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Henry Williams to his Mother.
June 15, 1825.
Our thoughts have been peculiarly directed to you all at this season, as we consider that William and Jane are either on their way, or may be about to embark. We feel the trial you will be called upon to endure, in the separation from these, your youngest children; but trust your views extend far beyond this present vale of tears to that glorious period when we may all assemble around our Father's throne. It is meet they should be about their Father's business: the work is great, and the day is far spent.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G, Marsh.
September 4, 1825.
Willliam's letter greatly comforted us, in the hope of his joining soon; indeed, his coming among us will be the greatest boon that possibly could occur in this corner of the world. I feel greatly in need of aid; but, without entering into all that is past, I begin to look with delight at a glimmer of hope that the weight of our secular concerns are drawing to a close; when the principal part of each day will be appropriated to the furtherance of the main points. William will be a great support to me, and I to him: by coming here he will be relieved from that immensity of fag we have gone through, and each will bear up the other. Besides the mutual benefit which would result to William and myself from a union of strength, I feel the situation of the women. Marianne has been in perpetual motion ever since our landing; her sole attention has been engaged with things which did not immediately form part of that work in which she would wish to engage. She is desirous of attempting something for the females, when Jane shall arrive to assist her; there are vast numbers around us, but they will require much attention to keep them out of mischief.
It had been announced that Mr. William Williams, 1 might shortly be expected in Sydney, whither the "Herald," with Mr. Henry Williams on board, was bound on her first voyage. As it was expected that the former would hasten onwards to New Zealand, anxiety was felt lest the brothers should pass on opposite courses at sea. But fortune was favourable, and the long-hoped-for meeting took place in New South Wales.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh
"Herald," at sea, March 3, 1826.
Port Jackson, west, 135 miles.
I shall endeavour to seek a little relief to my mind by writing a few lines to you, telling you whence I am, and whither bound. I
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had already mentioned my intention to visit the Colony, and now am I on the way. The "Herald," our vessel, was launched five weeks since on Tuesday last, and in three weeks put to sea under my orders as commodore; for I have no particular charge of her, as there is a young man on board who acts as captain, and I hope will answer our purpose well. Yet, I reserve the privilege to myself, when on board, to have her conducted as I wish. Our voyage has been very pleasant as yet, but protracted, in consequence of light winds, and but few sails to set. She is a fine little vessel; acts well in rough weather, according to the trial we have yet been able to give her. We have three native men and three boys as crew; two English seamen, a captain, Mr. Fairburn as supercargo, William Puckey as mate. Passengers, Mr. and Mrs. Puckey and daughter, a sick carpenter, a native chief, and your humble servant. As the period for her launch advanced, numbers of natives assembled from all quarters, and took up their abode near us. They behaved very well, and manifested great curiosity to know how she was to be transported into the water. The morning at length arrived, and by the dawn of day she was decorated according to the usual ceremony. The whole scene was very imposing; not less than fifty canoes and boats were afloat. At 7 a.m., the signal was given for her moving, when she instantly glided off, without anything giving way. This was a day of considerable relief to me, as the great weight was removed from my shoulder. I hope I am now discharging my last duty towards her, in conducting her to the Colony. This is the first time of my being separated from my family, and I feel it very acutely. Moreover, we have had frequent calms; are now making little or no advance, and I fear William and Jane may have sailed from Port Jackson previously to our arrival. On our return it is our intention to begin a new course of proceeding, to commence a boys' and girls' school.
Marsden Vale, March 31, 1826.
I had intended to tear this letter up, but as I am now driven for time, I shall send it as it is, with a little addition. On Tuesday morning, March 7, we entered Port Jackson, at daylight. The pilot informed me that William had been enquiring for us, and that his ship was on the eve of sailing. Immediately on landing I called on Captain Thompson, to say that if he remained till the Monday following, I would take a passage with him. I then directed my steps to Mr. Hill's, but on my way met Mr. William Hall, with whom I went home, and had a long conversation, learning much news. About noon, called at Mr. Hill's, and in a few minutes Mr. Marsden and William drove up from Parramatta.
The brothers embarked for New Zealand in the "Sir George Osborne," reaching Paihia on the evening of March 26. Mr, Henry Williams thus describes their landing.
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The moon shone bright, the sea was calm, and the natives were rejoicing on all sides that their new countrymen were come. The evening was cool; my wife had furnished a bright fire, and supper was prepared. All the members of the settlement assembled at our house to bid us welcome. We closed the evening with prayer and praise, and thus ended one of the happiest days of my life. The next day was Easter Sunday, when the largest congregation of Missionaries and settlers met together that had yet assembled in New Zealand. My brother preached; it was truly a pleasant, and, I hope, a profitable day.
July 12, 1826. Since my return from Sydney, I have experienced a very great change, as having little, comparatively speaking, to call off my attention from the more direct Missionary work, from the share my brother has taken in all that is requisite. He makes rapid progress in the language; appears not to learn it, but it seems to flow naturally from him, and he can even now hold a tolerable conversation with the natives. We meet generally from nine till twelve o'clock each day, studying the language, generally translating the Scriptures; we make considerable progress, and it greatly facilitates our intercourse with the people. Our schools are on the increase. We have opened a school fund amongst ourselves for the female schools. We are desirous of making an effort on their behalf, as their condition is far more degraded than that of the men, and wish to excite our friends and relatives to do the same. We are in hopes of assistance from New South Wales. The schools here have been held back for want of means to keep them together; if you can collect something for us we shall be glad. We are in some concern, also, for our own children, as they advance in years.
Our little vessel has returned from Sydney in safety, with abundance of stores. We have since been two hundred miles to the southward, in quest of potatoes for the school; she was filled on the third day of trading. The natives behaved remarkably well. Te Koki and Rangituke [Te Koki's son] were on board. We brought two boys for our school. Pomare 2 has lately been cut off with great slaughter in the Thames, and this will lead to fresh bloodshed.
The "Herald" proved an invaluable acquisition while she lasted. She made three trips to Sydney for stores, and two to Hokianga, at which place she was wrecked in May, 1828. In her Mr. Williams had made four voyages to Tauranga, and other places in the Bay of Plenty, for the purpose of visiting the tribes in that neighbourhood, bringing back with them several sons of chiefs for instruction in the schools. On the last occasion, April 4, 1828,
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they had to leave Paihia at eleven o'clock at night, in order to elude the vigilance of Marupo 3 and his tribe, who were watching an opportunity to cut off Pango and other Arawas, who had taken refuge at Paihia. These were landed in safety by Mr. Williams and Mr. Davis.
About this time, the original New Zealand Company made their first attempt to settle on the Island. Two ships, with intending settlers, put into the Thames; but, in the face of a hostile demonstration, the people did not venture to land. They called in at the Bay of Islands, October 26, 1826, and Mr. Williams went on board. Captain Hird, who was in charge of the expedition, seemed to despair of success. They afterwards proceeded to Hokianga, on the West Coast. There a beginning was made, but failure was the ultimate result.
1827 ushered in a stormy period. On the first of January, the news arrived that Hongi's army was on the move, on an expedition to Whangaroa. 4 The following are extracts from Mrs. Williams' journal.
January 5. At eight o'clock in the morning, a brig was in sight. Not a whaler; all thought she must be from Sydney; 5 her decks were crowded; we saw a boat lowered, which pulled towards the watering-place at Kororareka, and was then seen to be filled with water casks. A boat was sent across, which brought word she was of a very suspicious appearance; and upon Mr. Williams going over himself, it was ascertained that she was the "Wellington," from Sydney, bound for Norfolk Island, laden with convicts and stores. The convicts had risen, making prisoners the captain, crew, guard, and passengers. The convict captain, at the head of his desperadoes, set the two vessels in the harbour, the "Harriett" and the "Sisters,"
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at defiance. Mr. Williams thought the captains of the whalers were not much inclined to follow his advice, to fire into her and take her, and we all felt great dismay at having a nest of pirates so near us, in comparison of whom the New Zealanders appeared quite amiable beings.
January 6. Great apprehensions from these horrible neighbours: our boys were set to watch the boat, lest it should be cut away in the night, as the convicts were in want of one. The natives came to ask the Missionaries' opinion respecting the character of these white thieves. It blew a gale; she broke from her anchorage. The natives round about had said, that they were going over to cut her cable, and run her on shore.
January 7. At break of day we were awoke by a cannonading: the two whalers were firing into the brig. It was an awful sight, yet we could not help rejoicing that these wretches should be checked in their career of mischief, and the passengers, soldiers, and crew escape. It was now blowing a gale into the harbour, so that she had no chance of getting away. After service, a boat came for Mr. Williams to go over to control the natives at Kororareka, while the prisoners were landed; this being a part of the terms of the capitulation. In the evening, Mr. Williams returned and brought us a visitor, a Mr. Buchanan, an engineer, a passenger to Norfolk Island. We listened with much interest to the history of his capture and sufferings, and rejoiced in the taking of the vessel, but were I uneasy that forty of these men should be loose ashore. The natives, we heard, had stripped them and made slaves of them, intending to sell them to the first man-of-war that should come in. Several, we heard, were in the villages on either side of us, vowing vengeance on the Missionaries, especially on Mr. Williams, whom they considered as instrumental in their capture.
January 8. Mr. Williams went to the shipping to see if anything could be done towards securing the convicts at large on shore.
January 10. Before ten o'clock, while all were as usual at the study of the language, a messenger from Kerikeri arrived, with a letter from Whangaroa. The news flew through the settlement-- Hongi was carrying on the war near Whangaroa. The Missionaries at Kerikeri were in danger of being plundered; all their natives, even their domestics, had fled. Mr. Williams and Mr. Davis immediately set off with sixteen natives, nearly all the available men on their place, to Kerikeri, intending to go by night to Whangaroa.
As there was danger to be apprehended, when they were gone, from our own countrymen,--the prisoners in the hands of the natives, it was determined that Mr. William Williams and Mr. Fairburn, with our two Englishmen, should mount guard with loaded pieces. 6 As they were starting, Captain Duke called, and
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seemed to have serious thoughts of going to Sydney with the brig, which his men considered as their lawful prize. he said that he thought he ought to try and get the prisoners and take them away, as they had vowed to shoot any of the Missionaries, especially Mr. Williams, for setting the natives against them. It will appear in the sequel how wonderfully all things were made to work together by an overruling Providence--that Captain Duke should just at this critical period be turned towards Port Jackson, when such an opportunity was most needed.
January 11. At noon our boat returned: bonnets were seen in it, which spoke volumes. I ran out and met Mrs. Turner and her children. They had been attacked and plundered, and had fled about five hours after despatching their express. Mr. Williams and Mr. Davis with their party, who had proceeded most rapidly, had met them about six miles on the road from Kerikeri to Whangaroa, The natives at Kerikeri would not allow them to remain there, saying that if they did, they would be themselves stripped, and the Kerikeri Missionaries also, on their account. The fugitives were therefore glad to accept an invitation to Paihia. It is impossible to describe the effect this had upon us all. Our first anxiety was to comfort and assist our poor friends, those friends whom I had visited in peace and apparent security not two months since. The next was, apprehension for our brethren at Kerikeri; and then it was felt that, every one must immediately pack up all they could, to send by the "Sisters," which would sail immediately. News from every quarter showed that all the tribes were, more or less, involved in this horrible civil war, and the fate of Whangaroa opened our ears to listen to reports we had before disregarded, showing us we were all alike exposed to the plundering parties of an enemy.
January 12. Early this morning the great boat was sent to Kerikeri, to bring away the goods, while we all continued packing. In the evening, an express arrived from Kerikeri, stating that Hongi was wounded, and that the natives could give our brethren no protection. Mr. Williams and Mr. Davis again started to bring down Mrs. Clarke, and returned home early next morning.
January 13. Mr. and Mrs. Turner's passage taken, and many goods sent on board the "Sisters."
January 14 (Sunday). A quiet day, but in the evening all again excitement. An express from Kerikeri. Hongi reported dead.
January 15. Rose at daylight to pack box after box and case after case: a great fatigue.
January 16. Our old chief came down from Kawakawa, to entreat us not to go away, as he was able and willing, he said, to protect us, and he wished all the other white people to come and live here. Hongi reported not dead.
January 17. Report of a taua coming to us.
January 18. A messenger from Kawakawa, to say that Hongi
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and Rewa 7 were coming with their army here--that all Kawakawa, Whangai, Waikare, &c, were on the move to meet them and protect us, and that there would be a great conflict. We determined to be prepared: a part of the floor was taken up to bury some linen, clothes laid ready to put on, &c. At night, an express from Kerikeri. Hongi not dead, but dangerously wounded through the breast, and now at Whangaroa.
January 19. We slept in quiet, and rose in quiet. The "Sisters" has moved, but does not sail till to-morrow. We cling to the hope of weathering the storm, and being able to stay. We have shipping in the harbour to flee to, in case of necessity. They have secured nearly all the prisoners on board the "Sisters." We have just heard from Captain Hird and the settlers at Hokianga; they are going to Sydney, and offer assistance. All the tribes are rising there; some to avenge Hongi's supposed death, some to oppose his avengers.
During the whole of this year, the Mission was kept in almost constant alarm by a succession of announcements that Hongi was dead. For the Mission, which had been taken under Hongi's special protection, would, for this very cause, become subject to taua. Life would be safe, unless resistance were offered (and no one would be guilty of such a breach of good manners as to contend against what ought to be taken as a compliment); but they might be turned adrift, stripped of all they had in the world. A Maori, when thus despoiled, consoles himself with the prospect of indemnifying himself, so soon as occasion might arise, by stripping some one else; but this, though quite permissible, was a fashion of recouping which the Missionaries could not permit themselves to adopt.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
August 16, 1827.
Your account of the clans in Scotland corresponds in all points with these people, in their resenting an injured honour; but perhaps there is a point among us not practiced in Europe. If a chief be insulted, he is visited by parties which strip his plantation, or property of any kind. If he meet with an accident it is the same: so, also, when he dies. In these cases, the whole tribe suffers. Hongi has several times been subject to this
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compliment within these two years. Once he was severely hurt by the falling of a tree: they commenced the pillage immediately, and he was visited by parties from all the northern part of the island. He has been several times served in this way, owing to the death of his son, and some of his wives, &c, &c. When Pomare was killed, his people were stripped by many parties. Te Koki, on the return of the "Herald" from Port Jackson, was on board of her; the end of a rope struck him on the head, and drew a drop of blood. In the course of the day, two tauas 8 came upon him. I believe they were well-disposed to have walked into our premises on the same account, but they did not. And why? This is a question we may ask on many occasions. We sit in the midst of combustible matter; sparks are flying oh all sides, and yet we are not consumed. It is of the Lord's mercies.
The following extract from Mr. Williams' journal makes a fitting commencement to the year 1828.
New Year's day. As we have again reached another period in our journey through life, I can scarcely proceed without stopping a
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moment to take a view of the past. The last year commenced in trouble, by the overthrow of the Mission at Whangaroa; and we ourselves were sitting in expectation of the like. But through all the Lord hath brought us; not a hair of our heads has yet been suffered to fall. Our influence has advanced with the natives as we have increased our acquaintance. The schools have augmented and improved greatly, and we ourselves have made considerable progress in the language. All the members in the Mission have been preserved in health, and each family has received the addition of one infant. The arm of the Lord has been very visible, and we daily have had evidences of his care concerning us. The feelings of all have been alive to the magnitude of the work before us, and our trust in Him on whom alone we must depend.
. . . . . . . . . .
January 5. In the afternoon the news arrived that Hongi was dead, which put our thoughts immediately in motion; but as no messenger arrived from the Kerikeri, which was to be the case when the brethren should receive a creditable report, we were inclined to disbelieve it.
January 6. Service as usual. Before we had concluded, some strange native came to the door, and appeared to be troublesome. Some of us concluded that a plundering party was at hand, in consequence of Hongi's death; but we soon learned that it was a person come for the purpose of claiming one of the girls in the settlement as his wife. The girl did not wish to go with him, but she was obliged by the law of the land. Went over to Kororareka, and held service at Captain Duke's house. Afterwards at the Haumi. Tohitapu affected much concern at the report of Hongi's death, and said that in the morning he should go to Whangaroa. He should have gone then; but as it was the Sabbath he would not move.
January 7. At daylight, Tohitapu came with two canoes, and wanted some tea, sugar, flour, and medicine for Hongi; for perhaps he was not quite dead. He repeated his application at each house. After breakfast, my brother and myself left the settlement for the Kerikeri to attend the Committee. When we arrived we learned that Hongi was not dead, but had fainted away from great weakness.
An extract from Mr. Williams' journal shews two steps in civilization, of a somewhat opposite character.
February 25, 1828. After my return to the house, Poutu, 9 one of my earliest boys, presented me with a note relative to our native girls, from whom I had requested him to select a partner. His note intimated his desire to take one, but that he could not under-
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stand the lady's mind on the subject, especially as we kept so strict a look-out. I desired him to enquire in person; but he considered that it would be better that I should propose the question.
1 February 26. We learnt early this morning that the robbery at Motu-o-rangi had been discovered by the natives, and that it was accomplished by two slaves who live at the Haumi, and a native from Taiamai. Two of our men, Te Kaue and Pumuka, 10 went in quest of the thieves. They brought one, a slave of Te Kaue, and some of the things stolen. The second thief had run into the woods. He is a slave of Tohitapu. Our natives were very indignant. We assembled them, and told them that in our country they always try prisoners by jury,--that they must consider the case before them, and say what punishment ought to be his portion. The majority said that he would have been shot, had it not been for what we had said upon the subject of taking away life; but proposed that he should be flogged. Upon this question we found it necessary to have much consultation, and at length determined that he should be flogged, the natives proposing that each should give him one lash. A thieves' cat was accordingly made, and the prisoner punished in due form. About eleven o'clock, Tohitapu came in a great bustle, and called to me to have him also tied up. This he repeated several times. He said that he had been so much ashamed of the conduct of his slave, that he had not eaten anything since.
Poutu again requested me to speak to his intended; consequently I embraced the earliest opportunity of executing my commission. The lady expressed her willingness. About 2 p.m. Poutu signified his wish that his intended should be consigned to him. We consequently sent for Taueke, and asked if she were willing that the ceremony should then take place. She certainly excited much laughter. She is by far the most awkward of all the older girls in the settlement. She came, rolled up in a blanket; no part of her person could be seen, but the blanket formed a peak of a foot and a half above her head. Knowing our purpose, she commenced whimpering, but after some time said that she was willing; so, by her permission, I called in both the bridegroom and the bridegroom's man,--my earliest native, George. I told them what had passed, and that it was much more proper that these things should be written on paper, than to follow their native customs. I therefore prepared pen, ink, and paper, in due form. I thought it most advisable to commence my questions to Taueke, and accordingly asked her if she were willing to become the wife of Poutu, &c, &c. After a considerable interval, she squeaked, "Ae." I then proposed a similar question to Poutu.
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He, I presume, considering that it was necessary to take as much time for reflection as the young lady, kept us in silence for more than ten minutes. At length, George said that he would say yes for him; but as I told him that was not allowed by us, Poutu himself spoke out. The bridegroom then retired towards the door; I conducted the bride towards the gate, and closed the door; feeling exceedingly thankful that this girl, for whom we have felt much anxiety, was now likely to be respectably settled in life.
False alarms about Hongi were put an end to by reality on March 10. Taiwhanga, who had gone to Whangaroa to learn the truth, returned with news of his death. As a further complication, news arrived about the same time that Pomare's son had been killed at Hokianga, in a stripping party, and that five of the opposite side had been killed as a payment. It will presently be seen how these two events neutralized each other, causing the Mission to be left unscathed.
The following particulars of Hongi's death and funeral rites are taken from a journal kept by Mr. Stack.
March 12, 1828. Patuone, who has just returned from Whangaroa, called this evening. I asked about Hongi. He told me several things, all of which I felt interested in listening to, as connected with the end of this extraordinary chief. I perceived that Patuone spoke of him in the most affectionate manner.
When he and his party arrived at Pinia, where Hongi was, they found him so emaciated, that they were much affected: they all, as is usual, wept together; after which, they informed him that they feared he would soon die: to which he replied in the negative, saying, he was never in better spirits. After waiting sufficiently long with him to pay him proper respect, they were about to return, when he was taken suddenly ill: on which they determined to wait the result. Perceiving, by his inward sinking, that he was going, he said to his friends, "I shall die now shortly; but not to-day." He called for his gunpowder; and when it was brought to him, he said, "Ka ora Koutou" ["You will be (or are) well"]. This was addressed to his children. His meres, or battle-axes, muskets, and coat-of-mail which he received from King George the Fourth, he bequeathed on that day to his sons. After he had settled these matters, he spoke of the conduct of the natives after his death as, in all probability, likely to be kind towards his survivors; saying, "Kowai ma te hiakai mai ki a koutou kaore?" [Who will desire to eat you all?--None!"]
He spent his last moments, on the morning of the 6th instant, exhorting his followers to be valiant, and repel any force, however
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great, which might come against them--telling them this was all the utu, or satisfaction, that he desired; which intimated that he had had the question proposed to him--"Who is to be killed as a satisfaction for your death?" This abominable principle still exists in New Zealand, of honouring the dead by human sacrifice. His dying lips were employed in uttering, "Kia toa--kia toa" ["Be couragous--be couragous"].
As soon as Hongi ceased to breathe, all his friends in the pa at Pinia trembled for themselves; for they did not know but that the Hokianga natives would fall upon them, and send them, as companions for their dead chief, "to the shades of night." The Hokianga chiefs, to prevent suspicion, caused all their people to remain quiet in their huts, while they went to the pa, to see Hongi's body dressed: on their approach, though they had used the above precautions, they perceived the people in the pa shivering, like leaves in the wind, till Patuone and the others bade them dismiss their fears, for they were groundless.
A wish to keep Hongi's death private till he was buried, lest a party should come and attack the survivors, induced his children to determine to bury him, or rather to place him on the wahitapu, or sacred place, the day after his death: this Patuone reproved them for; saying--"I have only just become acquainted with those who wish to bury their father alive!" He was not buried, therefore, for some days; which were spent in paying all the honour which the New Zealanders were capable of to the remains of the once-renowned Hongi. This time the natives spent in haranguing, crying, cutting themselves, dancing, and firing muskets.
He died, not a Christian, but seemingly emancipated from heathen superstition. He had expressed, for some days, a desire for religious conversation and instruction, but finding that he did not gain strength, but rather grew worse, he requested that no one should speak to him on these subjects. Nevertheless, he refused to be karakiatia'd previous to dissolution. This last rite may be considered as "extreme unction," and he died in comparative silence for so great a man. He gave directions that no slaves, according to the usual barbarous custom, should be killed over his grave; and, because it was Sunday, his tribe refrained from discharging their guns as a signal for his departure. 11
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It was not so much the loss of Hongi's protection which caused anxiety, but the assurance, received from friendly chiefs, that, in accordance with invariable custom, their settlements would be desolated. The death of a chief was the signal for plunder of
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all he left behind. The Missionaries were identified with him; they were his property, subject to the operation of Maori law.
This calamity was, however, averted. Various causes contributed to this result. The Missionaries were gradually
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emancipating themselves from Maori law. Had Hongi's death taken place when he received the wound, the law would inevitably have been enforced. But he lived so long at Wangaroa, that his connection with the Kerikeri had been diminished.
The peril of taua was averted from the Mission by troubles at Hokianga, which, menacing a long and bloody war, left no time for the consideration of any other question whatever. A Bay of Islands chief, had been shot in a quarrel. Whareumu,12 a Ngapuhi, set off at the head of a strong party, to make enquiry. An amicable settlement had been nearly arrived at, when a misunderstanding arose, which led to a general battle. Whareumu fell, and Ngapuhi 13 were routed. Payment for Whareumu had to be
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exacted, as a matter of course; the laws of Maori honour are inexorable, compelling even the weaker party to take action at the risk of extermination. But the adjustment of even a death feud was not impossible, provided that honour could be saved, and this might be effected through the interposition of a third party. The practice of international arbitration, not such a novelty as it seems to be now considered, was introduced by the Mission into New Zealand, and was worked more effectively, some five and forty years ago, than by European diplomatists of late. Ngapuhi summoned their allies from the Bay of Islands, Tohitapu, Rewa, Wharepoaka,14 and others, to assist them. There was no choice but to comply, yet they did not care to fight with Mahurehure, as they were all one people, and nearly related. They knew what evil would befall, yet were themselves debarred from proposing peace, and therefore willingly accepted the mediation of the Mission. Accordingly, Mr. Williams, Mr. Clarke, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Kemp, set off in company with Rewa, the principal Ngapuhi chief, to join the invading army. At Hokianga, they found themselves unexpectedly well received, both parties showing a desire for peace. Mr. Williams and Mr. Clarke, accompanied by Tohitapu, went to the pa to visit the enemy; Mr. Kemp and Mr. Davis remained in camp to speak to the army. On the following day, the white flag was hoisted on the neutral ground; the eldest son of Patuone, accompanied by several chiefs of distinction, advanced from the pa, and rubbed noses with Rewa; the customary war-dance was performed, and a happy end was made of what had bid fair to usher in a period of indiscriminate slaughter.
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. Heathcote. 15
March 17, 1828.
The Missionaries are now holding a Committee in our late beehive about a projected expedition, in consequence of a request made
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by the army here, on their march to succour that at the Hokianga, the news from which two days since put us all in consternation, and hurried Mr. Hobbs home, leaving his wife here in great anxiety. The request our own natives have made is for the white people to go with them and make peace.
March 19. Henry has just departed, taking George and Peter, the bridegroom, with Mr. Davis in the boat for Kerikeri. There they are to meet Mr. Shepherd, from Rangihoua. Perhaps Mr. Clarke may also join the party. They then proceed to Pukenui, where the auxiliaries from these tribes, and those in connection with the Kerikeri, the Waimate, &c, among whom of late there was nothing but jealousy, will meet the main body. Tohitapu and many others set off last night. Some of the chiefs are for peace; others for war. If the majority be for peace, the Missionaries will proceed with the army to the place of conflict; or, to use Tohitapu's words, "go with the thousands." There they are to be placed in the front of the battle array, and negotiate with the enemy's host. If war be irrevocably declared, they will pass on to Wai Hou, and stand by their Wesleyan brethren, to endeavour to restrain our natives as they pass by. Henry thus left me for an unlimited time, to go with a little heroic band amidst a savage host, for the strength of the Lord of Hosts, to endeavour to stay the slaughter of thousands; to stop the murder of fathers and brothers. For the mischief that must ensue in case of a conflict is incalculable, as most of the principal chiefs of the tribes of the Hokianga are either related to or intermarried with these. Notwithstanding all their petty quarrels, and their plunderings and stoppings of each other's plantations, their law of redress for every trifling injury, through which Pomare's son was shot, causing all this consternation, murder, and revenge, they have hitherto formed one warlike band against the Southern tribes, against whom they have yearly gone to war, exercising the greatest cruelties. The natives from the southward, doubtless are rejoicing with savage glee over the death of Hongi, and the death, I might almost say murder--of Whareumu, who, though he fell avenging the death of Pomare's son, was only wounded until he was killed in cold blood, when left by his flying friends. 16 These tribes may 'ere long, perhaps, realize the dreams which have every succeeding summer haunted the guilty consciences of the people, and come down on us and retaliate all past atrocities. The Hokianga army is fed with muskets and shot from the shipping, and Englishmen living on shore on that river; and, though in a more sparing manner, from the vessels at Kororareka. Pomare, two years since, at the southward, and now his son and Whareumu, the chiefs of Kororareka, strong in the strength of muskets and powder, have fallen. The Hokianga chiefs have excited the jealousy
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of the Bay of Islands, in consequence of these scourges of the native race lately imported through the Englishmen trading at Hokianga; and if a peace be not accomplished, a deadly hatred and the duty of revenge must be handed down to posterity; and the hitherto united friendly chiefs, supporters of the Wesleyans, and our Missionaries, must be bitter foes. Henry is gone on an imperious duty, and we may rely on the arm of the Lord of Hosts to sustain and protect him; but I have a great struggle to quell anxieties. We see not in what way all things work together for good; but it certainly is very singular that at this season, when nothing but confusion was expected in consequence of Hongi's death, all heads and hands are turned towards a fresh cause of excitement, and Hongi seems quite forgotten.
March 28. The whole of this day we had been hearing flying reports; and even a man of Mr. Davis', who was sent from the spot to relieve our anxieties, told quite an inconsistent and really false story, giving an account of what he called an engagement, saying that peace was not made, and that Mr. Davis and Henry would not return for two days. You will imagine, then, after fidgeting over all these reports, what a delightful sound the boat-oars were at nine o'clock at night, the shouts of the natives, and the well-known footstep on the gravel walk; and the vociferous shouts of all the children on hearing from those who were awake that papa was come. You who live in favoured England, the land of roads, and coaches, and posts, know not what it is either to say "good-bye," or "how do you do?" Your post-office preserves you from the feeling of separation which a journey in New Zealand occasions. Besides, had Samuel and Henry been in England, they would not have believed or have been told by mischievous boys, as these little things were on this day, that their "father and Mr. Davis were killed and thrown into the sea;" and their joy would not have been so extravagant on his return in a whole skin. Besides, they really had been placed in the midst of shots, flying in every direction from mischievous followers of the camp, who were unawed by the chieftains and the more regular troops; which caused Peter to think it was more like an engagement than a peace. And although the peace was as satisfactory as possible, the whole history is a most gratifying exemplification of the influence of the Missionaries, and the restraining hand of a prayer-hearing God. The behaviour of all the chiefs was exceedingly good. There was danger till the last that one stray shot, taking effect upon a chief, might rouse the vengeance of the assembled armies arranged in separate troops, each headed by their feudal chief, and separated only by a deep ditch, by the side of which was planted a flagstaff, upon which waved Henry's sheet, as a white flag of truce; and that the opposing generals met round this flagstaff with the Missionaries might be imbued in blood while in the act of sealing a peace. It has been
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a season of excitement, and a season of joy I have never yet experienced. It is a most singular circumstance that just at this time some of the Missionaries should be called upon to meet every chief in the Bay of Islands as friends and allies, with the exception of our own people at the Kawakawa, who have excited great resentment by retreating home upon the false rumour of a peace. For all the rest I must refer you to public intelligence.
The conclusion of the peace-making is described by Mr. Williams:--
March 21, 1828. About noon we saw the smoke of the encampment, and by two arrived at it. We received a hearty welcome from our friends, and pitched our tent close to Tohitapu. We had a good deal of conversation upon the general disposition of our natives, and some who at Paihia had laughed at the idea of making peace, now desired that we should be very bold and determined with the enemy for peace. After a little refreshment, the parties turned out for review before Rewa, Ururoa, 17 and others. They certainly formed a strong party, and nearly every man had a musket. They had several hakas [dances], when the ground trembled beneath their feet. Several speeches were afterwards made, when it evidently appeared that the general desire was for peace. The remainder of the day quiet.
March 22. A number of guns were fired during the night, lest the enemy should surprise the camp. At the first dawn of day all in motion, eating their food and preparing for their march, and in a few minutes a general rush to the path leading towards the pa. We, with many of the chiefs, were about the centre, and were hurried through a wood of considerable length, and partly through a swamp. There was much rain and thunder; the rain made our walk very uncomfortable, and the thunder struck the natives with awe; they considered it as a sure indication of a battle. We halted on the side of a hill until all were collected together, when two or three chiefs gave an address, after which we again moved on, and at length came into a beautiful valley opposite the pa. Kumara had been planted over the whole plain, some portion of which had been taken away by Whareumu's followers. The people ran about in every direction, some to destroy houses, some to fetch food, others to see the spot where Whareumu fell. In the course of three hours, ranges of booths were formed for the accommodation of the different tribes, with the utmost order, each tribe sitting by itself. In the afternoon, Rewa and Tohitapu consulted with us; they considered that it would not be proper for any one of them to go into the pa to-day. but that we had better go by ourselves, and ascertain the real feeling of the natives of the opposite party. We accordingly went to
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the pa in company with two natives, relatives of Rewa, who had come from thence. We were received very graciously, and conducted to Patuone and many others. They expressed their desire for peace, and regret that any fighting had taken place. They appeared glad to see us. Wharekawa asked if Pi, 18 the chief of the pa, should go out with us into the camp. As we had not had any message to that effect, we felt it too great a responsibility to take upon ourselves, and therefore advised his remaining for the present. Wharerahi 19 returned with us to camp; the poor old man seemed much dejected in mind, and fatigued in body. We conducted him to his brother, Rewa. As we passed along to our tent, the people drew round to enquire the news, and were pleased when we told them that all desired peace. Before sunset, I paid a visit round to all the chiefs, and had some very pleasing conversation with them. It was gratifying to observe the order which was preserved amongst such a disordered and independent race. It appeared to be the general wish that peace should take place on the morrow. We were sorry at such an infringement of the Sabbath-day, but could see no remedy, as by delay much evil feeling might be excited, and all our endeavours frustrated; however, while in conversation with Wharepoaka, that to-morrow was the ra tapu [sacred day, Sunday], he said it was a very proper day to make peace upon. I asked him what he thought upon the propriety of sitting still, and making peace on Monday. He, and some others sitting by, immediately consented, and advised my mentioning it to the other chiefs, which I did. No one objected, but all behaved in the most pleasing manner. On my return to the tent I learned that Messrs. Kemp and Clarke were at hand. It was now quite dark; in about half an hour they arrived. As we were closing the evening, Tohitapu arose and addressed the camp upon the necessity of sitting quiet on the morrow, as it was the ra tapu. His speech was animated, and he was replied to by Ururoa; after which all was still, not a gun fired during the night.
March 23. No bustle in the camp. After breakfast, Mr. Clarke and I went to the pa to say that no meeting would take place today, as it was the ra tapu, but before we had concluded breakfast, Tohitapu came to ask if the body of Taramauroa, a relative of his
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who had been killed in the late fight, should be exposed to public view, to have the pihe 20 sung over it. This we considered a bad prelude to the making of peace, and therefore told him that he had better wait till the body should be removed to his own place; he consented immediately. Mr. Clarke and I were well received in the pa, though some felt disappointed that there was any delay to the conclusion of peace. We spoke to several parties on the importance of eternal things, and they gave us an attentive hearing. About eleven o'clock we took our departure, promising to be with them in the morning. All quiet in the camp. As soon as night had closed in, the natives began to dance, and after haka-ing for some time, there was a general firing round; many fired ball. Tohitapu, who has as little desire for these things as anyone, called out to twist off the balls before accident should happen; but, notwithstanding all that was said, many continued firing.
March 24. The eventful day has at length arrived which is to determine the question between these two great powers,--Ngapuhi and the Mahurehure. Much rain fell in the night, and this morning. Notice was given that Tareha 21 was at hand. While at breakfast, Tohitapu and Rewa came to the tent to consult as to proceedings. Tohitapu did not appear to like the idea of going into the pa, though he had been deputed by the leading men; he, however, at length made up his mind to what might await him. Rewa spoke of his desire to go to Waikato to make peace, one of his daughters being married to a chief belonging there. He thought we had better go up in the vessel.
Breakfast being concluded, Tohitapu hurried us off to accompany him to the pa. He requested that the white flag might be planted between the parties, which was done, on the side of a broad ditch, serving as a division between the two powers. The situation was very favourable for the occasion, the ground perfectly level, about three-quarters of a mile from the camp, and the same from the pa. After fixing the flag, we passed on to the pa, Tohi's heart beating as he went. We were received in the usual form by Patuone and others, they sitting on the ground under a shed, and the natives pressing upon us on all sides. After a short conversation, the whole of the natives moved towards the entrance to the pa, and we, with
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the eldest son of Patuone, advanced to the flag, which was our station. Several persons of distinction joined us in a short time from the pa. Rewa then came forward from the camp, and crossed the ditch, rubbed noses with the party from the pa, and took his stand with us. Much noise was heard in the camp, and in a short time the various tribes were observed marching in great order with their muskets towards us, winding through some bushes which grew in the road. The sight was very imposing for this part of the world. When about one hundred and fifty yards off, they made a rush, accompanied by a horrible yell. There were about seven hundred men, and at least five hundred muskets. After remaining some time, Rewa went forward to the opposite party at the foot of the pa, and saluting the chiefs, he brought them forward to within forty yards of his own people. Several hakas took place on each side, and volleys of musketry fire. As it was apprehended that many might fire, all the chiefs took every possible care to prevent mischief, and ordered that the parties should fire to the right and left. When the firing had ceased, Rewa commenced his address in a manly style, desiring that peace should be established. Then followed Patuone, 22 and many others. At length a cry was heard that the pa was taken by Te Kohekohe. This created some little confusion, until the old man jumped in as one arisen from the dead, and spoke at considerable length. His voice was so feeble that we could not understand him. He spoke with great earnestness, and was demonstrative from every muscle of his body. After the speaking commenced, many from either side withdrew to their respective parties, and a constant firing of guns was kept up towards the camp and pa, which might be understood as indication of joy, but there was so much of it that the chiefs abruptly ordered their people to disperse. Messrs. Davis and Kemp returned to the camp to order our boys to carry our luggage into the pa, on our way to the Wesleyan settlement at Mangungu, on another branch of the river, while Mr. Clarke and I retired with the Mahurehure into the pa, to look for Mr. Hobbs' boat. On our way, many a shot passed over our heads; some came very near. It is a great providence that no one was wounded, for on this precarious foundation, humanly speaking, depended the fate of the day. When we had entered the pa, the firing ceased, and the natives, as if released from prison, took their canoes and dispersed to their respective places of abode. By the time that Mr. Davis had arrived the boat came in sight, which soon conveyed us from this scene of bustle to the quietness of civil life. It was dusk when we landed at Mangungu. After a comfortable repast we retired to rest, intending to proceed on our journey at two in the morning.
Ten days after his return from Hokianga, Mr. Williams sailed for Tauranga, in the "Herald," with some Rotorua natives, whom,
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by a successful manoeuvre, he had rescued from death, to the great anger of Tohitapu. Pango, 23 a leading chief from Rotorua, with a number of his people, had visited the Bay. Witchcraft, to a Maori, is the readiest solution of what he cannot otherwise account for; and the idea arose that by witchcraft Pango had directed the course of the bullets with which Hongi and Whareumu were struck down. The lives of the whole party would have paid the forfeit; but a number of them were conveyed by night on board a brig, then about to sail, and the remainder were taken away in the "Herald." It was her last voyage; for she was lost, shortly after her return, on the bar at Hokianga. Such good use had been made of her, during the short period of her existence, that the Society determined on replacing her by the "Active"; which however, though purchased in England, sadly belied the name.
1829 was an uneventful year; that is to say, not marked by any serious commotion in the land. Of alarms and minor troubles, however, there was no lack.
Henry Williams to his Mother.
Paihia, Bay of Islands,
April 3, 1829.
We have been in a considerable bustle for several days past, expecting, according to report, parties right and left to come upon us with open mouths, for affronts offered by some of our lads. Te Koki, our old chief, died about two months ago; and one of the boys set fire to some rubbish which had constituted part of one of his houses. This, with them, is a high crime. Accordingly a large muster came upon us on Wednesday morning at daylight. Our boys had been up all night, expecting broken heads in the morning. Our opponents were about four times our number; but Tohitapu, hearing of our expectation, came in the middle of the night, and made the hills resound with his vociferation, followed by two of his wives, bearing several muskets. He immediately called a council, and gave direction how our strength was to be disposed of, and went through several manoeuvres, for the encouragement of our boys. Soon after daylight the enemy arrived, but were exceedingly polite, making a rush, but passing on one side of our little band, without closing, as is usual. After dancing awhile, accompanied with, to an
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English ear, frightful yells, they sat down until two large iron pots of stir-about were prepared for them, and in a short time dispersed, asking if it was a very cruel fight. It entirely disturbed the peace of the day. These are inconveniences to which we are continually subject; nor do we know to what length they may be carried until all is over; but we are obliged in patience to wait these events, looking to that Almighty Power who ordereth all things according to His own will. We need great grace; for though the natives observe a law amongst themselves, yet it is club-law, and one which is not open to us. We cannot obtain redress, if any steal from us, or otherwise injure us. Our cultivation is exposed to their most favourite propensity, that of stripping the potatoes, when ripe. In this respect they can accommodate each other very well, for if the party should be stripped to-day, they can call upon some neighbour and return the compliment; but, as we are strangers, they have the advantage all on one side. With this understanding, therefore, between all parties, it is a remarkable circumstance to sit in peace. Surely, the Lord of Hosts is with us, the God of Jacob is our refuge. There are times when I feel much cast down at the opposition we at times meet with, but something soon occurs to encourage us, and then we advance from day to day. Much order is observed in the settlement, and we gradually obtain strength.
Let us pass from scenes of uproar and wild excitement, to an orderly school examination at the Kerikeri.
Mrs. Williams to her Mother-in-Law.
Paihia, December 11, 1829.
On Monday it rained heavily, and though all made preparations to pack up, no one expected to go on the morrow. In the evening, however, it cleared, and on the important morning the day broke without a cloud. The whole settlement was in immediate motion. The husbands arranged their boats, and distributed the crews. The wives had their children, the native girls their boxes to look after; although our breakfast was laid the night before, it was necessary to enforce the necessity of staying to partake of it. Then, when over, how could I be so cruel, as to insist upon the tea things being washed? The boys, after they had taken my cloak and baby, seemed inclined to carry me; they scolded the poor girl who staid to wash the cups; they told me ours was the only boat left behind, and that the day was all gone; though, after I had locked every door and arrived at the jetty, I found that I was quite in time. Mr. Davis, who stayed to receive the "Hawes," and Mr. Mair to take charge of the settlement, helped me down into the boat in which Henry was seated, with Mr. and Mrs. Brown, and all the children. The smooth sea glistened in the early sun. Mr. Fairburn's white
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flag spread in the gentle breeze, as they in the large boat glided on to take the lead. One youth standing as a kind of fugle-man to tuki [keep time by singing] with all his native gesture, noise, and animation. Calm as was the Bay, so filled were the boats, that I could not for some time overcome a feeling of tremor, as our boat seemed to stagger and reel with her load. We were nearly forty in our own boat; the three others, and the great canoe, were proportionably full. Each of our five little vessels had a white flag; on ours Henry had painted in gold leaf a dove. The little fleet was a brilliant sight for this dark corner of the earth, so many English faces peeping up as we passed and repassed each other, and so many cheerful little English voices mingling with the vociferous gabble of the natives. The excitement was quite too much for the strength, though not for the spirits of us matrons. We were all off by seven o'clock. At Moturoa we overtook Mr. King with all Rangihoua, except Mr. Shepherd, in a boat and canoe. When we opened upon the settlement, all seven were abreast, paddling in unison, the boys dressed in uniform with white shirts and trousers, and Scotch caps; the Kerikeri lads, in the same, assembled on the landing place. All voices were hushed, and we seemed in the native fashion to steal gently along. The song, or chaunt, of the native paddlers was low at first, swelling, and increasing in vehemence to the utmost as we were nearing the shore. The boys on the landing place gave a loud English "hurrah," which was instantly answered by a sudden burst of every voice in the boats, our men standing up and waving their caps. The children were in extacies; we were well nigh deafened. Next morning the chapel bell rang before all had breakfasted. After native prayers, the natives were examined. And now, my dear mother, I must invite you to go with me up to the hill on which the chapel stands. Just outside the door, upon the green, sat a group of girls, being the third class, waiting to be called, arranged in their clean blue gowns, with white aprons, and buff handkerchiefs. Inside the chapel were the first classes of boys and girls, from the three settlements, undergoing the fiery trial of being examined and cross-examined in the two Catechisms. After looking on some time, and speaking to Mrs. King, Mrs. Hobbs, Mrs. Fairburn, and Mrs. Mair, I walked outside to where Henry, Mr. Clarke, and Mr. Hamlin were examining a large circle of boys and girls of the two classes; Mr. Fairburn, Mr. Puckey, and Mr. Baker taking the third class. To this succeeded a trial for sums, and of writing from dictation. Specimens of work were then exhibited, and when all was concluded, the bell rang for the native dinner. Benches and planks had been erected, and now a troup of natives, singing as they went, brought a quantity of rush baskets from each house, filled with bread, cakes, potatoes, pork, and beef, spreading all the tables in succession. Every native had a basket before him, an arrangement which was greatly admired, because they could take away with
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them what they could not eat. All seated themselves in great order, and waited until grace was said at each table. The girls sat by themselves, seventy in number. After dinner, the English matrons adjourned to Mr. Clarke's, to examine the girls' work, and as each article passed the scrutiny, it was hung upon a long line stretched round the room, Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Hobbs, who were appointed judges, made three lists. Those upon the first were to have each a gay gown, upon the second a bag or apron, those upon the third nothing. To judge was really an arduous task, for there were gowns, shirts, frocks, trowsers, flannels, nay, even a boy's jacket; indeed, we were astonished at the quantity of good work, when we saw it all together. The following morning was wet and showery; we again adjourned to the chapel, where we saw a window sash, a panelled door, a table, &c, for which prizes were given as specimens of carpenters' work. After the prizes had been distributed, William addressed the natives, and all dispersed. And now, my dear mother, you will rejoice in our prosperity, and sympathise in our anxiety. Pray for us, that we may wrestle and fight, and be more than conquerors through Him who loved us. I must now close my old letter to Kate. Jane is cooking, for tomorrow is Christmas-day: how strange this sounds, even now, to my English ears, this very hot weather. Henry and William and Mr. Brown are writing public documents; but we shall all endeavour to write by the "City of Edinburgh," or else by the "Harriett."
We now take a further step in advance. After years of patient waiting, for proof of fitness, the admission of adult natives by public baptism into the Church of Christ begins. 24 To some of a sanguine temperament, the delay may have seemed unduly long; also to those who believe in sudden or miraculous conversion; but in such a matter the judgment of those who were actually engaged in the work must be respected. It would have been easy, had the temptation to make display been entertained, to have sent home long lists of converts, so-called, who had gone through the form of baptism, but to whom repentance was unknown. Against this, the Mission steadily set their face. A period of probation was required, covered by watchful superintendence, sufficient to afford good and fair cause for assurance that the seed had not been sown on stony
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ground. A beginning having once been made, the numbers increased rapidly; but years had already been expended in preparation. The Mission never made boast of the number of their converts.
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. Marsh.
Paihia, February 16, 1830.
During the fortnight which has lapsed since I prepared a letter for you, we have received so many encouragements in the work, that, in the fulness of my joy, I cannot help sitting down to commence afresh. On Sunday week, three natives were publicly baptised at the chapel, in the middle of the service,--three of those who have lived longest amongst us, and had been candidates for baptism for some months past. I had seen four native children brought to the font at the same time, with our little nephew, and a short time since, a very interesting youth, who had given most satisfactory testimony during the illness which proved his last. But these were the first we had beheld in full health, and in the pride of life, coming forward to renounce all to which we had seen them so firmly, so obstinately attached, and dedicate themselves publicly to the Lord! I think I can say my feelings were never so powerfully excited. Taiwhanga, a relative and once a follower of Hongi in his bloody triumphs, but who has, for nearly five years, turned his sword into a ploughshare,--though he has had, from his rank and influence, and naturally strong passions, many deep struggles,--has been wonderfully influenced. When I saw him advance from the other end of our crowded chapel, with firm step and subdued countenance, an object of interest to every native, as well as to every English eye, and meekly kneel, where six months before we had, at his own request, all stood sponsors for his four little children, I deeply felt that it was the Lord's own doing.
Quiet in New Zealand is not of long duration. The year 1830 is memorable in native annals for the great battle of Kororareka, and for another unhoped-for peace, brought about as usual, at no small personal risk, by Missionary effort. The cause of war was a quarrel, originating in jealousy, between two women of rank,--one the daughter of Rewa, of the Kerikeri; the other, a daughter of Morunga, of the Kawakawa, both of whom were rivals in the affections of the captain of a whaler. The leading principle of Maori "common law" is this,--that every individual of a tribe must be supported, right or wrong, against offence, or even retaliation from without. And thus did two miserable women, by utterance
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of a few foul words, force on their respective tribes to internecine war. Pomare and his allies defended Kororareka: the attack was expected from Whangaroa, Rangihoua, and Kerikeri, under Rewa. Ururoa, Hongi's brother-in-law, having arrived from Whangaroa, mediation was attempted, and hopes were entertained for a while that the plunder of certain kumara gardens at Korarareka would suffice for satisfaction. Mr. Williams, with his brother, returned to Paihia, still hoping for the best. But the torch had been thrown in, and the materials were too inflammable to quench. On the morning of the following day (March 6), the beach was in a blaze. While terms of peace were under consideration, a musket went off by accident on the Kororareka side, wounding a woman in the rear of Ururoa's party. Sudden action was thus provoked, and the commencement of the engagement was hand to hand, with murderous result. Hengi, 25 a great chief of Whangaroa, seeking to interfere, was shot unarmed. Mr. Henry Williams, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Puckey, pulled off for the "Royal Sovereign," at anchor in the shipping harbour. After communicating with Captain King, Mr. Williams pulled on shore, into the thick of the fight. The two parties were engaged some twenty yards apart, from behind screens and fences, and the firing was so hot that he could not even make himself heard. As a last resource, he went to seek Tohitapu, who was safe out of harm's way at the further end of the beach, distant about a quarter of a mile. Tohitapu, known to be more valiant in word than in deed, refused to move, but sent a deputy, Kuaiangi, a young chief. On Mr. Williams' return, the firing had lulled, and he obtained a hearing. A cessation of immediate hostilities was agreed to. The assailants, who were originally about six hundred strong, departed, leaving the others, numbering about eight hundred, in possession of the field.
But accounts had yet to be balanced. Among others of lesser note, Hengi had fallen. Blood for blood, or at least blood-money, is Maori law; and, save the Mission stations, not always inviolate, there were no cities of refuge in the land. It happened that before
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a strict reckoning could take place, Mr. Marsden arrived from New South Wales. Mr. Henry Williams and Mr. Marsden undertook the negotiation of a permanent peace. For this, it was necessary that the combatants should part fair, without ostensible advantage on either side. The victors proposed that Kororareka, the battleground, should be ceded by Pomare to Ngapuhi, as an equivalent for Hengi's death. The proposal was accepted, and peace between those who had actually been engaged was maintained. But this did not hinder Mango and Kakaha, the sons of Hengi, from going southward for blood-payment, taking it from tribes who had been noways concerned with the battle or with its cause. Better the blood of the innocent than none at all, is a recognised maxim of the Maori law of utu. 26 In their first expedition to the Mercury Islands they were successful; in their second, to Tauranga and Motiti, after much destruction, they were themselves destroyed. The following accounts are by eye-witnesses:-- Mr. William Williams.
March 5, 1830. The natives around us have been assembling for some days at Kororareka, on the opposite side of the Bay, about two miles distant from our settlement, expecting an attack from the natives of Whangaroa, Rangihoua, and Kerikeri. Hearing this morning that Ururoa, the chief of the party that had been sent for, had arrived, we thought it would be well to go over to the contending parties, to endeavour to restrain them from mischief. Landing at Kororareka, we passed over the hill, and found the assailants feasting on the kumara, or sweet potato, which they had just pulled up from the garden at which they had landed. Tohitapu, our neighbour, was in the act of holding an harangue, the purport of which was to restrain Ururoa from going to any greater length, and to content himself with having plundered the kumara garden, as a
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satisfaction for the bad language used by the other party; while Ururoa seemed to be as resolutely bent on going to Kororareka the following day.
Mr. Henry Williams.
We found Tohitapu in the midst of the council, making an harangue. As soon as we came in sight, they received us in a most gracious manner, and prepared a way for us. We took our station for the purpose of speaking to them, which they desired us to do, and commanded silence, that all might hear. We communicated as freely with them as ever we had done, and nothing was more satisfactory than the attention which they paid. They afterwards turned out their forces, that we might see their strength. Tohitapu, who is on the opposite side, greatly admired them, and, with feeling of great pride, pointing to the different tribes, exclaimed, "Those are mine!--and those are mine!" We returned after two hours, and did not apprehend any mischief.
In this anticipation Mr. Williams was disappointed, for on the following day he writes:--
About nine o'clock, much firing at Kororareka; by our glasses we could observe persons moving in all directions, and the canoes pulling off to the shipping, filled with people. Mr. Davis and I immediately went over in the boat; and after communicating with Captain King, on board the "Royal Sovereign," went on shore, to endeavour to put a stop to the firing. Landed at the scene of action; but could not see any one of rank, as all were concealed by fences and screens. Parties were about twenty yards apart. I made as much noise as I could, but to no immediate effect. Passed on to our old friend, Tohitapu, who was resting on his arms, at the extremity of the beach. I endeavoured to persuade him to accompany me to the opposite party, to draw them off; but he would not move. Tuaiangi, a young chief, was deputed to accompany me. We had not proceeded far before the firing ceased. Rewa came forward, and waved to the parties to desist. As we drew near to the spot, we learnt that many were killed and wounded. I was conducted to Ururoa, who was scarcely able to speak; however, numbers surrounded me, and all attention was given to what I had to say. They acknowledge the correctness of our arguments with them, and that they were urged to this madness by Satan. In a short time, the people in the boats landed from the shipping, to witness the distressing scene: many were dead, others dying, and the wounded no one knew.
I have observed, with great wonder, the conduct of this people. Within a quarter of an hour after the firing ceased, very many of each party were dispersed indiscriminately amongst their opponents; and we found that parents, children, and brothers had been fighting against one another.
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Mr. Richard Davis.
Alas! what a day of horror and distress this has been! Last night we left the contending parties, apparently desirous of making peace, but this morning, hearing the firing, and concluding that they were fighting, we launched our boat, and went over to the shipping. As the "Royal Sovereign," Captain King, was lying not more than two hundred or three hundred yards from the scene of action, we went to his ship. I went on board, but Mr. Williams went on shore, and landed, and endeavoured to stop the fighting, but was obliged to retreat to his boat, 27 as a very brisk fire was kept up by both parties. This was a hazardous attempt on the part of Mr. Williams, as he was in much danger of being shot. The deck of the "Royal Sovereign" presented a woeful spectacle of horror and despair: many of the wounded men had been brought on board, 28 and were lying on deck in a mangled state; the surgeon was employed dressing their wounds, assisted by as many of the people as could be spared. Besides the wounded, there was a great number of women and children, who had fled on board from the village for protection. I stayed on board, at the urgent request of the captain, to assist him in the management of the natives, &c, as the village was expected to give way, and the natives to fly to the shipping for protection, and as they were likely to be followed there by the victors, the ships were put in a posture of defence, and the worst prepared for. But I had not been long on board before the assailants gave way, and fled in all directions. On seeing this, I went on shore, accompanied by Captains King and Dean. The sight was dreadful, as nearly one hundred people were killed and wounded. Soon after we had landed, the assailants were permitted to come and carry away their dead and wounded chiefs, but the bodies of the dead slaves they left behind. As one of the bodies left behind was that of a chief, but one of little note, a chief of the village ran out, and with a hatchet cut the body open, and took out a small piece of the liver: this, they told me, was for the New Zealand God. After having visited both parties, and remained with them till near midnight, we returned home.
Mr. Henry Williams.
March 7. Sunday, at the dawn of day, I was awakened by the firing of musketry at Kororareka: before sunrise it ceased;
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about seven o'clock, observed Ururoa's canoes crossing the bay for Moturoa. Canoes from Kororareka arrived all day, with men, women, and children, bringing with them all their possessions. Our service delayed on account of the wounded; the natives outside making a great noise, but quiet in their behaviour. At three in the afternoon, observed the houses on fire at Kororareka, and all the canoes leaving the beach, and pulling in various directions. At sunset, Ururoa, with Tohitapu, came to our beach to take up their quarters with us; and shortly after, Rewa, with his family. All was commotion, and various reports as to the intention of Ngapuhi.
Mr. William Williams.
March 8. A number of our natives returned from their pa at the Kawakawa, to observe the movements of the enemy. We told them that we should endeavour to make peace, if possible; at which they seemed well satisfied, doubting at the same time whether the opposite party would be likely to agree to terms. In the mean time a vessel hove in sight, which proved to be from Port Jackson, having on board our old friend, Mr. Marsden, with one of his daughters.
The state of the country was getting worse; to use a native expression, the fire was spreading in the fern. Messengers had been sent inland: it was expected that, within a few days, some thousands of combatants would be added to those already engaged. Unless the fire could be stamped out at once, all would be consumed before it. Mr. Marsden joined his own efforts to those of the Mission, and ultimately had the happiness of assisting at the conclusion of hostilities.
The following account of the negotiations is by Mr. Henry Williams.
March 9, 1830. Mr; Marsden and I went up to the pa, where the Kawakawa natives were assembled; every attention was paid to what we had to say; and it was unanimously agreed, that Kororareka should be given up to the opposite party, as a payment for Hengi, and for the numbers who had been slain. The universal word was "peace." We afterwards pulled to Kororareka; when they appeared desirous for peace, and it was agreed that Tareha and Titore 29 should accompany us to Ururoa, who was at Moturoa. The wind being favourable, we soon arrived, and had a very pleasant conversation, All, with the exception of one or two, appeared disposed for peace.
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March 10. At daylight, the Urikapana passed through the settlement. They stopped for a short time to hear the news, and to see Mr. Marsden. After dinner, went over to Kororareka, to see Ururoa, who had just come from Moturoa. He said that it would be needful to wait till all had assembled, before peace was made; he appeared apprehensive that the opposite party was not sincere.
March 11. After breakfast, Rewa, Mr. Marsden, and I, went up to the pa (Otuihu). We hoisted the white flag, at Rewa's request, as a signal that we were come to treat for peace. On our arrival, all assembled; and I told them we were come to receive their instructions as to the message to Ururoa, whether peace or war; it was now high time, before the assembling of the multitude. They replied that it was very good; but that Ururoa must depute some chief to meet them in the pa, and afterwards some one from the pa should go to them. This being concluded, we proceeded to Kororareka, and met Ururoa and other chiefs. They appeared of one opinion; but they waited the arrival of Mango and Kakaha, the two sons of Hengi, the chief of Takou, who was killed, as the duty of seeking revenge now devolves upon them, for the death of their father. I told Ururoa we were weary of going about; but he and others replied, that we must not be weary, but strong, and very courageous; that, should these two men come in the course of the night, they would send a canoe over to us, and peace should be concluded in the morning.
March 13. At breakfast, Tohitapu came, and spoke about the necessity of making peace; that the distant tribes would arrive, and then there would be no restraining them.
March 14. Sunday. Tohitapu and Rewa very urgent that communication should be held with Ururoa and others at Kororareka; as several canoes were observed to pull over from Moturoa. I therefore went over myself, and took the opportunity of speaking to them upon their present state, and offers of eternal peace held out by Jesus Christ. All were inclined for peace. In the evening, service as usual. Wharenui came from the pa, apparently under much concern by the delay in making peace.
March 16. After breakfast, Mr. Davis and I went to Moturoa, to see Kakaha and Mango, the sons of Hengi. The natives at Moturoa appeared disposed to hear all that we had to say; and before we left they said they should pull over in the morning, and perhaps might go up the river.
Mr. William Williams.
March 17. The minds of the natives in reference to peace having been ascertained, both parties equally manifesting a disposition to put an end to hostilities, it was fixed that a meeting should take place to-day, according to the native custom. At an early hour we observed several canoes in motion from Kororareka towards Kawakawa; and immediately we put off, in two boats, to meet them.
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The party amounted to about three hundred, which advanced till within a mile of the opposite party; when the ambassadors of peace, three in number, proceeded with us to the pa. On landing, we proceeded towards the principal chiefs; when all sat upon the ground, leaving a narrow space for the speakers to walk backward and forward, which is always the native manner. First one of Pomare's sons held forth, and intimated that the peace would not hold good, because a chief of his people had not been killed, as an equivalent for Hengi; and that he should be afraid to remain at his own place, and would go to live at Kaipara, a river to the southwest. He was followed by several others, some of whom spoke to the same purport. And. when this was over, the different tribes mustered on a rising ground, and had a war dance. It was a larger body of fighting men than I have seen before at one time, amounting to about one thousand men, more than half of whom had muskets. The three ambassadors remained in the pa for the night; which part of the ceremony was to be repeated the next day by the people of the pa.
March 18. The ambassadors returned this morning with three others from the pa; and, calling at our settlement, we accompanied them to Kororareka. A similar scene occurred to that we witnessed yesterday. The final ratification of the peace, as far as I could understand it, was the following:--A chief of Ururoa's party repeated a long song, with a small stick in his hand, which, at the conclusion, he broke and threw down at the feet of one of the ambassadors from the opposite party: the meaning of which was, that hostilities were broken off; the latter chief then repeated a similar form of words, and cast down his broken stick at the feet of the former speaker. The natives speak of this peace as made by Europeans, and I believe they have been much influenced herein by the presence of Mr. Marsden.
Mr. Marsden thus contrasts the state of the Missionary settlement with that of the heathen natives during this season of anxiety and strife.
Sunday, March 14. The Rev. Henry Williams went and spent the forenoon with the natives, with a view of allaying their angry feelings, and strengthening the impressions we had already made on their minds for peace. The Rev. William Williams, the Rev. A. N. Brown, and myself, proceeded to the Chapel, to perform divine service. The contrast between the east and west side of the Bay was very striking, though only two miles distant: the east shore was crowded with different tribes of fighting men, in a wild, savage state, many of them nearly naked, and, when exercising, entirely so, Nothing was to be heard but the firing of muskets, and the din and confusion of a savage military camp; some mourning the death of their friends, others suffering from their wounds, and not one but whose
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mind was involved in heathen darkness, without one ray of divine knowledge. On the west side, there was the pleasing sound of the "Church-going bell"; the natives assembling together for divine worship, clean, orderly, and decently dressed, most of them in European clothing; they were carrying in their hands the Litany, and the greater part of the "Church Service," with their hymns, written in their own language. The "Church Service," so far as it has been translated, they can both write and read with the greatest ease. Their whole conduct, and the general appearance of the settlement, reminded me of a well regulated English country parish. In the chapel, the natives behaved with the greatest propriety, and joined in the church service. Here might be viewed, at a glance, the blessings of the Christian religion, and the miseries of Heathenism, with respect to the present life; but when we direct our thoughts into the eternal world, how infinite is the difference! The Rev. William Williams read the Litany, and nearly the whole of the "Church Service," excepting the Lessons and Psalms, in the New Zealand language, in which the natives joined apparently with much pious feeling; many of them have a sincere desire to acquaint themselves with the true God, and to learn His ways.
More than its due share of space has been already allotted to "The Battle of Kororareka," but room must be made for a few lines of description, always shortened with regret, from Mrs. Williams' facile pen.
Mrs. Williams to Mrs. Marsh.
March 20, 1830.
A most eventful month has passed; I think a journal of it would afford quite a new interest; but so constant has been the excitement, so crowded the incidents, and so great the bodily exertion, both of the Missionaries abroad, and their wives at home, that nobody has written at all. . . . It is a fortnight to-day since the day of bloodshed at Kororareka--just on the opposite side of the bay--all in view, and within hearing from our settlement. The women and children fled in their canoes to this beach for refuge, the wounded came here to be dressed. Magnified reports were brought of the really many slain, and, to increase our agitation, Henry started as soon as he discerned by his glass the state of things, and landed amidst the balls flying; he had, with William, Mr. Davis, and Mr. Brown, spent the whole of the preceding day persuading the parties to peace, and had, they thought, succeeded. On this occasion we all thought him rash; but Henry thought himself in the way of duty. He was preserved, and certainly did much towards the stopping the firing. The natives thought that all the boats from the eight ships in the harbour were coming, and were
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dismayed. Since this day our beach has been a most busy scene. We have had no quiet. . . . Both the contending armies sent messengers in every direction, to assemble reinforcements for a great conflict, and if we had believed one quarter of what we heard, our being stripped and driven away would appear light in comparison. We did not however tremble, for we rested in the strength of the Lord of Hosts. On the Sunday following, our service was carried through with the usual order, notwithstanding incessant noise and uproar on the beach, and a large party of strange natives bustling out of chapel in the midst of it. In the afternoon, the native houses in Kororareka were all in flames, the natives embarking to go to a fortified spot up the entrance of the Kawakawa. Yet, in the midst of this, I kept upwards of thirty native girls quietly seated at school. As I went to afternoon service, I counted nineteen canoes on the beach; parties in all directions; five parties landed during service; yet, notwithstanding the uproar without, all was quietness and attention within. On the Monday all was noise again. About noon, a brig appeared in sight. "A ship, Mr. Marsden," was echoed along the beach, with a tremendous shout. Henry was at Kororareka; but he and the other Missionaries were speedily on board, and brought Mr. Marsden and his daughter on shore to dinner, to gladden us with the sight of our venerable and beloved friend. He and Henry and William were fully employed for ten days going among the natives up to the pa, at the Kawakawa, containing, as was estimated, one thousand fighting men, and to Kororareka, where there were as many more.
On Wednesday, the fleet of canoes from Moturoa was in motion. The Missionaries and Mr. Marsden, in two boats, each bearing a white flag, having joined them, persuaded them to return, amidst a great deal of firing of musketry, and went up with three principal chiefs in a canoe between the two boats, all saying that if one of these chiefs were killed, the white people's lives should be the payment. The negotiations were completed and ratified on the following day, but the armies are not yet dispersed. It is said that all Hokianga are on the way to join one or the other army, and will be enraged that peace is made.
We now turn from matter-of-fact fighting to certain questions of opinion.
Repeatedly has the charge been brought against the Missionary body, that they did all in their power to hinder the colonisation of the country, through a desire, not unnatural or unlikely in itself, to maintain undisputed control over their native converts, and to keep them clear of the contamination of those vices which are by some
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considered as peculiar to civilized men. It must not be assumed that any given opinion was that of all connected with the Church Missionary Society: as a matter of fact, there were differences of opinion; but we are here concerned with that of Henry Williams. He was, throughout, deliberately in favour of colonization by regular means, in order that the lawless adventurers, who were still pouring into the country, might be subjected to the restraint of law. The active part that he eventually took in furtherance of this object, shall presently be shown. Without him, it could not have been attained, unless by overwhelming force. But the following few lines-- obiter dicta, contain the first expression met with, in writing, of his desire.
Henry Williams to his Mother.
November 26, 1830.
There is a great rumour of numbers of families coming out here to settle. There is abundance of room, and all will tend to the civilization of the land, if nothing else.
To all but those who determinately assume whatever they wish to believe, it would be a matter of surprise had he been prepared with less than a welcome for law-abiding men. Already had the rougher sort among the white settlers, though ready enough themselves to come for help when in trouble with the natives, threatened to "turn the Missionaries out of the country," and wanted only strength to put that threat into execution.
In December, 1830, the third general examination of the schools took place: one hundred and seventy-eight men and boys; ninety-two girls. About a thousand strange natives, all armed, but peaceable, attended as spectators.
The following letter affords an opportunity for a few words upon a question that has provoked much expression of contrary opinion, not untinged with acrimony, in regard to Missionary work; namely, whether the civilization of a savage race must necessarily precede conversion, or, at the least, walk hand in hand with conversion. The dispute, like most of such as are entertained among men who are at once sincere and intelligent, seems to have taken its rise in the neglect
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to begin with agreeing about the meaning of words. What is meant by "civilization"? Until that be answered, argument is but a waste of words.
Henry Williams to the Reverend E. G. Marsh.
Paihia, September 4, 1831.
From the first formation of the Mission, Mr. Marsden always was dwelling upon the necessity of growing wheat; and when he left, after bringing Messrs. Butler, F. Hall, Kemp, and others, he told them that he would not send them any flour from Port Jackson; that, if they did not sow, neither should they eat. It was not until after the "Herald" went to Port Jackson that we had any regular supply. The Mission continued at this work until the time I mention, and might have continued until now in the same position; but about that period all being fully persuaded that we were beginning at the wrong end, and were proceeding on unsound ground, we determined to act for ourselves until we should hear from the Parent Committee. On this account I was desired to write, stating our views upon the necessity of paying our undivided attention to the scattering of the seed of eternal life, rather than that which endureth but for a little season. We had much to contend with at this period with our friends in New South Wales, and I have told Mr. Marsden again and again, he had better leave that subject to us; that, as opportunity offered, we should embrace all his views of planting wheat, shoemaking, blacksmithing, and carpentering. From the account of the examination of our schools at Paihia and Kerikeri, you will judge how far this has been attended to. So impressed were we at Paihia of the importance of first seeking the spiritual good of this people, laying aside every personal consideration, that I have not possessed a house one year out of eight. William lives in my old bandbox, called "The Beehive," and no building of any consideration, excepting the Chapel, has until lately been put up. In what then have we been engaged? In speaking and in preparing to speak upon the unsearchable riches of Christ. The study of the language was considered the main object, until every one could declare to those around in his own tongue the glad tidings of the gospel of peace. The acquisition of the language you may be aware was no trifle for me, considering the corrupted state in which we found it; indeed, what was spoken to us was no language at all, and consequently could never be acquired or reduced to rule. It was something similar to that stuff that our Englishman is apt to use to a foreigner,--neither Dutch nor Greek.
Upon the expenses we have been very careful, but still felt the necessity of accomplishing a certain end,--of having schools, and the natives to live with us, so as to be more under our control.
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The expenses have gradually been diminishing; it has been determined, some considerable time past, to reduce their ration from the store, but to furnish them with the means of growing their own food. All have been fully occupied, and every one has acted with a single eye to the glory of God and the advancement of the Redeemer's Kingdom.
For once, Mr. Marsden and Mr. Williams are found of opposite opinion. It is difficult, upon reflection, not to agree with the younger of the two, who, though as yet of less experience, was of stronger intuitive perception.
Civilization, says Mr. Marsden, must pave the way for the conversion of the heathen. As the natives in these islands are totally unconnected with the commercial world, however friendly they may be disposed towards strangers, they are, nevertheless, in a state of gross ignorance and barbarity. . . . The heathens in these islands are, in the strictest sense of the word, in a state of nature. Hence it becomes the indispensible duty of the Missionaries to use every means for their civilization, and not to imagine that they are already prepared for the blessings of divine revelation.
A "state of nature," is a state of crapulous inertness, disturbed by little more than unruly passion, or the call to provide for animal wants. To rouse the savage out of this, a stronger stimulant than utilitarian lecturing must be administered. To awaken thought, the organ of wonder must be excited. Among the rudest of mankind and the most highly organized alike, a strangely fascinating interest attaches to the unseen--to what is the subject of belief, and not of the evidence of the senses; and he who teaches men to believe more than they believed before, is sure of a hearing. He exercises power, which it would be folly to ignore. The manner of his teaching is not necessarily essential: false religions as well as true--even superstitions, have taken their leading part in the government of the world. From Joshua to the destruction of Jerusalem, from Mahomet to Mormon, from the Crusades to the Puritan rebellion, from Marsden to the Hauhauism of the New Zealand King party, 30 belief in the unseen has generated the strongest motive power known to man.
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Never let power be cast aside, however small it may appear. When the Marquis of Worcester saw the lid of the kettle blown off by the steam below, he said, "here is power." We all know to what account that thoughtful saying has been turned.
The civilization question thus dwindles down to very small dimensions. Yet, it must not be passed without notice; for Missionaries themselves have not been all agreed, while among those who have no sympathy with Missions, one formula has been adopted with singular unanimity:--"Civilization first; religion when prepared for it." It is the Cuckoo cry that has been raised throughout against the teachers and the teaching, on the somewhat hasty assumption that civilization can be imparted by traders alone.
If disputants, as it has already been observed, would only begin by endeavouring to agree upon the meaning of the words they use, there would be not much left to dispute about. What is civilization? and whence does it arise? If by civilization be implied habits of cleanliness, decency of demeanour, the acquirement of ordinary school knowledge, the desire of European comforts (as distinguished from European luxuries); if it mean, also, the distinction of truth from falsehood; the individualization of property,--that is to say, the breaking up of communism, which alone can induce respect for the essential difference between mine and thine; if it mean the curbing of unrestrained and unabashed sensuality:--then I say that it is not well to attempt conversion without civilization. And I say more, that every one of the Mission has seen and acknowledged this, and has directed towards all this unintermitting effort. But if, by civilization, we are to understand the indoctrination of savages into the various arts of money-getting,--into the mysteries of trade,-- into the craving for the only luxuries they can appreciate, strong drink and tobacco,--the discarding of the mat for the unwholesome blanket,--the substitution of European vices for those which are held to be more peculiarly their own, while retaining those that are common to both races:--if this be meant, no further question can arise. And if it be not, let us be told distinctly, what else is meant.
But what if it should be asked, whether we, who discourse so glibly and complacently about civilization, are civilised yet ourselves.
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This is no paradox, whatever it may seem. Are not the dregs of pristine barbarism lying still unvoided at the bottom of the cup? Is war, with all its brutalizing results, but a thing of the past? Is the spirit of persecution in matters of belief extinct? That very slough of "communism," from which we have striven to extricate the savage,--release from which is the first step upward in the social scale,--is it not professed by multitudes among ourselves, and those not of the baser sort alone? Has not communism its prophets, men of culture, calling themselves "advanced liberals," who advocate that for the white man which is inveighed against as a mark of degradation in the red man? Has jealousy of all pre-eminence abated,--the barbarism of "levelling downward," in order to create equality by bringing down all alike to one level, and that the lowest? Is man himself, in the prevalent school of political economy, maintained in the position which his Maker assigned to him, or is he reduced to the condition of a soulless machine? Does not that triumphant school treat wealth as everything, and men as nothing,--or, at best, as material to be used up in the production of wealth? What but a relic of barbarism is that school which builds up a vast system of industrial feudalism out of the ruins of political feudalism,--a system under which the rich are becoming always richer, and the poor always poorer, which has extinguished whole classes of society--the peasantry and the yeomanry; which promotes white slavery while denouncing black; which, in fine, measures the prosperity of a nation, not by its happiness, but by its wealth?
We may not boast ourselves, exultant in the pride of knowledge though we be. Yet have we good hope of attaining civilization in the end. We are indeed upon the road, making advance, though leaving it for by-paths from time to time. But let us not forget that what steps we have gained have been taken under the guidance of that highest law--the great law of love, which was declared to us some nineteen hundred years ago. The influence of Christianity is slowly but surely permeating society. War is changing its practice; heavy-handed still, its grimness of aspect is abating. It begins to prefer money to blood: "requisitions" are superseding massacre. Pain
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inflicted for the mere sake of giving pain is little heard of now; the rack and the faggot are altogether of the past. The grinding tyranny of capital is softened, though not countervailed, by charities of vast amount. Ferocity is waning, and if subtlety and falsehood hold their own as yet, they are at least being stoutly fought against. This has been the work of Christianity, which "penetrates where legislation cannot go." The gradual spread and increasing potency of its humanizing influence is not denied. Whether its work shall be interrupted before absolute completion, is beyond the knowledge of man; but its effect will be proportionate, in a multiple ratio, to the time allowed.
Let that which promises so auspicious an ending to the work among ourselves, be suffered to begin the work elsewhere.
The arrival of a French man-of-war was a sensational event to the natives, who had always held the Oui-oui's in dislike.
Mrs. Williams to her Mother-in-law.
Paihia, October 3, 1831.
Last night I heard of nothing but the infant school; this morning, nothing but the French man-of-war, now working into the bay. David Taiwhanga 31 came running in to tell me that the ship was now come, about which we had heard so much by our own vessel, and from Rewa, who had visited New South Wales, -- that they were the enemies of King William, come to spy out the land, and had four hundred men on board; that as Mr. Williams was at the Kerikeri at the Committee, I must give him the flag of our nation to hoist upon the flagstaff on the hill. I told him the line was broken, which was the reason no flag had been hoisted for several Sundays. Oh! he would send a boy up; would I not give him a rope? I should have it again in a few days. Did I not wish to shew the flag of my country? Then, if they tore it down, Mr. Williams would write to the rulers of our land to fight for us. Of course I had a great heart to unfold the banner of my country, for which David (pronounced Rawiri) gave me full credit when I gave him my new clothesline for the purpose.
I should like to give you an account of the French captain and two of his lieutenants coming on shore to tea with us. Our room presented quite a new picture, in the various characters and features
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that presented themselves. An interesting English boy, about twelve years of age, who is going home from the "Derwent" to be educated, accompanied them. Little John crept in, and edged close up to him with playful delight. Rawiri went down upon his knees at the tea-table, and put in his dark, expressive, good-humoured countenance between the two children; which the French captain observing, shrugged up his shoulders, exclaiming, at a view of his countenance, "Diable." The foreigners were very polite; the contempt they express for these people, and the New Zealanders' dread of them, is quite amusing. The conversation was in English, with a strong French accent, and a little French. They had read Captain Dillon's book, and all his abuse of us, which they seemed to treat with its merited contempt. Henry dined on board.
The captain informed Mrs. Williams that he was to have brought out, by direction of the French Government, a Roman Catholic bishop to New Zealand; but that the revolution in Paris (the three days of July) had caused the abandonment of their intention.
It will be remembered that Pango, of Rotorua, with his followers, had been saved from death when on a visit to the North by Mr. Williams, who, under cover of the night, got them safe on board a vessel in the harbour, to the great wrath of Tohitapu, baulked thereby of his expected prey. Pango, not unmindful of the service, or of the Paihia teaching, sent a messenger from Rotorua in 1831, to ask for a Missionary.
This fell in most opportunely with Mr. Williams' desire for. the dispersion of the Mission, now no longer compelled to congregate for the sake of mutual support. 32 Mr. Chapman 33 responded with alacrity, volunteering for the South.
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A small schooner, called the "Karere" ["Messenger"], of thirty feet keel, had been launched at Paihia some months before. Not as a sea-going vessel, but mainly for the purpose of procuring supplies from native settlements, and therefore built of very light draught. Mr. Williams and Mr. Chapman, accompanied by Taiwhanga, embarked in her for Maketu (the nearest coast point to Rotorua) on a reconnoitering expedition. She was much too small for the service; but risks of that sort were made light of in those days. The visit was a complete success, but the homeward voyage, in a fair-weather craft, contending with heavy gales, was risky in the extreme. They had made Tauranga in two days' sail from Paihia; it took them sixteen days to work back. The following account of the expedition, somewhat condensed, is taken from Mr. Williams' journal.
October 18, 1831. At noon, all embarked on board our little vessel, the "Karere."
October 20. Our boy, who acted as cook, not approving of his title, we changed it for doctor, which relieved his mind. At four o'clock, every appearance of bad weather, and being close to Tauranga, we determined to run in. Came on to blow and rain very hard; could scarcely see Maunganui, though close to it. By the good providence of God, we entered safely, and found ourselves in still water, to our no small joy.
October 21. At break of day, several canoes came off; all the people well behaved; all approved of our errand. At low water weighed, and sailed up the river to Maungatapu. Many changes since last here. Several Europeans and some new settlements. The natives appeared very numerous, and seemed to recognize in us old friends; they spoke of their numerous guns, and quantities of lead and powder; each boy had two or three guns, the men ten. I have not known of their going against any other tribes since their possessing the means of attack, but to act on the defensive. They would gladly have Missionaries with them, not altogether for our property, which would be dispersed amongst them, but for instruction. May the Great Head of the Church guide us in this important duty of rightly dividing our strength, so that these people may be brought under our protection.
October 22. Strong gale all night; no prospect of going on shore. The boys occupied themselves in repeating their Catechism and singing hymns, and appeared very comfortable.
October 23. A canoe came off, with three baskets of potatoes, for which they wanted a hoe. We reminded them of the day (Sunday). They replied, that they just recollected, and immediately pulled away, After dinner, we went on shore, when all was
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immediately in motion. We were conducted to the pa, but the rain coming on, they proposed to adjourn to a large building, which would hold us all. We accordingly moved on, and entered a spacious house, about fifty feet by thirty. All sat in order, and were very attentive to what we had to say. They appeared to remember that we were the first who came here, and to regard us as old acquaintances, and, indeed, as particularly connected with them.
October 24. Fine; wind west. At nine, landed on our way to Maketu; Kiharoa and several other chiefs accompanying us. We were conducted to Paroa,--a beautiful spot, with an extensive view. Sat down to rest, and spoke to the natives- there. They were tolerably attentive. At half-past five, arrived at Maketu. Mr. Tapsel met us, and invited us into his house. Assembled all the natives round us in the evening, and spoke to them of the love of God in our Saviour Jesus Christ. Pita and Rawiri each said a few words. At ten, lay down to rest much wearied.
October 25. We met several parties of natives, who had come to welcome us. We came up to a large assemblage, sitting on the brow of the hill, waiting our arrival. As we drew near, they gave us the usual salutation; and immediately set up their horrid crying, at meeting several of their relations, who were with us. All was speedily in motion, in preparation for the night, and we were glad to rest for a short time. After a little refreshment we assembled for prayer--about two hundred; we severally addressed a few words to them. They were very attentive, and asked many questions. The appearance of our camp at night was very interesting, presenting thirteen large fires, and groups of natives.
October 26. We embarked in two large canoes, and pulled but a short distance to Houkaka, where we remained, owing to the wind being so strong.
October 27. At first dawn of day, all in motion. Embarked, as yesterday, in two canoes. The natives managed the canoes very dexterously, and, by watching the seas, we landed in about an hour at Arorangi, and were met in a most gracious manner. We had an opportunity of speaking to a considerable number on the object of our mission, to which all paid the utmost attention; after which a most sumptuous supply of food was brought forward,--potatoes, kumaras, and fish. This being the place of Taiwhanga's father-in-law, the chiefs addressed themselves principally to him. This gave him an opportunity of stating our desires respecting them. We afterwards passed on in the canoes to Kaiwaka: our reception was much the same as that at Arorangi. On landing, we found that all our party had taken their seats in a warm bath, which was close at hand. The bath consisted of various compartments, each of a different degree of heat, which was regulated by the introduction of fresh water from the lake. After the speeches were delivered, welcoming us to this part of the country, we assembled for evening prayer.
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October 28. The warm bath filled at break of day. Had a good deal of conversation with the natives on the impropriety of men, women, and children bathing together. After prayer, at which all were present, we embarked for Ohinemutu, and landed in about an hour; there were between four hundred and five hundred persons present. After the ceremony of landing was over, we were conducted to the pa, and received the usual tokens of welcome. When several chiefs had spoken, Taiwhanga introduced the subject of our errand. When he had concluded, I was told that it was needful to make a speech, and I felt much satisfaction in being able to open my mind to them. We spoke to several parties of people during the day, who appeared well disposed to receive our message. The children at all these places seem far more numerous than in the Bay of Islands: they were assembled to repeat the Catechism, but it was not confined to them, as very many men and women came also, and repeated with them. After employing them as long as we felt it proper to do so, we walked to see a hot spring, which possesses the quality of washing without soap. Several things were washed in it, which became perfectly clean. Before sunset, assembled all for prayer; at the conclusion, one of the natives addressed the people in a pleasing manner, but as they expected me to say something, I spoke for a short time. Taiwhanga, however, did not wish them to disperse until he had said a word or two, as we had come a long distance, and should return in a few days. After he had concluded several chiefs, in turn, arose, and insisting on the necessity of not allowing us to return without plenty of potatoes for our journey, lest, when we returned, it should be said that they had no love for us.
October 29. Taiwhanga came at break of day, to say that three canoes were going over to Mokoia,34 respecting a dispute about some land. From what the natives said, we deemed it well to accompany them. Before we landed, it was agreed by all to leave the question to Taiwhanga and myself. We accordingly proceeded, and communicated with the opposite party. After some angry expressions from the people of the place, the question was settled. We had also a second suit to settle; this was also respecting only a few square yards of land. We returned to our quarters at Ohinemutu about noon. After a little rest, the natives came round to talk. One young man began to ask the meaning of letters; I wrote them down for him, and in half an hour he knew them all, and was teaching several outside. Numbers of others came, until I had no paper left of any description on which to write a copy. At length they brought small pieces, to have the letters written for them, and about two hundred, old and young, were soon employed teaching and learning the letters with the greatest possible interest. At three o'clock,
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about one hundred and fifty, male and female, were assembled to learn the Catechism; amongst them were several old women. They afterwards returned to their letters, and continued till the time of evening prayer, when I took the opportunity of speaking on the service of the morrow, and on the necessity of keeping the Lord's Day holy. This has been, I trust, a day of great importance, truly gratifying, and of great encouragement to us. Everything far exceeds our utmost expectations. I have neither seen nor heard anything to equal it in the land. Both young and old appear to possess an interest altogether new, and I do trust the Lord will appear in their behalf, to give deliverance.
October 30 (Sunday). Hoisted a sheet for a flag, as a signal for Sunday,--the first ever kept in this quarter. At seven o'clock, a.m., assembled the natives in a long house, as it was beginning to rain. Before service commenced, the boys brought their papers for me to hear them their letters, and asked what they were to learn next. After service, I addressed the natives on the necessity of a new birth, which brought on an interesting and important conversation among the chiefs. Assembled the youths for catechism. All the natives of the pa came, and appeared delighted. They afterwards repeated their letters. At five o'clock we held evening service, when I spoke on the fall of man, and his salvation by Christ, the Light of the World. This must have been an astonishing day to these natives. Many new things have been heard to-day, surprising to their savage ears. May the Lord bless and sanctify the same to them!
October 31. At daybreak, chiefs came to request us to stop, as a party was on the way to see us; we agreed to remain. In the afternoon, strangers observed at a distance; all went out to meet them. Before their arrival, the chiefs requested me to give some account of our laws relative to theft, &c They expressed great wonder that chiefs were as amenable to the law as poor men, and said that it would not be so with them. When the strangers arrived, the usual meeting took place, and several of the chiefs spoke. They called on me, in conclusion, to make a speech; the strangers gazed with much surprise at hearing things so entirely opposed to their ideas.
November 1. At break of day, chiefs came, as we were to move this morning. Obliged to shave in public, to their great amusement. Called to select a place for the school. At eight o'clock, we were ready to depart. The boys who had been nominated for the schools at Paihia and Kerikeri were desired to remain, as it was apprehended that they might be employed to fetch firewood or be set to work, or their hair burned, when cut, instead of being deposited in some sacred place. The children came for fresh lessons to the last, even after we had taken our seats in the canoe. Can we question their desire for instruction? Left the beach, after taking leave of all. Arrived at our former sleeping place by 6 o'clock, to wait for our train.
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November 2. Rose at 4, and immediately proceeded on our journey; at 6.30, stopped to breakfast at Te Rewa Rewa, where we remained some time, to allow our party to come up. In close conversation with our friends, relative to the movement of Ngapuhi in the summer. A little after, arrived at Maketu, very wet, from having to wade through the swamps. Mr. Tapsel asked us in to refresh ourselves.
November 3. At half-past six, took leave of Mr. Tapsell, after receiving every attention from him, and commenced our journey to Tauranga, leaving several of our party behind, owing to the expressions which had been used respecting Wharetutu, and some of our boys. At two, arrived in view of our little bark, and were soon on board, much rejoiced to be once more on English ground. We soon forgot all our toils, and sent for Kiharoa 35 and Kaiwaiwa, to explain the circumstances of the late report, and also to make arrangements for our departure. They came immediately, and were very civil, wishing us to return to Ngapuhi and say that they had no ill-will towards them, but desired peace.
November 3. Wind very fair; we got under weigh and worked out. Presented Kiharoa with a blanket for the care which had been taken of the "Karere" Tipetipe and our party from Maketu remained on board. Ran down the coast in a short time, and hove-to.
November 4. Three canoes came out of Maketu, and soon put us into confusion, with fetching their things and bringing potatoes: did not receive above fifteen baskets in all, notwithstanding all that had been said. The breeze springing up fair, we took our leave and made sail. About ten, wind shifted to west, and came on to blow very strong; not being able to do anything against it, we bore up for Motiti, where we brought up. Continued to blow strong until midnight.
November 5. Fine morning, wind in the same quarter, but moderate. Got under weigh, and worked up to the weather shore. In the afternoon sent the canoe on shore for wood and water.
November 6 (Sunday). Appearance of wind from the S.E. Attempted to weigh the anchor, but found that it had hooked a rock. After much trial, were obliged to slip, and make sail to get under command before the breeze freshened. At eight o'clock, strong breeze from S.W.; reduced sail accordingly. At three, ran under the lee of Mayor Island in a heavy squall, being unable to carry sail. Close reefed the mainsail, and set storm jib. As we rounded, the gale so strong that we feared we should have been obliged to put back. Continued our course; at sunset, the Alderman close on the weather bow. Considerable sea, which frequently broke over us.
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November 7. More moderate, but much swell. At two, Taiwhanga gave notice of islands ahead, of which we were unaware, not having a chart on board. At daylight, Barrier Island ahead; pleasant breeze at S.S.W.; made all sail; at eleven, wind shifted to N.W.; stood close in land in smooth water. Before sunset, wind again off the shore. Steered for the outside of Barrier Island, which we passed close.
November 8. Fresh breezes from the S.W.; at daylight, the Hen and Chickens abeam; considerable swell. At two, Poor Knights, S.W., twenty miles. Observed that our little bark was driven far to leeward, owing to the swell; we wore, in hopes, if possible, to run back into our former sheltered situation amongst the Mercury Islands. Wind increased during the evening, and squally. At midnight, brought her to under treble-reefed mainsail and the head of the foresail; looked to the Lord for His protection and divine guidance in this, our very critical situation, having but little water and wood, and the wind prevailing hard against us. May He, who holds the winds in the hollow of His hand, so control and direct them, that we may ere long be brought into our desired haven.
November 9. Our little "Karere" lay-to admirably well, riding over the seas like a duck, scarcely shipping a drop of water. At daylight, no land in sight. Fresh gales and squally, wind S.W.; no one on deck for several hours but myself. Occupied myself in serious contemplation, especially called forth from the peculiar situation in which we were. At half-past five, saw land S.S.W., supposed to be the Barrier Island. At sunset, wind the same; squalls not so heavy.
November 10. At daylight, moderate; sea much gone down; wore and made sail. At six, every appearance of shift of wind; saw land S.W.--the same seen last night. At eight, light breezes from S.E.; made all sail, and stood in for the land. At ten, calm, which continued until six o'clock; when a light breeze sprang up from N.W. Took advantage of the fineness of the day, to wash and scrub the vessel above and below,--also our crew and passengers. All much recovered by the evening, yet anxious to regain the land, fearing another gale from the westward, which might drive us out to sea.
November 11. Light breezes and cloudy. At one a.m., wind shifted to south. At break of day, caught a shark seven feet long, with thirty-seven young ones. Barrier Island S.W., about twenty miles. At seven, calm, which was very tedious, as we had now exceeded our time. At noon, light breeze from N.E.; made all sail, which carried us along in a very agreeable way. Sunset, light airs. At midnight, squalls gathering round. Shortened sail, and wind shifted to W.S.W.; stood to the southward.
November 12. Light winds and fine; close to the N.E. end of Barrier Island; ran in shore, for the purpose of replenishing our wood and water. Sent the canoe for a cask of water, fearing further
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delay. Ran down the eastern shore of Barrier Island, in order to gain the weather shore. No appearance of natives on the Island-- all killed or dispersed. How blessed might hundreds of families be here. There are numbers of small rivers and bays, and timber in every part of the Island, and fish in the greatest abundance.
November 13. Light airs all night; at 8, light airs from the S.E., which continued through the day,--by the help of which we crossed the mouth of the Thames; in the evening, calm.
November 14. Light air's all night. In the morning caught a quantity of fish. At nine, light air from N.N.E., with indications of a blow. At noon, strong breezes; obliged to shorten sail, and bear up, as the sea was getting up, and every prospect of a gale. At five we rounded the north head of the Thames [Kawau], and entered a small deep cove [Little Omaha], 36 which was as quiet as a fishpond, with trees on either side growing down to the water's edge; anchored in three fathoms water, which was beautifully clear, with sandy bottom, shewing the fish in great numbers, while the birds were singing most delightfully in the bushes. We went on shore to stretch our legs, which was a great relief. All soon at work cutting wood, gathering oysters, and shooting birds. We soon forgot the troubles of the day. It is a remarkable fact, that all the breezes which have in anywise been favourable for us this voyage, have been so light as scarcely to carry us any distance, while those against us have been so strong as to prevent us carrying sail. All are very weary onboard, owing to broken rest, and not having had our clothes off for eleven nights.
November 15. A quiet and comfortable night; woke by the singing of the birds. Weather gloomy; wind as yesterday. We went on shore, and prepared for a gale; kindled two large fires, and erected a tent, with a shed of nikau for the boys, which was very comfortable. About noon, heavy rain; felt exceedingly thankful for the shelter afforded from the gale; hauled our vessel on shore to scrub her bottom.
November 16. Rain all night; exceedingly rough, yet, by the aid of some large fires, we were very comfortable. At daylight, weather cleared up; vessel aground, and would not float until the afternoon. The appearance of the sky very unsettled, clouds moving in every direction. Made every arrangement for sailing; everyone embarked by three o'clock, when we floated, and pulled out of the cove; but little wind until five o'clock, when a breeze sprung up from the west. At midnight, abreast of Te Wara. Breeze veered and hauled. Fine night.
November 17. At daylight, abreast of Whangaruru; at one, close to Cape Brett; wind out of the Bay. At four o'clock we determined