Diary, 10-21 Feb, 21 Mar 1846
Reference Number: MS-1201. Object #1031004
The diary entries describe McLean's activities in New Plymouth, including his successful attempts to persuade Maori of Mokau to lift a tapu preventing travel through their area. The final entry for 21 March comprises a reflection by McLean on his time in New Zealand to then.
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with Military stores on board for Auckland; that Spain's Awards were confirmed, except at Wanganui; that £100,000 had been paid over to the Company, as a loan from the Government; and that they had made up their differences amicably, with the Colonial Office; loss of the "Guide" also.
This evening the Mokau natives' messenger arrived with a letter from Te Kuri, son of Taonui, stating that the road was Tapu'd again; and that the goods sent that Chief did not please him.
Received letters from the Rev. R.
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Taylor, and his Chiefs; who write in most friendly terms.
Called at Mr. Webster's with a letter from Mr. Taylor to him. I am gratified to find at the remote distance I am situated from Wanganui, that the Natives from that place write me in such friendly terms; as well as those of Wellington and Waikanae.
Wrote Mr. Turton a note respecting the Mokau natives; sending him their letter.
Wednesday 11th. February.
Wrote a note to Capt., respecting the road being Tapu; giving him some of the particulars.
Mr. Turton called on me, relative to the subject. He, as well as Mr. Flight, agree with me in treating the matter indifferently for a time, to see if the Chiefs who oppose the Tapu, will see the mail-carrier forwarded, when he arrives there; as we are apprehensive he may be stopped.
Wrote to Waitara on the subject, telling him he must use his influence in preventing the absurdities of those who adhered to this custom, to the injury of so many innocent settlers. Also a note to Mr. Snachenberg, on the same subject. Despatched the
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messenger in time to get to Taniwa.
The Govr. Brig has been becalmed, and in sight the greatest part of the day. In the evening a large vessel and small schooner is seen off.
Kipa and Mr. Whiteley's boy return, fearing to pursue their journey, for the Tapu; wishing for my advice; which was decidedly that Mr. Whiteley's boy should go to the Friendly Chief, Waitara, to see him on his journey.
Thursday 12th. February.
Walked with Mr. Wicksteed down to Muturoa, to see the Natives cut down Mr. Barrett's wheat; as a means of encouraging them, I promise to give the best reapers a prise next year; as this will be the best means of doing them a permanent good, and teaching them industrious habits. The sight was one that pleased me beyond expression; and I hope it may continue to go
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on; as it will be so much labour introduced to the country; and hope that next year Native reapers will be more general; that the extortions of European labour may be moderated. The number of native reapers were 10 or 12, with binders. They frequently talk of Mr. Bolland and myself having turned out to reap this season; and have benefitted by the example thus set by us. Mr. Barrett pays them in wheat for their labour.
My every effort must be used to encourage the natives to apply themselves to such beneficial employment.
On returning home we saw a ship in sight; suppose it to be the Governor coming. She fired two guns; and they were returned from the shore. All is now sensation to hear what she is. Mr. Webster is on board; and from his
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stopping some time, it is supposed to be "Staines Castle", Capt. Dawson, in sight at 10 o'clock, being a lovely moonlight night.
Friday 14th. February.
The vessel seen last night being the "Stains Castle", Mr. Webster stopped on board all night, enjoying himself with Capt. Dawson and the Officers of the 99th. Regt., on their way to Wellington; having suppressed, as they suppose, the rebellion at the North; Kawiti and Heki having surrendered, and even offered to join the troops.
The Governor, with 5 ships, sailed for Wellington and Nelson; 800 Troops also with him to settle the Land Question at the Hutt; after which he visits this place.
Dined at Capt. King's. Called at Mr. Bolland's on return home.
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Saturday 14th. February.
Reaping wheat at Waiwakaio. Bathed with William King. Went to town in the evening, after writing comment of a rough Report for Capt. Grey; and met Mr. Robertson, a grower from Auckland, from whom I have some Northern news.
Sunday 15th. February.
Mr. Robertson had breakfast with me. Attended Mr. Turton's chapel in the forenoon. Dined at Mr. Webster's, and walked home with Mrs. Chillman and her sister in the evening.
Monday 16th. February.
At 2 o'clock in the afternoon, Mr. Webster, who was detained till a late hour, clearing out a vessel, started with me to meet the Mail carrier; whom we suppose to be stopped by the Mokau natives. Dined at Waitara; where we took Pirika with us, and got to the Taniwa settlement at 9 o'clock; pitched our tent, and lay down for the night.
Tuesday 17th. February.
In the morning we left the Taniwa
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about 6; and walked on to Waiau, the first settlement on our route, to breakfast; which the natives very quickly provided for us; from where we pursued our journey; having had a good wash, and freshened up.
I told Mr. Webster, as we went along, the arrangements I had made for Heale's return; and that I expected that we should meet him about 10 o'clock that morning.
On our arrival at Menui, about 9, Heale made his appearance, and fully confirmed my expectations; stating that the arrangements I had made caused his getting through, and that the Chief I had written to on the subject, exerted his utmost influence to forward him on his journey, in spite of all the opposition he met with on account of the Tapu; and from all I could learn from our messenger, he said that the European had passed with, and as I had written him on the subject he should pass, let the consequences be what they would;- writing me a letter by Heale, in which
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he regretted the conduct of Te Kuri Taonui's son; who had caused all this annoyance.
I cannot conclude this night's journal without expressing my thankful acknowledgement to the Almighty for the success that has attended my visits to the people of Mokau;; in having made friends, whom I have in this instance, had an opportunity of testing their faithfulness; and in the success that has attended the steps I have adopted for the Public benefit; and though I am in receipt of letters that inform me that the Protectorate is to be done away with, I look back with the greatest pleasure and satisfaction, that, as far as I was able, I hope that my duties to God and man, have been duly and strictly performed since, I joined it; and the series of successes that have attended my Mission, will be to myself a pleasing reflection throughout my life-time;
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much as I regret the expectation of leaving New Plymouth,- a place with a people that become so increasingly endeared to me; and my withdrawal from the native population, who have caused me so many anxious hours throughout the several eruptions in the Island, is sorrow more than I could have thought. But if my Official connection is dissolved, my own private feelings will ever, I trust, remain unaltered towards this place and people; and the kind Providence that has so long watched over my several wants, will not forsake me; though I so often deserved his wrath; and I hope that he may furnish sufficient store for me, in some part of the world.
Wednesday 18th February.
Gave Te Mairo a blanket for his journey to Mokau, 4 weeks past.
Went in to town. Met Mr. Bolland, who returned from Taranaki. The natives from thence came up with pay promised for the Mill I bought to encourage
Diaries, Reference Number MS-1197-1205 (9 digitised items)
Series 5 Diaries and notebooks, Reference Number Series 5 Diaries and notebooks (100 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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