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Old Marlborough. or The Story of a Province.


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The purpose which has animated me in writing this book has been a desire to furnish in popular form a concise historical account of that portion of New Zealand known as the Provincial District of Marlborough; and in placing the result of my labours before a critical public, I am fully cognizant of the fact that it may be urged, with some truth, that, not being an old settler, I am scarcely the person best qualified to undertake the compilation of such a record, or at least of that portion dealt with in the last two chapters, but as no old settler has volunteered for the work, I may be pardoned for venturing to assume the responsibility of performing a task which, if not undertaken now, will soon be impossible. To adequately tell the story of this province since European settlement began, the collection of material should have been commenced at least twenty-five years ago, when most of the early settlers—the page breakmakers of that generation's history—were still alive and in the vigor of their manhood, for now that an effort is being made to gather the information which they alone possessed, one regretfully discovers that the Old Reaper has been busy in the field, and the pioneers who could have been of most service to us are gone, while the memories of those who survive gradually grow less green as the sap of life runs down. It has therefore become difficult to cement together into a connected mosaic all the scattered fragments of information requisite to make a complete history, or to draw in perfect perspective a picture of what the province was like even thirty years ago. In the course of my work I have also been considerably hampered by the difficulty in obtaining early records, and by my non-residence in the district during the last three years. Still I have diligently sought to verify all that is here recorded by consulting those who appeared to me to be the most independent and reliable authorities, and while I am the first to acknowledge that many things have been omitted which might have been included I hope nothing has been included which should have been omitted. But whatever the elements of error may be, I trust no one will accuse me of malice prepense in regard to either persons or facts, for I have simply obtained the best information available, and used it with the greatest judgment at my command. It may be that the reception ac-page breakcordedto this initial venture will embolden me to supplement and improve it, and for this purpose I will at all times be glad to receive additional information, or amplification of circumstances already related, and if the reading of these pages excites a friendly controversy in which other facts of interest concerning Old Marlborough are rescued from oblivion, then my labours will have served a doubly useful purpose.

The Author.

Duke Street,
Palmerston North, December 31st, 1900.
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