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UPPER HUTT.

[from our own correspondent.] July 18, 1800. On Thursday evening, the 12th inst.. a public meeting was held at Mr. M'Hardie's, the Highland Uorne, Upper Hull, to take into consideration the necessity of forming a Volunteer Rifle Corps. The meeting was very fully attended, and upon Mr. Morgan being called to the chair, and explaining the object of the meeting, it was proposed by Mr. Griffin, that it was highly essential and necessary for the inhabitants of this district to form themselves into a Volunteer Rifle Corps. The proposition was seconded by Mr. Player, who stated his motive for seconding the resolution was from facts which had come under his own knowledge and sight ; and he considered when above 200 armed natives were seen going through the different districts fully equipped aud ready for an attack, he considered it high time the settlers should at least be ready for a resistance. He had himself seen, as many of the meeting had, natives returning from the Wairarapa carrying openly thirty double-barrel guns, with their belts and" cartridge boxes containing twelve and eighteen rounds of ball cartridge, two barrels of gnnpowder,ncar fifteen tom.ihawks, with other reserve of fire-arms, &c. And the parading of these arms was not all. There were many settlers present who could tell the meeting of their insulting manneis and language, used by the natives during the last few days. He, the speaker, would advise the meeting to take only such steps as would be perfectly justifiable,"and endeavour to follow the instructions of the Government, but he considered under existing circumstances it would be wilfully shutting our eyes to a danger which is evidently most glaring. He would make no mention of reports which were dai'y reaching the settlers of the maories intentions, or quote any of the observations which many of the meeting had heard from some ofthe out-settlers, but he would merely state to them there was not a fire-arm in the possession of any settler from the Hutt to the Wairarapa, but was kept constantly loaded, and every available weapon of defence ready for instant use. He was sorry to say there appeared but little probability of the Government offering any aid, or in fact taking any notice of the existing crisis. Whether the Government have the will and not the power, or have the power and not the will, he was not prepared to say but he was sure thatit was high time some steps were taken, if not by the Guvernment by themselves, and he did uot consider any steps they could take would be more legal aud more in unison with the views of the Government than by adopting the resolution proposed, and he trusted the meeting would support it in earnest, and sign their names at once i to be forwarded to Major Trafford for immediate enrolment. The resolution being put to the meeting, and carried unanimously, the list was laid upon the table, and received within a few minutes 34 signatures (and wilhiu 24 hours it had received 80). The meeting then elected their committee to carry out the object for which they were called together, and from them a deputation was chosen to wait upon Major Trafford when the meeting adjourned to the 16th inst. On Monday evening, the adjourned meeting held as heretofore at Mr. John M'Hardie's, was very numerously attended, there being from 60 to 80 present, aud by far the largest meeting that has taken place in the district, and after receiving the report ofthe deputation who had waited upon Major Trafford, whom the deputation stated had received them with every kindness and respect, at the same time expressing bis (tbe Major's) satisfaction at the sense of the meeting, and perfectly coinciding with their views of its necessity. He gave them all the information they required, and promised to aid them as far as laid ia his power; and fnriher stated, the Hutt was a most important position, and required as much defence as any part of the district of Wellington, and in case of an attack it would have to be defended, and the ground disputed inch by inch. And with reg;'.rd to arms and ammunition, the members of the corps should be supplied as soon as he was in a position to do so. The report of Major Trafford gave general satisfaction to the meeting, Mr. M'Hardie dissented, and asked the chairman to scratch his name from the list, which he did. The whole of the meeting was then challenged by the Chairman to do tho same if they wished, but not another followed the example of Mr. M'Hardie, three signatures being added to the list after his withdrawal. The only thing now being required is the swearing in ofthe members, and the supply of arms, and the Committee trust the Major will be enabled to come or send some authuiised person to the Upper Hutt and swear them in as soon as possible. It was also voted at the same meeting that application should be nnade for the erection of a Stockade, and the coiAmittcc for the Volunteer Rifle Corps were elected, with instructions to take ouch steps as tney in ay think necessary for its accomplishment, \

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https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/WI18600720.2.8

Bibliographic details

UPPER HUTT., Wellington Independent, Volume XIV, Issue 1440, 20 July 1860

Word Count
875

UPPER HUTT. Wellington Independent, Volume XIV, Issue 1440, 20 July 1860

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