The Early Journals of Henry Williams
IX — January to December 1835
January to December 1835
A. N. Brown leaves for Waikato — Peace parleys — Journey to Thames and Waikato.
Thursday, 1 January 1835. We now begin another period of time, a new year; a season of much interest on our public and private history. The general word is advance. Some are now moving onwards, others waiting favourable opportunities when our plans shall be more matured. The arrival also of four fresh labourers gives an impulse to our proceedings and I trust the Lord will impart wisdom to guide our counsels aright.
During the past year we have been enabled to form stations at Kaitaia, Puriri and to commence one at Mangapouri in Waikato. The tribes in this neighbourhood have been in a very unsettled state for several months past owing to an attack made upon the house of James Busby Esq., British Resident, when he narrowly escaped with life. War remained doubtful for some time, but through the good providence of God the feelings of the Natives were restrained.
A breach between this mission and that of the Wesleyans, through the extraordinary conduct of Mr. White which we doubt not will be overruled for good.
The families in the Settlement especially visited with sickness for some months, but through tender mercy of the Lord none have fallen, but are again restored to health.
Friday, 2. Clearing the Blackbird and assisting Mr. Brown in his embarkation on board the Columbine. Emp'd writing and at accounts.
Saturday, 3. At accounts. Buried an Englishman who died at Otuihu. Had some conversation with Solomon, a hardened wretch; he laughed at what I had to say, the others were more serious.
Sunday, 4. Fine. Full congregation. Baptised my tenth child with the infant of Keno. Collection at the sacrament £5.2. Sixteen page 406 Europeans in attendance. Very full congregation at afternoon service.
Monday, 5. Fine. Brethren assembled by noon. At accounts till eveng. Held prayer meeting. Felt a degree of reproach at meeting so many members of the Mission, belonging to so confined a place as the bay of islands, being no less than twelve men. We need dispersing through the length and breadth of the land.
Tuesday, 6. All day at accounts, particularly heavy. Rec'd notice of the death of Mr. Clarke's little boy. So seldom has the hand of death appeared amongst us that this is quite an eventful circumstance. Poor Mrs. C. has scarcely recovered from her confinement but her faith is strong and this affliction shall be blessed to her.
Wednesday, 7. At business till midnight when we closed. My brother ordered to the Waimate to take charge of the boys school instead of going to Waikato. Messrs. Kemp and Shepherd held disposable. Karere to be sold.
Thursday, 8. Fine. Weary with committee business. Mr. Brown1 concluded the shipment of his baggage on board previous to sailing. Set fire to a kiln of shells, for lime for the girls school. In the eveng spoke to two parties of Natives who were very importunate.
Friday, 9. Mr. and Mrs. Brown on board the Columbine by 8 o'clock; weighed and made sail. Fore noon wind from Eastd. Appearance of a Gale. In the afternoon the Columbine put back; wind directly against them and prospect of bad weather. In the eveng met a party of natives.
Saturday, 10. Fine. Writing.
Sunday, 11. Fine. After service walked to Waitangi; spoke to two parties. Took evening service, tolerably attentive.
Monday, 12. Rode to the Waimate with my brother and Mr. Baker to attend special meeting. Commenced business in the eveng.
Tuesday, 13. Rode to Titirangi. Number of natives with whom I had long conference. Returned to Waimate and continued business till midnight.
Wednesday, 14. Rode to Titirangi. Long march up Pouerua, ret'd tired. The house full of natives who behaved very well. Passed a pleasant eveng talkg with the people, who reserved a corner of my house for myself.
Thursday, 15. Rose at break of day. After service with the natives, I accompanied Kamera and Huhu to Pakaraka, and passed page 407 on to the Aute, tired and faint. Arrived at home by five o'clock, very tired and burnt with the heat. Rec'd a note from Mr. Busby respecting Messrs. Tuckwell and McLeaven, who had been burnt out. Went up the river to investigate the affair, and was satisfied that it was accident. Ret'd by midnight.
Friday, 16. Fine. Felt unwell. Pumuka and Morunga came down to hold a court of enquiry respecting the part they took in the affair at Mr. Tuckwells. They expressed themselves to my satisfaction. In the eveng a large party of Europeans and Natives, Mr. Busby, &c., &c.
Saturday, 17. Very hot. Mr. and Mrs. Wade went up to the Kerikeri for a season. Held a court with the natives for false accusation against Pumuka. The culprit was taken in charge by Pumuka as a slave until payment should be given by his master. Mr. and Mrs. Brown finally sailed with the sea breeze. Number of natives in the settlement.
Sunday, 18. Fine. Very full congregation. In the afternoon went to Kororarika. Held service with the natives, afterwards with several Europeans. On my return, I learnt that Heke had stopt 3 women who were carrying baskets of food through the settlement and that a disturbance was about to take place. Before I had well learnt the particulars about 70 men with muskets rushed forward and gave us a haka. Our natives in the settlement behaved very quietly tho the number of the settlement was sufficient to have put them to the right about. These poor fellows came with the express purpose of shewing their contempt for the Sabbath and sacred duties. Their language was very bad, tho I am happy to say it did not excite an angry expression from anyone on our side, tho they gave a reproof which will be long felt. One of the leading men said that had they considered what they were about they should not have come; that the women ran along exclaiming that they were killed by the Ware kura (the people of the Settlement), and without making any enquiries they seized their guns and rushed forward However, they had some little thought, for hearing that I was out of the Settlement, they waited about half a mile distance until the boat landed and then came forward. After a great noise for about an hour they went quietly away, tho we were a good deal hurt at this infringement of the sacredness of the day. The eveng. service tended to restore peace; the Chapel was quite full.
Monday, 19. Fine. Every one unsettled. In the afternoon Kamera came with 20 baskets of potatoes as a peace offering. Hake had gone to fetch a pig for having given me a thrust with the butt page 408 end of his musket. Much more relieved in my mind by the behaviour of the natives today.
Tuesday, 20. Fine. Natives wandering about impatient for the payment for the land.
Wednesday, 21. Fine. Kamera, &c., &c., &c., came, and after some preliminaries the trade was laid out, approved of and taken away in a very quiet manner.
Thursday, 22. Fine. Much hindered by talking to visitors and preparing stirabout. Went up the river to see Kauwiti who is preparing his canoes for war to proceed to Waikato. Several of the Urikapana with me. We were received very graciously by the old gentleman who had two pigs killed and quantities of fish and potatoes prepared for us. He spoke very well and gave me his hatchet as an indication of his willingness to relinquish his purpose. We had many speeches and the poor old man promised to accompany me to Kororarika if I would sleep there. We held an agreeable evengs: service. As the night came on I laid me down on a bed of fern, my umbrella being spread for my house. The natives made a terrible noise.
Friday, 23. Fine. Slept well, tho we had a great noise till day-light. Walked to the boat and took the head of Kauwiti's canoe and some of his paddles. Ret'd to Paihia fatigued by the heat of the weather. Met 5 natives in the eveng.
Saturday, 24. Pulled to Kororarika with Kauwiti. Met Rewa; he received us with great ceremony and soon gave up the question of his expedition. While the repast was preparing Rewa in a violent rage broke several calabashes, and finally struck two slaves on the head with a billet of wood; they were considered for some time to be dead. My soul was horror struck at this absolute government and the total unconcern with which the circumstance was regarded by most of those present. Had an interview with Titore who agreed to accompany me to Rangaunu and Kaitaia to see the Rarawa who appear by report to be on the move to Tauranga. Rewa is to bring over his canoe on Monday, that is the one fitted up for the expedition, as a notification that he was turned from his purpose by our persuasion.
Sunday, 25. Extremely hot. Delayed in my movements owing to the tide. After service went up the Kawakawa; met a goodly number, they were very attentive. At the conclusion of the service some questions were referred to me relative to the government of their body.
Monday, 26. According to appointment Rewa with a large party came over with his canoe. Were obliged to receive him in page 409 state to our great hindrance and serve them well with stirabout, fish and potatoes. They occupied my attention more or less till dusk.
Tuesday, 27. Patuone, Nene, &c., &c., came to breakfast. Much talk about the present state of affairs. Heard the particulars of a serious row which took place a few days since at Mangungu2 the Wesleyan Missionary station, where muskets and ball were called into use. A very critical moment for them.
Wednesday, 28. Went over to Kororarika to see Titore respecting our journey to the northd. and was much relieved to learn that by an express from thence the intention of the natives to move was set aside.
Thursday, 29. Hepetahi, Hake, Kamera, &c., &c., came and occupied my attention nearly all day.
Friday, 30. A number of natives over to endeavour to purchase the Karere which was ordered for sale. They were very importunate but we were not disposed to let them have her; it is too early yet for them to possess a craft.
Saturday, 31. Hot. Appearance of a Gale. Rain in the afternoon.
Sunday, 1 February. Sacrament. Thirteen Europeans present. After service went over to Kororarika. The Europeans otherwise employed in drinking. It is heavy work to engage the attention of our own countrymen.
Monday, 2. Much occupied with callers. From recent intelligence determined to go to the Thames immediately, with Mr. Hamlin. In the afternoon Mr. Flatt3 assissting in the erection of the chimney in the new building for the girls' school.
Tuesday, 3. Emp'd in writing previous to my departure. Mr. Chapman sailed this morng.4 in his boat for the Thames on his way to Rotorua.
Wednesday, 4. Aparahama went over to Rewa to send the boy whom he had seized belonging to the Thames. He came over to see me but was very resolute in not sending the boy. The boy had been taken in consequence of the stripping of his son in law by page 410 the Thames natives a few months since. My spirits low, owing to the folly of these people. No chief going with us.
Thursday, 5. Rewa took his departure this morning without our seeing him. Did not know how to act in consequence of his not fulfilling his promise respecting the boy. In the afternoon Mr. Hamlin arr'd for the purpose of embarking; wind foul.
Friday, 6. Wind continued east; no movement. Emp'd writing. In the eveng. I spoke again to Warerahi about his going with us; he appeared more willing.
Saturday, 7. Wind continued east. Warerahi sent me a letter to signify his willingness to accompany us, for which I felt thankful. Few showers through the day.
Sunday, 8. After service, at which there were a number of strangers (Europeans), I administered the sacrament to 4 natives. Baptised Kiha who had been ill for a long time, his views were clear. Went over to Kororarika, held service as usual at Moka's place. Number of Europeans but none disposed to attend. Saw Tareha, Titore, &c.; as yet they are quite insensible to the Gospel's joyful sound. Took the service in the eveng. Tired and unwell. Mr. Hamlin arr'd from the Waimate to fetch Dr. Ross to attend the children of Mr. Clarke who were laying dangerously ill.
Monday, 9. Strong wind at S.S.E. Columbine went to convey Warerahi to the Rawiti to settle his affairs previous to his sailing.
Tuesday, 10. Fine. Columbine ret'd with the old gentleman, who was very desirous that we shd. remain for three or four days as a hakari, a present of the dainties of the season, was on its way to Paihia. However by a little manoevering it was agreed to leave at daybreak and run into Paroa. It is singular how little they appear to be aware of our expenses and general mode of proceeding. Our passengers, Patuone and his wife, Raumate, &c., &c., &c., slept on board in order to be ready for the morng.
Wednesday, 11. My birthday. A good day to commence a Missry. tour upon.5 May the Lord grant His presence and His blessing and protect my family and bring me back again in peace. At day break we went on board and immediately got under weigh with the wind at S.S.E. We were soon out of sight of the settlement and came to an anchor at the Rawiti. Went on shore with the natives. All were in full occupation as we found a large party here at the old man's place. A very sumptuous repast set before us consisting of the dainties of the season, fish, potatoes, kumera and melons. At noon the sea breeze set in which was directly against page 411 our getting out of the bay. Warerahi having regulated everything to his mind and given all necessary instructions particularly about the erection of the school house, we repaired on board and worked out of the bay, which occupied till dark. We were put in considerable distress by the natives havg. broken a jar of coal tar in the hold; the stench was most unbearable. We could not escape from it nor remove it from us.
Thursday, 12. Wind south. Little vessel kicking her heels, every body down. No appearance of a sea breeze as we had been hoping for. Wind increased, which reduced our canvas, considerable head sea. Our passengers very unwell laying about the deck in all directions.
Friday, 13. Much wind. At day light close to Wangari, determined to run in and anchor, which we accomplished after a few tacks. Hoisted out the boat and sent the passengers on shore to wash themselves and to get a little recovered. Wanted to go up the river to see the natives, but our boys had dispersed to fish.
Saturday, 14. Light breeze from the Westd. at break of day, weighed and stood out. Calm nearly all day. The boys catching fish. Were enabled to procure a good quantity. In the eveng. wind from the Southd. A good thumping. Went to bed early. A vessel at best is a bad place but a small one is very bad.
Sunday, 15. Hazy morng. More to windward than expected, a fine little craft. Mahurangi a little to windward. About 10 o'clock came to an anchor in this beautiful place. Capn. Brown6 sent off a note to request that we would go on shore and hold service. We landed about 11 o'clock and soon assembled a very comfortable congregation, in all twelve. The Captain and his brother were very friendly. Held native service at 3, and in the eveng. returned on board.
Monday, 16. As the wind was still from the Southd. we could not move till high water. Went on shore to breakfast with our friends. Cap. B. has very great interest in Missions; he wanted much to commence a school here but had not the means and we could not help him out. At 10 weighed and worked out, continued working to windward till dusk. Much pleased and surprised at the sailing qualities of our little vessel. At sunset dirty appearance. Brought up for the night.
Tuesday, 17. At daylight got under weigh and stood to wind ward, and at 7 brought up at Tamaki. After breakfast went page 412 on shore to see if we could discover any signs of natives. All was quietness around, no appearance of smoke, tho the firn had been recently burnt off in the neighbourhood. At one we weighed and made sail and stood between Waiheke and the main. The soundings were very regular from 7 to 4 Fm. A superb anchorage for vessels of all sizes. At 5 brought up close to Pakihi. Too much sea to send our passengers on shore. Patuone some what out of order at the idea of the vessel not going to Wakatiwai, and spoke largely of his wish that he had come in a Cutter there is in the Bay of Islands which would have taken him whither he had thought proper. I was obliged to give him a few words of reproof which tended to quiet him. Poor ignorant children they cannot perceive our care and desires respecting them.
Wednesday, 18. Fine. At sunrise weighed and made sail through the northern passage by Waiheke and was much struck with the beauty of this Harbour in the middle of the Thames which is accessible at all times. This will some day make a valuable place, by far the best anchorage and deep water. At noon we were favoured with the sea breeze, and at 5.30 brought up off Wakatiwai. Considerable swell for boats and canoes. Went on shore with our baggage. Our boat was so very deep with the number of natives that we with difficulty reached the shore. We pitched our tents outside the Pa, the scene was enlivened by several fires which were very welcome as the eveng. looked threatening. When all things were put in order Patuone commenced the narrative of his travels and the wonders of the North. He told them he had much to say and should not leave off till daylight. All appeared highly interested with his marvellous accounts and gave him their undivided attention. Patuone like a true traveller did not attempt to confine himself to a mere relation of facts but to excite the admiration of his auditors, which he did most effectually, adorning his tale as he went along with some most outrageous fabrications. For example, in speaking of the attack made by h.m.s. Alligator, on the Natives in the neighbourhood of Taranake, he stated that the slaves were salted down into casks in the same way as pigs are and carried away as pork. This was only regarded as an embellishment, and consequently passed off with a laugh.
Thursday, 19. Rough night for our little vessel—wind north, and appearance of a blow. Could sleep but very little owing to the multitude of flees and noise of the natives, who were true to their word that they shd. talk till daylight. When we were conducted into the Pa to receive the welcome of the Grandees, we sat in silence for page 413 some time in the presence of a great throng while an old lady put forth her miserable strains in a tangi, our party concealing their faces in their blankets responding by an occasional sigh. This lasted about 20 minutes when Warekaua arose and gave us welcome, relating a few general heads of the news of the day. Having sat down Raumate one of our party said a few words, at the conclusion of which he obs'd the necessity of attending to better things whereby they might obtain peace and happiness. A second chief of the Pa, who had been shot through the head some years ago by the Ngapuhi, the ball entering at one of his eyes, spoke more particularly to Warerahi; he expressed some apprehension of Ngapuhi. Our venerable friend Warerahi next arose. He spoke like a noble man with considerable dignity and grace and what he said tended to quiet many fears respecting Ngapuhi. I was next required to say a few words. Mr. Hamlin followed me when our conference concluded. They appeared pleased at our taking up the Waikato question, and expressed their willingness to preserve a peace if consented to by their opponents. A large quantity of dried fish similar to sole were brought out, besides potatoes, mellons, &c., &c. About noon Patuone's wife came to her residence where were assembled about 20 women old and young for the purpose of having a general cry with her. As she came towards them they lifted up their arms and all struck off in an instant in their most melancholy strain. We were sitting at a little distance with our boys who all broke out in a most violent laugh at the absurdity of these people. The scene altogether, crying and laughing, was truly ridiculous and we could not preserve our gravity. This howling lasted nearly an hour. In the course of the day I was able to converse with most of the Chiefs; they of course defended their own conduct towards Waikato but expressed their wish for peace.
Friday, 20. Truly miserable night; thousands of flees and dogs howling most pitifully; almost disposed to join them. Was relieved by day dawning as all then began to move. About 7 we were all in the boat, the sea very smooth. Seven canoes filled with the people of the Pa, in company, going up to Puriri, to attend a hahunga, but it is proposed first to call at the Puru a place directly opposite that we might consult upon the Waikato question. We landed after a good pull about 10 o'clock and soon learnt that a canoe had just arr'd from Rotorua with news of Pango with 400 men going to Tamaki. This is a man whose head we saved in the Bay some years since, as the Ngapuhi had charged him with having makutu'd Hongi at the time he was shot. We then passed him on to his place page 414 at Rotorua. Oh when shall these wars and murders cease. What destruction and confusion on every side. In the afternoon I had some pleasing conversation with the natives of the place, who were making great lamentations over one of their number who had recently died and was now laying in state, or rather his bones. I afterwards, at the desire of Herua and others went to Waiomu. and saw Tuwiri,7, &c., who appear most strenuous about the war with Waikato. I found them rather stiff at first but disposed to yield the point. I was pleased and encouraged at their attention but grieved at their wretched state. No one has yet been to them to give instruction.
Saturday, 21. Fine. At 7 we embarked in all thirteen canoes besides the boat. When off Kaweranga the natives fired some guns as a signal for us to land at their place. This was very inconvenient but old Warerahi was so very urgent that we were obliged to separate from the main body. We were obliged to undergo the usual tangi, and afterwards told our tale. Paurangi and Hauauru8 spoke for some time and expressed their hope that the people of Waikato would listen to us and that the war might be terminated. As the tide was nearly up we left our friends here and pulled up to Puriri by high water. We were happy to find all well here excepting little Marsh Brown9 who had been ill for the last ten days. Messrs. Brown and Wilson had recently returned from Matamata and Mr. Stack from Mangapouri. The news from these quarters better than we had anticipated, though every one appears jealous of his neighbour. The fresh arrival of natives from Wakatiwai very noisy. It was very refreshing to meet in the eveng. at prayer meeting at the close of a week of bustle and on the eve of the day of rest. I took up my abode in my tent being cooler and more roomy.
Sunday, 22. Fine. Natives around quiet. At 9 the bell summoned us to attend service. The strangers appeared ignorant of its intent and ran off to their encampment. I followed them and after some time most of them returned and we were enabled to hold an agreeable service, but they were nearly all strangers to our proceedings and I was obliged occly. to stop during my address until order was restored. Upon the whole they behaved well tho impatient for the finish. We afterwards assembled at Mr. Wilson's house for English service, where we mustered twelve kaumatuas besides children. In the afternoon I attended Mr. Fairburn's Infant school—28 were page 415 present. It was exceedingly interesting. as being early in this quarter. Most of the children were boys 7 years downwards. Each put on a blue frock on entering the house, which gave a clean, uniform and pleasing appearance. The children manifested much pleasure and desire to learn, and went through their various evolutions with considerable precision. At the conclusion some of the old ladies of the visitors made a special request that the children might be marched round the Flag Staff in order that they might see them. Their wishes were complied with to their great admiration. But one of the most important characters of this school was Tini, a lady of considerable note, and the wife of one of the principal Chiefs here. She came in a clean blue gown, and took the lead under Mrs. Fairburn in pointing to the letters and keeping order. She appeared very quick and intelligent and I understand a very well behaved person. This is a highly important feature in this early Mission. Surely this moral wilderness shall soon rejoice and blossom as the rose, and this desert break forth into singing. There is something very pleasing in being able to convey instruction to draw off the attention from this vain and sinful world of our fellow fallen sinners. To hear these children repeat the catechism and answer questions put to them was very animating, and we could not but feel the assurance that our labour was not in vain. We closed the day by a prayer meeting as there was no other English service. The strangers from Wakatiwai had conducted themselves very quietly all day, but were now growing impatient and desirous to break forth from that restraint under which they had evidently been held, and began gradually to commence their haka. I sent to Herua, to request him to keep his people in order and to remember that the Sabbath was not yet closed. The noise immediately ceased.
Monday, 23. At break of day I was awoke by the firing of guns and the breaking forth of a furious tangi. This lasted about 2 hours and was truly dismal. The strangers requested that the horses should be turned out to view which was accordingly done to their great wonder and satisfaction. At high water the Natives had their dance previous to their departure and we were soon left in quietness. In the eveng. met four candidates for baptism. I am sorry to say that several have lately behaved very ill. They require much care and watchfulness.
Tuesday, 24. Fine. Preparing for our departure at high water, settled all my business, and at 3.30 we took our departure after being much gratified by my visit to this place. We embarked in the large boat belonging to this place, taking our small one with us for page 416 the purpose of dragging overland to Waikato. Wind fair. At 9 landed at Wakatiwai. A good deal of swell on and we with difficulty found the proper landing place. The Natives came out to assist us and soon kindled fires on the beach to enliven the scene. Warerahi soon met us and was very civil. News from Waikato that some canoes have been drawn over on this side to look out for stragglers, and the various tribes assembling to make a descent upon Wakatiwai in two days. We consequently found the natives in some little alarm, tho I do not believe a word of the report. The Chiefs wish us to go over tomorrow to Maramarua, the nearest point from hence to Waikato, to see if we can discover any signs of an enemy. This will hinder us three days. How sadly perplexing. They little think the trouble we take in their affairs, or the expense of our proceedings; but I suppose we must go.
Wednesday, 25. Passed a better night than any before, free from flees. Warerahi came and spoke about some dried fish which he wanted to take on board. I proposed that we shd. immediately take them, which the old man approved of, and thereby our course was altered through his regard to his fish. We consequently prepared our boats and in about an hour we were on our way with a fair breeze. At 2 we landed at Pakihi to dine and at 6 were on board the Columbine, all well and ready for sailing in the morning to Tamake.
Thursday, 26. Light airs from N.E. At sunrise weighed and made sail for Motuihe. Brought up at 2.30, anchorage good, 5 fms. close to the beach. At 4 took our departure for the river Tamake, and landed at Otahuhu at sunset. The country is good, and is so divided by rivers that it will doubtless be very valuable at some future day. The various branches appear to run in all directions forming Islands of various sizes. We walked over the neck of land to Manukau which is about 3/4 of a mile in extent, good ground and the appearance of a cart road which has been formed by a number of canoes which have been drawn over from time to time. No one here of late. We observed that the tide on the Eastern coast was high water, while on the Western it was yet low water. We pitched our tents in a clean place and had plenty of good firn. Our Friend Tarewati10 gave notice that he had had he hui, had startled in sleep, and that we should be surprised in the night. Spent a pleasant evening.
Friday, 27. Two alarms in the night of intruders on our peace. Tarewati arose and announced our name and nation to the dark- page 417 ness around, our object and intention, but no reply, all was silence. Boys in much fear and apprehension. At day light all quiet; concluded that our visitors were rats who were attracted by our food. The boys soon dragged the boat over—at 10 we were afloat in Manukau. We much admired the river and its convenience, tho it was painful to reflect upon the numbers who had been killed in this neighbourhood and now not an inhabitant for a considerable distance. The tide soon carried us down to an extensive piece of water 12 or 15 miles broad and in some places much broader; the length we could not see. It was quite an inland sea. We passed the Heads of this river which is very narrow. We continued on to the S.E and landed to dine and to wait the turning of the tide. Our guide told us the entrance to this river is very good and water deep, but the tide in the sea reach must run very rapidly owing to narrow space through which these waters must ebb and flow. Kauri trees stand thick on the north shore. We remained on shore about 3 hours as the ebb tide had not concluded. As soon as the flood made we pulled up to Waitete, the Pa of these people, but not an individual was to be seen. It was a miserable filthy wretched spot, the ground covered with fleas. We were undetermined what to do, as we feared the report we heard when at Wakatiwai might be true, and that all had gone against that place. This was a serious disappointment as we were in hopes of passing Sunday with them. We could not follow them, the distance being too great and time important to hasten to Waikato. We accordingly turned back for the night to the place where we had been in the afternoon. We landed about 9 o'clock, and soon recovered ourselves by the aid of fires.
Saturday, 28. As the flood tide made, we took our departure, and returned to Otahuhu by 10.30 in hopes of having the tide in the Tamake river, but we were too late and were obliged to remain until past 6 o'clock. The eveng. was fine but we were four hours before we reached the vessel. The first news was discouraging. Some natives from the Bay of Islands, had passed, and communicated that a party of natives in four canoes from Wangari were prowling about for the purpose of surprising any small party under Kahakaha and Motutara. My spirit was cast down within me. We felt a strong disposition to go in quest of them. Warerahi poor old man appeared much concerned at their movements.
Sunday 1 March. Strong wind from S.S.E. and cloudy. Concluded to run to Mahurangi, as we lay in rather an exposed place, and to learn the truth of the report of Nate Tautahi with Kahakaha, page 418 &c., being abroad. We accordingly weighed and made sail. About 9 o'clock the rain came on so thick we could scarcely see the land tho close to us and it was now blowing a perfect gale. At noon the weather cleared up a little and shewed us our desired haven. We soon came to an anchor and were glad to find refuge from the Gale. The weather was too severe to go on shore. In the evening held a pleasant service in the cabin.
Monday, 2. A heavy night, blowing and raining hard, decks leaky in several places. The weather cleared off at daylight, to our great relief. Called on Capn. Brown. The wind being yet very strong I remained on shore during the afternoon. Cap. B. is much interested in missions and a member of the Madras Committee. I spent a very agreeable time with him. I here learnt the particulars of the expedition which had put in here; they are between 40 and 50, but impudent mischievous fellows.
Tuesday, 3. At daylight weighed and made sail to our Island where we had left the boat. Much distressed at the conduct of the natives. The old man Warerahi fretting to return, as he was sure no one would listen to us, it would be much better to let them fight it out and leave the land to us; but the season is advancing withou our being able to accomplish our desire—pouri rawa toku ngakau. We had much consultation as to the best mode of proceeding; at length determined to proceed by way of Wakatiwai to Waikato and see what can be done by way of establishing peace amongst these turbulent and uncertain people. Death and Destruction rages on every side. All is desolation and the common topic of conversation amongst them is war and murder. Fear is in every countenance, lest a party should fall upon them by surprise, a fear which is not know to the Northd. When shall the blessing of the Glorious Gospel of peace be sounded forth and be received by the people. How little do they know the things which relate to their eternal salvation.
Wednesday, 4. A Gale from E.N.E. Could not move. Emp'd in reading and writing.
Thursday, 5. More modt. wind, N.N.E. Weighed and worked up to Waiheke where Patuone was. We entered a small and important port, a very snug place. The weather being fine we proceeded on our voyage towards Puriri in the boats leaving the vessel at anchor.
Friday, 6. Fine night and modt. wind. At 1.30 landed at the place of friend Urumihia. The people rec'd us very kindly, kindled fires and brought us provisions ready cooked. After some time we lay down for a little sleep. At 7 we were again under weigh with page 419 the flood tide and at noon arr'd at the Settlement, much in need of refreshment. All well except little Marsh Brown whom we left sick and he had continued the same ever since. Mr. Chapman had arr'd from the Bay of Islands on his way to Rotorua, to commence his station there. No news from home. He had put back owing to the southerly wind prevailing against him. Prepared immediately for the continuance of our journey up the river to Matamata on our way to Waikato-nui.
Saturday, 7. Much refreshed by a quiet night's rest tho a good deal of rain. At sunrise the rain ceased. At 10 were enabled to move on our way up this beautiful river. Nearly met with a serious accident by running on a stump but were graciously preserved from all mischief. At 5, landed at Waihou where we determined to rest for the morrow, a party of natives being here and a pleasant sitting place, a wood on each side of the river. It is quite a relief to be amongst the natives tho they buzz around like bees. A considerable number of children here. Fears were expressed lest the enemy from Waikato should fall upon them.
Sunday, 8. Fine. Passed a pleasant night tho cold owing to the low ground. Awoke at break of day by the grand concert of birds on all sides—it was truly delightful. I never heard anything like it except in New South Wales; their note is peculiarly musical. When the sun was well up we assembled a goodly number to service. Mr. Hamlin addressed them. They were not so attentive as we could wish. In the afternoon we collected the children to school. We held service by ourselves amongst the trees, and in the evening, again assembled the Natives; they were more attentive tho as yet sadly ignorant. A report travelled up that Kahakaha, &c., had fallen upon some of these people which set them all in motion, tho I believe perfectly false.
Monday, 9. Fine. Thick fog. Left our friends at sunrise and soon arrived at a new Pa belonging to Patupo.11 We remained a short time here talking with the natives. They presented us with some potatoes and water mellon. Everyone expresses fear lest he should be surprised by the enemy. How truly wretched and miserable. Of all people they certainly possess the means of living sumptuously, but are in perpetual alarm. A hope expressed that we might be able to induce their opponents at Waikato to come to terms of peace. Landed at 10 to breakfast in a beautiful wood. After innumerable turnings and windings in the river we landed at 1.30 at Ruakowawa page 420 and proceeded on immediately. I had a better opportunity of examining the country than before, which is very fine and valuable. Many thousands of acres of fine meadow land, extremely rich with rising ground for towns and villages, with abundance of wood and water. The land generally is level with a long range of hills extending in a S.E. direction on the East side of the Thames, and other ranges of hills at a distance. At dusk, we halted at a wood, for the night. The boys were very tired carrying the provisions and baggage. With difficulty we were enabled to obtain water, it being dark.
Tuesday, 10. Heavy rain in the morning, could not move till 9 o'clock. Passed the swamps better than we had expected, tho a very little trouble would make them very comfortable. Met Mr. Wilson on his return to Puriri,12 owing to the illness of one of his children. News of a battle having been fought in the neighbourhood of Mangapouri. At 3.30 arrived at the first settlement belonging to Waharoa, and were immediately surrounded by natives from all sides, who continued increasing till we came to the new Mission Settlement where we found the old man Waharoa sitting in state to receive us. As is the custom no one spoke for some time but all sat in silence to be gazed upon. Mr. Chapman had left an hour on his way to Rotorua. Very perplexing for I was anxious to hear a word from home, as he had left so recently. At sunset we assembled the natives to prayers and afterwards entered into conversation with the old man. Many enquiries to make concerning the war. He told us we must not proceed on tomorrow. He is a fine old man and has been a terrible warrior. Felt tired and glad to retire to rest.
Wednesday, 11. Passed a comfortable night. The old man came at daylight. Mr. Chapman encamped about a mile distance. Took a survey of the buildings erected for Messrs. Brown and Wilson, they were very good. The woods beautifully dispersed and the country around very inviting. The Pa is much improved and enlarged and abundance of food in the ground. The old man conducted us round and a great cavalcade of men women and children in company. It was with great difficulty we were enabled to keep our tents clear of people who came to matakitaki.13 In the afternoon page 421 gave Waharoa the box I brought for him besides a blanket which Warerahi sent him, and a pound of tupeka from Titore. He was quite delighted. In the eveng. we assembled all to prayers but they were very restless owing to the arrival of a messenger from inland with particulars of the late battle. Had a long conversation with the old man respecting the affairs of the natives. He had much to say of his own goodness and the evil of his neighbours—a feeling not confined to New Zealanders. He objects to accompany us tomorrow as a son of his in a quarrel with his wife this evening attempted to destroy himself by throwing himself on a large fire. It is doubtful if he can live. The poor old man appears however favourable towards peace being made. We propose moving in the morning and shall take some of the chiefs of the place with us. Sewed up a man's back who had received a cut from a knife in an affray a day or two since. A great number of persons to gaze at the execution of so great an operation.
Thursday, 12. Heavy rain in the night which continued till 2 p.m. The poor fellow who attempted to destroy himself not yet dead. I hear that two acts of suicide were committed last week. The sister of this man shot herself through jealousy on Saturday last, also a man a day or two before. How great is that darkness which prevails around. We took leave of our friends here at 4 o'clock, as the wind had now changed, and the sun shining. We brought up at sunset by a small wood our party consisting of between 30 and 40 persons. Considerable relief being by ourselves, instead of the hundreds of those we have just left. Two long days journey before us to Mangapouri.
Friday, 13. Were on the move by sunrise and continued on the march till sunset, only resting once to breakfast. The boys were very tired and we were quite willing to halt. We pitched our tents in the midst of corn and soon refreshed ourselves taking dinner and supper together. My feet much chafed owing to my shoes being too large and also passing through water several times and walking also in these very narrow paths. We passed through a remarkable place this morning where the ground had at some distant period suddenly sunk perpendicularly between 100 and 200 feet, the extreme depth; very many acres had thus fallen, presenting a very striking spectacle. The sides exhibit the various strata as the waves of the sea in considerable motion. They were composed of pumice stones, very small. In was singularly beautiful. Our road lay through this curious vale and we soon entered another equally curious through which the river winds its way, which is wide and deep; but page 422 the land on either side is carried in straight lines 20 to 30 feet one above the other, with regular slopes as though done by art each side corresponding to the other as the lines of an extensive fortification. We had to cross over the river where the stream is exceedingly rapid upon a rudely native constructed bridge of a few slender trees thrown across over which we passed on our hands and knees. Our guides took the advantage of our being entire strangers and led us we found many miles out of our way to shew us Maunga Tautari. The latter part of our journey was by a sad rough road, up and down steep hills and through high firn and rendered much more unpleasant by the idea that we ought not to have gone that way. We were extremely glad when the setting sun terminated our days march and we found rest in beds of firn.
Saturday, 14. Heavy rain in the night, could not move till 9.30. A weary heavy road over steep hills and through several swamps. Toward the latter part of the day we had to pass through a dangerous bog. All which appeared to keep us from sinking to I do not know what depth was the roots of a weed which seemed to float upon the surface and bent under us like weak ice, obliging us to move quickly lest we should fall through. We closed the day with one of the most complete dirty difficult and fatiguing bush marches I have yet experienced. It was raining in tolerable quantities and we had to pass over piles of fallen trees and broken timber, old roots which in many places were under water, consequently out of sight, whereby our progress was greatly impeded. We could not reach Mangapouri and brought up beside Mangapiko a deep quiet river, at a place called Komako. Raroera is a Pa about two miles distant, from which some of the people came to see us as soon as they heard of our being here. We told them the object of our journey, at which they appeared pleased. Heavy rain all the evening. Neither Pungareu nor Waru the two chiefs came near us.
Sunday, 15. Rain all night but no wind. Number of strangers came from the Pa to have a gaze at us. About noon the rain ceased. Assembled all who were near us to service but found them exceedingly impatient. They were more attentive to our conversation through the day.
Monday, 16. Gentle rain. No wind. Discovered that our meat had been stolen in the night and soon heard who had committed the theft. Determined to shew our displeasure by passing by the Pa in silence, and not communicate with any of the people. Packed up and prepared for our march notwithstanding the rain. Passed through a great quantity of corn, more than 100 acres. As page 423 we approached the Pa the people appeared fully sensible of our intention and none attempted to speak. Several followed us some distance and seemed disposed to create a disturbance with us, tho our own boys gave us the most trouble to move them on. In about an hour we came out to Otawa the Pa of the Na-te-Ruru. We remained here only a few minutes as we were wet and did not know our distance. As we were leaving, a native of Raroera, the Pa we had passed by in silence, made a seizure of a hatchet from one of the boys, but the activity of the boy was as great as that of the thief, consequently he recovered his property. Our boys here hung back again and gave us a good deal of trouble. After passing several dirty places were happy to arrive at Mangapouri by 2 o'clock very wet and hungry. We found brother Morgan well and in the midst of abundance of work having just ret'd from the contending parties down the river. The accounts very interesting and fully evidence the influence Missionaries may have amongst the people in checking their evil ways. All appear disposed for peace but do not know how to bring it about. We purpose being amongst them as early as possible as we hear they are to fight as soon as the weather shall change. Wiri one of the leading Chiefs here came to see us; he is a fine looking man quietly disposed.
The Mission garden here in good order, with plenty of cabbage, mellons, cucumbers, and good collection of fruit trees, &c., &c. Our view rather contracted owing to the rain.
Tuesday, 17. Rain through the night, no moving. Went to see 10,000 bricks14 made here in good order.
Wednesday, 18. Rain nearly all day. Several chiefs came to converse upon the present state of affairs. Towards the evening the weather cleared up—prepared to depart in the morning. The hills in the distance, and Pirongia in the front, are now uncovered for the first time since our arrival. They are very noble and add much to the scenery of the place. The river also which runs close is deep and highly valuable.
Thursday, 19. At daylight on the move in two canoes with a number of natives. I was much delighted with the river, it is very noble carrying its width. Obs'd several old Pas. One of great extent Matakitaki15 was upset by the Ngapuhi when Hongi was page 424 alive, many thousands were put to death. At noon we arrived at the Horo a large Pa and the present seat of war. The inhabitants crowded around to view us. We were conducted within. The Chiefs did not receive us with that welcome which is customary with the Ngapuhi. We felt we were amongst a strange people. They were afterwards however more polite and we had a long talk with them. They approved of all we said to them and expressed a desire for peace both with those now coming against them and also with Na te Paua in the Thames. This is the troublesome party, which fell upon Wakatiwai by night some months since and fired upon the people of Momoroiti a short time since. We proposed to see the opposite party whom we heard were in the neighbourhood. We accordingly took our leave with the promise to return. We soon arrived at the enemy's camp on the other side of the river, who all flocked down to us brandishing their guns and other weapons and rending the air with their Infernal noises. They conducted us to old Kanawa16 in great state, amidst the throng of natives, old and young. The old man had a venerable appearance, with a long white beard. After the ceremony of placing all in due order in a large circle in which the old Chief took a very noisy and active part, I first arose and told the object of our visit, to suppress their wars and establish peace, that they might possess the blessings of the Gospel of peace, peace with man and peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Messrs. Hamlin and Fairburn also spoke which was replied to by old Kanawa and others. They spoke well considering that they were the injured party, the attack having been first made upon them and moreover they had suffered the greatest loss in point of rank. About 5.30 some guns were heard from the Horo which was about a mile distance. All were immediately in motion and these savage troops were soon before their enemy. The firing continued till dusk when this party returned bringing with them 1 killed and 4 wounded, 3 seriously probably mortally. How awful! These young men a few minutes since were in full vigour and listening to our message; one has gone with it sounding in his ears and the others will soon follow. This should be a solemn warning to them to ground their arms and attend to the voice of love and mercy; and a solemn call to the Missionary to be vigilant and active in that holy work in which he is engaged, for the day is far spent and the night is at hand when no man shall work. We page 425 had a view of the whole affair and dropt a word here and there as circumstances would allow. Our party appeared now perfectly crestfallen. Old Kanawa was the old savage, and we postponed saying anything to him while he was yet smarting from the loss he had sustained, for some were his intimate relations. In half an hour we returned to our camp. In the eveng. some from the Pa came to learn the news. The returns from thence, one wounded. It is a singular feature in the warfare of this people that at the close of a battle they have an interchange of visits and talk quietly over their plans of proceeding. We trust that in the morng. they may be better prepared to receive our message. A great clamour, every voice appeared in motion recounting their brave deeds. I at length obtained relief by sleep.
Friday, 20. A dense fog. At break of day the taua off to the pa to recommence their murderous work. They soon returned for it was too thick to see many yards off. Heard that they had gone owing to the death of one of the youths wounded last night, a third near death. After breakfast we crossed the river. Found the Chiefs assembled in parliament—a large circle. Three speakers frequently on their legs at once, with several voices joining occasionally. The speeches were much to the purpose. Afterwards Maioha brother to Werowero17 introduced the subject of a new doctrine brought among them. The destruction of the world when is it to take place? as they had heard it was close at hand, also the resurrection of the body. This led to much interesting conversation, to which they were very attentive. We paid a visit to the Pa. The natives were very civil and mentioned the necessity for our remaining some time with them. On our return we called on Kanawa that we might know their mind and proceed to Wakatiwai if still for war. The old man said we had better remain quietly as a party would be here in the morning to join them, and then peace might be made if we were sufficiently brave and strong to upset them. We concluded to remain and try our abilities. We feel this a critical period, but unto the Lord we lift up our voice; it is “he who maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth. He breaketh the bow and cutteth the spear in sunder.”
Saturday, 21. A dense fog. Awoke in the night by hearing a woman making a great squeaking noise, profound silence around. page 426 This is none other than the Atua now talking, commanding the people to be strong to acquit themselves like men, for there would certainly be a battle and the victory would be theirs. The screams of this witch were quite of a nature to alarm a weak mind. At daylight a gun announced the death of one of the young men wounded the day before yesterday, which was succeeded by a dreadful howl from a number of women; it was truly dismal. An occasional gun appeared to give fresh vigour to these poor creatures who made the air resound with their mournful strains. Crossed the river to the taua. Old Kanawa told us to go to the party just arrived to join them, and to show our anger to them as we had to him. We accordingly did so, but instead of finding 300 or 400 men, as we had been led to suppose, we observed only about 30, sitting by themselves in an open space and no one near them. We went up to them and commenced our conversation. They appeared surprised at our telling them we should put a stop to their proceedings and they persisted in telling us we should not, for it had been the custom with the New Zealanders from time immemorial. In about an hour some women of rank came from the Pa endeavouring to modify matters. They were received tolerably, considering. As they had come on public business the Chiefs came forward gradually to hear what they had to say and to declare their sentiments, but women make but bad politicians. In order to soften the feelings of the taua respecting their recent loss, they told them that they were only slaves who had met them in the late skirmish, at which much indignation was expressed that chiefs sh'd be shot by slaves. They endeavoured to explain themselves as well as they could, but much ill feeling was excited. However we were glad to find that their affairs were so far advanced as to hear that the taua was about to disperse. Poor Kanawa spoke very well; he said that their work must be finished as the Missionaries were angry with them. In the afternoon we paid a visit to the Pa, and spoke to them upon the necessity of sitting quietly on the morrow, and that we should return to them. The natives proposed that we should hold service with them before we returned; their attention was very great. In the evening Pero son of Kanawa came over and told us that he was to go on the morning to the Pa to make peace. We were much rejoiced to hear this news. Several natives remained about our tents till late in conversation.
Sunday, 22. Much rain through the night. At break of day the taua on the move home, firing guns and making a great noise; quite an uproar yet none attempted to disturb us in any respect. We were glad when they had taken themselves out of the way, and page 427 quietness once more amongst us. After breakfast we accompanied the commissioners for making peace to the Pa. It seemed an infringement upon the sacred duties of the day, but there was a danger in delay. On landing, I witnessed what I had never seen before, the ashes of three dead bodies who had been killed a few weeks since by an attack made upon the Pa in the night. They were afterwards burnt by their friends, but not wholly consumed, small parts of their bones remained with their gun barrels in public view, a horrid remembrance of their miserable state. We walked in slow order to the Pa, where our friends had a cry in front of each other. They afterwards made a few singular but uninteresting speeches. When we considered they had indulged sufficiently in this, we proposed to hold service which was complied with immediately and we soon assembled a large party who paid considerable attention. We afterwards went to Kauwai18 to see him previous to our departure. We had a few words with him respecting peace with Wakatiwai; he expressed himself well and gave me his hatchet to carry thither as an indication of his good will. We returned to our encampment to dinner. In the afternoon Messrs. Hamlin and Fairburn went to the Pa to hold service and I spoke to those sitting with us. We had some lightning which Awarahi19 was somewhat alarmed at, as it was he tohu mate, a sign of death, or of a battle.
Monday, 23. Some Chiefs and others came to our Camp to see us off. They expressed their satisfaction at our visit to them and the necessity of being frequently amongst them. We left soon after sun rise and passed down this beautiful river. We were more than 40 in the canoe. The turnings in the river were very various and sometimes forming nearly a circle. The banks are high varying from 15 to 40 ft., the soil good and well wooded. At one we landed at Momoroiti the Pa of Warepu.20 We did not take any refreshment for the weather was very hot and the place exposed to the sun and full gaze of the natives. After a little conversation we proceeded on to a retired spot where we dined free from the buzz of men women and children and the fear of being trampled upon by them. We page 428 here over took Nate Po in several canoes, who were pulling down to Ngarua wahia to attend a grand council. We called on Cap. Kent, who resided about a mile from the Pa and afterwards passed on to the assembly which we found sitting in open order. The New Zealand customs certainly need much amendment tho I am happy to say there is a considerable change in favour of our Northern friends, but in this neighbourhood all is very uncouth. No one came to meet us or gave us welcome, we accordingly sat down at a respectful distance from the grandees of the place for a certain period; but remembering that we had come as teachers and fathers we took the liberty of introducing ourselves. Werowero I had never before seen, most of the others I had some knowledge of. We soon entered upon our business, the subject of peace with the Thames and establishing a Mission at Manukau. Toward sunset we purposed holding service; all assembled. Mr. Hamlin gave a few words on the necessity of salvation by Jesus Christ. We then returned to our encampment. The Pa stands on the junction of the Waipa and the Horotiu; below this it takes the name of Waikato and runs nearly 200 miles to the entrance. The country around is very beautiful. Many apprehensions were expressed as to Kaha-kaha and Ngapuhi. Old Kanawa mentioned his alarm of the lightening of last night as it is uira tangata, lightning, indicative of war and bloodshed, and that it had never failed to be true. Poor old man, what fear does he show and how enslaved in chains of superstition.
Tuesday, 24. Symptoms of a Gale from the Eastd. The natives making a great noise through the night, dancing and hakaing. After breakfast went to the natives who were assembled in debate. We had much interesting conversation with them. They entered into our views respecting the Thames, and they consented to send some of their relatives with us to treat for peace, and said they should proceed to Manukau in four months, when Mr. Hamlin promised to go with them; but as they are somewhat credulous, I also promised to return with Mr. Hamlin as soon as possible; with this they appeared quite content. At parting I gave Werowero a blanket, and one also to Toha. Mr. Hamlin gave one to Kanawa. We proceeded on our voyage down the river at one o'clock and brought up at sunset. That scourge, the venereal disease, we find everywhere we move—even infants are born with it. I saw a sad case in a little boy of Werowero before we left, an evidence of the benefit of the intercourse of shipping and of immoral men. This day the river was very shoal and stumps of trees standing in very dangerous positions for canoes or boats. In one place they were so close page 429 together that we could with difficulty find a passage. This has been at some distant period a wood, and the water seems to preserve the wood rather than decay it. We carried the breadth of the river generally a quarter of a mile. I lay me down to rest with a thankful heart for everything appears in a fair way for peace with the Thames. I trust the Lord will permit it to be established permanently among them, and that His praise may resound on every side. It is distressing to witness the present state of the people, yet pleasing to be engaged in the way we are, in the immediate service of God and the welfare of his creatures. Nothing can exceed the expression of the people under their better feelings; they tell us it is a good work in which we are engaged, but that we should have been amongst them years ago, then would thousands have been spared to them who have been cut off by the relentless hand of war. The wind sounds hollow this evening and I fear, we may be detained.
Wednesday, 25. Much wind and rain through the night. Warepu and several of his people arr'd to accompany us to the Thames to treat for peace. He appears well disposed, and promises to meet us on our return from the bay and assist us up the river. He is a man of much penetration and a chief of considerable rank. He observed that, had we not arrived as we did, the fighting would have continued until all the tribes had been involved and there had been a general destruction. How true it is, the beginning of strife is as the letting out of waters. But I trust the time is near when the members of the Mission shall pass through the length and breadth of the land, and wars be known no more. We had a large supply of eels today, the first I have seen fresh tho the rivers and creeks are full of them. Brother Morgan attempted to construct a stew of the eels, a more horrible specimen I never beheld, the sight was almost more than we could endure. At a general stand owing to the gale. The boys constructing screens round our tents to defend us from the wind and rain. Much lightening in the North.
Thursday, 26. A quiet night and little rain. At break of day the wind having abated considerably we packed up our baggage and proceeded on our voyage. The canoe was very deep, and at one place, being obliged to cross the river where the wind met the canoes, I was very apprehensive that we should swamp and have to swim. The water came in on all sides, but through the care of our heavenly Father we sustained no further damage than a little fear. We landed at 9 o'clock as the rain was coming on, and in a very short time it fell in great abundance. We felt thankful in being able to find a refuge in a wood on the bank of the river both from page 430 the wind and rain, and with the aid of fires we soon recovered ourselves as all were more or less wet. Our movements are tedious, a step at a time. We cannot reach Wakatiwai before Saturday, and may not be able to do this if the weather continues as it is. The day closed with a heavy fall of rain but we were in snug quarters.
Friday, 27. The rain ceased early, and we were happy to find the sun rise with grandeur after the gale. The face of the river was perfectly smooth and we were soon in our canoes and on our way. After continuing our course for about ½ an hour we turned out of the main river and up a small branch called Maramarua, which conducted us through vast swamp on either side until we landed at noon at a place bearing the same name as the river being the nearest point to Wakatiwai. The channel towards the close became so narrow as scarcely to admit of the use of the paddle, and the turns so sudden that we could with great difficulty proceed. We here took dinner and were thankful to be thus far on our way, and shall be enabled by God's blessing to have a view of what we call our sea on the Eastern coast by tomorrow early. We brought up at 5 o'clock quite disposed to retire to our luxurious beds of firn being somewhat weary after passing through the numerous swamps, the short rivers and brooks which lay in our road and rendered worse by the late rain. At sunset two natives were seen in the road to Wakatiwai. Sent off a messenger to them lest they should give an alarm that we were a party of the enemy. The two strangers soon made their appearance; had not much news to communicate except that Kahakaha and Motutara were there in one canoe the others had returned. The two strangers went back to Wakatiwai with the account of our proceedings at Waikato.
Saturday, 28. Fine morning. At break of day on the move; our road as yesterday wet and uncomfortable. At 8 halted to breakfast, a mile distance from Wakatiwai, our party consisting of upwards of forty persons. Numbers came forward to meet us tho none came near. The parties met and had their haka, and our party belonging to and from Waikato afterwards had a long tangi with the ladies of the Pa, standing opposite each other. Some few speeches were made but a heavy shower of rain put a stop to further proceedings. In conversation with the Chiefs, who were assembled in congress, Kahakaha accused us of being a makutuing people and soon worked himself into a rage, and seizing my cloak he tore one corner. He afterwards gave me his old rusty sword, as a kind of remuneration, but I did not take it away. Kahakaha and Motutara are two rough uncouth natives, the latter a man with whom we cannot hold page 431 conversation or communication, a sullen fellow. I delivered to Herua Te Kauwai's hatchet and had some conversation with him and Kupenga respecting the wainga; it was not quite so satisfactory as we could wish, but Kahakaha and Motutara are here sowing the seeds of iniquity. We rec'd some letters from Messrs. Wilson and Preece stating the illness of the children at Puriri. Mr. Fairburn left at 2 o'clock, and as the southwind blew in felt it needful to avail ourselves thereof and at 4 o'clock took our departure. The eveng. was calm and by 9.30 we landed on Motunau close to the anchorage of the Columbine. Took some refreshment and was kept in conversation with Warerahi and others till midnight, when I retired to rest.
Sunday, 29. Fine. Wind S.S.W. At daylight put off in the canoe to go on board but when we had rounded the point we could see no vessel and concluded that she must have sailed for the River, as was intimated in the communication we had rec'd, for the purpose of conveying Mr. Wilson and family to the Bay of Islands in consequence of the illness of two of his children. Alas! Alas!! how are we to proceed if we are thus to run about when illness comes upon us. This movement appears to give a very serious blow to the Southern Mission. We landed with feelings of great disappointment, but were enabled to spend the day in quietness. Obliged to go on half allowance of provision. My candle reduced to one inch.
Monday, 30. Cold clear night. Wind South and fresh. We hope to see the vessel this morning; everyone down in spirits at the loss of a fair wind. It is painful to be thus detained at the end of our journey for no apparent reason. Shifted our quarters to Ponui, an island nearer to Hauraki, where we may have a clearer view of the sea. A look-out kept till sunset; no vessel in sight. Cannot comprehend this strange movement of the members of the Thames Mission.
Tuesday, 31. Cold night. Wind continues the same. Fair for the Bay. No vessel in sight. At 10 a vessel in sight was announced from the look-out, which was a cheering sound to all. We ascended the hill to be sure of the pleasing news. We saw a vessel truly, but after some hours anxious watching she did not stand towards us, consequently left us with the unpleasant conclusion that she did not belong to us. But our desire for the Schr. persuaded us that we saw a sail coming out of the River standing towards us. At sunset were fully assured that what we had seen was our vessel, and at 7.30 heard the report of a great gun. At 9 we heard a second. The canoe pulled out, but could see nothing. I lay down anxious for the return of day.page 432
Wednesday, 1 April. Passed a sleepless night desirous of knowing if there were any passengers on board. Seven weeks this morning since I left home, tho it was considered we might accomplish our Mission in three weeks. At break of day all in motion and were soon gladdened by the exclamation, Ka puta, Ka puta, and looking out at the tent door I saw our little schr. underweigh and standing into the anchorage. We were soon off and after a few fears as to whether or not we should be upset in the canoe as the breeze was strong and a great deal of swell for such a bark as we were in, we once more gained the deck and on our voyage to the Bay with the continuance of the favourable wind.
I was happy to learn that our brethren at the Puriri had somewhat recovered themselves from their fright and had remained behind. The direction given to Wm. Lewington the Master of the Columbine seems to have been given without any authority from the general assembly of the Puriri, but merely from Mr. Wilson forwarded verbally by Mr. Preece. Thus the vessel and ourselves had been needlessly detained at considerable expense for want of more mature judgement. The latest news from Tauranga direct is that Horeta and a large party of the Thames natives have been murdered at Wakatane. They had been fetched from thence in order to assist that tribe in going against those of Opotiki. How greviously sad is the state of these people whichever way they turn. At sunset we were close to Te Wara; pleasant breeze and clear weather but very considerable swell.
Thursday, 2. Fine. At 2 a.m. close to Cape Brett. Wind very light. The vessel thumping to such a degree that I felt quite disposed to be seasick, but the sight of the islands in the neighbourhood of Paihia, perfectly recovered me. As we drew into the Bay the wind headed us but the boat from Paihia with my brother, Mr. Baker and three of my children, who gladdened my heart with the news of “all's well”. The return home is an anxious moment after several weeks of absence in a strange land where no post carries a letter to distant relatives, but all remains in dark uncertainty. The leading news, the bills for the purchase of the Columbine protested. At one I landed, and was greeted by the Natives and finally by my dear children and wife, all well. We had much news to hear and much to impart as to what had occurred during the last two months.
Surely I may say, the Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he leadeth me beside still waters.
2 A slave, Piritaihana, had seduced the wife of the chief, Raumati. This was a crime usually punished by death, but McDonell intervened and suggested flogging and banishment. Both Raumati and Piritaihana accepted this, but the Rev. W. White caused serious trouble by giving sanctuary to the slave. Raumati went personally to Mangungu and brought him back to Horeke, where he was placed on the schooner, Industry, and exiled to Australia.
4 Chapman went to Rotorua to establish the mission station there.
7 Tuwiri, chief of Waiomu.
10 Tarawati, a chief of Puriri.
11 Patupo, a chief whose pa was on the Waihou River near the present town of Paeroa.
12 Wilson had been at Matamata arranging for the buildings for the new mission station, but left before that station was established and did not return there except for a visit lasting only a few days.
13 Carleton confuses this word with the name of the famous pa, and makes the diary read, “from Matakitaki”, But Henry Williams is merely using the Maori verb, which means “to view”, or, “to gaze at”. [Carleton, vol. I, p75.]
15 A very large pa, about a mile and a half north of the present township of Pirongia. At the time of Hongi's attack in 1822, it was reported to contain upwards of 5,000 people, most of whom were destroyed when Hongi captured the pa. [Smith, Wars, p224ff; Kelly, Tainui, p356ff.]
16 Te Kanawa, a famous warrior chief of Waikato, who shared with Te Whero-whero the defence of Matakitaki pa and in other battles against Hongi Hika. A strong and able warrior, he was a prominent and trusted chief.
17 Te Wherowhero Potatau, the famous chief of the Ngati-Mahuta tribe of Waikato, whose pa was at Kaitote at the foot of Mount Taupiri. In 1822 he sealed peace with the Ngapuhi by the marriage of his younger brother, Kati, to a daughter of Rewa. With some reluctance, he accepted election as Maori King in 1857, and took the name of Potatau.
18 Kauae, principal chief of Te Horo pa, Waikato, who had led the attack on Whakatiwai in 1834, for which the Rev. William Williams and Kati were “stripped” [W.W., Journal, 22 August 1834]. The peace gift of a mere or patu to an enemy by medium of a trusted emissary of rank was an accepted method of suing for peace.
19 Awarahi, the principal chief of Mangapouri, “a young man with much vivacity in his manner”. It was Awarahi's threatening conduct which caused the mission station of Mangapouri to be broken up. [W.W., Christianity among the New Zealanders, pp194, 221.]