Object #1020114 from MS-Papers-0032-0200

10 pages written 1 Sep 1866 by James H Campbell to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - James H Campbell, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0200 (51 digitised items). 50 letters written from Auckland, Maraekakaho, Doon Side, Waiapu, Napier, Gisborne (Turanga), Wellington

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

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English (ATL)


My dear McLean,

There are one or two subjects upon which I particularly wish to inform you with regard to this place. You will I have no doubt with your influence be enabled to obtain the necessary remedies.

In the first place between this place and Tuparoa there are about 500 Hau Haus or as they are now styled New Queen Natives. These people are in a most deplorable state of destitution. Deprived of all they once possessed they have now no means of procuring food or clothing. They can get no assistance from our own people who themselves as you are aware have had to depend much upon what the Govt. and yourself have sent them. That this state of things calls for immediate remedy is clear. It appears to me that the simplest and most effectual one would be for the Govt. to employ them for the next three months till the crops begin to come in and ration them in the same manner as the prisoners at the Chathams.

There is a good means of employing them in opening a communication by road between this and Awanui which is much wanted and in the event of a recurrence of hostilities would prove most useful. I have spoken to Morgan and the other chiefs about it and they not only concur in it but promise to render every assistance.

Another subject is the position of the small detachment stationed at Awanui. As they are at present they are perfectly useless. They are in the first place in a complete state of demoralization owing as I am informed to their had conduct, the Natives would not allow them to remain longer in the Pa here - they then removed to Awanui where they are not only wretchedly hutted but as it appears to me, in a totally defenceless position living higgledy piggledy with Natives and their ammunition, in fact the Magazine is here in Morgan's Pa a most attractive object of attack to the enemy should they think of making a descent upon this coast. The night before last I looked out and behold the Pa was in a blaze and neither officer nor man within five miles fortunately the night was perfectly calm so that the fire was extinguished before it reached the magazine had it been otherwise there would have been a Flemish account of the affair.

That it is very wise and very necessary to keep a detachment here I believe, and it is the strong desire of the natives that there should be one but let them not be drunken and debauched and beyond all discipline. I consider that under the possibility of an attempt being made upon this Coast on the return of summer and as the best means of preventing it, a detachment of 50 good men well officered would not be more than needful. Their proper position as far as regards safety of the population both Native and European should unquestionably be here. Nature has given an excellent spot for a redoubt near the sea and not far from Morgan's Pa which with very little work could be rendered almost impregnable with abundance of wood and water.

Another subject is that of an officer for Magisterial work. I do not see how I am to get on unless Govt. enable me to present at least a respectable appearance before the Natives. By the kindness of Dr. Brown I am allowed to hold Courts in his house - otherwise I dont know what I should do, as there is not a house of any description left. A Lock up is indispensable as I am placed I cannot enforce the law - although it is much called for, and the Chiefs are urging it upon me I feel that without this necessary aid from Government I should only turn the thing into ridicule, and I am forced to treat as civil cases some that for example's sake call for a severer chastisement.

With regard to my own house I am trying what I can do to get something put up which will afford a shelter but I think it is hard that with all the existing uncertainty a Magistrate should have out of his moderate pay to provide a house which he may have to vacate tomorrow. I have how my dear McLean made a clean breast of it to you, because I think that you of all other men will know that I am sincere in what I have written and that it is done with the best desire for good.

I should have reported more fully than I have done, to the Native Minister but that I consider that in your hands it will prove more useful.

Believe me My dear McLean,
yours ever,
J.H. Campbell.

Part of:
Inward letters - James H Campbell, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0200 (51 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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