Object #1017686 from MS-Papers-0032-0227

4 pages written 8 Oct 1855 by George Sisson Cooper in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - George Sisson Cooper, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0227 (70 digitised items). 67 letters written from Taranaki, Hawke's Bay and Wellington. Contains correspondence between McLean and Cooper with regard to the purchase of Maori land in Taranaki, Hawke's Bay and Wairarapa; the correspondence also contains information and discussions about general Maori affairs in these areas, and about personal matters. Includes two letters from Mclean to Cooper, 24 Mar & 1 May 1854

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

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English (ATL)

Wellington,
Octr. 8th, 1855


My dear McLean,

Mr. Strang tells me you are certain to be here by the next trip of the Steamer with the Governor, and are to be in the meantime in Taranaki, so I have deferred sending you a whole budget of letters which I intended writing as the matters they relate to can be better settled on the spot.

I returned from Wairarapa a week ago where I had been for 6 weeks previously employed in paying instalments, settling some old questions and staving off others, examining boundaries and doing a thousand and one things which crowd so upon one when you are amongst the Natives.

I am off tomorrow for the Coast to pay the instalment at Forster's to examine boundaries and settle reserves etc. on the Coast. I shall return in time to meet you after setting Cap. Smith to survey the Whareama and other reserves.

I am glad you are coming down as there is a great deal of work to be done and many questions to settle which can only be done by yourself. For instance application was made to Donald for back rents for the part of his runs at Kahaangaweriweri and Manaia which are sold. He said that Rhodes on paying the £144 composition of Taratahi put an end to all future questions of back rents. Rhodes says the same and sticks to it obstinately, but the Natives deny it with evident truth, in which they are confirmed by Manihera's receipt for £144 which mentions Taratahi only. This is one thing which only you can settle --- Meantime I have written to Bell to stop the right of preemption to the Homestead till the affair is settled. Borlase's is another, as it requires the exercise of power and responsibility which I do not possess.

Barton refuses to pay Hemi the £64 awarded by you as back rents. Hemi has summoned him and the case is to be heard tomorrow.

The Wairarapa people will sell all that is left excepting Morrison's run, McMaster's at Tupurupuru, Maungarake hills, Pharazyn's and Russell's runs --- but their ideas of price are so exorbitant that it would be impossible to purchase at present. I have officially recommended a temporary suspension of new purchases for reasons I need not here detail. It is the only letter I shall send on, the rest I will leave with Bell to await your arrival.

On my arrival I received your private letter of 11 Augt. per Gingari. I am very sorry to find that my Ahuriri proceedings have perplexed you, which was the very thing I tried to avoid. On looking over my report again however I find that my own language is against me, though it does not express exactly the state of the case --- and to correct which I wrote my subsequent letter of 18 July, stating that "I had carefully explained to both the Natives and Settlers that my bargains with the former were all subject to approval at headquarters", which was the real state of the case, and if old Hapuku said anything else why he was following Mr. Travers' example and misrepresenting my sayings and doings, so as to involve the Govt. through me, in order to gain his own ends.

I am afraid in asking for a general report of purchases in the Wellington province you have called upon me for more than I can perform. I must at any rate take some time to make enquiries and read up the subject, of which I am at present quite ignorant.

Affairs here are going on tolerably well. The Natives are not in the best of humour with me because I am limited in my stock of cash --- but it is the best thing possible for them.

I am going to write a ripping reply to Mr. Travers' attack, which was unfair, unmanly and cowardly. He has been crammed by some of my Taranaki friends. I was greatly surprised to find Forsaith standing up for me, and feel grateful to him for it. I fear I shall not get at my Taranaki papers etc. in time to concoct a fulmination in reply to the attack before I leave town. If it were a mere newspaper article I would not care, but from an M. H. R. it is rather too bad.

I have no more to write just now. Bell will give you a few letters when you arrive.


Ever faithfully yours,
G. S. Cooper.

Part of:
Inward letters - George Sisson Cooper, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0227 (70 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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