Copy of a Despatch from Governor Hobson to the Secretary of State for the Colonies
Referring to my Despatch No. 3, of the 25th May last, I have the honour to report to your Lordship that I have received ample and full reports from all the gentlemen whom I commissioned to treat with the Native chiefs for their adherence to the Treaty of Waitangi; and to enclose to your Lordship copies of those reports, together with a certified copy of the Treaty of Waitangi, both in English and the Native language, with the names inserted of the chiefs and witnesses who signed it, with the exception of some chiefs whose names are affixed to a copy of the treaty intrusted to Mr. Whiteley, as reported in Enclosure No. 5 by Captain Symonds, which has not yet reached me. The originals of these documents are preserved amongst the archives of the colony.
I have, &c.,
The Rev. Robert Maunsell,
B.A., to the Hon. the Colonial Secretary.
You will, I trust, receive with this the document lately forwarded to me to have the signatures of the principal men in Waikato attached to it.
I am happy to inform you that the signatures obtained comprise those of the leading men, excepting perhaps two. Those we hope soon to obtain, and I have already forwarded on to Messrs. Wallis and Whiteley the document left me by Captain Symonds, in order that they may obtain as many more names as they deem expedient. You will learn from Captain Symonds the particulars connected with the distribution of blankets, which we were unavoidably obliged to hasten, as most of the chiefs had come from a considerable distance. To this step also we were compelled by intelligence having reached them after they had signed their names that they were entitled to a blanket on signing—intelligence that would have placed us in a rather awkward situation if it had not been for the timely arrival of your letter to Captain Symonds.
In forwarding the accompanying document, I would beg to observe, in reference to ourselves, that, cordially as we desire to co-operate with Governor Hobson in all measures consistent with our principles, we cannot but state that we feel strongly the responsibility in the eyes of the Natives by the steps we are now adopting. I would beg, therefore, with all deference, to add that, having put ourselves thus prominently forward in obtaining an acknowledgment of the sovereign power of the Queen on the part of the Natives, so we trust that that acknowledgment will never be made, even apparently, the basis of any measure that may hereafter result in their prejudice. The steps we have taken have been taken in full dependence on the well-known lenity and honour of the British Government, and we rest assured that we shall never hereafter find ourselves to have been in these particulars mistaken.
I remain, &c.,
The Rev. James Buller to the Hon. the Colonial Secretary.
I sent you a letter some, time ago by some Natives from Mangakahia; but, lest that should have miscarried, I embrace the opportunity of writing per favour of Captain Heal who has been unfortunately wrecked in going out of this harbour. Tirarau intends going to the Bay of Islands in company with Captain Heald and party, and you will therefore, no doub have an opportunityof seeing him. I have every reason to believe that he is well disposed towards the Government. I saw Parore the other day, who said that he should do the same as Tirarau, which, I believe, is the sentiment of all the chiefs in this quarter.
Hoping that His Excellency will soon be restored to perfect health, and praying that the Lord direct all the important affairs of this infant colony,
Major Bunbury to His Excellency the Governor.
I avail myself of the opportunity afforded by the expected departure of a vessel this morning for the Bay of Islands to report to your Excellency our proceedings since Her Majesty's ship "Herald" sailed from the outer harbour of the Bay of Islands, on the morning, of the 29th ultimo. The following day, the ship having anchored at Coromandel Harbour, Mr. Williams and myself went on shore at Mr. Webster's establishment, in order to arrange means for securing the attendance of the Native chiefs and fix a day for them to sign the Treaty. A Native was also; despatched overland to Mercury Bay, with letters from Captain Nias and myself o Mr. Stewart, requesting him to pilot the "Herald," and to notify to the Native chiefs at Mercury Bay, our object in visiting the coast, and to request their attendance with himself at Mr. Webster's establishment on Monday, the 4th instant, that day having been fixed upon for the assembling of the Natives. Mr. Stewart's answer I herewith enclose.
On the day appointed Captain Nias with several officers of Her Majesty's ship, together with Mr Williams and myself, went on shore about 11 o'clock; but no Native chiefs had at that hour page 26assembled. A considerable number of Europeans appear however, to have been attracted by the report of the expected meeting. Subsequently a number of Natives did assemble with six chiefs of different tribes, and, after a variety of objections on their part, we succeeded in obtaining the signatures of four one of these being the principal chief of the district the celebrated Horeta of Barrier. Island notoriety. The Principal orator, an old chief named Pike, and another of inferior note refused to sign alleging as a reason that they wanted more time to assemble the different tribes of the Thames District, and to consult with them when they would also sign—but that he could for himself see no necessity in placing himself under the common of any prince or Queen, who might govern the white men if she pleased, as he was desirous of containing to govern his own tribe. It was evident they had heard of the occurrences at the Bay respecting the murder of an Englishman by a Native, and, although he did not complain of the injustice of the proceedings, it was evident they had some weight with him, and that he had been tutored by some Europeans. Mr. Williams explained the Treaty its object in consequence of the increasing influence of strangers and that the claim of pre-emption on the part of Her Majesty was intended to check their imprudently selling their lands without sufficiently benefiting themselves, or obtaining a fair equivalent. It was to me very apparent also that a trifling present was expected in payment for his adhesion but in their exalted idea of the Queen's munificence, they at first all refused the present of a blanket, which was offered after their signatures had been obtained, and which I wished them to consider was a gift personally from myself.
It is, I conceive, much to be regretted that objects of ordinary traffic between Natives and Europeans should have been selected as presents for the tribes on the coast: and I fear, therefore, that the blankets, pipes, and tobacco with which I have been furnished most only be employed in payment for messengers, &c sent with letters to the different tribes. Forage-caps and scarlet or blue cloaks "would have been highly appreciated At a bivonac of Natives which I visited I observed no less than six double-barrelled guns outside one of their huts, and those which I examined appeared to be in excellent order and of a very superior quality. Mr. Preece, of the Church. Missions whom I saw yesterday, having told me that a number of infinential chiefs were near his station, I have requested Mr. Williams to write to each of them a copy of my communication, which with its translation. I herewith enclose, as it will explain the objects I have in view. I ordered a dinner to be prepared-consisting of fresh pork and potatoes, for the Natives who assembled on Monday: and I have further, at the recommendation of Captain Nias, chartered the schooner of Mr. Bateman, to convey me to Tanranga and Opotiki, on the same terms as when engaged by your Excellency for a similar object, prior to her being driven on shore in this harbour. The expense attending this arraagement being unavoidable, it will. I trust, meet with your Excellency's approval. Captain Bateman has hitherto been of great service to us, from his knowledge of the coast, and Captain Nias speaks of his intelligence as a volunteer pilot in the highest terms.
I have, &c.,
T. H. Buxbury.
Major, 50th Regiment
The Rev. "W. Williams to the Hon. the Colonial Secretary.
I lately received from the Rev. H. "Williams a draft of a treaty between Her Majesty Queen Victoria and the chiefs of New Zealand, for the approval and signatures of the chiefs living between, the East Cape and Ahuriri, together with a bale of blankets for distribution among the said chiefs. I am happy to inform you that the leading men in this bay have signed the treaty, and there is no doubt but all the rest will follow their example. In about a week I expect to proceed to the East Cape, but it will be the latter end of July or August before I shall again see the Natives of Wairoa, which is to the south of Table Cape.'" Supposing that it is of importance to obtain the general approval of the. Natives, I shall not transmit the paper until it is complete, but you may in the meantime rely upon prompt attention being paid to it. The blankets have been given at the rate of one to each leading chief, and it will require at least sixty more to complete the bounty throughout.
I take this occasion of sending, for the information of His Excellency the Governor, some account of a most nefarious transaction which took place in January last, being the attempt on the part of a Captain Rhodes, of the barque "Eleanor," from Sydney, to dupe the Natives out of a tract of land extending from Port Nicholson to the northern side of Ahuriri, in Hawke's Bay, and again from the northern, bank of the River Wairoa to the north of Table Cape. For this land, embracing, a cost-line of 160 miles, and intended no doubt to extend as far into the interior as may be convenient,-property to the amount of about £160 has been, paid to the Natives. A list of the property I have now in my possession. From this circumstance alone I doubt not but that His Excellency will take measures to set aside the whole transaction; but, in addition to this fact, I am prepared to establish, first, that a large portion of the land was bought from, persons who had no interest in it; secondly, that those persons signing the deeds being proprietors of the land, did not understand;their nature; thirdly, that some of those who signed the deeds expressed their disapproval after their signature was given, by refusing to receive the payment; fourthly, that the most; numerous body of the proprietors were not consulted in the matter; the purchase having been made on boardship, and expressed their most decided disapprobation.
William Williams.Willoughby Shortland, Esq.
Captain W. C. Symonds to the Hon. the Colonial Secretary.
I have the honour to submit to you, for the information of His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor, a report) of my proceedings in the Manukau and Waikato districts in my late mission to page 27obtain the adherence of the principal chiefs on the west coast of this Island to the Waitangi Treaty, and herewith transmit to you a copy of the Treaty, signed by upwards of forty of the most influential chief of that part of the country.
On the receipt of your letter, dated 13th March, I immediately assembled as many of the Manukau chiefs as could be collected on a short notice, and with the assistance of Mr. Hamlin, a catechist in the Church Mission, explained to them the views of Her Majesty's Government and solicited their signatures to the Treaty. Rewa, one cheaf of the Bay of Islands, and the principal follower of the Roman Catholic bishop, was present and exerted all his influence against me; in consequence of which all I effected was to dispel many of the doubts which his misrepresentations had created in the minds of all. At a second meeting, however where many of the Waikato and some of the Tauranga and Taupo chiefs also attended – having come from the southward in the interval between the two meetings – I obtained some signatures and the promise of others from some of the most influential chiefs, who yet had to overcome a feeling of pique at their having been left among the last whose concurrence in the Treaty had been demanded, and among these to wherewhere who is the leading chief or king of Waikato.
I left Manukan on the 3rd April intending to proceed to Taranki taking Waikato, the Waipa and several western harbours in my way. I hauled my boats across the isthmus which divides the Manukau from the waters of the Waikato—a distance of 2,260 yards By measurement – and proceeded down the Awaroa to the Church Mission station at the Waikato Heads, where I was received by the Rev. R. Maunsell with the almost attention. Mr. Maunsell had been furnished with a copy of the Treaty, and had obtained many signatures at a meeting which he had holden in the middle of March for Missionary purposes. On my arrival great excitement prevailed amongst the Natives yet about the Settlement, owing to the report which had reached them of presents having been given by the Government to all to the northward who had subscribed to the Treaty, and they were in the act of remon strating very angrily with Mr. Maunsell on his having kept them in the dark on the subject, demanding the paper to destroy it. My coming was most opportune. I soon allayed the excitement and distributed a few presents, promising the like to all others who had signed their names. Had I been a day later Mr. Mannsell's influence would have been lost, to the great detriment of the advancement of his Missionary labours. On examination of the signatures obtained by Mr. Maunsell I found that, with the exception of very few, all the leading men of the country as far a Mokau had acknowledged the sovereignty of Her Majesty. These few belonged to the neighbourhood of Aoeta and Kawhia wherefore I determined on proceeding myself no further, being well as assured of the disposition on the part of the Wesleyan Mission to support the Government by ever exertion in its power. And I sent a letter, whereof the accompanying is copy, to the Rev, John Whiteley, claiming his assistance in procuring the remaining names.
I returned to Manukan on the 18th Aprils where I obtained the adherence of seven other chiefs to the Treaty, Te Where and several others having objected though they manifested no illwill to the Government. This I attribute partly to the bishop's influence, partly to; the extreme pride of the Native chiefs, and in great measure to my being alone and unable to make that display and parade which exerts such influence on the minds of savages, I labored also under the disadvantage of the want of Mr. Hamlin's services, who was absent on his Missionary dutnies.
I should not fail to mention that, in personal communication with several chiefs who affixed their signatures to the Treaty, I found the best dispositionn disposition towards. Her Majesty Government but at the same time their expectations are raised very high as to the immediate benefits which they are to derive from its establishment in their country; and, if I might presume to offer an opinion. I would suggest that, in order that they might not be disappointed, measures might be adopted to put the chiefs in communication with the Government officers to make arrangements for the purchasing of land, &c.
I have, &c
W C SymondsThe Colonial Secretary, &c
Captain W. C. Symonds to the Rev John Awhiteney
Sir,—Waikato heads 8th April 1840
His Excellency the Lieutenant-Governor having deputed me to obtain the adherence of as many of the principal chiefs of the western coast of this Island to the Treaty of Waitangi as may be induced to affix their names to a signed copy of that Treaty which was furnished me, I have the honour to request; your assistance in Kawhia, and the country about toward that end. The exertions of the Rev R. Maunsell have saved me the trouble of a journey further into the Waikato country and his success in obtaining signatures has been such I have been induced, to forego a visit. I had proposed to Kawhia but; few of the principal chiefs remaining to be gained over. I beg to consign to your charge and copy of the Treaty; and to request that you will take trouble to obtain the cession of their sovereign rights to Her Majesty from as many of the chief as you may deem sufficient, stretching far to" the southward as possible among the Ngatimaniapoto. To Ngolli, Pakaru, Warahi; and'Kirihi,' from your neighbourhood, have given their signatures; and I believe that if Taonui Tarihi, Te Waru, Te Ao, To Wakaka, from Kawhia, and Wiremu and Rawiri from "Whaingaron, be obtained, they will suffice to extend Her Majesty's 'authority as far south as Mokau. I beg however that you will be guided by your own judgment, and let all the principal chiefs sign who way wish to give over their country to British protection. Notice of presents given by the Governor to those who signed at Waitangi and Hauraki had preceded me, and many have reached Kawhia every one who has any pretensions to being a chief will flock to sign his name for the sake of obtaining a blanket; consequently it is of the greatest importance that the nature of the cession of rights should be "perfectly explained,-that those chiefs only should be chosen of the greatest authority, and that it should be explained to them that the gifts made to them have in nowise the nature of a bribe or payment for their concurrence. Blankets will be forwarded to you, to be given to those who subscribe their names, page 28and I request you will distribute them, one to each chief, after signature. If you will have the goodness to return the copy of the Treaty to me at Manukau, I will put it in the proper channel to reach His Excellency the Governor.
I have, &c.,
William C. Symonds.The Rev. John Whiteley, Minister, Wesleyan Mission.
Major Bunbury to His Excellency the Governor.
Sir,—H.M.S. "Herald," Mercury Bay, 15th May 1840.
Since I last had the honour of addressing you I have, made an excursion in the "Trent," schooner, to Tauranga. She left the "Herald" at Mercury Bay on the 8th instant, late in the evening, and arrived off Tauranga on the Sunday following; but the night was too far advanced to attempt to enter the harbour until the following day, when Mr. Parker, of H.M.S. "Herald," Mr. Williams, and myself, went on shore at the Mission-station, where we were received by the Rev. Mr. Stack, and I was agreeably surprised to learn that most of the Native chiefs in that neighbourhood had already signed the Treaty, with the exception of the principal chief and one or two of his friends at the Otumoetai Pa. This pa we visited the same evening, accompanied by Mr. Stack: it is a very extensive fortification, and appears to contain about a thousand men. The chief who had declined signing it is a very young man, and his manner was timidly reserved, and less preposessing than most of those I had before seen. On our taking leave he made the usual remark that he wanted to consult the other chiefs, and that he would with them meet us at the Mission-station on the morrow.
On the following day he did not speak until the close of the conference, and then only in private to Mr. Williams after Mr. Stack and myself had left them, and to inquire how much he was to get for his signature. Another chief expressed some indignation, because the Christian chiefs had not, as he said, met them: I presume he meant those from the other pa, where Mr. Stack's influence was supposed to extend more than to his own, and where a Roman Catholic European residentiary and the Catholic bishop were supposed to have more influence. A third chief, the principal orator on this occasion, amused me much. After the Treaty had been read and explained to them he quaintly observed, when his signature was required, "Now, first let us talk a little. Who was the first stranger that visited our shores?" On being answered, Cook; "And who was Cook's king? Was his name George?" On my replying through the interpreter," Yes," "And who then," he continued," is the Queen? "I then informed him that King Greorge had been dead some years, as also his two sons George and William, who had succeeded him on the throne, and that the present Queen was the granddaughter of George. He then adverted to the wars of their tribes and chiefs, particularly with the Natives of Rotorua. I told him that one of the principal objects of my mission was to persuade all tribes at present at war with each other to accept the mediation of your Excellency, and to advise them to abide your decision. He objected strongly to our proposal of visiting at a future period the Natives of Rotorua; and he also observed, "If your nation is so fond of peace, why have you introduced into my country firearms and gunpowder?" He was in reply told that the effects of this trade had been much deplored by the Queen's Government, who were anxious to mitigate its consequences by substituting justice and a regular form of government in their country, and which could only be effected by giving the Queen the necessary powers, and for which purpose they were required to sign the Treaty, which had been before explained to them. He next inquired whether my Queen governed all the white nations. I replied, Not all; but that she was Queen of the most powerful of all the nations. She had, however, acknowledged the New Zealanders to be an independent nation some years ago; but that treaty had proved abortive, in consequence of; the wars of their tribes amongst themselves, and their want of union; and to themselves alone, therefore, were to be attached the evils they had endured. She did not seek the authority of white men, of whatever nation, to govern them; she sought that authority from themselves, as a spontaneous gift vesting her with power for their own good, and to avert the evils which she foresaw, were accumulating around them, by the increasing influence of white men subject otherwise to no law or control. On being told that I was a chief of a body of soldiers, and that I had served under the monarchs already named, he inquired, Should his tribe, agreeably to my request, abstain from making war on the Natives at Rotorua, would the Governor send a portion of my force to protect them? I told them your Excellency desired rather to mediate between them, and only in cases of extreme emergency would you be prevailed upon to act in any other manner; but, if your arbitration was applied for, I had no doubt but that the custom of their country would be complied with, by your insisting on a compensation being made to the party injured by the party offending. On my speaking of the sale of lands, and of the right of pre-emption claimed by the Queen as intended equally for their benefit and to encourage industrious white men to settle amongst them, to teach them arts and how to manufacture those articles which were so much sought after and admired by them, rather than, by leaving the sale of large tracts of land to themselves, they might pass into the hands of white men who would never come amongst them but to hamper by their speculations the industrious. The Queen, therefore, knew the object of these men, many of whom, I had no doubt, had counselled them not to sign the Treaty; but she would, nevertheless, unceasingly exert herself to mitigate the evils they sought to inflict on this country, by purchasing their lands herself at a juster valuation. He said it was useless now to speak of this, as the white men had purchased all their lands; but they appeared quite satisfied, saying it was very just.
Your Excellency is aware of the dilatory habits of the Natives. I therefore told the chiefs, in conclusion, that it was necessary that I should also pay my respects to the chiefs of the neighbouring pa; and I therefore took my leave of them, leaving Mr. Williams for a time to see if they would resolve whether or not to sign the Treaty. He subsequently told me that presents had been demanded, but the chief said he would not believe the word of the missionary when Mr. Williams told him he had little doubt but that I would send some blankets through him for distribution.
I afterwards visited the chiefs at the Maungatapu. Pa, all of whom had previously signed, with the exception of two, who were, I regret to say, absent with their families. We were well received. The chief, a fine, intelligent-looking fellow, named Nuka, said that he had dined but, if we would take page 29some dinner, it would soon be prepared for us. This pa and the tribe are of considerable strength and importance. I was much taken by their chief's manners; and, from the good character he bears, if any mark of distinction is ever to be shown to any of them it would be well to secure the goodwill of this chief, who appears to be well disposed to the Government.
I have deemed it expedient to enter more fully into the detail of this conference, as one which not only shows fully the general character of the Natives, but also the nature of the obstacles I may hereafter expect to meet when principles alien to the Government have been instilled by interested Europeans into their minds, as exemplified also at Coromandel Harbour. Neither will I disguise from your. Excellency my regrets that men professing Christianity should, in a country emerging from barbarity, whose inhabitants are scarcely able to comprehend the simplest doctrines of the Christian religion, endeavour to create distrust of its ministers, of whatsoever persuasion; Christianity in any shape with these people being better than the deplorable condition of many of them at present. It is not the specious professions of a religion which asserts itself unconnected with civil government which should blind us to the political disunion it creates; but rather its sincerity should be tested, by its acts and their, effects, and whether it seeks to open a new field of labour before uncultivated, or to paralyze the efforts of those who have laboured to improve the soil by establishing themselves upon it. The latter I conceive incompatible with such professions, whilst this country contains so vast a field untried, but still, it is to be hoped, reclaimable.
I have given to Captain Bateman a certificate of having chartered his schooner for eleven days at £2 10s. per diem; also for £9 10s. 8d. paid by him to Mr. Webster, at Coromandel Harbour, for pork and potatoes given to the Natives. We arrived here this morning, having left Tauranga Harbour on the 13th instant. The Native chiefs at Otumoetai Pa still display their character for strict observance of previous engagements, until outbidden by the promise of an increased premium.
I have, &c.,
Major, 80th Regiment.
The Rev. James Stack to the Hon. the Colonial Secretary.
Sir,—Church Missionary Station, Tauranga, 23rd May 1840.
In the absence of the Rev. A. N. Brown, I have, agreeably to Major Bunbury's directions, copied the Treaty of Waitangi, and I have now the honour to forward you the original by the "Aquila" cutter, the first opportunity since Major Bunbury left Tauranga.
Two who are considered "high chiefs "have refused to sign the Treaty. Their minds have been disturbed by some evil-minded person trying to prejudice them against Government. They may possibly sign the copy I have taken by-and-by. Major Bunbury told me signatures on the copy would be as good as those on the original document you sent. As Major Bunbury was hindered, in consequence of war between the tribes, from visiting Rotorua, I sent a copy of the treaty to Rotorua to-day to Messrs. Chapman and Morgan, to use their influence to get the signatures of the chiefs. An unexpected opportunity occurring yesterday by the arrival of the schooner "Mercury," with James Fedarb on board as supercargo, I prepared a copy of the Treaty, which I gave in charge to him, with letters to our Native teachers at Opotiki and Te Kaha to do what they could in obtaining signatures of chiefs in that quarter.
Either the Rev. A. N. Brown or myself would feel most happy by personal visitation amongst all the tribes in the Bay of Plenty to forward the views of Her Majesty's Government were it just now practicable, but unfortunately it is not. Mr. Brown being on a missionary visit in an opposite direction, of necessity one of us must remain at home to take charge of the station.
I have distributed the eight blankets left by Major Bunbury to those chiefs who he directed should have them. I have added four others out of our Society's store, Several more blankets may yet be wanting if Tupaia and his friends should sign.
I beg to apologize for the very soiled state of the Treaty, but the Native habits are so filthy it could hardly be avoided.
All the names marked√ in red ink are either head chiefs or sons of deceased chiefs of rank. Nuka and Tau are the two greatest chiefs who have signed the treaty in Tauranga as yet.
I have, &c.,
James Stack.Willough by Shortland, Esq., Acting Colonial Secretary,
Kororareka, Bay of Islands
The Rev. Henry
Williams to His Excellency the Goyernor.
Sir,—Paihia, 11th June, 1840.
I have much pleasure in forwarding to your Excellency the Treaty committed to my care for the signatures of the chiefs in Cook Straits.
On my arrival at Port Nicholson, I experienced some opposition from the influence of Europeans at that place, and it was not until after the expiration of ten days that the chiefs were disposed to come forward, when they unanimously signed the Treaty. The chiefs of Queen Charlotte Sound and Rangitoto, in the neighbourhood of Port Hardy, on the south side of the Straits, as also those chiefs on the north side of the Straits with whom I communicated, as far as Whanganui, signed the Treaty with much satisfaction, and appeared much gratified that a check was put to the importunities of the Europeans to the purchase of their lands, and that protection was now afforded to them in common with Her Majesty's subjects.
It had been my intention to have proceeded to Cloudy Bay, Banks Peninsula, and Otako, whereby the signatures of the whole of the tribes of the Southern Island would have been obtained, for which purpose I felt it important to prolong the charter of the schooner "Ariel" in the service of the page 30Government; but upon ray return from Whanganui to Kapiti I received intelligence that Her Majesty's ship "Herald "had left the Bay of Islands for the Southern Island, and that an officer had been appointed to proceed with a copy of the Treaty. I therefore concluded to return to the Bay of Islands.
I have much satisfaction in stating to your Excellency that Captain Clayton rendered me every assistance in his power, and upon my application to him at Port Nicholson to convey me to Otako, &c., he unhesitatingly gave up his vessel for the service of the Government, though to the serious detriment of his private business on the coast.
I have, &c.,
Lieutenant-Governor of New Zealands