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From Tasman To Marsden.


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This work is one of a series intended ultimately to cover the period of New Zealand history between the discovery of the Islands by Tasman in 1642, and the Proclamation of British Sovereignty and the appointment of a Governor over them in 1840. So far the author has covered, of that ground, the history of the southern portion of New Zealand and of the islands lying to the south, all geographically, but not all politically, connected with New Zealand. This will be found in “Murihiku," for the period from 1642 to 1829, and in “The Old Whaling Days," for the period from 1830 to 1840. This volume makes a commencement on the history of the northern portion, and brings it down, with more or less completeness, to 1818.

The division into northern and southern districts is largely artificial, and the author has found it necessary, here and there, to repeat portions of his former work. This is so in the case of Tasman's movements on the coast, and of Cook's discovery of Queen Charlotte Sound and Cook Strait; and his doings in that locality had to be reviewed to make complete a narrative of his survey of the North Island. The story of the Betsy had to be given once more to complete the northern events of the year 1815. In all cases only so much material was repeated as was necessary to bring the events then being dealt with to a suitable stopping place.

The author has treated the Kermadec Islands as within the area of Northern New Zealand, but he has not thought it advisable to deal with the latest additions to the Dominion in the form of the Cook Islands. These can be best treated in a work dealing with the South Pacific Islands generally; there is nothing to connect them with New Zealand, any more page break than with Australia or with South America. In the case of the Kermadecs the sperm whaling ships formed a connecting link between them and the Bay of Islands, but even then, beyond the facts of their discovery, stray mention by whalers, and the description of the great volcanic upheavals of the year 1814, they are rather barren of story or incident.

On the occasion of the publication of his last book the author intimated his intention of reviewing the whole field after he had completed the northern area. As a consequence of this decision he has reduced the size of this volume by one-half, and will make an effort to bring out a volume every year, it now being no longer necessary to delay proceeding to press until the field is exhausted. The author hopes that the change in his plans will be found acceptable to his readers. The Appendices found in former volumes have now been discarded, the intention being to carry them all forward to the volumes of the “Records" published by the Government, thus avoiding duplicate publication.

Since “The Old Whaling Days" was published last year the author has had a remarkable illustration shewn him of the hopelessness of delaying publication until every fact of historical importance was unearthed. By the kindness of the Chief Justice of New South Wales he was permitted to peruse the Supreme Court papers of the very earliest days of the Sydney Settlement, and in them he found a great quantity of material relating to the New Zealand sealing trade, principally in the form of disputes between master and man in the interpretation of their contracts of employment, but also claims for insurance on damage done by ships, administration papers, &c. So valuable is this material from the point of view of New Zealand history, that had it not been already in the author's mind to republish later on, his examination of these papers would have rendered it necessary for him to have done so. Life is too short, and one's readers are in too great a hurry, to wait until a work is complete before publishing the results.

The Natives and Native history is a subject on which the author has always felt himself weak. This did not matter page ix when dealing with Southern New Zealand, as the Natives did not bulk largely in the narrative, but as we come north that is altered. Although the work is limited to Europeans, and treats of the Natives only so far as they come into contact with the Europeans, the author is having gradually to import the Native race more and more into the narrative. In doing this he has accepted the identity of chiefs, and the spelling of their names, adopted in the Journal of the Polynesian Society, and, where there is no mention of them there the name as given in the source of information is adopted. It will be of inestimable value to the author if Maori scholars, and others who are familiar with any Maori name or word wrongly reproduced, would communicate that fact to the author in time to have it corrected for his final work. In this connection the author would tender his thanks to Mr. S. Percy Smith for reviewing all references to Maoris and Maori names in “The Old Whaling Days." Owing to the word “Maori" not having been found by him applied to the aboriginal race up to the year 1818, the author in his narrative designates them “New Zealanders" or “Natives," except where his feelings get the better of him and he calls them harsh names.

The period of 176 years dealt with in this volume may be divided into several periods. The first covers the days of the great discoverers, commencing in 1642 with Tasman, continuing with Cook, De Surville, Marion, and Furneaux, and ending, in 1793, with D'Entrecasteaux. We have thus to deal with the doings of three Frenchmen, two Englishmen, and one Dutchman.

To obtain the material used when dealing with Tasman, Heere's translation of that navigator's Journal, published in Amsterdam in 1898, has been used as the last and most critical word on the question; in addition, the sailor's Journal has been copied, translated, and utilised. The chapters relating to Cook have been compiled largely from his Journal, and from that of Banks. A log of the Endeavour, supposed to be Lieutenant Hicks', now in the possession of Mr. A. H. Turnbull, of Wellington, has also been consulted. Cook's page x “Voyages" have been drawn upon, but with caution, for, as the reader knows, they were written by a man who did not accompany the Expedition, and naturally must be adopted only after careful consideration. In the case of De Surville, the story of his visit to New Zealand had only been told in the most meagre manner, and the Journals of his Expedition had not been seen for probably a century when they were unearthed by the author during a visit to Paris in 1910. The author claims to be supplying to his readers the first full account of De Surville's visit to New Zealand ever written. Marion's fate was recounted from Journals kept on board the two ships belonging to the Expedition, and as none of them was utilised in the preparation of the French account, given to us in English by Ling Roth, a fair amount of new matter is now available. A hitherto unpublished Journal kept on board the Adventure supplied the information regarding Furneaux's visit, and D'Entrecasteaux's short visit is taken from his published work. All the Journals which have been used relating to Tasman, De Surville, Marion, and Furneaux, as well as Hicks' Journal, will be found reproduced in Vol. II. of the “Historical Records of New Zealand," now on the eve of publication, and the author would commend their perusal there, to all readers of this book, as objects of the greatest interest.

The second period deals generally with the beginning of trade in timber and in oil, and material for the narrative of it had to be picked up in all manner of places. In the first volume of the “Historical Records of New Zealand" has already been published a great deal of correspondence under this head, and, for the rest, up to 1803 when the Sydney Gazette was first published, the gaps were filled from King's manuscript Journal now in the Petherick Collection in Melbourne, and a few very early books containing isolated references to still more isolated incidents. From 1803 onwards, the outward and inward movements of the whalers at Port Jackson supplied many valuable references. The details of the massacre of the Boyd and its sequel were got, in the main, from Mr. Berry's letters to the Scots Magazine of 1818 and 1819, page xi found one day while examining an old book shop in Motherwell, Lanark, Scotland, and identified as the original Articles relative to the Boyd in “Adventures of British Seamen," published by Constable in 1827.

The third period covers 1814 to 1818, the days of the first European Settlement which was established by the C.M.S. to pave the way for the coming of the missionaries. Its arrival at the Bay of Islands brings into the narrative an entirely new class of material, as the work of the missionaries had to do with the Natives almost wholly. While the author hopes to do justice to the Mission, it is not his intention to follow the movements of its members with that detail which would be expected of him were he engaged on a work dealing wholly with it. The Mission will be treated as a Settlement, and anything connected with its doings which influenced European trade will be recorded as well as the author can with the limited means at his disposal. The missionaries were naturally biassed—not using the term offensively—and in their eyes the Natives could do no wrong. We know what the sailor was; in his eyes the Natives could do no right. Between these two conflicting authorities—because these are our only authorities—we have to try and come to an accurate conclusion. Aiding us are the Missionary Register, published in London by the Church Missionary Society and containing great quantities of material in the form of Letters and Reports, Nicholas' “Voyage to New Zealand," published in 1817, and the Sydney Gazette, which opened its columns alike to missionary and sailor. Of unpublished manuscripts relating to the Mission, the largest collection in the world is in the Hocken Library in Dunedin, and it is to be hoped that at no distant date we may have these available for the general reader as well as the student in the “Historical Records." Unfortunately the author was unable to get to London during the past year, otherwise the papers of the C.M.S. would have been searched for further and more detailed information. However, there is a good time coming.

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Owing to the great number of applications for information regarding the dawn of agriculture in New Zealand, the author has gone to special pains to give details of the very earliest arrival of domestic animals, and of the introduction of the plants and vegetables of civilised countries. Under the heading of “Agriculture" will be found in the Index the material set out in chronological order. As usual, some of the old ideas have to go by the board, for example Cook's introduction of the pig into New Zealand. It was to King, first as Lieut. - Governor of Norfolk Island, and then as Governor of New South Wales, that we are indebted for the pig and the goat, and horses and cattle were introduced by Marsden in 1814. It will come as a shock to “Old Identities" of 25 years standing to learn that if the first white child born of New Zealand settlers in New Zealand were alive to-day he would have celebrated his 99th birthday last February.

Before concluding, the author would again remind his readers that if they have access to manuscripts relating to New Zealand, of a date earlier than 1840, to kindly let him know, so that he may be able to preserve them by giving them due publicity. Any scrap of writing dealing with New Zealand, and dated prior to 1815, is of such importance that it will be printed in the “Records" if the editor gets hold of it. This, of course, is an extreme case, but almost anything has a place. During the later “thirties" of last century there were great numbers of European settlers and whalers along the coast, and their descendants are with us to-day; any manuscripts handed down by them are the very material wanted to reproduce the life and times of these old veterans. As generations may pass before another individual is found foolish enough to worry out all the detail of our early history, and as by that time the material will have become even more difficult to get than it is now, every descendant of a settler who came to New Zealand before the Treaty of Waitangi (1840), and who desires to see perpetuated a record of his people, should put what material he has at the author's disposal.

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The author has introduced into this work a system of recording the names given by the first discoverers, and in the exact form given by them. So many changes have taken place in local names that it is not always easy to ascertain whether a name was given by or on account of one of the great voyagers. Mount Cook was not named by Cook, although Cook Strait was. Again, the name originally given has sometimes been altered without being materially changed, as for instance the Thames River, so named by Cook, is now Hauraki Gulf down near the open sea, the Firth of Thames where more confined higher up, and the Waihou River where, in the form of a fresh-water river, it runs into the sea. The recording of the names, with the reasons given in the discoverer's own words, should prove useful to students. Where, as in the case of De Surville and Marion, the names have not been adopted, they are given for reference. Though Lauriston Bay was given after Cook had called it Doubtless Bay, there is no reason why Chevalier Cove and Refuge Cove should not, even now, be adopted as the first names given by the discoverer to these spots.

In compiling the Bibliography, which is done in the form now adopted for the first time, only those works are quoted which contain matter of sufficient importance to be regarded as authorities; mere rearrangement of matter already published does not entitle an author to have his work mentioned. In connection with events like the massacre of the Boyd's crew, where later writers have recorded other versions of the catastrophe, the author intends to leave these to be dealt with when the history of that date is being chronicled, and then include them in the Bibliography. Whether they are more correct than the earlier recorded stories of the massacre will never be known, but not having been made public they played no part in the conduct of the Europeans whose actions the author seeks to chronicle, which were controlled, not by what had happened, but by what the Europeans were told had happened.

Duplicates of the notes taken and used by the author in the preparation of this volume have been deposited in the page xiv McNab Collection in the Carnegie Library, Dunedin. There they are available to the student.

The author desires to express his thanks to Captain Lambert, of the T.S.S. Arahura, for fixing Tasman's anchorages in the South Island; to Captain Bollons of the G.s.s. Hinemoa for identifying the anchorages and the coves mentioned by De Surville in Doubtless Bay, and for checking the calculations made by the author to determine the spot on the East Coast where Cook and De Surville passed one another; and finally, to Mr. J. B. Thompson, the engineer to the Hauraki Plains drainage works, for investigating the site of the great kahikatea forest discovered by Cook on the west bank of what he called the Thames, but which is now known as the Waihou River. Amongst the Libraries to which he was indebted for material the author would mention those of Mr. A. H. Turnbull of Wellington, the Hocken of Dunedin, the Mitchell and the Free Public of Sydney, the Petherick of Melbourne, and the Bibliothèque Nationale of Paris.

Knapdale, Gore,

11th July, 1914.