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Historical Records of New Zealand

Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt

Rev. S. Marsden to Rev. J. Pratt.

Parramatta, April 1st, 1822.

Rev. and dear Sir,—

As Dr. Reed of the R.N. is returning with an intention of visiting N. S. Wales with his family to reside amongst us, I embrace the opportunity of writing a line by him, as he will on his return take charge of any parcel you may have to send. Dr. Reed came out in the Baring with the Rev. J. Butler and his colleagues.…

page 580

I have been compelled to relinquish the school at Parramatta for the natives of N. Zealand. Thirteen died who lived with me, principally chiefs’ sons, either at Parramatta, or soon after their return home. The medical gentlemen were of the opinion that our food affected them. The last young man who died was opened and examined by Dr. Douglass and Sir John Jamieson, who were of opinion that our food occasioned bowel complaints. I was of opinion that they were affected by the heavy dews which fall in the nights after hot days. The New Zealanders sleep in their own country, when the weather is fine, in the open air, but there are not dews there as in N. S. Wales. They are not so heavy. It was not possible to prevent them from sleeping out at nights. The six youths on board the Active are well. One of the chief’s sons, nephew to Shunghee, has been five years in the vessel, and has always behaved well, and has had good health. The natives of N. Zealand must become better acquainted with habits of civil life before they will be governed by them. You will learn the death of Pomare before this arrives. God has, in His goodness, done great things for these islands. The deputation sent out by the London M. S. will I am sure make a very satisfactory report to the Christian world. They cannot do otherwise.…

With respect to this colony, I hope things will now take an happy turn. The missions will find a friend in Sir Thos. Brisbane, and also in the Colonial Secretary, Mr. Goulburn, brother to the Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies. Sir Thomas was kind enough to give nine head of cattle a few days ago for me to send to the Society Island. I told him how General Macquarie behaved about the bullocks. He was much astonished at such conduct. I am sure he would have acted a very different part.…

I remain, &c.

S. Marsden

Rev. J. Pratt, &c., &c.