1839 - Walton, John. Twelve Months Residence in New Zealand - APPENDIX [and 2 newspaper clippings] p 70-82

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  1839 - Walton, John. Twelve Months Residence in New Zealand - APPENDIX [and 2 newspaper clippings] p 70-82
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The two following letters from Australia and New Zealand will convey an idea of the difference existing between these countries as fields for emigration.

Australia, February 2nd, 1839.

WELL, here we are once more under sail, after having been detained two weeks in this horrid place. The day after we arrived at Holdfast Bay, I went on shore, along with two or three more of the crew. We had our guns, and intended to walk across to Adelaide, and then join the Indus at the port, to which she was to sail that night. The appearance of the country is certainly beautiful. Fine large trees and lovely shrubs present themselves in every direction, but every thing appears to be parched and burned up, and there are not the least signs of water anywhere. We had to walk eight miles under a burning sun, without a drop of water, before we got to the city of Adelaide. I was never so much disappointed in my life as with this town. Of course I did not expect to see fine streets and squares, but certainly neat little cottages with small gardens, and a hard working and industrious people. But it is quite the reverse. It is a rigmarole kind of a place. Every one builds his house as best suits his fancy, and they are scattered about over such a vast extent of ground that it is almost impossible to trace any resemblance of a street. Almost every house you see is a public house; and as to the inhabitants, they are composed of a set of sharpers, pickpockets, free convicts, runaway convicts, and conceited cockneys,--in fact the most rascally assemblage of blackguards on the face of the earth. They do nothing but frequent grog shops and coffee rooms, and live upon new corners. There is a listless-

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ness and inactivity about this colony which quite disgusts one. As to the river Torrens, which is said, in some of the lying publications, to be 'as large as the Thames, and to flow beautifully through the city,' it is a mere chain of stagnant pools. As to the run of water from one of these pools to another, I could easily have held it back by placing my feet together for two or three minutes. In some places it is totally dry. The whole of the water used both in the town and in the port, is drawn from one of these pools. When I passed it one day there were four or five carts filling at one end of the pool,--and at the other there were upwards of twenty natives swimming about. This is the kind of water you get to drink! the washings of these loathsome fellows. The natives here appear to be pretty numerous. You will always see plenty of them in the town; many are tall and muscular, and in fact much better looking than you would suppose. As to the harbour, or port, our ship could get no farther up the creek than within four miles of it, so that all the goods which were landed were towed up in the long boat, which was a most laborious and tedious job. The harbour at the port is a sort of ditch cut through the mud, just broad enough to let a boat up---but it is always quite dry by half tide. This is the splendid 'harbour and wharf,' of the city of Adelaide. They charge you enormously high for everything. A dinner in the Southern Cross Coffeehouse is charged 3s. 6d.; wine per bottle, 6s.; one glass brandy and water, 1s.; ginger beer, per bottle, 1s.; a small piece of bread and cheese, with butter, 2s. 6d.; breakfast, 3s.; bed, 3s. 6d.; porter, per bott}e, 3s.; fresh butter, 3s. 6d. per pound; beef and mutton, 1s. 2d. to 1s. 3d. per pound; and for confectionaries, (fine mixtures) 16s. per pound, or 1s. per ounce. But I must allow the wages are very high, -- a common labourer receiving 20s. per week and rations; and to show you what value is put upon labour, they charge you per pound of raw coffee, 1s., while the same quantity roasted is charged 2s. 6d.!

In fact, the books and papers written about this place are all gross deceptions; and I have even heard Brown, the emigrant agent here, acknowledge that they were deceptions, but that they were obliged to publish them, because if they did not take that means to attract emigrants, other colonies would, and thus secure a great supply of capital and labour. The great inducement held out by government to people to settle in South Australia is, that immediately on their arrival they will get possession of the land purchased. But mark the result

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After having left Britain full of this hope, they find on arrival that the country is not surveyed, and that they require to wait for months before they can have land. A most pernicious system of surveying has commenced, which will ultimately ruin the colony. This is the system of "special surveys." By paying down L.4,000 hard cash, you have the privilege of selecting 4,000 acres of land, out of 15,000 acres. By this system all the good land is picked up, and what remains is barren, dry, and not worth having. Thus the purchaser of one or two sections coming out here, will be undoubtedly ruined, unless indeed, he manage to obtain a share of a 'special survey.' If he pays for his sections in England he cannot have a special survey, or a share in one. The money must be paid to the Colonial Treasurer in gold or bank notes; therefore, you see any one coming out here, should not purchase land at home. Four persons with L. 1,000 each, or eight persons with L.500 each, could demand a survey of 15, 000 acres in any district, and afterwards divide the 4,000 acres selected by ballot. This plan has been followed by some of our passengers; it is in fact the only way in which you will get land in any reasonable time. Before this you must examine the country to find out the most eligible place; and having done so, you pay your cash, and demand a survey.

A public advertisement is then issued, stating that Mr ----- demands a survey in a particular district. This has to appear for a certain number of days before the survey is commenced, and before it is completed and divided three months at least must elapse. During this time you may live in your tent in the neighbourhood of the town, and nothing is charged for the ground so occupied; but provisions, &c, are so dreadfully dear, that it requires a good trifle to keep you these three or four months. I may relate an instance of the oppressive nature of these restrictions. We met one day in a coffee room a young man who came out to Adelaide two years ago. He brought two servants with him, and likewise good letters to the Governor. Well, the Governor advised him to purchase some sheep, and go and squat in the country towards Mount Barber. He did so, but he had no sooner got a hut up in one place, than he was obliged to remove to another by these 'special surveys,' so that at last, by losing his sheep, &c, he was obliged to return to the town of Adelaide to try and get employment. His two men happening to get work on the survey, managed to get a place for their master; but he, poor fellow, could not stand so hard work under a burning sun, and

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he has now been in Adelaide for the last six months, trying to get a situation in vain. He would be thankful for a place of any kind, at a salary of L.30 or L.40 a-year. He pulled 7s. 6d. from his pocket, and declared it was all he had in the world. Such is too often the fate of the emigrant. The heat here is often very great. One day we found the thermometer standing at 112 deg. in the shade! Ten times worse than Pernambuco. There was a breeze of wind blowing, but it was as hot as though it had come through a furnace. It was what the settlers called a hot wind, which sometimes blows for two or three weeks together, but we luckily had only one day of it. Flies are a dreadful nuisance. While sitting at breakfast the other day, the waiter brought in some very good fresh sliced beef; but it had not sat more than five minutes on the table, when it was moving maggots. There is a kind of fly, that wherever it lights it blows live maggots. The country, too, is swarming with flies, not only in the houses, but on the open ground. The sand produces them; and at the port, but more especially in the creek where the Indus was anchored, the mosquitoes were in myriads. It was quite impossible to sleep for them-- every body on board was literally covered with bites. They come off in thousands from the mangrove swamps on each side of the creek!


The following letter has been received by Mr Stunt, of Southerham, from a labouring man who worked on his farm, and left this country for Sydney in May last year, but has since removed to New Zealand:--

New Zealand, Dec. 15th, 1838.

SIR,--I have taken the opportunity of sending the letter by the Coromandel loading with timber here, but I expect it will be March before she sails. Sir, we hope, please God, to find you, friends and relations, in good health as it leaves us perfectly well. Sir, we are in a beautiful climate, which agrees uncommonly well; more like England than Sydney, little warmer, black soil, clay beneath; much before Sydney to my thinking, which you may see in the natives. The natives here are strong-looking people, brown coloured, and the natives at Sydney are black, thin, hagged people. We have plenty of hogs wild, the natives catch them with dogs; you

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may have a large hog for a blanket or a little tobacco, but we have every thing of our masters the first year. Pork 4d. per pound, flour, 4d., sugar 6d. tea 3s., potatoes 2s., 100 lbs.-- Gooseberries we gather wild like nettles; the gooseberries grow in shucks as filberts, they are something like a green cherry; we have peaches, oranges, melons, lemons, onions, cabbage, all good. If, please God, we live another year, we shall go on in a different way. We got land set out for us to sow wheat to keep us, and I shall be for breeding my own hogs. Our master got hogs in abundance, and goats, ducks, geese, fowls, cows, a bull, two or three horses. We have not yet got our houses built, they are almost cut out and begun to build, so will soon be up. Mary does not like the cottage we are in, we are so thick, three families. I think we shall, have a very comfortable house; my mate one end, we the other. There is no fear of having to buy fire wood; there is plenty close to our house. We cut board for ourselves, fell what we like of any sort there is; we made each a table of pine and I begun a chair, but I got many jobs; the saw-pit we work in is 31 feet long; some timber is six feet deep, and it seems a pity to turn such good timber as we burn down, counted as worth nothing.

Feb. 3rd.--We are about 20 miles up the river. The next place to us is Wymath, 12 miles, in cultivation, beautiful for corn and flocks of sheep belonging to the church missionaries; these are Wesleyans. The next place, the Bay of Islands, is a very drunken blackguard place, 30 miles from us. There is no place in the world scarce with such timber for masts for ships and other things as here. Our master by the Coromandel will clear, by all we can find out, 7,000l. or 8,000l.; the whole value I am told is 24,000l., or 25,000l., and they have it cut up for almost nothing; but they begin to get more awake. They will saw no more for their 4s. a-week; they work in this way 3 or 4 pair, so keep a European to sharp, and line, and look after them.

Feb. 10th.--The Captain died last week, and was buried in the chapel yard. I intend sending not one word wrong if I know it; many would not like the country, as there would be not company enough for them except natives, and no liquor of any kind to be got at Hokianga but seldom. The only reptile that seems venomous is the lizard. Many of them are about the trees, and you know they are harmless enough. The winters are cold and rainy, but little frost and no snow. I have a beautiful place at the end of my garden, the weather

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and sun coming in front all open. I began to make a hedge, the first ever made, I suppose, in New Zealand, and am going to sow some turnips and plant beans. In this country almost any time will do. By the next time I send I shall be able to tell you a little better about what chance there is here when I have seen more about it. A person came from England with us by the name of Josh. England, and is living with missionaries at Wymath, gets 12s. a week, provisions for self, wife, three children, good house free, water, wood brought by the natives to his door, only as servant out doors to job about the stores. He is a shoemaker by trade.

So no more at present from your humble servant



THE company has already acquired very extensive tracts of land in the North Island of New Zealand, and has despatched two expeditions for the purpose of purchasing other lands, and of selecting the most eligible district for the first and principle district.

The company, in the first place, offered for sale 99,000 acres of country land, and 990 acres of town land, in their first and principal settlement, after making reserves for the special use of the natives. These lands thus offered have been disposed of at L.l per acre, thereby realizing to the company, a land-fund of L.99,990, and the rights of the purchasers thereof to priority of choice in the settlement have been determined by lot.

The directors are now ready to receive applications for country lands, to the extent of 50,000 acres, in sections of 100 acres each, at the price of 100l. per section, or 1l. per acre, to be paid in full, in exchange for the land orders, which will entitle the holders thereof, or their agents, to select country sections accordingly, either at the company's principal settlement, or at Hokianga, Caipara, Manukau, the islands of Waiheke and Paroa, the borders of the Thames, or any other part of the present or future territories of the company, so soon as the requisite surveys thereof shall have been completed. The holders will therefore select at pleasure, out of all the company's territories which shall then be surveyed as country sections, a section of 100 acres for each land order, in

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the order in which the land orders shall be presented to the company's resident officer in New Zealand.

The land orders will be transferable at the pleasure of the holders; and a registry will be kept at the company's offices in London, and in the settlement, as well of original land orders, as of all transfers thereof.

Of the monies to be paid to the company by purchasers, 25 per cent, only will be reserved by the company for local expenses and other purposes. The remainder, being 75 per cent., will be laid out by the company for the exclusive benefit of the purchasers, in giving value to the land sold by defraying the cost of emigration to the settlements.

Original purchasers of land orders intending to emigrate, will be entitled to claim from the company out of the fund set apart for emigration, an expenditure equal to 60 per cent, of their purchase money, for a free passage for themselves, their families, and servants, subject to the company's regulations. Purchasers to the extent of at least 300 acres, not intending to emigrate, will also, in special cases, be allowed to nominate their land agent for a free cabin passage to the settlements.

The remainder of the fund set apart for emigration, will be laid out by the company in providing a free passage for young persons of the labouring class, and, as far as possible, of the two sexes, in equal proportions.

Labourers selected by purchasers for a free passage must be subject to approval by the company, as respects age, sex, and good character.

In the selection of other labouring emigrants, the company will give a preference to applicants who shall be under engagement to work for capitalists intending to emigrate.

A scale of the rates at which cabin and steerage passages will be provided by the company in proportion to the purchase-money of land orders, will be exhibited from time to time at the company's office.

The land orders are to be received as sufficient conveyances, and conclusive evidence of the company's title; and a certificate of an officer of the company in the settlement authorized in that behalf, mentioning the section fallen or assigned to the lot of any land order, is to be accepted as sufficient evidence thereof, and as an actual delivery of the possession of the section mentioned in such certificate; and the company are not to be considered as guaranteeing the title, except as against their own acts, and the acts of those deriving title under or in trust for them.

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Forms of the land orders may be seen on application at the company's office.

By order of the directors,

New Zealand Land Company's Office,
July, 80th, 1839.


1. BY the terms of purchase for lands in the company's first and principal settlement, dated 1st June, 1839, the company has engaged to lay out 75 per cent, of the monies received from purchasers, in defraying the cost of emigration to the settlement. According to those terms, purchasers and others may submit labouring persons of the class hereafter described, for a free passage, for the approval of the company. In the selection of labouring emigrants, the company has undertaken to give a preference to applicants who shall be under engagement to work for capitalists intending to emigrate.

2. The company therefore offers a free passage to the colony (including provisions and medical attendance during the voyage), to persons of the following description:

3. All emigrants, adults as well as children, must have been vaccinated, or have had the small-pox.

4. Emigrants will be for the most part embarked at the port of London, but the directors will occasionally appoint other ports of embarkation, as circumstances may require.

5. The expenses of reaching the port of embarkation must be borne by the emigrants; but on the day appointed for their embarkation they will be received, even though the departure of the ship should be delayed, and will be put to no further expense.

6. Every adult emigrant is allowed to take half a ton weight, or twenty cubic feet, of baggage. Extra baggage is liable to charge at the ordinary rate of freight per ton.

7. The emigrants must provide the bedding for themselves and children, and the necessary tools of their own trades; the, other articles most useful for emigrants to take with them, are strong plain clothing, or the materials for making clothes upon the passage. In providing clothing, it should be remembered that the usual length of the voyage is four months.

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8. On the arrival of the emigrants in the colony, they will be received by an officer who will supply their immediate wants, assist them in reaching the place of their destination, be ready to advise with them in case of difficulty, and at all times to give them employment in the service of the company, if from any cause they should be unable to obtain it elsewhere. The emigrants will, however, be at perfect liberty to engage themselves to any one willing to employ them, and will make their own bargain for wages.

By order of the board,

JOHN WARD, Secretary.
New Zealand Land Company's Office,
1 Adam St., Adelphi, 29th June, 1839.




A lady, the wife of one of the earliest members of the first colony intending to settle in New Zealand, has resolved on the establishment of an Infant School for the benefit of the children of the Aborigines, and of the poorer class of settlers.

With this intention, she has purchased one of the preliminary sections of land, which she gives as a perpetual endowment for this purpose, and has taken upon herself the responsibility of guaranteeing the salary for the first year of a master and mistress, with their daughter, as an assistant, for whom she has likewise provided free passages, and accommodation on arriving in New Zealand.

The teacher engaged is Mr Buchanan, who, during the last twenty years, has superintended the first institution of this kind established in England.

It is intended to place the contributions in the hands of three trustees, leaving the management, in the first instance, to the lady who is the originator of the plan, who subscribes the larger portion of the funds, and who, proceeding to the colony with her husband, is willing to give as much of her time as

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may be necessary for the personal superintendence of the school.

The trustees will make themselves responsible for the due administration of the funds, and detailed reports will be forwarded periodically to the subscribers in England.

An immediate outlay is required for building a school-room, as well as residence for master and mistress, with other incidental expenses at the commencement.

It is believed that, if the necessary buildings can be erected, the institution may shortly rely upon the exertions of the colonists themselves; and it is calculated that the sum of two hundred pounds will be sufficient to lay the foundation of a system which may hereafter extend itself over a large portion of the infant population of New Zealand.

Donations and annual subscriptions received by Dr Evans, chairman of the first colony, at the Office of the New Zealand Land Company, No. 1, Adam Street, Adelphi.

Trustees and other officers, including a committee of correspondents in England, will be appointed at a General Meeting of subscribers before the departure of the first colony.

Should these proposals meet with any considerable support, the plan will be extended so as to include an infant Orphan Asylum.

Messrs. HANKEY, Fenchurch Street.

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Dietary of all but Cabin Passengers, the Passengers to be in Messes of Six or more, according to the following Scale for one Adult:--

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[Newspaper clippings found in book]


The following paragraph appears in the city article of the Times of Tuesday:--

Recent accounts from Launceston give a distressing and desponding narrative of the sufferings of the emigrants who had gone out to settle in New Zealand, but who, disappointed and disgusted with the state of affairs there, had returned in the Essington to the former place. The settlement is represented as being in a most lamentable state, and the greatest dissatisfaction is said to prevail amongst the unfortunate emigrants. Induced, it is said, by false and flattering exaggerations, to abandon their homes and their native countries, they discover immediately upon their arrival the treachery and inhumanity of their selfish deceivers. They find starvation where they had been led to expect abundance; and discontent and distress, where they were told prosperity and comfort reigned; they find it almost impossible to obtain a livelihood where they were assured wealth and independence would be their certain reward. There is no civil court at Port Nicholson, the chief settlement of New Zealand, for the recovery of debts, and, in consequence several of those who had arrived in the Essington abandoned their claims rather than lose the opportunity of quitting the place. The nominal rate of wages was 10s. per day, but there was no money to be had. Labourers and mechanics worked week after week without being paid, and among the passengers in the Essington were some to whom their employers owed upwards of L.9, they being obliged in the meanwhile to exist upon what little money they brought with them from England. Provisions were, high, and the 4 lb. loaf sold at 2s. There was very little land in cultivation, a large portion in the neighbourhood of Port Nicholson being a complete swamp, totally unfit for agricultural operations six months out of the twelve. At the time the Essington left, it had been blowing a continued gale of wind for some weeks, accompanied by heavy showers of rain. It is further stated that numbers of the emigrants were ready to leave the settlement by the first opportunity; and in order to relieve some of them as speedily as possible from their destitution, a vessel had been despatched from Launceston.

Hobart Town papers to the 5th February have come to hand, with late dates from the neighbouring colonies, Wheat was selling at 8s. 6d. to 9s. per bushel, and fine flour at 28s. per hundred pounds. It was hoped that before the end of the year there would be a sufficient number of steam-vessels in the Australian colonies to answer all the purposes of intercolonial navigation. At Port Philip some town allotments of land had been sold at L.700 per acre.

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We extract the following from a letter which appeared in the New Zealand Journal of January 30:

"We have now been almost four months at this place, and we can therefore say something about it. When we landed it was autumn, and now we have arrived at the coldest of the winter. I did not feel anything remarkable in the autumn weather, except that we all kept so remarkably well I was often wet all day and although I used to get cold in London whenever I got wet feet or a wet jacket. I have never had anything of the kind here. This is experienced by everybody, and the doctor says that it is like Madeira and other places they send people to when they have consumption; and yet I am told the natives are very subject to that disease. I leave it to the doctors to reconcile these two facts, which seem to me contradictory. If it cures consumption or prevents it in us, why is it not of equal benefit to the natives? Perhaps it is on account of their being scrofulous, for there are a great many of them so afflicted, and that may arise from their diet; however, that is another point for the doctors. The natives are a fine set of fellows. They seem to me to be passionate, but good intentioned; indeed, they are wayward, like badly, brought up children. I am sure they will civilise very fast, for they imitate everything we do, though they often seem to wonder at our proceedings. They make capital traders, and know how to bargain for their pigs and potatoes as well as any European. M---- is a great favourite with them, because she is kind to their children (as she is, indeed, to every living thing); and I think they have great confidence in me, because I deal fairly with them, and treat them as my equals. Although, at first, sight, they are frightful looking fellows, even the children of the settlers have now got quite accustomed to them, and they walk in and but of our tents and houses without our feeling any risk. Some of them. I am told, will steal; but they never steal from us and that is because we place confidence in them. There is an old proverb, "give a dog a bad name and you hang him." but there ought to be another, namely, that if you give a man a good name he will try and deserve it. This is our rule with the natives, and we find it succeeds. I have a very high opinion of them, and I am quite sure they will improve every day. One thing I think some of the settlers will be disappointed in, and that is their labour. They will at times work very hard; when there is any object to attain, even the chiefs will labour as well as any; but they have as yet no idea of labouring steadily, as we do, for a continuance. The chiefs too are proud-- they are proud of their birth, proud of their position, proud of everything that distinguishes them from their cookees, and even from their fighting men; so that as soon as they find out that our chiefs do not labour with the hand, they will not work as they have done.

"As to the soil we do not know much. Those who are knowing in such matters say, it is very rich, but they seem to fear there is not much flat land near the port. The Surveyor-General reports good soil wherever he goes, and I have heard no one speak of bad land anywhere; and I believe the farming people will do as well as others are doing now. All sorts of mechanics are getting well paid, and, as living is not over dear, all are saving money. The town lands are expected to be ready in ten days, and then wages will be very high. Indeed, I should think that all workmen connected with building will be paid high for many years. Bricklayers, carpenters, sawyers, plasterers, painters, and such like must be greatly wanted. Then there are 1100 town acres, and as three or four hundred houses will have to be built as soon as possible, the whole of our present population, all hands at work, will be not enough to do what is wanted. Then there are 1100 country sections of 100 acres each. How are these to be cultivated I should like to know? Why, it would require about 2000 labouring men to cultivate one-third of the quantity. I do not see where the labour is to come from at present, so that wages must be very high. I shall, therefore, content myself to work and save for a year or two to come; and M----- is of the same way of thinking. Indeed, I have done so even in the little time I have been here."

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