EPISODES IN THE LIFE OF AN OLD MISSIONARY.
No. IV. [BV THE REV. GIDEON* SMALES.] THE EARLY DAi'S IN WELLINGTON. It was not my lot to remain long, although fully employed, at Porirua. On account of certain removals taking place in the ministry, I was desired to take charge of tho work then being carried on by the Wesloyan Church in Wellington. Honce I had to take what baggage I required for myself and small familyovorland to that place. Here I entored fully and earnestly into my work. In Maori I preached sometimes in the native pa on tho Aro flat, and sometimes at Pipitea, and ut Pitono ; and in English sometimes in a building near tho beach, called " The Exchange," and sometimes in private houses. Up.to this time no building had been erected by any section of the Christian Church for public worship ; and tho ministers officiated either in private houses or in "The Exchange." The Rev. John Aldred (who is the only one still living, except the writer, of a largo party who left England in the Triton for Now Zealand in 1839, and landed at Ilokianga in May, 1S10) was labouring in Wellington, and was to be removed to Nelson. We both set to work to collect subscriptions for the erection of a place of worship, and the amount was soon sufficient to induce mo to erect the first place of worship which had been erected for tho Europeans in Wellington, It was a small weather-boarded building, and I think' seated about 200 people. This' was the day of small things, but it was the beginning. I invited my friend the Rev. Samuel Ironside, who was then ab 'Cloudy Bay, to come over and help us at the opening ; and ho preached a very good, stirring, and appropriate sermon on " The Parable of the Prodigal Son." Mr. Ironside was afterwards appointed to Wellington, when and where, as the work extended, ho erected a larger and moro commodious building, and our primitive one was used as a schoolhouse. And now Wellington and the district has many largo and beautiful churches worthy the Empire city. THE WAIRAU MASSACRE. I had not been long in Wellington beforo the Government brig arrived there from Cloudy Bay with Mr. Tuckett, the chief surveyor, also two white men and one Maori wounded; and brought tho alarming and painful intelligence of tho collision between tho natives and Captain Wakefield and the party who won!: with him to take Te Rauparaha and Rangihaeata prisoners, and seizo the land at the Wairau. This collision had been of the moat dreadful character, ending as I foresaw, and which I warned both Captain Wakefield and Mr. Tuckett to avoid, as recorded in a former paper of mine. It was most pitiable and distressing to hear that nearly all the leading gentlemen of Nelson, as well as a great many other excellent men, had been either shot or tomahawked. Tho people of Wellington were violently alarmed, and were apprehensive that tho natives would come down upon Wellington, and they made their danger greater by their alarm and tho cultivation of a strong agitation for revenge—as thenatives termed it, utu (payment or compensation). And no sooner had tho Government brig arrived than a considerable number of men were putting their arms in order, and even threatening the natives with their determination to have utu. About 100 men, fully equipped for war, wenb on board of the Government brig with the intention of going to revenge the fate of tho?. who had fallen at Wairau. It always appeared to mo most providential that a galo set in which would nob permib the vessel sailing. There she lay under the leo of the land during the Sabbath day; and by Monday or Tuesday, when the breeze had abated a little, and the time for departure had arrived, the courage of the armed men had cooled, down, and most of them landed again. There is little doubt bat if they had been permitted to sail in time to meet the natives before they crossed tho straits for Porirua, and come into collision with them, but that the same or a similar fate would have happened to them which happened to the unfortunate men whose fate they were going to revenge. Instead of a war party proceeding it was finally arranged that a deputation from the Wellington magistrates, with Dr. Dorset, should proceed to learn further particulars ; and they sailed for Cloudy Bay on Wednesday, the 21st of June. On their arrival at Cloudy Bay they found that the Rev. S. Ironside had preceded them with two boats' companies of whalers, and they had discovered the bodies. I have the copy of a letter before me written by the Rev. S. Ironside, which ho sent me, which gives a summary of the affair at Wairau as he learnb it on the spot, which runs as follows :—" H. A. Thompson, Police Magistrate and Native Protector; Captain England; Mr. Richard«on, Crown Prosecutor; Mr. Cottorell, •Surveyor; Mr. Howard, company's storekeeper ; Mr. Putchett, and about fifteen others, all of Nelson, have been killed. They wore accompanied with aboub fifty men with muskets, cutlassses, etc. Te Rauparaha was served with a warranb and ordered on board the Government brig, but he refused to go. High words passed on both sides, and firing commenced, on which side firnt is disputed by both parties. The white people wore beaten, and fled in all directions, and were killed, except about eighteen who have escaped. Captain Wakefield, Me. Thompson, Mr. Cottorell, and others were taken prisoners; and, after all was over, wera tomahawked as payment for Te Kongo, a chief tainess of rank, who had fallen. . This was on Saturday, 17th instant (June, 1843). On Sunday evening I heard of it; could not get to the scene of action before Wednesday on account of a violent gale; found nineteen bodies of white people. In all there are more, bub we could nob find them in the bush. We made a large field grave where the massacre, of the magistrate and, others took
place, and pub thirteen there, three in another, grave, two lin another, and one in another, where wo found them. The natives say they would not havo killed tho prisoners but for this chief woman. The mission natives wore there, not, of course, expecbing a fight; bub they joined in it, and followed after tho warriors. Bub when thoy Baw the butchery of the prisoners commence they fled in all directions, and left tho heathen. The bodies found were all barbarously tomahawked about the head, beside shot wounds. The very recollection, of the sight sickens me ; every time I sloep the whole scene is bofore me, and I awake with a shudder." It may easily bo imagined the sensation such a thrilling record would create. : I must say, in defence of the Christian 1 natives, that I believe they simply fired in defence; and, as above stated, so soon as the heathen displayed their soirib they fled. A VIVID DESCRIPTION. Almosb immediately after receiving this alarming intelligence I hastened toPorirua, so that I might stand in the gap which had been made by this terrible collision. On arriving at Porirua I found all tho natives had crossed the straits. Many of them were at our station at Takapuahi; and others wore ab the heads of Poricua, ab a place called Taupo. All seemed greatly excited; and, of course, they must relate all tho circumstances connected with their collision with the pakchas at Wairau. At length, after I had heard several particulars from the Christian natives, the Kangiliaeata, who had been the leading actor in tho dreadful scene, came forward, and in real Maori war. costume, with abundance of paint, with his upoko tikitihi (high-decorated head), and a tomahawk in his hand. He marched out in front of tho assomblod natives, and stood forth a veritable picture of man in his barbarous and heathenish state, He at once threw his whole soul into what he was about to relate. No tragedian—neither a Irving, nor a Kean, nor any other— could over depict tho horror and tho.forco of passion exhibited by that fierce, wild, untutored, ungoverned savage. He spoke as ho felt, and his feelings were inflamed with tho recollections of his past) experience of the most dreadful orgies of murder and cannibalism.
Ho seemed to have a vision before him of the darkest and most horrible character. The most vivid pictures had been phonographed on the mysterious convolutions of his cerebral globe ; and they spoke as not coining from the mechanism of a lifeless cylinder, bat, as they were in reality, from an excited and wildly vivacious brain. It seemed as though the spectres of the departed, whose lives he had taken and many of whose bodies ho had eaten, had, as a vast legion, taken possession of him. He ran, he jumped, he raved, and his body was thrown into the most violent contortions. Ho writhed; ho grinned with a sardonic grin; he jmkaiiaed— is, lie violently forced his eyeballs beyond their sockets, and forced his tongue beyond his mouth and below his chin, and again his lips curled, and ho snorted, and sneezed, and tossed his head. He displayed the utmost contempt and derision for the men he had so recently murdered. " They came," said he," with their irons, clanking them before my face, thinking they could put them on my hands and tho hands of ' Para' [' Te Kauparaha'J, and when they found they could not do that they then thought they would settle us by shooting as. But where is all their boast? They have got what they deserved. Hero is the book from which Thompson (the magistrate) thought ho would condemn us !" And he held up "The Magistrate's Guide," all marked with blood. "This is his guide, and this is his blood ! Hero is tho book, and look at the blood ! This is Thompson's book, and this is his blood 1 Ah ! Ah ! Tho kuicare (tbe fool), did ho think he could take us ? I cut his bead off, and I kicked ib aboub the ground like a pumpkin !" (Mr. Thompson was a gentleman about middle age, and bald.) Using tho action to the word, with his wild stare and his defiant and scornful look, and putting himself in the attitude, and kicking something along the ground, imagining ho was kicking about the head of poor Thompson, ho exclaimed to mo, " Me korc — kua penei hold koe me Tamehana!" "Had it nob been" (for some reason or other which ho would , nob name or could nob account for) "yours would have been the fate of Thompson !" and he kept up his violence, for ho had jusb como red-handed from the heat and excitement of tho massacre of tho men at) the Wairau, It was stated that it was Rangihaeata, tho butcher of Te Rauparaha, who tomahawked, with his own tomahawk and by his own hands, all thoso who wero massacred after the fight of Wairau. Again and again Rangihaeata reverted to the scenes of that day. It appeared that neither the cries of pity and compassion nor tho moans and dreadful shrieks of the dying victims had tho least effect in softening his savage nature, but rather hardened his heart, and aroused his spirit of cruelty, revenge, and savagery, for in various ways he endeavoured to imitate and burlesque the agonies and shrieks of the dying ! Alas ! alas ! for fallen, depraved human nature 1 And alas for tho many of our noble, adventurous, and valorous men who have fallen beneath the weapons of our barbarous predecessors ! I let To Rangihaeata exhaust himself in the rolation of his bloodthirsty exploit, for it would havo been dangerous to interrupt him in his violent harangue ; and I then begged of him tho book, " The Magistrate's Guide," with tho brand of poor Thompson's blood on it. And, aftor a few days' delay, he conceded my request; and I took ib to my friend Major Richmond, who was then the chief Government official in Wellington, He expressed himself as greatly indebted to me for my labours amongst the natives, and was most anxious that I should assisb tho Government in j every possible way. He was thankful that I had taken him the book. Ho desired that I should endeavour to recover Uaptan Wakefield's cutter, which the natives had taken after the massacre and brought across tho straits to Porirua, and anything else which they might have taken from the murdered men. As the Europeans gonerally had become considerably excited and unsettled, and were living in continued dread of the natives coming down upon Wellington and destroying it, as they said, root and branch, I was particularly desired to keep up a perfect acquaintance with the feelings and movements of the natives, and give him every information, so that they should not bo taken unawares. My time for some months was greatly occupied in travelling .backwards and forwards between Porirua and Wellington. Whilst sojourning at either place I was employed in conciliating and quieting tho pakeha on the one hand and the Maori on the other. I was continually reminded whilst speaking to the natives thab they were a body of men who, only a short time back, had fought their way from Kawhia to Wellington and Wairarapa, besides their raids further South, killing and eating the people as they proceeded, offering hecatombs of holocausts to their war-god, Tit, the Destroyer, and leaving desolation and ruin and weeping and wailing behind them. Ib was no easy task at times to hold back the hounds of war, who were thirsting for blood, within the leashes of peace and propriety. At this period ono person who had been living in a very loose way amongst the natives, and noted , by them as a very immoral man, was reported to' mo as a man whom they had reason to think was endeavouring to poison them, or watching an opportunity to shoob.some of them, in retaliation for parties fallen at the Wairau; arid they would have taken' summary retribution upon him, but 'before they had time to carry out their design one of the natives informed me, and I used my influence to have him removed to Wellington* J saw
that ib was bettor that he should bo banished .than that we should have another murder. He, however, cultivated a bitter feeling against the natives and the missionaries and • perhaps never fully understood that his. ostracism was, at least, his temporal salvation. .£■ , ■ ' .
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EPISODES IN THE LIFE OF AN OLD MISSIONARY., New Zealand Herald, Volume XXX, Issue 9223, 10 June 1893, Supplement
EPISODES IN THE LIFE OF AN OLD MISSIONARY. New Zealand Herald, Volume XXX, Issue 9223, 10 June 1893, Supplement
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