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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 79

The White Settlers

The White Settlers.

Notices of the white settlement are regrettably scarce in the journals. On May 22nd, 1846, he notes: "A white man has come to the harbour of Ahu- page 29 riri to reside, and while he himself appears a respectable man, his men will want native women. Kurupou called and promised not to procure them." Mi Alexander on January 13th, 1817, as already mentioned, had begun farming at Wharerangi. In July, 1874. Alexander had started a white trader at Ngamoerangi, half way to Tongoio. These whites had a different standard of conduct from the missionaries, and the natives complained to Colenso of the bad example of professors of Christianity. (Journals July 19th, 1847). Alexander and the settlers, as we have seen, complained of Colenso setting the natives against them. On August 1st, 1848 (see Journals) a white man was settled as sawyer at Tangoio, and had his saws stolen. On April 17th, 1852. Colenso notes in his journal that "Anketell, a newly arrived trader at Ahuriri, complained of robbery on his premises by four natives. Colenso obtained the return of the goods. On December 10, 1850, Colenso (Journals) mentions that Moauanui wanted to buy a cow, but Colenso had arranged to drive his cows after Christmas to Mr Guthrie at Castlepoint apparently owing to want of feed at the station.

In December, 1850. Mr Donald McLean arrived at Ahuriri and stayed there till April, 1851. with a surveying party. He bought two large blocks giving £1800 for one at Waipukurau, and £1000 (as a first instalment of £7000) for Ahuriri. This was the origin of Napier. Colenso received £1 from each native vendor for medical comforts for the sick. (Letters Report, 1851).

On September 2nd, 1851, Mr Colenso writes to the society: "Two matters have occurred which may affect us—the arrival of the well-known J. Grindell at Ahuriri with a largo lot of goods, there page 30 to settle; and the licensing of the European built house in that place as a bush public house. When I called a short time back upon the person to whom the license has now been granted he told me that he was a Presbyterian and a deacon of his church, and that his aim would be strictly to Steep the Sabbath Day. The man has also a family of ten small children.

On June 9th, 1852 (Journal), Colenso went to Tongoio to conduct a wedding service. He notes that Mr Abbott, a settler of Waipukurau also attended, On the return journey they had a hard pull and grounded on the mud at Te Onepoto, Mr Alexander's place, and one of the crew purposely threw Colenso into the water to his great annoyance.

On January 31st, 1853, he writes to the Society that the Mission house at Waitangi has been burned down, only the study which contained his printing press and specimens being saved. He says he lost £300 by the occurrence, (same letter). The same month he was summoned before Mr McLean for assaulting a native who had insulted him, and fined £3 which he refused to pay. Shortly before this, November 29th, 1852, Mr Colenso's connection with the Missionary Society terminated and his journal ceased.

A few words may be devoted to the state of the settlement at that time. The whalers were already here when Mr Colenso arrived in 1844. Air Alexander settled at Onepoto in 1840. Hollis opened the first public house at the Port in 1851. In 1852 there were about 50 whites with their families settled at the Port, including: Mr Villers and Mr McKain. Mr McLean was the first Government officer to reside there and he held a magistrate's court in the Whare Kawana erected for him by page 31 the natives in 1852 in Battery road. By this timo the Port was already a place of trade in Maori produce. There were eight hotels, often full of travellers. The settlement of the country began in 1849 when Messrs H. S. and F. J. Tiffen came from the Wairarapa and settled on the plains. Land was quickly taken up, and in 1852 Mr Alexander and Mr Burton did a good business in carting wool and other produce from the country to the Port. The first sale of the Napier sections took place in 1855. and in the same year it was appointed as a port of entry.