Wellington N.Z. 28 March 1869
My dear McLean,
In common with all men of good sense and right feeling whom I have heard mention the subject, I look upon your treatment by the Government with mixed indignation and contempt. It may have been (though I know nothing of it) that an irreconciliable difference of opinion on a matter of importance might have made it impossible for them in consistency to profit by your services as their accredited agent, but nothing can justify the manner in which as it appears to the public, your severance from the Government has been effected. I have no doubt that even if you personally should be magnanimous enough to spare them the retaliation which it would not be vindictive to inflict upon them - the good sense and feeling of the Colony will revolt against their conduct, and the only result will be deserved discomfiture to them, and an addition to the strength of your position. So far my feeling of personal respect and friendship constrains me to allude to the wretched performance of the Ministers. It is some time since I heard from you, and I should be very glad to recieve a few lines posting me up with your latest news. Young Waarton who is here on his way to Sydney to look after the affairs of
a poor brother who died suddenly and unknown at the Club at Sydney, tells me how strong a feeling there is among both settlers and Natives respecting your recent treatment, and I am right glad it is so.
Things certainly do not look bright. I have just received news from my sister that she has been sent away from Tauranga to Auckland. The old Archdeacon will stick to the ship while she floats. I am very much vexed that Montgomerie is away about the Auckland Islands, otherwise he would have gone at once to Tauranga.
The Governor has heard from the Duke of Edinburgh to-day who says that the Galatea will leave Sydney on the first of April, and he expects to be here on the 6th. or 7th. The Admiralty have directed him to abridge his stay in N.Z. and go to the Sandwich Islands, but he may stay in N.Z. till the 15th. May. The Governor has asked Wi Taki, Te Rauparaga E Matene te Whiwhi to dine with the Prince, and if I understood Hoatene rightly yesterday he is to come also. But perhaps that is a mistake. We have a good deal of Trouble in arranging about the Prince because neither Gen. Govt. nor Prov. Council nor Town. Board will give any money. So we shall do little beyond what is self-paying as a Ball and an Entertainment on the Cricket field to the Men of War's men. The Ruahine came in during the night. She will have about 75 passengers from N.Z. for Englnad via the Straits of Magellan. I have had several interviews lately with a
poor woman in whom you take an interest; the wife of Amos Fisher now in gaol. I think she was a nurse of Douglass's. She and her family have been horribly used by the man - and she has lately seen him in gaol, and greatly dreads his coming out, and she has a great desire to get away from this place, with her family before he is liberated - to some place where he is not likely to follow. The Sherriff has not seized the husbands horses and carts since his conviction of felony, (and I think will not), so for a time her son aged 12, manages to cut and cart enough wood to maintain them; and I have told her to apply to me if she should be in any trouble, I have told her that this is a bad time to change her place, and that a living would be hard to get away from her present means. But the poor woman and her son (who has been dreadfully treated by his father) have so perfect a horror of being again subject to this man that one would very much desire if it were possible - to get them away some where - I promised Mrs. Fisher that I would write you on the subject, but I told her that there would probably be little chance in these times, of their getting a suitable settlement in your province. The case seems to me a very sad one. I tried the man for stealing telegraph wire, and he was then under sentence of six months for gross maltreatment of his son. I am very much annoyed to find that Cartwright Brown
has made so frightful a mess of it. I believe he has messed away something like £21,000 and has nothing to shew for it.
I have not seen Mr. Strang for some time. It is now my long vacation, but as usual, I am only the busier. After getting some reports of the Court of Appeal cases through the Press, I am going to make a beginning with the printing of my second edition of the Justice of the Peace.
I suppose we shall see Mr. Hart back by the next steamer.
I hear nothing from Ferard. With kind regards and remembrances,
I am My dear McLean,
Yours very truly,
Alexander J. Johnston.
Inward letters - Alexander J Johnston, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0358 (47 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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