The Jubilee History of Nelson: From 1842 to 1892.
The Volunteers. The Railway Agitation. Acclimatization. Horse Breeding and Horse Racing. Some Notes of Local Events. Celebration of the Queen's Jubilee. The End.
Nelson Volunteers have always held a distiuished position in the Defence Forces of the Colony of New Zealand for numbers, drill, discipline, and general efficiency; a distinction which is maintained at the present time. During the Maori wars Nelson furnished several Companies of Militia, who enrolled for active service; and proceeded to the seat of war, both in Taranaki and in the Waikato.
The first Company of Volunteers enrolled in Nelson was "The No. 1 City Rifles," in the year 1861. About the same time "No. 2 Company" was enrolled; also a Company of Volunteers at Richmond, and "The Waimea Rifles" at Waimea West.
Later on, an Artillery Corps, and also"The Normanby Hussars" (at Wakefield), were enrolled, as well as several Cadet Corps, viz:—The Motueka Cadets, the Nelson Cadets, and the Nelson Artillery Cadets.
After various changes of Regulations,"The Defence Act, 1886," was passed by the Legislature, and, under it new Regulations were framed, making the discipline of the Force stricter, and placing it upon a more solid foundation.
The present number of Volunteers and Cadets existing under 'The Defence Act, 1866.' in Nelson is 459, as follows:—
The Nelson Naval Artillery Volunteers—Total strength, 61.—Captain, William Simpson; Lieut., R. Watson; Lieut., E. Lukins.
The Westport Naval Artillery—Total strength, 60.—Lieut., Commanding, G. W. Martin; Lieut., J. P. Mander; Lieut., S. Gothard.
The H Battery N.Z. Regiment of Artillery—Total strength, 60.—Captain, A. T. Maginnity i Lieut., P. Topliss; Lieut., T. Wimsett.
The Nelson City Rifles—Total strength, 54.—Lieut,, J. T. Veysey; Lieut., Alex. J. Gray.
The Stoke Rifles—Total strength, 53.—Captain, Geo. A. Harkness; Lieut., C. Ching; Lieut., J. H. Barker.
The Waimea Rifles—Total strength, 53.—Captain, H. Wratt; Lieut., W. H. Bryant; Lieut., P. B. Ricketts.
Westport Naval Cadets—Total strength, 56.—Captain, D. Cosgrave; Lieut., C. Cosgrave; Lieut., R. Whyte.
Nelson College Cadets—Total strength, 56.—Captain, W. S. Littlejohn; Lieut, E. F. W. Cooke; Lieut., H. Gibbs.page 196
The Nelson Volunteers have a really excellent Garrison Band.
The New Zealand Champion Rifle Belt has been won by members of the Nelson Volunteer Force on four separate occasions, as follows:—In 1862, by Private S. Hoult, No. 1 City Rifles, Nelson; in 1863, by Captain N. G. Morse; in 1877 and 1881, by Lieut. Paynter, Stoke Rifles.
In October, 1881, when the Te Whiti difficulty at Parihaka arose, the Nelson Volunteers, to the number of close upon 200, responded to the Governor's proclamation calling them out for active service—the Nelson Naval. Artillery, H Battery, City Rifles, Stoke Rifles, and Waimea Rifles all going. Although there was no actual fighting, the Force had plenty of hard work, plenty of solid drill three times a day, and a thorough experience of campaigning. The Nelson Volunteers were the first to arrive at "Rohotu," the rendezvous for the 1200 Volunteers assembled from various parts of the Colony; and, with the Thames Volunteers, were assigned a most important position in the advance upon and investment of Parihaka, on 5th November, 1881, when Te Whiti, Tohu, and Hiroki were arrested by the Armed Constabulary. The Officer Commanding the Nelson Volunteers, Lieut.-Colonel Pitt, was specially thanked by the Hon. J. Bryce, then Defence Minister, ior the good work done and example shown by the Volunteers at Parihaka. Upon their return to Nelson, the Volunteers received a most enthusiastic public reception, one of the largest crowds ever seen in Nelson being assembled to greet them, whilst an address from the Mayor and City Council, on behalf of the citizens, was presented to them.
For upwards of sixteen years past, the Nelson Volunteers have occasionally gone into Camp at Easter—either at Nelson or elsewhere. The Nelson Volunteers possess twenty-two bell tents (their own property), besides cooking utensils. &c.
The Nelson Naval Artillery have a splendid cutter, "The Aurora," and have done good service with the boat on several occasions—notably, in rescuing the passengers of the ship "Queen Bee," wrecked at Farewell Spit, whom they found at the French Pass; and again when they went in search of the crew of the"Messenger," also wrecked at Farewell Spit.
The H Battery have three six-pound Armstrong guns (field pieces).
The Officers Commanding the Nelson District have been— Hon. Major Bichmond, C.B., Captain Baigent, Captain J. T. Marshall, and Lieut.-Colonel Pitt. Adjutants: Major Lockett, Major Webb, and Lieut. Kiernan. Staff Sergt.-Majors and Drill Instructors: Sergt.-Major Alborough, late H.M. 58th Regiment, who served from the beginning of the Volunteer system till 1st July, 1885; Sergt.-Major J. Nixon, late of 18th page 197Royal Irish Regiment, who began duty in Nelson on 1st July, 1895, and still continues.
Major Franklyn, who for many years commanded the Waimea Rifles, is on the active unattached list, and assists in Staff duty.
Brigade Surgeon L. Boor is chief of the Medical Defence Staff at Nelson. The other Surgeons are—R. Fearless, J. Hudson, and B. Locking.
Nelson people have always been clear about two things (1) that to secure the progress of the Province, good roads running right through the interior are a necessity; and (2) that the best and, ultimately, the cheapest road, is a railway.
Various efforts have been made to establish railway communication with the West Coast, but now that a definite contract has been entered into with that object, it is unnecessary to recapitulate at length the proposals that from time to time have been brought forward.
The"The Inland Communication Committee," established in 1873, comprised all the principal citizens of Nelson, and did an immense amount of good in "collecting and distributing statistical information, and in fomenting agitation."
This Committee sat for months, collecting masses of evidence, and thoroughly testing the reliability of the data laid before them. Their report—a most able, exhaustive, and lucid one—was prepared by the Hon. Joseph Shephard, M.L.C. It dealt with (1) The necessity for and importance of a railway; (2) The resources of the country to be traversed by the proposed line, including land, its character, &c.; (3) The means proposed to construct a line; (4) The inducements available as remuneration; (5) The description and cost of the proposed line; (6) The estimated expenditure and income.
The report concluded by recommending the construction of the railway by the establishment of a public company; and the Provincial Council and General Assembly having already given their sanction to such a proposal, the work of floating a company was entered upon. There is little doubt but that this would have been successfully accomplished, but the Government stepped in, and induced the Nelson people to abandon the formation of the proposed company, undertaking that the line should be constructed by the Government, the line being recognised as a portion of the main trunk railway of the Middle Island. Year after year passed away, but nothing was done towards the construction of the railway. The Canterbury people, who also wanted connection with the West Coast, took the matter up, and in 1882 formed a Railway League; and, in 1883, negotiations were opened in England, through Mr. Kelsey, for the construction of the line from Springfield to the West Coast by a private page 198company. Various circumstances prevented any favourable result; but after long negotiations with the Government, Sir Julius Vogel introduced a Bill, which, with some amendments, was carried through the General Assembly, authorising the construction of the East and West Coast Railway by a Syndicate. Canterbury appointed delegates to proceed to England. The people of Nelson, were keenly alive to their interest in the railway, and guarantors being found for the expense, a delegate was appointed to proceed to England to represent the interests of the Nelson Province in the Mother Country. Eventually it was agreed that Canterbury and Nelson should work heartily together in their efforts in getting a Syndicate to undertake the construction of the line from Springfield in Canterbury to Belgrove in Nelson viâ the Grey and Reefton on the West Coast.
Messrs. A. D. Dobson and Alan Scott were sent to London on behalf of Canterbury, and Mr. C. Y. Fell went with them as the representative of Nelson. Their efforts were, in the end, successful, and a contract has been entered into with the Midland Railway Company for the construction of the line. The first sod was turned at Brannerton in January, 1887, and the line is now nearly completed to Reefton; various sections are in course of construction between Brunnerton and Springfield; and at the Nelson end, a contract for the first section commencing at Belgrove was let in October, 1890, and is now in course of construction. Thus, after more than a quarter of a century of agitation, and of hope deferred, which has, at times, almost produced heart sickness, the people of Nelson have, at all events, the gratification of seeing the work begun for which they have striven, and with good reason, so earnestly and so long.
It is not easy to trace the exact history of Acclimatization, no early official records having been kept, but it seems that the first step towards enriching the country, by introducing valuable birds, was taken by Sir Edwin Dashwood, about 1853, who brought out with him, on returning from England, a few pheasants, which he liberated near his residence at Motueka. These birds increased greatly, and soon found their way to the neighborhood of the Waimea, and in other directions. Two unsuccessful attempts were afterwards made by Mr. Henry Redwood to introduce pheasants from England, but on both occasions it resulted in only procuring a single bird, one of which afterwards died; and the other obtained his liberty, and was for some time domesticated with Mr. C. Best's poultry at Appleby. Mr. Elliott arranged with a dealer in Sydney to send him some pheasants, but he shipped three cock birds and only one hen, which latter died at sea. One of the cock birds died also, and Mr. Elliott parted with one of the remaining birds to Mr. C. B. Wither, who had obtained a hen pheasant-from Auckland, and page 199the pair were turned loose by that gentleman. The number of imported birds liberated up to September, 1864, was as follows: —Partridges, 8; blackbirds, 26; thrushes., 5; starlings, 17; grey linnets, 7; goldfinches, 10.; robin, 1; greenfinches, 5; yellow hammers, 3; sparrow, 1; chaffinches, 23; larks, 20; redpoles, 2; twights, 2; Australian sparrows, 6; black swans, 7.
In 1851, Mr. Felix Wakefield endeavoured to bring out to the settlement a stag and hind, but the hind died on the passage, and the stag only was landed. This animal was kept by Mr. Stafford for a short time in his stable, and, on being turned out, found his way into Brook street valley, between which and the Maitai, he ran for a long time in company with cattle. The next attempt to bring out red deer to Nelson was made in 1860 by private subscription, and was eminently successful. A stag and two hinds were presented by Lord Petre, and reached Nelson safely. After being wintered in an enclosure, the three animals were turned out in October, 1861. Three fallow deer were brought from England in 1864, and purchased by Mr. C. B. Wither, and were kept by him for some time in his paddock.
Subsequently rooks, Californian quail, trout ova, and salmon ova were introduced by the Society, aided by grants from the Provincial Council, and the young fish turned out into our various streams, where the trout have thriven well, but the salmon has not made an appearance.
Two consignments of white fish ova were also brought from America, one of them at the expense of Mr. John Kerr, of the Lake run. The ova were placed in a creek running into Lake Rotoiti, and hatched out well. None of these fish have yet been caught, but it is believed that they exist in the Lake in considerable numbers. Hares were turned out by the Society for the first time in June, 1872. They were for a time protected, but they increased so rapidly and became such a nuisance to country settlers, that the protection was withdrawn; but, not withstanding this, there are still plenty to be found in the"Waimeas" and on the hills at the back of Stoke. For many years the late Mr. F. Huddleston acted as the Honorary Secretary of the Society, and devoted much time to promoting its best interests, taking, indeed, a keen and hearty interest in everything appertaining to acclimatization.
In the early days of the settlement, there were amongst the first settlers several good judges of horses, and keen lovers of the good old British sport of horse-racing. At one time Nelson was the head-quarters of horse-breeding as well as horse-racing, and the horses bred here have been winners on the principal racecourses of Australasia. The names of Messrs. Thompson, Tinline, Redwood, Fox, Jollie, Stafford, Duppa, Newcome, Weld, Morse, Cautley, Empson, Elliott, Bedborough, Curr, and page 200Schroder are identified with the importation and breeding of blood stock.
Mr. Redwood alone, imported in 1853-4 the thoroughbred mares Advance, Besom, Chatty, Emma, Chloe, Finesse, Flora. M'Ivor, Fly, Glauca, Hussey, Mayfly, Moth, Pancake, Paragon, Pearl, Picnic, Regalia, Simpleton, Spray, and Valeria; and the stallions Augean, Bay Middleton, Lottery, Frantic, Glaucus, St. George, and the grand horse Sir Hercules, the sire of Flora, Zoe, Potentate, Phœbe, Wetsail, and Miss Rowe, Mr. Stafford imported the mares Symphony in 1851, and Princess in 1852; and Mr. Curr, in 1855, brought over from Australia the blood mares Cerita, Gazelle, Honeycombe, Martha, Pauline, Sweetpea, and Termagant. Mr. Duppa imported the thoroughbreds Miss Millar, and the stallions Camden and Lamplighter; and Mr. F. A. Weld, Elster and Mirza, and the entire Glendon.
Il Barbiere was bred in Nelson in 1842 by Mr. F. A. Thompson, and was the sire of Strop and Zingara—two of the best horses ever trained in the Southern hemisphere.
Mr. Schroder imported the mare Cinderella in 1855, and the horse Septimus.
Nelson was truly for years the very centre of horse-importing, breeding, and racing; and the whole thing was in the hands of men of the highest character.
Public interest in racing has fallen off apparently of late; the breeding of thoroughbreds has gone to other places; but to Nelson belongs the credit of having done more than all the rest of the Colony put together—at a very early stage of its history, and at great individual cost and risk—to promote the breeding of first-class horses.
The following notes of facts connected with Nelson will be of interest:—
The 'Nelson Examiner ' was the first paper established in New Zealand.
The first Lodge of Odd-Fellows in New Zealand was opened in Nelson.
The first scheme of free public education originated in Nelson.
Nelson was the first port to own a local steamer.
The first brewery in New Zealand—that of Paolo and Pelham —was erected in Nelson. The second, on a larger scale, being erected by Hooper and Co. in 1843.
The first flax-dressing establishment in New Zealand was McGlashen's at Wakapuaka.
The first barley grown in New Zealand was malted in Nelson by Hooper and Co.
The New Zealand Champion Belt was won three times by Nelson Volunteers.
Nelson was for many years the home of the late Mr. John page 201Gully—one of the foremost water-color painters of Australasia. His beautiful pictures are to be seen in all the principal Art Galleries of this and the neighboring colonies. He died in November. 1888, much regretted by the many friends to whom he had endeared himself by his gentle disposition and many amiable qualities, and to the great loss of Colonial Art.
Nelson was the first Province in New Zealand to introduce the system of purchasing Crown lands on deferred payments.
The Nelson Savings Bank, founded in 1860, has 1000 depositors, whose average deposits amount to twenty guineas.
From the body of early Nelson settlers, the Colony has obtained some of its leading statesmen and distinguished men, including— Sir E. W. Stafford, G.C.M.G., Sir P. A. Weld, G.C.MG., Sir F. Dillon Bell, K.C.M.G., Sir William Fox, K.C.M.G., the Hon. Alfred Domett, Sir David Monro, His Grace Archbishop Redwood, and others, whose names are inscribed upon the roll of Colonial celebrities.
The Nelson Exhibition was opened on 26th November, 1873, by Sir David Monro, who read a very interesting address, reviewing the past history of the Province. Mr. Justice Richmond also addressed the crowded audience. The Exhibition was divided into seven departments, each under the supervision of a Sub-Committee appointed by the Executive Committee. The departments were—Horticultural, Industrial, Ladies' Industrial, Fine Arts and Photography, Mineral and Geological, Natural History, and Poultry. The Exhibition was a great success— embracing as it did natural objects, manufactured materials, and works of art—both in quality and quantity, wonderful for so young a settlement. The Executive Committee were—President, His Honor the Superintendent; Vice-President, Mr. Lowther Broad, R.M.; Members of Committee, Dr. Williams, Mr. John Holloway, Dr. Boor, Mr. William Rout, and Mr. F. H. Pickering. Mr. Rout also acted as Hon. Secretary.
The"Nelson Evening Mail," the only evening paper in Nelson, was first published on 5th March, 1866. For twenty-two years the late Mr. F. J. Blundell, who died last year, was Editor. Mr. Blundell, who was much esteemed, was the son of Captain Biundell, of Waimea West, one of Nelson's early settlers.
A short account of the celebration of the Queen's Jubilee may appropriately end the Jubilee History of Nelson.
A more thorough celebration of a national event than that in which the men, women, and children joined on 21st June, 1887, could not possibly be imagined, and the whole proceedings passed off without a hitch or casualty of any kind. The day was not only observed as a close holiday, but the whole population mustered at the festival to do honor to the occasion. A threatening morning was succeeded by a genial day, and when page 202the sun peeped out upon the verdure clad hills, the gay hunting, the brilliant decorations, and happy faces, it seemed as though Nature was vieing with humanity in commemorating the Jubilee. The proceedings were joined in by young and old, and the total numbers present were variously estimated at from eight to ten thousand souls. From an early hour the streets were thronged; at half-past nine the H Battery, which had proceeded with its guns to Mount street, commenced firing a royal salute of 21 guns. At the same time the Naval Artillery, under command of Captain Simpson, was drawn up on the Church Hill, and there were present a considerable concourse of people, prominent amongst whom was his Lordship the Bishop. His Worship the Mayor then arrived on the scene, and the bugle having sounded, his Worship read the proclamation of his Excellency the Governor, and then the following:—
"Know all men, that whereas on the 20th day of June, in the year of our Lord 1837, the most illustrious and honorable Victoria Alexandrina, only child of Edward, Duke of Kent, and grand-daughter of his Maiesty King George III., was by the grace of God set upon the Throne of her ancestors, and there-after became, and was recognised by her lawful and obedient subjects, Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and of the Colonies and Dependencies thereof, and Empress of India, and Defender of the Faith, Supreme Governor of the Church of England, Sovereign of the Most Honorable Orders of The Garter, The Thistle, The Bath, The Star of India, The Victoria Cross, and Saint Michael and Saint George: And Whereas her Majesty hath been preserved in the safety of her person, the dignity of her office and the discharge of its duties, and in the possession of the hearts of her subjects during the space of fifty years last past, which is a cause of satisfaction and congratulation to all inhabitants of her Kingdom, Dependencies, and Empire: And Whereas it has seemed good that there should be a solemn recognition of those blessings received both by the People and their Sovereign by religious thanksgiving and public rejoicing: Now therefore I do hereby declare this fiftieth year of her Majesty's glorious and happy reign to have arrived, and hereby call upon all loyal subjects of this Kingdom and Empire resident in this place to celebrate her Majesty's Jubilee with due honor and rejoicing; and in furtherance thereof I do hereby declare this day to be a Public Holiday, and I desire, and do hereby request all true and loyal subjects of her Majesty to duly observe the same."God Save The Queen."
Again was the bugle sounded, and then was run up the Royal Standard (the flag, which was beautifully worked, being the outcome of the taste and labor of the pupils at the Girls' College), and at the same time the first gun of the salute was page 203fired by the H Battery. This having been agreed upon as the general signal for the hoisting of flags, in a very short time from every flagstaff was floating the flag that for a thousand years has braved the battle and the breeze. Thereupon, three hearty cheers for Her Most Gracious Majesty ascended from the Church Hill.
Special services were held in each of the churches, and sermons appropriate to the occasion preached.
One of the most interesting features of the day was the Old Settlers' luncheon, which took place in the City Council Chamber. Although short was the time given for the luncheon, many a hearty hand-shaking, many an affectionate greeting, and many a tear was shed, as old shipmates met and recalled incidents of leaving the dear Old Country nearly fifty years ago, incidents of the sturdy struggles in the intant days of this settlement, and fond remembrances of those who had passed away. Shortly after noon, the Mayor (Mr. Fell) called to order, and the Rev. P. Calder asked a blessing."While his Worship presided, the Bishop of Nelson filled the vice-chair.
|H. Redwood||Jas. Stagg||J. Waterhouse|
|John Win||Thomas Gifford||Wm. Hounsell|
|Mrs. Win||George Batchelor||Joseph Taylor|
|Mrs. Batt||Wm. Wigzell||John Davis|
|S. Mercer||Walter Newport||Wm. Win|
|Mrs. Small||Mrs. Dean||Alex. Gibson|
|Geo. Morley||Mr. Pickering||John Humphreys|
|Mrs. Mary Day||Mr. Crisp||R. C. Tennent|
|Mrs. Thos. Wimsett||Mrs. Jas. Rowe||John Noden|
|Mrs. I. M. Hill||Mr. Watson||C. H. Ford|
|Mark Newth||Mrs. Rose||Robt. Burn|
|J. W. Barnicoat||Mr. Griffiths||T. J. Ferris|
|T. Eden||Mr. White||H. Hudson|
|Job Russ||Mr. Cresswell||Thos. Poole|
|Jas. Harford||Mr. McGee||Jas. Richardson|
|Jas. Chapman||E. Green||H. Fanzelow|
|H. Coombs||D. Matthews||Joseph Bungate|
|R. Mullins||Geo. Blick||Thomas Wells|
|Thos. Goodman||Mrs. G. Blick||William Ricketts|
|Jas. Spanton||Mrs. Kidson||Mrs. W. Newport|
|Wm. Askew||Mrs. Watson||Geo. Biggs|
|Sydney Higgins||Mrs. James Graham||Mrs. Pickering Appo Hocton||Wm. Boddington||Mrs. Crisp|
|Jas, Knapp||James Kerr||Mrs. Ricketts|
|Wm. Brown||W. H. Burt||Mrs. Gill|
|Mrs. Jas. Knapp||James Badman||Mr. Day|
|Mrs. Lovell||J. F. A. Kelling||Mrs. Hewitt|
|Wm. Barnett||W. Avery||Mr. Pantonpage 204|
|Wm.Wratt||Wm. Songer||Mr. Sutcliffe|
|D. Burns||John Tutty||Mr. Rose|
|Mrs. Wm. Wratt||John Andrews||Thos. Rowlings|
The years 1841, 1842, 1843, and 1844 had their representatives, as had also the following ships which came in those years to the then infant settlement of Nelson:—The Mary Ann, Indus, Martha Ridgway, the Bombay, Lord Auckland, Clifford, Thomas Harrison, Olympus, Prince of Wales, Sir Chas. Forbes, the Will Watch, the Lloyd's, the Bowden, the Fifeshire, and the Bolton.
Another pleasing and interesting event was the presentation to Ben Crisp of a purse of sovereigns and a gold medal, in recognition of his services in promoting the welfare and happiness of the children of Nelson during many years. Passing reference has been made (p. 26) to"Ben the bullock driver," as he was called in the very early days, when he used to cultivate the land on the west side of Trafalgar-street, from Hardy-street to Bridge-street. Ben took the pledge (which he has faithfully kept), and started a juvenile Band of Hope; and every year since, on Her Majesty's Birthday, hundreds of children have been made happy by the treat he has regularly provided for them. The procession of Ben's lorry crowded with happy youngsters, waving bright flags, shouting and laughing, on their way to the "treat," is one of the features of Nelson on the Queen's Birthday. Mr. Crisp is one of the oldest settlers in the Colony. He left England in 1819, came to New Zealand in 1837, and to Nelson in 1842.
The public procession to the Church Hill was a striking feature of the Jubilee celebrations: About one o'clock thousands who were to join the procession were mustering in force in Trafalgar-street, north of Bridge-street, and looking north and south the spectacle that presented itself in either direction was one to remember. To the north were thousands of school children happy and bright, very many of them carrying banners and flags, whilst the gay uniforms of the Volunteers, the many representatives of the Friendly Societies in their respective regalias, the members of the Fire Brigade in their scarlet tunics and wearing their helmets, the Salvage Corps men, and all the others about to join in the march combined to form a tout ensemble at once brilliant and pleasing. Looking to the south the view was certainly not less remarkable. On either hand were the gay decorations with which the business places were adorned, the mottos, the flags, the ferns, the evergreens, and the lines of flags hanging across the broad thoroughfare, and beyond all the Church Hill. The Cathedral at its summit simply capped a stage of densely crowded people.
The procession included the Mayor and Corporation, the page 205Bishop and Clergy of the Church of England, and the Clergy of other Denominations, including the Ven. Archpriest Garin. The District Judge, the Magistrates and Court Officers, members of local governing bodies, a body of old settlers, the various Volunteer Corps, and thousands of neatly dressed school children, with their distinguishing banners.
Arrived at the Church Hill, speeches were made by the Mayor and the Bishop, and the vast assemblage joined in three hearty cheers for the Queen. The procession then proceeded to the Eel Pond reserve, where the Mayor turned the first sod of what was to be known thenceforth as the"Queen's Gardens." In the evening the Town was brilliantly illuminated.
With the abolition of the Provinces in 1875, the settlement of the Province of Nelson, ceased to be a political entity, and to to have a separate history. Split up into counties, municipalities, and other self-governing bodies, the interests and sympathies of which are far different to those which were characteristic of the early days of Nelson; there is no longer the material for history peculiar to the settlement. Its history thenceforth will be national.
Having thus traced in outline the course of events which go to make up local history, it is natural to regret that time and space would not permit of the incorporation in this work, of several original documents of historical interest, and that many moving incidents of the early days, could not, for the same reason, be recorded.
Wading through files of old newspapers, and poring over faded documents, in search of information, has been a work of absorbing interest. The actors and speakers now passed away, have seemed present, with all their vivacity of action, and their oft vehement speech. It has been as though"The years that are fied knock at the door and enter."
And after recording as well as circumstances would permit, the swift evolution of events in the young and active Nelson Settlement, there remains the predominant feeling of deep and reverent sympathy with those brave, adventurous, and hardy pioneers; those sturdy men, and courageous faithful women, who left the most civilized country in the world, to face the dangers and difficulties of founding a settlement, and thus assisting to found a new nation, in a land almost unknown, and inhabited by a native race scarcely yet removed from the cannibal savage.