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Historical Records of New Zealand

Governor Bligh to Viscount Castlereagh

page 289

Governor Bligh to Viscount Castlereagh.

His Majesty’s Ship Porpoise, in the Derwent, New South Wales,

10th June, 1809.

My Lord,—

1. It gives me great concern to be still under the necessity to have my dispatch descriptive of the persons who have so unwarrantably conducted themselves against the welfare of this territory, which, but for their unparalleled proceedings, would have been replete with accounts of the improvement of a people who, in expectation of further benefits which were progressively arising out of faith, hope, and charity, would have become industrious and good subjects; but this reverse has caused the good to suffer, and led those whose minds were weak or vicious to be biassed by present advantages, or prospects of future which they had not sense to see could not be realised. Profligacy in others appears to complete the picture of the late rebellion, and, although a severe scourge, encourages me to hope will produce good fellowship and that purity which otherwise would have been much more remote. It is impossible, however, that the people can be in a more wretched state. Free man, but poor; the emancipated man returning from his unlawful way of life, and the unhappy prisoner under his penance of retribution, all now look with anxious hearts to the hour of relief by their gracious Sovereign.

2. I have not been able to render them any personal service, except remaining in the territory, that every act of the principal rulers, or their Courts, might become doubly unlawful, and their revenge kept within certain bounds, to which otherwise there was reason to apprehend there would have been no limits; imprisonment would not have been sufficient atonement to them from the honest men for being loyal.

* * * *

14. The New Zealand youth arrived safe, with his presents for his chief, Tippahee, to whom he had an early opportunity to return.

I have, &c.,

Wm. Bligh.