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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 69


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It has been said, "That country is the happiest which has no history," which saying, while pretty generally accepted as a kind of truism, may yet be doubted, if not disputed: at all events, such a statement, however applicable to any one of the ancient countries of the world, can scarcely be received with reference to a modern colony whose birth and beginning are known. Be that as it may, the present seems a very opportune time for the publication of the principal portion, at least, of the following pages, seeing that this Colony of New Zealand is 011 the eve of celebrating the jubilee of its foundation, dating the same from the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, on the 6th February, 1840.

Moreover, the writer of the following résumé of occurrences that happened at that time—who also took part in them, and wrote them down on the spot while fresh in memory—is also the writer of this, and is, as far as he knows, the only one page 6 still remaining of that little British band who alike strove loyally and patriotically to do their level best on that important occasion.

It also occurred to him that—as no special account of what then took place had ever been published, and as the narration he had written was both authentic and genuine and particularly well-attested, and the only (known) one ever made—he should seek to make it known to his fellow-colonists; and therefore, while casting about how the better to accomplish this, he applied to the Government of the colony to publish his MSS., deeming them, though brief, to be not merely interesting, but also of a colonial, if not of a national importance, especially in days to come; and the Government have consented to do so.