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From Tasman To Marsden.


By Mr. Lord.

At his Warehouse in Macquarie Place, on Thursday next, the 11th Instant, At One o'clock precisely, will be put up for Sale, on account of the New South Wales New Zealand Company, the good Schooner Endeavour, now lying in Cockle Bay, with such Materials as belong to her."

Later on the sale was postponed to the 18th at 11 o'clock.

Now that Hansen was out of the Active the position of captain was given to Joseph Thompson, and he sailed from Sydney in her on 18th April with Messrs. Carlisle and Gordon as passengers. The latter was under Mr. Marsden's instructions to apply himself to agriculture and teach the Natives to grow their own food. Six New Zealanders, some of whom had been at Parramatta for eighteen months, accompanied the vessel, and six head of horned cattle were shipped by Mr. Marsden. On 25th July the Active returned to Sydney, having filled up with spars at the Bay of Islands.

The report on the school established by Mr. Kendall, and in the conduct of which he was assisted by Mr. Carlisle, was highly satisfactory. It had been opened in August 1816 with thirty-three pupils; in September there were forty-seven; and in October, fifty-one. November and December were “holidays," there being nothing to feed the children, and they had to separate to provide food for themselves. In January 1817 the school opened again with sixty; in February, fifty-eight; in March, sixty-three; and in April, seventy. When Mr. Kendall commenced his labours there were nearly twice as many girls as boys, but latterly that disproportion almost disappeared. The ages ranged from seven to seventeen. One of Te Pahi's children attended, page 206 and showed such diligence and aptitude in his work that in a few months he began to act as a pupil teacher; of the others, several were sons of chiefs, several were orphans, and six were slaves taken in war. The school hours differed from those of the year 1914. The children rose at daylight and finished their morning lessons at an early hour, then the European children were taught; in the afternoon the Native children renewed their lessons. Twice a day the scholars received a handful of potatoes each, which they cooked themselves, and sometimes some fish was given them. On the technical side the girls made their own apparel, and the boys made fences or learnt to dress and spin flax. In winter spinning tops was “in," in summer, kite flying, but dancing and singing was always indulged in.

The reader will remember that as a result of Marsden's persistent appeals to the Governor of New South Wales for protection to the Natives of New Zealand against the wrongs committed by European ship-masters, Orders had been issued dated 1st December 1813, and 9th November 1814, having for their object the protection of the Natives, and Mr. Kendall had been appointed a Magistrate for the Islands of New Zealand. To what extent these Orders were valid is a subject which the author does not intend to enter upon here, but that they had little effect beyond declarations of policy is proved by the fact that nothing is known to have been done under them, and the grievances they were intended to remedy continued to exist.

The Committee of the Church Missionary Society in London now took up the matter of the protection of the South Sea Islanders, and during the year 1817 presented a Memorial to Earl Bathurst, at that time H.M. Principal Secretary of State for the Colonies, describing in detail the many atrocities which had been committed on unoffending Natives. The evidence submitted to substantiate their case consisted of the affidavits obtained at different times by Marsden in support of the applications he had made in Sydney, and dealt with the Boyd, the Parramatta, the King George, the Jefferson, and the Mercury, on the New Zealand page 207 Coast, and other vessels among the South Sea Islands. In addition to the Affidavits, copies of the two Orders already referred to were submitted. The Committee pointed out that the only remedy then existing was to send the offender to England to be tried at the Admiralty Sessions, and that even the mere setting up of a Court in Sydney would not be sufficient, as the ships, after the commission of the offence, often sailed for some other port. As a result of this inability to punish crime the lives of the settlers were in constant danger, and civilisation was in a great measure retarded.

As a result of this Memorial, and of a Deputation which waited upon Earl Bathurst, the Act 57 Geo. III. cap. 53 was passed “for the More Effectual Punishment of Murders and Manslaughters committed in Places not within His Majesty's Dominions." The preamble recites that “Whereas grievous Murders and Manslaughters" have been committed, amongst other places, “in the Islands of New Zealand and Otaheite," that from and after the passing of the Act (27th June 1817), all such offences committed in the said Islands of New Zealand and Otaheite, by the Master of any British vessel, or any persons sailing in or belonging thereto, or having sailed in or belonged to a British vessel had quitted it to live on the said Islands, may be tried, adjudicated, and punished, in any of H.M. Islands, Plantations, Colonies, Dominions, Forts, or Factories, under or by virtue of the King's Commission or Commissioners. By this means the crimes of murder and manslaughter were provided for as well as the peculiar situation would admit of. This Statute is of interest as being the first one to mention the Islands of New Zealand, and, of greater interest still, to mention them as “not within His Majesty's Dominions."

The next vessel to sail for New Zealand was the Harriet, a vessel of 410 tons, and commanded by James Jones. She sailed in ballast on 23rd June, and returned with a cargo of spars on 10th September. Her captain's report was anything but flattering to the Natives:

“While the Harriet lay there, which was eight weeks (the greater part of which was in the South-East River), page 208 Captain Jones received repeated information of plots formed among the chiefs for the capture of the vessel; but being always on the alert, the conspirators never had the opportunity of making the actual attempt. These islanders were aware of the conditions of Capt. Jones's crew, nine of whom had refused duty; and as there were but few other Europeans exclusive of the officers on Board, she being partly manned with lascars, they encouraged their treacherous design until the last moment of the vessel's stay. She arrived at the Bay from hence the 23rd of June; and had been more or less agitated with the apprehension of assault until the middle of August, when the conspirators, becoming impatient for the perpetration of their design, and finding that they could not by any stratagem prevail on the captain or officers to visit the villages (though frequently invited thither), the treachery assumed a bolder character, and at a little after daylight on the morning of the 22nd, a fleet of war canoes, 11 in number, had just cleared a point of land that before screened them, and stood directly towards the vessel, around which a number of other canoes with armed chiefs and natives were already collected. The chief Bumorri [Pomare], of whose perfidy Capt. Jones had received repeated information, at this time drew alongside, intending familiarly to go on board as before; but this being refused him, and finding the ship in a thorough condition of defence, they thought prudent to obey Capt. Jones' orders not to presume to approach on pain of being fired into. The overbearing insolence of the chiefs of this inhuman race of people it is impossible to form an adequate idea of. Their insults to Capt. Jones and his officers and people were without parallel; spitting in their faces, and using menacing gestures to them on board their own vessel was far from uncommon; and in their insolencies they appeared to consider themselves protected by the consciousness of the ship's people that the Missionaries on shore were always in their power, and that to incense these cannibal tyrants might provoke some act of vengeance upon them. Messrs. Hall and page 209 King, two of the Gentlemen belonging to the Missionary Establishment there, were frequently on board; and declared their situation among them to be far from enviable. The natives rob them of whatever they see and have a wish for; they break in ad libitum upon their enclosures; destroy their garden fences; and in all respects behave towards them, as we are confidently informed by Capt. Jones and Mr. Chace, chief officer of the vessel, in a most insolent and oppressive manner;—The plan laid to cut off the Harriet was by no means limited in its extent, as the chiefs and their sanguinary subjects were attracted by the hope of plunder from the River Thames, which is 208, and others from places upwards of 300 miles distant. Such being their present feeling towards us, vessels proceeding thither cannot be too well upon their guard, against surprise; as we were heretofore aware that treachery and a thirst of blood formed the leading feature, and opportunity was the only ingredient needful to avowed hostility, and success their countersign for successful slaughter."

The Harriet was a vessel well provided for defence, having 12 guns on board, and being manned by 28 men. On 22nd December she sailed for England with a cargo of New Zealand pine, some seal skins, and some wool.

With Carlisle's report as a type of the missionary's, and Jones' as a type of the sailors', the reader will appreciate the problem which faces the author of giving the facts.

Six days before the Harriet's arrival, the Active had sailed on another trip to the Bay of Islands, and from there to Tahiti, with some recently arrived missionaries.