Object #1024898 from MS-Papers-0032-0594

6 pages written 18 Oct 1869 by Spencer William von Sturmer in Hokianga to Sir William Fox

From: Inward letters - Spencer W von Sturmer, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0594 (26 digitised items). 25 letters written by von Sturmer from Hokianga, 1869-1876. Includes fragment (torn) of an undated letter to von Sturmer. Also letter from von Sturmer to Fox, 18 Oct 1869 (enclosing letter from Mohi Tawhai, Waima, 18 Oct 1869)

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

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English (ATL)

COPY. Hokianga

18th. October 1869

W. Fox Esq.
My dear Sir,

I take the liberty of again troubling you -

The fact is that the inhabitants of this place, with very few exceptions, are given to excessive drinking, and of course all sorts of evils follow in its train. So bad has it become, that unless some change takes place in the habits of the people, I shall be compelled to leave the District, even though my living depends upon my remaining here, as my family are subject to every sort of annoyance from drunken people; as, though they never leave my own premises, stll, it is impossible to drown the shouts and noise of thirty or forty, and sometimes more, drunken natives and Europeans, wrangling and fighting together.

The enclosed letter, from Mohi Tawhai, is just to hand. He requests me to caution - J.R. Clenden, J.P.; Capt. Rowntree, J.P.; and John Eryson, and other sellers of spirits, not to sell in large quantities to the natives, naming one in particular) belonging to his settlement.

Could not a J.P. be removed from the Commision of the Peace when he takes to selling spirits? or something be done to shame him? Capt. Rowntree does not himself hold a Licence, but the spirits are sold in his house by his brother-in-law.

Can nothing be done to alter the state of things here? I have spoken to Mr. Webster, and other J.P.'s in the District; and they would gladly assist in anything to prevent spirits coming into Hokianga, were it possible. Perhaps it would be in your power to assist us in some way, to bring about a better state of things here.

Should you think it possible that anything can be done to improve matters, would you kindly, when you have the opportunity, give me some appointment elsewhere, (keeping a Lighthouse would be better than staying here). I am not ambitious. Any situation in any Office that you think I could perform - anything to get away from this place; not so much on my own account, as on that of my wife and family.

I have no right to complain of the people here, either white or black. All are very kind - in fact, more so than I have a right to expect. The shocking dissipation is what I complain of. The Websters and Manings will, I am satisfied, corroborate all I say. They themselves live in isolated spots, so are not so much troubled. I should not have written to you, as I imagined you would have visited this place, in company with Mr. McLean; but Mr. Maning, (just returned) tells me you will not come, and so will not be able to see this delightful spot for yourself.

Please excuse this, and hoping that Mrs. Fox and yourself are well,

Believe me, dear Sir,
Yours very faithfully (Signed)
Spencer von Sturmer.

Part of:
Inward letters - Spencer W von Sturmer, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0594 (26 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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