Object #1021614 from MS-Papers-0032-0493
From: Inward letters - Robert Parris, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0493 (39 digitised items). 38 letters written from Taranaki - New Plymouth & Manukapo, 1856-1860. Includes piece-level inventory for correspondence, 16 Oct 1856-Feb 1862
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Letter from Robert Parris,
to Donald McLean Esw., Chief Commissioner,
dated 3rd. February 1858.
COPYPrivate. New Plymouth 3rd. February 1858
Being pressed for time, please excuse my writing privately, for I am out with the natives every day for the present critical crisis. By the last Overland Mail you were furnished with particulars up to that time, by Mr. Halse.
On Saturday last, the 30th. ult., Ihaia came out of his pa, with most of his followers, and located themselves seaward of the Ikamoana on the Puketapu plain, their opponents having advanced from the Waitana, and erected one pa within gun shot, and thrown up a breastwork further in advance; from which they kept up a constant fire into the Pa. On leaving the Pa, they were seen by their assailants, when a party proceeded to intercept them, and opened fire upon them. This was returned by the Ikamoana people, which resulted in about one hour's skirmishing at long range; and one on each side slightly wounded; night having closed in, the firing was kept up, in the direction
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of the Pa, until
12 o'clock at night. In the morning, at day-break, I visited them, and found the Ikamoana people had been out of their Pa the whole night, with an intention not to return to it, but leave a few men in charge until they had secured another place seaward.
From Sunday, until this morning, (Wednesday), Ihaia secreted himself, represented by his people, to be away with 40 men. This mede the others uneasy; supposing he was about to make a night attack upon some one of the weaker places, - (Hone Ropiha's or Raniera's).
Mr. Whiteley and myself felt rather uneasy for the time. However, this morning he turned up with about 30 men, removing some wood from the Native Reserve of Taitua and Pairama, on the Mangati stream by the beach. On being seen by his opponents, a party of about the same number (30), headed by Raniera and Wm. Tamihana went to attack them, and came in contact with them on Mr. Hoby's land, close to his house, when
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an engagement took place, and resulted in one killed and 5 wounded, -- all of Ihaia's side. Ihaia himself slightly wounded in the back. The others were all Natirahiri's. Wi Turi killed. Hone Whanonga, shot through the arm at the elbow. Tipene Warihi, top of one finger shot off, and shot through the thigh. Wm. Pitt, (not of the Waiwakaiho), -- ball entered left shoulder, passed over on the
surface of the right shoulder, and lodged in the fleshy part of the right side. Another shot through the thigh.
The dead body was removed to the Waitara, for interment, immediately after the occurrence. They requested me to make proposals for peace, which I was too happy to do, but I am sorry to say their opponents treated it with derision.
I am very sorry for Ihaia, because he has been made a tool of for others, who now would rejoice at his own destruction.
Mr. Whiteley and myself have been trying to get them away to the Waitara, believing
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he would be safer there. But we have not been able to succeed. Another object, we had to remove the quarrel further from the Europeans, whose constant interference is not conducive, to our neutrality.
The only danger to Europeans is their fighting about their premises, which is anything but agreeable.
Being now 12 o'clock, and having to be off again at day-break, you will please excuse this hurried epistle, and allow me to subscribe myself,
Yours at command (Signed)
To:-- D. McLean Esq. Chief Commissioner.
Inward letters - Robert Parris, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0493 (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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