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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 76

America and New Zealand in 1844

America and New Zealand in 1844.

At the time of the first rising of the natives against the small body of troops at the page 38 Bay of Islands in the year 1844, when the town of Russell was burned, the soldiers defeated, and the settlers scattered, there was an American ship of war, the St Louis, at anchor in the Bay of Islands. Captain M'Kiver told me afterwards that the principal native chief—Heke—asked him to take the place for America, but this was, of course, declined. Although at that period England and America were not on such friendly terms as they are at present, yet the now frequently revived saying that blood is thicker than water was then generously exemplified. Captain M'Kiver told Heke that although he could not interfere between the natives and the British soldiers, he would prevent any attempt to injure women and children. He also sent his boats to bring them away, took on board some of the mission families, and made a special visit to Auckland with the refugees who had placed themselves under his care, and generously landed a quantity of American biscuits towards their maintenance. When leaving Auckland to return to the Bay of Islands he gave me an American flag to be hoisted on any defenceless vessel bearing despatches and requiring protection at the Bay of Islands.