Object #1021527 from MS-Papers-0032-0282

6 pages written 18 Sep 1866 by Lieutenant-Colonel James Fraser

From: Inward letters - James Fraser, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0282 (39 digitised items). 38 letters written from Hawke's Bay, Bay of Plenty and East Coast, 1865-1870. Includes letter addressed to Captain Rhodes, 1865

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

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English (ATL)

COPY. Camp Tupaoa
18th. September 1866

My dear Sir

It is some time now since I have written to you, but still longer since I have heard from you; and I am almost tempted to believe that you have quite forgotten the Wairoa in your new duties, as M.G.A.

I presume this letter will find you in Napier; so, as one of my Sergeants is going down there, on pass, I send it by him.

And now to tell you all about things here. There has been some difficulty on Kopu's part, as to his, as it were, being still C.O. of the Maoris here. It appears that ever since they came from Napier, Master Toha has, in conjuction with some others of Kopu's men, been breeding mischief; and at last it reached to such an extent, that, as I have told you in a previous letter, they questioned Kopu. Well, this passed off; and Kopu supposed that as everything had been explained by him satisfactorily, there would be no more grumbling or dis-content. However, some of his men have kept on growling in their whares at night, and still discussing the subject of the runanga, when it should have been allowed to drop.

Accordingly, when news came the other day, that the Hau Haus were in Petane, - and as we heard here, - had burnt the Pah and threatened an attack on Mohaka. Kopu sent for me, (I had been ignorant hitherto, of his intentions) and said, in the presence of Paora Apatu, and some of his chief men, that if there was going to be any more fighting here, he wished to have nothing to do with it. He simply wished to do his duty as a "Whakawa", and he wanted either Ihaka or Hemi Periha to be the "Te Kanga" of the fight. He also said that all the guns and powder he had got from you, and served out, he would have collected and give them back to you. He further stated that he had not intended to have mentioned this until the time of the feast, when he now purposed telling you all about it; but that he found so much muttering and grumbling going on, which his head men did not seem inclined to stop; that, as there was likely to be more fighting, he mentioned his grievance at the present time. I was very much astonished at his speech, as you may imagine; but kept my countenance, did not express any opinion, but merely said, - "Send for Ihaka; when he comes, we will talk."

Ihaka came the next day; and he, Kopu, Paora, and Hamlin and I, went into Kopu's house. Kopu then recapitulated all his complaints, - all of which can be traced to Toha's and Hamana's mischief-making propensities; and I then, after he had finished, spoke to him. I told him he had been placed in the position he had occupied, by you; on account of his loyalty, courage, and your good opinion of him; and that, in the first place, for that reason, he should not resign. Secondly, - that because a few of his men grumbled occasionally, that was no reason why he should succumb to them; and I instanced the fact that in-subordination of the nature he had described, was frequent among the Pakehas; but that no such great importance was attached to it as he seemed to think should be; and that the proper way of dealing with such people, was, with the Strong Arm. I then paid him some compliments on his general successes during the past fear, in putting down Hau Hauism; and, finally turning round to Ihaka and Paul, avowed my determination, as far as it lay in my power, to support Kopu, called upon them to do so, and said I knew you would, too. Ihaka at once said he was a soldier of Kopu's himself, and he would engage to support him through everything; and his men would do the same. Paul expressed himself similarly. I then said that I was certain they would, as they had, and that if any of Kopu's men were discontented, and averse to going to fight under his orders, their arms, etc., would be taken from them, and they would remain like women in their pahs, till men went out to fight for them. So ended our conference, - Kopu agreeing to continue as before, - General.

I wished very much that Deighton could have been present, but bad weather prevented it. I trust you approve of what I have done.

We are continually hearing rumours here, of an invasion on the part of the Hau Hau, from Waikare-Moana; and the general opinion of the principal Chiefs is, that there is some truths in the reports, and that we must keep a sharp look-out. The very latest reliable news we have heard is, from a message sent down by a man named Rewi, a Hau Hau belonging to the Waiau. The message states that a body of Hau Haus, inland, is coming down here soon, but purpose waiting to be attacked, and do not intend being, themselves, the attacking party. This was sent to Wata-teiroa, from a Hau Hau, who is in the Urewera country.

I have taken it upon myself to order all the Hau Haus to assemble to-morrow at Kopu's pah, for the purpose of ordering them to remain in the vicinity of Pukowhoa, and not to go up the Waiau any distance, or to Reinga, or to Waikare-Moana; as I find they have been in the habit of doing. Kopu and the other Chiefs wish this done, very much, and unless you give me contrary orders, I purpose enforcing my orders strictly.

Deighton is coming up to speak, for me. He fully concurs in the necessity of their being under some sort of surveillance. By the way, Kopu is now very soory he did not ask you to send some of them away, as they are giving him no end of trouble.

Should you approve, I would propose to you, to order me to have a monthly muster of these Hau Haus, at some central place. Te Waru might muster them, in my presence, or that of some other Officer, and he will be accountable for their being all there. I think Te Waru is to be trusted.

I intend sending to you in a few days, a report of the whole district, from Waiapu, here. I have received a very interesting one from Biggs, which I wrote to him for, and which I will send you a copy of. I am only waiting for Gascoigne's now, to send in my own. I trust you received, and liked, the moss I sent you; and I sincerely trust to hear that Poverty Bay belongs to our dear little Province by this time.

Please excuse this long scrawl. I hope you will be able to decipher it without much difficulty. I trust you have enjoyed your Session, and are quite well after it.

Kopu's whare is nearly done. It is rather a good one. Sam Deighton has been sick, but is now much better.

Biggs wrote to me two or three days ago. Everything is quiet at Poverty Bay. The same rumours of invasion, are of course current there as here. Kotine and twenty men had come down unasked, and were helping Biggs to build his new Redoubt at Toanga, near Gold-smith's. There had been some dispute between Karaufia and H. Potae, about land; but all was now quiet. Baku very ill, with, it is feared, inflamation of part of the heart.

I have got a letter from Mohi. They were all much delighted at getting Mclaod's potatoes, and were hard at work planting. I have taken care that no planting has been done here at a distance from the Friendly Pas, and if any has been done, that I at present don't know of, I intend, should you approve, to destroy the food as soon as it appears.

All desire kind remembrances, here. All are quite well. Ormond has his wife coming up. She has been unwell. I am thin, and feel much better in consequence. Tuke is much as usual, - growling, and wanting leave, and declaring he has never had any since he has been in the Company. He has applied for a month's leave, to Haultain, but I don't think he will get it. I can, with difficulty, spare him from here, as I cannot assemble a Board or Court Martial, when he is away. The country is looking very well here; no end of feed for horses, sheep, etc., Richardson is fatter than ever; he must weigh now almost 20 stone.

I am my dear Sir
Yours very sincerely
James Fraser.

Part of:
Inward letters - James Fraser, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0282 (39 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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