5 Decr., 1846 (?)
My dear Sir,
It certainly is a most unconscionable time since I wrote to you, and I fancy that long before this you will have decided that I have given up all thoughts of writing to Taranaki again. But when I tell you that I have not written to my own father for upwards of six months, you will perhaps make some allowances for my neglect to your epistles.
Almost ever since my return from Taranaki I have been running about from place to place, until within the last three months, and during that time I have been very steady and kept at home. I have been about a dozen times over to Cormack's place, but finding it perfectly useless and that I could do nothing I have given it up. There is not a cargo of spars yet in the salt water, nor likely to be soon from the difficulties of the river, so that Cormack has bought a cargo from Brown and Campbell ready for shipment at Hokianga, as there is a vessel on the way out from our friends which they intended to take home some of Cormack's Spars.
An old man has called here half a dozen times for letters for you, and he said he would call once more this morning, so in case he should be soon I had better tell you the news of this place at once.
First of all, you will be sorry to hear that poor old MacDonald has had a paralytic stroke and that one half of his body is useless, the right side. For the last four
months he has had almost constantly a headache and occasionally a dizziness, but it was not till about three weeks since that he consulted a medical man, who immediately bled him and capped and blistered also. A few days after this he had the paralytic stroke, and then he got dosed with mercury to a frightful extent to try and recover the use of his leg and arm; he seems to say that it has had a good effect and that he can use two fingers already. Mrs. Anderson has been his nurse and a most excellent one too. Campbell McIntosh has remained in town to be a companion for the old man, and to look after a farm of his up the river.
Your friend McKenzie has got on remarkably well since he started business on his own account. He went to Sydney about a month since for a fresh stock of Goods.
The Grahams are doing a large business in Drapery. Robert Graham has been complaining for the last six months; he is rather delicate still and trying what the hot springs at Mahurangi will do for him.
Your friend Dr. Martin seems to have no idea of returning to New Zealand for some years to come; Brown however is expected by the first vessel, the ''Hope'', and you will probably have an opportunity of seeing him at Taranaki before he comes here. Dr. Campbell is going along smoothly, not much to do, but taking everything easy.
Kennedy, of the Bank is at length off; he starts for Sydney today in the ''Jawa'' as you will observe by one of the newspapers I send you. MacDonald and I have taken the
management of the affairs of the Bank for six years by which time everything will be considered as at an end.
You will observe by this day's paper that we are about starting a Savings Bank, which we expect will be of great advantage to the labouring classes here.
Peter Abercrombie was here the other day; he says he is getting on very well with the new vessel lately and that he expects to launch her in March. His brother William has gone to Sydney, the Distillery had been set a going and they found they could not get on well without him.
Downing has a small schooner now with which he tries to keep the pot boiling. The old man has got into better health and spirits lately.
Old McLeod is still I believe at your place, but I have not seen him for some time.
Cassels is I believe on the other side of the island. Halls is in the old place, and pretty extensive in the timber line, but bothered considerably by law business.
Billy Moores has been sadly pestered with law business and has quite ruined himself by it.
Webster has been working hard at Kaipara loading vessels with spars for England, the last was the ''Haidee'' by which you will observe in the paper your acquaintance Whitaker has gone. Webster is always at law as before; he is at present engaged in a case with Mr. Soloman the owner of the
''Strathisla'', I believe it is an £800 affair.
John Alexander Smith whom I suppose you remember at the Stores in Fort Street two or three years since, has returned from home with an assortment of Merchandise; he was very sanguine when he arrived, but he now feels disappointed and thinks Auckland is not better than it used to be.
Tom Stewart has sold the ''Dolphin'' to Mr. Yule at Poverty Bay, and he is now running the ''Maid of the Mill'' between the Bay and here.
You will be sorry to hear of poor Thorpe of the Thames; he came up to town the other day with Mrs. and Miss Thorpe leaving the house in care of the children, and two days afterwards the house caught fire and everything was destroyed.
Young Sampson and Broadbent are living at Waiorua; they are building a vessel.
The elder Sampson is with Waetford at the Wuhapu Bay of Islands.
The 58th - 96th - and 99th are starting today for Sydney in the Java. They have been relieved by the 65th. I think some of the 65th will be sent to Wellington immediately.
I hear that the Governor intends going to the south soon, and that he is likely to remain away three months.
I hope that everything will remain quiet in your quarter and that you will not require any soldiers to protect you.
I hope Mr. Webster is quite well, give him my respects as also to Mr. King.
Have you any prospect of coming to this quarter soon? You will see a great difference in the appearance of Auckland from the number of new buildings that have sprung up.
Your friend Mr. Thatcher is kept pretty busy at Government House; he appears to like his employment.
Are you acquainted with Mr. Savage who used to be in the Colonial Secretary's Office? He goes down in the Steamer next week to Wellington and from thence to Wanganui to the Rev. Mr. Taylor's.
Although this Letter is pretty long I am considerably busy writing home by the ''Java'', so you will excuse my haste.
Yours very truly,