Diary, 22 Mar-19 Apr 1850
Reference Number: MS-1227. Object #1032576
Contains diary accounts of a journey to Mokau in northern Taranaki to discuss land sale with the Maori there. The diary ends with a long entry thanking God and fate for his appointment as Chief Land Purchase Officer for the colony.At the back of the volume are several pages of accounts.
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March 22nd. 1850.
Left New Plymouth for Mokau, accompanied by Mr. W. King, I. Newsham, policeman, William Stewart, servant, Takerei, and several natives.
This morning I delivered my house over to Miss Wickstead, leaving books and other things still there. Mr. Savage left for Wanganui, having paid him 5/- cash, also some tobacco, 5/-.
Eruiti, the native who accompanied him, 15/-, and 5/- more to be paid when the journey is performed.
Poor Savage is like many other unfortunate characters of his description, who have been well to do; less grateful than he ought. However, it is not prudent to burden oneself with any persons who have strength to work for a livelihood. Sent letters to him by Mr. Taylor,
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Woon, Riemensneider, and Basil Taylor.
On the road to-day, I was struck by a burst of poetry, which Etene Takerei's son gave expression to, as we arrived in view of the Mokau hills. It shows how strongly the force of association operates on our feelings.
Stopped at Waitara, and the natives had some food there. An old woman, Piri Kawa's mother, talked rather impudently about Sir George Grey, and the Europeans, afterwards offering to come and shake hands with me, which I declined the honour of doing with her ladyship. Met the Wahapu, to whom I did not speak. Paid 1/- for crossing the Waitara, due that sum from Mr. King.
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at Te Taniwa, on pork and potatoes. Dashed along through the tide. Surf setting in, till we reached our encampment, at Kowaha Pakapaka, where we are quite comfortable for the night.
March 23rd. 1850.
It rained and blew severely during the night, but we escaped without the slightest wetting, in our little tent, which was pitched in the centre of the little square or Pah. The natives had to abandon one of their houses close by us, owing to the heavy rain, screaming and grunting like Gurth's swine, or Cedrie's property, in the well-known novel of ''Ivanhoe.''
The mail arrived from Kawhia. Slept here.
Paid the natives in tobacco, and started on our journey. The morning sun was shining on the valley over the Urenui river, which, from the rather broken and wooded appearance of the surrounding hills, added to our motley group of native companions, rendered the scene beautifully picturesque.
I was carried across the Urenui
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on the backs of the Mokau natives, who, with all their care, gave me an occasional slip in the water, as they sank in the clayey mud, that forms, with here and there, sandy gravel, the bed of that river; with its jutting points and queenly decorated hills, producing abundantly from a vegetable mould, supported by a substratum of clay, all the varieties of New Zealand vegetation, from the smallest fern to the largest tree of the forest.
The soil between Urenui and Minui, about four miles, is good, well suited for pasture or agriculture, but not of great extent.
We passed Te Waite, where a house built for me by Huki, is fast going to decay. Beyond this station we ascended Papatiki river or Whakarewa Pah; beyond which lies Wairuatangata, where Taringa Kuri claims land on Mookotina and Mokau. This Chief's right is generally acknowledged.
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Mr. W. King took a sketch here, rather a pretty one.
We got to Pukearuhi. Pitched our tent, and are spending the evening comfortably at Huki's place. A noise at Pukearuihi, resembling the sound of a distant cannon.
Sunday 24th. March 1850.
Spent the day at Pekearuihi, reading, when the sand-flies permitted.
Monday 25th. March 1850.
In the morning three Waikato natives arrived overland from Wellington, bringing a message that Rangihaeata was unfavourable to the sale of Mokau, as he eventually intended to get back there.
Takerel does not appear to like the interference, although he evidently respects old E Rangi in some respects.
We came on over the Horo, which was most dangerous, from the slippery
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state of the roads, from the rain in the morning. We pushed on through the different caverns and arches between Te Horo and Mokau, getting to the Mission Station at Te Manutahi about 4 p.m.
Tuesday 26th. March 1850.
Held a meeting of the Mokau natives at Ingarani Pah. Found them all favourable to the disposal of the Awakino tract of land, and expressing a desire to have many Europeans among them. I told them I would see the land, and then talk about the purchase; that we desired the limestone and coal, if they desired Europeans; that I had
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