REMINISCENCES OF EARLY OTAGO.
The following copies of original letters that passed between the founders of ths Utago settlement and the late Mr C. H. Kettle, who surveyed the City of Dunedin and adjoining country, are of very great interest at the present time: — Captain Cargill, agent in London for the New Zealand Company, to C. H. Kettle, Chief Surveyor and Engineer to the New Zealand Company in Otago. London, Ist October, 1846. My dear air,—ln fulfilment of my promise upon the passing of our late Bill to write you by every subsequent despatch from the New Zealand House, I now beg to say that Jerningham Wakefield and I are in close consultation with the Colonial Office relative to the forthcoming Orders-in-Council referred to in the " Act," and which arc to complete the measure for the future government of New Zealand. The authorities are quite in earnest upon the subject, and we expect the finish very soon. Then, but not before, our move in Scotland will be proceeded with, and with far more liberty than we could have had at any earlier period, inasmuch as our scheme is now fully known to and recognised by the State as an'affair of our Free Church people, and beyond the reach of being meddled with by any jealous and disturbing parties ; so that, after all, the delay may turn out for good in the end. Meanwhile, I have encouraging letters from India. At each of the Presidencies there are Scotchmen ready to promote our enterprise, and Major Rawlandson, of the Madras Army, who is about to retire, wishes to take his family direct to our settlement if we can only be ready for him. All I can do is to keep them informed of what is going on, and to assure them that our first movement shall be so regulated as to give them time for being included in the first ballot. I was glad to see by Colonel Wakefield's last despatch the unreserved liberty given you by Governor Grey to deal with the block by picking lands as you list, and also to dispense with parishes, hundreds, etc. My opinion is that the forthcoming measure may require a division into districts for civic and election purposes; but this, of course, can be best done hereafter, and can require no present arrangement on your part. Then as to parishes, I think they should be erected seriatim, and according to the tide of population hereafter—i.e., that whenever a given number shall have located themselves, there also should be the ecclesiastical authorities, and, irrespective of any other consideration, put down its church and its school.
I shall continue, no doubt, to hear of your proceedings in official reports, but hope I may also hear from yourself. The harbor, after all, I see has a bar. So far Fitz-Roy was right, though I had hoped otherwise, from the extent to which it appears to be frequented. We have no account anywhere of the nature and amount of timber accessible for shipbuilding or other useful purposes. Make my best regards to Mrs Kettle, and believe me, my dear sir, yours very truly,
To C. H. Kettle, Esq., Otakou, New Zealand,
Colonel Wakefield, agent in Wellington for New Zealand Company, to C. H. Kettle. Wellington. 30th November, 1846. My dear sir,—Some rumors have, I fear, been going about Otago that the company was on the point of closing its affairs, and at one time it certainly seemed probable. Later intelligence—to the 9th June—informs me that such is not to be the case ; and the accession to office of Lord Grey, and perhaps Mr Charles Buller, since then, seems calculated to put the company in a better position than heretofore. lam sorry that I have only yet received one copy of the twentieth report, but expect the usual supply by the next ship direct, when I will forward one to you. By it I learn that Mr Cargill was then (on 29th May) waiting for the crisis then at hand, tie will by this time probably have rallied the intending emigrants. I should like to know what you think abouf the stakes that mark the surveys lasting. It is evident that the emigrants will not be at Otago yet awhile, and if anything can be done to add duration to the survey lines and stakes, such as the use of stouter and harderwood, it would be advisable. But until you receive the next news you must pursue the course of strict economy that you tell me you have adopted. We hear bad accounts of your climate. I wish you would in future furnish me occasionally (officially) with information on this point—temperature of atmosphere, etc.— for the directors, who are catechised much on these points. Soma say that wheat will not ripen. I hope you will be able to send me a sample of some this season, which I will forward. The coal is a grand thing, if true. But indications have been too often mentioned without results. I should like to have a lump of it to try and some to send Home.
The Governor is expected here daily, but as the emigrants have not come for Otago, I fear he will not think it worth while to pay it a visit. If he does I shall accompany him.
I send you a number of the ' Spectator,' in which you will find the substance of the past negotiations with the Colonial Office, which are unsatisfactory enough. We must hope for better things from the Whigs. My daughter and I were much concerned to hear of Mrs Kettle's illness. I trust that she has quite recovered and become used to the climate. Pray present her with my compliments and best wishes, and believe me, yours very truly,
W. Wakefield. C. H. Kettle, Esq., Otago.
Wellington, let January, 1847.
My dear sir,—Your letter of the 14th December and despatches reached me by the Maori schooner to-day. Since I wrote last fresh intelligence of the company's movements has arrived here by the Hope, or rather by its mail, for she has been detained at Nelson by a leak. I observe in the published manifest some cases to your address. la case you have taken no steps to have them cleared at the Custom-house, I will direct it to be done, and that they shall be forwarded to you by the first opportunity. The Hope may be expected here in the course of the next week.
The public news relates to a proprietary charter for the company and representative government. Owing to the large Government expenditure here the public seem satisfied with the present state of things, and Governor Grey's popularity and roadmaking would apparently induce them to decline governing themselves. This is very short-sighted, but natural. They have already forgotten the tyranny and oppression of Fitz.Roy. The Inflexible steam frigate was to leave England on the 12th August, and will bring particulars of the new arrangements. The directors had received my first accounts of your proceedings at Otago, and express themselves pleased with the speed exhibited in the preparations for the survey, etc, Should favorable acoounts arrive of the company's prospects and renewed operations, I will consider and let you know my opinion as to the propriety of preparing shelter fear the emigrants expected. I heard from Mr Cargill lately. He seems to be working hard in the cause, and apologises for not writing to you by the uncertain stateof the company's affairs and the prospects off
the Scotch settlement. He hintsjat emigration commencing about this time. Wishing you and Mrs Kettle a happy New Year-I am, my dear sir, very faithfully yours, W. Wakefield, C. H. Kettle, Esq., Otago.
Wellington, 9th February, 184". My dear sir,—l received your letters of 12th and 29th ult. yesterday by the Scotia, and reply rather in a hurry, as I was obliged to do to your officials, by reason of being on the point of starting on an excursion over the Rimutaka Range. To begin with reference to your own topics, it appears that I quoted the imaginative • VV ellingtou Independent' when I said that you had three cases on board the Hope, and that one only which will go to you by this occasion came from England. The letter you have from Mr Cargill tallies with the one that he wrote to me, but as he really tells me nothing decided as to the Scotchmen's movements, I think you must hold your hand for a little. Mr Aglionby writes me under date 27th August last that the company is at its crisis, butthat he has hopes, and that the directors are in confidential communication with Lord Grey. Thi3 will probably result in continued operations, but we must be prudent. You have got the surveys so much ahead that you can afford to re3t a little on your oars. We are sure to have advice of "the Campbells are coming' in ample time to be ready for them, so do not make yourself uneasy on that head. I quite agree with your notion that a survey is not a good one unless done economically, and what good to anyone would be surveying bad land, as Tuckett did at Nelson, so that the whole has been refused to be chosen as a ruinouti acquisition. It will be easy to divide the fifty-acre sections by five, if necessary. With respect to Messrs Park and Davison, the survey of the harbor frontage and some part of the coast round towards Cape Saunders will hardly occupy them, I should think, till the first expedition arrives, and you will have, I imagine, to dispense with the services of at least one of them. But Ido not wish to shackle you on this point or on what you do with the surveying men, if you will adhere to the doctrine of economy and accuracy combined. Mr Park has been induced by Major Baker and other friends to apply to the Government for employment, and may possibly get it here, and in case of a pinch I could give Mr Davison employment, so do not stand upon ceremony when your conscience tells you to close their engagements. I think, however, that great consideration is due to Mr Davison for his persevering adherence daring the suspension of the company's operations, and his uniform steadiness, and that if there is anything agreeable for him to do, and that ought to he done, you should retain his cervices. With respect to the men, i advise you to keep them at something really serviceable to the public, if the company's absolute interests and engagements do not require their labor in surveying until you hear again from me. I believe that Captain Grey has no positive intention of visiting Otago, but if Wellington is made the seat of Government he will not fail to do so quickly, if I have any weight in impressing on him the importance of such a measure. I hope I have said enough in the above paragraphs to guide you in your future conduct of the surveys. I feel no less anxious about them than yourself, and so long as I retain the same confidence in your qualifications as an officer of the company that I now possess I shall be desirous that your opinion on the subject should ■regulate our movements. Mr Lewis has my instructions to forward the box, and Mr Kelham will provide you with L2OO, and request yen, out of your funds in hand, to ipay 5s per day for ration money to Messrs Park and Davison.—ln haste, yours very truly, VV. Wakefield. C.H. Kettle, Esq., Otago.
Wellington, May 5, 1847. My dear sir,—By some change of arrangements in the destination of the Mana, a letter I wrote to you came back to me from Cloudy Bay. It was dated the sth April. Having since received yours of the 16th, I take advantage of the Scotia to embody what I then wrote in my reply to it. The Crown grant for Otago would not arrive till three months after the date of t'na last despatches from the Court, in the end of October. NothiDg would be done in the way of emigration, therefore, till the beginning of this year. I find by your lately received bills teat Mr Scrogg's contract has exceeded the estimate, and I much fear that Mr Wylie's will also be in the same position. It was a great oversight not to have limited the contracts to some given quantity of land, and .has laid the company open to demands for surveys for which I had not provided. In th« present state of my credit I hardly know how I shall be able to meet the bills I may eipect from you. The Court notices its approbation of your arrangements, with the exception of their economy, and now I shall have to inform the directors that the estimates which ought to have been certain in tho case of the contracts have been exneeded. If you are not about to proceed with the suburban sections, •what will Messrs Park and Davison find to do after the examination of the surveys by contract, wjd what is to become of tha working men, for whom, without enumerating them, you now demand money and provisions 1 It will be for yozj to advise and adopt an economical manner of proceeding, with a view to have the survey of the suburban sections ready to be resumed, and yet to suspend all useless expenditure. Knowing your d«s3ir,3 to keep down the -cost of the surveys for which you are responsible, and that you are tho best judge of the means to accomplish that object without undoing what Las been done I must at the distance which separates nt> be guided by your opinion of what you consider the proper course in the matter. It would be a most awkward thing if I am unable to honor your bills. Your suggestion about granting tho hilly land unsurveyed to purchasers of land is similar to the plan puHviad in New South Wales, and may perhaps te hereafter allowed by the Crown, to which it will belong so soon as we have reconveyed the tmßurveyed land. I send you with this some observations from the Court respecting water frontage and division of the land into counties, aud irhieh must hereafter be carried out according to their instructions. The Governor and Lieutenant-Governor Eyre are expected to be here soon. There have been seme dreadful outrages and murders at Wangaaui, where four natives were lately hanged under martial law, but a reinforcement of troops ordered from Sydney is to be stationed at various posts between Porerua and New Plymouth, and no disturbances are anticipated in chia neighborhood. Mrs Stafford desired me, when I lately saw her at Nelson, to rtliva her best L-ompli-ments, in which I beg to joir,, upon the late arrival, to Mrs Kettle and yourself.—Yours very faithfully, W. Wakemi^d, C. H. Kettle, Esq., Otago.
Wellington, November 1,1847. My dear air,—l had the pleasure of receiving your letter of the 3rd of last month a few days ago. The duplicate despatches, which you Bent by the Leven, have not reached me. It is very satisfactory that 1 am now able to acquaint yo» that the company has resumed its operations, and that the first steps taken by the directors have reference to sendiDg out the Scotch settlers. The enclosed Blip will acquaint yoo with their proceedings. Supposing them «o be successful, we may expect an emigrant «hip before Christmas, as Mr Cargill will of course be anxious to atrive in our summer. If he toueties here it is my intention to accompany him to Otago. Mr Lee, whom you mention, was to leave Nelson soon after I did, three weeks ago, for his proposed home. He did not acquaint me with having received directions to provide a house for Mr Cargill's reception, but was laying m bricks andtimber for his own residence. *. ou will of coarse be careful in building for Mr Cargill to select a situation that will combine security as to title to him and an agreeable site. Your account of the climate is very satisfactory, and agrees with that given by all your lata assistants. I think it will be advisable to have the vegetables crown in anticipation of the arrival of the first settlers. This is, properly speaking, not the business of the company, bat is so desirable that I shall be willing to meqfc * moderate expenditure for the purpose. I
send you, with this view, a collection of vegetable seeds, the best I can procure; potatoes, I conclude, are abundant with you. A good way of causing preparations to be made for the intending emigrants will be to let it be known at the village near the Heads that you are employed in the above manner. With respect to the sawyers cutting timber. I think the supply thus created will amply compensate the future holders of the land, at least if they are amongst the first arrivals. The doing so might be regulated, however, by some notice from you warning the squatters that the wood so cut will be seizable by law, but that upon application to you licenses will be given them to fell and saw timber in certain spots, which you can fix. I am happy to say that the directors have authorised me to consider you the principal surveyor, without waiting for the decision of Mr Cargill, from the commencement of your operations, or such time as I think fit. I have accordingly instructed the accountant to calculate your salary as principal surveyor from the day you reported yourself here. It has afforded me great pleasure to be able most conscientiously to give this direction in regard to the manner in which I believe you have conducted the surveys. I have purchased, on the part of the company, Mr Davison's late house, and will thank you to have every care taken of it. I contemplate doing the same with Mr Park's. Our Lieutenant-Governor (Mr Eyre) is not yet sworn into oiii.e, hut proposes not long after that may take place—probably in the summer—to pay the southern island a visit. We are expecting Governor I Jrey here during this month to set on foot the new constitution. Pray present my kind regards to Mrs Kettle, and congratulations on the approachinsr relief to the dullness of her late life.—l remain, my dear sir, yours very truly, W. Wakefield.
C. H. Kettle, Esq., Otago. P.S.—I W rite you officially on the subject of the survey of more suburban sections, and think it will bo prudent on your part not to mention to new comers the proposal which I have felt obliged to disallow of civincr ten-acre sections at Molyneux. 6 hj W.W.
Wellington, December 31, 1847. My dear sir,—l have received your letter of the 9th inst., but, in reply, regret that I cannot state with any certainty at what period to expect Mr Cargill and his followers, A private letter from my nephew says they would sail this month, but I have nothing about it from the company. In the bustle of the general election for Parliament I can well imagine not much doing by emigration committees. We are expecting Captain Grey here daily to put in action the new constitution, It is now Beven months since he paid us a visit. Wishing Mrs Kettle and you as merry a Christmas as circumstances allow, and a merrier New Year 'ohan that we have just worn out—l remain, yours very truly, W, Wakefield. C. H. Kettle, Esq., Otago.
Wellington, Bth March, IS4S. My dear sir,—You will be glad to learn officially, which you will by this occasion as well as privately, that the emigrants, or a sample of them, are on their way out, and ought to be close by their place of destination. I have chartered the vessel which conveys you this intelligence, with the view of your providing shelter for them. The letter from the secretary to you, with a copy of which I am furnished, will make you aware of what number to expect. Some public reserve a3 near to a point of disembarkation as possible should be got ready without a moment's delay. Shelter of some sort—even sheds, if rain-proof, will be better than payment of demurrage, which will dimfnish the emigration fund. I have no further information respecting the expedition than you will possess. Whether Mr Cargill will come with the first is not mentioned, but I imagine that he will come in the ship bound from London, and will touch here on his way to Otakou. I hope so, that I may know his plans for giving occupation to the laboring men. I have bargained for the delivery of the cargo of the Perseverance at the port site, and shall do the same always. If you can in time induce masters of vessels to go up higher so much the better. Should anyone make an attempt to build at the Maori settlement you must at once put a stopto the attempt by serving him with a legal notice not to do so, under fear of a penalty of LIOO for each offence. This is the new law, ana I have sentenced a man under it here with a penalty of L 5, which the Governor remitted at my instance, but it had the effect of putting an end to the practice. I hope Pelichet is getting on with the suburban sections. It is of great importance that the settlers have not to wait long to know where they may build permanently. We anchored here at daylight on the Monday after your islanding on Saturday—the shortest passage ever made. Captain Grey took his for Auckland at the end of the week. I received the letter for you on the same day, the 26th February, and communicated its purport to the Governor, who promised to send down the requisite officials for the new settlement, I have been unable to procure any conveyance before the present one, which got into the Hutt to repair, and could not get out till to-day on account of the low tides. Please to make my best remembrances to , Mrs Kettle, whose praises were sung by all of out party who had the pleasure of seeing her. 1 hope she has forgiven me for teasing her baby, to whom I sue for pardon by a present of toys sent herewith,—l remain, yours very faithfully, W. Wakefield. C, H. Kettle, Esq., Otago. (To bt continued.)
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REMINISCENCES OF EARLY OTAGO., Evening Star, Issue 8018, 21 September 1889
REMINISCENCES OF EARLY OTAGO. Evening Star, Issue 8018, 21 September 1889
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