7th. August 1865.
Donald McLean Esq.
My dear Sir,
Yours of the 14th. inst. to hand. I am sorry I cannot give you a more favourable account of matters here. Our natives are fast drifting into Hau Hauism. As I before advised you. several Niu's have been erected since last I wrote; on which flags have been flying, and orgies celebrated day and night around them for some days past.
One good point is the profession of good which they all profess to feel towards the settlers.
I quite agree with you on the propriety of keeping quiet here, if possible. We have, in fact, every necessity for doing so. If the quarrel can be worked out at East Cape, so much the better for the rest of the Coast, and for this place in particular.
To show the feeling evinced, and action intended, as far as we can ascertain, I enclose a copy of some information I have received from various sources. Take it for what it is worth.
We have had two Runangas held by the Kawanatanga; both of which I am grieved to say were all
but nullified, by the greater number of the Natives being sadly intoxicated. One would suppose our settlers, and particularly those who have large stakes in the district, would be the last to supply drink to an already maddened people; which, however, is not the case, with but two exceptions. I believe there is not a trader in Turanga who does not supply intoxicating drink, in some shape or other, and in unlimited quantities, to the natives. Can not some means be devised for stopping this? Almost every vessel, from either North or South, brings supplies of spirits, etc. The restrictive proclamations are perfectly useless, as at present worked; and just a simple collision between a couple of Hau Hau and Queen's natives, under the influence of drink, might set the whole place in a blaze.
I will get all the native signatures I can, to append to our separation Petition, in time for the "St. Kilda's return.
I had put Mrs. Harris and my two little ones on board Gem, en route for Auckland. They are now again at home, Southerly wind having set in; but will go when weather changes.
I send the signatures I have obtained. Others will be forwarded from Turanganui. I hope the simple
form in which their wishes are expressed, will be sufficient to entitle them to be attached to our petition.
The remarks I have sent are copies from my Journal.
I am very glad you did not send the caps, etc., to me for distribution.
I have let the Kawanatanga have articles to the amount of some £10, on account of Government. (food, rope, etc. At the time, they were erecting flagstaffs. etc.