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Historical Records of New Zealand

Rev. S. Marsden to Mr. Jowett

Rev. S. Marsden to Mr. Jowett.

Parramatta, August 11th, 1837.

Dear Sir,—

The last year has been very trying to me, and almost more than I could support.…I determined to visit the Bay of Islands and other missionary stations upon that island, and see what state the missionaries were in, and applied to the Governor for leave of absence, and obtained His Excellency’s sanction. A ship named the Pyramus sailed from Sydney Cove for the west side of N. Zealand; in her I took my passage, and on the vessel arriving at Okinga I crossed overland to the Bay of Islands.…The natives as well as the missionaries were greatly rejoiced to see me.…You are aware there are no laws in N. Zealand; there is no king. They feel the want of this, and they cannot make a king from their own chiefs, as every chief would think himself degraded if he should be put under the authority of a chief of their own. There is a British Resident there, but he has no authority to act. Why he is stationed there without powers I cannot tell.…

I wished to visit all the stations, but the stormy weather was against me. I visited at the Thames, and some of the missionaries there. From the Thames I proceeded to Cloudy Bay and Cook’s Straits. A missionary is wanted in Cook’s Straits. I was informed there were 1,500 natives in the Straits. Besides natives, there are se [torn out] Europeans settled in the Straits and at C [torn out] Bay. Cloudy Bay is not less than 700 miles from the Bay of Islands. I would have landed at the different stations of the east side to the south of the Thames, but could not. The weather was very stormy.…When I visited the North Cape I found that mission in a very prosperous state. The place was becoming in every respect like an European settlement. The natives working as sawyers and carpenters, &c., &c.

I shall now conclude, as my eyes are bad.

Saml. Marsden.