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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

The Whalers

The Whalers.

Mr Colenso was the first white resident in Hawke's Bay save the whalers. With some of them he was on friendly terms. On December 9th, 1845 (Journal) he writes: "W. Morns, owner of the whaling station at Cape Kidnapper, from whom I have received several favours in anding and bringing my goods in his boat and in landing stores when in want, called today to request me to use my influence and speak to Kurupo in his behalf as he thought he was about to treat him hardly and perhaps to rob his place. The cause is this. Morris, who has resided for several years among the natives has been in the habit, in common with other masters of whaling schooners, of giving the chief to whom the place belonged a trifling sum per annum for the right of fishing off that spot, but now Kurupou demanded £10, saying less he would not have. Morris declared that rather than give it he would leave and go elsewhere to reside: adding that of all natives he had ever seen and dealt with, those residing hereabouts were the worst. Now, when the immense outlay these men have to make before they are ready to whale—their constant exposure in the cold and winter season (for it is only then that the whales approach the coast) to daily peril, if not acath, and the very great uncertainty attendant upon their labour are on the one hand duly considered, and on the other the grat benefit in in the way of trade which the natives page 28 desire from them it will, I think be evident that £5 per annum is money enough for (as they call it.) a 'standing' place for the Frypot. I told Morris that I would speak to Kurupou and I wrote to the caller to come and see me." (Journal).

On June 13th, 1847, Morris culled to ask help against some of his Europeans. Some of' these men left him and stole some whaling gear from the natives for their own use. Colenso saw one of these men at Alexander's place at Wharerangi and got his promise to refund the goods.

The following month Smith, a decent looking white man from the Wairoa, came to him about the theft of his things by white men. "He spoke or the whites residing in this bay as the very lowest and worst he ever knew—runaway soldiers and man-of-warsmen, convicts from New South Wales and Van Dieman's Land, who openly boast of their defiance of the Government." Colenso appealed to Morris who wrote to say that the natives would join Smith to recover the goods. (Journal, July 6th and 8th, 1847).

Another whaler was Edwards, master of the trading station at Putotaranui, a few miles south of Cape Kidnappers. On August 18th, 1845) (see Journals), he called on Colenso and said he heard that the natives intended to murder the whites, no doubt hoping for his help. On January 27th, 1847, Edwards' house was burned down with his little boy in it. The infant was buried at the mission near Edwards' new place of residence.