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From JANE CROCKER to her Father, MR. SAMUEL CROCKER, Revelstoke.
Taranaki, Feb. 7, 1842.
I send this by Captain King to Sydney: he is gone there to buy cattle and bring here. Dear father, I hope you are all well, as we are, I thank God for it. I have got three lodgers, with one from Cawsand--one of the name of Marks, and the other Forks. I have got 15s. a week; William's pay is 12s. a week; David's pay is 30s. a week; James's, 30s. a week. I can put by until I want to buy a garment, but I have not laid out more than one or two and twenty shillings in clothing. I am to send home to you and my poor little boy, and tell you we have bought a section of land in the town. John has bought a piece of land of Mr. Weekes, the doctor. The country section we have got together. We shall have to have it down to the Waitera, and if we have the harbour there, we shall go there to live; but if it is here, we shall remain where we be. We have paid Captain King for the town section £25 six weeks ago.
Please to give my love to dear uncle and aunt Bowden, and tell them that I am very glad that we are here. Mary Ann is still living in her place with the doctor. If her father was to see her he would not know her. I should say that the wages and gifts what she gets by sewing is not less than £40 a year. She is very clean and tidy, and very fit to be
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seen. Dear father, I hope by the arrival of this letter that you will be quite ready to come out, and my dear boy with you. I can assure you, dear father, when I think of you two I cry for joy, hoping I shall see your dear dear faces again very soon, and may the blessed Lord give you as good time and pleasant voyage as we and others have had. I rather think that Sam will go to Sydney with Captain King to take care of the cattle, as he works for Mr. Cutfield. Dear father, there is fifty acres in country sections. Charles wishes for grandfather to come. I sent five letters by the Amelia Thompson. The cooper and Jane I hope will come with you; it will be well for them and their family if they will but come. As the ship is expected in every hour, I fear I shall not have time to write another letter. If I have time I shall send him one. Send me a letter the first opportunity. So no more at present from your affectionate child,
To MR. SAMUEL CROCKER, Revelstoke, from his Daughter-in-law.
New Plymouth, Feb. 10th, 1842.
We have sent these letters home by Captain Liardet, the Governor of New Plymouth. Captain Liardet and mate, and one of the Cawsand men, were clearing out one of the great guns, and the gun went off, and the sand and powder flew up in their faces and eyes. Captain Liardet has lost one eye, and is very likely to lose the other; he is going home to England; every one is sorry for him, he is such a good man. I should be very glad to hear that Captain Kingcombe had taken his place to come here to New Zealand. The governor will give you the true account of the place. As to saying that
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there is no harbour here for ships to lie in a storm, they can make a very fine harbour, but they must send home to England first about it. There is a fine harbour down to the Waitera, fourteen miles from here. They have grown fine wheat and barley here, the finest that you ever saw, very fine; and new potatoes and turnips on Christmas day for dinner. Dear father, when we get together Jane is sure to say. "now John, if poor father was but here, and Samuel, how happy we should be;" and John's answer is, "I wish he was, my dear, he would be quite happy here, to see our gardens and land, and to walk over them." Henry and Charles go to school. Henry is just learning to write, the schoolmaster is just newly set up; it is 6d. a week for Charles, and 9d. a week for Henry; he has been at writing some weeks. Dear father, please to bring me and Jane out a barrel of pilchards each; please to buy a gardening hook too. There are plenty of mackerel here, but no nets to catch them, and there are pilchards; please to bring one good pilchard net. I must beg of you once more to bring dear Samuel with you. I have sent him a letter; when I wrote yours I did not think I should have time to write him one, as there was a ship in sight, but it was not coming here. It is a great thoroughfare here for ships, they are often in sight. Dear father, on Christmas day six of us went up to the Moturoa Chapel, to hear Mr. Creed, and the chapel was quite full of poor missionaries. When we came home we had cold fig pudding, and cold leg of pork, dressed the day before; ten of us sat down to dinner. In the afternoon we went to see the land, and in the evening we went to chapel. The sand has been tried, and it is more than half iron: and in the interior about a mile from ours there is stone with lead in it all over the place. I wish it had been in ours to have had a mine. It is a valuable country.
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From. S. and W. CURTIS, to their relatives at Bodmin, Cornwall.
New Plymouth, February 10th, 1842.
DEAR FATHER, BROTHER, AND SISTERS,
I write you these few lines hoping it will find you all well. I have been expecting to hear from you before now, as there have been three ships come here from England since I left. I suppose it is cold enough now at home; here it is harvest. This is the finest wheat and barley country that ever was seen, and that you would say if you were to see it. We have a small harvest, as we had no time, when we came, to sow much, and no cattle to plough the ground. We have got plenty of potatoes, fine crops, and fine cabbages,--all vegetables grow well here. I wish you were all here;--this is a fine place for tailors and sawyers. I can get more money here than you can get at home. I have everything as good as at home--we bought a featherbed quite new for £6 the other day. I am about to buy a town section for £40. I am certain I should never have saved that sum at home, -- many hundreds have gone through my hands since I have been here. I have bought great quantities of pigs, so you must expect I am doing something and saving money. As yet I we have got no bullocks or sheep to kill, but we shall have plenty soon. It is a fine country, the only thing we want is a harbour. The trees are always green and very large, from 80 to 100 feet in height without a branch. I have seen trees from six to eight feet through and through. The red pine is splendid timber for furniture, it is like mahogany. I have three houses building, some stone, some cob. If we had only a harbour this would be the finest place in the world. Flour is 5d. per pound, beef 7d., pork, fresh and salt, 7d. and 7 1/4d. per pound; potatoes from the English 1d. per pound, from the natives 3d. per pound; tea 6s., sugar 10d. men's
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shoes £1. 4s. per pair; fustian trowsers 9s., well made and lined; jackets £1. 4d.; spirits, as in England; beer and porter 1s. 6d. per pint. I have not kept an account of the number of pigs I have killed since I have been here--many hundreds, I should guess. Love to all friends, from your affectionate children,
SAMUEL AND F. CURTIS.
From JAMES THOMAS SHAW, formerly Shipwright in the Dockyard at Devonport, to a Friend in Plymouth.
New Plymouth, February 16, 1842.
MY DEAR BROTHER,
If I may be allowed to use that relative name, we arrived safe to this place and were landed 20th September 1841, after a very prolonged voyage. This place in which we are located is a fine level country, abundantly watered; but I am sorry to say we have no harbour, from which cause we labour under many disadvantages. On my landing I was surprised to find James married. I am at present living with him, but I hope in a few days to go into a house of my own. I did not put up the wood house I brought with me, not knowing where my town land would be, and owing to my very late choice, I find it very inconvenient to live there, as it fell to be in the very skirts of the town. I thought it best to buy a piece of ground that was near the centre of the town. I have purchased a piece, in a very eligible spot, about 82 feet by 42. Our houses are one story high at present, built either of cob or wood, having no building stones convenient. The houses in which we now live are built by the natives, with holes struck in the ground, with rods at right angles about ten inches apart, lined with rapo, a kind of bulrush, in a vertical direction, thatched with long grass. With respect to the natives, they
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are well-grown, active people, very quiet, nothing savage about them, are very desirous for the whites to be among them, very sober and honest, and know how to make good bargains. The climate is very pleasant; it is now our hottest month, not much warmer than at home, but rather colder at night, with heavy dews; we can suffer rather more bed clothes than in England. My town section I have made a garden of, as it was situated so far off. It was covered with copse wood and timber, which is mostly cleared. I have in about thirteen land-yards of potatoes, and a good lot of cabbages. We have a good deal of up-hill work, from six in the morning till eight to nine in the evening. I work for the Company from seven to five in the evening. Wages by the day, 7s. 6d. mechanics; labourers, 4s. to 5s. per day; when working for private individuals, 6s. per day. Provisions: fresh pork, 6d. to 7d. per lb; salt ditto, 6d.; flour, 6d.; loaf sugar, 10d.; split pease, 2s. per gallon; potatoes, 1d. per lb. They have been dearer; we shall have them cheaper soon. I must draw to a close, as my paper is near done. I am still an advocate for emigration, and do not regret the undertaking, and would advise those that cannot make a living in England to emigrate. The agriculturist earning 8s. or 8s. 6d. per week at home, out here would save more than he could earn at home. I am persuaded that all classes of honest and industrious persons will do well. Yours, &c.
JAMES THOMAS SHAW.
From A. and E. HOSKIN, to their Parents.
Neva Plymouth, February 19th, 1842.
I have now taken the opportunity of sending to you as I did not when the other people sent theirs; you will see the reason when you read the letter. Dear friends, I hope you received the letters I sent
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to you by the vessel that we met on our voyage out. (Here follows a long description of occurrences on the voyage.) My brother Peter was on the beach waiting for me, at New Plymouth. Dear friends, I am happy to say, that the people behaved very kind to all the passengers that came out in our ship; for they that came out in the first ship had some houses up to receive us. They had twenty yards of ground given them to build on for two years, which Peter's was not finished. Eliza went into Richard Rowis's house, and Josias went in Captain King's tent, he told Eliza to go there too, but there was no room for both families and his things too; so now, thank God, we are all living in Peter's house, and we give him three shillings per week; Josias gives him more, as he has a shop to work in, so we are all three brothers together. Josias is doing quite well, he keeps a man to work for him; his price for half boots is £1. 4s. per pair, shoes 18s. per pair, and women's shoes 11s. per pair. Trades-people get 8s. per day, labourers from 5s. to 7s. per day. There is no want for work here, and when the work is done you have the money for it. Dear friends, I hope you will not grieve about our coming away, for I wish you were all here. If brother John was here, he might do well, or if Richard was here he would do well. I hope to see them all. My sisters might do well in service, for wages are very high, from £12 to £18 per year; but, if any one comes here, he must be sure and keep himself steady, for a drinking man is not looked upon by any one in this place. We are now expecting a cargo of sheep and bullocks from Sydney, what Captain King is gone after. We have not had any mutton or beef as yet, but plenty of pork. I kill from three to four pigs a week. I have now at present eighteen under hands for the inhabitants. Pork is 7 1/2 d. per pound. We can get them from the natives for
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blankets, or for "money gold" as they call it, which we call sovereigns; the last lot we bought was from a ship that brought pigs for sale; we bought as many as came to £77. 10s. which, thank God, we have had a good sale for. Dear friends, I am happy to say that any one can do well, if they keep themselves sober. As for myself, I work very hard; I am taking down timber and sawing it for Captain King's house; I make my wages £3 per week in sawing. The timber is very large here--it is from five feet to seven feet through, which we have a good lot of; it is inland. Eliza works very hard too. She is at Captain King's two or three days a week, and one day at another gentleman's house, for which she gets 2s. 6d. a day and her meat. My two boys go to school, and they are quite well. Dear mother, you would be glad to see them and to hear them talk the Mowry (Maori) language. I hope, in a short time, you will hear from me again, and then I will let you know all the particulars. Sawyers get 14s. to £1 per hundred. I am now talking of having a spot of land to put a house on; I intend putting up a wooden one, as we have the skids of the timber that we saw. The inhabitants are not enough to employ a cooper at present, so I work at that mornings and evenings. When our ship was finished discharging, the schooner Regina, of Plymouth, came in sight; she had all our heavy things with her. I was ordered to go on board of her by Captain King, and see all the things taken out safe, &c. Dear friend, I hope you will give my love to uncle and aunt, &c.: tell them I will send them a letter soon. This is now our harvest time--some wheat and barley are cut. Give my love to all friends, and tell them I should be glad to see them all here. But if they intend coming, I hope they will keep themselves steady. Dear friends, I can assure you this is a beautiful country, and the natives are
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very kind to the white people. Some of them are missionaries: we have one here, and they attend his house. We have preaching twice on Sundays. I must conclude; but I hope I shall hear from you again soon. If you send any parcel, please to direct it to me as you did the last. From your dutiful son and daughter,
A. AND E HOSKIN.
From JANE CROCKER, to her father, MR. SAMUEL CROCKER, Revelstoke.
New Plymouth, February 26th, 1842.
The Timandra was but four months; they put into the Cape, and that detained them a fortnight. They had no wind to bring them. We have had fine weather here to discharge her. No doubt that the Captain will give the place a good name. Dear father, I hope this will bring you and Samuel here, and many besides, particularly you, my dear father, and the poor boy. There is a man been to Mokou after pigs, and on his journey he has found lime rock and coals. It appears that New Zealand produces everything; the sand is three parts iron and steel. I can assure you, my dear father, I have sent home nothing but the truth. I would advise you, Jane, and William, to come here, for the sake of your dear little family. When we found there was none in the mail, we thought there was no letter for us; the next day our sorrow was turned into joy. We have let one room to a man and his wife, for 5s. a week, and we shall get another house, if it please God, against the other ship arrives here; they make as much as 12s. a week of their houses. So I must conclude, as the ship is going to sea to-day.
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From F. A. CARRINGTON, ESQ., to his brother, MAJOR CARRINGTON.
New Plymouth, February 27th, 1842.
I understand there are a great many reports about the wind at this place--believe this 'tis false. I have not, nor do I intend yet to try and let the truth be known. You know what my knowledge of the British Isles is--we have not there (that I have seen) a piece of country to compare with this. The Waitera river will take in vessels drawing from nine to ten feet of water at high tide, (thirteen feet rise). This is not known. Coal which I have sent home to the Company has been picked up on the banks of this river. Twenty-five miles further up the coast north-east is plenty of coal and lime-stone, discovered by a man of the name of Seccombe, a lime-burner.
F. A. CARRINGTON.
From Mr. JOHN PERRY to the Directors of the New Zealand Company.
New Plymouth, 27th February, 1842.
I undertake an arduous task in attempting to make known to you the many valuable minerals which have been discovered in these vast tracts of rich land, which will be gratifying to the eye of the mineralist, and to the speculating tradesman. In doing so, I fear I shall fail in the execution, for want of expressions strong enough to paint to you its valuable qualities or its useful colours. First, is the iron ore; it is lying on the beach, and can be procured at a small expense, and pure in its nature, which I attempted to smelt many a time before I communicated to any of the Company's Officers. When I explained the same to the Surveyor General,
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he assisted me in carrying it into execution, which we have not properly done. I have no doubt the next smelting will be perfection, and a sample of the same with the ore I hope you will receive, and likewise samples of different leads or veins that I have discovered near New Plymouth, which can be worked easily and with very little expense, as new Plymouth is bounded with water power. I have been last week and discovered three beds of coal; they are about four feet in thickness, and sixteen feet apart, and about five miles from New Plymouth adjoining the sea-shore, and easy to be exported. I have also found a bank of whiting which only requires a little cleaning to make it pure.
Gentlemen, I cannot express to you the extent of my gratitude for having conveyed me from the British shores to rest with my family in New Zealand. In England I could not maintain my family as a tradesman ought, but here we can make every improvement that is necessary. But you must yourselves judge that there is in this place disaffected persons, as well as in every other corner of the world; there are many such who come to this place as land jobbers and storekeepers; but farmers with capital to cultivate this rich soil, which is capable of producing every species of grain for human use, in the greatest abundance and of the finest quality, are what is wanted at New Plymouth.
I am, &c,
From JOHN and ANN FRENCH, working emigrants, to their parents, near Ashburton, in Devonshire.
Taranaki, 28th February, 1842.
Your affectionate son to his dear father and mother, brothers, and sisters, and all inquiring friends. I should like to see you all again once
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more; I have no desire to come home; I am much better off here than I should be in England; I consider I am worth at least £40 ; a house 20 feet by 12, and a chimney almost finished, I built it with cob; the house is built with gable ends; I am completing one end with cob, with the chimney in it, which will be my own till the two years' end when we landed, and the garden with it, and a piece of ground close by, 27 yards, which I have planted with potatoes, and cabbages, pumpkins, and some melons, and one ounce of onion seed, which grows very well. I sowed a quantity of different sorts of seeds, but they did not all grow; the cabbage and turnips answer very well here. I consider my house and garden are worth from £30 to £40, besides a great many other things. I have bought a good four-post bedstead, cost 30s. for making it, and found all the timber myself. It is made of red pine, beautiful wood, and a door of the same, and a table of the same wood 6 feet by 2 1/2 feet, and 1 1/2 inch thick. I went sawing for three months, and this was the way I got my wood, but I had a bad partner, I lost many pounds by it; he stopped and I have not been sawing since; since that I have been most of my time working for the Company. I have £10 in money; I hope I shall soon have £10 more. I have now got cabbage, turnips, and potatoes fit to take up. I gave 1 1/2d. a pound for the seed potatoes, I tilled as many as will supply ourselves, so that we shall not want to buy so much flour as we have done. I would not go back to England again if I could have a free passage back again, for I know I could not do so well in England as I can here, nor no labouring man besides; but I can tell you a drunken man is not much good here; a good steady man is sure to do well here. The Company has been giving 30s. a week, but the last month we have had £1 a week, with 10 lbs. of meat, 10 lbs. of flour, a
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quarter pound of tea, a pound and half of sugar. They that work for private individuals have 6s. a day. There is not much work going on yet. I worked for Captain Cook on his town land for a little while. If you send anything out here, pack it in a brandy keg, or something that is water-tight. I should like to see some of you here. I expect my brother William to come out, Thomas Pearse, or Benjamin Hayman and Mary. Don't remain in Old England to starve, when you could do better here; such ones that I have mentioned that can work well, are sure to do well. I wish that my father and mother would come out, there were older people than they came out in the last ship. I am certain that you can do better here than you can at home. Servant maids are not much wanted yet, although there are some living out that have got 7s. a week. There are no servant men, but there will be when the land is given out and people on it. You need not be afraid of the sea, for you are as safe there as on land; but there are many difficulties to put up with --but this is but for a little time. I should like to see some of you out. If you should come, be sure and bring out as much as you can; a plenty of bedding. Blankets are £2 a pair. Bring your feather bed tie with you and all your working utensils and labouring tools; bring out boots instead of shoes, for you will find them much the best in the woods. Carry a tin on board ship for baking; bring out your pot crooks with you--there are the same things wanted here as at home. So no more at present from your affectionate son and daughter,
JOHN and ANN FRENCH.
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From Mr. WILLIAM BAYLY, Yeoman, late of Clawton, in Devonshire, to his Parents.
Taranaki, Feb. 29th, 1842.
Through all the mercies of God, I thank Him, through Christ, that I now have an opportunity of sending you a few lines of our affairs and health; we are all in tolerable health at present; Mr. and Mrs. Veale and family connexions are all well.
Now, what I send you is with my own judgment; if I write anything incorrect I shall err in judgment. When first we arrived in Cook's Straits, we saw the Cape Farewell on the right and Mount Egmont on the left; we then sailed for Cloudy bay, but its right name is Port Underwood; there we were ordered to receive our instructions to the New Plymouth settlement; we there sailed, but no information. Then we sailed to Port Nicholson, or otherwise Wellington; there Captain King saw Colonel Wakefield, and received information to our distant land; we were there two weeks, and I was on shore much of the time. I travelled for days and found nothing but mountains for miles, which could not be cultivated whatsoever, by no means. There were at a distance two farms; Francis Molesworth and another gentleman had many acres of wheat tilled and looking well; but I thought we were ruined, to hear so many complaints that of this island the great parts were mountains, which could not be cultivated by no means. Then we weighed anchor and sailed again for Port Underwood, to ballast our ship, for we were light, not fit to stand a sea in the Straits; there we were a fortnight, and I travelled for days, mountains a great part, some perpendicular, which no man ever went over; it is a beautiful harbour as in the known, world. A few Europeans and a great many natives; Europeans keep on the whaling station,
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and every one a grog shop; they are drunkards, the worst of drunkards, in this place; and so in Port Nicholson they are, the great part, the worst that ever a sober man saw. One day, William Bassett and I went down to the bottom of the harbour, in a boat, about six miles, to a Wesleyan missionary; his name is Ironside; there we dined with him, and had much conversation. I said, "Do you know anything about Taranaki, New Plymouth settlement?" "Yes, well; I have travelled over and over it, and found it the garden of New Zealand." And now I have seen it, and upwards of six months' experience, and found it, by the mouth of another Wesleyan missionary--his name is Creed--all to be true. Here are thousands and tens of thousands of acres as level as can he found in England; I would say, when the land is cleared, all that I have seen, that the plough shall go over nineteen acres out of twenty. The soil is very deep in high land as well as low. I believe for climate and soil not better to be found in the known world. I know a man that has tilled the third crop of potatoes in the same piece of ground, and I am expecting a crop within twelve months. In front of my house there are many acres of potatoes, Indian corn, pumpkins, melons, cucumbers, peas, beans, cabbages, greens, turnips, radishes, and many things else; and you may till this in five hundred acres together, as well as here, and answer well. There is fern, bush, and timber land to clear; fern and bush extend about two miles back from the sea shore; then the timber. This fern and bush supposed anciently to be timber land, destroyed by the natives and tilled. This fern and bush land, first you must cut it all down and dry it well, then set fire to it, and it will burn the very surface of the earth; you may pull up a great part of the moats with a trifle of mattock labour. Bush and fern land will pay the first crop for clear-
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ing, and a good crop will pay double; for the first crop must be potatoes; for many years past they averaged in Sydney £6 a ton, and they are eight or ten this present, and have been more. Tons have been brought by vessels and sold at 1 1/2d. per lb. in this place. Natives have plenty, and they know how to sell as well as we know how to buy. Francis Molesworth, Esq., in Port Nicholson, has cleared many acres last year of timber land, tilled it to potatoes, sent them to Sydney, which has paid him fifteen pounds per acre more than all seed and labour of cleaning the land; but he had an excellent crop--twelve tons in an acre; since he has tilled it to wheat, and how it has harvested I have not heard. I have now in the ear, in my house, wheat, barley, and oats, as fine a sample as ever I wish to see, grown in this place; but the second crop is much finer than the first; and our Rev. Mr. Creed says, since his experience, the more tilled the better the crop.
Thomas and I have cleared one town section each, and tilled to many sorts; beans, peas, cabbage, greens, pumpkins, melons, radishes, turnips, do well; French beans and carrots do not answer.
I have built two houses with wood on my town section, sixteen feet by sixteen and a half, with a wood floor under, and a sley on the back, seven feet by sixteen and a half, with a cob chimney; the wood is of one tree, it is of red pine. William Basset, and Roberts, the sawyer, from Bude, sawed the greater part of it, 5,000 feet, and T. Oxenham, and T. Neale, 2,000, which makes 7,000 feet, which cost £1 per hundred. Roberts I paid £25; Oxenham £19 12s.; and William Basset's £25 I had not to pay.
Now I state to you about content and discontent of men's minds. Our town here is fixed and cannot be altered, and here is no harbour for any ships to
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lay in safety. Now, here are agents for a company of town land purchasers, from Yorkshire, in England; these company of gentlemen have bought in all these South Sea settlements quantities of town land, and sold to an immense profit; those agents are much displeased with this place; they have ten per cent, for letting and selling. Here is no harbour, and they have no view for doing anything for themselves; at present they can let and sell, but not for expectations nor advantage. Next come suburban land purchasers; they are pleased because here is no harbour. The suburban land is a belt of land all round the town; sold in England much more per section than country land. Next comes country land purchasers. About four months ago our noble Governor, and Principal Agent for the Company, landed here, and a few days after some one told him that ten miles down there is a large river that a small vessel might go up a long way. He went in a boat and surveyed it, and found that a large schooner might go up in it a long distance, thirteen to sixteen feet of high water-mark in the mouth of the river; this land was not purchased in England. Our Governor went direct to Governor Hobson, and he granted him sixteen miles along the sea shore, and eight back in the interior; that is the extent of all our settlement at present. Now I, and all us early-choice country land purchasers, poor unworthy creatures, seem to be pretty well pleased. Samuel Fishley has the seven section for choice. Thomas has the twenty-two, twenty-three, twenty-four, and I have the twenty-eight, twenty-nine, thirty; which he intended to choose by this large river Waitera; where, at a future day, he expects to export and import handy by our farms; for there is beautiful land, and all say that we early-choice country land purchasers have been worth double to any. Now we have been intruded upon for want of an harbour; two
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small crafts have traded here, and they have charged so much for freight of goods from our neighbouring settlements, Port Nicholson, and others, as they do from England. Here they are all against us; we have land level and rich; they have good harbours and mountains which cannot be cultivated. We shall increase, but they must decrease. I am living on my own town section; James has bought one of my town and country sections, and living on it; Rundle built his house. Thomas is living in my house at present. The Carrington road leads on before my door into the interior. Across my section runs a large rivulet of water, a never-failing stream, out of my right, across the road into the Ewaoki river, eighteen to twenty-two feet fall of water in one quarter of an acre. A mill might be erected without any interruption; here is iron ore in abundance has been proved, and this water is most convenient for cleaning of that. A sawing machine, and many other machinery, might be erected.
Now, I think, about six or eight weeks we shall have our land ready for choice; the work has all been done by the day, and the wages have been 5s. per day. Now, for some weeks, the best men have had one pound a week in cash, 101b. of beef, 101b. of flour, 1/4 lb. of tea, and 1 1/2 lb. of sugar. Second class of men 14s. a week; rations as before mentioned.
Dear Mother,--This I hope will find you all in good health, as it leaves me at present. My family, Thomas and James are all well; we have buried our dear little baby; nine weeks old when he died. We had a long voyage; our family was not on land, after we went on board at Plymouth, until landed here at New Plymouth, six months and three days on board. The ship Timandra, that left Old Plymouth, arrived here last Wednesday, with all emigrants landed safe. It is a trial for a family that has been reared well, to be closed up, as we were, in the
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voyage; but thanks be to Him that cared for us over the wide and boundless ocean; and now we may all pray to him that bought us with a price on the cross, under our own vine and fig-tree, and no one dare lawfully to make us afraid. Here we have a view of doing something for a family. The best trades are shoemakers, carpenters, and joiners; but farmers will be the best. I believe, for the land is good. I am glad I am here; I would choose hundreds of farms here that might break a large breach with less labour than that I last broke upon Grensworthy farm. Carpenters' wages 8s. per day; shoemakers'--men's high shoes, £1. 5s. per pair; labourers, 5s. to 7s. a day. Not much employment for blacksmiths at present. Masons, 7s. to 9s. per perch; servant girls, £20. a year. Betsy Kerslake has bargained for £20. a year. Tell them all that have a mind to come here, if they have money they can do well; but lazy men and drunkards have no business here. Teetotalers are the men for this place, and they are the most looked upon. I am a staunch teetotaler, thank God for it; I have never used a drop since I left England. Drunkards are utterly disdained in this place; it is dreadful. Tell Samuel Northy that I shall write to him in a few weeks. Tell Mr. John Veale, Ashwater, Mr. Richard and Shadrach Beale, and Mr. Fary, Muckworthy, that we are all well; so no more at present from your affectionate son,
From F. A. CARRINGTON, ESQ., the Company's Surveyor General at New Plymouth,
1st March, 1842.
"This country is rich beyond my most sanguine expectations. I send home some coal, cobalt, iron, sand and ore, all as found. The coal picked up on a bank of the Waitera, 2 1/2 miles inland--the vein is not
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yet discovered. A man of the name of Seccombe, a lime-burner, has discovered limestone, coal, and culm, in the greatest abundance at Mokao River, 25 miles north-east along the coast from Waitera."
prom WILLIAM HENWOOD, to his Relatives in St. Germans, Cornwall.
Taranaki, March 2, 1842.
DEAR FATHER, MOTHER, BROTHER, AND SISTERS,
We left England on the 19th November, 1840. We have been landed here nearly twelve months. We landed on the 31st of March last. We had a most pleasant voyage from England; indeed, the first letter I wrote all about our voyage. I have wrote these few lines in a hurry, as the ship is about to sail in a few hours. I have got a very good situation as any man in the colony. I am foreman of the Company's carpenters. I have £150 per year, with ten men every day to work for me, and two apprentices. 1 have built the house for the Principal Agent, and he has made me foreman of the Company, to buy and sell all the timber for the Company. We are forced to build all the houses of timber, for we have no stone as yet to build with. We have found some lime rock in this country, and plenty of minerals, such as iron and copper, and plenty of coals, and some culm. This is a most splendid country for farming, when the land is cleared. You know I brought some wheat out with me, it was two quarts. I had a small spot of land, and I sowed it, and I have reaped and thrashed ten gallons from it; mine was the first harvest in the country. I had ten men and boys to cut it for me one evening. I have one section of land in the town. I have three dwelling houses; two of them are out to rent, with a small bit of garden. They bring me in 24s. per week. I have got the first cow in the country, which cost me £30. I am sure, if I remained in
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England, I should not have been the owner of the tail of a cow. But not all yet: I have one nanny goat, which cost me £2. 5s.; I have got one pig, a dog, and two cats; and the best of all, I have got a nice little wife; she is another such a little crack as my sister Mary; she is a merry one, and a clever one too. If my brothers would come out, they would do much for themselves in this country. Wages in this country are as follows: carpenters wages 8s. per day. I get 10s. per day to go with my hands in my pockets. Labouring men get 5s. 6d. per day. Provisions are as follows: salt beef 7 1/2d. per lb.; pork ditto; flour 4d. per lb.; potatoes 1d. per lb.; rice 3d. per lb. I cannot stay to say anything more; but will send another as soon as possible. Give my love to uncle William, and thank him for my apple trees that he gave me. They are the first in the country. I have been offered £20 for them; but I would not take £50 for them. I have nothing more to say; but tell my mother I shall come back to England in about seven years. In love I remain, &c,
Letter from ARTHUR HOSKIN to his Father, Mr.JOSIAH HOSKIN, Wheelwright, Holswortky, Devon.
New Plymouth, March 2, 1842.
I am happy to let you know that we are all well, as I cannot say enough on the letter that I have now written. Dear father, I have had you in my mind many times to-day, as I have been going through the wood, as Captain King desired of me to go back in the section behind his, which is 100 acres, for to see some timber, as it is his turn to choose next; and of all the timber there never was seen in England, particularly the red and white pine;
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for it is from one hundred to a hundred and fifty feet in height, and from four to six feet through. There was one tree, which they call the cherry-tree, nineteen feet round, which it is a thing impossible for me to tell how many feet there is in them where they stand. I should be glad if you would send me out a timber-measuring book by the first chance you have. Dear friends, I am happy to let you know that we are in a delightful country, and I thank God,
I we have a plenty of every thing to make ourselves comfortable, which it will be much better when Captain King's fat cattle comes from Sydney. As for potatoes, the natives have a great many acres tilled in, and they sell them to any of the people. The pigs we have got here are very good ones; for we killed seven this last week to sell out to the inhabitants, and it is sold from 7d. to 7 1/2d. per lb. We want for neither work nor money; for if any one will work, and keep himself steady, he can do well. I have wished for all of you to have been here many times. Please to give my love to John, and tell him how I shall send him a letter the next time I write; tell him and Richard how they might have done well had they come along with me. They would never want a friend. If Richard will come at any time, let him send word to me, and I will do for him by the time he comes or any of the family. Dear friends, I am glad that I left home, and I should say that all the rest of our people, for brother Peter has got the favour of sending to Sydney after iron and coal, by Captain King, for to work with, to his own account, overtime, which coal he has bought of the captain of the Timandra, the ship that brought out the last lot of people. Dear friends, I was glad to hear from you by the letter you sent in Captain King's parcel, and also by the parcel you sent by Mr. Northcott, and we are much obliged to you for the things that were in it, which, I hope, in the next
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letter you have from me, I shall be able to make you some amends for. Dear mother, I hope you will never grieve about our leaving home; for the way we are all doing now is the right way for ourselves. It is expected that they will begin to make a harbour in a short time, for they are finding all sorts of minerals and mines--coal, in particular, is very plentiful; and then I hope I shall have work at my own trade; but I will assure you that there is not work enough for a cooper at present, and there is one, I am informed, but he is obliged to go out to work as a labourer for the present; but I do not wish to work at it myself as long as I am able to do as well as I am at present for myself. My dear friends, I must conclude, for they are waiting for the letter. I will write you more particulars in the next. We all give our love to, &c, &c.
From PAUL INCH, Shoemaker, to a friend at St. Malin, near Bodmin, Cornwall.
New Plymouth, 2nd March, 1842.
"I am happy to state to you that we had a very good passage, and landed all safe, in a fine colony of land as ever was seen. There is fine wood grows here, always green all the year round, and some of the finest shrubs you ever saw in your life in England. There is some here would make £100. each if home in England. The climate here is very healthy and good. I myself am working at my own trade, one of the best trades here in the colony-- 17s. for a new pair of low shoes--20s. for high shoes --10s. for women's shoes--45s. for men's Wellington boots. I also keep on the butchering as well, and I intend to keep on the same. I would be glad to see you here, and any of the old friends from home. There is no want of money or meat here. I have a
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house and garden of my own, and I never intend to be an English slave more; but if ever I come home, I hope to have enough to live on without working to maintain masters. Here is the place for farmers to come to live. No taxes, no tithes, no rates of any sort, or any arbitrary exaction of money.
I would be happy to see you here and your family, as you here with your capital might buy land enough for an extensive parish. The bush-land is the best land. The fern land is not quite as good, but when the fern is burnt it makes the land much better. Some grow from fifteen to twenty feet high, and the fern tree grows here which we eat just the same as you do the apple at home, and they are very good.
The natives here are very quiet and harmless, not at all as they are spoken of. If Blewitt, or any labouring man of the place were here, he may do well. Wages are here 30s. a-week."
From Mr. STEPHEN GILLINGHAM, Yeoman, to his father, DAVID GILLINGHAM, Esq., of Canfield House, Shaftesbury.
New Plymouth, March 2nd, 1842.
As there is a brig leaving this afternoon for Sydney, I embrace the opportunity of forwarding a letter to inform you of our safe arrival, after one of the most pleasant voyages ever made. We came to anchor on the 23rd of February, about three miles from shore, at four o'clock, P. M., hoisted the English colours, and fired a salute of two six pounders, which was answered in a few minutes from shore. Soon after, two boats came off to us: the first had the harbour master on board, the other was Mr. Barrett from the whaling station. The next morning the boats came off to fetch all the steerage passengers and their lug-
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gage. We went at the same time to present our land orders, and were informed by the chief surveyor that the land was not yet ready for selection, as they had not quite finished the suburban land, but he thinks the rural land will be ready in six weeks. We have not as yet had time to look over our town sections, but have seen the situations on the map, two of them are situated very well, close to the market-place, that is to be, the other two are on the other side of the town; the situation of these is tolerable.
The rural land is to be on the banks of the Waitera river, where many are of an opinion the town should have been; it is about ten miles along the shore, to the north of this place, it is a very fine river, about the size of the Thames above the bridges, and is navigable for vessels of a hundred tons burthen. Every person who has seen the land in that neighbourhood speaks in the highest praise of its quality; if it is as good as what I have seen, (and I have not as yet been a mile from shore) it will do for any purpose.
The town is situated between two small rivers, one about the size of that at Abbotts Ann, the other of corresponding size to that at Cann, both of which abound with mountain trout and eels, and their waters are as good as any I have ever tasted. The vegetables which I have seen here are in point of growth beyond description; I never would have believed it, had I not witnessed it, and I can answer for the quality of the potatoes, they are the best I have ever eaten, as mellow as flour. The natives bring them into the town in small baskets of 12 lb. each, which they sell for one shilling, and ask a herring (one shilling) for almost every trifle, and take care to ask enough for pigs, which are nearly as dear as they are in England, and nearly of equal breed. I have already had several dealings with them. Some dress in English clothes, the others wear blankets, which is a good article to barter with them. They are a
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fine race of people. I like them much, and am not afraid to go ten miles in-land to live amongst them; they seem to be very harmless and strictly honest; they come into the tents, sit down, laugh and are very entertaining with their gibberish. The land at this part of the coast is covered down to the water's edge. There is a strip of land along the coast about 200 yards wide, covered with fern, similar to the English. Immediately behind it is a belt of bush land, as it is here called, composed of the most beautiful shrubs from five to twenty feet high, filled up with fern of the same height, which is about three miles wide. This land is considered the best; behind this commences the timber district, which I have not seen. Every one of the emigrants got employed immediately on their landing, at 5s. per day; carpenters 7s. 6d. They have taken houses from 5s. to 15s. per week. A few of them are living in the depot-- a house formed by the Company--and most of them are employed by the New Zealand Company, landing their goods from the boats. I have been very fortunate in getting my things landed with the least damage, as several boats have been swamped by the surf, and the things much damaged--everything ought to be brought in casks.
I would advise all persons coming hither to marry first, as the bachelors seem to be in want of housekeepers.
I remain, yours affectionately,
From SIMON and JANE ANDREWS, labouring emigrants to their parents.
New Plymouth, 8th March, 1842.
We arrived here quite safe on February 26th, after a beautiful and quick passage, being only three
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months and a fortnight at sea. We met John Lye and family, all well, who were on the beach waiting for us, and kindly received and accommodated us. I am happy to say this is a most beautiful country, abundantly supplied with water and wood--no wood of the same kinds as in England, but beautiful sorts --and plenty of fish, both salt and fresh water. Please give my love to brothers and sisters, and tell them I should be happy to see them here as quick as possible. The spring shuttle, sledge, and harness would be useful here in a few years hence. As flax grows luxuriantly and spontaneously here, it is presumed the trade will flourish here in a few years. If they come, they should bring as much clothes, shoes, and bedding as they can, as it is all very dear here; they should also bring a good gun or two, as wild ducks and pigeons are very plentiful here; likewise some apple pips or kernells in earth, and all kinds of herb seeds, as no such thing is to be got here, and the land is very rich and climate temperate. Any crop is brought to perfection here in half the time it is in England. Please to give my kind love to all inquiring friends, and tell them John Lye is looking very well--much better than in England; he is very healthy and happy, has a beautiful house and garden, and says he never wishes to return to England. Tradesmen are getting from 7s. 6d. to 8s. per day, and labourers 5s. I went to work the second day after I landed, and am now employed with John Lye, by the Company, cutting lines for the surveyors. Provisions are high, but we get good potatoes from the natives. Ships can only stay here in fair weather, as the harbour is not good, but I understand it will soon be improved. I am very much pleased with the country. If my brothers and sisters, or any of my wife's family, should like to come here, tell them to bring all the clothes, shoes, beds, and bedding, they can; but not to trouble
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themselves about bringing any money, as I hope I shall be able to receive them and make them comfortable. With kindest love to all.
I remain, &c.,
SIMON and JANE ANDREWS.
From H. R. A------, Esq., to Mr. T. C------, in Cornwall.
New Plymouth, March 12th, 1842.
"Ever since the beginning of January we have had the most delightful weather imaginable; day after day a cloudless sky, and calm sea, slightly rippled with breezes from the south-east, or south-west. The Timandra has never on a single occasion been prevented from discharging her cargo. Vessels arriving here ought to leave England in September, October, November, and December. On their arrival in January, February, March, and April, they will be certain of meeting with fine weather,--when I say certain, I speak from experience. The weather was precisely the same during these months last year; the remaining eight months cannot be calculated on with certainty. There is not a dissentient voice that, as far as the country is concerned, it is decidedly the finest part of New Zealand. No tract of land has yet been discovered to equal it, and I will defy any to surpass it. Streams innumerable intersect it in every direction, which renders it admirably calculated for the operations of the agriculturist. The soil on the coast is light, and in many parts sandy, but fruitful, with an orange marl subsoil. Inland, a couple of miles or so, the soil becomes heavier, a mixture of loam and clay, better suited for wheat than the other. The former grows fine potatoes, cabbages, enormous carrots, turnips, and other vegetables. Bush land is the best: it is all humbug what is said about fern land being so good. The
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fern impoverishes the soil. What I state has been fully proved by a crop of wheat grown for the Company on it. A more complete failure I never saw in my life. Another proof, if one was wanting, is N------'s garden, he is, as you are aware, a practical gardener; and very knowingly, as he thought, he pitched on a spot in Mr. W------'s suburban section, where some fine tall fern was growing. The soil was examined, and reported to be of the best description: and, accordingly, the fern was cleared, and seeds were sown. About the same time, I, who relied on information received from the natives, cleared, with the assistance of my brothers, a patch of bush land. The labour was certainly much greater, but amply were we repaid for our trouble. Our table, during the whole summer, has been supplied with a great many more vegetables than we could consume. A good many we have sold; and have now in store, for winter use, upwards of four tons of potatoes. I once visited the practical gardener's garden. Every thing was looking well in the extreme, beds raked with the utmost care, right angles, quadrangles, and all sorts of angles correctly drawn; not a weed nor any thing else to be seen. N------acknowledged that he had been entirely deceived, and that it was his intention to try the bush. He has since done so, and his crops are looking well. It has often been a source of much amusement to me, that although we had never in our lives before handled a spade, we should have managed to get a better garden than the practical gardener.
The natives are a good-humoured, good-for-nothing set of vagabonds; extremely well disposed to Europeans; and when inclined to work, which is but seldom, they are of great assistance in constructing houses. At first they took tobacco for every trifling service they rendered; but now nothing will do but clothing or money--of the latter they are extremely
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fond, and the little they do becomes quite as expensive as if white men were employed. The golden days are past, when a blanket would purchase two or three pigs. The tattooed gentry now know full well the value of their porkers. They will not sell a small basket of potatoes for less than a shilling. There is not much fear of their quarrelling with us: they are too much alive to their interests for that. As long as they continue as well treated as they are at present, there is no chance of any interruption in the amicable intercourse between the two races.
Mineral Riches of New Zealand.
From HENRY WEEKES, Esq., to the Editor of the New Zealand Journal.
Barnstaple, April 10th, 1842.
In a late number of your Journal, I find my name mentioned as an authority for the existence of a rich iron ore or sand, on the beach at New Plymouth. Feeling an interest in the subject which engaged the attention of your correspondent, I afterwards referred to my notes, and collected from them the following scattered remarks on the minerals which presented themselves to my notice during my residence in that colony.
Iron Sand.--"The beach from the Huatoki to Mr. Creed's, (about 1 1/2 mile), is here and there covered with a grey sand, which slightly hardens and becomes crisp on the surface. This I soon found to be magnetic, and, on further examination it now proves to contain from 80 to 90 per cent, of the black oxide of iron. A portion melted easily in a crucible yesterday, the small portion of sand acting as a flux. The iron might be separated from the sand by levigation; indeed, the wind performs this, by carrying off
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the sand and leaving the iron in thin layers. I have not seen any, except on the portion of beach named. I have since obtained specimens quite pure and free from sand.
Sulphuret of Iron.-- An oily appearance on the water has more than once been observed by the whalers, near the Sugar-Loaves. I have examined some of the rocks in the vicinity, and found some masses of sulphuret of iron, from which sulphuretted hydrogen is disengaged, when exposed to the sea water. Sulphur might be obtained from it by distillation.
Phosphate of Iron. -- Mr. Rogan has returned from the Oronui river, and brought some specimens of a light-blue mineral, which he found about twenty miles up the coast, in a clay cliff. It was believed to be cobalt, but I find, on careful examination, that it is phosphate of iron on alumina. I afterwards met Mr. Bidwell at Sydney, who had found the same mineral during his journey into the interior, and had come to the same conclusion as myself as to its composition.
Pipe Clay.--A very fine and nearly white kind of clay, which will answer all the purposes of pipe clay.
Lime. -- I have seen a specimen of lime-stone shown me by one of the men. It is very poor in lime; but as it contains a good deal of bitumen, I suspect coal is not far off. Coralines exist on the rocks from which lime might be made in small quantities.
Coal. -- Some specimens of a partly formed coal have been examined, but not being so far advanced as even the Bovey coal, it is unfit for domestic purposes. Indeed, it can hardly be called coal.
Since my return to England I have been struck with the similarity of a specimen of an earth I brought from New Plymouth, to a specimen of gold earth
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which I collected at Valparaiso. It contains mica, and faint traces of gold, but the specimen in my possession would not repay the labour of extracting it. I have, however, no doubt but that New Zealand is rich in minerals, and many valuable discoveries have yet to be made there. It has been to me a source of regret that I was so ill provided with the means of analysis when in that country.
I remain, Sir, yours, &c.
From JOHN GEORGE COOKE ESQ., to THOMAS WOOLLCOMBE, ESQ., Devonport.
Taranaki, April 16, 1842.
MY DEAR WOOLLCOMBE,
I have to thank you for a long epistle, per Timandra, for which I am truly grateful, as likewise for the vine cuttings, although I am sorry to say they are all dead and consequently useless. I have sent Calmady an approved method of conveying cuttings and plants to the colonies, and which has been attended with success, and I look for a larger importation about next November.
I have been absent at Port Nicholson for the last six weeks, and during my stay with Francis Molesworth I agreed to accompany him and two other Wellington colonists, Mr. Watt and Captain Daniells, to the Mangenu and Wanganui rivers. We were absent about a fortnight and had a very pleasant trip: indeed the Manewatu is a very fine district, much beyond that of Wanganui, but not to be compared with Taranai. I found Molesworth living on the banks of the Hutt, which as you know is about eight miles from Wellington, from whence there is now a good road, and ardently engaged in all his agricultural pursuits, clearing, sowing, cropping, and reaping the well-earned fruits of his judicious foresight. Every
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one, without thought, when first he announced his bold determination of plunging into the heart of a New Zealand forest, predicted his ruin; he, having calculated the chances better than his advisers, had resolution enough to set manfully to work, and although his expenditure and outlay in clearing must have been heavy at the outset, I believe has been amply repaid. His example has been followed by other agriculturists, and the valley of the Hutt is now occupied by a busy race of clearers and improvers. I do not think that one can estimate too highly the efforts of this really useful man--others have talked, he has performed. He is now contemplating, together with many other colonists, carrying on the same noble and good work on the banks of the Manewatu, and every well-wisher to New Zealand must pray for his success. I hope I have not bored you with, perhaps, a recapitulation of what you have heard long before; but it is impossible to go to Port Nicholson and refuse one's admiration and praise to the most enterprising person that has left England. He is, indeed, a beau-ideal of all an Anglo New Zealander should be.
In consequence of poor Liardet's sad accident, and the consequent derangement of affairs at Taranaki, Colonel Wakefield decided upon visiting this place, and taking Nelson Haven en route. The Brougham, a very fine barque, chartered by the Company, being at his disposal, he sailed from Port Nicholson on the 2nd of March, accompanied by Mr. Murphy, the chief police magistrate at Port Nicholson, and myself. We had rather a stormy day and night in the Straits, the wind blowing fresh from the north-west, but shifting to the eastward; on the 4th of March, it enabled us to run, or rather to attempt running, through the passage between D'Urville's Island, and the main. This passage has been surveyed by some French "Enseigne de Vaisseau," and the chart of it
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is very incorrect. Although favoured by a very fine fresh easterly wind right aft, the tide, which happened to be setting out, was of such strength, from the narrowness of the channel, that it drove us on the rock, not two boats' length from the larboard shore, which rose above our heads, bold, rugged, and precipitous. We remained in this unpleasant predicament for eight hours, when the tide flowing, again carried us bodily off, taking part of the forefoot and false keel away--unshipping the rudder. We anchored immediately, and at day-break shipped our rudder. We found that she made no water, and were exceedingly glad to have got off so cheap. The next day we arrived at Nelson Haven. It occasioned great surprise to many of the colonists at Taranaki, when informed of the formation of a settlement in Blind Bay, that Mr. Carrington should have overlooked it, as he told us that he knew nothing of this harbour, Nelson Haven or Wataka, on his visiting Blind Bay in the Brougham's first trip there in 1841. This mystery to my eyes was now cleared up; for the harbour, which is formed by a narrow sandspit running out in a semicircular direction from the main land, is nearly invisible until you are in it, when off Pepin's Island; but from this cause I can easily believe that not a soul on board knew any thing about the harbour.
Inside this spit of sand you find a perfect mill-pond, capable of holding seventeen or eighteen large vessels, and a great many more small craft. The town, at least the principal part of it, has been laid out in a flat piece of ground at the north-eastern extremity of the harbour. They have an enterprising intelligent set of colonists, and one of the most admirable of men at their head, in Captain Arthur Wakefield. Everybody speaks of him in the highest terms of praise, as being indefatigable in his exertions to promote the prosperity and welfare of the
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colony. I cannot state anything regarding the nature of the land about Nelson. Immediately in the vicinity of the town it is barren and hilly, but the surveyors inform me that there is very good land in the vicinity. I cannot help thinking, however, that we shall supply Nelson with produce for some time. It is very happily situated to enable us to carry on a constant interchange of commodities with them, it being only eighteen hours' sail from hence, and the prevailing winds favourable both for going and returning. A small vessel, 75 tons, owned by Port Nicholson people, left this place yesterday for Nelson, with 100 pigs, and 40 tons of potatoes, by which I have but little doubt that he will clear from three to four hundred pounds, owing to the scarcity of provisions at Nelson at present. If we once have small coasting vessels, built on the Waitera, we shall be able to carry on a constant trade with Nelson. But, to return to our expedition in the Brougham. Having hauled her up on a sandy point, admirably suited for docks or patent slips, and inspected her bottom, we repaired the same forthwith, and departed from Nelson on the 16th March, but were driven into Astrolabe Roads by a heavy north-wester, We sailed again on the 19th, and managed to strike on a dangerous rock, which lies half way between Adele Island and Point Nord, on the main land: it is not mentioned in any of the French charts, but was discovered by Captain Wakefield when here with the Whitby and Will Watch. We could not find that she had sustained any material damage, for, thanks to the Hindostanee builder, the old Brougham is as tough as teak and nails can make her. We arrived here on the following afternoon, Sunday 20th. We found to our great delight, that the Timandra had arrived, remained upwards of a fortnight, enjoying the most lovely weather during the whole of her stay, and had landed her cargo, passengers, and
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emigrants, with the most perfect safety. We made fast to one of the buoys that she laid down, and went on shore. It came on to blow during the night from the north-west, when the old Brougham slipped and stood out to sea, where she lay to until the end of the gale, with the greatest ease and safety. Captain Robertson said, moreover, that there was now no more danger in coming to Taranaki than to any other port of New Zealand. Colonel Wakefield remained here three days, and expressed himself delighted with the country and its fertility. Mr. Murphy also was loud in its praises. I mention this latter fact, as I hear there is a probability of his being our future agent. I sincerely trust it may be so, as I believe him to be eminently qualified for such a situation. He is an active, intelligent, gentlemanly man, and well versed in colonization. Soon after my arrival here, a small vessel arrived from Port Nicholson, with eight working bullocks and a horse that I had purchased at that place. Four of these bullocks were from King and Cutfield; they were landed in admirable order, and I have the satisfaction of seeing them plough every day. Colonel Wakefield's visit has produced some good results. A road to the Waitera has been commenced, and another bridle road talked of to connect Wanganui with this place. When that is effected I shall be able to ride to Port Nicholson in five or six days. We have commenced making bricks here, and only want the actual existence of limestone in the vicinity being confirmed to make a great quantity. In Massacre Bay the Nelson people have found both coal and lime; I saw specimens of both when at Nelson. The lime was particularly good. You will receive by Liardet a specimen of the coal that our miners have discovered on the Waitera.
If you see any part of this letter that you think fit to put into the New Zealand Journal, you are very
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welcome. I shall try and persuade our emigrants to write. I know a great many of them have written in the warmest praise of our favoured district, and all the complaints that I have heard, arise only from the drunken, the idle, and worthless portion of the community--fellows who would do good no where.
You will be anxious to hear something of the natives, who seem a quiet, inoffensive people, very affectionate, and well pleased to find so many white people pouring in upon them. The greater part of the population in Cook's Straits originally came from Taranaki. This name alone has a magical effect upon them. Whenever I mentioned Taranaki to any natives in the straits, they began to cry like children, and made a thousand inquiries about old friends, old pahs, gardens, rivers, &c. &c. The secret wish now universally felt amongst them, is to return to that paradise, from whence they were driven by war and its consequent atrocities. They have been of great service to us, helping us to build our houses, supplying us with pigs and potatoes, and doing numerous kind offices by us.
------ has been selling off his large stock of goods, and has built a large house and wholesale store. He intends going home to England, and bringing out the remainder of his family, and is going to cultivate his country land under the superintendence of his factotum. Mr. Webster is appointed Collector of Customs, and is, at present, at Port Nicholson. The ------------ are selling off their goods rapidly, and intend following their professions, I believe.
I am delighted to hear, and to know, that you are not forgetting us at home, and that Henry Petre's example is to be followed by many of his friends. I do not think that any younger sons can do better. If they would exchange an idle, precarious existence in England for a delicious climate, fertile lands, an
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active and useful life in the diamond of the Pacific, let them embark for this our happy island, with every prospect of soon making an honourable and comfortable competence.
I have omitted writing on a great many subjects which I could have wished to have done, from having some compassion on your time and patience, and am, etc.
JOHN GEORGE COOKE.
From ALEXANDER AUBREY, ESQ., to WILLIAM BRIDGES, ESQ.
New Plymouth, 10th May, 1842.
On my departure I promised to write you now and then from the Southern Hemisphere. I received your letter, and was quite delighted to hear that colonial affairs were going on so well at home. I sorry that many here are not of the same favourable opinion, but then you know it is the privilege of Englishmen to grumble; a privilege they very often abuse. I confess I was very much disappointed at first at our not having a harbour, but then we have so many advantages which the other settlements have not, that I am quite reconciled to it. What we are most in want of at present is capital. A few capitalists would be every thing. Farming upon a large scale has not yet commenced, owing to the suburbans not having been given out till the 18th of last month, about three weeks ago.
By the by, Captain King has just arrived in the Jupiter from Sydney, with a cargo of cattle. He was one month coming, and met with very bad weather on the way. Owing to his not having proper divisions put up he has lost a great number of cattle. She has brought three passengers, one
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of whom is said to have brought a large capital with him. By the Jupiter we have received a good stock of flour and other goods, but every thing is sold dear, in order to cover Captain King's loss. Captain King, I hear, is about to make two trips more, to bring over the remainder of the stock which he purchased. The Jupiter is now riding at the moorings brought out by the Timandra, with a strong gale from the north-west. It would be a good thing for the place had we two or three sets of moorings, as we would then have vessels riding off our roadstead in perfect confidence, and without having to run when a north-wester came on.
We have lost a colonist in Mr. W------. His land here is very valuable. The remaining Pilgrim Fathers are all here. The Bryanites have proved themselves the most industrious set yet brought out to this colony. I can name many at this moment who have become independent, which is saying a good deal, considering they paid very high prices for the land they bought, and have only been fifteen months out. The Brougham was in sight yesterday, with Mr.Wicksteed, our Principal Agent on board, to replace poor Liardet, whose loss is deeply regretted by the whole colony. The natives seem very troublesome to the Wanganui people. We are too strong here to fear any molestation whatever.
Nelson is thriving, according to the Gazette. I am in hopes that, the last mentioned place will be of much assistance to our settlement, as there does not seem to be much land in the vicinity.
We had news of Auckland through two gentlemen who came overland. They described the place as having a very fine harbour, but indifferent land, with a population of three thousand. It appears indeed proved beyond all doubt, that we have the best land of any settlement as yet established in
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these islands. The rural sections will be given out in about one month from this time, on the Waitera, a river capable of admitting vessels of 200 tons, with flat all round it for twenty, perhaps for thirty miles--soil which will not require manure for these next forty years. I expect a great deal of the coasting trade will be carried on there. Since my arrival here, I have been very often engaged in the pig trade, sometimes one hundred miles north, and at others the same distance south from this place. On your acknowledging this I shall give you a full true and particular account of one of these excursions. In the mean time, I beg to remain,
From a letter received by JOHN HALSE, ESQ., of St. James's Palace, from his sons at Taranaki.
New Plymouth, May 11th, 1842.
"You will be gratified to hear that our settlement is steadily progressing, and considering its infancy, looks remarkably well. Colonel Wakefield was here recently, and gave directions for a substantial road and bridges to be made in continuation from Devon-street to the Waitera. This will be of great value to the settlers, as it will run directly through the town, suburban, and rural land, and will enable farmers to bring their produce to market without any difficulty. The line is named the Devon-road. The Colonel also spoke of a pier, and said he would recommend it to the Directors.
The suburban land has been given out, and Mr. ------ has made an excellent selection for us. We have three frontages, water constantly running through the two which are together, and a pond. The land is slightly undulating and of good quality,
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with plenty of fine timber, bush, and fern. We understand the rural land is to be given out in about a month.
By referring to the journal, you will find that our cottage was commenced on the 17th of January. We had an idea that the mode of building adopted here was exceedingly tedious; but we now expect to leave the beach in four or five weeks. Time passes away very rapidly with us here--we rise early and retire early, except during the moonlight nights, which are so lovely, that we generally turn out to smoke-- a practice we are sure you will not complain of, when you know it enables us to keep off the sand flies.
From our table of the weather, continued from our last letter but one, you will see how exaggerated are the accounts of the dangers of this part of New Zealand, arising (as alleged) from high winds and heavy seas:--
1842. Barometer. Thermometer. General Observations
Feb. 14 . . . 29.85 . . . 80 . . . calm.
" 15 . . . 29.80 . . . 82 . . . calm.
" 16 . .. 29.90 . . . 78 . . . breeze.
" 17 . . . 29.80 . . . 72 . . . breeze.
" 18 . . . 29.40 . . . 78 . . . calm.
" 19 . . . 30.10 . . . 82 . . . calm.
" 20 . . . 30. . . . 84 . . . calm.
" 21 . . . 29.70 . . . 65 . . .calm--rain.
" 22 . . . 29.80 . . . 67 . . . strong E. wind.
" 23 . . . 30.20 . . . 78 . . . calm.
" 24 . . . 30.20 . .. 80 . . . calm.
" 25 . . . 30.20 . . . 82 . . . calm.
" 26 . . . 30. . . . 83 . . . calm.
" 27 . . . 30. . . . 84 . . . calm.
" 28 . . . 29.90 . . . 76 . . . calm.
March 1 . . . 30.10 . . . 81 . . . calm.
" 2 . . . 30.20 . . . 73 . . . calm.
" 3 . . . 30.20 . . . 74 . . . calm.
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1842. Barometer. Thermometer. General Observations.
March 4 . . . 30.10 . . . 76 . . . calm.
" 5 . . . 30.10 . . . 75 . . . calm.
" 6 . . . 30.15 . . . 76 . . . calm.
" 7 . . . 30.20 . . . 75 . . . calm.
" 8 . . . 30.30. . . 86 . . . calm.
" 9 . . . 30.35 . . . 88 . . . calm.
" 10 . . . 30.40 . . . 88 . . . calm.
" 11 .. . 30.35 . . . 87 ... calm.
" 12 . . . 30.40 . . . 84 . . . gentle N. W.
" 13 . . . 30.45 . . . 84 . . . calm.
" 14. . .30.20. .. 84. .. calm.
" 15 . . . 31. . . . 78.. .calm.
" 16. . . 29.95. . . 73 . . .breeze.
" 17 . .. 29.70 . . . 65 . . . strong N. W.--rain.
" 18 . . . 29.50 . . . 66 . . . rain.
" 19 . . . 29.75 . . . 64 . . . southerly breeze.
" 20 . . . 29.80 . . . 65 . . . calm.
" 21 . . . 29.60 . ... 68 . .. strong N. W.--rain.
" 22 . . . 29.80 .. . 66 . . . heavy sea-little wind
" 23 . . . 29.90 . . . 65 . . . calm.
" 24 . . . 30 . . . . 70 . .. calm.
" 25 . . . 29.90 . . . 74 . . . calm.
" 26 . . . 29.55 . . . 69 . . . calm--gentle rain.
" 27 . . . 29.40 . . . 68 . . . north wester--rain.
" 28 . . . 29.90 . . . 65 . . . calm.
" 29 . . . 29.95 . . . 68 . . . showery.
" 30 ... 29.70 ... 64 .. . showery.
" 31 . . . 29.90 . . . 68 . . . calm.
April 1 . . . 29.95 . . . 69 . . . calm.
" 2 . . . 30.15 . . . 72 . . . calm.
" 3 . . . 30.10 . . . 81 . . . calm.
4 . . . 30.15 . . . 80 . . . calm.
" 5 . . . 30.10 . . . 82 . . . calm.
" 6 ... 30. . . . 76 . . . calm.
" 7 . . . 29.70 . . . 74 . . . calm.
" 8 . . .29.70 . . .68 . . . calm.
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1842. Barometer. Thermometer. General Observations.
April 9 . . . 29.86 . . . 65 . . . Rain--strong N. wind.
" 10 .. . 29.75 . . . 64 . . Rain--strong N. wind.
" 11 . . . 29.85 . . . 77 . . . calm.
" 12 . . . 29.75 . . . 76 . . . calm.
" 13 . . . 29.65 . . . 75 . . . showery.
" 14 . . . 29.50 . . . 64 . . . showery.
" 15 . . . 29.80 . . . 65 . . . calm.
" 16 . . . 29.90 . . . 66 . . . southerly wind.
" 17 . . . 30. . . . 68 . . . calm.
" 18 ... 30. . . . 70 . . . calm.
" 19 . . . 29.90 ... 63 ... S. W. wind.
" 20 . . . 30.10 . . . 73 . . . calm.
" 21 ... 30. . . . 61 . . . calm.
" 22 . . . 29.50 . . . 62 . . } Calm--steady rain all day
" 23 . . . 29.30 . . . 62 . . . calm.
" 24 . . . 29.35 ... 62 ... S. wind.
" 25 . . . 29.90 . . . 64 . . . calm.
" 26 ... 30. . . . 68 . . . calm.
" 27 . . . 29.90 . . . 66 . . . calm.
" 28 . . . 29.80 . . . 68 . . . calm.
" 29 . . . 29.70 . . . 70 . . . calm.
" 30 . . . 29.70 . . . 68 . . . breeze.
May 1 . . . 29.70 . . . 64 . . . breeze and rain.
" 2 .. . 29.80 . . . 65 . . . calm.
" 3 . . . 29.10 . . . 63 . . . calm.
" 4 . . . 29.85 ... 64 ... N. W.--rain.
" 5 . . . 29.75 . . . 67 . . . calm.
" 6 . . . 29.70 . . . 66 . . . calm.
" 7 . . . 29.50 . . . 64 . . . breeze.
" 8 . . . 22.40 ... 65 ... S. wind--rain.
" 9 . . . 29.60 ... 59 ... S. wind--rain.
" 10 . . . 29.80 ... 62 ... S. wind--rain.
Ever your affectionate sons,
WILLIAM and HENRY HALSE.
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From H. R. AUBREY, Esq., to THOMAS WOOLLCOMBE, Esq.
New Plymouth, 2nd July, 1842.
DEAR MR. WOOLLCOMBE,
The rural sections were given out on the 20th June. As we had foreseen, all those parties having early choices selected their land on the banks of the Waitera. The later choices were confined to the banks of the Wanganui and Mangaraka rivers. The passengers of the Timandra, as likewise many others, thought proper to reserve their selections until more sections were surveyed. Before the selection took place, I was for days examining the country between New Plymouth and Waitera; Mr. Carrington and myself have secured what we consider most eligible localities for the parties who have entrusted us with the selection of their land, and were we to select over again I do not think we could make better choices. Mr. C. P------, with his No. 1, has got a most valuable section on the Waitera: it commands the best wharfage on the river, and the land has the advantage of being good and level. Whenever there is a town, that gentleman may calculate upon realising from one acre the cost of the whole fifty acres; and at present, I am below the mark when I say he could dispose of it for £5. an acre. Mr. R. M--'s and Mrs. C--'s are also good sections, and Messrs. O--'s, B--'s, and B--'s, considering the high numbers of choice, very fair. I send you a tracing from the plan used in my excursions on the Waitera. It will enable you to see the order in which some of the sections were chosen. I should like to have sent you a plan of the whole suburban and rural land, but it was not in my power to do so, for Carrington will allow no tracings to be taken till his own plan is sent home. This is to be regretted, as without this information to the agents of the parties concerned, their descriptions home must be very imperfect.
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The country on the banks of the Waitera in the immediate vicinity of the sea is much intersected by swamps, and several of the sections (very early choices) will require considerable outlay in drainage. As you proceed inland the swamps disappear, but the country, particularly on the right banks of the river, becomes very much broken, and innumerable ravines or gulleys present no slight obstructions even to the foot passenger; for carts and cattle, I need scarcely add, the way is quite impassable.
Timber is scarce until you get some miles inland, and even the lighter bark is only found in any quantity on the banks of the several rivers. Acres upon acres of the country between our settlement and the Waitera, except in the parts I have mentioned, are completely over-run with fern, in some places attaining almost an incredible height. The roots are frequently to be found at a depth of three or four feet from the surface, for which reason some time and trouble will be requisite effectually to eradicate it.
You will perceive, on referring to the plan, that allowance for a road has been made between the Government reserve and No. 6. The narrow patch of water frontage, Nos. 1, 2, and 3, obtained from this circumstance, will probably be laid out in one-eighth-acre allotments for the erection of storehouses, and be leased or sold at high prices.
The main line of communication (or as we term it the Devon Road, being a continuation of Devon Street) between New Plymouth and the Waitera, is pretty level; a few breaks are to be met with here and there, and one or two present such formidable obstacles that to avoid them it will be necessary, in making the road, to diverge considerably from the line. A strong body of men are employed in this very essential improvement, and the road is now completed as far as the Waiwakaio, one mile from town. Bridges have been thrown over the Huatoki
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and the Henui, and one is talked of for the Waiwakaiho.
Mr. C------ seems very anxious to have your No. 1 suburban, and tells me he has written to you on the subject. You of course are the best judge; but it is my opinion, and I stated it in a former letter, that your best course to pursue with your section would be to lease it in small allotments to different parties. O------, who is agent for No. 9 choice, the property of Mr. E------, has in this manner leased several acres in five-acre allotments, at 25s. per acre, for a term not less than five and not exceeding seven years, with all the improvements to become the property of the owner of the land at the expiration of the lease. Land let in this way, it is thought, is likely to become valuable in a shorter period than if let to a single tenant. W------, who left us so unexpectedly, has also reaped an abundant harvest from his suburban sections. It is calculated that he had sold it at the rate of £15 an acre. The colonists now feel assured that some assistance will be rendered them by the parent Company, and all, imbued with fresh spirit, have risen from a state of comparative inactivity; confident now that exertion only on their parts is requisite to promote their own welfare and the prosperity of the Colony. Timber begins to find a ready sale; ten or twelve pairs of sawyers find daily employment at exorbitant wages; wooden houses are rising fast, and are likely to supersede those built of cob, which latter are not found to answer so well as was expected.
Rural sections, high choices, have been selling at from £120. to £160. each. Suburban land, early choices, at from £12. to £15. per acre. Some few acres with frontage on the Devon Road at £20. You must send us out some more capitalists and labourers, if you wish town or any other land to sell well, with a ship once every six months.
Poor Captain Liardet must have reached England
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by this time. His successor, Mr. Wicksteed, is an active, clever, energetic sort of fellow; just the man we want. Under his guidance I think we shall get on well. He has started a club to be called the Taranaki Club. Mr. W--, C--, and himself form the committee. It is to be managed on a more economical plan than that of Port Nicholson. We want terribly a Court of Requests here for the recovery of our small debts. It seems rather strange that no one has either come from Port Nicholson or Sydney to settle amongst us. I suppose they have not yet recovered the fright they got last winter when the Regina was lost.
We hear the Bishop has arrived at Auckland, and that £500. are granted for the erection of a church here.
Believe me, dear Mr. Woollcombe, yours very sincerely,
H. R. AUBREY.
From the MESSRS. AUBREY.
Port Nicholson, August 12th, 1842.
"My brother and myself came overland from New Plymouth, to ascertain whether or not it was possible to drive cattle back from Port Nicholson; we have now determined to make the trial, and are going to take four working bullocks there on our own account, but hope to get some one to join us. We are well aware of the difficulties we shall have to encounter, as to hardships, &c. It took us a fortnight to walk here, and I assure you the road is none of the best, and we expect to take a month to return back. Port Nicholson is a very large town compared with New Plymouth, and land very valuable. Taranaki will be the agricultural district, while Port Nicholson will enjoy all the commerce of New Zealand. Bullocks are pretty reasonable,
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now from £20. to £23.; at present only four at New Plymouth, which are daily hired at £2. per day. Harcourt is quite well, and we left him building a timber house on his suburban. The Bishop is now at Wellington, and we expect him at New Plymouth."
From Mr. CHARLES PALMER, to the Editor of the New Zealand Journal.
London, 12th September, 1842.
Having gone out with the Nelson Expedition last year, and proceeded from Wellington to New Plymouth with Captain Liardet, from whence I have just returned with him, and having the experience of six months' residence in the country, I wish to offer a few observations respecting New Zealand.
I had conversation with many settlers at New Plymouth, particularly as regards the land, and their opinion of the capabilities of the place. The general opinion is, that there could be no better soil in any country: it is well watered by the rivers Huatoki, the Enui, and the Waitera. The place is well covered with timber; and just before I left they had discovered coal about four miles inland in some quantity. The beach is covered with a sand in which quantities of iron have been discovered.
The soil is a black vegetable mould, about four feet or from four to six feet deep; generally speaking, the sub-soil is a yellow clay. Gooseberries, among other fruits, grow plentifully; and all kinds of vegetables will grow.
I have brought home a very good sample of wheat, grown about three-quarters of a mile from the shore on the northern side of the town. The soil was merely rooted up, and the seed put in, and the
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wheat was cut in February last. The Indian corn also thrives very well; indeed, it is finer at New Plymouth than I have seen it in any other part of the world: the natives use a great deal themselves. New Plymouth produces, in my opinion, finer potatoes than anywhere in the Islands of New Zealand. The natives get two crops a year, merely scratching the ground with a stick before planting. Water melons are in quantity, and are eaten also by the natives.
The timber is very fine about three-quarters of a mile from the town, and may be floated down the rivers. The red pine is easily worked, and I have seen some furniture, drawers, and chairs made of it; the grain is close, and susceptible of a high polish. The furniture has a handsome appearance; some chairs were made for Mr. Cutfield.
The flax is in abundance, and very superior, being almost entirely the tall flax. There are whole fields of it, and it appears finer than what is generally seen. In the months of December, January, February, and March is beautiful weather; and the roadstead is then perfectly safe. The New Zealand Company have sent out moorings, which were laid down just before we left, and which enable vessels to lie in safety throughout the year.
By inserting these remarks, you will oblige your obedient servant,
P.S. I have only accompanied Captain Liardet here on account of the accident which befel him; but it is my intention to return in a very short time to New Zealand.
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From CAPTAIN LIARDET, R.N., to the Editor of the Times 1
Since my return to England, a letter has been read to me bearing the signature of "Charles Brown," and published in The Times of the 31st of August, which contains various statements calculated, in my opinion, to convey an incorrect view of the settlement of New Plymouth. I think it, therefore, my duty, in justice to the settlers and their friends in England, to make the following short statement, which you are at perfect liberty to make public. As soon as I am somewhat recovered from the effects of the accident which obliged me to leave my post in the settlement, I hope to be enabled to give you a more full account of the New Plymouth settlement.
The accidents which happened to the shipping at New Plymouth were all before the moorings sent out by the Company arrived. Had they been there before, the Regina would not have been lost, nor would the Oriental have been endangered--both circumstances happening from the same cause, viz., the anchor trailing on the ground in the act of weighing; this rendered the sails worse than useless; which, with the united crew of a merchant vessel, could not be taken in in time to prevent her drifting on shore, whereas, with moorings after the sail is set, with or without a spring, a vessel has only to slip and go direct to sea with both anchors at the bows. One set of moorings was completely laid down the day I left for Sydney, and I gazetted the bearings at that place. I have now no hesitation in saying that they render the roadstead perfectly safe, even in the worst of winds.
The only thing now required at New Plymouth is
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a boat harbour, which may be constructed at a very moderate expense at the mouth of the river Huatoki, where there is already a natural basin, into which boats can now be taken. Greatly exaggerated statements have been made of the expense of this work, but as the principal materials--namely, the wood of which it should be made, and the flax with which it should be caulked--are on the spot, the labour would be the principal expense. Such a work is of the simplest nature, and could be executed under the direction of any person tolerably conversant with naval architecture.
When I was at New Plymouth, the settlers were at one time dissatisfied, and held several meetings. They wished the town to be removed to the Waitera; but I explained to them that it was impossible for any vessel larger than a coaster to anchor off the Waitera, in safety, near enough to communicate for mercantile purposes. She would be so much embayed she could not possibly lie off the shore on either tack if it should blow from the north-west, which is by far the most dangerous wind on that part of the coast.
In my opinion, the Waitera would never do for a principal town. The river is only calculated for coasters not exceeding fifty or sixty tons, and that of a light draught of water. The ingress and egress are so very uncertain, that for everything above the size of boats they would always have to wait until half flood or whole before they could enter or go over the shallow inside. In addition to this, the surf is so high, that sometimes it happens, for days together, that no vessel could possibly go to sea or enter the harbour; the Waitera, however, is a place well suited for building, repairing, and fitting coasters. I have very little doubt a small town will be erected on its banks, but the principal business in exports, will, I think, be carried on
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from New Plymouth with ease and safety even now, but with certainty whenever the boat harbour is made, from which boats calculated for the purpose can communicate with ships riding at the moorings.
The land in the settlement is beautifully undulating; the soil is considered first-rate by the farmers, more particularly about the Waitera. I should think this river well calculated for floating down timber for every purpose. Indeed, I am not aware of any place in the world, for size, with so many running streams, or so well calculated to turn mills of every kind. From becoming blind so soon after my arrival at New Plymouth, I could not see much of the interior; but from Mr. Cook, and several gentlemen who had been out exploring, I heard that the country was beautiful beyond description, and that there were many miles of the flax growing in all directions, more particularly about the Sugar-loaves, which had once been in a state of cultivation by the Taranakians: in fact, it was allowed by every one it was the finest flax district in New Zealand.
New Plymouth will have many exports: flax, a good whale station to export whale oil; coal and limestone have been lately discovered, and the sand on the beach is full of iron, which Mr. Weekes, the colonial surgeon, reported to me contained from eighty to ninety per cent, of iron, and that when smelted it turned out a beautiful specimen. 2 There is building stone of a good description, and clay from which they make bricks; but the Devonshire and Cornish emigrants build excellent houses of mud and straw mixed, which they call cob.
Before I came away a bridle-road had been commenced by the Governor from Auckland to New Plymouth, which I should think must be now open. There is also an overland communication and post to
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Wellington. Captain King had imported considerable quantities of cattle, sheep, and working oxen. There is no fear whatever of scarcity, for pigs and potatoes are in abundance, and fish plentiful. The great thing which is wanted in the settlement is, however, men of capital, to carry on the clearing of the thickly-wooded forest land. But such men will, I hope, soon be found, and in that case the settlement must advance with great rapidity.
I have sent to the Court of Directors a letter from Mr. Smith, of Wellington, relative to clearing land at that place, in answer to some questions I put to him on that subject. He states that his experience in cutting down 100 acres of the thickest forest land in the valley of the Hutt led him to suppose that it could be cleared for £16. per acre. He measured off two acres of the average character, and the cutting, burning, and grubbing all, save the largest timber fit for sawing, cost £21, and was then in a fit state to plough. This gentleman, however, suggests, that the clearing of land requires at all times the eye of the proprietor to keep down the cost.
I am, Sir, yours, &c.
T. LIARDET, Captain, R.N.
From Letters received by THOMAS WOOLLCOMBE, Esq., Devonport, from some of the principal Settlers at New Plymouth.
September 8th, 1842.
"The property of the Company in unsold town and suburban sections cannot be worth less than £40,000, all surveyed and ready for delivery to purchasers at any time. Let settlers arrive, and the day after they may, if they please, be put in possession of woodland, fern-land, stiff soil, sandy soil, near the town, or at some distance from it, all equally accessible. During the winter, the numerous workmen thrown
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on the Company's hands were employed in making good roads, and you may now safely say that the land in New Plymouth is very much more accessible than in the Port Nicholson or Nelson districts. At present there is not a single good workman left on the hands of the Company; all but the stupid, lazy, or feeble folk, having been hired by settlers going upon their land, or they are working for themselves. Of absolutely idle people we have none, and the settlement has every appearance of a thriving and industrious community. It will be a beautiful villagy sort of a country, wherein the population will be principally farmers and well-doing peasants, with a sprinkling of large landowners, professional men, and shopkeepers. It will take a great outlay indeed to make it a port of consequence.
The inconveniences of the port, (for that any dangers exist, to the moderately cautious navigator, I distinctly deny) have been greatly exaggerated. When we arrived, there was what people call a terrible surf on the beach, and the danger of landing was represented to us; but having seen surf before on the English coast, and other parts of the world, I laughed at the Taranaki surf, so did Mrs.------; and I put my whole family and servants safe ashore, without a sprinkle. Since then several small vessels have been unladen, and no damage of the least consequence has occurred.
We want a newspaper sadly--with a little aid from home one might do very well. Are we never to have a bank? Surely it is time. You may tell the Union Bank people, that the ground will assuredly be taken up by a branch of some Sydney bank, unless they bestir themselves. A very safe business on a small scale, but conducted at a small expense, might be done here now, and the gradual extension of the concern would be certain."
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September 21th, 1842.
"Between this and Wanganui, a bridle road is being made by the natives, and will be finished about January; two white men are superintending the work. They describe the country at the back of the mountain to be magnificent. Fine level grass plains, bounded by large forests, with plenty of water everywhere; but this is the case throughout New Zealand.
Nothing can exceed the promise of the crops which have been put in, wheat and barley look very healthy, grapes not so well, on account of the seed having suffered I suspect. We want a press here very much, on however small a scale; it will be a means of advertising our wants, and affording useful information to our sister settlements."
September 28th, 1842.
"I can give you now, I am truly happy to say, the most cheering accounts of our dear little settlement, to which we are all becoming more attached every day. The recent appointment of Mr. Wicksteed, as agent, has been attended with the happiest result; people are beginning to resume their entire confidence in the good intentions of the Company, which had been previously somewhat shaken.
They seem to be going on pretty well at Nelson. I have not heard any thing of Francis Molesworth lately. He is about to send me up some more working bullocks, and, together with a number of Wellingtonians, including Wakefield, Daniel Watt, St. Hill, Dorset, Chetham, and others, intends visiting us in the spring. We have in prospect a constant supply of goods from Sydney, and Port Nicholson, in New Zealand bottoms, now that we have convinced the people of New South Wales and Wellington that Taranaki is by no means a dangerous place,
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provided they don't entrust their vessels to drunken skippers.
At the Hua-Toki, we have several excellent wooden and cob houses, building or built;--a new bridge completed over that river; a miserable lock-up two public houses, and about 120 Raupo and cob huts. Four large wholesale and retail stores, viz. Captain Davy's, Mr. Dorset's, Mr. Baine's, and Mr. Richard Brown's. On Devonport Hill, a cluster of emigrants' houses, and three or four mauri stores. We have seven or eight master carpenters, who have their hands full, and complain that they cannot get journeymen; four blacksmiths; thatchers, hedgers, ditchers, &c. &c, innumerable, getting from 5s. to 10s. per diem.
On the banks of the Enui we have several houses, amongst them my own; and a strong substantial bridge which crosses at Devon Street. A tremendous cutting through the bank, which is just completed, takes you along as fine a road as a man can desire, to the banks of the Wai-Wahio; on each side of the road houses and gardens belonging to early emigrants, who have nearly all bought four or five acres of land. You cross the river at present by a ferry boat; but Messrs. Brown and Goodall have contracted to build a suspension bridge for £500; and, if they can procure the chains at Wellington, it will be finished in four months. The road would be now in a very forward state, even as far as the Wai Ongua, but the landowners have nearly all the labourers in their employ. About six miles along this Waitera road are situate the farms and clearings of the three brothers Bayly, Messrs. Flight and Devenish, Pearce Paynter, Edgcomb, and others. At the Waitera, Mr. Goodall is clearing extensively. To return to the suburbans, Captains King and Cutfield have cleared about seventy acres, and built a capital house and farm
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buildings upon their estate. In your section Norice has built a capital thatched house, and has cleared about three acres, which I am now ploughing in for him. This is what is going on amongst the people to the eastward of the town. To the northward, Chilman has fenced in and partly cleared a fifty acre section of Mr. ------'s, who let or sold nearly all his land at the average rate of nearly £20 per acre, and then left the colony to abuse us at Sydney. Distin has a house and clearing in the same direction, but more easterly. Across the Wai-Waikaio, Captain Davy and myself are clearing and putting in crops. Added to all these clearings, we have nearly forty acres of garden ground this year, and have established a Horticultural Society, with every prospect of success. We have also a club, at which we meet every Saturday, which contributes much to promote good feeling and unanimity among us."
30th September, 1842.
"All well to this day. We have had gay doings to celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of the first principal body of settlers in the Amelia Thompson; capital wrestling matches and boat races, with a hall and fireworks. All went off admirably; no accidents, no quarrelling, scarcely any drunkenness--a remarkably nice show of women at the ball."
15th October, 1842. "
The Jupiter, a few days since, rode out a most furious north-west gale, at the moorings; and the Osprey, from Sydney, is now doing the same in gallant style. We have never been so plentifully supplied with provisions as at this moment. Great competition amongst the storekeepers. Flour, since the arrival of the Osprey, has fallen from £40 to £32 per ton; retail, it is selling from 3 1/2d. to 4d. per lb."
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27th November, 1842.
"The rimu (red pine) is highly prized here, as is the kikatea (white pine) for building purposes. The former is a very hard and apparently durable wood; beautifully marked in the grain, and capable of taking a fine polish. A red pine between three and four feet in diameter, and 80 feet in height, fetches near the town from £5 to £6, and the same price is sometimes got for the white pine. The pukatea is another wood much in use for weather boarding and in-door work; but it is soft and spongy, and absorbs much wet. In size it runs from eighteen inches to two feet in diameter, and forty to fifty feet in height. They are frequently unsound, but when sound, I can get from 25s. to 30s. a tree. The kohe kohi is a fine grained red wood, and splits freely, for which reason it is much used for shingles; it does not attain a very large size, from eighteen inches to two feet in diameter, and thirty feet in height. It has the same disadvantage as the pukatea, being often rotten in the head; when sound, a tree of this kind will fetch from 7s. 6d. to 10s. There is also rata, tawa, honeysuckle, &c, which, though of a harder nature, may hereafter be applied to many useful purposes. The soil amongst the timber is of a very superior description, and will amply pay for clearing. The fern land is very inferior: nothing impoverishes land more than this most detestable of all weeds. 3
We had a visit a few weeks since from the Bishop; he came over-land from Port Nicholson, attended by several Mauris. The Government-brig came round the day after his arrival, to take him to Auckland; his stay was therefore short. He preached four sermons in one day--two to the whites, and two to the natives, whose language he spoke fluently. Addresses
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were presented to him, and his replies were most gracious. From the manner in which he spoke of our settlement, it was apparent that he was much struck with it, and did not appear to entertain a doubt of its ultimate success.
I cannot describe the delight which was felt at the sight of the Blenheim. The labourers, immediately it was known (and it spread like wild-fire), thronged to the beach to catch a glimpse of the long-wished-for ship. Joy was on every face, and nothing else was talked of for the day. Mr. Wicksteed immediately put off to her in his well-manned boat, and was quickly followed by the port-master, Captain King, and the Collector of Customs, Mr. Webster--the flag astern shewing that Government officers were on board. Our old friend, the little Vanguard, just preceded the Blenheim, and was keeping off and on. The fineness of the day added to the smart appearance, and I never before recollect witnessing so animated a scene in our roadstead.
We are now 800 inhabitants and upwards. If you send another ship this year, as is reported, we shall number upwards of 1000. It is, therefore, high time we should have a newspaper; nothing would benefit us more, and it ought to be strongly represented to the Directors. At Port Nicholson, the first colonists had a press and newspaper immediately on their arrival--the same at Nelson; and in both cases, it is reported, in consequence of most liberal aid from the Company. We, it seems, are not thought worthy of such assistance, and we are, therefore, still compelled to write out our advertisements. We cannot but feel that in this we have been dealt hardly by.
Mr. Merchant who came out in the Amelia Thompson, is to be appointed clergyman for our settlement. The Bishop pays one-half his salary, and the colonists the other. About £75 was raised for him in a few minutes, which will soon be increased to £100. Mr.
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M. is now undergoing a course of preparatory study, prior to taking orders. He keeps an academy for young gentlemen; his wife gives instruction to young ladies; and in the evenings they teach the children of the poorer classes gratis. Their establishment is of a most praiseworthy nature, and exceedingly well conducted. Messrs. Goodall and Brown are getting on well with the chain bridge."
From Mr. S. GILLINGHAM to his Brother, Mr. ROBERT GILLINGHAM, of Camfield House, Shaftesbury, Dorset.
Camfield, Mongaraki, Near New Plymouth, October 1st, 1842.
MY DEAR ROBERT,
I am glad to hear you are appointed agent to the New Zealand Company, as it is probable that you will have it in your power to do us some good, and I shall take every opportunity of giving you all the information possible. When we arrived in the Colony, many of the settlers were in doubt as to whether the Colony would ever go a-head, as the survey had been going on so miserably slow, and there having been no arrivals of emigrants for so long a time. I understood many of them had sent home indifferent accounts, but the cutting of the lines had been let out to contract about a week before our arrival, at a very liberal price, indeed at such a price as set the men at work like fury, earning one pound per day, and the contractors getting nearly one hundred pounds per month for a gang of ten or fifteen men; so that the land was ready for selection many months earlier than it was anticipated, which dispelled the previously entertained gloomy forebodings. The surveys by contract are now, however, stopped, for when Colonel Wakefield came up, he found that the Company's funds had been
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expended so rapidly, that he gave orders that no more contracts were to be let; and now they are going on with the Devon road at about the same rate they formerly did with the surveys, as the men have all left the Company since the rural land has been given out, and are engaged in buying, clearing, and building for themselves; many of them came out in our ship. I have sold seven acres of my section between the Mongaraki and the Wyangana to two of them: two acres to a person working for me at eight pounds per acre; he is to pay me 10s. per week; five acres to Simeon Andrews, a Mortock man, working for Mr. Flight, to pay in six months. They will not go there to live till the road is finished beyond the River Mongaraki: one of them is at present living on a section just opposite mine; the other is living on mine, at about a hundred yards from my house, where he will remain till the road I have before spoken of be finished.
I hope you will send us plenty of emigrants, otherwise I do not know what will be done. Some of the suburban sections are becoming very valuable, selling from £10 to £30 per acre; to labourers a few rural sections have been sold at £150 to £200 each. We only want emigrants and colonists here to make the land very valuable, as I believe it to be of the best description. We find it necessary to hack the ground over very deep with mattocks, as it is so uneven. I should think there must have been 10,000 pigs kept here some years ago, for the land is thrown into humps and hollows, as if there had been a potatoe pit in every perch. We find hundreds of caves or wells where the natives used to stow away their potatoes. A native told me the other day, "that the land I am living on used to be his, and the name of it was Ongarangra." I am sorry to say my seeds that were brought in the hold of the vessel are much injured. I do not think more
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than one-third of them will grow, yet to appearance they look as well and as bright as when thrashed. My garden seeds that I brought out in the cabin are all growing nicely. I am very much pleased with the country, but am disappointed in one thing, that is my not finding any grass for cattle, which I expected to find in abundance: the climate is certainly delightful. I expected to find the wind very rough at times, which is not the case, not even so rough as it sometimes used to be in England; but I understand that at Port Nicholson it is tremendous, owing to the many hills in that neighbourhood. We have had vessels lying here at times all the winter without the slightest danger. Sometimes five or six at once. The best thing emigrants can lay out their money in, is provisions of every sort; let them buy them out of bond, and they will not fail to meet a ready sale at good prices for the next two years. Flour has been selling at £40 and upwards per ton ever since we landed.
I have finished my house on my town section, and am daily expecting a ship with emigrants to get a tenant. I calculate on making about £25 per annum for it, which, if I do, will pay me very well, as it cost me but little. I consider the Colony is going a-head very steadily, but surely; I think my land would fetch, if sold to-morrow, £700.
I intend sending a sketch of my sections on a large scale, with the situation of my house and garden, as soon as I have time. I also intend giving you an account of my travels by land and by water. I don't think that there would be many return to England if free passages were given them. Remember us to all friends, and believe me to be,
Your affectionate Brother,
P.S. Send out a watch and clock maker, for all the clocks and watches are stopped, and no person
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here able to repair them. And above all things use your diligence in sending a hair dresser, for all the gentlemen are perfect frights because their hair is so long; they look more like women then men, not having had their hair cut since they left England.
From Captain L. H. DAVY, a resident Landholder at New Plymouth, to Thomas Woollcombe, Esq., Devonport.
October 12th, 1842.
"You will be pleased, I have no doubt, with the report of this settlement received from Colonel Wakefield. The beauty of the country, the fertility of the soil, the numberless streams which water it, and the healthfulness of the climate, render it every thing that can be desired. Labour and capital are yet wanting, which we hope will, ere long, be supplied."
From J. T. WICKSTEED, ESQ., to the Editor of the Colonial Gazette. 4
Mount Eliot, November 23rd, 1842.
MY DEAR SIR,
The words, "You never write,"--"tell us what you are about,"--"we want accounts from New Plymouth," are to be found, as I am told, in most of the English letters just received by the Blenheim.
Whether our settlers are more faulty than their fellow-colonists of Wellington and Nelson, may be doubted; but, certainly, they ought to be more diligent in corresponding with friends in England, because the newspapers of the other settlements take little notice of Taranaki; and as yet we have no journal of our own. This want, it is to be hoped, will soon be supplied, and then you may expect
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trust-worthy accounts of the progress and capabilities of this settlement--its wants and productions. In the meanwhile, and with the hope of, in some degree, supplying the place of a newspaper, it is my intention to send you a series of letters, describing our actual condition and prospects. This, the first of the embryo batch, must needs be very imperfect in matter and style, as the Blenheim will remain only a few days, and I am resolved to send it with her, via Sydney, to England.
You must recollect that the first emigrant ship, the Amelia Thompson, arrived at New Plymouth in September, 1841; consequently, this settlement is little more than a twelvemonth old. Yet the bantling already shews signs of vigour; and although its growth has not been so rapid as that of Wellington and Nelson, its stamina are tough and deep-seated. Had its constitution been unsound, it would have sunk under heavy blows, which have been manfully sustained. In plain words, the New Plymouth settlers, encountering misfortunes in their outset--in the loss, (through sheer carelessness), of the Regina, and in the unhappy accident to the gallant and much beloved Captain Liardet, (which left them without a guide when aid and encouragement were most needed), now begin to put forth their strength, and develop the resources of their magnificent country.
A first-rate port this roadstead of Taranaki can never be; but a good one for the class of vessels likely to come here it may easily be made. It is safe indeed now. No life has been lost in the water; and during the last seven months (since my arrival to act as the Company's Agent) about twenty vessels of different sizes have been discharged without injury to cargo or craft. A ship of 1400 tons may hang on to the moorings in the heaviest weather; or, if she prefer it, may escape all danger from the only alarming wind, the north-west, by going out to sea.
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Smaller vessels (those not drawing more than 12 or 14 feet of water) may find an excellent harbour of refuge in the river Waitera, the entrance to which is now buoyed with land-marks, &c. Once inside the bar the depth of water varies from 25 to 75 feet, sheltered and smooth in all weathers.
I notice these facts to show that emigrants from England ought to have no fear of disembarking at New Plymouth; and that, the surplus produce of the finest agricultural district of New Zealand may, with ease, be taken off by coasting and colonial vessels. And soon there will be a surplus. The Taranaki settlers are producers. They no sooner obtained their suburban and rural sections, than they began to cultivate them, generally on a small scale indeed (for, with one or two exceptions, their means are small); but the results of their united labour will be respectable in quantity and quality. In every direction may be seen pieces of ground fenced in, and full of vegetables. This is called a backward season, yet already in this (the English May), I have had peas, new potatoes, spinach, lettuce, carrots, and other vegetables on the table; rhubarb also has been gathered. The Cape gooseberry appears to thrive well in this climate. There are about thirty acres in wheat and barley, and, at the fewest, a hundred acres of potatoes.
The Maori or Raupo huts are daily losing their occupants and falling into decay, being replaced sometimes by substantial cob, or mud-walled dwellings, but oftener by neat wooden buildings. It is, indeed, difficult to procure seasoned sawn-timber fast enough for the busy carpenters.
Excellent stone, soft, sandy, and easily worked when first dug up, but becoming very firm and hard when exposed to the air, is now much used for foundations and chimneys of buildings: but stone will soon be superseded by bricks made of excellent
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clay, found in the town. There are no large houses or stores, but the country is dotted over with pretty cottages; and the shopkeepers are now selling a variety of useful and desirable articles at reasonable prices.
The price of flour at present is 3 1/2d. a pound by the bag or barrel, and fresh pork 7d. a pound. Mutton is rarely brought to market, but South-downs, of the best kind, have been lambing this season, and there is also a prolific breed of Merinos. Fish is frequently caught and sold at 3d. per pound or less. The best are the rock-cod, eels, which abound in the Mangoraka, and crawfish. In the Waitera, a species of lamprey is taken in considerable quantities. Besides these are the snapper, baracouta and other kinds, common to most waters in New Zealand. From Port Nicholson we have obtained working oxen and cows; and in the course of next summer we expect a large increase of cattle overland from Wellington. At present fresh butter and milk from cows are scarce, but there are plenty of goats.
A good road running behind Mount Egmont, from Taranaki to Wanganui, will soon be finished; opening up a communication by land from New Plymouth to Port Nicholson. This is not the only road made by the New Zealand Company. Another, through the heart of the settlement, from the town to the Waitera river, is in progress. The four streams or small rivers intervening, the Enui, Waiwaikaiho, Mangoraka, and Waiongona, will be crossed by means of substantial wooden or chain-suspension bridges. Nearly half of this road has been completed; and the chain bridge over the Waiwaikaiho will be passable in three months. In the course of the next summer, it is probable that the entire line will be opened. And it will not be a stumpy, corduroy, or swampy road, such as you
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and I have travelled over in America; but smooth, firm, and fifty feet wide, over which the Honorable Thomas Kenyon might safely drive his spanking greys. At present, moreover (for we are two juvenile for a Corporation), that amari aliquid, the toll, will not disconcert the traveller. That concomitant of civilization and advancemant is in store for us. Now, "John Company" pays for all. Already may be seen a number of pretty cottages and gardens (owned chiefly by industrious labourers and mechanics) bordering that part of the road which runs through the suburban sections, between the Enui and Waiwaikaiho streams. From the Waitera or Devon road, as from a base line, many other roads are partially cut, dividing off sections on the right and left; and such is the practicable nature of the country that I could undertake, at small cost, to put a purchaser on almost any section in the course of a few days, and make the approach to it a matter of small difficulty. There are few ravines, and no lofty hill (except superb Mount Egrnont) in the entire district of Taranaki; whilst the expense of making roads through the forest land is amply repaid by the value of the timber.
A glance at the map, (which will be sent to England immediately, and which, it is hoped, will be lithographed without delay,) gives a correct notion of the compactness of this settlement. The suburban land lies close to the town, and the rural sections join upon the suburban districts. No land correctly described as unavailable, is offered for sale by the Company in this settlement. The surveys are far a-head of the sales. This great advantage has been obtained by a heavy outlay in the survey-department.
The foregoing statement shows that this part of New Zealand is well adapted for an experiment of colonization, on what is now universally called the
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Wakefield principle. If the Company's Agent is compelled, by the nature of the country, to go ten, or twenty-five, or seventy miles from his head-quarters to supply settlers with land, it is plain that dispersion must happen to a very injurious extent. Against this obstacle Colonel Wakefield, at Port Nicholson, and Captain Wakefield, at Nelson, have to contend; whereas, by a judicious use of the power to sell or withhold land in Taranaki, the benefits of combined effort may be secured.
I must not omit a fact which speaks better for the settlement than any eulogy or favourable description. The first settlers and others, who have seen most of the country and its capabilities, are daily coming to me for land, and are giving fair prices for the Company's reserved sections; which have only within a fortnight been offered for sale. I am inclined to think that hitherto the disproportion of capital to land and labour has not been so great in our community, as in the other settlements in New Zealand. There have been more working farmers with a few hundreds; and there has been less expenditure of money in shops and merchandize. Taranaki is unfitted for commercial undertakings, and our settlers must rely for prosperity on their success in raising products of the earth. Of these, the variety may be very extensive, including all the grain and green crops raised in England, very many requiring a more genial climate than that of the mother country.
The health of the settlers is remarkable even for New Zealand--not a single person having died from disease (except one old gentleman, who had long suffered from paralytic attacks) since the arrival of the William Bryan, in March, 1841.
A Horticultural Society has been established, and a fair show may be expected on the 1st of February, 1843, the first exhibition day. There were foot-
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races, boat-races, dancing, and other old English sports, a few weeks ago, to celebrate the anniversary of the arrival of the first principal body of settlers; and it speaks well for the character of the people that no disturbance or disorderly conduct occurred. The Police Magistrates' Court was as empty next day as usual, that is to say there was nothing to do. We have also a "Taranaki Club," on an economical, but respectable footing.
The Wesleyans, with the aid of members of the Church of England, have obtained a subscription, amounting to nearly £300, for the erection of a chapel; and the recent visit of the Bishop of New Zealand has put churchmen on the alert. In a few minutes they subscribed £80 a year for the support of a clergyman, and no doubt the sum will be raised to £100. The Bishop, out of the fund at his disposal, adds £150, besides £100 as a sort of outfit for the first year; so that a decent provision is made for a clergyman, expected to arrive in the course of two or three months. The £500 given by the Company, which the Bishop raises to £1000 by his contribution, will go to form a permanent endowment. An infant school will soon be established, and evening schools for the young working people are now in operation.
I have not yet noticed the natives, and little needs be said of them. A few months ago some returned slaves from the Waikato district gave me trouble; but firmness on the part of the settlers, and the aid of one of the magistrates, enabled me to prevent any breach of the peace; and now a more quiet and contented race of beings is no where to be found. All the real chiefs, and men of influence among the natives, show a friendly disposition towards the Company and the European settlers. The native reserves here are exceedingly valuable, and as the trustees (the Bishop and Chief Justice)
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authorize leases of twenty-one years, a respectable income may be anticipated from this property; though, generally speaking, there is reluctance to rent, and eagerness to purchase land in Taranaki. We are all happy in a prospect of a speedy settlement of the native question. Not only from England, but from Auckland, we learn that a disposition exists to arrange all points of difference amicably and advantageously for the Europeans as well as the Maories.
The emigrants by the Blenheim are delighted with the country, preferring it to the Port Nicholson district, of which, however, they can know little or nothing. On looking over this letter, I cannot detect any exaggeration or incorrectness of statement, though it may appear I have drawn the picture en beau.
I remain, my dear Sir, your faithful servant,
J. T. WICKSTEED.
From P. F. HOSKIN, to his father, Mr. JOSIAS HOSKIN, Holsworthy, Devon.
New Plymouth, January 22nd, 1843.
MY DEAR PARENTS,
I have now taken the pleasure of writing to you, hoping, by the blessing of God, it will meet you all well, as, I am happy to say, it leaves us all at present. We were sorry to think that a report had been in England, that Captain King was on his passage home; but I am happy to inform you that it is no such thing, for he has got the finest farm and buildings of any gentleman in the colony. My dear parents, I am happy to inform you that my brother Arthur is doing well, for he has bought a half-section of town land in Brougham Street, which cost £20, and has got up a wooden house on it that cost him between £50 and £60; he is not working at his
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trade as a cooper, but has had constant employ from Captain King, at the sawing, ever since he came in the colony, and I think myself that sawing is as good a calling as any thing at present. My brother Josias has bought a piece of land in Devon Street, and has got up a house on it; the land cost £20, and the house about £35 or £40; the house will be finished in a week from this time. Arthur's house is twenty-four feet long by fourteen wide: Josias' house is twenty feet by fourteen wide.
Now, as to myself, I have to inform you that I am working at my trade at present: I worked for the Company up to the 18th of July, 1842; then I took the shop to rent, and I give them £10 a year for it. I am happy to say that the trade has been as well as I expected for time past, but is not quite so brisk at present; but hope the smithing will flourish again soon, and that I shall do as well for the time to come as I have for the time past. My dear parents, I have bought a piece of land adjoining the Company's storehouse, which cost me £75.10s.; this land cost more being a corner-spot, one end facing Devon Street, and one Currey Street, and having the frontage of two streets makes the difference. I am going to have a house built twenty-six feet long by fourteen wide, and sixteen feet high for two stories, and going to have it stone-logged. I have bought all my timber of Captain King and Mr. Cutfield. My brother Arthur and Roberts, of Bude, are sawing it: the calculation of a two story house, that size will cost between £150 and £160; but when finished, I will send all particulars about it. I have room for three dwelling houses, two fronting Devon Street, and one Currey Street, and a smith's shop on the same land. Arthur has room for three houses; he is going to put up another house soon, for he being a sawyer, has his part of the scantling, that makes his come cheaper to him. Josias
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has room but for one house to have a good frontage, and one to front a narrow street.
I must tell you our population increases greatly, we have plenty of weddings and births. My brother Josias has been working at his trade, ever since his leather was landed from the Amelia Thompson; and has a very good trade ever since. I am happy to tell you I have kept myself from drinking ever since my brothers came out. I get 8s. for shoeing a horse, and from 1s. to 1s. 2d. per pound for other iron work. Any person can do well here if they will keep themselves from drinking, and mind their work. Carpenters are the most wanted, and the fewest here. A dock and watch maker might do well, as we have neither one here, and none nearer than Wellington. Do send as often as you can, and send some newspapers to us. I must now conclude with my and my brothers1, and their wives' and children's kind love to all our brothers and sisters, and all our friends; and may God bless you all, my dear father and mother, and believe me to be your dutiful son,
PETER FACEY HOSKIN.
Extracts from letters received by THOMAS WOOLLCOMBE, ESQ., Devonport, from Settlers at New Plymouth.
"We are progressing in a slow, but satisfactory manner: a great many parties have gone on their land, and are now bringing it into cultivation. Captain King and Mr. Cutfield have between thirty and forty acres of fern land ploughed up; three of which are in wheat, nine or ten in potatoes, and a good breadth for turnips and other green crops -- the Bayly's, six acres of wheat, six of potatoes, and some barley and oats--Mr. Cooke, six or seven acres of potatoes. Messrs. Flight and Devenish, Mr. Gillingham, and Captain Davy, are also hard at
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work clearing; and several labourers, who have bought from five to twenty-five acres, are living on their land, and making good progress. Fern land is being well hacked up, (that is to say) from a foot to fifteen inches deep, and all the root taken out and burnt, for from £12 to £14 per acre by contract. I am having an acre done by day work, at five shillings per day, exceedingly well, which will cost me about £14; for which outlay, and about £6 for seed and after cultivation, I hope to get at least six tons of potatoes; which, at the low rate of £4 per ton, will clear my land and leave a profit. The best proof of the progression of this settlement is, that there is a demand for more labourers; the Company have only six or eight on their hands, and those bad ones, that private parties would not employ."
New Plymouth, January 23rd, 1843.
"I think I may venture to say this--let any number of settlements be established, yet Taranaki will not fail; for you may rely on it, that Taranaki will prove the very vitals of the Company's settlements in New Zealand, however little they may think of it at present. Many persons at Port Nicholson are going into the bush with cattle; this is what they should have done at first, for a settlement of shopkeepers and merchants can never stand long. Agriculture must be the foundation of every settlement. To raise the common necessaries of life is the first and great object to drive at, and this must not be lost sight of; if it be, no settlement can stand long. I see all this clearly, and I am by no means sorry that we have no harbour; had we one, we should have, as at Port Nicholson, every one engaging in mercantile transactions, instead of cultivating the land, which they are driven to do now from necessity. Keep as much as possible the capital
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brought out floating in the colony; if it be continually going out for the necessaries of life, there must be a break down one day or other. New Plymouth is fixed at the proper spot, and so firmly fixed as to be in no danger of removal. At the Waitera one day or other, will spring up a secondary town, for reasons which I shall presently give you. Of course, no large ship dare anchor off the Waitera--it would be madness. The boat sent out by the Oriental was not one suited to our flat shore; she was accordingly turned into a deck vessel, and she sailed for the Waitera, and entered it at nine o'clock (after dark), under the charge of our boat's crew, the coxswain of which is a good pilot for the river. The owner having got his captain and crew together, she left the river on Saturday last, working out against a fresh head wind, two hours before high water. This is the first rigged vessel that has ever entered the Waitera. Here, then, is a place that may be, when registered, turned to good account, and not more than ten miles from us, with no difficulty about a road, which is opening now. I have walked across the bar of the Waitera at low water, and found three feet on it. I do not think it shifts, there is plenty of "back-water." I am of opinion that vessels of 100 tons and upwards may go in and out. What would not a steam boat do there? The Waitera is well wooded a few miles up, and vessels may be built there so soon as labour becomes sufficiently low to remunerate the builders. Two of the cargo-boats took sixty tons out of a vessel called the Perseverance, in one day. In less than two days we have cleared the Essex. What could you wish more than this?--yet you have fancied we have not yet settled down. I must tell you we all feel disappointed in not finding cabin passengers on board the Essex, for without such we shall not thrive fast. Such persons need not fear to come;
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they will, after a short time, find themselves doing-well. All we require is, to raise the loaf; and the sooner that is done the better, for then nothing can stop us; for with such a fine climate, and such good land, I don't think any place out of New Zealand can keep pace with us. We are like a ship beating against a foul wind and head sea, to weather a point of land which, when attained, the helm is put up, and she glides easily and quietly to her destination. The loaf is the point we have to weather; there is no difficulty in doing this, beyond capital, to cultivate the soil. The more capital an agriculturist has, the sooner he will attain his object; because the land in any quantity is difficult to clear, and labour is at present high. I think fern land may be cleared, if a person has oxen, at from £5 to £6 per acre--perhaps something less. Fern land will not grow a heavy crop the first year, the land having been run out by the fern; and there is such an immense quantity of fibrous root left, that, after rain, it puffs up, and you walk over it like walking over a Turkey carpet. This lets in the air, the ground dries too quickly, and you require rain every third day to make things grow. I find that the better the clearing the better the crop. A great improvement takes place the second year. I have potatoes growing the second year on some fern land, and I would not desire to see finer. We have between seven and eight acres of potatoes on our farm on fern land, but do not expect they will average more than five tons per acre. Our wheat was put in under disadvantageous circumstances. The cattle arrived late, would not work well together, being all young and then came the rain, which prevented our burning the fern root, and we were obliged to cart it off, thus losing the ash, which is a fine manure for this land: in fact, it was put in after the winter instead of before it; yet, notwithstanding all
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this, we have an average crop. Our bush or rich land is too strong for wheat. I put some into my garden, and had to cut it down twice before I could get it to stand up, so luxuriantly did it grow, I have some oats growing in my garden, on rich soil, seven feet high; and some of the stems measure one inch in circumference; and a large sort of English pea growing so high, that I could not reach some of the upper pods. You will think I am romancing, but I give you my honour that I am not. Some cabbages (the flat pole) growing on a piece of bush land on our farm, measure five feet across, and have only been planted out eight weeks. We have planted 15,000 of the flat pole, Jersey cow, and 100 headed cabbage for our milch cows. Cabbage plants are 2s. 6d. per hundred, but I grew all we required and more. At this present moment my garden is groaning under a profusion of most excellent vegetables; it is most of it bush land, near an acre in extent, but not all cleared, although fenced in. Some mangel wurzel now in seed is seven feet and eight feet high; in fact, I am quite at a loss to say what the land will not produce when under a proper system of cultivation and manured: this arises as much from the climate as the soil. Cattle do remarkably well in the bush, growing quite fat. We sold a heifer the other day to the butcher for £30, the beef was excellent, and two milch cows realized £65. We expect Messrs. Molesworth and Wall from Port Nicholson over-land, with about 20 or 30 head of cattle and some horses; this will bring down the price of stock. I don't believe any country in the world will beat this for breeding; sheep, I have little doubt, will breed twice in the year. Some of my goats have kidded three times in less than fifteen months. I landed four females and one male, and in less time considerably than two years, counted twenty-five in number.
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A Loan Company is the very thing: many, very many persons here, aye, and persons who fully understand what they are about, are at a stand for the want of means to push on to obtain the desired loaf. There are others with land, but can do nothing for the want of small means to start with. To all such persons it would prove of infinite service.
Mr. Hine, I believe a brother of the director, is up here from Port Nicholson, which place he is about to leave, to settle at New Plymouth; he will be a very desirable person; being both a gentleman and a man of some property. We have now for our farm 200 acres in one block, and a section of wood at one corner, in all 250 acres. A good deal of the Company's land has sold very well, I may say exceedingly well, both in and out of the town--back town sections are below par. Our two best sections on the Hu-a-toki we divided in three portions, and have sold two of them for £100 each: another town section realized £100, and another £60.
I wish you could have seen the Osprey, a large schooner, riding out a heavy north-wester at the mooring. I have just taken up Mr. Heaphy's work, and laughed outright at his recommending "large iron rings to be put into the Sugar-Loaf Islands," for ships to be made fast to. Ships had better keep at a distance.
Coal has been found at Mokau, some of which (some tons) is to be brought to New Plymouth. Lime has been brought in considerable quantity from Kawia. We have made two attempts to make bricks, but not succeeded in making good ones. We want an old hand at it; and also pug-mills to work the material. The complaint is, that our clay is too sandy. We find sand stone in large quantities, which is very good stone for building, as it hardens by exposure to the atmosphere. The stone is like that which we see about Ilchester."
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New Plymouth, January 24th, 1843.
"The Essex got safely here on the 20th instant; two births and one death; the latter, that of an infant, at Port Nicholson. This vessel came to us in remarkably good condition. The captain and surgeon must have done their duty well. Nearly all the children took the scarlet fever, and all recovered. Experience has proved the want of a harbour to be a less evil than was at first supposed. We never have any accidents now.
The country improves on acquaintance. It is really magnificent; and what is of immense consequence, accessible by roads made without any very great outlay. Some of the men are employed in making roads to the Company's reserved sections; some of which, in town and suburban, have been sold to our settlers at fair prices.
In the course of the ensuing month, the road from Patea to New Plymouth, cut by Maories, will be completed. It is sixty-five miles or thereabouts in length, and fit for horses and bullocks. We shall then have an overland communication for cattle all the way to Port Nicholson, and several Wellington people are to visit us with stock this summer.
The road to the Waitera, with one chain and three wooden bridges, will be completed before winter, twelve miles long, and fit for any stage coach to drive along. The cost of this road will soon be defrayed by the enhanced value it will give to the land through and near which it is carried.
The Waitera has been sounded, buoyed, and mapped. It is a capital harbour for craft not drawing more than from 9 to 12 feet of water. The first vessel which entered the river was the cutter built here, raised in a boat sent from England. Several experienced persons report the Waitera as very superior to Nelson haven for small craft; but large
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ships could not lie safely within four miles of the mouth of the river. So the chief town is best where it is.
Capital coal, and plenty of it, has been found on our side of the Mokau river, within a few days' sail, with a fair wind, of New Plymouth. I have contracted for a few tons for use next winter, to put the trade a-going. Yesterday some good specimens of lime-stone were brought to me from the Waitera. Our flax, too, is of superior quality, and I am engaged (following Colonel Wakefield's example and suggestion) in forming a school and workshop of immigrants' children, which is in process of formation, for preparing the flax for sale. It is worth £11. a ton here, for use at Wellington, and for exportation.
We have a good many small farmers and gardeners here, who produce, altogether, a good quantity of vegetables, and are preparing for the cultivation of grain crops, of which we have only about 25 acres as yet. All our settlers are in good spirits about their land--and, indeed, about everything else, as far as I can see. In the other settlements too, Taranaki is now talked of with respect. The visit of the Bishop and Chief was very beneficial. They were charmed with the country, and tell everybody how much they liked it. We got up a subscription for a church clergyman of £80 per annum, whilst the Bishop was here; his lordship will raise the salary to £250 a-year--so there will soon be a church and regular clergyman here. In the meanwhile, the Rev. Horatio Groube reads the church service, and preaches to us in a native hut.
Our first Horticultural Show takes place on the 1st of next month, and I anticipate a respectable exhibition. We have had benefit club dinners, temperance society dinners, and tea-drinking, and anniversary settlement rejoicings. So you may tell your folk that the place is alive.
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But tell them this also--that within a few days of their arrival they can be put upon excellent available land, within an easy walk of the town, already surveyed, and with a road to it, at a moderate price.
The surgeon of the Essex has just been with me, to mention his intention of returning next year with a wife, and would be glad to have another appointment as surgeon, I hope he may succeed with his wish. He is the best man I have ever known in the same post, and is especially praiseworthy for his successful endeavours to preserve the morality of the folks on board. I believe there was no drunkenness or disorder on board the Essex.
Smart has chosen six sections, and works very hard. Hall has sold his goods well, and, I believe, will farm his suburban sections. There were several other excellent settlers by the Blenheim, who are doing well."
January 24th, 1843.
"In my hurried letter of yesterday, I forgot to tell you that we had received a visit from the Bishop, who walked up from Port Nicholson; he intended making some stay, but the Government brig coming in with the Lord Chief Justice on board, whose stay was merely eight hours, he left us to proceed with him to the Strait. This we regretted, as we had ample reason to wish a little more of his company. He promised to send us a clergyman on his return to the Bay of Islands. Both the Bishop and the Lord Chief Justice, notwithstanding their short stay, contrived to see and examine a considerable extent of country; and I am sure I need not tell you that they were quite delighted with it. The description of this district, which they gave in Auckland, has so put the Governor on the qui vive, that he is determined to have a look at us immediately, and has sent
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Captain King an intimation to that effect. He is expected in about three weeks or a month from this time. We are rather at a loss where to stow a Governor; and unless we can induce our carpenters to bestir themselves, and make our house habitable by that time, I fear he will meet with but humble accommodation.
When on the subject of agriculture yesterday, I should have told you that a considerable quantity (for this place at present) of wheat had been destroyed by the caterpillar, which I think would not have been the case had the wheat been sown in the autumn. We had them in numbers, but the stalk being of longer standing, they did not touch it, and consequently did but little harm, and very much to my satisfaction retired in a body to the "bush" in one day. I saw nothing of this last year: it, however, is not lost sight of that it will be necessary to get the wheat in early, so that it may be beyond their depredations should they visit us again next season."
BEAUTIFUL SCENERY OF TARANAKI, OR NEW PLYMOUTH.--(From the Note-book of a Tourist.)-- "For the first time in New Zealand we could see from our deck a wide green plain, edged by a line of glistening surf, and towered over, not by many ranges of mountains, but by one solitary mass, standing clear and alone--Mount Egmont. By-and-bye, the huge bare Sugar-loaves stood clearly out, patches of green, scattered houses, and then the town or village of Taranaki. The township lies very prettily, being gathered into three small groups, villages, or, if you please, village-lets, each upon its stream. The streams are all beautiful brooks, galloping or gliding over stony beds to the sea. The whole of the scattered population is estimated at 900. Mount Egmont was cloudless for the first
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time for many days, and glorious beyond all conceptions of mine. I had never fully realised the majesty of one kingly, unapproachable giant peak, lifting itself alone toward heaven. The land (town, suburban, rural,) extends, with scarcely broken continuity, over a slightly undulating surface, extending twelve miles or more to the northward, and from four to five miles broad. It is, indeed, a land worthy of all we have heard of New Zealand; a land of deep rich mould--of luxuriant wood--of full streams, the sight of which gladdens you, as you see them leaping on from the great mountain to the sea. And then there are cottages after cottages, with tasty gardens (the native trees and tree-ferns left here and there to throw their shadows across the thatch), and neat gates and compact fences; and you meet with all the little civilities and kindly greetings of the west-country peasantry. There was one spot I could scarcely leave, commanding a view which I never expect to see equalled. We looked from a cliff over a huge hollow, filled with the richest wood of every shade of colour--a blue stream rushing and winding through the midst, and beyond, the clear dazzling cone whence it was flowing. Then came up, ever and anon, the piping, gushing, and thrilling of birds, just as we heard them in the woods near the Porirua road. * * * *"--Auckland Chronicle.
JOHNSTON AND BARRETT, PRINTERS, MARK LANE, LONDON.
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