Diary, outwards letters and accounts, Apr-Oct 1845, 12 Nov-21 Dec 1846

Reference Number: MS-1217. Object #1031539

Includes diary entries for 12-14 November and 18-19 December 1846, describing a journey amongst Maori settlements to the south of New Plymouth, and activities in and around New Plymouth. Also includes drafts of instructions to Henry Halse, his subordinate at New Plymouth, and drafts of reports to his superior. At the back of the book are a record of his 1845 accounts with William Black for various supplies.The following volume, MS-1218, contains another draft of the same diary entries for December, but starting earlier, and going right through to 9 January 1847.

53 pages written Apr-Oct 1845, 12 Nov-21 Dec 1846 by Sir Donald McLean in New Plymouth District, Taranaki Region and West Coast Region to Henry Halse, Dr Andrew Sinclair and Sir Donald McLean, related to South Taranaki District, Taranaki (Taranaki Iwi).

A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.

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K. C. M.G.

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13th. November, Friday. 1846

Started from Totara at half past 8, and met the natives of Wareata as I came on. They pressed me to remain for food, but I was desirous of getting

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to Warea to see Mr. Reimensieder. Met my Sergeant, and Baines, who waited by my orders till I arrived. They appeared quite happy, and were contentedly living at a carpenter's house on the beach, who came to build a water mill for the natives. The men along with me also put up here, and had a glass of spirits out of my stores, after their walk.

Met Mr. Reimensnieder, the old Chief Paora, and several of the natives, a few hundred yards inland, busily engaged in finishing Mr. Reimensnieder's house, hoping to get it ready before my arrival. They all seemed pleased at my appearance amongst them, and welcomed me to their place.

Being naturally a very jealous and suspicious people, they made various enquiries of their pastor, Mr. Reimensnieder, as to why the soldiers accompanied me now on my journey, meaning the Police. He replied that they came as friends, and they need not at all apprehend any other motives.

The house, which is a small hut, occupied by Mr. Reimensnieder, is comfortable and clean; and we have enjoyed a good dinner in it. Like the St. Kilda house, you must stoop to enter the door. When inside, you can almost stand erect.

Wrote a note to the Taranaki Chief, sending him a belt as a gift from me, and telling him it was my soldier belt; but to him it was given as we should girdle our loins together in time of war.

Also a note to King, Taranaki.

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In the evening the Chief, Te Paora, and several of the elder people of the place, were to hold a consultation with me. I first told them the objects of the Police accompanying me, to which they readily assented, and requested me to bring them with me at all times. Their greatest regret was the want of food and accomodation for them.

On being asked whether Mr. Reimensnieder was a duly authorised elergyman, I answered that he was, and from the land that Reformation had first commenced, about 1521, by Dr. Luther, who was born in 1841; that I recognised him as a good and useful minister, whose principles differed but slightly from my own.

They appeared delighted at this relation, and told me that Mr. Bollard termed him a Roman Catholic, or Pikopo.

I gave them to understand that it was not my business to interfers in religious discussions; that my interference was confined to things of this world only.

A tall old Chief, got up in a dogskin mat, and gave us a long oration to the effect that all the natives should be of one religion, and not divided in every Pah or village; that I

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was welcome, and all Europeans; that at one time the New Zealanders thought their own island and people the only land inhabited, or elsewhere to be met; that they found there were foreigners who introduced a doctrine of redeeming man and causing him to be a new being, to which they all adhere in the hope of being saved. This, and various quotations from Scripture, and advice to his friends to be followers of their new ministers.

Piripi then spoke, and said that he regretted having once disobeyed a request of mine; that he hoped I should forgive it; and that he would not repeat his disobedience; that if I were not his minister he loved me as his parent; and that he found me still his friend though he forfeited my good wishes. His speech was delivered in an animated but affected strain; and he said, in ending, - "Come, my father; come, our parent, come always, and see your Taranaki children, who will be obedient to your desires!"

The old Chief assented to all his relative said; and after other speeches of welcome, I replied to what they said

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in the following terms:- First, - With regard to your religious differences, - I do not interfere; nor do I recommend any changes that are as uncertain as the winds of heaven. Amongst you, retain your religious principles, and abide by your clergyman. Mr. Reimensneider is good. It is not desirous you should readily change your doctrines, without consulting your consciences.

In worldly affairs, let us be one, my friends; and abide in peace and goodwill towards each other. Whatever happens elsewhere, we shall continue as one, and live as one.

After giving the news of the country, they retired; and I am greatly anxious to do so, and prepare, God willing, for my homeward journey by 5 in the morning.

14th. November, Saturday 1846.

Left Warea at 5 a.m. Beautiful travelling. An overcast day is so well suited for a coasting journey. Bread and tea for breakfast.

Called at the inhabited Pahs on my return. Had a nice feast of fish at Hoani's, of Totara. Tea and biscuit at Tapuwai; and dinner at half past 3

Part of:
Diaries and notebooks, Reference Number MS-1215-1219 (5 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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