Object #1021752 from MS-Papers-0032-0327

4 pages written 22 Mar 1857 by John Williams Harris in Poverty Bay to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - John Williams Harris, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0327 (70 digitised items). 66 letters written from Hawke's Bay & Poverty Bay, 1851-1870. Includes undated note in Maori signed Matiu

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

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English (ATL)

Turanga Poverty Bay

22nd. March 1857.



My dear Sir,

"Tarnati Tokorangi" proceeding to the "Ahuriri" gives me an opportunity to drop you a few lines, just to state we have gone on very quietly since you left The Natives tell me you reffered them to myself, with Supts. Dunlop and Rich, as arbitrators in any little matters that might or had occurred between the Europeans and them. I am happy to say I have been enabled quietly to arrange one or two small affairs. I yesterday with the assistance of Mr. Rich compromised the matter between them and Mr. Espie about the potatoes at Whero Whero and of which you desire Edward to advise me from Ohimahia the matter of the payment for Pigs given for repairing the Native vessel (and which I hear the Natives spoke to you about when here) was also mooted. I advised them to let the matter quietly lay by till the return of Archdeacon Williams as he was the party who made the agreement with Mr. Espie and I have more than once heard him say he was perfectly satisfied with the amount of work they had done for the payment received. There is one thing I would observe. I sincerely hope you or at least some one that is perfectly acquainted with the Native character will pay us a visit as a J.P. as I fear there is likely to be many small questions brought forward arising out of the old "o mai noa" system and in which old hands are perfectly aware. These Natives are scarcely ever satisfied, though in ninety nine cases out of the hundred they actually receive three or four times the value of the article given. At the same time there appears a better inclination on the part of the Natives to pay their own debts, though some suppose your Court as instituted for their benefit alone and that no charge brought by a European will be attended to.

I have heard from "Lazarus Nuku Po" that "Kahahia" has written you to the effect that all the Natives are now unanimous in wishing to sell their lands here. Such however is not the case in fact matters are much the same as when you left, though they are evidently coming round. You will I expect receive letters from several natives on this subject by this conveyance.

Mrs. Dunlop and family left for "Auckland" in the "Hero" (Smith's vessel) on Thursday last.

The Queen was gotten off with scarcely any difficulty by Waddy of the "Ira" who has undertaken the job of repairs, etc. She is now safely moored at Turanga river; our little river had at one time quite an imposing aspect, no less than four vessels being therein --- namely, "Queen", "Hero", "Dauntless", and "Ira". The latter there loading for Auckland.

We are not in receipt of any late intelligence from either of the seats of Government and quite barren of English news.

Mr. Grace has returned, I am not aware how he fared, though I saw Mr. William Baker who brought his sisters to Mr. Riches on Wednesday last. He tells me his father is likely to be superannuated and to return to England. I am not aware who will take his place at "Uawa".

"Te Koni" has not been at Turanga since you left.

Report says the ban has been taken off the sale of powder etc. in small quantities for sporting purposes. I have not seen it in print. Mr. Baker told me he understood the act had been partially repealed, if so I am sorry for it. I think it was one of the most politic that has been passed and should have remained in force for some years longer --- at any rate till the Natives perceived from the influx of immigrants that it would be perfectly hopeless to restrain our progress.

I hope Edward has given you satisfaction that you will find him useful and that he may have reason to be proud of the day in which he first met Donald McLean. You will I am quite sure do anything for him that lays in your power, and I shall feel thankful also if you will make him write me as often and as fully as circumstances will permit. I shall not expect a long letter from you as your time is much better employed than in answering my unconnected scriblings. A few lines however if you can find time to write them will give me sincere pleasure and I hope when you next visit Turanga to have a spare room at your disposal, where you can lock yourself up and be as private as you please.

We are all much the same as when you left. Capt. Stewart's leg, I am sorry to say, is no better in spite of "Hohoway". I fear his age prevents a cure. He joins me in kindest wishea, and believe me to be,


Very faithfully yours,
J. W. Harris.

Part of:
Inward letters - John Williams Harris, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0327 (70 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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