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Historical Records of New Zealand

Rev. S. Marsdenen to Rev. J. Pratt

Rev. S. Marsdenen to Rev. J. Pratt.

Parramatta. Feby. 12th, 1820,

Rev. and dear Sir,—

As the families of the settlers at the Bay of Islands are now growing up, it will be necessary that they all should be employed in the work of the mission while they remain there as they come of age. Mr. Kendall has two daughters, who are very well able to teach the girls. It will require a possitive order from the Committee that all the settlers’ wives assist in instructing the natives in every thing they can, and their sons and daughters as they come of age. Mr. Kendall has now an £120 per annum and his ration for himself and family found. I told him his daughters ought to teach the girls now to do any thing they could. Mr. Kendall replied they should do so, if I would agree to allow them a salary in addition to what the Society allowed them at the present, which was £10 per annum each for their clothing. I did not like to do this without instructions from you, as this would be setting a precedent. Mr. Kendall wanted ten pounds per annum more for each of his daughters. The circumstances of the settlement are now improving, and what was absolutely necessary at the first will not continue to be so as the comforts of life become more general. The settlers do not seem to think that the Society have a just claim to their services, and to the services of their families. As the whole are maintained by the Society, I am inclined to think that the Society have a just claim to the services of their wives and children, as far as they can render any service. I directed Mr. Kendall’s old son to be put into the carpenter’s gang, and his daughters into the school. I shall see how they are going on when I visit them again. I shall be much obliged by the Committee stating to me what their wishes are on the above subject, and what they do expect from their missionaries. I had forgot to mention that I had purchased a large grant of land from Shunghee, and have sent you the deed. It is in a fine situation, rich land, and well watered, convenient for the harbour, as large ships can lay within about five miles of the settlement in safety, and small vessels can go up to the settlement, and land or receive page 483 any goods. I thought this land would answer well for any poor labouring families at any future period should any come out under the patronage of the Society or their friends.

I am, &c.,

Revd. J. Pratt. Saml. Marsden.