Historical Records of New Zealand
(No. 5.) — Extract of a Letter from Revd. S. Marsden to Revd. Josh. Pratt, Secretary, dated November 6, 1815
Extract of a Letter from Revd. S. Marsden to Revd. Josh. Pratt, Secretary, dated November 6, 1815.
I am sorry to inform you that the colonial vessels, as well as some of the whalers, treat the natives exceedingly ill, and may greatly endanger the lives of the settlers at the Bay of Islands. From the best information that I am able to obtain, it appears that the last colonial vessel must have committed the most dreadful crimes on the coast of New Zealand. Five men belonging to the vessel were killed in the quarrels they had with the natives, and page 425 from their own account not less than one hundred of the natives. This happened not far from the River Thames, an account of which had reached the settlers in the Bay of Islands, and has greatly distressed and alarmed them. After this affair the vessel touched at the Bay of Islands, on her return to Port Jackson. and it is more than probable would have been cut off there, for the crimes they had committed, had not the Active been lying in the harbour, and the settlers there. The natives of the Bay of Islands were much offended with the Europeans who had murdered so many of their countrymen. But it is in vain for me to attempt to bring any of these men to justice; nothing can be done, except the British Parliament will take into consideration the unprotected state of both the missionaries and natives in all the islands in these seas. The Europeans may, and at present do, commit every crime with impunity, and there is no law either to restrain or punish them. The natives have no means but to repel force by force.