Letter from P. Wilson
to Donald McLean Esq.
dated 8th. Nov. 1856.
Saturday, 8th. Nov. 1856
My dear Mac,
Your favor, dated by mistake, I presume, 4th. October, instead of November, came to hand by steamer; which, by the way, merely delivered her passengers and mail, and went on with sundry much required merchandize, - and moreover, all the cash for the Troops. Now this is complained of as a very great inconvenience; and, as we think, unnecessarily incurred; for it was not blowing to the amount of a gale; and the weather was subsiding when she was in our bay. Such occurrences operate very unfavourably on the prosperity of Taranaki.
Well, as you will see by our paper of this morning, we are again soon to be in the vortex of another election. There is more than meets the eye, to explain the sudden determination of the Council, to sue, as it has done, for a dissolution; and I feel pretty certain that the qua ratione is not that stated, nor anything like it. However, the deed is
done, and we hope, will be followed out to the letter; but the chance of either Council or Superintendent being re-elected, is, I think, with two or three exceptions, not very problematical. It is meditated by the Blues, generally I believe, to request Flight to stand for the Superintendency, and he is willing to do so, but with the understanding that he retains the Resident Magistracy. I have heard no objection to this, but on the part of Norris, who thinks the offices incompatible, and not unlikely from having the ambition to be asked to stand himself, - or vanity altogether foreign to the remotest chance of realization. Flight's ambition in the pecuniary way is extremely moderate, and will be such a cutting-down economy of the present establishment, as will tell favourably with the people. He proposes to serve the two offices for £200 each, which would be a saving of £300 per annum. He proposes also to do away with the office of P. Treasurer, meaning to take charge of that also. But this last we think would be better incorporated with the office of the Land Commissioner; or to conjoin it with the office of his, the Resident Magistrate's clerk, taking care that that officer is a person of character and responsibility, and can command sureties for the trust. Others again think the Treasurer-ship should be vested in the Clerk
of the Council, as that body would then have an everyday opportunity of knowing the state of the Box. For my part, I am partial to its being under the safeguard of the Resident Magistrate, or Land Commissioner; and if the latter, give him a doviceur.
Chilman's affair came off, or rather was concluded on Monday last, when the decision was unanimous that he had no claim. But if the rascal had ever had, he must have sold it when he sold the rest of the land to Moggridge; as the document of sale signed by himself, and witnessed by Barribal, most unequivocally assures that the sale includes all the land he has any claim to on the North side of the Devon side, and between the rivers Henui and Waiwakaiho. This sale was in 1849 or 1850. Yet though this document was addressed to the Committee by Moggridge himself, and he stated that he bought what he was led to consider the entire landed interest of C, as above stated; yet you see, in the paper of this day, how the affair is represented. This, in fact, ought to be noticed in your papers; and also, I am not without hopes that Wicksteed will have a hit thereat, in the "Wanganui Chronicle"; to which, by the way, I hope you subscribe. Our paper, unluckily, did not come to my hand this morning till I had closed my letter for Wanganui, a copy of which I enclose in this.
But if it had, I should have arraigned the Editor, as being guilty of a wilful and known falsehood. Sam - got up a rather clever lampoon on the subject, and has published it extensively; as by Tuesday night it had been circulated pretty generally over the settlement. The copy now sent to you was noticed under our back door early on Thursday evening; and Flight and Whitely had theirs in the same way, and at the same time. From the circumstance of the spelling some of the words, the belief is that it eminates from a new hand; and if the old ones, Louthwaite is named. But it is above his calibre, and I am not sorry we have such a sarcastic fellow among us on our side, though we could do without him as they as often do harm as benefit. As regards our Provincial Government, this most disgraceful affair will, if possible, be quietly slurred over. But as the whole affair will, I presume, be brought before the Governor, may not, or rather should not he, as the fountain of honour, call for his dismissal from office ignominously?
As your mother is going to write, I need say no more, as she will give you the more important news.
very faithfully yours,
To:- Donald McLean Esq.