Other formats

    TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Historical Records of New Zealand

Missionary Letters: Thomas Kendall to Rev. Samuel Marsden

Missionary Letters: Thomas Kendall to Rev. Samuel Marsden.

Bay of Islands, May 27, 1815.

Rev. and dear Sir,—

Our friend Duaterra was taken dangerously ill, as you will recollect, before you left the island. His illness continuing to increase, the attention of the settlers was peculiarly directed to page 401 him. He was supplied with such things as he thought he could take for his nourishment, for which he expressed great thankfulness; but complained of want of breath, and bodily weakness and pain.

I had not repeated my visits above two or three times before the priest told me that he would not live; and on Thursday, March 2, he was conveyed from the town in a kind of bier to a hill at Tippoona, on which he had proposed to you that the town should be built. A shed had been prepared for his reception; and there he was to die; for it is customary at New Zealand not to suffer a native to die in one of the villages. The natives say that if this should be allowed Atua would be angry, and some heavy calamity would befal them.

When Duaterra perceived the time of his departure at hand, he directed his little property to be distributed among his surviving relatives. I cannot learn that he made any particular consideration for his chief wife, Dahoo.

The cow which His Excellency Governor Macquarie had given him, with her calf, and the military raiment, were to be taken care of for his infant son (now named Duaterra), whom he commended to my notice, requesting that he might be sent to you as soon as he should be sufficiently strong to endure the passage, and that he might be brought up in the Orphan School at Sydney. He desired his wife to admonish the chiefs and the people of Tippoona to be kind to us all when he was gone.

Duaterra lay but one night in the place prepared for him. He died on Friday, March 3rd, early in the morning.…

Kangooroa and Shunghee told me and my colleagues not to be afraid: Duaterra was dead, but they would be our friends.