Object #1021100 from MS-Papers-0032-0481

9 pages written 17 Jun 1863 by John Davies Ormond in Wallingford to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 digitised items). 85 letters written from Epraima, Auckland, Wallingford & Napier, 1857-1865. Includes a few draft letters from McLean to Ormond.

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

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English (ATL)

Wallingford
June 17/63


My dear McLean,

I have left you until all my other letters are finished and it is now late. The news by this mail and the report of the Waikato incursion into Mohaka has given me plenty of writing to do. The assuring line in reply to epistles received His Lordship sent a man post after the mailman at daylight this morning to enclose me a despatch marked Midnight Tuesday in which he tells me that from information from Brathwaite he is advised that the troops marched yesterday from Napier for Waipukerau. What I say to all these people is - "McLean is well advised of what is taking place, or going to take place, and will give you ample warning shd. a crisis arise. So much for them. I have all your letters by the mail. What you tell me in one written on Monday (June 15th) does not at all astonish me. To one who has lived on the terms I have so long with these people, it is impossible as I have before written you not to see that they are thoroughly alienated. In my case I find now that they shun me rarely coming near me. I did not however think that matters had gone as far as you are informed, that is that they had any settled plan as far as this district or Napier was concerned. Whatever those plans are I still believe that our people will not fight if they can help it. At the same time let us go on doing all we can to prepare for the worst. If I were with you I shd. advise to stay any movement of the military inland until we could move also our Defence force. In the mean time I wd. make all preparation I was able from their reception and so on. Depend upon it, it is a good game to play with an adversary like the Maori. Not to let him know anything until he sees that your hand is so strong that he is powerless for harm I do believe that the moral effect of such a blow as the occupation by our armed Gorps of the inland district will be sufficient to save us from the necessity of having recourse to physical force. I note what you say in yours of the 15th As to having rallying points fixed for the Settlers in various districts. What I should say about that wd. depend entirely upon its absolute necessity. I mean at present - that is that I wd. take no step of that kind, (unless absolutely necessary) no kind of organization of the settlers, until I had a more reliable body than our population is composed of to organize upon, When once we have an occupied centre and a detached force at one or two places then orgaize by all means. I think that you will think with me, that unless the necessity is pressing that we shd. trust as little as possible to effect, until we can make a great and I hope and sincerely believe an effectual demonstration of our readiness to resort to force if it be forced upon us.

You will understand what I mean in what I have written on this subject. I am very glad you have learnt that it does not do to say overmuch to a good many people from experience of my friends here I must say that reticence is a virtue when communicating with them. In reference to what you say in yours of the 19th about responsibility as to whether it be desirable to have a Councils sanction for expenditure or action in an emergency like the present.

My opinion and advice is. Take any responsibility that circumstances require, financial or otherwise, in both I will willingly share the risks of abuse or loss. I can conceive nothing more mischievous at a time like this than to have to unfold, reveal, and make public property of, one's plans, intentions and opinions. When the crisis is past, then without delay appeal for a decision onwhat has been done. My idea of the duty of a Govt. is that such only can be its course.

I see what you say about corning inland, many things may however interfere with that intention. I hope to be with you and to give you any help and assistance in my power in about a week from now or rather in about ten days. I shall start my wife and bairn as soon as I hear from Napier that Richardson has sent a trap to meet them to take them down. I think there is nothing more I need write about in the Interim. Has Weber made any arrangements for Timber or accommodation at Waipawa? That is a very good account of Cameron's doings at Tarranaki I suppose Whit more wrote it.

Good night
Yours always,
J. D. Ormond.

Part of:
Inward letters - J D Ormond, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0481 (89 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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