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Octavius Hadfield

Letter written by Octavius Hadfield to his father March 8, 1843

To his father.

I have lately received a letter from Julia (dated Sep. 28) in which she sends me a message from you to desire me to write when I have an opportunity; having now a few minutes to write in I do so, as there is a vessel going almost immediately. I was happy to hear that you were pretty well at the time of Julia's writing. I wrote a long letter to Caroline about 5 or 6 weeks ago, in which I mentioned my poor friend Mason's death and my narrow escape which you will have received before this reaches you. I have page 180 lately had a pleasant visit to Queen Charlotte Sound and I find the natives there as attentive as ever and as desirous of receiving instruction. They seem to care for little else than religion and are regardless of worldly concerns, to their own detriment in some measure.

I have now more to do than ever since Mason's death, but my strength I think is as great as it ever is, and I am quite well. I am come over here for two days on some matters of business, and then return. Things are rather in a dull state in this place. I am, with some others, making some exertions to get the natives to work at the New Zealand flax, which will be much for their benefit, and it is almost essential to the welfare of this colony that they should have some export. They have always been trying to invent some machine for the preparation of the flax, but I think that I have convinced some that the natives could be an immediate benefit to this country. You need not however think that I employ my time in these matters; they are merely facts which force themselves upon the observation of those who go about with their eyes open, which all here do not.