Object #1022228 from MS-Papers-0032-0158
From: Inward letters - Francis Dillon Bell, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0158 (46 digitised items). Contains correspondence between McLean and F D Bell, and Bell and William Fox; the correspondence covers the purchase of Maori land (especially at Wairarapa), fighting in the New Zealand Wars, politics (including information about the formation of Governments in the 1870s), and personal matters. 47 letters written from Taranaki, Wellington, London, Shag Valley, Wanganui, Dunedin, Melbourne, 1847-1853
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Letter from F.D. Bell to Donald McLean Esq. dated 29th. October 1854 or 1856.
29th. October 1854
My dear McLean,
I have this moment returned from Wairarapa, where I had a meeting with Manihera, Waha, and the rest of them, about the boundary of the Kuratawiti Block. Manihera insists that the line of the new town is to be the boundary between them and the whites; and pleads Sir G. Grey's promise that their Papawai town shall have around it plenty of available land. The misfortune of this is that lots of people who would go up at once to their allotments, are stopped, and great discouragement and discontent prevails. Several families are located already on the spot, and seem to like it extremely; and altogether there is no fear of the settlement progressing rapidly and prosperously, if the Reserve question were only settled, Manihera told me you had never said there was to be a town there; and as usual, they grumbled and complained. Of course I defended you; and the result was their coming round on that point. But I could do nothing with them about putting back the boundary a bit, so as to let occupation go on by the small farmers; who are, many of them, horribly disgusted at the obstacle to their possession.
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I only asked for 40 chains, both from the line of the town, and would have accepted five and twenty. Moreover, I offered them an equivalent out of that part which they sold on the North side of Morrison's bush road, and tried other ways, - all without success. There is no doubt, if you can possibly come down for a month, that you can get all the country between Donald's and Papawai; and also Breadwell's Block. We had several hours' Korero; and I believe they are here, as well as at Ahuriri, so hard up, they will sell lots of land. One thing we must do, now that we are not so pressed about funds; and that is to sell nothing in the new districts you may get, until the lines of the Reserves are laid out by survey. You and I foresaw there would be a difficulty about these (in what you bought last December); but then we were obliged to make money to go on with, and couldn't help ourselves. Pray, if you come, arrange with the Treasury about power to draw, if you want more money than I have at command for you. Manihera and the others expressed great disappointment at not getting a Mill. They say the Governor promised them, when he was at Papawai with the----[?].
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Do you know anything of this? It will never do, if such a promise was made, not to fulfil it.
If you cannot come, even for a month, don't you think a payment of Account might be made to some of the principal Chiefs at Raumahanga and the East Coast, to keep things alive? If you would write a few lines to the chief men, saying they were each to receive say £50 or £100, according to rank, etc., in the various districts, it would have a good effect. And, for Heaven's sake, come if you can, if only for a month.
You may imagine I have my hands full, since I returned, what with office-work, and natives, and one thing and another, I am pretty well done, I rode 50 miles in the middle of last night to save the steamer, to write to you about these chaps; a roaring South-easter, with torrents of rain, - facing a midnight ride over the Rimutaka Range, under such favourable circumstances, and pitch dark; so that I was not in the best of humours with the country or people. I hear little of Domett, except that he is popular and much respected. His address to the natives was most excellent. Government ought to thank him for it. I fear Mr. D. gives him some trouble, - if one may believe stories.
Remember me kindly to Dr. Sinclair, and believe me always, dear Mac,
Yours truly (Signed)
P.S. Do urge Sinclair to use his influence to get you ordered down.
To:- Donald McLean Esq.
Inward letters - Francis Dillon Bell, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0158 (46 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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