Object #1020012 from MS-Papers-0032-0487

5 pages to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0487 (120 digitised items). Approximately 121 letters and letter fragments, most are undated, written from Hawke's Bay, Wairarapa, and Wellington, 1860s-1870s. Includes letter from Hannah Ormond. Dated correspondence includes letter from Ormond (writing on behalf of Lt Gov Eyre) addressed to Mr Lane Esq, Barrett's Hotel, and addressed from Govt House, Wellington, 6 Apr 1848.Also letters from J S Ormond, Te Wairoa, 22 Feb 1868 re position at government school at Pakowhai [?]; J C Ormond, Warleigh, 2 Mar 1863 re cattle.

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

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English (ATL)

May 27th


Dear McLean,

I have written you a long letter thinking you might perhaps want to use if officially or at least make Executive property. The natives about here seems since the receipt of the Tarranaki news to be in considerable excitement. They speak very openly and fairly I think. They decline to express any decided opinion about the 4th May affair, until they get the Maori version of it. At present they say they have only the Governor's - Karaitiana's return is looked for by them with some anxiety and upon his word they will found their action I think. There is not as far as I can judge, the least feeling at present of a wish to-be hostile - but do notice ((and it is a difference from what I have observed in all former occasions) that the idea of a possible general war is familiar to them, as possible, and that they often speak of it as if it wd or might arise out of something, some action, on our part, which is already defined by them. What I mean is that it seems to me that if certain things did take place - such as war carried into Waikato or even Waitara - that war wd. be general or at least that our native population wd. take part in it. In talking with me today one of them said, "in such case we should tell you White-people resident among us to go to the Towns, our Rununga has decided that that should be done" - I write you all this, as it is at least very desirable that you shd. hear as much as you can of what is said. I live on very good terms with my people and I think from long custom they are used to talk very unreservedly with me. My opinion is - That at present our district is perfectly safe, but that it is quite possible War may come among us from matters over which we have no control. During the late disturbances such an idea never occurred to me as being possible, but I confess that I see so much difference in this case as to view it as "contingently possible" - I heard to day from the natives the contents of Domett's letter to you that is to say - they had heard that the settlers were to be calledout, and told me that you had sent express for Lambert to drill them. I merely mention this to cause to be careful how and who you acquaint with matters it is not desirable shd. be public I traced the information Paul and Nopera had to the policeman who brought me the Govt.'s correspondence with you from Cooper - probably the policeman heard it at Cooper's house. Dont of course mention this but I think it right to name it to you. I dont exactly know when I may get down to Napier I fear not until the very end of next month at soonest. I should very much like to see you and have talk with you over matters at this juncture but I suppose we must be satisfied with corresponding until then. I hope Grey wont be sending for you and pressing you to go even temporarily to his aid - this is the time we want you here. My services are always at your disposal to give such help as I am able and I trust we shall manage to pull our Province thro' a time which we must feel to be the most critical she has yet passed. Goodnight, yours always

J. D. Ormond

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0487 (120 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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