Earliest New Zealand
MR. BUTLER'S JOURNAL CONTINUED, 1823
MR. BUTLER'S JOURNAL CONTINUED, 1823.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 13th.—Working at the farm with my natives, burning the weeds from off the wheat lands.
FRIDAY.—Writing, etc., etc.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 15th.—In my study, preparing for the Sabbath.
SUNDAY. — Divine Service in the morning; afternoon, school and prayers with my natives.
MONDAY, 17th. — Writing in the morning; afternoon, employed among my men.
TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY. — Employed chiefly in writing the native language; my men in sawing, threshing, fencing, etc., etc.
FRIDAY, 21st FEBRUARY. — Employed in my study, preparing for the Sabbath.
SATURDAY MORNING.—Employed in the study; afternoon, set off with my friend, Rev. Sam. Leigh (who had spent some days at our house) to Ranghe Hoo to preach on the morrow, and administer the Holy Sacrament.
SUNDAY, 23rd FEBRUARY.—Divine Service, morning and evening, at Mr. Wm. Hall's. Administered the Holy Sacrament to Mr. and Mrs. Hall, Mr. and Mrs. King, Mr. and Mrs. Hansen, Mr. and Mrs. Leigh; Mr. and Mrs. Cowell never attend Divine Service.
MONDAY MORNING.—I set off for Paroa, accompanied by Rev. Mr. Leigh and Mr. King, to see the bull and cow which were given to the Mission by Governor Brisbane. They look exceeding well, and I gave Tooe's brothers (Shou and Teranghee) one axe, and one iron pot for looking after them. We next set off for Kororarica, to the ship “Cumberland,” as Mr. Leigh wanted to purchase some articles for his use from Capt. Brend here; as it was growing towards evening, it became proper for us to remain for the night. In the morning, when Mr. Leigh had finished his business, we returned to Rangehoo.
The brig “Governor Macquarie,” from Port Jackson, came to an anchor off the settlement at two o'clock. She has brought goods for Mr. Leigh, but none for our Mission.page 263
In the afternoon I returned to Kiddee Kiddee, and found my habitation in peace, tho' many prowling wolves were lurking round it.
WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY.—Writing; my natives employed in fencing and sawing.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 28th, AND SATURDAY.—Writing native language, and preparing for the Sabbath.
SUNDAY, MARCH 2nd, 1823.—Divine Service; administered the Holy Sacrament.
During the past week I have been principally employed in writing the native language.
My natives have been employed in sawing, farming, etc., etc., and they go on exceeding well.
SUNDAY, MARCH 9th.—Divine Service. Capt. Dibb's boat crew attended Divine Service.
MONDAY, MARCH 10th.—This morning Mr. Saml. Butler went to the ship to fetch his things from the brig “Endeavour.”
I have this morning received into my house a daughter of Rewah, a chief of this place; she is about seven years of age. I hope she will soon learn to read and sew.
SATURDAY, MARCH 15th.—This week I have been enabled to devote myself to the native language, and am, I hope, getting on pretty well. My natives go on in their employments exceeding well. Part of each day is allotted to religious instruction. Several of them know their letters, and can repeat several long prayers by heart, together with the Lord's Prayer, Belief, Ten Commandments, etc.; and answer many important questions in the fundamental principles of the Christian religion. We have at this time sixteen natives under our care, who are regularly fed with the bread of this life and, as far as we are able to communicate it to them, with the bread “which cometh down from heaven and giveth life unto the world.”page 264
SUNDAY, 16th.—Divine Service; morning, English; afternoon, in native language.
SATURDAY, 22nd.—This week I have been employed in much the same as last. I have commenced public prayer, a lesson and a short exhortation in the field from twelve to one o'clock. This affords a relaxation from bodily labour, and the natives being free from any interruption, pay greater attention than at any other time when called to attend to religion.
Agriculture affords me abundant metaphors, by which I am enabled to point out the blessings of the Gospel, and the importance of having their minds well instructed.
MONDAY, MARCH 24th, 1823.—This morning I set off, accompanied by my son, Saml. Butler, and Mr. King, on a journey to Pukawakawa, Puka Tawtarra (Puketotara) Wymattee, Taiamai, and Omapure. The objects of our journey were, first to examine timber at Pukawakawa and Puka Tawtarra, and see how far it was practicable to get down a quantity of logs during the floods in winter.
We arrived at Pukawakawa at nine o'clock, where we met with some of the chiefs, belonging to the timber, who seemed to be very glad at our visit, and readily accompanied us to the wood, and showed us the timber. We passed thro' a part of the wood and marked a number of trees, some down and some standing, and encouraged the natives to cut them into proper lengths, and get them to the water side ready for the first flood.
I had previously spoken to one of the chiefs respecting a lodging, expecting to remain in the wood all night. On our arrival at this place we found a new rush hut erected for our accommodation.
A chief named Atowa very generously gave us a pig for our party; while others readily supplied us with potatoes, etc. Our natives killed the pig and cooked dinner, while we attended to the marking of timber, etc., etc.page 265
After dinner we sang and prayed with them, and then proceeded on our journey to Wymattee to pay them a friendly visit, to conciliate their minds, to see their improvement in agriculture since our last visit, and to impart religious instruction to the best of our power. Two of the chiefs accompanied us from Puka Tou Tarra. At the going down of the sun we arrived at the residence of a chief named Tariar. Here they wanted us to tarry for the night, but we thought it best to proceed to Shunghe's place and remain there.
We were much gratified on beholding a great increase of land cultivated with corn, taro, potatoes, etc., etc., at this part of Wymattee; we passed thro' several fields of Indian corn which looked remarkably well, but we were prevented taking anything more than a general survey on account of the sweet potatoes being tabooed. This being their harvest time, everyone was busily engaged, some on making houses to receive produce, and some on making baskets for the purposes of carrying it to their store houses, or presenting it for sale.
On our reaching Shunghe's place, his daughter and her husband received us in the kindest manner, and supplied us with plenty of corn and potatoes, and a very good rush hut to sleep in. We supped and had prayers and singing by moonlight; the natives were very silent and attentive. I made it known that after breakfast we should perform prayer and singing, and talk with them about our God, and His goodness to us, and likewise to them, altho' they did not know him; and that such as attended should have a fish-hook. We then retired to rest. In the morning we arose at daylight, and the natives prepared breakfast as fast as possible. Breakfast being ended, we proceeded to perform Divine Service, and to give other instruction in the best manner we could. There were many natives, and they paid every attention to what we had to say, and at the close I gave each one a fishhook.
We then proceeded on our journey towards Taiami, and were equally pleased in passing along through a great increase of cultivation, and seeing the people busy m the harvest field.
The whole of the land between Wymattee and Taiami is very fine.
We reached Taiami about two o'clock. The natives greeted us, and immediately prepared provisions for our party.
After dinner we performed Divine Service, had some conversation with them about our religion, and the objects of page 266 our stopping among them. This being ended, they pressed us to stop all night, but we were confined to time, and therefore proceeded to Omapere. In about an hour we arrived at a wood through which we had to pass; and a little after our entrance we were agreeably surprised to find many large plantations of Indian corn, sweet potatoes, taro, etc., and many natives living up and down in this place of solitude.
At the going down of the sun we reached the borders of this fine lake called Omapere.
We fixed upon a spot for the night, and were about erecting a shed for the night when a chief named Tokotoko, hearing of the arrival of some white people, came to invite us to his place; we went with him to his place, and he entertained us and our party with the best he had.
After supper and prayer, being weary, we retired to rest in this wilderness wood, in the midst of savages, with as much composure as if we had been in the Mission House in London. In the morning we arose early, and got our breakfast as fast as possible, as many natives kept coming from the neighbouring farms to see us. On being informed we were going to sing and pray in their language, they appeared struck at the thought of our praying and singing in the New Zealand language.
After we had collected together as many as we could, we began by singing a hymn, given out by two lines at a time; all of them listened with great attention; some joined in singing, and after the whole was over, they said it was very good, and begged us to come again to teach them how to pray. The name of the farm where we stopped is Mawe.
Having now completed the objects of our journey to this place, as far as we could, we again proceeded. The morning was lowering and very cloudy, and soon after we started it began to rain, and we had some thought of returning, but, fearing lest the swamps and creeks should be filled over with water which we had to pass, we thought it best to proceed.
Our guide missed his way in the wood through which we had to pass, and by this mistake we were detained in the wood several hours, walking through the thicket as through a river. At length, more by chance than judgment, we found our real path, and reached the upper end of Wymattee about three o'clock p.m. Here we stopped and dried our clothes, and got something to eat and drink, and then proceeded to our old page 267 lodgings at the other end of Wymattee. Shunghe's daughter again provided us with as many potatoes, etc., as we wanted, and when we left we made a present to her and her husband of two knives, two pairs of scissors, and an axe. We had prayers as usual, and singing, and then retired to rest. Our natives arose at daylight and prepared breakfast, and after we had performed Divine Service with the natives, we set off with all haste to Kiddee Kiddee, the morrow being Good Friday. We reached my house about five in the evening, pretty well in health, and thankful to God for all His mercies.
GOOD FRIDAY. — Performed Divine Service; administered the H.S., and had services with the natives in the afternoon, and all very attentive.
On Saturday morning I set off with the Revd. Mr. Leigh to Ranghe Hoo to preach and administer the H.S. We arrived about one o'clock, and dined with Mr. Hall.
EASTER SUNDAY.—Divine Service in the morning and afternoon, and administered the H.S. I trust this was a time of refreshing from the Lord for us all.
Drank tea and spent the evening with Mr. King and family, and slept at Mr. Hall's.
MONDAY, MARCH 31st.—This morning I set off with Mr. Leigh to Odu-du, a settlement belonging to Shunghe's relations, and the place where one of his sisters is settled, and about seventy miles north from the Bay of Islands.
Shunghe, when he went away to the war, expressed his desire that the Revd. Mr. Leigh should settle at Odu-du, because it would be among his friends. Indeed, it would be dangerous in the present state of things to settle anywhere but among those that are his friends, or those that were at peace with him; for, as I have often said, he possesses no real authority, but still he possesses great influence.
The morning being fine, and having a good crew, we made great progress; passed Point Pocock at nine o'clock, and committed ourselves to the Lord on the wide ocean. A gentle breeze sprang up for our assistance, and we passed Wangaroa about two, and performed the whole distance by twelve at night, only going on shore at an island for fresh water.
It is certainly a very dangerous enterprise to go to sea in an open boat on the stormy coast of New Zealand, but the page 268 Lord preserved us, and altho' we did not know the place within many miles, nor could any of the natives give us the least information in the night, yet heaven directed; we made a sand beach in the dark, just at the mouth of the river.
We got our things on shore, and proceeded to cook some bacon and make tea, and after our refreshment, we laid ourselves down on the sand by the fire side to rest, it being about one o'clock. We arose again between four and five and got an early breakfast, and prayer in both our own and the native language, and then proceeded up the River Odu-du. The entrance we found exceeding narrow, and not more than four feet of water; we had not gone more than half a mile ere our boat grounded, but as the tide was flowing we were soon at liberty.
We proceeded as the tide rose, nevertheless we found it a heavy task to get her up to the village during the flow of the tide. It is dry at low water, save a little stream of fresh water from the hills. The tide brings in the sand, and in some places at high water the banks thrown are not covered deeper than two feet. As we wished to get to the heads by the tide, we had only about a half an hour to stop with the natives.
Shunghe's sister met us at the bank of the river, and received us with every mark of attention.
Indeed, all the natives that we saw at this place behaved themselves toward us in the kindest manner as poor heathens. They immediately ordered potatoes to be cooked for us, but we could not stop till they were done; they therefore put three large baskets into the boat for our use. We were but just in time to reach the heads ere the tide was out. Mr. L. made some presents to the natives. We proceeded to the sandy beach we started from in the morning, and stopped to get dinner.
Had we found a good harbour, and the place otherwise suitable, Mr. Leigh intended to establish himself at Odu-du, and commence their missionary operations at this place. But it is next to an impossibility in the present state of New Zealand to form a missionary station at this place, there being no harbour for any ship to go into, and a very deep and dangerous bay, to the very bottom of which every vessel must go in order to reach the inlet to Odu-du.
After dinner, being about three o'clock in the afternoon, the wind veered two or three points, and became fair for our page 269 return. We all stood in great need of some sovereign rest, yet having so far to go in an open boat by sea, we gladly embraced this favourable opportunity of returning. We therefore got our things into the boat as fast as possible, and set sail.
We continued sailing a good steady pace the whole night, and made the Bay of Islands about four in the morning; we were now obliged to pull down the sail and row, and we reached Kidee Kidee about eight in the morning, having completed more than eighty miles with boat without leaving our seats. When I first put my feet on the shore, I was ready to fall down, my limbs being so stiff, and my head so giddy, and this was the case with us all. But blessed be the God of all grace, He made a way for us and guided us in the dark through the mighty water, and brought us back to our habitation in peace and safety.
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, 3rd and 4th APRIL, 1823.—Employed in writing, and looking after my native farmers.
SATURDAY.—Preparing for the Sabbath.
SUNDAY, APRIL 6th.—Divine Service, and administered the H.S. Captn. Curry, of the “Satellite,” brig of war, and Captn. — of the 48th, visited the settlement, and dined with me.
MONDAY, TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY.—Employed in committee business.
page 271Marsden—Butler. (Ex “Hocken” Collection.)
April 10th, 1823.
I herewith forward to you a letter from the Church Missionary Society, written by order of the Committee in consequence of the letters you addressed to me when you were last at Port Jackson.
I beg to recall to your recollection that I reminded you to withdraw those letters, which you declined. I then recommended that if any differences did exist betwen us, that we should follow our Saviour's advice, and submit them to our Christian friends to settle; that I would select two upon my part, and you should select two upon your part. This proposition you also rejected; nothing would satisfy your angry feelings but the submitting these letters to the C.M. Society. I warned you of the consequences at the time, but you would not be advised. You continued under the government of such violent passions, and openly, and publicly cast such personal reflections and reproaches upon me, as compelled me to withdraw from you altogether, with a full page 270 determination never to put it in your power to use the language to me you had done in the presence of several gentlemen, until the C.M.S. had given their opinion upon the letters you assured me you would send to them; upon this I have acted to the present time. Your conduct wounded my feelings very much as a man, and much more as a Christian minister. Had I taken the advice of my friends, I should have taken public notice of what you said to me in Mr. Campbell's office in the presence of the Rev. Mr. Williams and other gentlemen. They thought you had impeached my character very much, and was called upon to vindicate. I replied the inhabitants of this colony knew what my character was, (And men like Macquarie, Lang and Wentworth were not above exposing it!) and that the measures they recommended, was I to adopt them, would neither make my character better or worse in the public opinion, and on that ground, I should not give myself any trouble in the business.
I have thought it just to mention the above, to shew you I have never had the most distant wish to injure you in this colony, nor with the Society. If I had entertained such a wish, you must be aware, I could have indulged it, from the many opportunities your violent passions afforded me.
As the Committee of the C.M.S. have expressed a wish that all past differences should be buried in oblivion, I am very willing to meet their views. You have had time now to reflect upon all that is past, and I trust that you will see that you have not acted under a proper spirit, not only to me, but also to some of your colleagues. I propose to be in New Zealand in a short time, and I hope the Mission will put on a better appearance. I am very sorry that you should have subjected yourself to the severe censures which the Committee has put upon you, but you have brought it all upon yourself, and you must blame yourself alone. I hope nothing of this kind will ever happen again, but that all concerned in the Mission will be of one heart and mind, and then the blessing of God will attend the work, and the power of Satan will be weakened, and the righteous will rejoice. I lament more than any person the evils that have existed among you as a body. Your difficulties have not originated from the natives, but among yourselves. A total change must now be made, and such missionaries as will not obey the Society's directions and positive orders must be dismissed from the work, and others sought after who will submit to those who have authority over them. My great anxiety for the success of the Mission has often induced me not to take public notice of the conduct of some or the missionaries, when I am convinced I ought to have done so. I hope you will weigh all that has been stated to you with coolness, and make up your mind before my arrival in New Zealand upon that line of conduct you intend to follow in future. Pray for divine direction, and may the great Head of the Church guide you in the right way, then your peace of mind will be restored and the mouths of gainsayers will in time be stopped.
Your obedt., humble servant,
Rev. John Butler.
(The letter referred to is not traceable.)
THURSDAY, FRIDAY AND SATURDAY. — Employed in the study. My native farmers and sawyers go on exceeding well, and learn many things concerning the Christian religion by rote very fast.
SUNDAY, APRIL 13th.—Divine Service in morning for Europeans, afternoon for the natives.
SATURDAY, APRIL 19th.—This week I have been particularly busy with natives, in preparing land for wheat.
SUNDAY, APRIL 20th.—Divine Service morning, afternoon with the natives.
SATURDAY, 26th.—This week I have been very busy in the field sowing wheat, and have got in six acres of seed, in very excellent order.
My natives go on with the work exceeding well, yea, quite as well or better than can be expected of poor heathens.
It certainly would be a very gratifying sight to the Society to see and hear them in the evening, after labouring all day in the field, singing hymns and offering up the prayers to Jehovah, the true and living God, in their own language; and altho' at present they do not fully comprehend what they utter, yet it affords a pleasing prospect, and hope seems to apprehend that the day of Gospel light and salvation is near at hand. At present we victual and employ seventeen natives.
SUNDAY, APRIL 27th, 1823. — Divine Service in the morning, European; afternoon, with the natives.
SATURDAY, MAY 3rd.—This week I have been getting on with my farm; have cultivated and sown an acre and a half of oats; cultivated part of the garden; go on with my regular plan of instructing the natives, all of whom go on exceeding well. We muster between myself and my son nearly twenty to prayers and exhortation; may the Lord grant His blessing.
FRIDAY, MAY 2nd, 1823.—This morning about half past seven o'clock, Captn. Dix, of the American schooner “Cossack,” came to our settlement, and the crew, having been wrecked at the heads of the Shukianga River on Sunday evening last, April 27th. From Captn. Dix I learned that the accident happened in the following manner: the vessel having been into the harbour of Shukianga for the purpose of purchasing provisions to enable them to prosecute their voyage, and having accomplished this object, the captain was anxious page 272 to go to sea, and ventured out at low water with a light breeze which proved insufficient to carry them off the land. The returning tide, and the tremendous swell which always sets upon that shore, was more than the vessel could stand, and she went on shore stern first, with all sail set, and in about two hours she was all to pieces. The whole of them were in a most distressed state, having lost everything but what they had on, and some of them not more than half clothed. We furnished them with supplies to carry them down to Kororarica in the bay, two whalers, the “Mary Ann” and “Sarah” being at anchor there, and they intending as many as could to get on board those ships, to get away from N.Zd.
SATURDAY, MAY 3rd.—This morning I set off for Range Hoo, to be ready to perform Divine Service on the morrow; arrived safe, but a very rough passage.
SUNDAY, MAY 4th, 1823.—Performed Divine Service, morning and afternoon. Administered the H.S.; a very comfortable Sabbath. Rev. Mr. and Mrs. Leigh, Mr. and Mrs. Hall, Mr. King, Mr. and Mrs. Hansen at Sacrament. Mr. and Mrs. Cowell never attend Divine Service, nor come to the Lord's Supper, never attend prayer meetings on week days, nor even unite in public worship on Sundays, either when I am there, or when I am not. Query: Can they be disciples of the Lord Jesus Xt?
MONDAY, MAY 5th, 1823.—Returned to Kidde Kidde, and found my family all in good health.
On reaching my house, I found two distressed sailors belonging to the American schooner, “Cossack,” having returned from the aforenamed whalers, not being able to get on board on account of the scarceness of provisions in those ships. They came to me to claim protection and support until they may be able to get away. The name of one is James Spencer, a native of Stafford in England, and the other a native of Otaheite, named Onaha. I have taken them in, and in the name of the Society I shall render them as comfortable as I can, until an opportunity comes of sending them away, or for them to get employment on some vessel that may come into the harbour.
TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY, 6th and 7th MAY.—Sowing barley. My natives go on exceeding well.
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY, 8th and 9th. — Preparing land for barley.page 273
SATURDAY MORNING.—Sowing barley; afternoon in the study.
SUNDAY, MAY 11th.—Divine Service, and administered the Holy Sacrament.
MONDAY, TUESDAY, WEDNESDAY AND THURSDAY.—Busy among my natives at the farm.
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY.—Finished sowing. Ship “St. Michael” arrived on Friday, Capt. Beveridge, with stores for the W.M., and Mr. White for New Zealand Mission.
SUNDAY, 18th.—Divine Service in morning in English: afternoon, in New Zealand.
The Revd. John Butler,
Revd. and Dear Sir,
Mrs. Leigh and I write in acknowledging the great kindness we have received from you and your dear partner and family since we have been in New Zealand, and we have no doubt but that the Lord will bless your ways.
We request that you will favour us with your company to Wangeriee, and give us all the counsel and assistance we so much need in this stage of our work in New Zealand.
I shall by the first opportunity acknowledge to the Church Missionary Committee in London, and likewise to the Wesleyan Missionary Society, your great kindness to me.
My dear partner writes with me in love to Mrs. Butler, your dear family, and yourself. Praying that every blessing may be your happy experience, and that God our Saviour may be your guide until death.
Revd. and Dear Sir,
MONDAY, MAY 19th.—Having received by letter a very earnest entreaty from Rev. Mr. Leigh, requesting that I would accompany him in the ship “St. Michael,” Capt. Beveridge master, to seek out a suitable place for the establishment of a Wesleyan Mission, I therefore set out this morning for Range Hoo to assist him in getting his things on board; and this part of the business, as far as respected Range Hoo, we completed on Tuesday evening.page 274
WEDNESDAY MORNING, MAY 21st.—Mr. Leigh, Mrs. Leigh, Mr. White, Messrs. Hall, King, Hansen, James, Luke, Captains Beveridge and Gardiner, Mrs. Beveridge and others, set off with me to Kiddi Kiddi to bid us all farewell, and to take away such things as we could furnish from our gardens for their use, as trees, garden seeds of all that we have, etc., etc., together with a cow and calf and some goats.
THURSDAY, MAY 22nd, 1823.—We all dined together at my house, and a true missionary spirit of love and harmony appeared among us. We drank tea together at Mr. Kemp's, and spent the evening in praise and thanksgivings to our God.
FRIDAY, MAY 23rd.—Our friends returned, except Mr. Leigh, who remained until Saturday. I accompanied Mrs. Leigh to Range Hoo, and on the next day Mr. Leigh came down, bringing Mrs. Butler with him. The day was very stormy, but the Lord preserved them.
SUNDAY, MAY 25th.—Divine Service at Mr. Hall's. I read prayers, Mr. White preached. I then administered the H.S. All the friends attended except Mr. and Mrs. Cowell, who have never attended Divine Service in public with their brethren since Mr. Kendall ceased.
Performed Divine Service in the afternoon; preached from Romans 8th, 32 v.
MONDAY, MAY 26th.—We embarked on board the “St. Michael;” weighed anchor at noon, and bid farewell to Range Hoo.
Wanga Ree was the place proposed, lying about seventy miles to the southward of Bay of Islands.
We had a fine breeze and made good progress, and the next morning we were at Bream Head. We observed two war canoes making toward us, and as the wind was now very light, they were soon alongside, and proved to be canoes returning from the war, and belonging to the Bay of Islands. We learned from them that several battles had been fought, and that Shunghe had destroyed four fortified places, and slain a great number of people; but that he had a very narrow escape, a musket ball having passed through his helmet cap just above his head.
We now stood into Bream Bay for the heads of Wangaree, but the wind became foul just as we arrived at Ventram, and page 275 the tide running out, we were in danger of being driven out to sea. When the tide returned, we immediately got under weigh, worked the ship into the harbour, and came to anchor at dark, being about eight in the evening.
Samuel Butler to Rev. Josiah Pratt.(Ex “Hocken” Collection.)KIDDEE KIDDEE,
May 27th, 1823.
As my father is sailed in company with the Revd. Messrs Leigh and White (Wesleyan missionaries) to Wangaree, a distance of eighty miles on the coast, as they are going to form a station there, the above gentlemen wished my father to accompany them to converse with the natives, and tell them for why they are coming to reside amongst them. I wish to apologise for his not sending a letter with these minutes, according to the directions of the Society, and as there is a ship bound for England, I have thought it best to send them without, for we do not know when we shall have another opportunity.
Your humble servant,
WEDNESDAY MORNING, MAY 28th. — Mr. Leigh, Mr. White, Mr. Wm. Hall, Mr. Shepherd, and myself, set off in a boat to examine the harbour, and to look for a place to form the settlement. We pursued our searches until night, and were astonished to find so few natives, only a few small fishing parties here and there upon the banks were to be seen. We returned and got on board at eleven, night.
THURSDAY MORNING.—We again set off to examine the other side of the harbour, and to seek for native settlements, and a suitable situation. We rowed about from place to place till hunger called upon us to go on shore at an island to cook some food. After our refreshment we again started on farther up the harbour. We were hailed by a small canoe, soon after we left the island, which went with us, and conducted us into a small muddy creek to a small village. It was now dark, and here we took up our lodgings for the night. After supper and prayers, we lay down on the ground under an open shed to rest. About two in the morning the heavens began to thunder, and lightning to fly. We expected a heavy storm, but it passed away without much rain.
I rose up at four o'clock and made tea as soon as possible, so that we got breakfast and prayers over by daylight, and started away to look at another river where the natives informed us there was plenty of timber.page 276
On examination we were disappointed, as we found only a small quantity of timber, and very difficult to obtain. We returned, and went up another river for several miles, and we came to native settlements belonging to a chief named Tarra. Here we stopped and got dinner, and visited the place as far as we could; we found that a good missionary station might be formed at this place at some future period, but in the present state of things it would be impracticable.
After such observation as we were enabled to make, we set off for the ship, lying about twenty miles distant in a straight course, with all speed, and as we had a fair wind, we arrived at the going down of the sun.
SATURDAY.—It was proposed that I should remain on board and prepare to preach on the Sabbath. This I consented to, and the rest started to seek the great objects of our desires. A chief named Tutai conducted them to his place, as the only one likely to answer the ends for which we came. On arrival they found the land eligible enough, with a sufficient quantity of timber near at hand, and plenty of firewood and fresh water, but very few natives. The friends took a general survey, and returned in the evening to the ship.
SUNDAY, JUNE 1st. — Divine Service on deck in the morning, and in the cabin in the evening. The Sabbath we found a day of rest, and a time of refreshing from the presence of the Lord.
MONDAY MORNING, JUNE 2nd.—Being very wet, and having sent messengers to collect as many chiefs as we could together, we had them on board, and entered into a full explanation with them as to the objects of our coming among them. There were only five principal men, viz., Tarra, Kytow, Tutai, Thoutou, Ra-i-di. They all seemed very anxious for Mr. Leigh and his colleagues to reside at Wangaree; but when we began to inquire why they had forsaken their former residences in the harbour and gone up into the country, they, with one voice, cried out, “It is on account of the wars;” and here I would observe that at one place in particular we saw the most evident marks of the truth of their statements, where the warriors had burned their villages to the ground, and as the natives said on the spot where we inquired, they were plundered of everything they had, and the warriors dragged their children about by the hair of their heads, and kicked them about on the ground like dogs.page 277
Wangaree, I would observe, lies on the verge of two converging powers, so that the natives are continually plundered by one party or the other, and thus they are driven to seek shelter further inland. They were nevertheless very urgent for Mr. Leigh's stopping, and promised to come and live with the white people to take care of them. This was very fair, and as much as we could promise, and we believed, much more than they would (under existing circumstances) be able to perform.
A committee was called, Captn. Beveridge took the chair, in order to know what was best to be done, when after due deliberation and much thought on this important business, it was deemed most prudent not to attempt an establishment at this place under such very unfavourable appearances.
The next thing for the committee to consider was, where should we go? After some conversation, Wangaroa was thought the most favourable district, about thirty miles northward of the Bay of Islands, and it was finally concluded to proceed thither as soon as possible.
TUESDAY MORNING. — Everything was made ready, the anchor weighed, and about two we made sail down the harbour with the tide. The wind was blowing a light breeze inward from the sea, so that we had to work the ship; the passage also is exceeding narrow in one place, and the ship ran on the sands and stuck fast. Every exertion was instantly made by means of anchors to get the ship over a narrow neck of sand into deep water, but failed, on account of the tide leaving us.
This was a time of trial and exercise of faith and prayer. Had it come on to blow hard into the harbour, the ship must have gone to pieces, but God ordered otherwise. When the tide turned, every possible exertion was made, and the ship got off without damage. We were on the sand bank six hours.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 4th.—We again weighed anchor and got under sail about four p.m., and after clearing the heads, we had a fair wind all the night.
THURSDAY MORNING. — We passed Bay of Islands about nine o'clock, and arrived at the heads of Wangaroa at the going down of the sun, and cast anchor without the heads in ten fathoms, on account of wind and tide setting out of the harbour. At the return of tide, the captain worked the ship into the harbour.page 278
FRIDAY MORNING. — We rose early, and had many natives alongside at daylight, belonging to a chief named Tipparee (Te Pare); the name of this tribe is called Natepo. Tipparee, the chief, with part of his people are gone to the wars. There are two distant tribes of natives living within the heads of the harbour of Wangaroa. The one next the heads is called Netepos, as aforesaid, and the other Na-te uru-urus. The former are under Tipparee, and the latter under George, Tippuhi and Uru Uru (Te Ara, Te Puhi, Huru Huru), three brothers; these men were the principals concerned in the destruction of the “Boyd.”
A boat was manned for us, and we proceeded up the harbour to George's place. We saw George and his brothers, and informed them of our business. They all seemed much pleased, and George accompanied us to the ship.
In the course of the evening, we had a great deal of conversation with George about missionary work, and the preservation of missionaries, and he promised that if Mr. Leigh would go and live with him and his brothers, they would protect the missionaries, and their hearts would be very glad. At length it was therefore determined to settle with them.
SATURDAY, JUNE 7th.—This morning we went to examine the bays belonging to Tipparee, and in the course of our morning's excursion we saw eighteen villages and plenty of natives. There is a wide field within this harbour for missionary operations.
SUNDAY, JUNE 8th.—Divine Service in the cabin, on account of the rain. Mr. Leigh preached in the morning, Mr. Butler in the evening. Much wind and rain the whole day.
MONDAY.—More moderate, and a boat's crew went on shore to cut handles for axes, hoes, etc., etc.
TUESDAY MORNING.—Mr. Leigh's boat was manned, and we started for George's place to commence operations. We landed on the spot where the “Dromedary” put her spars into the water; several canoes arrived from the ship laden with boards, and we proceeded to make a little shelter, as the rain fell very fast. This being done, Mr. Leigh and myself returned to the ship completely soaked with rain; the other Europeans remained on shore in the hut. In the evening we endeavoured to arrange our plans in the best manner to carry on the work. Mr. Beveridge kindly offered the assistance of his carpenter, and it was proposed that with his assistance page 279 and such natives as I might be enabled to hire, I should undertake the building of a log house, thirty feet by fifteen, and thatch it with flags; Mr. Leigh and Mr. Shepherd to attend the landing of stores, Mr. Wm. Hall and Mr. White to the erection of a tent which Mr. Leigh brought with him.
Matters being thus settled, everyone attended to his particular branch of duty. The carpenter belonging to the ship and myself, with a gang of natives, went into the nearest wood, and there we felled such timber as was suitable for our purpose, and framed the building by the side thereof, just on the spot, according to the natives' information, where the “Boyd's” people were killed and eaten. To think that, but a few years before, these very men killed and ate our countrymen, and that now we were erecting a house on the same spot, in order to preach the Gospel to these very murderers, in hope that their guilty stains might be washed away in the precious fountain of Christ's blood. Methought, surely this is the Lord's ordering; certainly this is a God-like act, thus to return them good for evil. If a Christian's breast ever glowed with true benevolence, it must be, methought, at such a sight, and at such a recollection. We continued our work until Saturday night, when some returned to the ship to spend the Sabbath, and others performed Divine Service on shore.
On Monday morning, June 16th, 1823, we set off early, and went to our work; and in the course of the week we got our house away to the settlement, all the frame up, sides and ends logged, the fronts weather-boarded, and one course of thatch upon the building. The tent was finished, and all the stores landed and housed.
SATURDAY.—Mrs. Leigh came to her new habitation, accompanied by Mrs. Shepherd and Mrs. Beveridge and the captain.
SUNDAY, JUNE 22nd.—We all spent the Sabbath on shore, and humbly implored a divine blessing on the undertakings. I preached in the morning, Mr. Leigh in the evening; our hearts rejoiced in the Lord, though our bodies were much fatigued.
MONDAY, JUNE 23rd.—The natives were paid for their labour, and it is but right to say they behaved themselves exceeding well through the whole business.page 280
Having been a month from home, and having had the pleasure to see our dear friends safely housed, I determined to return on the morrow to Kiddi Kiddi.
TUESDAY MORNING, JUNE 24th.—After prayer, etc., I bade farewell to our much loved and respected friends.
The morning was rainy, and from the late falls, the river which I had to pass, and the woods and swamps I had to go through, rendered my journey a very difficult as well as a dangerous undertaking, but by the assistance of the natives, and the mercy of a gracious God, I reached my home in safety at seven o'clock in the evening, and found my family all in good health. After some refreshment, we offered up our sacrifice to prayer and praise, to an adorable God and Saviour Who is the strength and support of His people, and Who preserveth the going out and the coming in of His servants for ever and ever.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 25th. — This morning, from my late fatigues and the wet to which I was exposed, I could scarcely move my limbs, but feel pretty well in health, tho' in much pain. Spent the day in retirement.
THURSDAY, JUNE 26th. — In the morning employed among my natives, afternoon in the study.
SATURDAY, JUNE 28th, 1823.—Employed in the study, preparing for the Sabbath. The natives whom I employ have gone on very well during my absence.
SATURDAY EVENING.—Taken suddenly ill with a pain in the bowels, which lasted until Sunday, ten o'clock, when I began to get easier. About an hour after I was taken with pain, I began to vomit and purge violently, so that in the morning I was greatly exhausted, and not able to get up through the day to perform Divine Service.
MONDAY, JUNE 30th.—Having, through mercy, received comfortable sleep during the night, I felt much refreshed.
Enabled to christen Mr. Hansen's child. I had purposed to go to Tippoonah and christen it on the Sabbath, but as I was not able, he brought it to Te Kiddi Kiddi for that purpose. Capt. Brend came with Mr. Hansen's family to be sponsor, and the child was christened Wm. Brend Hansen.
TUESDAY.—Employed in my study.
WEDNESDAY.—Employed with my natives in fencing.page 281
THURSDAY, JULY 3rd, 1823. — Went on board the “Asp” to purchase a few things; returned on Friday.
SATURDAY, JULY 5th.—Employed about garden fence, and in the study.
SUNDAY, JULY 6th, 1823.—Divine Service in the morning in English. Administered the H.S. Afternoon, in native language.
MONDAY, JULY 7th.—Employed about fencing, etc., etc.
July 7th, 1823.
To the Committee,
Mr. Butler reported that during the first two months of the last quarter, he had been employed at the farm with his natives in preparing land, and sowing wheat, barley, and oats. At the earnest request of Rev. Mr. Leigh, he has spent the last month with him and Revd. Mr. White in assisting them to establish a Wesleyan Mission at Wanga Roa.
The place first proposed for them to settle was Wangaree, seventy miles southward of the Bay of Islands, but on inspection is was not found eligible, or practicable, to settle there at present, on account of the wars; the ship therefore returned to Wangaroa, thirty miles northward of the Bay of Islands, where the Mission is now established.
Mr. Butler also reported that on the 2nd May last, about seven in the morning, Capt. Dix, of the American schooner “Cossack,” and the crew came to our settlement, having been shipwrecked near the heads of the River Shukianga on Sunday evening, April 27th, ult., and lost all they had on board.
After some refreshment, the whole party set off for Kororareka to see what assistance they could obtain from two whalers then lying in the harbour. Mr. Butler further added that many of the distressed crew were not able to get on board those ships, and therefore they were obliged to live on shore among the natives; but that two of them returned to Kiddi Kiddi on Monday, May 5th, to his house, to obtain relief and protection until they might be able to get away. Mr. Butler then stated that he had taken them into his house in the name of the H.C.M.S., upon whose bounty they will depend until an opportunity for them to go away. The name of the one is Honanahi, a Taheitian, the other, James Spencer, a native of Stafford in England. The Taheitian remained at Mr. Butler's until June 14th, 1823, when he left to get a ship at Kororareka. James Spencer is still with me; labours hard, and conducts himself in other respects with propriety.
Mr. Butler also reported that he had employed and instructed twelve natives during the last three months; that he had sowed seven acres of wheat, and five of oats and barley; and that the natives behaved themselves well, and done done more than might be expected from them, as poor heathen.
The trade expended by Mr. Butler for the last three months for food, wages, for timber, in gifts to chiefs, work, etc., is as under:—page 282
Thirty-four F axes, eighteen B axes, two spades, twenty-nine hoes, nine adzes, two iron pots, twenty-seven pairs of seissorg, eight hundred and forty-five fish-hooks, twenty-one frocks and trousers, three bags rice, eighteen knives, seven bls. soap.
THE ORIGINAL IS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE “HOCKEN” LIBEARY.
I cannot neglect the present opportunity of writing you, without exposing myself to the cutting reflection of appearing to slight the great kindness which you manifested in leaving your family and home to accompany us to some place where we might fix our residence and set up our standard in the name of the Lord, and in exposing yourself to all the wet and cold, and plodding in the dirt, in erecting a house in which we might screen ourselves from the inclemency of the weather. I shall ever retain a grateful sense of your kindness, and should an opportunity offer, most readily return it. We felt your absence, but the Lord has been with us to protect and bless us.
You will learn by the bearer of this, that Mr. Leigh has been very ill—is a little better, but very poorly. I have been working very hard since you left us, and am surprised that I am as I am, having been exposed almost every day to the wet, and with exertion bathed in perspiration. We have got into your house, and are very comfortable. I have put a chimney up at the west end in the back side, and a window in the front. Mr. and Mrs. Leigh live in the lower room, Mr. and Mrs. Shepherd in the west end upstairs, and having got almost everything from the tent, we hope to have it down in a few days. We have been surprised at not hearing from you. And I have been much disappointed at not seeing Saml., but hope that nothing has happened to you to cause this disappointment. It affords me some pleasure that I perceive in myself a capability of learning the language, and hope ere long, to be able to tell the wretched creatures by whom we are surrounded that Christ died for them, and to invite them to partake of the blessings of His saving grace. This is our errand to New Zealand, and this being our object, till some advances be made towards its accomplishment, I shall feel discouraged and cast down. I hope the Lord will bless you and your family, and make you a blessing. I begin to feel my ability in shooting. It would appear strange to some people for a missionary to make a boast of this; but in New Zealand it is necessary and profitable. Having laboured very hard the former part of last week, for a change, and by way of recreation, I went out on Friday to shoot pigeons—shot ten and two ducks, which will supply us with fresh meat for three or four days. This is profitable as well as necessary, as pigs are difficult to get without muskets and powder.
When I tell you it is now late, and I am tired and sleepy, you will excuse this scrawl. Please to make my kind respects to Mrs. B., Mr. and Mrs. Samuel, and Hannah. I shall expect all the news you can page 283 give me by return of the bearer, and none will be pleasing than to hear of your prosperity and happiness in the work of the Lord.
I am, my dear brother,
Your affectionate fellow-labourer in the vineyard of the Lord,
Answered July 15th, 1823.
July 14th, 1823.
You will excuse a long letter, as I am very unwell, and have been ever since you left us. Have had great pain all over my body, and am very weak for a long time past. I have not had such affliction of all my members; nevertheless the Lord is good; all is in His mercy and love; blessed he His holy name. Mr. Shepherd will give you all the information. I could send you a long epistle. We shall be glad to hear from you. We have been expecting some person from Kiddee Kiddee for some time past. We hope you are all well, but I have my fears about you.
Mrs. Leigh is in good health, and all the others with us. Mrs. L. sends her very kind respects to your dear partner. I write with her own kind remembrance to Mr. and Mrs. Samuel, and to all of you, not forgetful of your dear daughter. That every blessing be with you and your all, is my, Dear Sir, very fervent prayer.(Signed)
To the Rev. John Butler.
The remaining part of the week I have been busy in fencing and gardening.
SUNDAY, JULY 13th.—Divine Service in the morning in English; afternoon in New Zealand.
TUESDAY, JULY 15th.—Writing to Wangaroa to the Wesleyan missionaries.
THURSDAY.—Winnowing oats and barley.
FRIDAY AND SATURDAY.—As much rain has been falling since Wednesday night, I have been employed in getting timber down the river.page 284
SUNDAY, 20th JULY.—This morning I set off to Rangi Hoo to preach and administer the Holy Sacrament; found all the families in good health, and I trust we all got good to our souls on this day. Slept at Mr. Hall's.
MONDAY, JULY 21st. — This morning a native chief named Tooi, belonging to Rangi Hoo, came from Wangaroa, bringing news that the natives of that place had behaved ill to Mr. Leigh and his people, and that he had been there to bring away Mr. Shepherd on account of his having left the place of his former appointment without any reason. He said that where anyone is appointed to settle, after the agreement is made such a person should not go to another tribe without leave of the tribe with whom he dwelt, or some other reasonable cause.
At noon, we set off for Te Kiddi Kiddi, brought home a log of timber, and arrived at four p.m. Found all well.
TUESDAY, JULY 22nd. — Transplanting and pruning vines.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 23rd. — Fencing and gardening, and getting timber out of the water.
THURSDAY, JULY 24th.—Very wet, not able to do much out of doors.
FRIDAY, JULY 25th. — Morning employed in getting timber down the river, etc., etc. Afternoon, the flood arose to an alarming height, took away all my stock-yard fence, and swam away everything that was in it: pig trough, dung, boards, slabs, scantling, etc., etc. The natives wrought well, and saved, at the risk of their lives, many boards and other timber.
that all the rest must inevitably be lost. But God Who is rich in mercy ordered otherwise. They all stuck or hung to the boat until she got out of the river into the harbour, which was more than a mile from the place where she upset, the boat every now and then turning over and over, whelming them below. James Spencer now lost his hold of the boat, but held fast to two oars which yet remained; he made for shore, and reached it almost exhausted; also another native reached the shore, leaving Mr. Saml. Butler and two other natives still clinging to the boat, and the boat making out towards the sea.
The rain and wind increased, but as the wind blew across rather than down the river, they were thus mercifully driven into shallow water, on a sand bank connected with the shore. Perceiving that this was the only likely opportunity to save their lives, they let go their hold of the boat, and after swimming about twenty fathoms, they found bottom with their feet, and standing by and assisting each other, they all got safe to land.
They were, nevertheless, now in a deplorable situation, being naked, and exposed to all the inclemency of the weather, and several miles from home, and almost perished with cold, being so long in the water, and having so much water within them. However, the natives who live on the banks of the river, about a mile from the place where they landed, came to their assistance, gave them some mats to cover themselves, rubbed their limbs to make them warm, and then helped them to Te Kiddi Kiddi by land.
Our feelings respecting them for several hours' suspense may be better felt than expressed. But the Lord hath delivered us out of our distress, and we are the living to bless and praise His holy Name.
SATURDAY, JULY 26th, 1823.—The morning being fine, and the stream in river much abated, I ventured to go in a canoe with my natives to seek after the boat in the harbour. She was luckily driven on shore by the violence of the wind about a mile below where my son and the natives quitted her. The natives picked her up, and I gave them four axes for their trouble.
We filled our canoe with boards, posts, and fencing which we found lying up and down on the beach, and returned to Kiddi Kiddi by three in the afternoon.page 287
The whole of the natives behaved exceeding well on the occasion, and I gave them an axe each as a remuneration.
SUNDAY, JULY 27th.—Divine Service. Offered up our humble praise and thanksgiving to Almighty God for His great mercies vouchsafed unto us. Preached from 116 Psalm, one and nine verses.
MONDAY, JULY 28th, 1823.—Putting things a little to rights, repairing the fence, etc., etc. The remainder of the week employed in repairing the kitchen and garden fence, etc.
On Saturday, August 2nd, 1823, Mr. Kendall came to see me, and bring some writings in the New Zealand language; remained until Monday morning.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 3rd.—Preached from Hebrews 12, 14. Administered the Holy Sacrament.
In the evening my natives brought in the news of a ship entering in Mongonui, at the going down of the sun.
MONDAY, AUGUST 4th, 1823.—This morning I set off to see what vessel arrived last night at Mongonui. When I arrived, I found her to be the “Brampton,” Captn. Moore, with stores for the Mission, the Revd. S. Marsden, Revd. Mr. Williams and family, for our Mission; the Revd. Mr. Turner, Mrs. Turner and child, and Mr. Hobbs for the Wesleyan Mission.
All the friends were gone to Rangi Hoo, and I waited until evening before I had the pleasure of seeing them. I greatly rejoiced to meet Mr. Marsden in peace, and all the other friends in good health.
I remained all night on board. Next morning I took Mrs. Turner and Mrs. Fairburn to Rangi Hoo, and returned to the ship and conveyed Mrs. Williams and children to Kiddi Kiddi to my house, to remain until they are provided with a place to go to. Captn. Henry and Capt. Dillon are in the harbour.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 6th.—This morning Revd. Mr. Marsden and the friends from Rangi Hoo came to my house to hold a special committee, to read certain resolutions from the Committee in London, and other business.page 288
We all dined together at my house, and peace and goodwill seemed to possess every heart.
In the afternoon I received letters from the brethren at Wangaroa. Their contents were pleasing, except that they contained an account of Revd. Mr. Leigh being seriously indisposed.
THE ORIGINAL IS IN THE “HOCKEN” COLLECTION.
A sense of duty and love excite my desire to write to you, in return for your kind letter by Mr. Shepherd, which I thankfully received, but not without blushing at the charitable hope you entertain of my views in coming to New Zealand. I desire your prayers to the God of all grace that I may increase in the knowledge and love of His most holy will, and be preserved through the dark vale of tears to mansions eternal in the heavens where Jesus the forerunner has gone before. The Christian, like a little bark that sails upon the ocean, often meets an adverse blast, but if the tempest roar, it cannot prevail; the Lord is nigh. His word—His eternal word—will never err. If we make shipwreck of faith, the folly is chargeable on ourselves alone. Life is a time of trial where many vices are to be eradicated, and many virtues implanted.
In the fond hour of earthly tranquillity, we are prone to fix our aims too low in copying our great Lord and Master, but when the earthly tabernacle begins to loose its hold, or when it is mouldering about its possession, no hope but that which entereth within the vail can give the spirit rest. Happy he who can, at the close of life, look back upon his well-spent day of life, whose soul is fixed upon eternal basis of unerring truth, and meets the tyrant death, disarmed of his sting. O, may you and I, dear Sir, and all who call upon our common Lord, enjoy this happy experience, that our life may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, and that we may be made instruments in the hands of Jehovah of imparting the words of eternal life to the perishing sinners around us.
Poor Mr. Leigh has laboured for some time under severe indisposition, but all besides are well. I might mention other things to you, but as it will be told you by some of us, concerning the conduct of the natives, I thought it needless.
With my warmest desire for your present and eternal welfare, and also Mrs. Butler and family, and Mr. and Mrs. Kemp, I conclude,
Yours in the Lord,
THE ORIGINAL IS IN THE “HOCKEN” COLLECTION.Mr. James Shepherd to Rev. John Butler.
August 4th, 1823.
Rev. and Dear Sir,
We have to call upon you and all our friends to thank Him Whose tender mercies are over all His works, and Who has mercifully been pleased to vouchsafe His aid to Mrs. Shepherd when bringing into this world of sorrow another spirit.
On the 26th July, Mrs. Shepherd was safely delivered of a fine boy; he is much finer than James was. Mrs. Shepherd is in a fair way of recovery, and the children all tolerably well. I have not been very well, and now I feel ill. Our friend, Mr. Leigh, I think, will soon be delivered from a world of trouble and sorrow. He seems to get worse, his strength diminishes, and his body is decaying. He cannot write you at present on account of his illness. He, with Mrs. Leigh, desire their love to you all.
You will not fail remembering us and this Mission at the throne of grace; we always remember you. Those who live here will have the same trouble as you have had, and the same enemies to cope with, but when we consider the work is the Lord's, and His aid and blessing are promised to us if we seek them, we should take encouragement.
I have had a good deal of trouble with the natives since I left you last, on my return from Kara Kara. I found Towe with a number of canoes to take me to his place. He said I was given by Mr. Marsden as an utu (?) for Parahcko's son, who died at Parramatta, and therefore I should go back with him. I told him I could not think of doing so. He said he would oblige me. He teased me for two or three days, and then obliged me to give him all my trade, part of which was given to chiefs here, and the rest he took himself, and left his son with me to accompany me to his place, when Mrs. Shepherd shall have recovered. I shall see you at the Kara Kara soon, and hope it will be convenient for some of the brethren to accompany me to his place. I have written to Mr. Kemp on this subject, to whom I refer you. However, time will not admit for me to write at present minutely; I shall therefore be more explicit when I go to Kara Kara. You will be pleased to give our respects to Mr. Samuel and his wife, and accept the same yourselves. We hope poor little Hannah is better. James is pretty well.
P.S.—We should be glad if you could send us a cat by the return of the lads.
August 4th, 1823.
Revd. and Dear Sir,
It is with no small degree of pleasure I take up my pen to acknowledge your kind, affectionate, and very encouraging epistle by favour of Mr. Shepherd. Had it not been seen that you possessed no degree page 290 of the attribute of foreknowledge, I should have concluded that you were aware of what was going to take place. But is it not a striking proof of our heavenly Father's watchful care over His children, that He should so frequently direct epistolatory correspondence, so as to afford the very help and advice which is needful? As Mr. Shepherd will write you by this conveyance, he will furnish you with the substance of what has transpired since his return from the Kiddee Kiddee—and as I purpose writing four letters besides this, you will excuse me entering into details, and I only add on this subject that we have already proved the New Zealanders to be all that is said of them by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, Chap. 1st. Perhaps you may think that the picture is drawn in too dark colours, but when we are “without God in the world,” what are they but incarnate devils? No principle of honour, virtue or truth dwells in the New Zealander, but this, even this, is enough to discourage a person who seriously and fully believes his Bible, and trusts in his God. And we have, indeed, my dear brother and friend, been forced to feel that Jehovah alone was our safeguard and our tower. We have abundant reason to bless God, that we are now more at rest than we have been.
The storm which succeeded Mr. Shepherd's return from the Bay of Islands has now subsided, but still we daily prove that we are amongst thieves, who will rob us and then insult us. Must not a man be left unprotected in New Zealand before he can come at the real character of the people! I am sorry to inform you that brother Leigh is so unwell that he is not able to write. He and Mrs. L. desire their kindest love to you and your family.
Mrs. Shepherd was safely delivered of a fine boy on Saturday, the 26th July. She and the child are very well. Mr. Shepherd and I went out this morning to shoot some pigeons for our friends in the Bay of Islands—I shot twenty-four and other three lesser birds. Mr. S. shot ten pigeons. The reception of half a dozen kukupar will at once convince you that we have not forgotten you, neither are we starving for lack of food. You have an interest (if it is an interest) in our daily and united prayers at the throne of grace, and hope you will not cease to pray for us. We need all that we can get from God directly; and from our brethren as channels indirectly. Does not God serve man by man? And may He not serve the New Zealanders by the combined efforts of His servants?
But I must draw to a conclusion by assuring you that you, and your family, have a place in the upper room of my esteem and affection.
My kind love to Mrs. B. and your dear little daughter, who I hope is recovered from her misfortune. Praying that the presence of “Him Who dwelt in the bush” may be with you, and give you rest and peace and eternal life through Jesus Christ.
ORIGINAL IN THE “HOCKEN” COLLECTION.)
I just write a note to say that we could not get men to come to the Kiddee Kidde yesterday. We engaged two who are waiting now for this note. Very important news arrived last night, viz., that a large party were coming from the Bay of Islands against this people. I suppose we will be sufferers if they do come; likewise we heard that Mr. Marsden had arrived at the Bay of Islands.
We send you a box enclosing twelve pigeons, two tarts, and two pies. Six pigeons, one tart, and one pie are for Mr. Kemp.
All friends send their kind love to you and your family.
With affection and respect,
To the Rev. John Butler.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 7th.—Writing the whole day.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 23rd. — From the above date I have been constantly employed in assisting to form a new Mission at Pyshe (Paihia), near Wytangi. The place belongs to a chief name De Koke, and Rangaeona, and also in forming a settlement at Mongonui, under the direction of my son, Mr. Saml. Butler.
AUGUST 30th, 1823.—During the last week I have been chiefly employed in committee business, and other important affairs of the Mission. Poor Mr. Leigh, who is returning to Port Jackson for the good of his health by the “Brampton,” Capt. Moore, is now at my house waiting for orders to go on board. We got him on shore a few days, while the vessel stops at this place, in hope of doing him good.
AUGUST 31st.—Revd. Mr. Marsden preached at my house from Acts 10th. Afternoon, prayer with the natives.
MONDAY AND TUESDAY.—At Pyhia, holding a special committee.
WEDNESDAY. — Accompanied Revd. Mr. Marsden to fall of water, to ascertain its eligibility for a water mill, and to Mongonui to visit Mr. Sm. B. On account of the heavy sea and wind, I did not reach home until midnight.page 292
THURSDAY MORNING.—At six o'clock I took poor Mr. Leigh and his wife on board the “Brampton” for Port Jackson, and she was lying sixteen miles off, and Mr. Leigh was much fatigued when he arrived at the ship. It was my desire also to see Mr. Marsden, to speak to him, and bid adieu to him for a season.
Returned home on Friday morning much fatigued.
SATURDAY.—Went to the farm, etc., etc.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7th, 1823.—Rev. Mr. Williams preached from the 139th Psalm. Mr. Butler read prayers. Afternoon, prayers with the natives as usual.
This morning the ship “Brampton” weighed her anchor, having on board as passengers, Revd. Sm. Marsden, Rev. Saml. Leigh and wife, Revd. Thos. Kendall and family, Mr. John Cowell and family, a quantity of New Zealanders, and several ship-wrecked sailors from the American schooner “Cossack.” The wind was blowing strong from the eastward, and directly into the harbour.
In working the ship, she unfortunately missed stays twice, and went on shore; and, as the wind increased, every attempt to save her became vain, and she was totally lost. But it is a great blessing to add that in this dreadful calamity no accident happened to the crew, nor were any lives lost.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8th.—In my study.
TUESDAY MORNING.—Revd. Mr. Marsden and Revd. Mr. Leigh and his wife returned to Kiddi Kiddi, to remain until an opportunity offers for them to go to Sydney. Mr. and Mrs. Leigh are at my house, and Rev. Mr. Marsden at Mr. Kemp's.
As soon as they arrived and informed me of particulars, I set off, accompanied by Messrs. Kemp, Shepherd and Puckey, with three boats, to get Mr. Marsden's and Rev. Mr. Leigh's things from the wreck. The wind blew very strong, so that on our near approach we landed on an island about a mile and a half from the ship, to take a survey of the surf, which was beating against the ship.
We remained some time on the island to consult whether it would be prudent to attempt getting the things out of the ship. At length we determined to make the trial, and we happily succeeded in getting the things from the wreck, but page 293 then we had a very heavy sea to go against in our return, and in which I had nearly been upset many times, and got a complete drenching notwithstanding. However, we arrived home about ten at night, much fatigued and very wet.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10th, 1823.—Spent the day at home to recruit my exhausted powers, etc., etc.
THURSDAY, 11th.—Went down to the wreck, accompanied by Revd. Saml. Marsden as far as Mutu Roa, where I left him, and proceeded by myself to the ship; gave directions about Rev. Mr. Kendall's things, Mr. Cowell's goods, got the remainder of Rev. Mr. Leigh's things, and returned to Moturoa, took in Rev. Sm. Marsden, and reached Kiddi Kiddi about seven in the evening.
The historian Strachan, in his account of the “Brampton” wreck, spends many columns on heroic description of the fortitude of Messrs. Marsden and Leigh. He describes the bare island (Moturoa), the starving ship-wrecked, and finally winds up: “Mr. Marsden and his friends (i.e., only Mr. and Mrs. Leigh) remained on the island for three days and three nights, naturally in a state of suspense. On the fourth day they were rescued,” etc., etc.
Mrs. Henry Williams, who was at Keri Keri, records:— “Mr. Marsden had taken leave to return in the ‘Brampton’ to New South Wales. The day following, while engaged in prayers, Tom, one of the boat's crew, arrived on the scene.” One of the domestic servants exclaimed, “The ship is broken to pieces (kua pakaru te kaipuke) and Mr. Marsden is come back again.”
According to Williams, the captain removed from the ship everything of importance, although five or six hundred natives had at one time appeared as though they were going to be troublesome.
According to Strachan, after Marsden had been “marooned,” the boat returned to the ship, and all hands left her to sail in the boat to New Zealand (the mainland); soon after they left the “Brampton,” she went to pieces and disappeared.
Strachan has apparently drawn upon a very inaccurate journal. Williams did not go to the vessel.page 294
Marsden's account is indicative of what actually took place: “I requested the captain to lend me the boat to take Mr. and Mrs. Leigh to the nearest island, being about two miles distant. The natives…… prepared the best hut they could for our reception. I requested them to send a canoe to Rangihoua to inform Mr. and Mrs. Hall of the loss of the ship, and to bring their boat to assist in bringing the people to land. They had about five or six miles to go, through a very rough sea.
“About three o'clock, Messrs. Hall, King, and Hanson arrived in Mr. Hall's boat, and a large war canoe full of natives. They immediately proceeded to the ship. In the evening of the next day, Mr. Hall returned. He said the passengers on board had not determined what they would do, or where they would land.
“At the return of day, Tuesday, 9th, I now determined to return to Keri Keri in Mr. Hall's boat with Mr. and Mrs. Leigh, where we arrived about nine o'clock. The wreck was about twelve or fourteen miles from the settlement. We went to the station of Rev. Henry Williams.”
[This is incorrect; Williams did not go to his station until 15th. Marsden went there on 26th, and Leigh and his wife stayed with Butler. Marsden's account is characteristic of his feelings towards Butler—not a word, no mention, slowly biding his chance to vent his spleen and vindictiveness, manifested in innumerable quarrels with all and sundry, across in New South Wales.]
(COPY IN THE “HOCKEN” COLLECTION.)
The undermentioned is an account of trade received by me from the public store from January 1st, 1822, to September 30th, 1823, with an account of expenditure in farming, fencing, sawing, gifts at sundry times to different chiefs, timber purchased for building, journeys, boating, and other general work, etc., etc.page 295
Price £ s d Falling Axes, 136 at 4/- 27 4 0 Broad do. 53 at 3/- 7 19 0 Hoes 121 at 2/6 15 2 6 Adzes 63 at 4/- 12 12 0 Iron Pots 29 at 3/- 4 7 0 Knives 55 at 1/- 2 15 0 Scissors, 116 paris 2 18 0 Spades 17 at 4/- 3 8 0 Sickles 18 at 1/- 18 0 Blankets, 2 12 0 Chisels 3 at 1/- 3 0 Slops 18 at 10/- 9 0 0 Rice Bags 20 20 0 0 Biscuits Cwt. 100 10 16 0 £117 14 6
EXPENDED. Price £ s d For Timber— 19 F Axes, 6 B Axes 14 Hoes 6 9 0 2 Iron Pots, 18 Scissors 2 Adzes 15 0 1 Hoe, 4 Knives, 1 F Axe 14 6 2 Hoes 9 0 Gifts— 12 F Axes, 2 B Axes, 9 Hoes, 2 Iron Pots, 3 Knives, 2 Slops, 2 Blankets, 1 Chisel 5 8 6 12 Axes, 12 pr. Scissors for saving things from Flood 2 16 0 To Journeys, Food, Sawing, Farming and General Work 101 2 6 £117 14 6
Fish-hooks for gifts, six thousand.
The following is a list of natives who have been under my care at different times during the last two years, and some of them have been with me much longer than that period. They have been regularly employed as before stated, fed, clothed, and instructed in the principles of the Christian religion to the best of my power. Many of the natives can say the Lord's Prayer and several others in their own language, by heart.
A hua tu
E I wi
E Aro Kai
E a Koe
Pai-hi-tha (daughter of Shunghie)
Hannah (the daughter of Rewah the chief, named after my little daughter).
In addition to the above list, we have had at our house from time to time many natives: chiefs, their wives and children—going to and fro—who have been fed at our table, and exhorted by advice to be kind to all; to whom also I have made known, as far as I am able, the great objects we have in view in living among them. We have had, besides these, the sick and afflicted to attend to, and afford such comforts as we possessed. Upon the whole, I trust we can appeal to God that we have not done the work of the Lord neglectfully, nor eaten the bread of idleness.
I hope, dear Sir, the improvements made in the settlement and among the natives at Kiddee Kiddee will meet with your entire approbation, be an encouragement to you, and a stimulus to us to greater exertion and diligence in the work of the Lord.
Yours affectionately in the Lord, etc.,
P.S.—To the Rev. Josiah Pratt.
Revd. and Dear Sir,
I hope by this succinct account of our labours, the Committee will see that we have done our utmost under existing circumstances for the salvation of the heathen, and we hope by divine grace to continue so to do.And am, ever faithfully,
Your obedt. ser.,
Rev. J. [sic: S.] Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt.
BAY OF ISLANDS,
20th September, 1823.
Revd. and Dear Sir,
As it is probable that a letter may reach you from New Zealand before I can write to you from New South Wales, I have judged it prudent to drop you a few lines. I sailed from Port Jackson in the “Brampton,” with the Revd. Mr. Williams and family, and we arrived at the Bay of Islands on Sunday, August 3rd.…….
Mr. Kendall consented to return with me to Port Jackson. I took a passage for him and his family in the “Brampton,” and when the ship was ready, they all embarked. On Sunday, the 7th of Septem- page 297 ber, we attempted to get out of the harbour. There was a strong gale from the east. In working out, the ship missed stays, and was driven amongst the rocks, where she was wrecked. No lives were lost, tho' our situation was very awful. This was a very distressing calamity to all. The bottom of the vessel was soon beat out; so that we had no hopes of ever returning in the “Brampton.”…. . In a few days we were all landed again with our baggage, as the vessel did not go to pieces. We met with no loss excepting the ship. The natives behaved exceedingly well, and did not take from us the smallest particle.…. I shall send you the particulars from N.S. Wales. I had also Mr. Cowell and family on board. The whole number under my charge was sixteen Europeans and twelve natives. We have had a very anxious time.I am, etc.,
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 12th. — Killing of pigs in the morning; assisting my son in the afternoon to raft his timber for Mongonui.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 13th.—Cutting up four hogs in the morning, etc., etc. Afternoon, in the study preparing for the Sabbath.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 14th. — Divine Service; Mr. Marsden preached; Mr. Butler read prayers. Afternoon, prayers as usual with the natives.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 15th.—This morning Mrs. Butler and self went down with Revd. Mr. Williams and family to Pyhea, their new station. Took part of Mr. Williams' boxes, etc., etc., with me in my boat. Returned in the evening with Mrs. Butler to Kiddi Kiddi.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 16th.—Set the men on in fencing, etc.
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 17th.—Sawing up a canoe for fencing, etc., and attending the natives.
THURSDAY AND FRIDAY.—Attending to natives.
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 20th.—This morning Rewah, Warehou (Whareumu), Hihiotote, and many natives returned from Waikato. They have been away a long time on purpose to make peace with the people of that place. Several of them breakfasted with me, and most of them came to pay me a visit. In the afternoon I set out for Range Hoo in order to be ready to preach and administer the Holy Sacrament on Sunday.page 298
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 21st. — Preached and administered the Holy Sacrament to Mr. and Mrs. Hall, Mr. and Mrs. King, Mr. Hansen and a sailor. Spent the day very comfortably.
MONDAY, 22nd SEPTEMBER. — Very wet; could not return home; writing native language.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 23rd.—Morning being fine, I returned to Kiddi Kiddi.
WEDNESDAY.—Writing native language.
FRIDAY.—Took Mr. Marsden to Motu Roa to see Captn. Moore, and from there to Pyehea to Mr. Williams's. Having left Mr. Marsden at Pyehea, I proceeded to Mr. Kendall's to settle some accounts. Stopped tea; bought a cask of paint of him, and then set off to the “Sisters.” a whaler in the bay, to enquire if any letters; and from there to Motu Roa, where I bought some things of Captn. Moore, and again started for Kiddi Kiddi, and reached home about twelve at night.
SATURDAY.—Preparing for the Sabbath.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 28th.—Divine Service in morning with the Europeans; in the afternoon with the natives.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 29th.—Winnowing wheat and other business.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th.—This morning Shunghi and the remaining part of the tribe returned from the wars at Rotodua. I understand they have destroyed most of the people at that place. I forbade them to give an account of their shocking barbarities. Employed mostly among the natives in receiving visits and so forth.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 1st.—Employed in writing the native language.
THURSDAY.—Went with my natives to Kai Katearoa to get a spar for a flag-staff; succeeded pretty well. Mr. Turner, from Wangaroa, overtook us on the plain, and gave me a favourable report of their station, etc. He came to see Revd. Mr. Leigh, who is residing at my house, seriously indisposed; and other business.page 299
FRIDAY MORNING. — Writing native language; afternoon, went to the farm with Mr. Turner.
SATURDAY, OCTOBER 4th.—Employed in my study.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 5th.—Divine Service morning and administered the H.S. Afternoon, I went to Motu Roa to preach to the ship-wrecked sailors belonging to the “Brampton;” returned in the evening.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 6th.—The brethren all came to my house to hold the quarterly committee, which lasted until Tuesday evening; some unpleasant things took place at the meeting about potatoes, and ——, the emancipated convict from New South Wales; but all ended in peace.
WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 8th.—I went with my son to Mongonui, to examine the extent of land suitable for that settlement, and to judge as far as possible what quantity of trade it would be right, in the present state of things in New Zealand, to give for it.
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 9th.—Went round the adjoining land to examine the quality, etc., etc. Found some parts of the soil to be strong loam, and some parts of a light and gravelly nature; pretty well watered, and some small woods in the valleys. Afternoon, conversed with the natives on religious subjects, and spoke to them of the charity of the Church Missionary Society, and their kindness in sending missionaries to teach them the word of God, and in giving them clothes, tokees, etc., etc.
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 10th.—This morning Mr. Wm. Hall came to Mongonui to assist in fixing the boundaries of this station, and other business. Revd. Mr. Marsden came in the afternoon, and ordered Mr. Saml. Butler's house to be altered, in cutting off the angle and placing the room at the end; his house consists of three rooms, fourteen feet each, with a passage of six feet through the house.
Mr. Marsden returned with Mr. Hall in the evening to B. Hoo.
SATURDAY MORNING. — Employed about the settlement. In the afternoon I went to Tabooatahi, about three miles distant, to see the natives and to converse with them. I found them busy in working their ground for koomeras. I told them I was glad to see them so usefully employed, etc., etc.page 300
I then told them that the morrow would be Sunday, a sacred day, and that they must not work, but go to Ta Tee, the missionary station, to hear prayer, singing, and preaching in New Zealand language. They replied that the seed time was almost over, and they wanted to finish planting their potatoes. I told them that Jehovah, the Atua Newee, has commanded one day in seven to be kept holy, and on that day we were to attend to religion only, and learn God's will, and pray for, strength to enable us to do that which He commands for our good.
After some further conversation, I assured them that I should expect to see them over at Ta Tee in the morning, after they had got their breakfast. While I was thus engaged, a young man came over the river from the other part of the settlement on the opposite side, and wanted me to go and see a chief's wife who was dangerously ill; but, as it was near the going down of the sun, I was obliged to decline. The young man also begged very hard for some bread, tea, and sugar for the sick person, and said he would go with me to the Tee and fetch it, if I would promise to give him some. I told him that I had none there of my own, but I would plead with my son for him.
The young man went with me, and, having obtained what he went for, he returned, promising to bring a basket of potatoes on Monday as an acknowledgment.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 12th.—Spent the early part of the morning in meditation. About ten o'clock the natives began to assemble together, and we fixed on a spot pretty well sheltered from the wind, which was very necessary, as it was blowing hard at the time; we then brought a table and the books, etc.
While things were thus preparing, I beheld the natives whom I had spoken to on the day before coming over the hills through the brushwood to church.
For the first time I now beheld them coming, some three, some four miles to church, and it made a deep and truly a lasting impression on my mind, an impression of a very encouraging nature, to diligence, constancy, and perserverance, nothing doubting but that (if the good seed of the word of life be sown) God will in His time bring home the appointed harvest.page 301
They all behaved exceeding well, and repeated the prayers in their own language, after me, distinetly, and sang very well, being assisted by some who had some previous instruction. As they had obeyed my voice and behaved well, I gave; them two fish-hooks each after service, and a missionary paper each, and endeavoured to explain something of their meaning from the figures and representations. I spake to them from the Fourth Commandment, and endeavoured to point out the benefits and blessings they might expect, as well as the necessity of keeping holy the Sabbath Day. They begged of me to come again to preach to them which I promised to do, D.V., every other Sunday, and offered to build immediately a good rush-house for church. Is not this a token for good?
MONDAY, OCTOBER 13th, 1823.—I intended to set off for Kiddi Kiddi this morning, but there was too much wind and sea; I therefore took my natives ino the wood to cut some boat knees, as my boat is much out of repair. In the evening, about five o'clock wind abated, and I set off, and reached my house about nine o'clock in the evening.
TUESDAY AND WEDNESDAY.—Employed in writing, and looking after my natives.
THURSDAY.—Writing native language.
FRIDAY, 17th OCTOBER.—Set on two pairs of sawyers to saw for the school. Employed in sorting timber and marking out tree post holes.
SATURDAY.—Employed writing in my study.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 19th.—Divine Service in the morning; afternoon, with the natives.
MONDAY AND TUESDAY.—At work at the school.
WEDNESDAY.—At the school in the morning. Afternoon in the woods.
THURSDAY, FRIDAY, SATURDAY. — Writing native language.
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 26th.—Divine Service in morning in English; in the afternoon, in New Zealand.
MONDAY, OCTOBER 27th.—This morning I set off for Mongonewee, accompanied by Mr. Shepherd, to pay for the estate called the Tee. Mr. Marsden sent for me as I was going away, to make known to me that —— had been speak- page 302 ing about my son, saying he would not lend his boat to fetch timber, and such like tales. I informed Mr. Marsden that I was quite tired of hearing such falsehoods propagated, and would in consequence leave the Mission and go home. No answer from Mr. M. Went to the Tee, and found all going well, but Tariahah was on the “Dragon,” brig.
Rev. W. White to Rev. John Butler. (In the “Hocken” Collection.)
MISSION HOUSE, WESLEYDALE,
October 14th, 1823.
Revd. and Dear Sir,
It is now midnight, and I am very tired, and therefore cannot say much. I thank you for your kind remembrance of me, but you accuse me of negleet in your note. Did not my brother Turner tell you that his coming to the Kiddee Kiddee was not known to me till about half an hour before he came, and then I had not time to seek the dictionary in the stores? However, you shall have it by return of the messengers, accompanied by two dozen knives and forks.
At length a plan is fixed upon to spell New Zealand words. Will it answer? I fear not. However, I submit for conscience sake. I shall thank you in your next communication to furnish me with all the help you can on the subject of the N.Z. language. Ask Mr. Leigh what news.
Will you come and see us soon. I hope you will. We should be very happy to see you. Mr. and Mrs. Turner desire their kind love to you and your family. Mr. Hobbs, James and Luke (Luke Wade), the same. My kind love to Mrs. B., to Hannah, Sand, and his wife.Accept the same to yourself from,
Your affectionate brother in Christ,
To the Rev. John Butler.