Object #1018162 from MS-Papers-0032-0327
2 pages written 26 Jul 1866 by John Williams Harris to Sir Donald McLean
From: Inward letters - John Williams Harris, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0327 (70 digitised items).
66 letters written from Hawke's Bay & Poverty Bay, 1851-1870. Includes undated note in Maori signed Matiu
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
26 July 1866.
D. McLean Esq.,
My dear Sir,
I have not heard from you for some time. Possibly there may be letters by the S. S that is reported as at Turanga Hui.
I was sorry to hear yesterday that it is contemplated to relinquish the Military post at "Kohanga Kareareha". . . If that is abandoned without establishing some other post in the neighbourhood, the whole of the approach to the vale of "Turanga" by the way of "te Reinga" will be open. By this route a force may at any moment descend and in twenty four hours destroy every homestead on the right bank of the Wai Paoa, cause much loss of life and effect their retreat before any force could be organised for their interception. There should in fact be at least two stations in "Turanga" besides the one at "Turanga Nui", say one in the "Rakaukaka" Valley, and another somewhere near Waerengaahika, These with not less than fifty men each would I think prevent any raid from being carried into effect. As you are well aware for many days in winter the "Wai Paoa" from continued freshets is a complete bar to military operations being carried on without there is a force on each side. The numerous fords open in summer are often impassable for weeks
in winter. I consider the small force now here as likely to invite attack should the Hauhau/re gain a footing here you will have all your work to do over again with this addition that there will not be one homestead left standing in Turanga. Probably also many settlers families would be destroyed, through being unable to effect their escape. You will have received the Native letter on this subject. They as well as ourselves are anxious the approaches should be guarded. Any success (if but partial) achieved by the enemy would do you in particular and the Colony generally a sad amount of injury. The natives would at once place confidence in the new faith, and a rising on many parts of the coast both East and West might be attempted We well know the blood shed, misiary and expense that would occasion. The question appears to me to be simply this. Either Turanga is worth saving or it is not. If it is a sufficient force should be stationed here. If not it was worse than useless carrying out the last summer campaign in this District.
Wishing you every success I am
My dear Sir,
Yours very faithfully,
J. W. Harris.
Inward letters - John Williams Harris, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0327 (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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