Sept. 28th. 1857.
My dear McLean,
I was at the Ruataniwha, surveying the Takapau Block when the Auckland vessels arrived and sailed which will account for no letters per Erin. I now send officials which will inform you of the state of the quarrel. To make sure, I have written out duplicates of the first reports, though you must have received the originals are this --- I sent them via Wellington. They contain so full an account of the state of parties that they require no remark here from me. Perhaps you may be a little surprised at the tone of my confidential letter, but I can assure you it is not written without careful consideration and thorough conviction. Take my word for it, the Govt, will find a necessity, if not for the extreme measure of sending troops, at any rate for organising a strong and serviceable body of armed Police, enough to enable the R.M. to carry out his decisions, and to awe such blackguards as Moananui ma into subjection. His conduct is becoming positive-intolerable and unless sharply checked will I very much fear lead to some unhappy result. Possibly a strong letter from the Governor might have some effect upon him.
I have not had an opportunity of seeing Alexander, but I am quite certain he would not accept the Commr.ship at Wairarapa. The best man I can think of is W.B. White, who is tired of Mangonui and anxious for a move to the South. He is
an old and tried public servant, and would I am sure be the very man for Wairarapa, and I think it is very likely that if he does not get employment more to his taste he will quit the Service altogether. At all events he can never be comfortable at Mangonui after the way he has been treated by Brodie, a treatment he is sure to meet with again, and all things considered I am sure you could not do better than to offer him the Wairarapa. He will save the expense of a Surveyor; and from all I can hear I shall be greatly surprised if he does not accept the office. I do not much like the idea of Turton. I think he has not the temper to succeed in such an office. In short next to John Rogan I would rather see White appointed than anybody I know.
As you are not likely to be here soon I will go on with the Takapau and any other blocks that it may be safe to handle --- though I must candidly tell you that I don't think the Natives will deal with me, after having got in all cases better terms from you than I had offered, and having the prospect of your return in contemplation. The Takapau contains about 11,000 acres of tolerably fair land --- some very bad and some very good. They are selling all, with the intention of repurchasing what they want. Its greatest value is as a step towards the Bush. Ropata is talking of selling some bits of Tamaki, but I won't listen to any piecemeal sales --- I think Tamaki must be a question of all or none. I don't think Waimerama safe to handle at present, I will do what I can
at Porangahau, though I had, as you will see by the official report I sent you, to leave it over till you returned, as the Natives did not want to deal with me. More concessions will be necessary in the reserves. The settlers will grumble but may thank themselves. I think those in the South Block (Canning, Flyger and St. Hill) ought to be turned off, seeing the evils Ormond and Co. have entailed by being in the North block, but I shall not take so important a step till you arrive. I am not aware of any other lands that can be handled at present unless it be a trifling block or two at the north end of Ruataniwha --- but all the unsold lands there are more or less disputed. Ngaterawa and the Kaokaoroa are quite out of the question in the present state of affairs.
I am cruelly disappointed at this great additional delay, but I suppose there is no help for it. Nevertheless it is a matter of most serious importance to me, so much so that had it not been for the £2500 lying at Porangahau I should have gone to Wellington in the steamer last week, at all hazards, to return by her next monthly trip. However as I am doomed to remain here, I will get through as much as possible, so as if possible to shorten the delay when you arrive. I shall expect a long leave of absence in payment for all this.
There is a report current here on the authority of the Supt. --- indeed I heard it from Roy to whom Featherston told it himself --- that I had offered Richmond £50,000 hard to buy land with, on no conditions whatever, except that it should
be spent within this Province, and that R. had refused unless with a condition that repayt. should never be asked for. Featherston said No --- I don't ask for any conditions as to repayment, but I won't sign anything as to non-repayment, --- so the thing failed. I cannot believe such a thing --- surely Richmond would never refuse an unconditional advance merely because the lender would not bind himself never to accept repayment. That is the story current here and it has done the Genl. Govt. a great deal of injury, and the F.'s here have risen in public opinion in proportion.
Roy has at last brought men, tools, provisions and everything requsite for the great west road, so there may yet be a chance of getting somethingdone this season. Featherston seems determined to do all he can to repair the fearful error he committed in talking of the Ahuriri Croakers at Wanganui. It is an ill wind that blows nobody any good, and that very speeech will produce more good to this District than anything that has happened for a long time.
I have put in an application in your name for extension of your run and paid the deposit of £25. The prior applicants were 1, Cooper --- 2, Snodgrass, 3, Duncan --- D. had already cancelled his. Snodgrass has promised (see enclosed note) to withdraw his, so the only one standing between you and an additional 10,000 acres of splendid land is myself. I am only keeping mine on until I see an official from Snodgrass withdrawing his, and then you will be the first applicant.
I am very glad to hear that you get on so well at G. H. it must be exceedingly pleasant --- but I fear it will be an additional cause of bitterness on the part of our opponents, who will say that you earwig the Govr. However you will know how to combat such weapons as these.
Williams is off to Otaki. It seems Hadfield has been dangerously ill. I expect him (W.) back in about a month.
I am delighted, but not a bit surprized to hear that Katatore is offering to sell. You don't say where the land is, but from the paper I glean that it is the block of which poor Rawiri was cutting the boundary. But I suppose, that settled, more available lands will follow. At all events, it is a great point, politically speaking, and will I am sure lead to the sale of the Ngatiruanui Country.
I do most devoutly hope that you will not return without bringing the Wairarapa Commr. in your train --- and more devoutly still do I pray that you may come soon, and relieve the anxious mind of
Yours ever sincerely
G. S. Cooper.
P. S. Danvers has come with the horses --- all right --- Reubenns is a magnificent beast, but I fear he is incurable damaged, in the stifle joint. It seems it was done in first handling. There is a fine colt by Providence out of the little bay mare --- the one Cameron pointed out to us on Putiki flat. He is a beauty. The rest are not so good. Alexr. is riding theTrump
filly --- she is too young --- she is small but compact and I think will make a decent draft mare. My precious brother chose not to come.