Object #1016732 from MS-Papers-0032-0721

4 pages written 27 Jan 1845 by Sir Donald McLean in Wanganui

From: Outward drafts and fragments, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0721 (59 digitised items). Names of identified correspondents entered in Name Field. Includes letter to his Aunt Flora McInnes (nee McColl), 1 Feb 1849, addressed to her husband Capt McInnes, 42nd Regiment, Oban, Argyleshire, Scotland

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

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English (ATL)

27th. January 1845.

Dear Sir,

Heu Heu and his Taua have at length quietly dispersed themselves from here, on Thursday last, 25th.

He and some of his party went to Port Nicholson to visit Rauparaha; the rest returning to their different places, at Taupo and Waikato.

During the latter part of their stay here there were very few complaints made; the Chiefs looking more strictly after their people.

In my letter of the 26th. inst. you will have observed that they wished to visit Kai Iwi and Ihupuku; places where some of their people had been killed; then to go through some of their old customs, fire off their guns, and return. This was accordingly done on Monday last. Heu Heu having requested the attendance of Major Richmond; the Bishop, Mr. Taylor, Mr. Skevington, Mr. Turton and myself, and all who had taken an interest, having previously started to Ihupuku.

As we had used our endeavour to make peace, there might be a check on the natives collecting at Ihupuku, - they were then 1109 strong,- from making an attack on Heu Heu's party, who were only 160 or 70 in number.

Having arrived at Kai Iwi, we went on to Waitotara; where we found all the natives of that place, along with whom were Messrs. Skevington and Turton, quietly camped at Waitotara. Major Richmond having spoken to them through Mr. Forsaith, told them all that had taken place with the Taupo natives since his arrival; and that they had come to fire over their dead, and were disposed to return to their homes after they had done so.

It was also requested of the Waitotara natives that they remain quietly in their Pa during the next day. If the Taupos should come close to them, it would only be to fire off their aitua.

To this there was a general consent.

The next morning one of the natives opposed the Taupos coming near the place; and said if they did, that an attack would be made upon them.

His Honor, the Bishop, and Mr. Forsaith, hearing of this, went back to the Taupos, that they might prevent them from coming too near; in case of accident, Mr. Taylor and I stopped with the Waitotara natives till the middle of the day; when a very friendly letter had been written, and addressed to Heu Heu, requesting him to pay them a visit. I was bearer of this letter to Heu Heu; who was then on his return to Wanganui; and wrote a very satisfactory and long letter to the Ngatiruanuis assembled at Waitotara; which I carried back to them; after which the Taranaki and other natives went to their different homes.

I returned to Wanganui on Wednesday evening.

The "Hasard" had then returned from Kapiti. Major Richmond, the Bishop, and Mr. Forsaith started by her. It was considered by Major Richmond that my staying at Wanganui for some days, might be attended with some good; and I remained till I saw all the natives had left; and I am now engaged in settling any little differences that may exist here with the natives; of which I am glad to observe there are very few; and all is perfect quiet and tranquility at this settlement.

The natives are anxious to let the Europeans settle on their lands. With this I do not interfere; not having any instructions from you with regard to Wanganui. I do nothing further than act as conciliator amongst the natives.

We proceeded to Ihupuku, or Waitotara, leaving Heu Heu and party behind; where we found the natives quietly collected, and anxiously awaiting our arrival. Mr. Richmond having told them through Mr. Forsaith, all that had been arranged with the Taupos. They were greatly pleased at what had been done; and were generally desirous that Heu Heu should visit them. This was unfortunately opposed by one or two of the party; there being no influential Cheif to guide or control them. They stated that if Heu Heu should come near the place, they would commence an attack.

In case Heu Heu should be then on his way to the Pa, the Bishop and Mr. Forsaith went back to tell him not to risk himself or his people with the Ngatiruanuis; as they had a few disorderly people amongst them that might lead others to quarrel. Heu Heu who would pay them a friendly visit was much obliged to Major Richmond and the Bishop for this advice, returned.

I remained with Mr. Taylor at Ihu a part of that day; when the natives collected in a body, and wrote to Heu Heu and his party a very friendly letter, requesting him to go and pay them a visit. I was the bearer of the letter to him; in answer to which he wrote a most satisfactory and friendly letter. Copies of the correspondence I will forward you from Taranaki; for which place I will start on Wednesday. Major Richmond, the Bishop, and Mr. Forsaith left here on Tuesday last in the "Hasard". I was requested by His Honor to remain a few days till all was quiet. The natives here I find very well disposed, and all is perfect quiet and tranquility.

I remain, Sir,
Yours very truly, (Signed)
D. McLean.

(N.B. The above is copied from a rough draft, which seems to repeat itself in part.)

Part of:
Outward drafts and fragments, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0721 (59 digitised items)
Series 4 Drafts and fragments of outwards letters, Reference Number Series 4 Drafts and fragments of outwards letters (889 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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