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The Old Whaling Days

The Chatham Islands

The Chatham Islands.

On 18th June, 1839, the Ann and Mary, under the command of Captain Richards, which was at anchor at Chatham Island, broke from her moorings and was lost, but all hands, fortunately, were saved. Captain Richards was persuaded by the Natives to purchase some of their land and live among them, and he accordingly fixed his habitation on the Island.

page 301

We have seen (p. 296) that the Harlequin sailed on 28th November for Chatham Island. When there Captain Richards and the crew of the Ann and Mary took advantage of the opportunity which presented itself and sailed in her, on 31st January, for New Zealand and Sydney, which latter port they reached on 11th March. Captain Kyle reported that the Emma, which had left Sydney in October, had called in at Chatham Island, and had again sailed for the seal fisheries; and that the Fair Barbadian was loading there.

In February, 1840, a Mr. Walter Brodie chartered the schooner Hope, and proceeded from the Bay of Islands to Chatham Island to form there two pork stations. On his arrival he purchased some 300,000 acres of land for £2,000. The date of the Conveyance (which is now among the Manuscripts in the Mitchell Library, Sydney), is 21st March 1840, which is long after the prohibition of dealings in land made by Governor Gipps.

The Emma reached Sydney on 4th April, having sailed from Chatham Island on 18th March, and brought up a cargo of 140 seal skins. Mr. J. Lister came up in her as a passenger. Her shipping report showed that Chatham Island was becoming a most important centre.

The Martha, of Fairhaven, 16 mos. out, 800 bar. of sperm, was spoken off the Island.

The Speculator was there, ready to sail on 26th March for Sydney.

The Hope, of New Zealand, was filling up with pork.

The Hannibal, of Sag Harbour, out 19 mos., 1000 bar., homeward bound, and

The Franklyn, 800 bar., out 16 mos., were at the Island.

The Speculator sailed from Chatham Island on 26th March and brought up a Mr. Hill as a passenger. All the vessels named above had gone when she sailed. She reached Sydney on 9th April, was purchased by Mr. Weller for £1570 and put on the Port Nicholson, Cloudy Bay and Otago trade, and sailed for the coast of New Zealand on 24th May.