Object #1025282 from MS-Papers-0032-0581
5 pages written 26 Mar 1860 by Thomas Henry Smith to Sir Donald McLean in Onehunga
From: Inward letters - Thomas Henry Smith, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0581 (69 digitised items).
Letters written from Auckland, Maketu, on board SS Egmont off Napier; on board SS Lord Ashley off Napier, 1856-1872. Includes piece-level inventory, 1856-1866 (excludes letters from 1969 accession)
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
Mar. 26th. 1860.
My dear McLean,
Many thanks for your kind notes from Wellington of the 13th. and from New Plymouth of the 22nd. and 23rd. For the sake of the Governor and the unfortunate natives I am glad you are on the scene of action, but, for your own, I wish you had a more quiet berth just now. Matters seem to be looking rather serious at present, but while the contest is confined to the Govt. on the one side and Wm. King and party on the other they cannot be said to be as bad as they might be. Will this position of affairs continue? I can scarcely venture to hope that it can do so long or that a war of races can be averted unless the question is settled in some way. How little is what is called 'the general opinion' to be trusted. It was asserted by many who were supposed to know the natives at Taranaki, that a display of firmness on the part of the Govt. would be sufficient to silence opposition, and, behold the result, Your letters to the various chiefs have been copied and forwarded - I shall extract for the Maori Messenger Parris' letter reporting the payment to Teira and the questions put to Wm. King Most of the other matter has already been published I had a long discussion with Tamati Ngapora the other day on the
Waitara question. He considers the action of the Govt. precipitate and says ''Kua Mahangatia Te Kawana'' that his proceedings will be watched and that if blood is shed he will be blamed as he is on the spot and should prevent matters coming to that issue. It is difficult to make clear to the mind of a Maori the difference between the concession of a right which an individual may make for the sake of peace and the giving up of a principle which a Govt. is bound to maintain in defence of the rights of the public. Tamati when told that Wm. King did not claim the land sold by Teira but yet opposed the sale, said 'te take o taua pupuri he titiro mai ki Waikatd', that Wm. King considered that neither he himself nor any of his tribe had any right to sell land at Waitara without reference to Waikato by whose permission they had returned to the occupation of the land. He was reminded that Te WheroWhero had transferred his claims to the Govt. He rather evaded this, explaining it in this way - that when Te Puni and others were paid by Govt. for their lands at Taranaki the chiefs of Ngatimaniapoto and Waikato, excepting only Potatau shared in the payment and that it was inconsequence of Potatau's being 'hapa' that he applied to the Govt. and received a payment. Wm. Marsh in talking about the matter said that the chiefs he had heard speak on the subject considered that Wm. King had established a right to have a voice in the sale of any lands at Waitara
by virtue of his having taken the Waitara out of Sir Geo. Grey's land, and that it was he who put the present occupants in possession in spite of Sir G. Grey. I merely mention these things to give you an idea of the tone of feeling among some. You will see from Halse's report of the Waiuku Meeting that there is little probability of Wm. K. getting any substantial support from Waikato. Place as much as land-holding is the mother of the league. I shall send a copy of a printed document which has been circulated among the natives, purporting to give a report of a speech made by Archdn. Maunsell at the late Waiuku meeting. It will be seen that the Archdn. has given the impression that he approves of the principles and proceedings of the King party - I do not know whether he is correctly reported, but Halse wrote me that he had made concessions in his speech which the King party caught at and which he afterwards attempted to explain away. The document referred to was printed by order of C.C. Davis, but not a single copy could be procured at the printers and I had the greatest difficulty in obtaining the one I have which was got from a native. There is also another printed paper which I am trying to get hold of emanating from the same source. I have taken every opportunity of conversing with the chiefs visiting Auckland
on the subject of the Waitara question and have always found then acquiesce in the justice of the cause taken up by the Govt. - whether sincerely or not I cannot say. Tamati Ngapora seemed least convinced, at first, but expressed himself as ''Marama'' before the close of our 'korero' - especial ly with my assurance that the point at issue was between the Governor and Wm. King only. Old Taraia said had he been here in time he would have accompanied the Governor to Taranaki and had all the talk to himself - ''Maka ana ke te ko-rero ki a Wi Kingi, i a au hoki tena whenua'' and on the Governor's plans and intention being explained he replied ''Ka tika ta Te Kawana!! The S.X. is trying to do all the mischief it can by publishing letters from some one signing himself ''A subscriber'' in which first of all doubts were thought to be cast upon Waka Nene's loyalty - then the merits of the cause of the Govt. as compared with that of Wm. King were questioned - John White came forward to defend Tamati Waka and so far was right but his second letter replying to ''a Subscriber'' was uncalled for and had better not have been written. He has been cautioned by me against being drawn into any newspaper correspondence on subjects of this kind. But it is growing late and I must say goodnight. Falloon rode over to St. John's College this morning on my pony to see Douglas and attend to some matters for you. Mr. John McLean also went out to see him on Saturday. He is well and
growing a fine boy. Mr. McLean leaves in the Airedale so I suppose you will see him at Taranaki and he will give his own report of your boy whom you must be longing to see after so long a deparation. My Mother and Mrs. Henry unite in kind remembrances to you. I hope it will not be long before we shall see you here.
Believe me My dear McLean,
Very sincerely yours,
Thos. H. Smith.
Inward letters - Thomas Henry Smith, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0581 (69 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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