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Historical Records of New Zealand

Rev. S. Marsden To Rev. D. Coates

Rev. S. Marsden To Rev. D. Coates.

Parramatta, 8th February, 1830.

Dear Sir,—

The missionaries have long solicited me to visit them in New Zealand, but it was not in my power until one of the clergymen came over to do my duty. The Revd. Mr. Yate has arrived, in consequence of which I intend to embark on the 12th instant.

I have paid into Mr. R. Campbell’s hands, on account of the repayment for the seminary, the sum of £450, and shall pay the remainder as soon as I possibly can. The Revd. R. Hill will account with you for the allowance he makes his mother annually from the 31st of December, 1828. Having learned that the Secretary to the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts is dead (the late C. Bicknill, Esq.), I have forwarded to you a particular statement of my accounts with the Society. If you have received nothing from the Society on my account, there is a balance due to me up to the 31st December, 1829, of £50, which I will thank you to apply to the Society for, and when you receive it give me credit in your account with me, and when I receive your accounts I will arrange for the payment of what may be due.

I am happy to say the missionaries in New Zealand are all well, and the mission is prospering. There is one subject of great importance which I have often adverted to in my public correspondence with your Society and the missionaries—namely, the situation of the missionaries’ children. As the children grow up I am apprehensive that improprieties will take place between the natives and the European children. What has happened to other missionaries’ children may happen to theirs. There are two things to be considered: the heavy expenses that will be incurred in supporting the children when they come to a page 701 certain age, and the danger of their morals being corrupted. It will be painful in the extreme to any pious parent to see his son or daughter form improper intimacies with the native youths. I am aware that the Society wish those children to be employed in the mission who promise fair to promote the great object. It should not be forgotten that temptations are very powerful, and the passions of youth are strong, and the danger great, where the means of indulging them are always at hand. I have thought that if 2,000 acres of land (more or less) were obtained from the Government at Home or here for the express purpose of forming a permanent establishment for the missionaries’ children in N. S. Wales, it might afford protection and support for them until their real characters, talents, and inclinations were ascertained. Such a man as Mr. Davis should have the superintendence of such an establishment. Two or three New Zealand families might accompany them, in order that they might keep up their knowledge of the New Zealand language, and be prepared for the future service in the mission, when their habits were more permanently fixed and their knowledge of civil life increased. I have no doubt but the land would be readily granted by the Crown for such a purpose. I merely suggest the above from not knowing any other plan I can think of. Some of the young people as they grow up would get married in the colony, others would find different situations, and those who loved the mission would return in time to the work. Tho’ the Society could hold no land, not being a corporate body, yet I apprehend it might be granted to trustees for the benefit of the missionaries’ children, who might reside upon it. Perhaps the Society may think of some better plan than what is here proposed. Something I think should be done.

I am happy to say the Revd. Archdeacon Broughton will be a warm friend to the mission. He has become a member of our corresponding committee. On the 6th instant he sailed to Van Dieman’s Land to hold a visitation there in His Majesty’s ship Crocodile, and intends to return by New Zealand. The Archdeacon may perhaps arrive before I return from the Bay of Islands. It will be very desirable for us to meet there. Should he come before I return I shall endeavour to have the whole state of the mission laid before him. He is an amiable man, and a lover and a preacher of the Gospel. I have been very happy with him ever since he arrived in the colony.

The avarice of the merchants are filling N. Zealand with muskets and powder. I expect there will be some very bloody wars amongst the natives, tho’ I am under no apprehensions for the safety of the missionaries.…

Dear sir, &c.,

Dandeson Coates, Esq. Samuel Marsden.