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THE most fascinating study in the history of mankind must always be the drama presented by the first encounter of peoples of diverse types of culture as navigators and discoverers have performed their task of revealing the unknown. It is the good fortune of historians and ethnologists who seek to trace the effect of such events in the Pacific that those who were the first to lift the veil were eager, sympathetic observers, intent not only upon exploration and discovery but upon the revelation of the manners and customs of native peoples. The student of early New Zealand history, with appetite whetted by the brief glimpse of the Maoris given by Tasman, turns with gratitude to the careful records of Captain Cook. The voluminous journals and correspondence of Samuel Marsden afford even greater reason for feelings of indebtedness. Reaching New Zealand nearly half a century after Cook's first visit he arrived with the definite intention of giving the Maori a knowledge of the religion and industrial arts of western Europe, and was thus actuated not only by the enthusiasm of his predecessor for exploration but also by the crusading spirit of the age. His zeal for the cause of the Christ made him the founder of the work of the Church Missionary Society in New Zealand: his genius for exploration gives him place as the first white man to travel among the savage tribes of the interior of northern New Zealand and to make an intensive study of their primitive culture. His journals and correspondence are thus of far wider interest than the observations of Cook. He was occupied not only with the religion and habits of the Maoris among whom his missionary agents were at work, but also with the vicissitudes that accompanied the establishment of the Mission, and with the influences arising out of its work which gradually, as he had foreseen from the outset, impelled the British Government to make an official appearance on the stage of New Zealand affairs as the guardian of law and order.
Marsden's journals, so far as New Zealand is concerned, cover the period from 1814 when the Mission was first established at the Bay of Islands to 1838 when he died, full of years and honour. Throughout those critical formative years his enthusiasm for the faith and his zeal for the welfare of the native race were the dominating influences on the unfolding situation. His journals and correspondence thus fascinate the student from many points of view. They are of unique importance from their close study of the Maori at the time when he first came under European influences; they are also human documents of outstanding interest since they are full of character studies by a keen student of human nature. The northern New Zealand chiefs, the early missionaries, the reactions of both to the new influences that were being brought to bear upon them--for the effect of those first contacts was by no means one-sided--the old whalers, all these are depicted with such faithfulness as renders Marsden's journals a historical work of the first importance.
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These letters and journals, further, have a wider appeal than could have been exerted by the words of one who was only a New Zealand missionary. Marsden came to New Zealand merely as a visitor entrusted by the Church Missionary Society with the establishment and supervision of the New Zealand Mission and, naturally, found his main interest in life in his own work as Senior Chaplain in New South Wales. His attitude, therefore, towards all that he encountered was of necessity affected by the vicissitudes of his official life, and his correspondence, much of which cannot be published in this volume, throws many sidelights upon the early history of Australia and, particularly, upon the numerous evils that arose from the transportation system with the administration of which Marsden, both as Chaplain and Magistrate, was so intimately connected.
As the trusted agent of the London Missionary Society, again, Marsden was interested in the whole field of Protestant missions in the Pacific and was continually in correspondence both with the parent Society in London and with its missionary agents. Throughout the Pacific, in short, he made his influence felt as one who was before his generation in his belief in the duty of civilised man towards native peoples, anticipating the idea that underlies the mandate principle of the League of Nations. He laboured for the convict outcasts of New South Wales, frequently representing their case with such vehemence as to bring upon himself official censure. He threw himself with no less enthusiasm into a struggle for the protection of the natives of the South Seas and of New Zealand, who, in the early nineteenth century, were so often the victims of outrage at the hands of wandering traders and whalers. Convict and settler, missionary and native peoples, Catholic and Protestant, acknowledged his worth and the value of his work for the people of the Pacific. It was reserved for a French naval officer, Laplace of la Favorite, to acclaim him enthusiastically as the "Las Casas of Polynesia." No man surpassed the late Dr. Hocken of Dunedin, New Zealand, in his enthusiasm for Marsden and his work. He spent many years of his life in collecting Marsden material which he intended to utilise in a volume dealing with the life and journals of the man who had become his hero, and the Hocken collection which he bequeathed to the University of Otago consists, in great part, of manuscripts and books bearing upon this subject. He himself would have considered the writing of that volume the crowning achievement of his work in New Zealand history, and it emphasises the tragic circumstance that is the undercurrent of all things human, that his life should have ended before he was able to utilise the material which he had so assiduously collected. His search involved not only correspondence with many persons in Britain, Australia, and New Zealand, but journeys to the various scenes which Provided the stage whereon Marsden played his many parts. Sydney, Parramatta, northern New Zealand, London, Yorkshire, were all made the Mecca of pious pilgrimages which brought their reward in rich Editions to the store of material. His most valued acquisition was made when, in 1903, he visited the offices of the Church Missionary Society in Salisbury Square and found there a veritable mine of undeveloped historical wealth in the letters and journals of Samuel Marsden and the missionaries who first worked in New Zealand under his guidance.
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After much correspondence and discussion with the officials of the Church Missionary Society these manuscripts, "some of them"--as he puts it in an unpublished paper--"all but illegible from the ravages of time, faded ink, poor writing requiring the interpretation of an expert, and other evident causes," were acquired by Dr. Hocken. From that time till his death in 1910 he busied himself in a further search for every type of material that might elucidate and illustrate their meaning, labouring in the earnest hope that he might be spared to publish the volume in whose preparation he had been so long engaged. The thoroughness of the work of preparation may be gauged from the fact that almost every manuscript, newspaper, pamphlet, and printed book to which reference is made in this volume is to be found in the Hocken Library in the Otago University Museum. By their gift to the Museum, further, of their large ethnographic collection, Dr. and Mrs. Hocken became the virtual founders of the Ethnographic Department of that institution. All the Maori material utilised in illustrating this book is in the Otago University Museum and a number of the pieces are drawn from the Hocken Collection.
The publication of the letters and journals of Samuel Marsden under the auspices of the Council of the University of Otago is to be regarded, therefore, as the fulfilment by that body of a sacred trust imposed upon it by its acceptance of the custody of Dr. Hocken's library. It is certain that no more fitting memorial than this could be erected to one with whom history was a passion and the elucidation of New Zealand history a patriotic duty.
It has been my privilege to have access, through the courtesy of Mrs. Hocken, the late Archdeacon Woodthorpe of Sydney, the Hocken Library Committee, and the Otago University Council, to all the Marsden material accumulated by Dr. Hocken, including many private letters sent to him in answer to his numerous queries. Among these correspondents was the late Mr. S. Percy Smith, whose book upon the history of the wars waged by the northern New Zealand tribes in the early years of the nineteenth century has proved an invaluable work of reference which supplements Marsden's journals with information nowhere else accessible.
It has been my great good fortune, also, to have the whole-hearted co-operation of Mr. H. D. Skinner, M.A. (Cantab.), Lecturer in Ethnology in the University of Otago, who has supervised the preparation of illustrations dealing with ethnological matter and written invaluable annotations upon Marsden's observations of Maori customs. The material which appears in the plates is derived from the Hocken Collection, the Fels Collection, the Chapman Collection, the John White Collection, and from the gift of Mrs. J. D. Adam. Mr. Skinner, further, rendered the great service of introducing me to Mr. George Graham of Auckland, to whom I am indebted for the correct rendering of many Maori names and for valuable notes derived from his expert knowledge of the genealogies, manners, and customs of the northern Maori. Mr. Graham, it is of interest to note, went through the proofs with the Historical Committee (Ngapuhi Section) of the Te Akarana Maori Association, descendants of many of the chiefs mentioned by Marsden being present whose
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local knowledge was a valuable aid in the work of identifying the names of persons and places.
The Right Rev. Bishop Williams of Waiapu has also, with the greatest kindness and generosity, placed his expert knowledge of the Maori language and of Maori ethnology at my service. He has elucidated many matters which must otherwise have remained obscure and has done much to secure accuracy in the spelling of Maori words and names, a difficult task in view of the fact that Marsden's orthography---which he modified with extreme reluctance as the Maori language was reduced to writing--has to be reduced into scientific script.
As an instance of the type of difficulty that arises one may take the case of the name of Tuhi,--Toui at first in Marsden's script,-- the Bay of Islands' chief who is so frequently mentioned in Marsden's Journals. Tuhi is the form of the name accepted by modern Ngapuhi and I have deferred in the text to their judgment, conveyed to me by Mr. George Graham. On the other hand, it seems certain, as Bishop Williams has indicated to me, that with Marsden "i" generally means "ai" and that the name was pronounced Tuai by the chief's contemporaries. Dumont d'Urville, who visited the Bay of Islands in the Coquille in 1824 and met Tuhi, uses the form Touai, (Voyage de l'Astrolabe, Vol. III, pp. 678-9), thus corroborating this statement, which is further borne out by Hugh Carleton, who, in his Life of Henry Williams, Vol. I, p. 26, spells the name as Tuaea,--which may be a mistake for Tuaia,--saying that the usual appelation was "Tommy Tui." The name, pronounced at first Tuai, probably degenerated presently into Tui, as is common with Maori names of both persons and places ending in similar fashion.
Difficulties of the same kind arise in connection with many other words, and I cannot sufficiently express my gratitude to both Bishop Williams and Mr. Graham for the great care they have exercised in helping me in my endeavour to make the renderings in the text as authoritative and accurate as possible.
I have also gratefully to acknowledge assistance received from Mr. A. H. Reed of Dunedin and Mr. W. Fraser, Harbourmaster, Whangarei, whose intimate knowledge of the north-east coast of New Zealand was of great service in the identification of places described in the text, and from the Surveyor-General of New Zealand, who supplied Ordnance Survey Maps of northern New Zealand. The carefully prepared maps showing Marsden's itinerary are the work of Mr. Norman Buchanan of Messrs. Coulls Somerville Wilkie, Ltd., to whom I am also indebted for many suggestions with regard to the illustrations prepared for this volume. My thanks are also due to Mr. H. R. H. Balneavis, Private Secretary to the Minister of Native Affairs, the Rev. S. M. Johnstone of Parramatta, who searched the Parramatta Registers on my behalf for information with regard to Marsden's family, and Mr J. R. Elder who corrected the proofs with untiring and meticulous care.
I would also acknowledge my indebtedness to Mrs. Macdonald, Librarian of the Hocken Library, Dunedin, without whose willing aid my search for obscure references must frequently have been in vain,
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Professor W. B. Benham, F.R.S., Curator of the Otago University Museum, Dr. J. E. Holloway, Lecturer in Botany in the University of Otago, Mr. W. B. McEwan of the Dunedin Public Library, and Miss Edith Pearce, whose careful work as typist deserves the highest praise.
I have met much kindness, in my search for information, particularly from His Honour Sir Frederick R. Chapman, Dr. Guy Scholefield of the General Assembly Library, Mr. Johannes Andersen of the Turnbull Library, and Mr. H. F. von Haast, LL.B., of Wellington, and Mr. Leslie G. Kelly of Te Kuiti. The Rev. W. Beckles Goodwin, Vicar of Farsley, Leeds, Messrs. W. G. B. Page of Hull, who was also a valued correspondent of the late Dr. Hocken, Mr. F. R. Bell, B.A., of the Hull Grammar School, and James Mitchell, C.E., of North Shields, undertook the investigation of various matters connected with Marsden's early life. Without their help my work must have remained incomplete. Interesting illustrative material was furnished me by courtesy of Mrs. Howard Jackson and Mrs. C. W. Birch of Dunedin, Mrs. Williams of Te Aute, Hawke's Bay, and Dr. E. H. Williams of Dunedin.
Finally I would record my deep appreciation of the public spirit of Messrs. Coulls Somerville Wilkie and Mr. A. H. Reed, who have undertaken the entire responsibility connected with the publication of this work--a patriotic service to history which all interested in the study of the achievements of civilisation and religion, and of the growth of the Empire in the Pacific, must appreciate.
Marsden died on May 12th, 1838, at the age of 73. Two years before that event, on April 11th, 1836, he wrote from Parramatta to his friend Archdeacon Williams of the New Zealand Mission in the following terms:--"I have been collecting my memorandums relative to New Zealand which I made in my different visits. This relieved my mind in the midst of my mental affliction after the death of my dear wife, a loss that no temporal circumstance can ever repair. I purpose to send my imperfect observations of New Zealand to the Society for publication. It is possible they interest mankind a hundred years hence when we are dead and gone."
JOHN R. ELDER.
University of Otago,
Dunedin, New Zealand.
July 25th, 1932.
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[LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS]
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List of Illustrations
Samuel Marsden in 1833 .. From the engraving in An Account of New Zealand (London, 1835), by the Rev. William Yate....Frontispiece
Thomas Morland Hocken ............... Facing 8
The Old Hull Grammar School............Facing 24
Samuel Marsden in 1808 .. From an engraving by James Fittler (1758-1835) Associate Royal Academy....Facing.48
Okuratope Pa .. From a sketch by Leslie G. Kelly......98
Kahu Huruhuru (Feather Mat) ............ Facing 112
A Maori Signature..................... 124
Facsimilie of Deed of November 4th, 1819 ...... Facing 152
Habitants de la Nouvelle Zelande .. From the Atlas of the Histoire du Voyage de la Coquille..........Facing.216
Waka (Decorated Boxes) ............... Facing 240
Maori Agricultural Implements ............ Facing 288
Weapons of the Patu Class............... Facing 304
Marsden's Letter of November nth, 1823, to Hongi Hika Facing 336
Marsden's Journal--Tuesday, September 9th, 1823 ... Facing 368
Etablissement des Missionaires Anglais a Kidikidi (Nouvelle Zelande).. From the Atlas of the Histoire du Voyage de la Coquille................Facing.384
Weapons of Various Classes ............ Facing 400
Archdeacon Henry Williams............... Facing 424
Hei Tiki (Amulets in Human Form) ......... Facing 432
The Wounded Chief Honghi and His Family .. From Sketches Illustrative of the Native Inhabitants and Islands of New Zealand from Original Drawings by Augustus Earle....Facing.448
Tohitapu, Chief and Tohunga of the Roroa .. From a sketch by Archdeacon Henry Williams....Facing.472
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LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS-- Continued
Bishop William Williams, First Bishop of Waiapu ... Facing 480
A Preserved Head .................. Facing 496
A Last Message (December 10th, 1837) ......... Facing 536
The Marsden Cross at Oihi, Russell, Bay of Islands, New Zealand..................Facing.544
List of Maps
Northern New Zealand ..Drawn by N. G. Buchanan to illustrate Marsden's journeys of 1814-15 and 1820.............Facing.80
The Bay of Islands and Hokianga River .. Drawn by N. G. Buchanan to illustrate Marsden's journeys of 1819 and 1823.......Facing.184
Northern New Zealand .. From The Church Missionary Register, 1822................252
The Bay of Islands .. From The Church Missionary Register, 1822...................360
The North Island of New Zealand .. Drawn by N. G. Buchanan to illustrate Marsden's journeys of 1827, 1830, 1837..........Facing 464
Northern New Zealand .. From The Church Missionary Register, 1836................520
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