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THE LATE WAR
AUDI ALTERAM PARTEM.
PRINTED BY PHILIP KUNST, SHORTLAND STREET.
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THE following Papers have been prepared for the Press some months, and have therefore no reference to the late communications received from England, although it will be seen that they contain much which bears upon questions of interest at the present time.
The principal object of giving publicity to these documents is simply the vindication of the character of a body of men who have long been the objects of animadversion, whether unjustly or not, the public may determine.
It is the of every Englishman that he shall be heard in his own defence, but in making use of this liberty, every care has been taken to avoid a course which might impugn the motives or conduct of others. A good cause will commend itself by its own merits.
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Plain Facts Relative to the Late War in the Northern District of New Zealand.
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IT is a matter of general notoriety that, during the progress of the recent collision between some of the northern tribes and the Government, remarks have been made, and frequently repeated, reflecting upon the loyalty of certain individuals of the Church Mission, and more particularly upon Archdeacon H. Williams of Paihia; and it has been a subject of regret with many of the friends of the Mission that the charge was not openly met in the outset, instead of allowing it to go abroad to the world, which could not but form an adverse opinion in the absence of any counter statement. It was not however, from any unwillingness to meet the charge, that this was not done, for an appeal was made to the late Governor upon its first appearance, and he expressed in the strongest language his opinion of the "absurdity" of it. At a subsequent date, an article was drawn up for insertion in the "New Zealander," but this was set aside at the recommendation of the Bishop, on the ground that it was not a subject to be submitted to such a tribunal. Thus then, while the friends of the parties concerned, were satisfied that the charges were without foundation, there remained a variety of unanswered statements made by Editors of Newspapers, and others, from which, persons, who had not the means of obtaining better information, were at liberty to conclude that there must be some truth in them.
The value of an assertion depends much upon the character of its author, and while the observations of persons of no repute, maybe treated with indifference, it is impossible to follow the same course, if like remarks are made by persons of respectability. After the skirmish at Kororareka, a most serious charge was put forth against one of the Missionaries, but the late Governor expressed himself respecting it in a manner which sufficiently relieved the person accused. The accusation however having once gone forth, and no publicity being given to its refutation, allusions were often made to it in different quarters, as to a matter of fact. Whether it was wise in a case so serious, to leave any part of the community to take up with false impressions, is a question not now to be considered. But the subject has of late assumed a new character.
On the occasion of the visit of the Governor, to the Bay of Islands, in January, 1847, His Excellency in conversation with James Busby, Esq., expressed a wish to know why it should be that all the natives "against us," should be the people of the Church Mission, while all "our friends" are the Wesleyans and
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Roman Catholics. This conversation was communicated to Archdeacon Williams, who, on the next day proposed, through Mr. Busby, to furnish the fullest information upon this subject, and upon other matters, in which the Church Missionaries in general, and he in particular, appear to have been misrepresented to His Excellency. The Governor, however, declined entering into this enquiry.
Now, it may be presumed that this opinion, which seems to have taken possession of the mind of His Excellency, has been often repeated to others; and strangers in the country, particularly officers in the army and navy, who have no previous knowledge of individuals, and to whom it is a matter of indifference on which side of the question the truth lies, can only draw their conclusions, in agreement with the report they hear, particularly when that report rests on high authority. If then, the natives opposed to the Government, were almost exclusively those of the Church Mission, it is natural to conclude that there must be some cause connected with the circumstance that these belong to the Church Mission, but those friendly to the Government, to the Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics: in other words, that the fault lies in the instructors of the natives. And then too, this opinion, put forth after the ferment of excited feeling has had time to subside, agrees so precisely with the many reports which have been current from the beginning of the outbreak, that the whole might be regarded as substantially correct.
It is the opinion of many persons that the silence hitherto maintained by the Missionaries, ought still to have been preserved; but it is a fact which cannot be gainsayed, that the strongest possible impressions to their prejudice, have taken hold of the minds of persons, not only high in respectability, but who are not easily led away by unsupported statements. It has been held by some that it is a case too strong to admit of contradiction, from the simple circumstance that nothing has hitherto been said in defence.
Such, then, being the present position of the case, there does not seem to be any alternative, but that of openly meeting the charge by a simple statement of facts from the commencement. In adopting this course, it becomes necessary to speak of personal exertions in a manner which the parties naturally shrink from, but the circumstances of the case compel them.
By a reference to the Parliamentary papers it will be seen, that from the first establishment of the Colony, the Missionaries of the Church Missionary Society have had frequent occasion to take active measures in support of the Government, which have been duly acknowledged by the proper authorities.
At page 8 of "Papers" laid before Parliament, and printed in the year 1841, His Excellency the late Governor Hobson, gives the following account of his first proceedings in New Zealand:
"February 15. Soon after twelve o'clock I proceeded to the tent, supported by Captain Nias and the Officers, Mr. Busby, the late Resident, the Members of the Church Missionary Society, &c. I then read the Treaty, and Mr. H. Williams, of the Church Mis-
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sionary Society, did me the favor to interpret, and repeated, in the native language, sentence by sentence, all I said."
All who were present at the first meeting held by Governor Hobson are aware that there was a strong feeling of distrust on the part of the natives, which was fomented partly by some of our own countrymen, but chiefly by persons of influence from another nation. It is also known, that it was principally through the exertions of the Rev. H. Williams that the Treaty was signed on the following day. Let the question be put to any of the natives of the Bay of Islands, and they will all acknowledge this fact, and indeed they have often subsequently blamed the Missionaries for the part taken on that occasion, having been repeatedly told by the French and the Americans that this was the source of all their troubles. At page 15 of "Papers" the Governor informs us, that on "the 15th of February he proceeded in Her Majesty's Ship Herald to the River Thames, for the twofold purpose of treating with the native chiefs, and of selecting a site for a township." In this expedition the Rev. H. Williams accompanied His Excellency at his request. Then we are informed that His Excellency requested the Rev. Messrs. H. Williams, Brown, Maunsell, and W. Williams, to secure the adherence of the Chiefs of their respective districts to the Treaty of Waitangi; and that the Rev. Mr. Taylor, accompanied Mr. Shortland to Kaitaia for the same purpose.
At page 16 it is stated--"At various periods subsequent to the sailing of the Herald, His Excellency received from Mr. Maunsell, and lastly from the Messrs. Williams', reports of the entire success of their respective Missions."
At page 17 we find the following letter from His Excellency to the Rev. H. Williams:
"Waimate, March 23, 1840.
Reverend Sir,--Availing myself of your kind offer, and fully authorised thereto by Her Majesty's instructions conveyed to me by Her Majesty's principal Secretary of State; I hereby authorize you to treat with the principal native Chiefs in the southern part of these islands, for their adherence to the Treaty executed at Waitangi on the 6th of February, 1840. I have the honor to enclose a copy of the Treaty, which I have signed, and to request you will obtain the signatures thereto of such high Chiefs as may be willing to accede to its conditions, &c.
The schooner Ariel will be ready to receive you on board on the 30th instant, to convey you to your destination.
(Signed) WILLIAM HOBSON,
To Rev. H. Williams, &c."
The state of His Excellency's feelings toward the Missionaries, may be gathered from the following letter dated May 20, 1840, to Mr. Davis, Secretary of the Local Committee of the Church Missionary Society in the northern district:
"Sir,--The period having arrived for proclaiming the sovereign authority of Her Majesty over these islands, it accords no less with my public duty, than it gratifies my personal feelings, to acknow-
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lodge in the most ample manner, the efficient and valuable support I have received from the resident members of the Church Missionary Society, in carrying into effect with the native chiefs, the views and objects of Her Majesty's Government. As the official organ of that body, I beg you will accept and convey to every member of the mission in New Zealand, my cordial and hearty thanks for the very zealous and effective assistance they have rendered me in the execution of my duty.
(Signed) WILLIAM HOBSON,
To Mr. Davis, Waimate."
That the Missionaries were actively engaged in assisting the first establishment of the Government in this country, is a fact which is further corroborated by the following quotation from Captain Hobson's speech at the opening of the Legislative Council on the 14th December, 1841. He observed, "Whatever difference of opinion may be entertained as to the value and extent of the labors of the Missionary body, there can be no doubt that they have rendered important services to this country, and that but for them, a British colony would not at this moment be established in New Zealand." It will also clearly appear, from a perusal of these papers, that on every occasion of excitement, strenuous efforts were always put forth by the Missionaries to allay that excitement,--that their endeavours in this respect, were most handsomely acknowledged by those in authority,--and that in the late disturbance at the Bay of Islands, one undeviating course was adopted, that of soothing, by every possible means, the irritated feelings of the natives, by pointing out to them the error of that course which they were bent upon pursuing. The point from which the hostile movements of the natives had its rise, was a belief which had been fostered by various ill-disposed persons, that the Treaty of Waitangi was violated, that the country was to be seized, that the people were to be made slaves, and that the Government only waited till it was able to put these intentions into effect. The Missionaries combated these views, which had taken so strong a hold upon the minds of the natives that there was danger at one time, that the whole of Ngapuhi, including Tamati Waka, would rise against the Government. Instead of this, the larger body of the Ngapuhi either joined the Government, or if their sympathy for Heke, who was their near relation, deterred them from taking this course, they nevertheless agreed to maintain a strict neutrality. In consequence of this diversion, Heke and his followers were brought to a stand; they were obliged to act continually on the defensive, and Auckland which was threatened with immediate destruction, was saved.
It has been thought by those not acquainted with the matter, that Waka Nene and the Hokianga natives are a tribe disconnected with the Ngapuhi; but Waka Nene is not only a Ngapuhi, but was born and brought up at the Bay of Islands, living alternately at Te Kawa kawa, and in the neighbourhood of Waimate, and is nearly related to Tamati Pukututu, Rewa, Tareha, and to Heke himself.
The next event bearing upon the present question, was the murder of Mrs. Roberton and her family by the son of a principal
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chief in the Bay of Islands, on the 20th of November of the same year. The murderer was shortly given up to the proper authorities, and was immediately sent to Auckland. But after the lapse of a few days certain ill-disposed persons tried to create a reaction, and reports were in free circulation that, as soon as the news should be received of the execution of the culprit, a general simultaneous massacre was to take place of the Europeans at Auckland, and at the Bay of Islands. How then did the Missionaries act? It will be found that the Rev. H. Williams was engaged day after day in conferring with the chiefs of the whole district; and that he called a general meeting at Paihia on the 16th of December, with the approbation of the Police Magistrate and of all the Justices of the Peace; at which were present the chiefs not only of the Bay of Islands, but of Hokianga also, and Wangaroa, when they expressed regret that such reports had been raised, and declared their purpose to protect the settlers from harm. A letter was written to the Governor on the day following, and signed by five leading chiefs, which was afterwards published in the Native Newspaper by the authority of the Governor. It was at this meeting the violent spirit of Heke began to manifest itself. He tried to excite the assembled natives to rise against the English, telling them that they would all be seized as Maketu had been; and such was the violence of his speech, that Pomare and Kawiti, with their followers, abruptly left the meeting and flew to their arms, leaving Rewa, Ururoa, and the rest of Ngapuhi, who had been foremost in requiring Maketu to be given up.
Towards the close of the year 1841, the confidence of the natives in the Government was greatly shaken by the measures taken by the Government with respect to Land; particularly the proclamation against the cutting of Kauri timber--the intention to take for the Queen the surplus of land awarded by the Commissioners, and the proceedings of the Legislative Council on the same subject: the Land Claims' Ordinance declaring that the uncultivated lands of the country were demesne lands of the Crown, subject only to the necessary use and occupation of the natives.
The following extract of a letter from the Governor to the Rev. H. Williams will show the views entertained by his Excellency.
"Auckland, January 24, 1842.
My dear Sir,--I am not able to communicate much of what I would say, my mind and my hand have not been at rest for many days, and I am fairly weary. But I ought not, nevertheless, to let slip this opportunity of returning you my most grateful thanks, for your zealous advocacy of the cause of her Majesty, in refuting the wanton and unworthy insinuations, that were circulated amongst the natives to create rebellion. The state of the natives, if let alone, is in a fair way of becoming very much better, and I am glad to find that some of the first chiefs hold us in warm regard.
I remain, my dear Sir, yours faithfully,
(Signed) WILLIAM HOBSON.
To Rev. H. Williams, Paihia."
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To those who had the means of ascertaining the native feeling at this period, it was clear that a storm was gathering, which must soon discharge its violence over the country. Mr. Williams thus expressed his opinion in a letter to Mr. Busby three months after this time.
"Paihia, April 20, 1842.
My dear Sir,--I cannot refrain from expressing my deep regret at the present state of New Zealand. Were it confined to the difficulties of the Europeans, I should not offer an observation; but from an extract of a speech of the Colonial Secretary it would appear, that a degree of confidence and security is reposed in the state of the natives, which I fear is unjustifiable, and may lead into some fatal error, which may not be seen until it is too late. The disturbance arising from the arrest of Maketu was happily suppressed, but I do not hesitate to say, that had not the grandchild of Rewa been one of the victims, thus bringing all the Ngapuhi tribes as auxiliaries to the Europeans in the event of war, the result would have been far otherwise. The assertion of the Colonial Secretary, that the natives never did entertain an opinion of distrust, as far as regards the Government, required more reflection than perhaps was given to it; for the fact is too palpable to be refuted. I must say that I do not know a chief who has not expressed his "distrust" in the Europeans generally. And it has required all my energies and influence, in common with other Missionaries, amongst the natives, to set their minds at rest upon these subjects. Frequently are expressions of distrust made to me as to the ultimate intention of Government towards the natives and their possessions, which will require every care to correct.
(Signed) HENRY WILLIAMS.
To James Busby Esq."
We now pass on to events which are fresh in the memory of all, and which bear more directly on our present question. Heke's first hostile visit to Kororareka was occasioned by bad language used by a native woman, as reported in the papers at the time. Heke demanded a boat, from the husband of the woman, in payment for the offence. Lord, the woman's husband, had not a boat of his own to give, and refused to purchase one for the purpose. Heke then began to use threats, and spoke especially of cutting down the flagstaff. No one, however, believed him to be sincere in his threats, for his disaffection to the Government was not then generally known. A bag of rice was given by Mr. Beckham, with a view of keeping him and his party from prowling about for food, as they had none with them. This was on Saturday, and it was hoped that they would retire on the following morning. Not obtaining what he demanded, Heke proceeded at daylight on Monday, and cut down the flagstaff. His party then crossed over to Paihia, where Tamati Pukututu, and the Kawakawa natives were staying. The latter used very angry language to Heke for cutting down the flagstaff, but Heke defended himself by stating what he had been told by the white people respect-
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ing the flag, and the reasons for which it was hoisted. Pukututu, though highly displeased, in so much that he gave Marupo, one of Heke's party, a blow with a stick, admitted that Heke's statements were correct, as he himself had heard similar remarks from the white people. We avail ourselves of an account of the leading occurrences which took place at this period, kept by Archdeacon Henry Williams, and recorded from day to day.
"The first flagstaff was cut down by Heke, on Monday the 8th of July, 1844, at which time I was from home, having left the Bay of Islands on the 6th June for Turanga in Poverty Bay. I returned to Paihia on the 16th September. All was then apparently quiet; but there was a feeling of disaffection towards the Government rankling in the breasts of the ill-disposed, and waiting only for some cause to draw it forth. A pretext was soon laid hold of. On the 3rd of October, a woman of Kawiti's tribe was slightly hurt by some of the Police, who had gone up the river Kawakawa at night to apprehend an Englishman, with whom this woman was living. The offended natives failing to obtain any remuneration from the Police Magistrate for the assault upon the woman, withdrew from Kororareka, and on their return landed at Mr. Wright's premises, and violently seized eight horses, although Mr. Wright had not the most remote connection with the previous occurrence. A request was immediately made to me by the Police Magistrate and by Mr. Wright, that I should see this party of natives; which I did the following morning, it being then late in the day: but my eldest son went up to the party the same evening. In the morning I found the party at Opua, two miles from Paihia, together with Kawiti, who was not present at the seizure of the horses. The Police Magistrate and the Subprotector landed shortly after. I was the only Englishman who spoke upon the occasion. These natives were as insolent as they could be to me and to the Police Magistrate, as also in their observations about the Government, and against all my remonstrance, took the horses away. I was closely engaged in this affair until the seventh, having followed the natives up the Kawakawa; when it was at length agreed that the horses should be returned in a few days, as soon as they could be collected from the different parties to whom they had been distributed. Much excited feeling began now to show itself in every direction.
"On Thursday the 31st of October a meeting was called at Otuihu by Pomare, who had just returned from Auckland, which was attended by most of the leading men of the surrounding tribes in connexion with him, also by those who had stolen the horses on the 3rd. Sir Everard Home, the Chief Justice, the Police. Magistrate, the Sub-Protector and myself were present. The disaffected gave full vent to their feelings, in language extremely violent. I was again the only Englishman who addressed the meeting. Sir Everard considered this to be a very important assemblage, as showing the disposition of the natives, and the inability of the Government and of the friendly tribes to preserve order in the district."
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"Subsequently to this event, four horses were taken by a chief named Ruku 1 from Mr. Hingston, and on Friday the 15th of November Heke arrived at Paihia with some of his chief supporters, respecting those horses. I was disposed to hope that he was endeavouring to promote peace. We had a long conversation; after which Heke went to Ruku, and returned to Paihia on the 19th, saying that Ruku was very violent, and declared he would not return the horses, unless two were given to him for his trouble.
"January 9th Heke and his leading men arrived at Paihia, and were met by the principal chief from the Kawakawa, Tamati Pukututu, &c. We held a long discussion with Heke, who appeared to be in a very unsettled state, and spoke grievous things of the Government and of the flagstaff. Every argument was used by the friendly chiefs and myself, but all was unavailing, for on the following morning at dawn of day the flagstaff was again prostrate.
"At the request of the Police Magistrate, I saw Heke daily at this period, at Haruru, the Waitangi Falls, wishing to ascertain his real intention, and to convince him of the ruin he was bringing upon his country.
"In the afternoon of January 13th the Police Magistrate called upon me, and expressed much anxiety as to Heke's movements, as it was reported that he was proceeding that night to Kororareka, to destroy the Police Office and the Custom-house, and that the women of Kororareka were under serious alarm. I accordingly undertook to pass the night at Heke's camp, and promised that, if there were any movement, we would all proceed together; and that he should have notice. At his time there was no guard at Kororareka.
"January 17th. The Victoria, government brig, arrived, and in two hours the Union Jack of England was again floating in the breeze. I felt grieved, knowing the consequence that would result from this step. Heke was at this time with a large party at the Wahapu, ripe for mischief. I would have gone and remonstrated with the authorities at Kororareka, but it would have been too public a display of my zeal for her Majesty's honor. In the evening I communicated my opinion to the Sub-protector, who returned to Kororareka and waited on the Police Magistrate, stating to that officer my fears of the consequence of these measures. All were now in a state of feverish excitement, every one being aware that Heke would not be quiet.
"On the 18th, the Colonial Secretary and the Police Magistrate waited upon me at Paihia, relative to the question of hoisting the flag. These gentlemen will remember my remonstrance, and that I urged the propriety of their taking the flag into safe keeping, until there could be no doubt as to its protection. In short, I said all I could, considering I was addressing myself to two public officers. I assured them of my conviction that if they did not take it down, it would be taken down by the natives. It was observed that there was a guard of thirty soldiers, and that Heke had only forty men. I replied that Heke could multiply that number by any figure he chose, and was urgent that these soldiers should not
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be exposed, for that they would inevitably fall to a man. While these gentlemen were with me, they saw Heke and his canoes pull close past Paihia, with flags flying, one of which was an American ensign. Before daylight the following morning the flagstaff was again cut down; the military guard had been kept close in their quarters, the flagstaff being left in charge of native allies; but in the morning, observing the Union Jack again flying, I wrote to the Police Magistrate the following note:--"
"Sunday, January 26, 1845.
My dear Sir,--I feel that I am out of order, but the necessity of the case compels me again to intrude my opinion respecting the flagstaff. I learn that the top or upper end has been carried away. If this be true, you need not surely any stronger argument to show the weakness of your position. I should recommend, therefore, that you take the whole down in open day, this afternoon, before another attack, as each must weaken the cause of the government. By no means allow the military to make any display; all should be as quiet as possible. You know not under existing circumstances in whom to put your dependence. Your credit is in some measure saved by the flag remaining in your possession, which you can explain to your sable allies.
(Signed) HENRY WILLIAMS.
To T. Beckham, Esq., Police Magistrate."
It is a happy circumstance that this remonstrance was attended to concerning the military guard, and that the thirty soldiers were consequently preserved. The two gentlemen referred to are now in office in Auckland, and can therefore bear testimony to the correctness of this statement.
"On January 27th, I met Rewa and Waka Nene at Kororareka. They were little disposed to enter into conversation. At last they mentioned that Ururoa from Whangaroa, with all the natives from that neighbourhood, were coming to Paroa, to meet them upon state affairs, and asked me to be present on the occasion.--On the 28th, I went to the native assembly, and found them all in a very sullen mood. I went from party to party, and continued with them.--On the 30th, Ururoa arrived, fully bent on joining Heke, and on persuading the Ngapuhi (the tribes of the Bay of Islands) to make common cause with them. In the evening the discussion continued to a late hour. Much was said about the intentions of Government; and Waka Nene and all the natives who have since shown themselves friendly to the Government, joined in the feeling which showed itself. Waka had been much annoyed by the prohibition against cutting kauri timber, and had said, if the Governor had been at Hokianga, he would have felled a spar in his presence, in order to see what would be done. Both Waka and Rewa at this meeting observed, that the evils which threatened them arose from their having signed the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty of Waitangi was the only argument I used on the occasion. This I read clause by clause, requesting the chiefs to notice any expressions which favored the assertion that their interests had been
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betrayed by the Government, or that there was any design to deprive them of their just rights. At length they all expressed themselves satisfied, and the last observation of Ururoa to me was, that his fears respecting the Treaty were now removed, and that he no longer thought it an instrument for seizing the country for the Queen. He urged me to see Heke as early as possible, and give him an account of the meeting, and assure him that none of his (Ururoa's) people would join him, and again to recommend Heke to be quiet, and that he would return with his canoes to Whangaroa, and would then proceed to Heke, and tell him that he was convinced of the falsehood of the reports circulated about the seizure of their lands, and would therefore remain quiet."
It may be safely asserted, that had it not been for the reaction produced at this meeting, the greater number of the friendly chiefs, together with those who adopted a neutral course, would have been arrayed against the Government. 2 The journal proceeds: "I returned to Paihia on the 31st, having been occupied four days in this matter. These parties maintained their neutrality according to promise, a few individuals only joining Heke.
"On Wednesday, February, 5th, I met Heke by appointment at Kaikohe, and gave him Ururoa's message, and the account of the meeting of the 30th of January. He was not disposed to pay much attention; but still insisted that the Treaty "was all soap." "It is," said he, "very smooth and oily, but treachery is hidden under it." On the 10th I attended a general meeting of Heke and his followers, in company with the Rev. R. Davis. We found all exceedingly furious. Ururoa saw Heke as he had promised, a few days after this, and I believe used every remonstrance with him, but in vain."
The Police Magistrate was constantly furnished with information relative to the state of the natives, and the result of the various meetings with Heke and the natives generally, both friendly and unfriendly, and on the 20th of February, the following communication was received from Governor Fitzroy:--
"Government House, Auckland, Feb. 18, 1845.
My Dear Sir,--I consider that this country and Great Britain owe you deep gratitude for your untiring efforts to put mistaken people into the right track. I am in doubt whether you have had more difficulty with the natives than with our own misguided countrymen.
The Colonial Secretary and Mr. Beckham have expressed themselves warmly on these subjects, and have told me how much
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has depended on yourself alone. I was individually well aware of this, but it gratified me to read their written testimony.
(Signed) ROBERT FITZROY.
To Ven. Archdeacon H. Williams, Paihia."
"February 28th.--Hearing of some depredations having been committed by Kawiti, I went to him up the river, but it was too evident that his mind was made up for a general trial of strength, for in the afternoon of the same day, four canoes came down the river, and cleared the promises of Mr. Wright.
"On the 3rd of March, hostilities commenced. Two canoes, manned with Kawiti's natives, came down the river, and committed some depredations at Te Uruti, near Kororareka, at the residence of Mr. B. Turner. They then pulled back again, and were chased by the gun boat of the Hazard. The boat had no chance in pulling against the canoes. Many natives, in the mean time, crossed over from Otuihu to join in an attack upon the boat, which had unfortunately grounded with the ebb tide at Opua, and had not the crew been very active in getting her off, she must have fallen into their hands. One of her crew was wounded on the forehead by a spent ball. This was the first exchange of shots, and the maories were much elated. On the 4th, Heke came from the interior to the Bay, to join Kawiti. The following day he passed through Paihia with his whole party, and remained in the neighbourhood till the 6th, when he joined his force with that of Kawiti.
"On the 8th I accompanied the Police Magistrate to Heke's Camp, as a last attempt to stay the further progress of hostilities, as one man had been wounded on each side. This was my last interview with Heke. I was told by the natives, that if the Police Magistrate had not been in my company, they would have had his head, and that if I had conducted him to Kawiti, he would even then have been killed. This I mentioned to the Police Magistrate, and told him, he must not venture again.
"The following day, Sunday the 9th, a party of natives came upon one of the distant hills, from whence they had a view of Kororareka, when a shell was directed at them from the Hazard."
We now come to the period of most painful interest, when Kororareka was destroyed by the natives on the 11th of March. After the conflict. Archdeacon Williams went up to the blockhouse at the flagstaff, and brought away the bodies of the four soldiers who were killed, the natives even assisting in removing them to the beach. The natives also gave up the sword and cloak of the officer in command, and as much of the clothing, &c., belonging to the men as could be conveyed away. It is also worthy of remark, that when the natives had got possession of the town, they urged the settlers to come and fetch away their property, and many of Heke's men actually assisted in carrying goods to the boats. Mr.----, the baker, was afraid to go into his own house, because a party of natives were inside plundering, until Hara, a leading chief (at Archdeacon Williams's request) stood sentry over him, while he
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removed as much of his property as he had the means of carrying. Previous to the 11th March, the friendly chiefs of the Ngapuhi tribes, now residing in Paroa bay, went several times to offer their services to protect Kororareka against Heke and Kawiti, but were told to "clear off the ground," lest they should be mistaken for the enemy. These chiefs have frequently mentioned the circumstance since the fall of Kororareka. It was asserted in one of the public prints that, "the fears of the inhabitants of Kororareka were in some degree allayed by the Rev. Mr. Williams informing them that he had seen the natives, and that they had at present no hostile intentions. The inhabitants were therefore lulled into false security." The communications of Archdeacon Williams at this anxious period were strictly confined to the Police Magistrate, who was considered to be the chief in command. His note to that officer on the evening of the 10th was as follows:
"I understand that the natives intend to make their attack in four divisions." On the same evening Gilbert Mair, Esq., J.P., personally waited on the Police Magistrate, and stated, that the attack would be made the following morning in four or five divisions. This information was explicit, and was accordingly acted upon by the brave Captain Robinson, who was on the look out before break of day, when the action commenced. With regard to hostile intentions, there could be no mistake. Hostilities began on the 3rd, and were continued in a greater or less degree daily. They were in fact, in active operation.
How idle then to state that the inhabitants of Kororareka were lulled into false security, in consequence of its having been said that the natives had no hostile intentions towards them, when these expressions of hostility were reciprocal upon all opportunities.
The extraordinary charge of treason which was made against Archdeacon Williams immediately after the conflict on the 11th, we would gladly pass over, in consequence of the lamented death of the person who made it, believing that it was made under the irritation of disappointment, without any serious idea on the part of the person who made it, that he had any foundation for his assertion. No reason for it has ever been stated, beyond that which has already been referred to in the extract from an Auckland paper. It is necessary however, to state, that the particulars of this charge were communicated to the Governor, who addressed the following letter to Archdeacon Williams:--
"Auckland, April 2, 1845.
SIR,--I have the honor of acknowledging the receipt of your letter, dated Paihia March 20th, which reached me yesterday.
I am so much accustomed to hear and read such strange perversions of fact, and such unfounded attacks upon even the best characters in the community, that they usually pass unnoticed by me. But this is a startling charge.
Had you not distinctly referred to the extraordinary language used...................I should not have alluded to it in writing to yourself, so deeply must you be, as I am, pained that
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such expressions, such imputations, with reference to yourself, should have emanated from any one however ill-informed, hasty, or excited.
To accuse Archdeacon Williams, the tried, the proved, the loyal and indefatigable, of being a "Traitor," of having acted traitorously, seemed to me so utterly absurd, to say the very least, that such an idea could not be entertained by me for one moment, I rejected it with feelings similar to those of Sir Everard Home, who, before this has, I trust, fully relieved your mind from every scruple on this subject.
I might refer to the Bishop's clear statement of all that he witnessed frequently in company with yourself on the fatal 11th of March; to the statement also of Archdeacon Brown, who was also present, and to others, but your well known character requires no testimony.
In conclusion, I need hardly say that the charge made against yourself by ----, is, in my opinion, as unfounded, unjustifiable, and ungrateful, as it is indeed absurd.
I have the honor to be, Sir,
Your obedient humble servant,
(Signed) ROBERT FITZROY, Governor.
The Ven. Archdeacon H. Williams,
After the destruction of Kororareka, the only course left open to the Missionaries was, to assure the friendly natives, that their fears were groundless as to the seizure of their possessions, and that the retribution which must be expected, would be confined to the disaffected, as there was a strong effort made by Heke and his party to impress upon the various tribes that all would now fare alike, and to induce them to conspire against the Government; and there were not wanting Europeans who hoped this would be the case. Our position at this time was exceedingly critical. The rebels had undisputed sway in the northern part of the island, and many well disposed natives were altogether at a loss to know how to determine their line of conduct. It was however the Missionaries duty still to speak of quietness and order as ambassadors of the Prince of Peace. We return to the Journal:--
"The Missionaries in their respective spheres exercised all their influence: but I am compelled more particularly to speak of my own movements at this period; having been thrown directly in the midst of the contending parties; while I was assailed by my own countrymen as a traitor,--on what ground no one has yet been able to inform me, nor has any person had the moral courage either to accuse or defend me publicly.
"On the 30th of April, a circumstance took place on board H.M.S, North Star, which, humanly speaking, was the preservation of the troops under Colonel Hulme. The troops were landed at Otuihu (Pomare's pah) at the entrance of the Kawakawa river. About noon I went on board the North Star, and learnt that all
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was now prepared for the troops to proceed from Otuihu overland to Waiomio, the place of Kawiti's residence. I observed to the Colonel, 'I presume you are furnished with guides, for the country is much broken.' He replied, 'Oh yes, I have European guides.' After a few more remarks, some natives proceeded to chalk upon the deck the rout for the troops, to which the Colonel called my attention. I soon discovered that the Colonel was wholly at fault. The lines which he had understood to be roads, were rivers, muddy creeks, hills and swamps.
"These I pointed out to the Colonel and to Sir Everard Home. Sir Everard observed to Colonel Hulme, 'Colonel you are going you know not where! you had better re-embark your men.' The order was given accordingly to destroy the pa, and to re-embark.
"The expedition was relinquished, owing to this mistake having been most providentially discovered. What the consequence might have been, is a question not unworthy of consideration; if these troops had advanced between Kawiti's and Pomare's tribes; Pomare having that same day been made prisoner on board the North Star, upon suspicion of having rendered aid and assistance to Kawiti."
It will appear from the following letters, that Archdeacon Williams was subsequently in the habit of furnishing the authorities with information, and even sometimes went so far in expressing his opinion upon the movements of the troops, as to lay himself open to the charge of interfering with matters that did not concern him; and yet Colonel Despard complains that there appeared to be a general wish to conceal the difficulties without considering the possible waste of European blood that might take place in consequence.
When the expedition under Colonel Hulme landed at Moturoa, at the mouth of the Kerikeri river, the weather was most unpropitious. A strong easterly gale had set in, and the troops had a toilsome march through torrents of rain. The scanty supplies of provisions they brought with them were spoiled, and most of their powder rendered unfit for service. The friendly natives at this time rendered the most important assistance. They met our troops at the point of debarkation, and conducted them to the scene of action, and again after the termination of the affair at Mawhe, re-accompanied them to the boats.
On the arrival of the news that an attack had been made on Heke's pa at Mawhe, and that the loss on the part of the English was considerable, the following communication was held with Sir E. Home:--
"Paihia, May 10, 1845.
My dear Sir,--I have had a most comfortless night. I have been considering the question of Heke's pa in all its bearings, and the force appointed for its capture. I see no possibility of this being accomplished without loss of life to a most fearful extent, endangering the return of any part of the troops. Though as yet no official return has arrived, it appears most evident that a battle has been fought, and by report that the loss in killed is consider-
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able. Of course the number of wounded must be in the usual proportion. Should it be contemplated to storm the pa, the troops might possibly carry it, but at an awful expense. But should they be repulsed, who can calculate the extent of the disaster. I fear that half the force must fall in killed and wounded, and the whole would be most seriously endangered in their retreat, to say nothing of any other feeling of which a military man would be acutely sensible.
I beg, therefore, you will excuse the liberty I take of suggesting the propriety of a suspension of hostilities immediately. One chief offender is reported to have fallen besides many others; would it not then be important to stay further proceedings before the evil becomes more serious, and withdraw the expedition, making a virtue of necessity.
Should you feel that the capturing of Heke is fearfully doubtful, and that I may be of any service in negociating between Colonel Hulme and Heke, I shall be most happy to do so, in order that the retreat of the force may be as honorable as circumstances will admit of. I shall be most happy to bear a despatch from you to Colonel Hulme upon the subject, but of course can only proceed upon a written authority from yourself, and with particular instructions how to act. I feel that delays are dangerous, and shall be ready to enter upon this mission at any time you may think well.
(Signed) HENRY WILLIAMS.
To Sir E. Home."
Sir Everard's answer was as follows:
"North Star, 8.30' A.M., May 10, off Paihia.
My dear Sir,--I perfectly agree: When you have read the contents of the enclosed, 3 pray put a wafer in the letter, and God speed you.--Faithfully yours,
(Signed) EVERARD HOME.
To Ven. Archdeacon H. Williams, Paihia."
The following reply to a communication from Sir E. Home will serve to show the opinion held by Archdeacon Williams at this time.
"Paihia, May 24, 1845.
My dear Sir,--In reply to your note of this morning, requesting my opinion of the present state and immediate prospects of New Zealand, I consider that the eyes of the entire native population are directed to the issue of this war, and upon it depends the quietness of the whole country. The immediate prospects of New Zealand depend upon the manner in which the war is conducted. I have just received Heke's reply to the terms proposed to him, a copy of which I forward to you, by which you will perceive that he has no disposition to accede to them. I presume, therefore, that nothing short of vigorous measures will satisfy him. It is my further opinion, that peace and good order will not then be preserved, unless a strong military force be stationed in the Bay of Islands for that purpose.
(Signed) HENRY WILLIAMS.
To Sir E. Home, H.M.S. North Star."
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A second and more formidable expedition soon after landed at the Bay, under the command of Colonel Despard. On the very day this force landed, Heke made a vigorous assault upon Waka Nene at Pukenui, hoping to crush him before he could be joined by the troops. On this occasion Heke had about 400 men, while Waka's force was much inferior. What they wanted in number, however, was fully made up by the determined bravery with which they fought. They turned out of their Pah, and boldly faced their assailants, fighting obstinately during the greater part of the day. Every principal man on Heke's side was either killed or wounded, and amongst the latter Heke himself very severely in the thigh.
On the day of the attack which was made against Ohaeawae, July 1, 1845, Archdeacon Williams arrived at the camp, and on the two following days held communication with the enemy at Colonel Despard's request.
This was the first time of his seeing the Pah. He rendered to Colonel Despard every assistance which was required, and conducted a conversation between that officer and Waka Nene, which terminated in the Colonel consenting to remain some days longer before the Pah, though it was publicly known that it had been determined upon to retreat immediately to Waimate, and to abandon all further attempts upon the Pah.
It is remarkable that, notwithstanding the natives were perfectly well aware of the formidable preparations which were made for attacking their stronghold, and had frequent opportunities of interrupting the waggons conveying supplies &c. to the camp, they never took advantage of this circumstance. On one occasion, two drays, under a feeble escort, were met by the Rev. R. Burrows oh the road between Waimate and the Kerikeri. He had not proceeded far, after parting with the drays, when a party of armed natives started up from the bushes. They spoke of the drays, and said, "they did not wish to use treachery, but he riri awatea, (fighting in broad daylight)." In fact, the drays passed day and night without a guard, and without interruption, and the roads were always clear. During the battle between Waka and Heke beforementioned, a young chief named Patai, belonging to Heke, was conveyed to Waimate seriously wounded in the head. On the following day he was restored to his friends. Waka sent a message to Haratua, telling him to "remember Patai," and not to molest the drays. Haratua sent word back, "I will remember." Indeed, as a characteristic feature of the war, it is worthy of record, that the provisions, stores, and ammunition were conveyed to the camp as quietly as though it were a time of perfect peace. The houses at the Kerikeri, and at Waimate, and the bridge, though threatened with destruction, were saved from injury by the intervention of Heke.
From Ohaeawai, Kawiti retreated in the night, in the direction of the Kawakawa, and commenced immediately to erect another pah at Ruapekapeka. In the meantime terms of peace were offered by Governor FitzRoy. These overtures, however, were ineffective, and it became apparent that the haughty spirit of the rebel chiefs required to be yet further humbled.
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The following communication passed shortly afterwards between Archdeacon Williams and Colonel Despard, to which reference has been made above.
"Paihia, July 14, 1845.
My dear Sir,--I learn from Mr. Clendon that you have expressed some disappointment at not having more information from me on my leaving you. I assured you that I would forward to you any information I might obtain, which I did, relative to Kawiti's intention to quit his pah. I have no further information of any moment, except that Kawiti's people are about to build a pah at Waiomio, or in that direction. I returned from the camp wishing to intrude my opinion as little as possible, at the same time being always ready to express one when it might be beneficial. My present idea is, that the troops cannot be withdrawn a this time, if this country is to be continued a colony of Great Britain. Should you wish to see me at any time, I shall be most willing to go from hence for that purpose.--Yours faithfully,
(Signed) HENRY WILLIAMS.
To Colonel Despard."
"Waimate, July 15, 1845.
My dear Sir,--I have been favored with your note, in which you mention that Mr. Clendon had informed you that I had expressed disappointment at not receiving more information from you. I beg to say that my observations regarding information were general. I have never received any that was of use. That given me regarding the roads was decidedly wrong. It was told me at Auckland that there was a capital drayroad to Waimate. I found it execrable. I never could obtain the slightest correct information regarding the localities of the pah itself, either of its internal form or its defences, or even of the probable number of its defenders. There appeared to be a general wish to conceal the difficulties, without considering the possible waste of European blood that might take place in consequence. As to Kawiti's intention to quit the pah, I was perfectly aware without any one letting me know that he and his people must quit, as I had adopted a plan of making a plunging fire into it, which in a great measure raked their ditches, and entered their underground habitations. I beg to assure you that you were very much deceived when you mentioned to me that the fences were many of them poles not thicker than your arm. There was not an upright stick in that pah that was not composed of split Puriri wood, and many of our six pound shot were picked out of the posts, not having actually entered far enough to hide themselves. As to detaining the troops here to guarrison Waimate, I consider it would be a measure that the British Government never will sanction. The place is not worth the expense. Auckland is the place to be looked to; and the settlers ought to concentrate there if they expect military protection.
I remain, my dear Sir, yours faithfully,
(Signed) H. DESPARD.
To Ven. Archdeacon H. Williams."
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It is known that a copy of this letter was given to the late Governor, for the purpose of conveying an idea that the observation upon the state of a pa at Ohaeawai was made by Archdeacon Williams, previous to the attack on the 1st of July, and that the fatal loss of life on that occasion was to be attributed to false information. This may be inferred from the following remark:--"There appeared to be a general wish to conceal the difficulties, without considering the possible waste of European blood that might take place in consequence." But Colonel Despard was aware that no European had seen the Pa until the day following the attack on the 1st of July. Such was the jealousy of the natives, that they would not allow even a Missionary to inspect their fortifications. No description of the fences of the Pa was ventured upon by Archdeacon Williams before the attack, for he had not seen them, as Colonel Despard knew. The idea of detaining the troops to garrison Waimate, implying that such a step was proposed with a view of taking care of a Mission station, originates with Colonel Despard. The public need not to be told that the Missionaries were under no apprehension. The suggestion of Archdeacon Williams was, that if the country was to be continued a Colony of Great Britain the troops could not be withdrawn.
The following anecdote will show the nature of the remarks made in the camp, relative to a casual observation that had been uttered respecting the strength of the stockade at Ohaeawai, and that this mere expression of opinion was made a subject of conversation prejudicial to the credit of Archdeacon Williams.
On the arrival of the "North Star," after the conflict at Ohaeawai, on the 1st of July, 1845, Archdeacon Williams went on board to wait upon Sir E. Home, where he met one of the military officers from the camp, who, after some general conversation, said, in the presence of the officers of the ship:--"Why, Mr. Archdeacon, you were much mistaken in your report of the strength of the Pa at Ohaeawai."--"Was I?"--"Yes."--"In what was I mistaken?"--"Why, you said the sticks of the Pa were not thicker than your thigh, and the posts not thicker than your body."--"And did you find any thicker?"--"Why--why--No."--"Then pray in what respect was I wrong in my report?'--No reply, and a general burst of laughter at his expence. The good officer, for he is a very worthy man, had heard these remarks from Colonel Despard, but was too correct to follow out the errors of his commander. He spoke without consideration, and did not expect such a cross-examination.
It will be remembered, that at the taking of the Pa at Ruapekapeka, a number of letters were found which were pronounced to be of a treasonable character. An air of mystery was thrown over this subject from high authority, which gave weight to the idle reports which were so boldly propagated at that period, by a proclamation stating, that all these letters were burnt by the command of His Excellency Governor Grey. Upon this matter the following remarks are made in the New Zealander, which, taken in connexion with the reports circulated at the time at the Bay of Islands, seem to be intended to have the same application:--
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Extract from the New Zealander of January 31st, 1846.
"Among the recent proclamations in the Government Gazette of the 24th instant, is one respecting some letters found in the Pa at Ruapekapeka, and stating that his Excellency, although aware that they were of a treasonable nature, ordered them to be consigned to the flames, without either perusing or allowing a copy of them to be taken.
"The clemency shown towards Heke and Kawiti upon their actual submission and application for peace, we consider to be consistent in a noble, generous, and powerful enemy as the Queen of England; and in granting a free pardon to all concerned in the late rebellion, who may now return in peace and safety to their houses, where, so long as they conduct themselves properly, they shall remain unmolested in their persons and houses, His Excellency Governor Grey has acted wisely and humanely. But with those European traitors, who have been clandestinely conspiring against the peace of the Colony, and insidiously instigating the excited natives to direct open rebellion, we think very different policy to complete amnesty should be adopted. For the natives some apology might be advanced, on account of their imperfect knowledge of what acts constitute treason and rebellion against the lawful constituted authorities; but not so for the plausible artful abettors of that rebellion, who, to serve their own individual selfish views and gain, cared neither to endanger the Queen's power and authority in the Colony, nor to sacrifice the lives of their fellow-countrymen. We consider these English traitors far more guilty, and deserving of severe punishment than the brave natives whom they have advised and misled. Cowards and knaves in the full sense of the terms, they have pursued their traitorous schemes, afraid to risk their own persons, yet artfully sacrificing others for their own aggrandizement, while, probably at the same time, they were most hypocritically professing most zealous loyalty.
"Tranquillity and subordination are not yet sufficiently established in the northern district for the local Government to be magnanimously clement in its conduct towards mischievous and treasonable agitation of dissatisfied natives. It has been rumoured that investigation of these epistolary proofs and documents, would have implicated some, whose station and previous character ought to have dictated more correct and scrupulous behaviour towards the maories, and more consistent gratitude to the Queen's government. If such be the fact, we deem it to be the more powerful reason why the Governor should really know the truth, and however he might deal leniently for past offences, his knowledge of the character and extent of these treasonable acts, would operate most powerfully against future repetition. We are quite aware that the direction of this proclamation would infer, that "this large number of letters" were from natives, as "the Governor directs it to be notified for the information of the native chiefs in the northern part of the island;" but it is well known that not a few, doubtless, the most important of the "tuhituhis" were from
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Europeans. However, the Governor may perhaps have been induced to issue the proclamation to which we have alluded, conceiving that as the contents of these epistles were known to some, their purport, and the names of the writers, would not long remain a mysterious secret. In such opinion we concur, not only on that account, but for the further reasons, that the natives cannot long keep a secret, and now these rebels have all received a full pardon themselves, they will not scruple to talk of their Rangatira pakeha correspondents."
The reason why this wordy document is noticed here, is simply this, that the report was carried by respectable parties from Te Ruapekapeka to Russell immediately after the fall of the Pa, that treasonable letters had been found involving the character of the Missionaries. It happens, however, that copies were preserved of such communications as were sent, and the following letter, which it is presumed was the ground of these remarks, is attested by an eye-witness as being the true copy of a letter from Archdeacon Williams, which was picked up in the Pa:--
"Paihia, Hepetema 23, 1845.
E taku hoa kuare,--Kua riro mai he kupu no te Kawana e mea mai ana kahore he pukapuka a Kawiti me to Hoani Heke. Ko tetahi waewae kia ora ko tetahi waewae kia mate? E hoa kia toa koe kia ora ai to tangata. Tukua mai tau pukapuka kia ata kitea e te pakeha. Na ko nga hoiho kia riro mai. Ka ngaro pea Waiomio me era wahi ka ngaro ko Mawe ko Owaeawae.
Naku tenei,--Na to hoa na to Tupuna,
(Signed) Na te WIREMU.
Ki a Kawiti, Waiomio.
The original of the foregoing communication was picked up in the Pa at the Ruapekapeka after it was taken.
(Signed) GEORGE CLARKE, jun."
"Paihia, September 23, 1845.
My foolish Friend,--A word from the Governor has come hither, saying, there is no letter from Kawiti like that of John Heke. Is one leg to be healed and the other leg to be unhealed. Be energetic (or brave) to save your person. Send your letter that it may be clearly seen by the Europeans. Now let the horses be given (or) perhaps Waiomio will be lost (to you) as those places Mawe and Owaeawae are lost.
This is from me--from your friend--your Grandfather.
A CORRECT TRANSLATION.
(Signed) GEORGE CLARKE, jun."
To this letter Kawiti replied the following day:--
"Ruapekapeka, Sept. 24, 1845.
Friend Williams,--Good is your word O friend, saluting you. Here am I feeling great regard for you. Sir, it is because you have said that peace should be made, that I consent. I will not continue to jump upon your word (i.e., I will not run counter to
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your wishes) but then, if peace is made, it must be made with respect to the land also.
Friend Governor, saluting you. I am willing to make peace. Many Europeans have been killed, and many natives. In as much as you have said that I should make the first advances towards peace, I now do so, and hereby consent.
This is all mine, I finish here.
By me, (Signed) KAWITI.
I certify this to be the correct rendering of the foregoing letter.
(Signed) T. S. FORSAITH."
Extract of a letter from the Governor to Kawiti:--
"Kawiti,--Your letter of September 24 I received last night, September 30. It was addressed to myself and to Mr. Williams, who, I can plainly see, has been giving you good advice; you have done well to hearken to him, and I trust your future conduct will shew that you are really sincere and desirous of peace.
From me, from the Governor.
(Signed) ROBERT FITZROY."
The letter to Kawiti speaks for itself, it was written by authority, there is no ambiguity in it, and the sense in which Kawiti received it, is shewn by his reply. The views of the late Governor also are sufficiently explicit. Archdeacon Williams was too well acquainted with the public service to commit himself by all unauthorised interference in matters of this nature. We may take as an instance of the caution he observed, a note written to the Rev. Mr. Burrows a fortnight afterwards.
"Paihia, October 13, 1845.
My dear Sir,--The request you have made to me in the name of Colonel Despard, that I should see Kawiti as soon as possible, relative to the terms for peace being established, I shall most cheerfully attend to; but I must express some surprise that no communication has been made by that Officer himself to me, as it is a point among official men never to act without written authority, and as I do not consider a mere verbal message as sufficient authority, the duty being of a serious and delicate nature, I must request you to communicate with Colonel Despard that he may express his wishes to me in writing, that I may feel I am acting correctly in this matter.--Yours faithfully,
(Signed) HENRY WILLIAMS.
Rev. R. Burrows, Waimate."
Archdeacon Williams was called upon to take a public and active part in the proceedings of this period, and was in daily communication with the public authorities respecting the negociations which were then pending. These were no secret proceedings. Sir Everard Home writes from the North Star on the 10th of October:
"Many thanks, my dear sir, for your note. I just saved the Racehorse, by which I have sent a copy of Kawiti's letter to you, to Sir George Gipps, so that he and Sir Maurice O'Connell may be able to judge of what they may be likely to hear next. I expect Heke's answer to-day, and then I send all together to Auckland
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by the Osprey. Colonel Despard quite agrees with you about the propriety of a deputation, with powers from the Governor to settle things. He thinks it should consist of three.
Ever, My Dear Sir, faithfully yours,
(Signed) EVERARD HOME.
To Ven. Archdeacon H. Williams."
In the month of November, Colonel Despard gave authority on two occasions, to Archdeacon Williams, to hold communication with the rebel chiefs.
"Camp at Kororareka, Nov. 2, 1845.
The Venerable Archdeacon Williams has authority to visit Ruapekapeka, and meet Heke in compliance with a written request made to him by that chief, a translation of which has been handed to me by Mr. Clendon, Police Magistrate at Paihia.
(Signed) H. DESPARD,
Lieut. Colonel 99th Regt., Colonel on the Staff, commanding the troops.
To Ven. Archdeacon H. Williams."
"Camp at Kororareka, Nov. 13, 1845.
Sir,--I have to forward for your information and guidance, the following extract of a letter from his Excellency the Governor, dated the 11th instant, and received yesterday:--
I have the honor of requesting you will authorise Archdeacon Henry Williams to communicate with the rebel chief Kawiti, who should have due warning that preparations are making which may cause his total destruction in the event of the present opening for pardon and peace being disregarded.
The above extract will be sufficient authority for you to comply with his Excellency's desire, without any further communication from me.
I have the honor to be, Sir, your obedient servant,
Colonel on the Staff, Commanding the Troops.
To Ven. Archdeacon H. Williams."
A perusal of these documents will satisfy every reasonable mind, that, while much activity was shewn in promoting the interests of the Government, all was done under the sanction of authority.
After these repeated admissions of assistance rendered to the Government, and of efforts to promote the establishment of peace on the part of the late Governor Fitzroy, an attempt was made to prove a treasonable act to have been committed at Paihia on the evening of Thursday, January 29, 1846 on the departure of H.M.S. North Star, when Heke hoisted his flag in compliment to the worthy Captain, who had held a long communication with him on the preceding evening, in the presence of many of his officers, in the house of Archdeacon Williams. The Police Magistrate was officially written to on the subject, to enquire into the truth of the report, which had been laid before his Excellency the Governor, "that Heke had at Paihia hoisted his rebellious, flag after the establish-
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ment of peace, upon seeing that H.M.S. North Star was sailing from the port, and that a son of Archdeacon Williams assisted him in the act." Had this been a vague report, like many others, the circumstance would not deserve notice; but the Captain of the Government brig Victoria underwent two examinations on the subject as to his knowledge of the fact, one at Auckland, and one at Wellington.
Had the person who gave rise to this report, understood more of native customs, and the feelings that had been reciprocated between Sir E. Home and Heke, he would not have been led into so foolish a misrepresentation. But whether or not, neither Archdeacon Williams nor his son, had any thing to do with the matter.
The idea that has been expressed, namely, that the natives opposed to the Government have been exclusively the people of the Church Mission, while those who have been friendly, are the Wesleyans and Roman Catholics, is based upon incorrect information, and it casts an imputation on the Church Mission, which cannot be passed over in silence.
That many natives professing Christianity should have been concerned in this hostility to the Government, has been a subject of the deepest regret to the Missionaries; and their endeavours to allay this feeling were unceasing up to the time of active collision, when they gave place to the hostile measures which became necessary. An accurate examination of the list of natives engaged on either side, will show that the hostile natives were by no means made up exclusively of people of the Church Mission; neither were the friends of the Government mado up exclusively of Wesleyans and Roman Catholics. Among the rebels were natives belonging to the Church Mission, together with many Roman Catholics, and heathen. It is a striking fact, that nearly all the chiefs of rank of their party who were killed were heathen and professed Papists. Pumuku and Kahakaha were heathen, Ruku and his son, and the two sons of Kawiti, were papists.
Among the opponents to the Government wore the following Papists:--Ruku and his party;--Kawiti's sons and several of the tribe;--the Waikare party, mostly papists;--Atuawera and his party, from Hokianga;--Pona and his party, whose canoe was the only one from Whangaroa at the cutting down of the flagstaff on January 9, 1845;--from Ngunguru, about 30 papists;--Hakitara from Hokianga.
Of the Natives of the Church Mission who assisted the Government may be noticed:--Tamati Pukututu and the Natives of Ti Kawakawa, who broke up their old pa and constructed a new one at the landing place of the expedition against the Ruapekapeka, for the protection of the stores, &c., &c., and to cover the retreat;--Hori Kingi Wharerahi and the two sons of Rewa, with many others of their tribe, from Te Rawhiti;--Nopera Panakareao, and his party, from Kaitaia;--Paratene Kekeao and Wiremu Kingi Kaitara, and their party from Pukenui;--Eruera Patuone, elder brother of Waka Nene, who rendered very important aid, also received Christian instruction when living at Whakatiwai, where the teachers
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of the Church Missionary Society were alone residing. After a, time, he went up to Paihia, and after staying there some time, was baptized by Archdeacon H. Williams.
A large body of natives also was kept quiet, entirely through the influence of the Church Mission, most of whom would otherwise have joined Heke. Under this head may be mentioned a large proportion of the natives of Kaikohe, Heke's immediate relations;--Wiremu Hau, and party at Waimate;--the tribe of Ngatirehia, under Tareha;--the tribe Te Hikutu at Tepuna, and the natives of Matauri and Whangaroa, under Ururoa, alone forming a body of three hundred men, who had determined to join Heke, previous to the meeting at Paroa on January 27th, 1845.
Waka Nene first rose in favor of the Government, in consequence of a letter from Tamati Pukututu, written from Paihia immediately after the fall of Kororareka, calling upon him to come and see "Te matenga o te Wiremu," ("the death of Mr. Williams,") at the hands of Kawiti and Heke, which was received as a call to come to the protection of the Europeans.
The various attempts to fasten upon the Missionaries the charge of disloyalty, being capable of the fullest refutation, have been allowed to remain long unanswered, but in the mean time, another effort is being made, the result of which, could it be established, would be scarcely less prejudicial to their character. It is understood that the Governor has expressed an opinion recently, that the cause of the rebellion was the purchase of land by the Missionaries. Now, if not merely a course of treasonable practices, but the very root and origin of all the evils under which the country has been smarting, can be proved against the Missionaries, then surely they deserve that the most harsh measures should be taken against them. Much has been already said upon these land purchases, both in this country, and at home; and severe censures have been passed upon the Missionary body by many of their friends, while others have set up for them a defence grounded on the circumstances of the case. Upon this subject, as on others, there has unhappily been much misrepresentation.
The body of persons who come under the designation of "the Missionaries," is no inconsiderable part of the community. Their children and their childrens' children of the second generation are now upwards of one hundred and sixty persons, for whom an impartial judge will hardly consider that an excessive provision has been sought.
In the Report from the Select Committee of the House of Commons on New Zealand 1844, page 88, is found a Schedule of Claims to Land in New Zealand. From this it appears that the lands claimed on account of the Mission Families, with the exception of two cases, which rest altogether on different grounds, and cannot, therefore, be taken into the same calculation, amount to 53601 acres, a block of land nearly 12 miles by 7; the children of these families, which are 12 in number, are 120, giving an average of 446 acres to each child. The land awarded by the Land Commissioners to these families is 29,209 acres, which is a little less than 243 acres for each
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child. This land taken in a block will be rather more than 9 miles by 5, an amount which gives a view of the case widely different from many statements which have been in circulation. Was it then a ground for censure against the Missionaries that, at a time when there was not the most remote prospect of colonization to this country, they sought provision for their children in a savage land, rather than apply for permission, which would not have been refused, to return to their native country that they might give their children the advantages of civilized society? And if they are to be censured for making purchases to the extent of 446 acres for each child in a savage land, what shall be said of the Government of New South Wales, who appropriated in a free gift, and of the chaplains of that colony who received at their hands, for each of their children, at the average rate of 1600 acres, in a rising colony, with every prospect of increasing importance?
There yet remains to be noticed the allegation that "these purchases have been the cause of the late rebellion." We are at a loss to conceive from what quarter this information can have been conveyed to his Excellency, but certain it is that it comes from persons who, to say nothing of their intentions, betray excessive ignorance of the whole question.
This allegation may be set aside upon the ground of its improbability alone. It is well known that the habits of the natives lead them to cultivate wooded land, and that as soon as its strength is partially exhausted, they still go back upon the woodland. Now, the greater part of that purchased by the Missionaries is of this character. In the opinion of the natives it was worn out. "Do you think," said a chief from whom the farm of the Church Missionary Society at Waimate was purchased, "that we should have sold you land if we could have grown potatoes upon it?" It appears, too, from Documentary evidence in the Parliamentary Papers, that the Missionaries paid the natives for the land they purchased at the rate of rather more than 3s. 4d. per acre. The natives, therefore, had good reason to be satisfied in this respect; much more so than with the purchases made on account of Government. Explicit instructions were given to the agents of Government during the administration of Willoughby Shortland, Esq., not to pay the natives more than 3d. per acre. The purchases for the New Zealand Company were at a still lower rate. In the Report of the Select Committee, 1840, p.74, it is stated that Mr. Ward, then Secretary of the Company, was questioned by Mr. Hindley, as to the price per acre of the whole quantity of land purchased by the Company?" Mr. Ward's reply was, "It appears to be about an half-penny per acre." Surely it was never contemplated on the introduction of the sliding scale that there should be so sudden a descent as is here shewn--a proportion of eighty to one. How unfortunate that the records of Parliament should have made such disclosures.
At the time when the mania among the natives for selling land was at its height, from one to two years before the establishment of the Colony, the Missionaries had great difficulty, but they succeeded, in preventing the natives about the Bay of Islands from parting
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with their most valuable land, which still remains in their possession. This remark applies to the richest portions in the neighbourhood of Waimate, also to the district around Pukenui, to Mawhe, to Kaikohe, which is the land in the occupation of Heke, to Te Kawakawa, and particularly to a large district called Okaihau, extending from the beginning of the wood towards Hokianga down to the river Utakura. If the natives of these districts were questioned upon this matter, they would express their strong sense of obligation to the Missionaries for the care taken in this behalf.
If any natives are dissatisfied by reason of the alienation they have made of their lands, and on this account have been driven to take up arms against the Government, doubtless Heke would be one of the first to say so. The land purchased by James Busby, Esq., in the Bay of Islands, belonged to Heke's tribe; and at the Court of Commissioners for the investigation of the Land Claims, the Natives, and particularly Heke, were very indignant at the questions put to them. Heke said, "I told you before that there was no fraud in it, the land is Mr. Busby's, we received the price, and were satisfied with it." And this, too, when they knew that Mr. Busby had been selling very small portions of the land for a larger sum than he had given for the whole.
By the time the Court of the Commissioners was opened, the natives had had time to consider the steps they had taken. But Mr. Shortland in a letter to Lord Stanley, (published in the Papers laid before Parliament on the 7th March 1845,) shewing that the disturbances at the South had originated in the interference of the Company or their settlers with lands never sold by the rightful owners, says, that "in the Northern District out of the seven hundred and fifty claims of the old settlers, which had been adjudicated by the Commissioners, not one single instance of any objection being offered by the natives to the taking possession of the lands awarded to the claimants had arisen." A trait of national honesty to which it would be difficult to find a parallel.
The joint testimony of Colonel Godfrey and of Major Richmond, in a letter to the Colonial Secretary, confirms the same statement. See Appendix to Report from the Select Committee 1844, p. 334:--
"Sir,--In reply to the Memorandum of His Excellency the Officer Administering the Government, addressed to us this day, demanding,
If the conduct of the natives, in the investigation of land claims, has caused a great alienation of feeling between the parties, and a disposition in some cases has been manifested to get returned to them, lands which they formerly sold.
We have the honor to report, that we have now examined more than half the claims, yet have never remarked such a consequence in any of our investigations.
(Signed) EDWARD L. GODFREY, M. RICHMOND, Commissioners.
To the Hon. the Colonial Secretary, &c."
The total absence of any declaration of the kind by the natives is wholly at variance with the assertion that the land purchased by
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the Missionaries was the cause of the war. There is a remarkable degree of consistency in the native character with respect to the narrative he will give of the same event at different periods of time. But here a reason is given, from some unknown source, as the root of the native grievance, which has not only never been named by the natives during a war of two years continuance, but which is directly opposed to the statements made both by the rebels and the friendly-tribes. Then, too, the fact that the hostile natives treated with marked respect all mission property, so much so as to lead the military to fancy that there must be some marvellously good understanding between, the Missionaries and the rebels.--How does this agree with the assertion that the natives rose up in rebellion on account of injuries done them by the Missionaries? These lands were purchased by the Missionaries from 10 to 12 years ago. How was it that the natives never turned upon them to seize their cattle and to plunder their houses, but now after so many years have passed, the said Missionaries being regarded by them as the authors of all their trouble, they seize the horses and pillage the property of the unconscious settler, and cut down the flagstaff of Her Majesty. The science of probabilities, which is much acted upon in conducting military operations, appears to be but imperfectly understood. A view is here presented which is entirely new, and that which is improbable is to be regarded as the most probable result.--No, the natives refrained from plundering the Missionaries because--although they were opposing the Government with which they saw the Missionaries were in league, although they had resolved to disregard all expostulation to desist from their dangerous course--there was a long cherished feeling of regard towards the Missionaries for kindnesses received during a period of more than twenty years.
The answer, however, to this most serious charge does not rest upon its improbability alone. There is evidence, which is explicit, both verbal and documentary.
On July 8, 1844, when Heke cut down the flagstaff for the first time, he stated at Paihia to the Bishop of New Zealand, that the reason he had cut down the flagstaff was, that certain parties in the Bay of Islands had told him that the flag hoisted at Kororareka prevented the trading vessels from frequenting the Bay of Islands, and that it was the sign that the New-Zealanders were made slaves to the Queen. At a subsequent date, Heke reprobated the conduct of Ruku and Kawiti, because they plundered the settlers of their horses and other property. "Let us fight," said he, "with the flagstaff alone." And his conduct was always consistent with his proposal. He cut down the flagstaff, and every subsequent erection of it was the signal for successive attacks. On the day of the contest at Kororareka, Heke made his assault upon that alone, and after he had gained his object, he did not attempt to molest the white inhabitants, nor even to fight with the military who were in the town.
The opinion of the late Governor may be received as valid upon this subject. It is a point which it was his interest to know, and which he had the means of ascertaining. The account he gives is as follows (p. 10, Remarks on New Zealand):--
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"When Heke was agitating the Northern natives by his arguments against the Government, he took great pains to shew them that the British flag being hoisted on any territory, was a sign that the land belonged to the Sovereign of Great Britain, and that the people of that land were become slaves, and that to preserve the freedom of the New-Zealanders, the British Flag must not be admitted on their territory."
He further states, p. 11:--"The natives were not only treated with less caution, and less kindness than previously, but they were threatened, even on trifling occasions, with the punishments of English law, and were told by the ill-disposed or unreflecting white men, that their country was taken from them, and that they were now Queen Victoria's slaves, and that they could not even sell their own property--their land--as they pleased. These taunts were felt deeply."
Lastly, this question is determined by two letters sent by Heke to the late Governor. We give his own words for the benefit of those who understand Maori. In one which was dated May 21st, 1845. Heke says:--
"Na nga Pakeha enei tawai ki a matou, na nga Pakeha o Hokianga, o Wangaroa, o Kororareka, o te Wahapu, o Otuihu; na ratou i wakarite, ka riro to koutou wenua i a Kawana, ko muri iho ka wakamatea koutou. Titiro ki Poihakena, ki Haina, ki nga motu katoa, ko te ritenga ia mo tenei wenua; na o Ingarani ki mua, muri iho na te Wiwi, muri iho na te Marikena: heoi ano ka wakaae ahau ki enei korero, e wha tau i mahi penei ai, no te rima o nga tau, ka wakaaetia taua korerotanga maha a te pakeha ki a matou. Na, ka tahi matou ka pa atu ki taua rakau, ka poutou kia hinga, muri iho ka wakaarahia ano, ka tahi matou ka mea he pono ina hoki ka totohe, ka mea matou kia mate matou ki runga ki to matou wenua."
The second letter was dated July 15, 1845. In this Heke writes:
"E mara, e Kawana, he rongo pai tenei naku ki a koe kia waka, wakia aku hara o koe. Nau i he mai te ritenga naku ranei? E mea ana ahau nau ano, na te pakeha; e kuare ana ahau, ka mea mai nga pakeha ki au, 'E Hoani Heke, ka riro tou wenua i a Kawana.' Ka mea atu ahau, 'he aha te mea e riro ai,' ka ki mai nga pakeha, 'na te kara e tu nei i Maiki,' ka mea atu ahau, 'me pehea ra?' ka ki mai, 'poutoa te kara.' Ka pa ahau ka poutoa te kara ka hinga ki raro te rakau, ka ki atu ahau, 'he aha te ritenga i roto i te kara?' Ka ki mai nga pakeha ki ahau, 'ko te mana o te Kuini kei runga i te kara, e toru iwi i roto.' Ka mea ahau, 'na te Atua ano tenei wenua i hanga mo matou me a matou tamariki katoa.'"
The translation of the first letter is as follows:--
"We are taunted with this language by the white people, by the white people of Hokianga, of Wangaroa, of Kororareka, of Te Wahapu, of Otuihu; they made the statement 'your land will be taken by the Governor, and after that you will be killed. Look at Port Jackson, at China, and at all the islands, after that manner; will this island be treated; the flag takes possession of the land.' The English first, after that the French, and then the
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Americans (made this statement) then I assented to those statements. They did this for four years. On the fifth year we assented to those often repeated statements of the white people made to us. Then first we touched the flagstaff, it was chopped that it might fall. After that it was put up again. We then said, it is all true for they urge the point, and we said we would "die upon our land."
Translation of the second letter:--
"Mr. Governor, this is my good message to you, let my faults be examined by you. Was the commencement made by you or by me? I think it was by you, by the white man. I was in ignorance; the white people said to me, 'John Heke, your land is taken by the Governor.' I replied, 'by what means is it taken?' The white people answered, 'by the flagstaff which stands at Maiki.' I said, 'what is to be done?' They replied, 'cut down the flagstaff.' I touched the flagstaff, it was chopped down, the tree fell. I said, 'what meaning is there in the flagstaff?' The white people told me, 'the power of the Queen is in the flag, there are three nations in it.' I said, 'God made this land for us, and for all our children.'"
Here, then, is Heke's own account of the matter, confirmed by the late Governor. Her Majesty's representative, and the rebel chief, standing at the head respectively of the powers which were long opposed, but agreeing in this single question which is at issue. The evidence which has been now brought forward, is not of a suspicious character, but it is of such a nature, that no room is left to wish it were more complete. It has been reported, indeed, that this assertion respecting the cause of the war, rests upon the authority of more than forty natives. It may be so. There will be found in every community certain persons ready to make any statement which they believe will be well received by those who are above them. The more prominent the part sustained by any individual, whether in a good cause or a bad one, so much the stronger will be the force of the tide against him when it once turns. There is a remarkable instance of this mentioned by Mr Babington Macaulay in his account of the administration of Warren Hastings: "An Indian Government has only to let it be understood that it wishes a particular man to be ruined, and in twenty-four hours it will be furnished with grave charges supported by depositions so full and circumstantial, that every person unaccustomed to Asiatic mendacity, would regard them as decisive." But let these forty witnesses be brought forward, that their assertions may be confronted with the testimony of all that is respectable in the community, whether English or native. The Missionaries will not shrink from the investigation. They need not ask to have a charitable construction put upon well intentioned acts, which subsequently have appeared to be carried out without discretion, but they may venture to submit both their actions and the intentions from which they sprang, to the severest scrutiny, supported by the honest confidence of a conscience void of offence toward God and toward men.
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The following extract of a letter recently received from the Rev. John Hobbs, and the Rev. John Warren, is added, as throwing light upon the closing subject of these papers:--
"Hokianga, August 31, 1847,
We think it possible that the question may still arise in the minds of some, "What could have been the cause of the extensive circulation of reports so groundless." We believe our knowledge of the native language, and our constant intercourse with the several tribes at the commencement of the war, puts us in possession of facts which solve this problem.
When Heke commenced his war with the flagstaff, as he termed his opposition to the Government, he left no means untried which were calculated to enlist the sympathies, and gain the assistance of his countrymen. He was aware that if he could make his rebellious proceedings appear consistent with religion, and give them the sanction of the Archdeacon's approbation, he would thereby greatly increase the number of his adherents; the Archdeacon's well known influence for peace being one of the greatest obstacles in his way. While, therefore, he pandered to the prejudices of the heathen party, and flattered the vanity of Te Atuawera and his adherents, by entertaining their superstitions, he at the same time influenced many professing Christian natives, by taking the most unwarrantable liberties with the Archdeacon's name, asserting, among other things equally extravagant, that that gentleman approved of his cutting down the flagstaff, affirming constantly, however, that he fought, "Not against man, but against he rakau, i.e., the wood of the flagstaff, which had no blood." And such was the perseverence with which he went about lecturing on the subject, that he was extensively successful in overcoming the religious scruples of the Christian chiefs, and inducing them to join him. To maintain his interest, he continued during the war to reiterate these statements to his adherents, by whom they were conveyed to Walker's natives, and through them to the British camp.
We are, &c.,
(Signed) JOHN HOBBS,