Sunday evening he would not be likely to come till he had heard from the Rev. J. Skevington, of Waimate, what was going on
Diary and notebook, Reference Number MS-1195 (1 digitised items)
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