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.

34 pages to Sir Donald McLean, related to Taranaki District, Mokau.

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

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Page 11 of 34. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)


Wednesday 27th. March 1850.



Heavy rain in the morning. Wrote to Auckland, a report on the Mokau purchase, and private note to Dr. Sinclair. Forwarded map of Mr. Cook's land to Auckland, for a separate Crown Grant.

In the evening started to Awakino. Spent part of the night by a fire in front of our tent, to advise and instruct the natives in their general conduct, and to explain to them that we were not so avaricious respecting their land as they supposed; that land was also plentiful in other parts of the world. and of equally good quality in every respect as the New Zealand land.

Mr. Snachenberg advises them on spiritual matters, and they all seemed in good spirits.

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English (ATL)


Thursday 28th. March 1850.



Started up the Awakino with a boat and two canoes. The boat was badly manned with boys, old men, and idlers, and leaked so much that Messrs. King, Snachenberg, and myself, went into one of the canoes.

The river is a deep, placid stream for 4 miles, the distance we went. The land is hilly, and wooded on the banks, with there and there some tolerably level flats of clayey subsoil, and vegetable mould. Ducks and shags in abundance, the shags building their nests and feeding their young in the branchless trees of the forest.

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English (ATL)


Friday, 29th. March 1850.



Good Friday. A lovely day. The Mokau river scenery looks grand, with its beautiful river.

Went to forenoon church. The chapel in better order than when I was last there. The natives much better dressed, with coats, trousers, and shirts.

Went to the Mahoe, where there is a flourishing garden, with vines bearing splendid grapes, well-flavoured; fig-trees bearing a rich, sound, crop, and exhibiting every appearance that would induce me to hope this may become a beautiful vine and fruit country when settled. Fasted partly. Volkner arrived.

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English (ATL)


Saturday 30th. March 1850.



Mr. W. King started at 3 a.m. for Taranaki, being anxious to get in before Sunday. He is a fine, promising lad, which makes me more anxious about his growing up a good, intelligent young man.

Takerei and other natives called to see me. They are evidently willing to have Europeans among them; but they are not so warm and enthusiastic as they would have been some years ago on a similar subject. They call their reflecting powers more to their aid now than they would have done even then.

After dinner, I came on to Tongaporutu,

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English (ATL)

where I passed the night, in a miserable small hut, with Lewis, his wife, and flock of crying half-caste children.

Tikaokao ordered a pig to be killed for me, as a mark of welcome and regard, for paying his place an unexpected visit.

A poor looking European was brought up to me for examination, the natives suspecting him to be a runaway. But nothing could be proved against him, although I fancy he is not altogether right, from his manner and appearance. He gave himself the name of Pearce.

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English (ATL)


Sunday, 31st. March 1850.



Nothing can exceed the misery of being closed up in an uncomfortable native Pah on Sunday, where there are squaking children, of which, in another respect, I was glad to see many at Tongaporutu. The dogs, the pigs, and other tame impertinent half-petted, half-starved animals, use every freedom with your house, food, and peace; added to which, the natives get round you in idle groups, and leave you unable to do a sungle thing with any degree of pleasure. If you walk

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English (ATL)

about, a train of idle, well-disposed boys follow you, and watch your every step and gesture, with as much eagerness as if you were a wild show or something to be looked on with astonishment and great surprise. If you go to a steep, hilly place, they will run before, skimping and romping like young kids, on the very steepest places they can meet.

Yet there is, in the midst of all this, an occasional moment for reflection, however suddenly they may

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English (ATL)

be recalled. Certainly the whole amount of useful exercise that a person can undergo at such a place cannot be estimated at a great deal.

Monday, 1st. April 1850.



April Fool's Day. At 3 in the morning we were up, and packed, off on our homeward journey, through surf tide, and dangerous travelling.

After getting through the first rollers, I stripped off, to save my watch, and got on pretty well,

William fared rather badly, being too short for the high breakers that threatened

Page 19 of 34. View high-resolution image

English (ATL)

every moment to carry us off our feet.

About 10 a.m. we got to Pukearuki, Haki's place, where Bramble was kept for me. What a starved condition she has got into, by the neglect of Apero. However, it will teach me not to hurry in leading horses.

Got to Onairo in the evening. Pitched the tent near a clear running stream, which reflected, with lovely hues, the rays of the moon, as it shone on

Part of:
Diaries and notebooks, Reference Number MS-1220-1230 (11 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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