Object #1024623 from MS-Papers-0032-0663

6 pages written 18 Aug 1869 by Captain Henry William Young in Ngaruawahia to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward letters - Surnames, Yar - XY, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0663 (27 digitised items). Correspondents:Col C C Yarborough, Tunbridge Wells, 1875 (1 letter); George Young, Napier, undated (1 letter); H W Young, Wellington, 1868 & undated (14 letters); H W Young, Ngaruawahia, 1869 to Sir George Bowen (1 letter); Mary Young, Remuera, 1864 (1 letter); T Young, Wellington, 1871-1872 (2 letters); W Young, Wellington, 1867 (1 letter); William Young, Remuera, 1856-1876 (5 letters).Includes an anonymous letter from `XY' requesting of a photograph of McLean (undated letter). The return address is c/- Mrs I J Fletcher, Christchurch. Transcript included.

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

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English (ATL)

COPY. (PRIVATE) Ngaruwahia

18th. August 1869.

Dear Mr. McLean,

I am still unable to send the plans of the fort here. The fact is that I am all day incessantly employed in starting the work in its various branches of brick-making, carpentry, and excavation. When I once get things in train, I shall have time for drawing. But at present I think it right to confine myself to the practical duty of starting the work.

I learnt from Col. Moule on Sunday, 3 days ago, that he intends to remove the Militia-men here, and to supply their place with Armed Constabulary. I have written to beg him to allow me to retain some few of the men. I have only just organised my work. My Militia-men are sawyers, carpenters, bushmen, brick-makers and layers. They have only now fairly got into their work, and will be very hard to lose them. The fact is, in their rough bush clothes, they are far more useful to me than Col. Moule's Armed Constabulary can be. How can I expect trim, well-set-up soldierly fellows like those, to go into rough bush work and digging - spoiling their uniforms (provided by themselves)?

If there were time for an answer, I would ask you to allow an Officer and 20 men to remain on pay here, for the sole execution of the special work that I am engaged in; (being relieved of Militia duty; that being taken by Armed Constabulary.) But there is no time for this, and I cannot trust to Colonel Moule's allowing me to retain some of them. Colonel Moule does not, I think, attach much importance to the establishment of a work here. He, I think, would like to see one at Ohaupo, which is, I understand, the best central position on the frontier. I shall be able to give my ideas on this point better after my tour with Colonel Moule.

It seems to me that Ohaupo would be a good point for a work similar to the one I am constructing here.

But I have seen no cause to alter my opinion that this is the true strategic point of the District; and that the erection of a work here, with brick-work and earth-work (a small first class fort, in fact, of a permanent character) would have the best moral effect on the Maoris; who, no doubt, laugh at our wood-work, and say to themselves that they will some day burn the Pakeha out of the Country.

I look upon the introduction of brick-work as a point of high importance. The novelty and durability of the material cannot fail to impress itself on the Native mind.

My fort is progressing fairly. It will be finished in a month or six weeks, from this, with the exception of the brick-work; which, however, will only be used in the keep, or interior tower. The fort will be tenable without this, of course.

If it is intended that other works shall be erected, I would suggest that I should be allowed to select about 12 Militia-men to 20, (mechanics of divers descriptions) to be employed permanently in this sort of work. Otherwise half the time will be wasted in teaching fresh men their duties.

I shall rejoin Col. Moule, and proceed on our round with him, next week.

Believe me dear Mr. McLean
Yours very faithfully (Signed)
H.W. Young.
To:- Donald McLean Esq.

Part of:
Inward letters - Surnames, Yar - XY, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0663 (27 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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