Object #1025555 from MS-Papers-0032-0648
2 pages written Oct 1870 by Dr Peter Wilson in New Plymouth District
From: Inward letters - P G Wilson, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0648 (34 digitised items).
Letters written from New Plymouth, Opunake and Wanganui, 1855-1876
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
I wrote you some time since on the Defenceless state of Opunaki; and suggested that by arming some of the young friendly natives there to hold the redoubt as a sort of native police, also arming the whites some thirty in number as militia protection sufficient would be afforded that District, without unnecessarly exciteing the surrounding tribes or very heavy expense to Government.
An incident happened last week. Tito Kowarru took some sheep from the friendlies and his men stole several articles from the whites, this has caused some little excitement here, as it is said that, the quarrel nearly led to hloodshed and the friendlies and whites not being armed Tito would have come of victorious. The enemies of your Government here have been makeing the most of this, and Mr. Richmond brought some resolutions before Council on Tuesday, which are to be considered next siting day, he took this opportunity of considering the carelessness of your Government in not guarding against accidents, and urged that Tito Kowarru be either punished or made terms with - both easier said than done.
I understand the flax companies are memorialising the Government to station 50 constabulary there, whether the Government will expend so much in defence of so small a District I do not know. In writing I write as a friend and supporter of your Government, if any accident happens as was nearly happening there last week there is no knowing
where it will end, although I do not think Tito Kowarru can be put down, or believe that a force of 50 constabulary are necessary to keep the District safe. The expense would be so great and besides there are country districts here where women and children are more exposed, and they would also demand or request a similar force stil I believe some protection is necessary, there are no women and children there, some twenty native police raised from among their own people to hold the redoubt, and guard a magazine and a few spare arms together with the whites being armed as militia would, afford ample self protection to that District and not be a heavy cost to Government Tito Kowarru has few followers consequently not to be much dreaded but when he visits a District totally unarmed, he can do as he pleases. Being so well known to the natives on that coast I often see them from different parts, and from all I can gather, there is no disposition to fight though they do not consider themselves beaten they are dying out so fast and in consequence so reduced in numbers, that they see they cannot oppose us successfully. Their reflections on the past and present must be melancholy, it is not to be wondered at that some keep aloof in a sulky state - they are gradually settling down, and if there is any more fighting in this coast, it will be our own rashness that will bring it on. You have never replied about the flax land we made an application for, though it is some eight months since we made the application, I suppose you have some good reason so will not ask at present
for an answer.
My mother has not been verry well of late, I think in consequence of the rough winter we have had.
I trust you will excuse my writing you on the subject of Opunaki but I have seen so much of this Maori warfare and its attendant evils that I fear a recurrence, from want of a little caution.
Inward letters - P G Wilson, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0648 (34 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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