TO THE READER.
THE design of the Canterbury Papers was indicated in the brief advertisement which preceded and announced them. They are intended to supply the public with information as to the principles, objects, plans, and proceedings of the Canterbury Association for Founding a Settlement in New Zealand. For this purpose it has been thought fitting to collect together the various documents published by the Association, and, with their permission, to edit also such other documents of general interest as they have not themselves thought it necessary to make public. To these it is intended to append such extracts from printed books, pamphlets, and papers, bearing directly on the same subjects, as have not appeared in a collective form; and, lastly, to publish such original essays, statements, discussions, and extracts from private letters, papers, and memoranda, as may throw light in any way on the nature of the Settlement, or the means available for its formation and success.
In consequence of this arrangement, the Public will obtain, in a cheap, clear, and compendious form, all the information at present procurable included within the two first numbers of these Papers, which for this purpose are published together. Inasmuch, however, as the Association's proceedings have by this time arrived at that advanced stage which renders frequent information desirable, from time to time, as often as it is forthcoming, additional numbers of these Papers will appear, following each other in serial succession.
The whole can be easily bound in a volume, which will form a chapter of the res gestœ of the great "heroic work" of Colonization. It will also constitute an authentic record of the Canterbury Settlement at its first origin, and be the earliest materials for its future history.
- February, 1850.
A land there lies
Now void; it fits thy people; thither bend
Thy course; there shalt thou find a lasting seat;
There to thy sons shall many Englands rise
And states be born of thee.
The following are the present Committee and Officers of the CANTERBURY ASSOCIATION for founding a Settlement in New Zealand, incorporated by Royal Charter, dated 13th November, 1849.
THE ARCHBISHOP OF DUBLIN.
THE DUKE OF BUCCLEUCH.
THE MARQUIS OF CHOLMONDELEY.
THE EARL OF ELLESMERE.
THE EARL OF HAREWOOD.
THE EARL OF LINCOLN, M.P.
VISCOUNT MANDEVILLE, M.P.
THE BISHOP OF LONDON.
THE BISHOP OF WINCHESTER.
THE BISHOP OF EXETER.
THE BISHOP OF RIPON.
THE BISHOP OF ST. DAVID'S.
THE BISHOP OF OXFORD.
*THE BISHOP OF NORWICH.
VISCOUNT ALFORD, M.P.
LORD ASHLEY, M.P.
LORD ALFRED HERVEY, M.P.
LORD JOHN MANNERS.
*SIR WALTER FARQUHAR, Bart.
SIR WILLIAM HEATHCOTE, Bart., M.P.
SIR WALTER JAMES, Bart.
SIR WILLOUGHBY JONES, Bart.
RIGHT HON. HENRY GOULBURN, M.P.
RIGHT HON. SIDNEY HERBERT, M.P.
HON. SIR EDWARD CUST, K.C.H.
THE DEAN OF CANTERBURY.
*CHARLES BOWYER ADDERLEY, Esq., M.P.
W. H. POLE CAREW, Esq., M.P.
*HON. RICHARD CAVENDISH.
*HON. FRANCIS CHARTERIS, M.P.
*THOMAS SOMERS COCKS, Esq., M. P.
*REV. EDWARD COLERIDGE.
*WILLIAM FORSYTH, Esq.
*REV. GEORGE ROBERT GLEIG.
*EDMUND HALSWELL, Esq.
VEN. ARCHDEACON HARE.
*REV. ERNEST HAWKINS.
REV. DR. HOOK.
*SAMUEL LUCAS, Esq.
*F. ALLEYNE M'GEACHY, Esq.
*G. KETTILBY RICKARDS, Esq.
*JOHN SIMEON, Esq., M.P.
AUGUSTUS STAFFORD, Esq., M.P.
HON. JOHN TALBOT.
REV. CHARLES MARTIN TORLESSE.
REV. RICHARD CHENEVIX TRENCH.
VEN. ARCHDEACON WILBERFORCE.
*CHARLES WYNNE, Esq.
*REV. JAMES CECIL WYNTER.
* Committee of Management.
Office, 41, Charing-cross, London.—Secretary, H. F. ALSTON, Esq.
Bankers, Messrs. COCKS, BIDDULPH & CO., Charing-cross.
IN NEW ZEALAND.
|Resident Chief Agent||JOHN ROBERT GODLEY, Esq.|
|Chief Surveyor||CAPTAIN THOMAS.|
|Assistant Surveyors||Mr. THOMAS CASS.|
|Mr. CHARLES OBINS TORLESSE.|
Nọṣ 1 & 2.
ASSOCIATION FOR FOUNDING THE SETTLEMENT OF CANTERBURY IN NEW ZEALAND.
The following sketch was the first document published by the Association. It contains the earliest outline of the Plan which has been formed for the establishment of the Canterbury Settlement, and of the views on which that Plan is founded.
It has now become a truism to say that, as a nation, we do not take—indeed, never have taken—a proper view of our duties and responsibilities as the founders of Colonies. The ancients sent out a full representation of the parent state, a complete segment of society, to become the germ of a new nation. They carried with them their gods, their rites, their festivals; nothing was left behind that could be moved, of all that the heart and eye of an exile misses. Under the influence of such consolations for the loss of home, men of all classes yielded to the natural feeling of restlessness and desire for scope and room which is produced by the pressure of population in an old country, a feeling not only excusable but laudable, and evidently implanted by Providence for the purpose of carrying out the scheme by which the earth is replenished and subdued.
It is humiliating to reflect on the contrast which modern colonizing operations have exhibited; most of our emigrations have been composed almost entirely of one class, and that class the one which is least able to take care of itself, as regards the preservation of all the higher elements of civilization. Driven from their mother country by the difficulty of obtaining subsistence, they found themselves in the British colonies strangers in a strange land. They got comparatively rich, doubtless; at any rate they lived better, and provided for their families better, than they could have done at home; but at what price were these advantages purchased! If the institutions and arrangements of British society be (as we are in the habit of considering them) wholesome and desirable; or if, whether wholesome and desirable or not, they have become essential to the comfort and happiness of those who have grown up under their shadow, how painful and injurious must be the shock when the habits, feelings, and associations which are produced by them, and which have become so deeply rooted in the moral being of an English emigrant, are suddenly torn away! It is no wonder if we find that society in our colonies, originating as it did under such circumstances, has so often presented but a defaced resemblance to that of the parent state, while exhibiting, in an exaggerated form, some of the worst characteristics of our age and country. How could it be otherwise? Let us consider the position of the poor and uneducated emigrant, in his adopted country. He has been accustomed to seek from the affluent and cultivated class above him, relief in distress, and advice in difficulty; members of that class rarely emigrate under our present system. He has been used to go to the neighbouring church; in the new settlement he has access if at all, certainly with difficulty, to any place of worship. He has children old enough to go to school; he needs religious rites and consolations; the schoolmasters and clergymen are few in number, and widely dispersed. In short, no care has been taken to make due provision for the cravings of his moral nature; we have thought of our colonists chiefly as of so much flesh and blood requiring to be renewed by food, and covered with clothing; the food the heart has received but secondary care. Hence have proceeded the materialism, the rudeness, above all, the neglect of religion, which have been too general in the new countries which we have peopled, but which we have been in the habit of regarding with indifference, if not with contempt. It were well if we oftener recollected that these untoward results are due to our own defective process of colonization, and that our business and duty is not to complain of reaping as we have sown, but to effect, if possible, such a reform in that process as may correct, in a measure, the evils of the past, and, at all events, provide against their recurrence.
We are anxious not to state too strongly the grounds for the present attempt, as arising from the actual state of our dependencies. We are aware that with regard to several, if not all of them, higher and worthier views have been entertained and acted on at home, and also that the state of society existing in them, in the important respects which we have referred to, is very much better than it formerly was, and is, we may hope, in a condition of progressive and constant improvement. But we do feel that those efforts after improvement labour under this disadvantage—that they are, in great measure, efforts to overtake an evil which has been for some time in occupation of the ground, and are necessarily deficient in method and in comprehensiveness. Our present object is, therefore, to set an example of a colonial settlement, in which, from the first, all the elements, including the very highest, of a good and right state of society, shall find their proper place, and their active operation.
Such are the first principles of the design; the promoters of it have become convinced that men of station and character, of cultivation and refinement, moral and religious men, such as contribute by their influence to elevate and purify the tone of society, are in great measure deterred from emigrating, by a fear of those moral plagues which have been described as rife in new countries. Especially fathers of families, who see no prospect of providing for their children in their own station of life at home, must be quite aware of the opportunities which a colonial life affords of comfortable independence and advantageous settlement, but they consider, and justly, such benefits as too dearly purchased by the possible loss of the appliances of civilization and the ordinances of religion. They do not choose to expose their children to the danger of growing up without the means of education, and thus of relapsing into virtual atheism, or of joining, from a kind of necessity, the communion of the nearest sect which bears the Christian name. It is perceived, then, that adequate provision for man's moral and religious wants in the new country, contains the primary element of successful colonization, not only on account of the importance of such provision per se, but also because thereby alone can a really valuable class of men be induced to join in the foundation and settlement of colonies.
Upon this idea our plan is founded. We intend to form a Settlement, to be composed entirely of members of our own church, accompanied by an adequate supply of clergy, with all the appliances requisite for carrying out her discipline and ordinances, and with full provision for extending them in proportion to the increase of population.
As by preserving unity of religious creed, the difficulties which surround the question of education are avoided, we shall be enabled to provide amply and satisfactorily for that object.
The Committee of Management will have the power of refusing to allow any person of whom they may disapprove to become an original purchaser of land, and as that power will be carefully exercised, it is hoped that ineligible colonists may be almost entirely excluded, and that the new community will have at least a fair start in a healthy moral atmosphere.
The purchasers of land will have the selection of labourers to be recommended for a free passage; such labourers to be also exclusively bonâ fide members of the English Church.
As a site for our projected Colony, we have fixed upon New Zealand, which offers greater advantages of soil and climate, combined with a greater amount of available and unoccupied land, than any other British possession; arrangements are accordingly in progress, with the New Zealand Company (which stands in the place of the Crown, as regards the disposal of waste lands in that country) for the acquisition of a territory of 1,000,000 acres (about the extent of the county of Norfolk) in a favourable situation, apart from older settlements, and from the vicinity of the Natives, to be devoted exclusively to the purposes of our Settlement.
By means of the municipal institutions lately granted to New Zealand, the colonists will have the power of managing their own local affairs without interference.
In order to provide funds for carrying out the objects of the Association, every purchaser of land will be required to contribute a sum proportioned to the extent of his purchase, and all such contributions will be expended, through the instrumentality of the Committee of Management, according to the wishes and directions of the Colonists, from among whom those who are fit and able to take part in the proceedings of the Committee will be from time to time added to their number. The principal sources of expense will consist in religious and educational endowments, in the importation of labour, in surveys, and in those public works (such as roads, bridges, and buildings) which may be absolutely necessary to the establishment and maintenance of the Settlement. These are things which every good colonist must wish to see well done; but they are such as the isolated efforts of individuals cannot do, and therefore it is necessary to make a contribution to them a preliminary requisite to the purchase of land in the Settlement which will benefit by their existence.
Ten shillings per acre will be charged for the rural land; and every purchase of land will contribute to the purposes above mentioned in the following proportion:—1l. per acre to the Religious and Educational Fund; 1l. per acre to the Immigration Fund; 10s. per acre to the Fund for Miscellaneous Purposes, such as surveys, roads, bridges, &c.
When the whole territory reserved for the purposes of this settlement shall be disposed of, the sum of the contributions to the objects enumerated will be as follows:—
|Religious and Educational Fund||£1,000,000.|
|Fund for Miscellaneous Purposes||500,000.|
The Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Foreign Parts has cordially adopted the views of the Association, and undertaken to become Trustee of the Religious and Educational Fund.
Such are the main features of the plan; those who bring it before the public propose to themselves a high object, being nothing less than a reform in our system of colonization, which might almost appear to have been based on the assumption that colonists have no intellects to be cultivated, no souls to be saved; and that by emigrating they lose their right to the feelings and aspirations, the habits and institutions of Englishmen. They believe that by a careful application of the means which they have devised, it will be found possible to preserve the blessings of religion and civilization, according to the forms, attachment to which have become a second nature in Englishmen, and at the same time to give a full development to the virtues which are exhibited, and the advantages which are enjoyed, by a young and prosperous people; and they confidently hope, that if the present undertaking be successful, its example will be quickly followed, and will produce ultimately, the most important and beneficial consequences upon the Church, the Colonies, and the Empire.
It is conceived by the promoters of the settlement now contemplated, that the present time is one peculiarly fitted for bringing the plan before the public. Extraordinary changes are taking place in the political and social system of Europe; the future is dark and troubled; "men's hearts are failing them for fear;" and many persons who have been deterred hitherto by dread of change from entering upon the new career afforded by colonization, will now probably be impelled into it by the same motive acting in a different direction. There can be no doubt whatever that the "uneasy classes" in this country are very numerous. They belong to all ranks of society; but we have one, more particularly, in view; we allude to clergymen and country gentlemen who began life, perhaps, with what was then a competency, but who have now to meet the demands produced by large and growing families, who foresee the necessity of descending to a lower station in life than that which they have hitherto occupied, and to whose children the crowd and pressure observable in every walk of life seem to close every reasonable chance of progress, or even subsistence. Such are especially the persons to whom a civilized and well-ordered colony, such as we propose to found, cannot but appear a welcome refuge. There is in a colonial life an absence of pretension, a universal plenty, a friendship of social intercourse, a continually increasing demand and reward for every kind of labour and exertion, which to those who have been suffering from the struggle between pride and penury, and whose minds are continually filled with anxiety about the future, is very pleasing and enjoyable. Supposing, even, that there be not opportunity for making large fortunes, the class of whom we speak do not aspire to make them; they would be satisfied with living in comfort and plenty, without care for what is to come, on a level, in point of income, with their friends and neighbours; looking upon each additional child as an additional blessing, instead of, as now, an additional burden; enjoying a quiet and happy life in a fine climate and a beautiful country, where want is unknown, and listening from afar, with interest, indeed, but without anxiety, to the din of war, to the tumult of revolutions, to the clamour of pauperism, to the struggle of classes, which wear out body and soul in our crowded and feverish Europe.
It would be easy to swell the list of those whom circumstances have predisposed to emigration, by describing the benefits which it holds out to the struggling yeoman, the small capitalist, the enterprizing trader; to these the prosperity promised by good colonization cannot fail to render our settlement specially attractive; but its peculiar feature consists in the benefits which it is intended to hold out to persons of refined habits and cultivated tastes, whom the moral evils inherent in our present modes of emigration have prevented from availing themselves of its material advantages.
Our settlement will be provided with a good college, good schools, churches, a bishop, clergy, all those moral necessaries, in short, which promiscuous emigration of all sects, though of one class, makes it utterly impossible to provide adequately.
It is hoped that nothing may be left undone which is required to fill the void (so far as it can be filled) which the loss of home presents to the imagination of a colonist,—to strengthen, instead of weakening, the ties of memory and affection which should connect him with England,—to save him, in short, from losing his old country while he gains a new one.
The Church of England is now doing that which her sons complain, not without reason, that she ought to have done long ago: she is sending forth a segment of her own body—a complete specimen of her organization—which may perpetuate the preservation of her doctrine and discipline among nations yet unborn.
We see in this country the bitter fruits of past errors and short-comings in our ecclesiastical administration; it remains to be seen whether the lesson thus taught may enable us to avoid a repetition of them in a new and promising field. At any rate the experiment is worth trying; and it cannot be but that many friends of the Church will come forward, in confidence and hope, to bear a part in carrying it out.
Those who are desirous of joining the first body of Colonists, or of promoting in any way the objects of the Association, are earnestly invited to communicate with the Secretary, H. M. Lefroy, Esq., 41, Charing Cross, London, where a detailed prospectus of the plan of Colonization intended to be carried out in the Canterbury Settlement may also be obtained.
CAPABILITIES OF NEW ZEALAND FOR COLONIZATION,
WITH SPECIAL NOTICES OF THE CANTERBURY DISTRICT.
A COMPLETE investigation of all the natural qualities and commercial resources of New Zealand is not an object aimed at by the Association in preparing these pages. These have been the subjects of frequent investigation by committees of both houses of Parliament, and by numberless travellers and residents there, of every variety of interests, professions, and opinions; and all persons who contemplate becoming colonists in New Zealand will, of course, consult a great number of authorities before they take that important step.
Inasmuch, however, as few of the poor, whom the Association will assist in conveying to this settlement, will have access to any other sources of information than these pages for their benefit principally, the preliminary remarks, and the extracts which accompany them, have been printed; but the concluding pages, explaining briefly the economical features of the plan of colonization which the Association will carry out, will be of interest to all intending purchasers of land, and other colonists of the upper classes.
Fertility and Climate.
The excellence of the climate of New Zealand, and its adaptation to the constitution of British colonists, and to the culture of European field and garden plants, are fully established by the unanimous testimony of all persons who have visited the country: it is sufficient for our present purpose to publish the following paragraphs bearing on the subject, extracted from the vast number of books and parliamentary reports which have reference to it:—
New Zealand being situate within the temperate zone, although nearer to the equator than Great Britain, possesses, from its peculiar geographical position, especially from its being insular, and also from the nature of its surface, a climate so modified as to resemble that of England more nearly than that of any other country I am acquainted with. It is moderate in every respect: the range of its temperature throughout the year, and during the day, being very inconsiderable. — Dr. Dieffenbach's Travels in New Zealand. Murray. 1843. Vol. i., p. 173.
The great quantity of moisture accounts for the vegetation being so vigorous, even in those places where only a thin layer of vegetable earth covers the rocks. Sandy places, which in any other country would be quite barren, are covered with herbage in New Zealand; and the hills, which in lithological and geological formation resemble those of Devonshire, may, in the course of time, be converted into pastures, at least equalling those on the hilly portion of that county. Everywhere, also, trees and shrubs grow to the margin of the sea, and suffer no harm, even from the salt spray. — Ibid., p. 177.
The temperature which, from its latitude, we should expect New Zealand to possess, is extensively modified by all the circumstances I have mentioned. The first of these is the narrow shape of both islands, which gives a very extensive coast line, into the numberless harbours and inlets of which the sea enters. It is most humid, as well as most equable, on the coasts, where also vegetation is fresher than in any other portion of the islands. There is no great heat in summer; no severe cold in winter. Sometimes, indeed, in the winter nights, the thermometer sinks to freezing point, and the stagnant waters in the interior are covered with a thin crust of ice; but during the day it is very rare that the temperature is below 40 deg. — Ibid., p. 179.
The purity of the atmosphere, resulting from the continual wind, imparts to the climate a vigour which gives elasticity to the physical powers and to the mind. Heat never debilitates; not even so much as a hot summer's day in England; and near the coast, especially, there is always a cooling and refreshing breeze. The colonist who occupies himself with agriculture can work all day; and the mechanic will not feel any lassitude, whether he works in or out of doors.
From all this, I draw the conclusion that, as regards climate, no country is better suited for a colony of the Anglo-Saxon race than New Zealand: and were this its only recommendation, it would still deserve our utmost attention as the future seat of European civilization and institutions in the Southern Hemisphere.
Invalids rapidly recover in this climate, and there is no doubt that the presence of numerous thermal waters in the island, and the attractive scenery, will make New Zealand the resort of those who have been debilitated in India, and are in search of health.—Ibld., p. 183.
"We had proved, during our excursion (on the south shore of Cook's Strait), that all the statements we had heard as to the salubrity of the climate were true. Ten nights' bivouacking in the open air, although exposed to heavy dew, and in the end of winter, had no bad effect on any of our party; and, with the exception of the period during which the gale of wind lasted, all the days were genial and exhilarating, and some much warmer than English summer weather.—Mr. E. Jerningham Wakefield's Adventures in New Zealand, from 1839 to 1844. Vol. i., p. 66.
The climate, although in the middle of winter, was delightful (at Wanganui, on the north shore of Cook's Strait). Dr. Peter Wilson, one of the settlers, who had long resided at Xeres and Seville, did not hesitate to compare it with the south of Spain. He only qualified this opinion by asserting that so full-bodied a wine could not be grown here; but that he would answer for one like the light wines of Germany or eastern France.—Ibid., vol. ii., p. 18.
Whole days of cloudless calm, and light breezes, prevail in summer as well as winter, and violent gales are of rare occurrence. The difference in temperature is but little between winter and summer; there is, perhaps, more rain in the winter months: but in all the country near Cook's Strait, the climate may be called showery, rather than rainy. Rain is often heavy for a time, but rarely obtains dominion over the weather for more than two or three days; and everything dries quickly in the fine weather intervals; so that, though it is rare to be a fortnight without rain all through the year, there is no complaint of excess of wet, and you never hear the question asked which so often meets you in England, 'When shall we have some fine weather?'—Ibid.
The climate (of New Zealand generally) is better adapted to an English constitution than that of almost any other of our colonies, although without a distinct winter, or frost, or fogs, or raw easterly winds, to check vegetation or make you house your cattle. The amazing productiveness of the soil, or rather of the air—for almost all land, if sufficiently turned over and exposed for a time, gives abundant crops—must tend to make agriculture the most pleasant of occupations.—Ibid., p. 351.
It is rather a colony for persons of contented mind to enjoy life better with the same means, than for fortune-hunters to acquire a great and rapid increase of means, wherewith to go back and enjoy life in the old country. But in the enjoyment of life in the Colony, I include the constant pleasure of seeing scenery through a clear atmosphere, of breathing pure and invigorating air, of sleeping nine months in the year with your bedroom window open, and yet never feeling it too warm for fire when rain or a gale of wind keeps you in doors. For, otherwise, you are always out of doors, watching the robust growth of your plants, or the brilliant rising and setting of the sun, the surprising condition of the cattle without any great care, or the constantly varying but constantly beautiful appearances of the landscape, be it ever so meagre, which is open to your view.—Ibid., p. 352.
It has been commonly supposed in England that the winter must be severe in the more southern parts of New Zealand. This is not the opinion of persons who have resided there; as I cannot give any information from my own experience, I will only refer to the statements of others. According to the accounts from captains of whaling ships, who had visited Port Otago, and who were questioned on the subject by Colonel Wakefield, the winter there is scarcely less mild than at Port Nicholson; and native inhabitants of the place have concurred in declaring that snow remains only on the hills. The growth of vines at Akaroa, in Banks's Peninsula, which were planted by the French colonists in the depth of winter, almost proves the mildness of the climate in that place. And Major Bunbury, in his report to Governor Hobson of a voyage to the southward in Her Majesty's ship Herald, dated 28th June, 1840, (the dead of winter,) in speaking of Stewart's Island, the southern extremity of New Zealand, says, 'In some excursions I made, I was much pleased with the fertile appearance of this beautiful island; and although the winter was so far advanced, it was not so cold as I had anticipated from its being so far to the south. Indeed, the number of parroquets seen flying about gave it rather the appearance of a tropical island.'—Ibid. p. 84.
In this way settlement after settlement will be formed on both Islands. On the Middle Island there are several very eligible sites for the purpose, though little known. The soil is excellent; there is abundance of coal, and I believe the climate is much milder than that of England. Major Bunbury, in the report which I have already quoted, speaks as follows of this island:—'At Akaroa, we found a native village, and some Europeans connected with whaling establishments. A Captain Lethart, of Sydney, also here since the 10th of November last, has established a cattle run with about thirty head of horned cattle, and has two stock men in charge of them. From the appearance of this herd, I am inclined to believe the pasturage much better than at the Bay of Islands. Potatoes grown from this to the southward are unquestionably of a superior quality, and in no respect inferior to those grown in Van Diemen's Land.
'The country has a very picturesque and park like appearance, and seems well adapted for farms where both arable and pasture lands are required, yielding a mixed produce.
'On leaving Tavai Poenammoo, or the Middle Island, (continues Major Bunbury,) I was forcibly struck with the bleak and savage appearance of its chain of mountains covered with eternal snow, as viewed from the sea, and contrasted with the real amenity of its climate, and fertility of the soil near the coast. I am inclined to believe that the capabilities of this Island for purposes of agriculture have been much underrated, to say nothing of its splendid harbours and mineralogical productions.'—Ibid. pp. 86, 87.
On the whole, the result of this interesting trip must be the firm conviction in the minds of all who took a part in it, of the ample field for colonization afforded by the Middle Island of New Zealand. It may be considered as ascertained that a vast tract of country extending from sixty miles north of Port Cooper to Jacob's River, at the southern extremity of the island, admits of occupation in one unbroken line. How far into the interior such country may extend, is still undetermined.—Ibid. p. 56.
On the large plain (south of Banks's Peninsula), from what I learnt, the climate appears to be a good deal like our own.
The summer is said to be very warm, with much bright weather, and less rain than could be desired; and the frosts of winter are sharp. This is, in fact, what is generally observed on larger open levels; the thermometer is higher in summer and lower in winter, than in countries of irregular surface; at the same time, within the twenty-four hours, its range is greater. The frosts, as might be expected, set in sooner on the Port Cooper Plain than to the northward. A fortnight before we arrived, there had been a frost which withered the potato stalks. At Otago, on the other hand, which we did not reach till the 24th of April, though so much farther south, and later in the season, we found the potatoes still green and flourishing. It thus appears that the frost set in at Port Cooper at least a month sooner than at Otago.
The prevalent winds, we were informed by Mr. Deans, are north-easterly. which brings the finest weather: from the N. W. it blows hardest, and the S. W. is the rainy quarter. Snow sometimes falls, but never lies throughout the day.—Ibid. p. 57.
On the whole, the east coast of the Middle Island much exceeded my anticipations; which, however, I may mention, were by no means extravagant. It offers a large extent of level and undulating land; while the circumstance of its being covered with grass is of the greatest importance, as affording to industry a natural production of inestimable value, capable of being converted, with the smallest amount of labour or outlay, into a source of wealth and abundance.
The east coast of the Middle Island seems to me to hold out greater attractions to the colonists than any part of New Zealand. There is a very large field for the production of wool along the east coast of this island, and I am convinced that it can be grown with greater profit there than in any part of Australia. There are no native dogs, which are the principal cause of the expense of the shepherding in Australia. (There are, however, I should mention, a few Maori dogs, run wild, but these might soon be got rid of.) There is abundance of water, enabling the flock-master to wash his wool thoroughly; and the climate of this country is particularly favourable to the constitution of the sheep. Having seen most of the Australian colonies, and acquired a little experience at some expense, I see no occupation which affords so good a prospect of rapid return upon the money invested as sheep-grazing in this country, wherever pasture is sufficiently abundant; and there is great extent of grass land between Banks's Peninsula and the Bluff.
This district of country possesses also a great advantage in this, that there are almost no natives. On the great plain to the south of the Peninsula there are not, we are told, more than thirty or forty altogether. Otago and its neighbourhood and Robuki are their head-quarters, and there their numbers are very inconsiderable. In the fine district behind Molyneux Bay, there are only four men. To the southward along the coast there are hardly any. So that settlers in this part of the country have nothing to fear from claims to land, or annoying attempts at extortion.—Ibid. p. 234.
Do you know the northern part of England?—Yes.
Are the valleys and the ranges of mountains in Kew Zealand something like that part of England?—Like some parts of Cumberland very much.
A succession of valleys, with a fine soil, and hills running between?—Yes.—Extract from the Evidence of Mr. C. H. Kettle.—Report: New Zealand, H.C. 1844, No. 566, p. 171.
Do you agree that the colony of New Zealand, from its internal resources, and its mineral and agricultural productions, as well as its position, is a very valuable possession of the British Crown?—I think it is the most valuable colony in that part of the world.
"Will you state generally the grounds of your opinion?—They are, that from its soil and climate it will grow all European grain to perfection, and in many respects better than this country. It is in the centre of the whale fishery; it has immense forests of timber, which will be valuable as an article of trade with China, and probably South America before long; it is full of harbours, and it will have a great commerce, and a large maritime population; in fact, in such a way that it will be the Great Britain of that part of the world, including the vast archipelago of islands to the north, and will command the trade of that part of the world in future times; in the meantime, its exports of flax and other produce are likely to rise very considerably', and, before long, to make it valuable as a colony. — Evidence of J. C. Crawford, Esq.—Ibid., p. 160.
January 9th, (1844).—At sunset, from the top of the last hill at the S. W. angle of the (Banks's) Peninsula, we obtained a magnificent view over the vast plains of the south. Below us stretched out the apparently interminable line of the "ninety miles beach," a continuous range of uniform shingle, without headland or bay. Within this shingle bank is a great lake, Waihora, * * * * eighteen miles in length. Beyond the lake are plains of vast extent, bounded by a range of snowy mountains, behind which the sun was setting.—Journal of the Bishop of New Zealand, published in 'Church in the Colonies' No. VIII, p. 9.
January 17th.—The Waitangi river (south of Banks's Peninsula) runs from west to east, through a vast plain of forty or fifty miles in length, and about twelve in width, stretching east and west, without a tree or shrub.
January 18th.—Walked over a beautiful grass plain, at first altogether without trees, but after twelve miles covered with the Ti palm.—Ibid., p. 14.
February 14th.—* * * The wind being now contrary, I stayed two days at Akaroa, and looked over the settlement, where there are about eighty French settlers, and about fifty English, with a few Germans. Some of the French settlers have good gardens.
February 15th.—The wind being still contrary, I walked over to Pigeon Bay, on the north side of the Peninsula. * * * In this bay I found some Scotch settlers of the right sort, living in great comfort by their own exertions, making everything for themselves, and, above all, keeping up their religious principles and usages, though far from any ministerial assistance.
February 16th, 17th, 18th.—* * * Port Cooper is surrounded by precipitous hills, with very little level ground; but an opening can be made without difficulty to the extensive plains which range along the eastern shore of this island from Kaikoura (Lookers-on) to Moerangi.—Ibid, pp. 34, 35.
Extract of a Letter from Walter D. Mantell, Esq., Government Commissioner, dated Port Levi, Banks's Peninsula, August 16th, 1849. * * * Your Canterbury friends will be glad to hear, even on my questionable authority, that this port is safe. Thomas is managing excellently, and is always backed by a run of 'good luck,' which seems never inclined to desert him. His assistants are the best he could wish for, and the province of Canterbury will, as I said when it lay waste on the 'grand plain,' bear comparison, not only with any unsettled district in New Zealand, but with any of the already-formed settlements: this, as far as my own observation goes. In fact, now that its capabilities have become so publicly known, even the breaking up of the Association cannot prevent its 'going-a-head,' and becoming, and remaining for a long time, the leading settlement in New Zealand, and English capital of the country.
Such are the statements given by persons who have been resident in the country, and may be supposed well acquainted with its capabilities.
Timber and Water Power.
In the New Zealand islands generally there is a profusion of timber, and in the Canterbury settlement there is abundance of water-power; so that great facilities will be afforded to colonists for the erection of flour and saw mills, a most important consideration for a young community. In turning these and the other natural advantages of the country to account, the Canterbury colonists will be materially assisted by the experience of the older settlers—experience in the climate, in the management of cattle and sheep, in the cheap construction of mills, houses, and fences, in clearing land, and in making roads; a knowledge of the surface of the country, and of the native population;—all which have been acquired by others at an expense of time, of labour, of property, of hope, of strength, and of temper, which those only can estimate sufficiently who have themselves incurred it.
Produce and Markets.
The chief exports of the Canterbury settlement, for some time to come, as in all new settlements, will consist of raw produce. Its great plains, offering advantages to the breeders of horses, sheep, and horned cattle, will be especially adapted for wool-growers and keepers of stock forms. As the settlement begins to fill up, and the demand for grain increases within its limits, an export of grain may eventually be looked for, from the prize gradually engaged in its cultivation. For this grain there can hardly fail to be a considerable demand at the Australian ports, as the engagement of labour in pastoral and mining pursuits on that continent renders its population partially dependent on foreign supplies.
The climate, too, has been found peculiarly suited to successful brewing: and when it is considered that a vast quantity of malt liquor is exported from England to India, Australia, and the west coast of South America, every year, it may be concluded that the cultivation of barley and hops will prove very remunerative in New Zealand, situated as it is in comparative proximity to those countries.
Extensive carboniferous formations have already been discovered at either extremity of the Middle Island; and the coal procured from one of them, on the shores of Coal Bay, near Nelson, has been tried, and very favourably reported on by the commanding officers of H.M. steam-sloops Driver and Inflexible.
Summary of Advantages.
The advantages of New Zealand as a field of colonization may be thus summed up: they consist in—
- Fertility of soil, including the abundant promise of minerals, especially coal; and plenty of timber and water-power.
- Excellence of climate.
- Geographical position and conformation; involving easy access to markets, and good natural harbours.
It appears to the Association, that, on the whole, a greater amount of these advantages, in their combinations, is to be found in New Zealand than in any other part of the British dominions; and they believe, accordingly, that it offers the best field for the undertaking in which they have engaged.
PRELIMINARY ARRANGEMENTS AND ECONOMY OF THE PROPOSED SETTLEMENT.
THE rapidity of the growth of most of the ancient Greek colonies, which was such that, at the expiration of a century, the wealth and population of the colony frequently exceeded those of the parent state, has led many to compare the colonial policy of those days with that of our time and nation. The result of the comparison has been the discovery of three most important differences between the two systems, which are quite sufficient to account for the very different measures of success which have attended them.
The Greek colonies sailed from the parent states perfectly organized, and, for all purposes of internal government, independent societies.
The territory occupied by each was closely limited to that which sufficed for the agricultural industry of the colonists, by the necessity of a concentrated population, to protect the lives and property of all from the inroads of the original owners of the soil, whom they had dispossessed.
They had slaves, which secured to them abundance of labour.
It cannot be expected that these three conditions will be fulfilled in the proposed settlement of members of the Church of England in New Zealand; but it may be alleged, with truth, that there will here be a greater approach to these, or equivalent conditions, than has been ever accomplished in any other settlement of modern times.
Form of Government.
The colonists will sail from England as far as possible an organized society; and it is the intention of her Majesty's Government to direct that the Settlement of Canterbury may be, if no local obstacles or other unforeseen objections prevent, constituted a distinct Province, with a separate Legislature. If this intention be carried out, they will possess institutions of local self-government to an extent unexampled in the history of new colonies in modern times, and the enjoyment of this boon alone would suffice to stamp the Canterbury Settlement with a peculiar character, and to make it especially attractive in the eyes of all who are acquainted with the evils of the opposite system. Its colonists will possess complete powers of self-taxation, of legislation upon all matters which concern themselves alone, and of control over all functionaries engaged in local administration, without any interference on the part of other and differently constituted communities, While it is hoped that the care exercised in selecting those colonists, and their general unity of opinion on topics which form a fertile source of discord at home, will enable them to exercise with peculiar advantage and facility the privileges with which it is hoped that they will be entrusted.
The population will be concentrated, not by precautions against the hostile inroads of a warlike aboriginal population, but by the large sum of money required to be advanced in the purchase of every acre of land.
Supply of Labour.
It will not have the economic gain, with the moral degradation, of a slave population, to develop the riches of the country; but the immigration fund will supply a larger amount of free labour to the capitalist than has hitherto been procurable in recent British settlements.
Other distinctive features.
We proceed to notice the following distinctive features of the proposed settlement, which give it, as is conceived, an additional claim to superiority. These are—
- The preliminary trigonometrical survey of the territory to be occupied by the settlement;
- The method of free selection of land, by every purchaser of a land order;
- The arrangement for the selection of immigrants of the labouring classes;
- The preparation of roads, sawn timber, and other conveniences, before the arrival of the first body of colonists;
- The pasturage system;
- Religious and educational endowments.
Price of Land.
To secure the advantages proposed by the Association, it will be necessary to demand an outlay of 3l. an acre from purchasers of rural land. This will doubtless appear a large price to those persons who have not made the elements of the value of land the subject of a particular study, but judge principally from the prices at which they hear that land in such countries as Canada and Western Australia may be obtained.
On the other hand, it is believed that few, who are qualified to form a correct judgment on this important subject, will deny that land in this settlement will be really cheap to every resident proprietor. Let us analyze his outlay.
Application of Proceeds.
In the event of 1,000,000 acres of rural land being sold, which would produce 3,000,000l, this sum will be expended in the following manner:—
|One-sixth, or 10s. per acre will be paid to the New Zealand Company for the land||£500,000|
|One-sixth will be appropriated to surveys and other miscellaneous expenses of the Association||500,000|
|Two-sixths to immigration||1,000,000|
|Two-sixths to ecclesiastical and educational purposes||1,000,000|
The price of rural land is 10s. per acre (being one-sixth of the sum required from its purchasers), which is not more than will suffice to repay the New Zealand Company the outlay and risk of loss incurred in opening New Zealand to colonization, in purchasing the land from the natives, and in maintaining the establishment which is necessary in the colony to protect its property and carry on its operations; and in England to represent its interests to the Imperial Government, and to promote its colonization.
Nor is the land dear at this price, considered in itself, without reference to the outlay at which it may have been acquired by the New Zealand Company. If reference be made to the extracts given in the preceding pages to evidence its fertility and climate; if the cost of conveying its produce to market be considered; and if this land be then compared with land at the same price beyond the Mississippi, or the Lakes in Canada (fertility, position, and climate being the principal elements of the value of wild land, in whatever part of the world it may be), it will appear that, not even in those parts of the world where it seems to be cheapest, can land, having equal quantities of these elements of value, be purchased at so low a price as in New Zealand.
Preliminary Survey and Roads.
A contribution of 10s. per acre will be required from every purchaser of rural land, to form a fund to defray the expenses of the preliminary trigonometrical survey of the territory: of the subsequent surveys of each section as it may be selected; of commencing the formation of the principal roads, marked on the general chart; of the few temporary buildings required; of the Association in England; and of the necessary staff in the colony.
This forms no part of the actual price of the land, which, as above stated, is 10s. per acre. The purchaser from government in America, or the other British colonies, neither pays for, nor has, any of these advantages. There the Government land is divided, more or less accurately, into sections, according to the regulations as to not only figure, but size, which may from time to time be prescribed by the Government. Every intending purchaser must choose one of these sections, however wide it may be, of the particular lot of land which he may wish to obtain. But an accurate preliminary trigonometrical survey af the whole territory, that invaluable guide to the selection of the best lines of road, and the best lots of land, has never been attempted in any new settlement heretofore; although, in such a case, every operation of human industry being yet unattempted, its utility would be very much greater than in an old country, where it reveals so much that has been misdirected and misplaced. Even in Europe, the inhabitants of few territories have the advantage of such a survey as the purchasers in this district will possess. In the British islands, a similar one is not yet completed.
The gain to the settlers in the diminished cost of making the great roads in the best lines, as compared with that of making them in improper lines at first, and afterwards continually altering them, will much more than repay them for the outlay incurred in making this survey. The vast advantage of security and accuracy of boundary, and the facility of the registration and transfer of all landed property, will be clear gain. These advantages will be cheaply purchased by the outlay which this survey will cost.
At no period of a settler's progress are roads so essential to his convenience—almost to his existence—as when he first proceeds to locate himself in the bush. His family, his household goods and agricultural implements, and food to sustain his establishment until the fruits of their labour shall be sufficient, must all be conveyed to his new abode. The loss of time, labour, and property incurred in this operation, in a new country where no roads have been previously formed, will be sufficiently estimated only by those who have had experience in America and Australia. The purchaser of rural land in the settlement to be formed under the auspices of the Association, will make a contribution according to these expenses. If this money be economically expended (and effectual precaution to secure economy in this and every other expenditure of the funds contributed by the purchasers of land can and will be taken by the Association), it may confidently be asserted that a more judicious investment of part of the settler's capital could scarcely be made.
As regards the expenses of the Association in England, and in the settlement, the station and character of its members, and their moral responsibility to the colonists to protect their interests to the utmost, afford, it may be hoped, a sufficient guarantee against any abuses of administration. Moreover, every operation, such as road-making, bridge-making, and buildings of all sorts, the execution of which can conveniently be submitted to public competition, will be conducted in that manner. The utmost publicity will be courted; the most detailed information of its expenditure will be afforded.
Another contribution, included in the first outlay of 3l. per acre, which will be required from the purchaser, namely, a sum equal to twice the amount of the price of the land, or 1l. per acre for rural land, to be expended on immigration, may confidently be asserted to be a most advantageous investment of part of his capital; and, at the same time, one which he could not safely make, unless it were compulsory upon the whole body. Indeed, a larger sum than this might advantageously be applied to this purpose, if all other appropriated land in New Zealand had already contributed, or would now contribute, in the larger proportion, as will appear from the following consideration.
Supposing that it be considered necessary, in order to the most profitable system of tillage, that at least one adult male agricultural labourer should be imported into the settlement for every thirty acres sold; and supposing, moreover, that on the average there be one such adult male labourer in every six individuals among the labouring immigrants of all ages and both sexes;—it will then appear necessary that six such immigrants should be landed for every thirty acres sold. But, as the average cost of passage cannot be reckoned at less than 15l. for each individual, the sale of thirty acres will only furnish the passage-money of two individuals.
The contribution, therefore, to the immigration fund, will certainly be insufficient; but, as other owners of land in New Zealand have not contributed so much to the labour fund of the Colony, they would reap the advantage of any larger outlay, at the expense of the Association.
It must also be remembered, that there is a considerable elasticity in the last of the three elements,—land, labour, and system of agriculture, which have to be adjusted to each other in every agricultural community. In New Zealand, the modification which the system of agriculture is capable of receiving, in order to adjust it to the other two elements, is a great increase in the quantity of grass land. After the land shall have been well cleared, fenced, and cultivated for two or three years, it may be laid down for several years into pasture, to which the soil and climate are so well adapted: the land, thus treated, instead of one sheep to four or five acres, which is the common power of unimproved natural pasture in Australia, will maintain about four sheep per acre throughout the year, with no more dread of being overstocked in an arid summer, as in Australia, than in an inclement winter, as in Europe and America; so that, although a larger immigration fund could be advantageously applied if the Association possessed it, and other colonists in New Zealand contributed in like proportion, the immigration fund actually determined on is sufficient to sustain a productive system of rural economy.
Every purchaser will have the right (subject to the veto of the Association) of nominating persons who shall be assisted to emigrate, in proportion to the amount contributed by his own purchase to the general immigration fund; and, if it be found practicable, some contribution towards the expense of his passage and outfit will be required from each immigrant, as well with the view to obtain the greatest number of immigrants for a given expenditure, as to secure a better class of labourers.
Town lands will be sold at higher prices than rural lands: but the funds derived from the sale thereof will be expended for the same purposes, and in the same proportions.
Selection of Colonists.
So far as practicable, measures will be taken to send individuals of every class and profession, in those proportions in which they ought to exist in a prosperous colonial community.
The Association retain, and will carefully exercise, a power of selection among all those who may apply for permission to emigrate to their settlement, either as purchasers or as immigrants requiring assistance. They will do so with the view of insuring, as far as possible, that none but persons of good character, as well as members of the Church of England, shall form part of the population, at least in its first stage; so that the settlement may begin its existence in a healthy moral atmosphere.
Mode of selecting Land.
The peculiarity of the method of the selection of land adopted in this Settlement, consists in allowing every purchaser of an order for rural land to select the quantity mentioned in his land order, in whatever part of the surveyed territory he may please, assisted by an accurate chart, which will be made as rapidly as circumstances will permit, representing the natural features, the quality of the soil, and the main lines of road.
Certain rules as to position and figure, embodied in the terms of purchase, and framed with a view to prevent individuals from monopolising more than a certain proportion of road or river frontage, must be observed in each selection.
But it is not the intention of the Association to divide the whole or any portion of the territory to be colonized (except the sites of the capital and other towns) into sections of uniform size and figure, which has been the system generally pursued in other settlements.
Every selection will be effected by the owner of the land order communicating to the Chief Surveyor a description of the spot on which he wishes his section to be marked out.
If this selection shall not violate the regulations as to position and figure, and if the area included shall be equal to the amount of land stated in the land order, the section will be immediately marked on the chart, and a surveyor will be sent as soon as possible to mark it on the ground.
A right of priority of selection among the first body of colonists will be determined in the manner provided in the 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14 clauses of the terms of purchase. But after this first body shall have had an opportunity of selecting their land, every purchaser of a land order will be entitled to select any surveyed land to the amount of his order, which may be unselected at the time of his application.
Allotment of Pastoral Ranges.
The last peculiar feature of the economy of this settlement which deserves notice, is the system according to which the pasture of such land as may from time to time remain unsold, within the limits of the settlement, is to be distributed.
Licences conferring the right of depasturing the unsold land within the limits of the settlement will be granted on the conditions contained in certain clauses of the terms of purchase. But each purchaser, being one of the first body of colonists, will be entitled to pasturage in proportion to the amount of his freehold land on the conditions offered in Clause 21 of the terms of purchase. Pasturage licences will be issued for periods not exceeding twelve months. These licences will, however, convey no right to the soil, nor will any allowance be made to the holders of them for improvements, as the object of the Association is to avoid everything likely to discourage sales.
By the adoption of these arrangements with respect to pasturage; the real price of land in the settlement will be materially reduced to the first purchasers, as they will acquire not merely the stipulated equivalent for their purchase-money in freehold land, but, moreover, a right to what will necessarily be for some time to come a very large extent of pasturage. For example, the purchasers of the first 100,000 acres of land will have the privilege of depasturing the rest of the district, and will only lose that privilege by degrees, as the settlement shall fill up, and as their freehold land shall thereby increase in value.
Ecclesiastical and Educational Endowments.
With reference to the contribution for the establishment and endowment of ecclesiastical and educational institutions, the Association feel that it is unnecessary here to enter into a discussion of the utility of providing a fund for these purposes. The purchasers of land in this settlement will consist entirely of members of the Church of England; and it is supposed that few of these will question the desirableness of making adequate provision for the building a sufficient number of churches and schools, and maintaining, in its complete form, a branch of the ministry of the church, proportionate to the lay population of the settlement.
That an excessive provision for this purpose is not made, the following calculation will show.
Before going into it, the Association wish distinctly to point out—what is applicable, indeed, to the whole subject, but peculiarly so to the present branch of it,—that such anticipations and calculations are at present wholly hypothetical. They are fully aware, that before they could be realized, the approval and sanction of various authorities must be obtained: without which, indeed, even if they could proceed, they would be quite unwilling to do so. But it has been their object in these remarks to hold out to view the idea of a colonial settlement complete in all its parts; and they feel most strongly that such an idea would fall very short of that description unless it included, and that not as a vague generality, but in that amount of details which is here presented, the element which has just been mentioned.
Assuming, by way of hypothesis, that out of the territory of one million acres to be allotted to this settlement, two hundred thousand will be sold in the first year or two, and the remainder appropriated to pasturage, the Association will have at its disposal two funds, each a little exceeding 200,000l.: one appropriated to immigration purposes, the other to ecclesiastical and educational establishments and endowments.
The former funds, under the system of partial contributions to passages, instead of defraying the whole cost of them, which the Association intends to adopt, will probably enable the Association to forward 15,000 persons to the settlement.
The Association, considering the large surface over which the population will be distributed, calculates that twenty clergymen, and as many schoolmasters, will not be more than are requisite to establish and maintain that high religious and educational character, which the Association hopes, with the Divine blessing, that this settlement will possess.
Assuming that the churches, parsonage-houses, and schools will be constructed of wood upon foundations of stone carried to a height of three or four feet above the ground, the following will be an approximate estimate of their cost:—
|20 Churches at 1000l. each||£20,000|
|20 Parsonage-houses and Glebes, at 500l. each||10,000|
|20 Schools at 100l. each||2000|
|A College and Chapel||6000|
|Residences for a Bishop, the Principal of the College, and an Archdeacon||3000|
Deducting this sum from the original fund of 200,000l., 159,000l. will remain. The interest derived from this sum will probably have to defray the following stipends:—
|To a Bishop||£1000|
|To an Archdeacon||600|
|20 Clergymen, 200l. each||4000|
|20 Schoolmasters, 70l. each||1400|
|Total per annum||£7000|
To carry on our hypothesis, if 80,000l. invested in the British funds yield three and a half per cent, interest, and 79,000l. invested in Colonial securities yield six per cent, interest, an annual income of 7,040l. will be derived from the whole.
This excess of estimated Income over estimated expenditure will appear only too small, if the indispensable expenses of management and the possibility of losses be taken Into consideration.
A proportionate calculation might be made, on the hypothesis of any greater quantity of land than 200,000 acres being sold, up to that included within the whole territory.
The members of the Association have engaged in their present undertaking in the hope that the knowledge of the principles and practice of colonization, which the history of modern British settlements is calculated to impart, may enable them to secure the proposed Settlement against some of the main evils which have impeded the prosperity of other colonies.
Progress of the Association's Proceedings.
In conclusion, it Is desirable a short statement should be made of the position in which the Association now stand as regards their resources, and of their intended course of action. They have obtained a Charter of Incorporation, and a certain sum of money has been placed at their disposal, as an advance repayable out of the funds which will accrue from the sales of land. That sum will be expended, after providing for the very small necessary expenses of their machinery in this country, on the arrangements which will be required to prepare the Settlement for the first body of Colonists. Captain Thomas, a gentleman who has had great local experience of New Zealand, and who is eminently well qualified in other respects, was appointed Agent and Chief Surveyor, and sailed for New Zealand in 1848, together with a Deputy-Surveyor and Assistant. After careful examination. In accordance with his instructions, and in concert with the Governor and Bishop of New Zealand, he has selected as a site for the Canterbury Settlement the plains delineated in the accompanying map. Their local features will be found described in the report of Captain Thomas himself, and in a letter written by the Bishop of New Zealand, from both of which extracts are herewith given. The Association has since approved the selection, considering themselves fortunate to obtain a district so remarkably rich in natural advantages, and the survey and other preliminary operations are now in active progress, as will be seen by the following extract from a letter recently received from Port Lyttelton.
Lyttelton, Sept. 11, 1849.
We have now here over 110 men at work on surveys, roads, and buildings. Lyttelton resembles a country village in England, such is its decency, its order, its regularity, and sobriety. The town is surveyed, and we have got the trigonometrical stations fixed, and extending over 30,000 acres. By Christmas, we hope to complete the trigonometrical survey of half a million of acres, and the surveys and maps of Christchurch, and the town at the mouth of the Avon.
Forty natives are at work on the roads, and we are now sending to Wellington for sixty more. All goes on without difficulty, and with rapidity.
During the present year it is therefore calculated that a large proportion of the whole territory will be surveyed and rendered traversable by the formation of main roads. Captain Thomas is also empowered to erect such buildings as may appear indispensable to the convenience of the first colonists: in the performance of this task, he must, however, be limited not only by the time but by the amount of funds at his disposal. It is impossible to state accurately beforehand how much these funds will enable him to do; and, therefore, all that the Association can guarantee is, that they shall be, so far as lies in their and (as they entirely believe) in Captain Thomas's power, expended economically and effectually in improving the settlement and in promoting the interests of the colonists.
In addition to this, the Association have appointed as their resident Chief Agent in New Zealand, Mr. Godley, a member of the Committee of Management, who takes a deep interest in the Association's proceedings, and who has been from the first one of its most efficient promoters. Mr. Godley sailed from England in December last, with the fullest powers and instructions to act in every way for the benefit of the colonists. He will probably arrive in New Zealand in April, and will superintend the final preparations for their reception.
The terms of purchase are published herewith, as finally arranged, with the consent and approval of her Majesty's Government; and the Association are now in a position to proceed with their undertaking.
Extracts from a Despatch of Captain Thomas, the Association's Agent and Chief Surveyor, dated May 15, 1849.
The Port Cooper District having been fixed on as the site of the Canterbury Settlement, I have now the honour to report, for the information of the Committee of the Association, upon the country and harbour.
The block of land on the east coast of the Middle Island, from which the million of acres for the site of the Canterbury Settlement is to be selected, contains over two millions of acres, extending coastwise to the north and south-west, and bounded inland by a range of hills whose distance from the coast varies from forty to fifty miles.
This country is perfectly level, watered by numerous rivers and streams, and covered with grass. Like all extensive districts, portions of it are found of inferior quality, a very small part is swampy, indeed so trifling that a dray may be driven over almost every part of it; the surface in some parts is stony, but on examination we found it confined to the surface alone, the soil consisting of a light loam, resting on gravel and a substratum of blue clay; much of it well adapted for agricultural purposes, and capable of yielding excellent crops of all kinds of grain, potatoes, and European fruits and vegetables.
The whole of this extensive and almost uninhabited tract of plain country affords excellent natural pasturage, and is particularly well adapted for the depasturing of cattle and horses.
The produce of a very extensive country, extending along the sea coast for 200 or 300 miles, will have Port Cooper as its market and harbour.
Banks's Peninsula contains no less than four good harbours—viz., Akaroa, Pigeon Bay, Port Levy, and Port Cooper. The country is hilly and well wooded; and the three former harbours are separated from the plain country, excepting by forming long and expensive hill roads; thus. Port Cooper alone is of any value with reference to the plains adjoining.
The harbour of Port Cooper, situated in the N.W. angle of Banks's Peninsula, though open to the eastward, affords good and safe anchorage. Large ships anchor about four miles up, whilst brigs and large schooners lie off the port town of Lyttelton. It has no bar, is easy of access and egress, and has been frequented by whalers of all nations for the last twenty years, and no accident is on record; and with a lighthouse on Godley Head (which I should most strongly recommend), might be entered with safety in the darkest night.
The districts, Lincoln, Stratford, Mandeville, Ashley, Oxford, and Buccleuch, are for the most part grassy or partially covered with flax, and can be brought into cultivation at a very moderate expense; and I recommend these districts to be first occupied, not only on account of the quality of the land, but the first three with regard to the relative position of the harbour, as also of their possessing in many instances the advantages of water-communication for the transport of their produce and supplying them with timber and firewood from Banks's Peninsula: and the last two with reference to the large extent of forest land adjoining.
We were agreeably surprised to find that mosquitoes, which are common in many parts of New Zealand during the summer season, were seldom found on the plain; and we attributed their absence to the very small extent of swampy land.
The best time for colonists to arrive is from October to January; they then arrive in the summer months, have the summer before them to house themselves, and probably form a garden, or break up some land and get in a crop. They should, therefore, sail from England during the months of June, July, and August, and to the middle of September, and I would strongly advise no body of emigrants to leave later than those months.
In conclusion, I would offer to the Association my sincere congratulations on its having obtained so excellent a site for its Settlement, and one which possesses the advantages considered to be so essential to the future prosperity of the Colony, viz.: —
A harbour of its own, instead of being dependent upon one appertaining to another Settlement; an immense extent of land easily available for cultivation; removed from danger of disturbance from natives; possessing an extent of outside grazing country unequalled in New Zealand; and being in every way suitable for being formed into a distinct province with a separate legislature.
Extract from a Despatch of Captain Stokes, R.N.
H.M.S. Acheron, Wellington, New Zealand,
May 1st, 1840.
Sir,—By an opportunity which occurs to-morrow, viâ South America, I have the honour to inform you very briefly of the Acheron's arrival here to-day, and that in the interval between our last visit, nearly 300 miles of the eastern coast of the Middle Island have been examined, commencing forty miles north of Banks's Peninsula. I have to regret the paucity of anchorages in that extent of coast line, which you will perceive by the tracing is twenty miles in error; the best we visited, excepting Akaroa, has been wisely selected by Mr. Thomas as a resort for the ships bringing out the Canterbury settlers. I had an opportunity of viewing the plains from their northern end, at an elevation of 3,000 feet; and it then occurred to me they might be appropriately designated, the Great Southern Plains of New Zealand. An extent southernly of about one hundred miles of prairie land, fertile and well watered, lay before me, varying in width from thirty to fifty miles, and bounded on the west by a range of mountains mostly capped with snow, affording means of extending the triangulation midway across the Island. With regard to the capabilities of the harbour, I have to remark that, besides its vicinity to this open and fertile district, it is the most approachable of any anchorage I have visited in New Zealand. In the first place, its position being close to the N.W. end of Banks's Peninsula, always renders it recognisable to strangers from a considerable seaward distance in clear weather: in the second, the remarkably gradual shoaling of the water, a feature not before met with in these volcanic islands.—I have, &c.
(Signed)John L. Stokes,
- Admiral Sir Francis Beaufort, K.C.B.
Extracts from a Letter written at Wellington, in New Zealand, May 2, 1849.
Just returned from two months' cruise at Banks's Peninsula. Climate delightful. Of three-and-thirty days I was in the 'Bush,' only one wet—while elsewhere it was blowing gales and raining constantly. The Middle Island is delightful. Everywhere on the east side of the mountains rich grass, knee deep, often breast high! Plains extend uninterruptedly from thirty miles northward of Port Cooper to one hundred miles south of it: on an average, thirty-five miles wide.
Nothing will now satisfy me but the beef and mutton, the milk and cheese, the apples and nine of Banks's Peninsula and the plains behind it.
We are all quite delighted with the country, and agree that it is far more worth M. an acre than other land is worth 5s. I am confident that the proposed Church of England Settlement will prove the most wealthy of any in New Zealand, in spite of the cost of the land. There it is; you pay 3l., and may plough it up, or put your sheep on it at once. On the Peninsula, in the hands of about three settlers, are some 6,000 or 8,000 of the woolly tribe. At Cape Campbell, Mr. Clifford alone owns 6,000.
I now, for the first time, think New Zealand really capable of going on in a flourishing manner.
Replies from Messrs. Deans to Captain Thomas's Inquiries.
Riccarton, near Port Cooper, 20th January, 1849.
Dear Sir,—In order to perform the promise we made of furnishing you with a statement of our experience for the last six years as settlers in this district, we shall now answer in their order the queries you left with us, and afterwards add a few observations not embraced in them.
1st. 'As to the weather,' August, September, and October are the spring months. These months may be said to be pretty much of the same description as the spring months in England, with this exception, that here we have a greater number of fine warm days; there are likewise generally a few frosty mornings at the commencement of this season. The summer season includes the months of November, December, and January. There has been considerable variation in the character of the weather during the summers we have been here; some of them have been very dry, and in others we have had more or less rain during almost every week of their continuance; this season, however, may be said generally to include a large proportion of fine warm weather, with some very hot days, and occasional gales of wind. February, March, and April are autumn months, and during these we have always experienced the finest weather of the year—mild, calm days, with frequent showers, are the general characteristics of these months, but at a distance from the sea coast, and in the neighbourhood of swamps, there are usually slight frosts towards the latter end of autumn. The winter includes the months of May, June, and July. We have likewise experienced a considerable difference in these months during each season we have resided here; fine calm days, and frequent frosty and cold nights and mornings, and an occasional gale of wind from the south-west, with heavy rain, may be said, however, to be the description of this season, with a greater or smaller proportion of each in every year. During each winter we have had two or three falls of snow, but it never has exceeded four or five inches in depth on the plain—never interferes with cattle or sheep feeding, usually disappears in the course of twenty-four hours, and has never lain more than two or three days at any one time. The frosts generally disappear before 11 o'clock, a.m.
2nd. 'As to crops, times of sowing, &c.' Every description of crops should be sown in April, May, or June; artificial grasses should likewise be sown during these months, or earlier, if the ground be moist. Potatoes may be planted from the end of August till the end of November, or even December, if near the sea-coast, but it is not desirable to plant them either so early as the first, or so late as the last mentioned months, as the stalks of very early or late crops are liable to be slightly nipped by frost, but we have never observed any material damage the crops have sustained through this cause. We have always had early potatoes ready to dry by Christmas, and pease and cabbages at the same time, never getting less than seven tons, and once nearly twenty tons to the acre, and except a few early ones planted in the garden, we never now manure this crop, which is generally of excellent quality. The harvesting of wheat, barley, and oats takes place in the months of January or February. We have had remarkably fine crops of each of these both as regards quantity and quality, never having had less than twenty bushels of either to the acre, and we have had above sixty bushels, the difference in the quantity being attributable to the greater or less care with which the land has been prepared for the crop, and whether the season was favourable or unfavourable.
3rd. 'Opinion as farmers upon the open land of the plain generally.'
Except our garden and orchard, all our cultivations have been on an open, unsheltered part of the plain, which showed evident traces of having been heavily timbered at no distant period; but which, immediately previous to the time we broke it up, was covered with grass. Our opinion is, that in no part of the New Zealand Company's territories can equal crops of grain be grown at so small an expense as they can here on the open plain. The greater part of the plain is very little more difficult to break up with the plough than is old pasture land in England; and we feel confident that, taking an average of seasons, it will produce, one year with another, at least thirty bushels of wheat, barley, or oats to the acre; and that it will grow in perfection every grain and fruit common in England. You are aware that Van Diemen's Land and South Australia at present grow most of the grain used in the colonies in these seas; and it is a well ascertained fact, that in these two colonies the average crop of wheat does not exceed twenty-five bushels to the acre; so that we must confidently anticipate that the open land here will grow larger crops than can be produced in either of these colonies. Our opinion is, that you will be able to select in a block 1,000,000 acres of land, no portion of which need be distant from Port Cooper more than sixty miles; that of this 1,000,000 acres not more than one-third is unfit for present cultivation, and that a considerable portion of this one-third could be rendered available at a very slight outlay. The portions we consider not available are those near the sea beach, on the north and south of the high lands of the Peninsula, in the vicinity of the Waihola Lake, and a portion of the land adjacent to the banks of the Waimakarivi, near its mouth, and a few other portions scattered over the plain; but we believe that you wish to be able to select a block of 1,000,000, in such a form as to exclude a large portion of the spots mentioned.
4th. 'As to crops on bush land.'
Our opinion is, that the greatest part of the plain was covered with timber at no distant period, and that the bush land is not superior to the open land in any respect. We mean, that suppose a clump of timber was cut down and carried from the land, that the ground whereon that bush grew would not produce a larger crop than an equal extent of the land adjacent to it, which had been covered with timber at some not very remote period; but if the timber was burned on the land, it might produce a better crop the first year than open land.
5th. 'As to farming implements to be brought out, also the best kind of stock, as to bulls, cows, rams, ewes, and horses, to be imported.'
The farming implements to be brought out ought to be pretty much the same as those in use in England; but cart wheels and other bulky farming implements can be got from New South Wales cheaper and better than they can be brought from England. Horses would be generally used in preference to bullocks for agricultural purposes, and their harness should be lighter and smaller than that generally in use in England. With each emigrant vessel, a good Durham cow ought to be sent by the Association, and a few pure-bred Durham bulls should be likewise sent within the first year after the settlement is started; these might be sold by public auction to the settlers, with a certainty of their producing a profit above first cost, freight, insurance, and every other expense; and there is no doubt they would very much improve the breed of cattle from New South Wales, and confer a great benefit on the settlers. As there is a very extensive grazing district in this neighbourhood, and as the salting of beef of a superior quality for export will doubtless prove a profitable speculation, we would strongly advise that a few bulls of the Galloway breed should be sent out from time to time, and sold in the same manner as the others. We believe that there is no breed in England to equal the Galloway for beef—the best of the breed can be purchased in Galloway for an inconsiderable sum, and would be peculiarly suited to the natural pasturage of this country; and we feel assured that beef of that breed could be salted here superior to any sent to England from any other quarter. We ourselves would be glad to purchase a bull or two of that breed, at a price that would yield a considerable profit after paying first cost, freight, &c. Beyond a very few South Down rams, to improve the quality of the mutton of the colonial sheep, we would not advise that any rams should be imported, as fine-wooled sheep can be got from New South Wales superior to any in England. A few good draught horses should likewise be sent, of the Clydesdale, Suffolk Punch, or Cleveland breed, and sold in the same manner as the cattle. The breeding of thorough-bred horses for the Indian market would likewise prove a good speculation. You are aware that a good many of these are annually sent from New South Wales to that country, where they are bought at high prices; and we have it from one of the most extensive and successful breeders there, that, owing to the uncertainty of the seasons, the young horses there are frequently so starved as never to arrive at a good size, and their feet are apt to get out of order, which detracts very much from their value. As neither of these would happen here, there is little doubt that the breeding of thorough-bred horses for the Indian market would prove very beneficial to the settlement: and the Association would therefore contribute much to its prosperity if they were to send out a few stallions of good blood; but perhaps the settlement should first be started some time before sending them. From the facility with which immense quantities of wheat can be grown, it is of the utmost importance that mills, or the materials for mills, with thrashing-power attached, should accompany the first settlers: one water and one windmill would probably be sufficient at first. We would likewise recommend the settlers to bring seeds of the different varieties of English trees and hawthorn.
6th. 'How stock thrive on plains—sheep, percentage of lambs yet obtained—weight of carcass, wool, &c. Quantity of stock at your station.'
All kinds of stock thrive amazingly. Cattle and sheep are fit for the butcher at all seasons; and they are never housed, either winter or summer. A married couple who came out from Scotland with us now manage a dairy of our cattle at Port Cooper; previous to emigrating, they were engaged as farm-servants in Ayrshire, where a very superior lot of the celebrated Ayrshire cattle were kept; and they assure ns that they make a larger quantity of butter and cheese during the year than they did at home from the same quantity of cows, and the quality is quite as good. The percentage of lambs to ewes we had this season was about 105 per cent. The sheep we have are small and fine-wooled—weight of wethers above 60 lbs.—the weight of wool on ewes, 3½1bs. The fleeces of our rams, which are pure merinos, averaged, this clip, 6¼lbs., and one of the fleeces weighed 7½1bs. We may mention that the natural pasturage here will feed to perfection the largest breed of sheep. We have at present about 150 cattle, 1000 sheep, and ten horses.
7th. 'At what price would you supply beef and mutton, and probable monthly supply?'
We could supply beef and mutton at 5d. per lb, and pork at 4d. at present, but not to any extent. With our own stock, and what we could procure otherwise, we would be able to supply your survey party on the plain with about one ton per month. We anticipate that the prices would exceed these sums on the arrival of a large party of settlers from England, but only for a short time, as supplies would quickly pour in from the neighbouring colonies and the other settlements in New Zealand.
8th. 'What price have you paid for timber, and opinion as to price in case a large quantity were advertised for.'
Sawn timber can now be got for 10s. or 12s. the 100 feet. There being only a small population here at present, we are unable to say at what price a large contract would be taken.
9th. 'As to bricks—clay for making ditto; lime, limestone, and building-stone.'
There is plenty of brick clay in the neighbourhood, limestone is not distant; and there are masses of a stone more nearly resembling freestone than any we have previously seen in the hills surrounding Port Cooper.
10th. 'What per ton did flour and other provisions cost on first establishing your station, and what now?'
On first coming here, flour cost us about 251. per ton. Irish salt pork about 6l. per cask of 200 lbs. Tea, 2s. per lb.; and sugar 4d. to 5d. per lb. Noww’, flour can be bought here from 16l. to 18l. No salted provisions are used, and tea and sugar are still about the same price.
We believe that you have satisfied yourself that the making of a good road between Port Cooper and the Waimakariri is not only perfectly practicable, but can be made with the greatest facility; and that not only can the river itself be crossed by ferries, but that it is perfectly practicable and easy to make a bridge across it at an inconsiderable expense. We are certain that in no part of the New Zealand Company's territories can roads be made in every direction with such facility as they can on this plain; and that now in its natural state, there is no difficulty in traversing it in every directing with bullock drays.
The system of fencing which would be generally in use here would be by ditch and embankment, similar to what you have seen at our station, of which a good labourer would do at least two rods a day. Furze or hawthorn might be planted on the top of the embankment, and thus a good fence, which would last for centuries, might be easily made. We believe that this sort of fence would not cost more at first than one of post and rail, even where timber abounded; and from the perishable nature of the generality of New Zealand timber, it would certainly be the most economical in the end. Colonel Wakefield must have been misinformed as to the quantity of timber is this district, for we believe that there is at least an equal quantity here to what there is at Otago; but as you have now seen both districts, you can form a correct judgment as to this. It would certainly be desirable if there was more wood on the plain than there is, but we consider that it is much better as it is than if it had been so thickly timbered as the generality of bush land in New Zealand, for we are certain that to cultivate such land would never pay. A settler would do better to import coals from Newcastle, in New South Wales, from whence they can be got under 30s. per ton, landed in Port Cooper, than to clear bush land, for we are sure that for the expense he must incur in merely chopping and burning-off the timber of one acre of bush land, he can supply himself with at least a twelvemonth's supply of coals; and if the cost of stumping the land and rendering it fit for the plough were to be added, he would be able to get two years' supply of coals for what it would cost him to clear a single acre.
Having visited all the New Zealand Company's settlements, made repeated visits to the Wairarapa; traversed the country from Port Nicholson to Taranaki, and the whole of the east coast of this island; and after considerable experience in England as farmers, and for the last nine years in New Zealand, we can with some confidence congratulate you on being able to secure this district as the site for the Canterbury settlement; for, excepting the Taranaki district, which is without a harbour, inundated with natives, and already occupied by the New Plymouth settlement, we do not believe a suitable site could ever have been secured elsewhere in the Company's territory; and we are certain that no site equal to this is now open for selection. Besides the 1,000,000 acres required for the New Settlement here, there are at least 3,000,000 acres surrounding it, the greater proportion of which, we believe, is good agricultural land; and all of this large tract is peculiarly adapted for the depasturing of stock. We mean the country from the Kai Koras to Moeraki, at both of which places vessels can anchor with tolerable safety.—We are, &c.,
W. & J. Deans.
Captain Thomas, Agent and Chief Surveyor
to the Canterbury Settlement.
Extracts from a Letter from the Chief Surveying Officer of H. M. Ship "Acheron."
H. M. S. V. "Acheron," Wellington, Port Nicholson,
New Zealand, May 8th 1849.
My dear Mr. Hutt,—We are only within the last week returned from our surveying cruise on the eastern coast of the Middle Island; I gladly avail myself of an opportunity (by way of Sidney) to communicate some account of that locality which may prove of interest to you. I feel much obliged, my dear sir, for your kind remembrance of me, and beg that at all times you will command my services; since seeing the scene of Mr. Thomas's labours, (full accounts of which have doubtless ere this reached you,) I feel the more pleasure in entering into your views, because much prejudice that I had preconceived of New Zealand has been removed; and further, that our knowledge has been obtained without either the assistance or information imparted from your advanced party, Mr. Thomas having quitted Port Cooper before our arrival there, and his being now absent at Auckland, settling I hear the diplomatic part of the business.
It is somewhat extraordinary that so little should be generally known of the east coast of the Middle Island, and I think you are fortunate in obtaining the services of Mr. Thomas, who appears to have acted with great discrimination and judgment in his choice of a site, opposed as it has been to various reports, and in the face of some strongly expressed opinions, as I hear. From what we have seen, we are all highly delighted with Banks's Peninsula and the adjoining country, not only for itself, but for the extraordinary climate it enjoys.
To return to the country. Our labours in the Acheron extended from Cape Campbell southward to Otago; much of the examination was necessarily of a cursory nature, but we thoroughly examined the whole of Banks's Peninsula, and made detailed surveys of its numerous harbours and smaller anchorages, with their approaches. Captain Stokes and a party made a long excursion to the northward of Port Cooper over the plain, avoiding the tracts of Mr. Thomas's party, and extending their researches some thirty-five miles beyond their northern limit. Of the Canterbury plains (I follow the temporarily adopted names of Mr. Thomas), our explorers spoke in the warmest terms, and they were much gratified to find that beyond a limiting range of mountains (Mt. Grey) to the north, a succession of smaller plains, bounded by grassy downs, extend northward, probably on to Cape Campbell. We have added some hundreds of square miles to her Majesty's dominions, or the New Zealand Company's possessions; this is an important feature, for it is this very added portion that comprises the richest and fairest portion of New Zealand, in our humble estimation. You know, of course, that the general feature of the country is a succession of abrupt and lofty hills, with corresponding deep and secluded valleys, either thickly wooded or clothed with a thick fern and long grass, offering all kinds of obstacles both for pastoral and agricultural purposes; indeed, it is often heart-breaking to see the land that people have settled down on, and the struggle and privation that must be endured before it can be turned to account. But here we have a plain extending from north to south 100 latitude miles, with an average width of at least thirty miles, intersected by numerous rivers, not the water holes of Australia, but rather rushing torrents, which have managed to excavate beds for themselves some 200 or 300 and 400 feet in a perpendicular drop, on the western side of the plains; these rivers will, I anticipate, on a detailed examination of their entrances being made, offer but few obstacles to boat navigation for some half dozen miles from the sea-board, which will render their passage at all times secure: this great plain may be called almost a dead level for as for as the eye can trace from any point. From the sea-shore to the Backbone ridge, not a rise of twenty meet meets the view; but, judging from the excavated bed of the rivers and other circumstances, I think there will be found a gradual rise of the land from the coast to the base of the mountain range, where I judge it may be some 500 feet above the level of the sea. Will not this serve hereafter admirably for drainage and irrigation if required? Of the nature of the soil, Mr. Thomas's account will give you a better description than I possibly can. If I, however, may judge of the whole by a portion I saw on the Messrs. Dean's property, and the general impression of our explorers, it must be of a very superior nature. For the first time in New Zealand, we here luxuriated on the finest beef and mutton one could desire to meet with. All dairy produce of the richest quality. Potatoes and all kinds of vegetables unrivalled. Our sportsmen found the plain abounding with quails, and the rivers with wild ducks; and last, though not the least in importance, votaries of the hydropathic system pronounced the water of the rivers nectar. A remembrance of all these good things, with a desire to give you as much information as I can in a small compass, must plead my excuse for touching thus largely on the creature comforts.
I am glad that you have insisted in, as far as you possibly can, the Canterbury settlement being founded in the Middle Island, were it only on account of the natives; one cannot but forbode the numerous ills that have to appear yet from this cause on the Northern Island. Now, on the Middle Island they are too few and scattered ever to give a moment's apprehension, and farther, they have been so thoroughly prostrated in spirit from the recent invasions and horrible wars of extermination carried on by the northern chiefs, that they look upon the white settlers as guardian spirits, and have certainly lost much of that ferocity of character which is too plainly distinguishable among their northern neighbours; they may be looked on now as useful auxiliaries to the early settlers; with the later ones, I fear, they will be only known by legend, so rapid is their decrease, by the concurring testimony of all with whom I have conversed on the subject.
I come now to the subject of a harbour, and on this point Mr. Thomas has been fortunate in his selection; it appeal's to me singular that the merits of Port Cooper as a harbour, situated too, near an extensive district of open country should have been so much overlooked and known only to whale-ships; you will be, perhaps, also surprised when I tell you, that I look upon it, taking all the advantages and disadvantages of a good harbour into consideration, as one of the best in New Zealand. It is re-echoed in every account of New Zealand, that its bays and harbours are not to be surpassed in number or advantages in any part of the world; this statement admits of qualification, and I can only say you are as fortunate in 'possessing' a good harbour, as you are in 'possessing' a good country; the general characteristic of the New Zealand harbours, is the local difficulties that present themselves to the getting into them; they are either bar, like Otago, Manakou, and Kiapara,—have high, precipitous cliffs, a narrow entrance, and a turbulent sea, at all times rendering ship (not steamers) navigation uncertain, and to a degree dangerous, as Akaroa, Wangaroa, and to a certain extent Port Nicholson, which appears also to be situated in the focus of all the strong winds that so constantly blow in Cook's Strait. Strong tides render the ingress and egress of all the harbours on the south side of Cook's Straits from. Tory Channel to Nelson Haven, with perhaps the exception of Queen Charlotte's Sound, a matter of solicitude to the mariner; there now only remain those harbours in the Honraki Gulf, and the Bay of Islands on the Northern Island, with a few south of the parallel of Otago, of which we know but little; all have more or less objections connected with them, save when you are snugly anchored inside, they are then unexceptionable, with most of the facilities sailors like—viz., wood, water, fish, good holding ground, and lots of room to swing close to the shore. Port Cooper stands in the foremost rank, both for the facility in making it, the entire absence of any outlying or hidden dangers, and its position with regard to the general line of coast; it can be run boldly for, night or day, by the lead; a feature which is almost singular on this extensive coast, a fleet could manoeuvre in its entrance, where it is a long sea mile wide, and it preserves this width for its whole depth, which is between six and seven. A ship of 500 tons can anchor four miles and a half within the heads, and there the harbour is only open to one and a quarter points of the compass, (E.N.E.) A swell sets in with the wind in the N.E. quarter, but nothing, except under the most adverse circumstances, to prevent a ship unloading. Not a hidden danger exists in the harbour, and it is bold close to the shores. For shipping, it is deficient in wood and water; not in the quantity, but in the difficulties in obtaining them. The neighbouring ports of Pigeon Bay and Port Levy, which are safe anchorages, abound in these essentials.
I believe now, my dear sir, I have touched on most matters that have come immediately under our view. I have heard it suggested as a great obstacle to the plains, the absence of wood. Banks's Peninsula alone would supply twenty Canterbury Settlements for centuries, recollecting that there is water carriage from its numerous little ports to five and ten miles within the line of seaboard of the plains. I ought to mention to you that limestone appears abundant, from the river Waimahariri northwards; and a geologist has a rich field before him in these hitherto undisturbed regions. I regret that my occupation in surveying the coast line did not admit of my penetrating far into the plains; and further, that my knowledge of geology is too limited to make more than ordinary comment on the specimens brought back to the ship. Fossil remains, chiefly shells, are very abundant, and I think there will yet be a rich harvest reaped in more solid materials. Lignite appears also on the banks of the rivers; and one of the Surveying Staff, Mr. Torlesse, has hit upon a tolerable large seam of it, some distance south of the Peninsula. The country is undoubtedly worth a strict geological examination; none that I have seen more so: but I presume all this will come in due time. * * *
P.S.—I subjoin an account of the number of rainy days, with the mean temperature by day and by night, during two and a half months we were at anchor in the harbours of Banks's Peninsula:—
|1849—||February: Eight last days in Akaroa …||72·8||60·6||3|
|March: The whole month in Akaroa and Port Cooper …||68·0||57·7||2|
|April: Ditto …||65·0||54·0||3|
Extracts from a Report on the Coast from Kaiapoi to Otago, BY Walter Mantell, Esq., Government Commissioner.
Wellington, May, 1849.
The first part of the purchase which came under my observation was the grand plain, extending from the 'Double Corner' to Te Aitarakihi (Timaru.) As the general features of the coast line of this magnificent district are pretty uniform, I shall speak of it as a whole, describing afterwards what local peculiarities struck me as most worthy attention.
Besides a gradual rise inland, the plain also ascends greatly towards the south; thus, at 'Te Taumutee' (the mouth of Lake Ellesmere) it is eight, and at Hakatere (the Ashburton river) from thirty to forty feet above the sea level. Along its junction with the peninsula, there are here and there isolated sand-hills, and further north the Waimakariri (Courtenay) near its mouth cuts through a bed of finely-laminated sand, beneath which, at a depth of ten feet, lies a deposit of wood of various kinds, probably drift-wood, brought down by the river when its embouchure was some miles inland of its present position, and the peninsula an island, and the plain covered by forests, of which so few vestiges now remain. A similar deposit is said to exist near to the spot where the 'Waikirikiri' (Selwyn) discharges itself into Waihora (Lake Ellesmere), the wood from both the above-mentioned localities is so little changed as to be used as fire-wood by the natives. The Maoris state that at a day and a half's journey inland from 'Te Taumutu,' there is coal constantly burning, and that they are in the habit of procuring fire from it when journeying near.
The rivers of this beautiful plain are, for the most part, too rapid and shallow for navigation; in an open country like this, where a dray could even now pass in almost any direction, they would, however, be little required for that purpose.
With the exception of belts where the gravel has been laid bare by denudation, (that is, by the action of water in ancient times,) the soil appears to be excellent, and where cultivated by the natives, the crops were most satisfactory. Wood, though generally distant, is nowhere out of reach, while grass, with frequent groves of Ti (Codoline Australis), covering the plain in every direction, offer no impediments to the plough. As far as Kakannui (near Moerangi), grass is the usual growth, fern to any extent being rare. The whole country, from Timaru to Waikouaiti (seventeen miles north of Otago,) is admirably suited for immediate occupation with stock, the northern part being, perhaps, the best adapted for sheep.
In all the northern part of my journey, I saw no district which was not highly fitted for settlement, and I feel confident that so fine a country will not much longer be allowed to remain in its present natural state. The above description of the country, I would emphatically remark, is rather underrated than overcharged; higher praise of its natural capabilities might have been given without violating truth.
EXTRACTS OF A LETTER FROM THE BISHOP OF NEW ZEALAND.
(Copied from the Times of December 10, 1849.)
After a very pleasant walk, we arrived at the farm of some Scotch settlers, whose hospitality we are not the first travellers who have reason to acknowledge. As I understand that they have furnished Mr. Thomas with a detailed report of the agricultural capabilities of this district, I need not repeat the information of a similar kind which I obtained from them in the course of conversation. It may be enough to say that mutton, 'flourishing with Homeric fat,' and juicy apples, and foaming jugs of milk, verified all that I have ever read of the plenty and contentment of the pastoral and bucolic life. The quails which started up every moment under our feet completed the picture of patriarchal abundance, needing only the true manna of God's blessing to fulfil every promise which He ever made to His chosen people to the happy settlers who may hereafter occupy this fair land in the spirit of simplicity and faith. All other persons I would advise to go to California or any other place where the prospect of wealth may be more inviting. What we have to offer ought to be enough—a land flowing literally with milk and honey, where men eat bread to the full. It is possible that in former letters I have expressed an unfavourable opinion of Port Cooper and its district. If I have done so, it was under the impression that the district had been thoroughly examined by Colonel Wakefield and the company's surveyors; and that Otalron had been deliberately preferred, though 150 miles further to the south. As I had seen Otalron, I did not think that any inferior place could be eligible for so large a settlement as that which is projected by the Canterbury Association. But I have since heard that Port Cooper was very superficially examined by the former surveying party; and as my opinion was founded chiefly upon the fact of their preference of Otalron, I readily acknowledge my error, after a personal inspection, the result of which has left a most favourable impression upon my mind. Captain Stokes, I hear, has given a similar opinion, after a much more careful examination.
You are a body which ought and will be able to dispense with all trickery and gambling.
In the first place, it is a pure delusion to talk of founding a colony at once. It is a very pretty analogy to think of Minerva coming forth full armed out of the head of Jupiter; but in most cases, when you come to look for your Minerva, you will find nothing but her owl. Neither your heads nor the settlers can afford to be so trepanned. A more wasteful system could not be devised than that of congregating large bodies of settlers at once upon the same spot, requiring at once exactly the same supplies, and tempted by their discomforts and their necessities to acquiesce in the most extortionate prices for everything that they buy. If a settler has to pay 100l. for a house worth only 50l., it is a clear loss to the community, especially as the money generally goes to some other settlement, from which the supplies must, in the first instance, be derived. Even if the settlers supplied their own labourers, yet all prices would rise to that excessive point at which artizans almost invariably take to drinking, and then the money would go to the publican, who would most likely be some experienced vintner from Sydney. A flight of such harpies is always found ready waiting for the new arrivals. The loss which is sustained by a new community from the excessive price of all the necessaries of life is incalculable. My advice, therefore, is, form as large a plan as you please, but carry it out gradually and cautiously. Let each section settle itself before the next arrives, that it may be a help instead of a hindrance to the new comers. An interval of at least a year would secure this, and would enable each detachment to arrive at such a time as to have the summer before it, which is a point of great importance in a wet climate.
On the organization of these sections I would suggest that the arrangement should not be merely numerical, but local and topographical. Let a good leader, like a queen bee, undertake to form the township of Oxford, or Stratford, or Mandeville, or what you will, and secure a right good clergyman and school-master as the first step. Then, as in the old Roman armies, legit virum vir; let all the Oxford men send in their names to their own leader, with recommendations of good, hardworking, honest, and sober labourers for the free emigrants. Let no man be recommended except through an actual emigrant landowner. No man will recommend a scoundrel or a drunkard to be his own fellow-passenger on board ship, or his next door neighbour in the colony. But Poor Law guardians, and even clergymen, will often send a worthless fellow to a colony, as physicians send incurable patients to the south of France, only to get rid of them. When the Oxford leader is able to announce that land is bought at Oxford to a sufficient amount to yield an endowment for a clergyman, and to build a church and school, then let due notice be given to the agent in New Zealand, that on the 1st day of November, 185— or thereabouts, he may expect the Oxonians. If possible, a bishop will be there to meet and receive them, and accompany them at once to their own place, where a pretty wooden spire will be already built, and visible far over the plain, to guide them to the house of God, where they may offer up their thanksgivings for their successful voyage. There they ought to find a store of building timber and firewood already laid in, at fixed but not extortionate prices, and will be able to settle themselves in peace, and be ready to give a helping hand on reasonable terms to the fiight of Stratfordites, who will arrive about the same time in the following year.
I have said much on this point to Captain Thomas, because it is arithmetically evident that if A B C D be the territory of the Canterbury Association, 1-10th of which is sold in the first year to settlers having an unrestricted right of choice over the whole block, the dispersion of the first settlers will at once cause the necessity of the full number of clergymen to be felt, when only 1-10th of the whole Endowment Fund will have been raised. Thus, some of the highest and best hopes of the settlers, in consideration of which they will have paid so large a price for their land, will be bitterly disappointed. But if no emigrants are allowed to come out till the township which they have selected is complete, the Endowment Fund will exactly keep pace with the need of clergymen, and all the stipulated conditions will be fulfilled.
When I speak of a township being complete, I do not mean that all the land should be sold. Every township will require surplus land for common in the first instance, and afterwards for extension. 'With regard to extension, nothing can well be more certain to involve a maximum of expense and a minimum of good, than the present system of colonization, which makes emigration almost ignominious. Once pauperize emigration, and every emigrant must be paid for in full. You must give free passages at first to set things in motion, and if you were to found a Minerva colony, you must give free passages to all your labouring emigrants. But the objects to be aimed at are these:—
1. To supply the colony with a sufficiency of labour.
2. To take care that the supply shall always bear a due proportion to the demand.
3. To supply that labour at the least cost to the emigration fund.
To secure these objects many ingenious calculations have been made, with about as much effect as the numeration which we used to practise on our brass buttons at school, allotting to each its due title of soldier, sailor, tinker, tailor, gentleman, apothecary, ploughboy, or thief. That all these elements do enter into the composition of all societies cannot be doubted, but no chymistry of the Emigration Commissioners will ever discover beforehand in what proportions they must be mixed to form a healthy community But all these things will find their own simple and natural adjustment, if neither the tinker nor the apothecary be employed. Colonies will work well if they are let alone. When your Oxford section has taken up its ground, they will soon find out their own wants. A blacksmith will be found to have been left out, and every one will be crying out for some one to mend his plough. 'Why, I have a cousin that's just the man we want,' some one will say; 'could we not get him out to help us?' 'I will give 1l. to his passage, and he can pay me in work.' 'I will give another.' 'May be the Association will go halves in the expenses.' 'Write and ask.' The next year out comes the Oxford blacksmith at half price. 'Which is the way to Oxford?' 'Where you see that spire out yonder.' 'But wont you stay in the emigration barrack till you hear whether you can get work?' 'What do I want of an emigration barrack? Is it not bad enough to have been shut up in a ship? I know Mr. Goodfellow; he is my cousin; he will put me up till I can get a place for myself.' The above is a true description of what is going on every day in a thriving colony. One man has more food than he knows what to do with, and he wishes for some poor relation to come and help him to eat it; another remembers some country lass, whom he did not dare to ask to marry him when he had nothing to offer her; a tradesman has business on his hand, and wants a youth to keep his books; a mechanic has more work than he can do, and would be glad of a mate. All these know exactly the sort of person that is wanted, and will not send for him unless he can be well employed. Demand and supply represent one another by the simplest and most natural adjustment, and at the cheapest rate of expense.
All this is killed by the pauperizing and pauperized system of free passages, given generally to relieve the workhouses. The poor-rate will be equally relieved in either case, for the removal of labourers of a higher class will enable many an able-bodied pauper to recover his position. Industry (except in the case of confirmed habits of vice) will be in proportion to the certainty of profitable employment. No matter whether you send us the good or the bad, the mother-country will be equally relieved. If you send none, all will become bad from the superfluity of labour; if you send the best, your bad will become better at home, for they are bad chiefly from the uncertainty of employment; and though even the "worst often become steady men in a colony, yet surely it is more reasonable to pay for the emigration of a good man than of a bad one. But of all the causes which ruin emigrants, the worst is the sending out men without friends or connexions in the colony, to herd together in emigration barracks, and clamour to Government for the wages of idleness as sturdy paupers, till they have lost all favour with the settlers, and have imbibed in return a rooted dislike to the country and its inhabitants.
The next great point is, that I advise you most strongly to give up, for the present at least, all the usual trickery of town acres; I mean at the central or post towns, for the country towns will not much excite the mania of speculation. In Port Cooper this seems to be more especially necessary, because a few lucky purchasers, engrossing the whole of the small quantity of available land near the anchorage, will have it in their power to put the public to the greatest inconvenience. The defects also of the site of Christchurch are so great that I would not advise you to put it in the power of any body of purchasers to demand a great outlay of public money to give them a better access to their townland. The plain is the great point at Port Cooper. A good road over the hills, and a few public stores on the beach, where goods can be warehoused by the association at paid charges, and a small quantity of land let to retail shopkeepers, will enable the settlers to begin their operations. The excess of mercantile speculation is a cause of great loss to a new community. It seems to be so much easier to buy and sell than to dig and plough, that half the population become shopkeepers as if by magic, the gentry dignifying their employment by the name of storekeeping. You would suppose that 'slops,' rice, and sugar were the spontaneous produce of the soil, and that men believed that they could grow rich by merely exchanging one with another the fruits of the labours of others, without working for themselves. Of course, what is easy to all will be done by too many, and therefore will be profitable to very few. And thus the country, with its mine of wealth, is robbed of the industry which would have made it profitable, and the town, like a great lazy tumour, drains and wastes the resources of the body without contributing anything in return. My advice is, plant the country, and let the town grow of itself. Let the course and progress of the colony show when, where, and by whom, stores, manufactories, &c., ought to be established. When the need is shown by a demand, town land can be sold, or let with a privilege of purchase, and then the actual merchant will then become the proprietor, instead of having to buy or rent his land on exorbitant terms from some absentee owner, who has pre-occupied the best positions for business.
To pass on to the higher and more important branches of your plan: the provision for education and religion. The example of the China bishopric is a warning how long good plans may be delayed if you wait till the Endowment Fund be complete. The American system seems to be the best. Have a bishop, at all events. It is not at all certain that you will get a better man for 1000l. than for 100l. a-year. Such matters are no question of money. Let him get his money as he can for a time—whether as warden of the college or as a parish priest—till the growth of endowments and the increase of duties lead naturally to a subdivision of labour. A colonial bishop in a new colony cannot at first be fully occupied with the duties of his office. If he confines himself to them, he may grow an idle man, without knowing why. But in the practical working, as well as superintending institutions not strictly within his own duties, he will find the means of keeping up that habitual energy which his own office will require before many years are past. If you can find a bishop of all work, he ought to be the first clergyman to land in New Zealand. Your plan would seem to infer the necessity of the bishop being the Ω of the clerical body. I hope that you will find it possible to make him the Α.
The same principle applies to the college. Begin it at once—if you can find a man who can reflect what Oxford was when Alfred's students read almost illegible MSS. by the light of paper lanterns. We are still far from Tennyson's ' perpetual afternoon of literature, dreamy, armchairy, dressing-gowny.' The academic life of a colony is to work when you must, and to read when you can. It is a practical example of Horace's wager with his bailiff, which could do most in clearing land or extirpating error. Every year that you delay the beginning, it will become more difficult to begin at all. A full-grown college cannot be exported at once, for if you cannot expect to bring forth at once Minerva's body, much less her wisdom. Mark out a good extent of land, and put up a wooden building; people are very tolerant, and will call it 'The College;' and why should they not, when even an infirmary for sick horses may enjoy that name? By degrees the plan would be developed under active and judicious management; teachers and pupils will flow in; subscriptions and legacies will increase; and the only fear will be, that the corporate body will become too rich, and that wealth will lead to luxury, and luxury to laziness, and laziness to contempt.
Beyond the first striking a key-note, I would advise you to hurry nothing. Send out a few very fit men, and wait patiently until you can obtain others. The mere name of a college, with a good but insufficient body, is far better than a full staff of incapables. In the former case, every kind of right principle may be established from the first, and gradually developed in practice as assistance is obtained; but in the latter, when good men are found at length, they will have to work up against a host of evil habits and false principles, which will have been bequeathed to them by their predecessors. The public will have formed their own idea of a collegiate institution from the corrupt model which they have seen in operation, and will look upon its errors with that kind of prescriptive dotage with which college cherishes its privilege of ignorance. The new comers, like the Dauphin's fresh oysters, will be better in reality, but they will be less relished than the stale.
This danger of hurry has led me to remonstrate against the limitation of time proposed by the New Zealand Company. On no account consent to any such restriction. It will be a continual stimulus goading you on to something premature, as the company itself has been hurried on by its own purchasers into selling land before it was surveyed, and even before it was bought. Remember Lord Eldon's maxim, ' Sat cito, si sat bene; ' and though you travel now by steam instead of the 'heavy Salisbury,' remember that such luxurious locomotion has not yet found its place in New Zealand.
Now, then, I suppose you to begin with the map of the Great Southern plain stretched before you. You have seen Captain Thomas's report, and perhaps the very soil of the several townships, which I advised him to send in boxes to be analyzed in England. A goodly number of stanch άρχηγοι are collected round your committee table; all men of some substance, and, above all, of much piety. The bishop's letter is read pro formâ as a regulator and drag chain of the undue velocity of emigrant imaginations in haste to be rich or happy. The meeting begin to calculate—3l. an acre is a large sum to give for land, and one acre will only feed four sheep; their wool will weigh about 12 pounds; and we shall be lucky to get from 7d. to 9d. per pound from the merchants at Port Cooper, so that the clear profits cannot well be more than 6d. per pound, or 6s. for the acre; that is, just 10 per cent, on our purchase money. Well, so long as we can live and bring up our families, we have no wish to make fortunes. In fact, the school, the church, and clergyman, are the true interest for the outlay, and not the produce of the land or the increase of flocks and herds; for this profit has found its limits in the Australian colonies by an excess of all the necessaries of life, and by reducing nine-tenths of the settlers to be their own tallow-chandlers.
Who is for Oxford? Who is for Mandeville? Who is for Stratford? is the cry of the trusty άρχηγοι, or conductors, who are plying for passengers to their respective townships. 'A fine country, Sir.' Church spires as thick as in Lincolnshire; schools in every village.' 'No fear of the children breaking their necks in birdsnesting.' 'Fine country for a hardy man that can do without fire.' 'Town acres let by the season for quail-shooting.' 'Mutton so fat that the sailors of the Acheron could not eat it.' 'Did you never taste a Port Cooper cheese? The best cheese in the world next to Stilton.' Such will be some of the various 'protreptics' which the άρχηγοι, each according to his own fancy, will glean from our reports. But some grave old gentleman in the corner will call out—'My good friends, let me advise you not to go out expecting to find everything to your mind; but trusting that, by God's blessing upon the colonizing energies of the Anglo-Saxon race, you will find the means of solid comfort in the only form in which it can give you true pleasure—as the reward of honest industry, and in answer to prayer. You will see spires and school-houses springing up in all places, for money will do that: but money will not make faithful preachers or fruitful hearers. Money will not make children obey their parents, or keep the commandments of God. From the very first, you must have a social compact one with another; the Oxford leader with the Oxford clergyman; and the Mandeville leader with the Mandeville clergyman; and all the leaders, and all the clergymen, with all their bands of labouring men and settlers, that they all go out to found, so far as God may be with them, a Christian colony; that they must agree to support one another—'like people, like priest'—in every good and holy usage of their mother church; and as they will leave their native country amidst the prayers and blessings of all whose names are already written on the land of their adoption, so their course of devotion must be carried on on shipboard with their own loved and chosen chaplain, till they see their own bishop, or one who will be to them as their own, standing on the beach to welcome them on their arrival; that their first act may be prayer and thanksgiving, and that the first building into which they enter may be the house of God;
Commentary on the preceding by the Editor of 'The Times.'
(Leading Article, December 19th, 1849.)
It is now two or three years since a very grand design was very quietly announced under the name of the Canterbury Settlement, in New Zealand. It was to be purely a Church of England community, and the prominent part taken in the project by Mr. Godley, a man of great colonial information, gave some assurance that it was not a mere pious Utopia. Some remarks which we ventured to make on it were suggested rather by kind wishes than sanguine expectations, and, to say the truth, we hardly expected ever to hear of the scheme, except in a glowing prospectus and a pompous list of patrons. It is, then, with agreeable surprise that we find the Canterbury Settlement an actual topographical division of New Zealand, consisting of a fertile plain as large as Yorkshire; wherein we see ports and cities laid out, some extent of country surveyed, fat mutton produced—too fat for the fastidious crew of the Acheron, and Homer, Horace, and Tennyson quoted in a region where men, thirty years ago, were roasting and eating one another. The Roman poet knew by the light of genius that all nations would one day learn his deathless verses; but his enumeration of his readers, bold as it was, did not include either a country of cannibals or the Antipodes. We must now add them to the list. A letter from which we quote largely in another column presents us with the spectacle of a Christian bishop, and an accomplished scholar, standing among the rude huts, the ill-fenced orchards, and the straggling flocks of an infant colony, as the representative of learning and religion, and inviting the generous and the adventurous to follow him across the globe. When a man of high position, wealth, or acquirements, rises up on a platform, or sits down in his library, to urge his countrymen to go off to the colonies, he exposes himself to the objection that he is recommending to others what he will not do himself. Bishop Selwyn says—Come. He has tied himself for life to the simple duties and still simpler honours of an Australian bishopric, and knows by an experience of some years the sort of community and the style of existence to which he is inviting his countrymen.
Colonies have ever been experiments, both from the peculiar circumstances of their respective foundations and from the various tastes of their founders. No rational person, therefore, will quarrel with a settlement which assumes a distinct and experimental character. New England was the work of Puritan fanatics, Canada of Roman Catholic devotees. In both cases, enthusiasm led to many evils, but undoubtedly gave an additional impulse and a consolidation to the several societies. The simple peasants of La Vendee and the stern English Calvinists flocked gladly to the regions where their respective creeds enjoyed an undisputed supremacy, and where chiefs and pastors of note had already led the way. To pass to a modern instance: the Mormon delusion testifies, even in a ridiculous extreme, the power of a religious idea to draw and gather men. The colonies of antiquity everywhere carried with them their Gods, their Penates, their symbols, and their priests. In these days, our new colonies are rather political than religious experiments. We have penal colonies for the disposal of our convicts; colonies for the cultivation of sugar and coffee, but affording no home for our own population; commercial colonies; military colonies; naval stations of a quasi-colonial; character; colonies acquired by the fortune of war from our neighbours, and containing a mixed population. Of our fifty colonies, scarcely two are alike. As to their religion, in some, the Church or England predominates; in others, various forms of Protestantism; in others, the Roman Catholic faith; in others, Mahomedanism, Bhuddism, or idolatry. On the ground of precedent, then, there is no reason whatever why a purely Church of England settlement should not be tried, though the history of all former examples warns us to expect that such a community, if ever so successfully founded, will suffer its congenital ills. The Church of England is pre-eminently a mixed and tolerant community. Its formularies harbour a vast variety of opinions, and even inspire a constant divergence of sentiment. As sure as there are Dissenters in England, there will also be Dissenters in the Canterbury Settlement; nay, when the Bishop stipulates for a careful selection of 'good, hardworking, honest, and sober labourers,' in too many English parishes he would compel the selector to take those who are more independent than simple in their faith. Freedom goes with intellect, and self-confidence with energy. The settlement will start with Dissenters, and we can scarcely anticipate that its leaders will be able to exclude that entire toleration and that equality of civil rights which, after many struggles, have been established in this country.
The Bishop's advice to the promoters and managers of the settlement, though sentimental in its tone, in its substance is most sound. His warnings are justified by the history of every British settlement. The excessive dispersion of the industrious settlers over the country, and, on the other hand, the excessive congregation of idlers, hucksters, jobbers, et id genus omne, at the colonial port, have everywhere obstructed the progress of colonies, and lowered their moral standard. So also the indiscriminate character of the emigrants. Bishop Selwyn asks that the settlement may be organized in this country, and transported ready-made and whole. With this view, he insists on local, not numerical, sections. There are, it seems, to be in the first instance three settlements—viz., at Oxford, Mandeville, and Stratford. The Oxford leader, clergyman, schoolmaster, and principal landed emigrants are to look out for good labourers and artizans, each one in his own sphere. Thus the whole emigrant body will be already tied together by home associations before it leaves England. Consisting of such materials, the Bishop naturally hopes the company will not be the worse for the voyage, and on landing will proceed at once to its prepared quarters. If the proper sort of people can be found in this country, and if men who can afford to buy hundreds of acres at 3l. per acre can be induced to emigrate, there is no insurmountable hitch in the rest of the design. The good Bishop, however, who discerns in some things the force of natural laws, and who sees that the supply of the various trades and professions will follow the demand, must prepare for the growth of ports and towns, perhaps to an abnormal and vicious excess. His theory is, that towns, exchanges, grocers'-shops, and public-houses are, or at least ought to be, developments of rural enterprise; and that when the agriculturist begins to want tea and sugar, spirits, and other luxuries or refinements, cities will spring up to meet his new desires. This sounds rather like the maxim that 'God made the country, and man made the town;' but, in fact, we believe that the town is coeval with the cottage; and that the Oxonians, Stratfordians, and other settlers will stick to Port Cooper rather closer than the Bishop would desire.
The design, however, is not only noble, but also quite practicable in its main features. Any gentleman or clergyman who may wish to escape poverty, where poverty is a disgrace, or seclusion, where seclusion is a perpetual loss of caste, but who is not tempted by the general appearance of our colonies, will find ample room, a fine climate, a fertile soil, a picked body of colonists, and some of the best men of our generation in the Canterbury Settlement of New Zealand. The Bishop does not promise him either luxury or wealth. He speaks slightingly of church dignities, buying and selling, hops, sugar, and Californian gold. He says, we believe, that no bishop ought to have more than 500l. a-year, and his own personal expenses are far below that standard. When the occupant of the antipodean throne of Canterbury arrives. Bishop Selwyn proposes that he shall take charge of the college, with a schoolmaster's income. His reward is not to be of that vulgar sort which a man can put in the bank, lay out at interest, invest in the soil, or pile up in cellars and barns; but the mutual affection of a colonial family. That Selwyn himself and his devoted company have obtained their reward, and are content with it, we cannot doubt; nor do we doubt that the spirit he breathes around him, and which the character of the new settlement is calculated to promote, will render 'Canterbury' a congenial and agreeable home even to more ordinary men.
CORRESPONDENCE BETWEEN LORD LYTTELTON AND EARL GREY.
41, Charing Cross, May 10, 1848.
My Lord,—I have the honour of addressing you on behalf a body of gentlemen who have constituted themselves an Association for establishing a settlement composed of members of the Church of England, to be called the Canterbury Settlement in the Colony of New Zealand.
The Association do not venture to trouble your Lordship with any general remarks on the subject of their undertaking, or of the principles which have guided them hitherto in the prosecution of it. They are in intimate relations with the New Zealand Company, with a view to the acquisition of land for the intended settlement, and the advance of funds requisite for their operations; and they hope they may presume that, from communications which they believe your Lordship to have already received from the Company, your Lordship is acquainted with that undertaking and those principles, and favourably disposed towards them.
The purpose of the present letter is to solicit assistance from your Lordship, in the way in which your Lordship alone can render it, towards the more speedy attainment of their object, in the acquisition of a definite amount of land in New Zealand, which they may be able to offer to intending purchasers in this country. The Association have felt that it is impossible for them to anticipate much active concurrence on the part of the public until they are enabled to announce that they are in possession, under a valid title, of a sufficient and well defined amount of land which they can offer for sale. Such land must be obtained from the New Zealand Company as trustee for the Crown for the disposal of land in New Zealand. And this Association have thought that the readiest and most effectual plan for their purpose would be to send out a properly qualified person as Agent, with full powers to accept from the Governor of New Zealand, representing the Crown, a grant of a specified amount of land on behalf of the New Zealand Company, to be disposed of by them for the objects of the Association.
The consent of the Company to this arrangement has been obtained, and the Association will be enabled to send out Captain Thomas as their Agent, with the power aforesaid, by the next ship sailing for New Zealand.
The Association venture now to request of your Lordship that you will address to the Governor of New Zealand such a communication as may facilitate the accomplishment of the object for which Captain Thomas is despatched.
The Association, as at present advised, are inclined to consider that the Wairarapa Plains offer the best site for their projected Settlement, and one which they hope there is a fair prospect of their being able to secure. They believe that at and in the immediate neighbourhood of the Wairarapa Plains an extent of land not less than one million of acres may be available, which is the extent which they have had in view, and which they have held out to the public as that which they wished to obtain for the Settlement.
In the event of Captain Thomas not being able, on his arrival in the Colony, to obtain for them this particular site, discretionary powers will be allowed to him to secure what may appear to him, upon the whole, the most desirable land of an equal amount, from the remainder of the unappropriated land of the Crown in New Zealand.
The earnest request of the Association to your Lordship is, that you would be pleased to instruct Sir George Grey, should there be no objection to such a course, in the first instance, if possible, to acquire from the Natives, with the least possible delay, for the Agent of the New Zealand Company, and for the purposes of the Association, about a million of acres at or near the Wairarapa Plains, should the Agent decide in favour of that locality, on as favourable terms as may reasonably be obtained; or, failing this, a similar amount in any other part of the unappropriated lands in the Colony which the Agent may fix upon. The Association trust also that your Lordship will instruct Sir George Grey to afford to their Agent, during the period which he must employ in the surveys and other preparatory arrangements for the reception of Colonists, every assistance in his power.
I am, &c. Lyttelton.
The Right Hon. Earl Grey, &c. &c.
Downing-street, 18th May, 1848.
My Lord,—In answering your Lordship's letter of May the 10th, respecting the intended proceedings of the Association for the Establishment of the 'Canterbury Settlement' in New Zealand, permit me to express the satisfaction with which I have heard of the formation of a project, apparently calculated to promote in so beneficial a manner the colonization of that country, and the great interest which I feel in its success.
The Governor of New Zealand shall receive my instructions to afford the Association all the assistance in his power towards securing the land which may be required, and shall he placed for that purpose in communication with the gentleman whom the Association have selected for their Agent, as soon as the latter may arrive in the Colony. He shall be directed to use his best endeavours to obtain available land to the amount specified in your Lordship's letter, and to extinguish the native title to it, if any be found to exist in such locality as the Agent shall point out to him.
If, however, the land so chosen should be within the Southern Province, and consequently within the Act 10 and 11 Victoria, by which the demesne lands of that province are ceded for a time to the New Zealand Company, with whom the Association are in treaty, it appears to me advisable that the Governor should receive, in addition, express sanction from the Company to his thus exercising the right of pre-emption in their behalf. Upon this subject I will immediately cause a communication to be made to the Company; and the best endeavours shall be used to have all preliminary arrangements completed in time to allow the Agent of the Association to leave this country invested with the necessary powers.
I am, &c. Grey.
The Lord Lyttelton.
41. Charring-cross, May 23, 1848.
My Lord,—I have to thank your Lordship, on behalf of the Association for founding the Settlement of Canterbury, for the very favourable reply which you were so good as to give to my former letter, and to inform your Lordship that it is the intention of the Association, in consequence of that reply, to send their Agent to New Zealand by the ship advertised to sail on the 1st July, for the purposes which I have already explained. There are, however, two other points to which your Lordship's attention has already been directed by verbal communications, and upon which the Association consider it of essential importance to obtain an answer, as favourable as the encouragement which you have given them has led them to hope for.
The first point relates to the grant of a Charter of Incorporation. The Association find themselves seriously impeded in all their proceedings by the impossibility of acting as an independent body, and by the consequent necessity of availing themselves of the assistance offered by the New Zealand Company, and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, in a manner calculated to involve the evils of divided responsibility and conflicting direction.
The embarrassment which is thus produced, and the unsatisfactory position in which the Association is placed by it as regards the public, are fully recognised by the New Zealand Company, and they have offered accordingly to advance to the Association a sum of money sufficient to defray the expenses of obtaining a Charter, and to carry on their operations during the period which must intervene before they can offer land for sale.
Under these circumstances, the Association trust that your Lordship will see no objection to the grant of a Charter of Incorporation to them; and I have to request, on their part, that your Lordship will have the goodness to direct whatever measures may be necessary for enabling them to obtain it.
The second point on which the Association wish me to make application to your Lordship is even more important, and relates to the question of Government for the Colonists.
In an interview which Mr. Godley and I had with your Lordship on the 17th inst. at the Colonial-office, and which we had requested for the purpose of ascertaining whether an application from us for the grant of a Charter, generally similar to those given to the companies who founded the early American Colonies, would be entertained, your Lordship stated that you did not think such a grant would, under existing circumstances, be possible or advisable, but that you would be prepared (if the Canterbury Settlement were founded in a part of New Zealand where no difficulty could be interposed by the vicinity of other settlements, or the presence of the Natives, or any other considerations) to advise Her Majesty to exercise in our favour the power conferred on Her by the New Zealand Government Act, and to constitute the Canterbury Settlement into a distinct Province, under the terms of that Act. Our report of that interview was received by the Association with the greatest satisfaction; they are convinced that if the expectation thus held out be fulfilled, a most important stimulus will be given to the colonization of the territory which is to be the scene of their operations, and that they will be enabled to carry out their views in a far more complete and satisfactory manner than they could otherwise anticipate. They believe, moreover, that the care with which the first inhabitants of the proposed Settlement will be selected, and the unity of opinion and sentiment which, upon many important topics, is expected to prevail among them, will give to them peculiar advantages and facilities in the exercise of the privileges with which they may be entrusted. I have therefore to lay before your Lordship the earnest request of the Association, that the Governor of New Zealand may be empowered to form the Site of the Canterbury Settlement into a separate Province, subject to the conditions above mentioned, as specified by your Lordship.—I have, &c.
The Right Hon. Earl Grey, &c. &c.
Downing-street, 31st May, 1848.
My Lord,—In answer to your letter of the 23rd May, 1848, on behalf of the Association for founding the Settlement of Canterbury in New Zealand, I have to inform your Lordship that, as at present advised, I see no objection of a general nature to such an Incorporation as you suggest, and that if the Association will submit to me the draft of a Charter to the general effect stated in your letter, I will give it my immediate consideration, and shall be glad to find myself able to further the views which you have expressed respecting it.
As to the second point to which you have called my attention, I shall be prepared to instruct the Governor of New Zealand to report to me whether the District which may be ultimately selected for the Settlement can be formed into a distinct Province in the manner in which you recommend, without injury to existing interests, and regard being had to the policy which the Governor may find it necessary to pursue with respect to the native tribes; and, if it can, what boundaries can be conveniently assigned to it.
For this purpose, it will probably be advisable that the Agent whom you have selected should communicate the site on which he may fix immediately to the Governor, in order that I may receive that officer's report at the same time that the Association is informed of the choice made by its Agent; and, as I consider it highly desirable that the wishes of the promoters of the enterprise should in this respect be complied with, I shall learn with satisfaction that a District is fixed upon which unites the advantage of being capable of erection into a distinct Province with other favourable conditions for colonization.
In transmitting copies of this correspondence to the Governor, I will not fail to express to him the desire I entertain as far as possible to meet the wishes of the Association, as I am convinced that the success of this undertaking will be attended with very great advantage both to New Zealand and to this country.
I am, &c. Grey.
The Lord Lyttelton.
TERMS OF PURCHASE.
- The whole quantity of Land reserved for the Canterbury settlement is about two millions four hundred thousand acres in a block.
- With the exception of such Land as may be selected by the agent of the Association for the site of the capital (Christchurch), and of harbour and port towns, all the Land will be open for purchase as Rural Land.
- No block of Rural Land can be purchased of a less size than 50 acres; but there is no maximum limit to the quantity of Rural Land which a purchaser may obtain, either in one or several blocks.
- The extent of a town allotment in the capital will be one half-acre, and in the other towns one-quarter of an acre.
- The sum to be paid for Rural Land is 3l. per acre, or 150l. per section of 50 acres, and the purchase of the surface will include in every case coal and all other minerals not reserved by the Crown, and lying underneath the section purchased.
- The sum to be paid for a half-acre allotment in the capital will be 24l., except as regards the half-acre allotments received by the first body of colonists, according to the provision of Clause 18; and the sum to be paid for a quarter-acre allotment in other towns will be 12l.; but the latter will not be offered for sale until after the 30th April, 1850.
- It is intended that a block (of at least 1,000,000 acres) shall be trigonometricaily and topographically surveyed, and thrown open to purchasers for selection; but as so extensive a survey must be subject to delay from various causes, which it is impossible to foresee, the Association can only pledge itself that its best endeavours shall be used to lay open as large a portion as possible for selection by the first body of colonists.
- The first body of colonists will be composed of such persons as may become purchasers of Land, to an extent not exceeding 101,000 acres, on or before the 30th of April, 1850.
- Purchasers of Land in the Canterbury settlement shall obtain the priority of choice of lots, according to the order of application at the Land-office in the Colony; but, inasmuch as inconvenience may arise from two or more persons applying, among the first body of colonists, at the same time for the same piece of land, the priority of choice, in such cases, shall be decided according to the number of the land order held by the applicant corresponding to the number on a registered list of purchasers, as hereinafter mentioned.
- Applications for the purchase of Land shall be made by letters in a printed form, to be supplied by the Association.
- All such letters shall be opened on a fixed day, in the presence of the applicants and the Committee of the Association.
- The order of opening the letters of application will determine the order in which the names of the applicants will be entered on a registered list, and each applicant will receive a land order, the number of which will correspond with his number on the registered list.
- All selections by the first body of colonists must be made within eight months after the registered list shall have been made up in the manner before mentioned, as after that period the first body of colonists will have no priority of choice over other purchasers.
- No applications from holders of land orders will be received at the Land-office, in the Colony, till the expiration of two months after the arrival of the first vessel chartered or selected by the Association, with any of the first body of colonists on board.
- Every section of Rural Land must be selected of a rectangular form, so far as circumstances and the natural features of the country will admit.
- Every section fronting upon a river, road, lake, lagoon, or coast, must be of a depth from the front of at least half a mile.
- Every section not fronting upon a river, road, lake, lagoon, or coast, must be not less than 300 yards in width, and not less than half a mile distant from a river, road, lake, lagoon, or coast,
- Every person forming one of the first body of colonists will be entitled to receive two land orders in respect of each sum of 150l. paid; the one for a Rural Section of 50 acres, the other for an allotment of half an acre in the capital (Christchurch), which will contain, besides streets, and other reserves for public purposes, not less than 1,000 acres of Land for private property.
- The quantity of Land purchased by the first body of colonists shall not exceed 101,000 acres.
- So long as any Land remains unsold, and in the possession of the Association, within the limits of the settlement, it will be open under licence for pasturage purposes, at the rate of twenty shillings per annum for every 100 acres, to be paid in advance.
- Every purchaser of land in the Canterbury settlement, being one of the first body of colonists, will be entitled to a transferable licence, renewable by such purchaser from year to year, for pasturage in the proportion of five acres of pasturage for one of rural land in his possession, at the rate of sixteen shillings and eightpence for 100 acres per annum, to be paid in advance, so long as a sufficient quantity of land in the possession of the Association remains unsold and unappropriated.
- Each section under a pasturage licence must be in one block, and of a rectangular form as far as possible.
- Lands licensed for pasturage will always be open to purchase; and any portion of such lands may be taken at any time by the chief agent or other authorized officer of the Association, for any purpose other than pasturage, after one month's notice.
No pasturage licence confers any right to the soil, or otherwise abridges or suspends the rights and powers of the Association in and over the land depastured.
- As respects pasturage taken under licence in virtue of freehold purchases, the right of selection in the first instance will be determined in the same manner as for freehold purchases.
- If the quantity of land applied for should exceed 101,000 acres, the purchase-money in full, but without interest, will be returned in respect of all applications in excess of that amount.
- Public notice will be given by advertisement in some of the principal London newspapers of the time when applications and deposits will be received.
- The purchase-money must be paid in full before any application can be received.
- In case through any unforeseen circumstances it should be determined, on or before the 30th of April, 1850, that the enterprise of the Association should not proceed, all deposits and purchase-moneys previously paid will be returned in full, but without interest.
- The intended application of the 3l. mentioned above as the purchase-money for rural land is as follows: —
Ten shillings per acre (exclusive of the sum mentioned below for emigration) to be paid for the land;
Ten shillings per acre for miscellaneous expenses;
Twenty shillings per acre for religious and educational purposes; and,
Twenty shillings per acre for emigration; subject to the regulations of the Association with respect to the selection of emigrants, every purchaser will be entitled to recommend emigrants, including himself and family, on whose passage to the settlement his contribution to the Emigration Fund shall be expended; but not more than ten shillings per acre shall be allowed towards the passage of the purchaser and his family.
- All money received from town lands or pasturage licences will be applied in the same proportions and manner as the fund arising from the sale of rural lands.
- Besides marking out the principal lines of road, the Association reserves to itself the right of appropriating land for making all such other bye or cross-roads as may be necessary for the convenience of the settlers.
- The Association reserves to itself the right of selecting and appropriating all such lands in the ports and harbours of the settlement as may be required for wharfs, landing places, jetties, or other objects of public utility and convenience.
- The Association reserves to itself the right of determining the quantity of land, less than 101,000 acres, the sale of which will induce it to proceed with the undertaking.
- If at any time the Association should be compelled to relinquish its undertaking, the land will be no longer reserved for the purposes of the Association, and that portion of it which then remains unsold will be discharged from any liabilities incurred under the present terms of purchase.
- The Association reserves to itself the right of making such modifications in these terms as experience may prove hereafter to be expedient or desirable for the general benefit of the settlement, and as may be consistent with the conditions under which the land has been reserved to the Association.
By order of the Canterbury Association,
Henry Frederick Alston, Secretary.
41, Charing-cross, London, 1st Jan. 1850.
EXTRACTS FROM THE INSTRUCTIONS TO J. R. GODLEY, Esq.
the Chief Resident Agent of the Canterbury Association in New Zealand.
THE following document is now, for the first time, printed, with the permission of the Association. The omitted portions refer, without exception, to arrangements having no interest for the public generally.
In giving you written instructions for the performance of your duties as the principal Agent of the Canterbury Association, the Committee of Management are conscious that such instructions must necessarily fall short, in a great measure, of the object for which they are intended. So extensive is the character of the enterprise which it will be your business to conduct, so peculiar its circumstances, so numerous and varied its details, and so inadequate the information possessed by the Committee upon many of the most important points connected with it, that they are convinced its success will be best promoted by leaving to you a very wide discretion. You are thoroughly acquainted with the views and objects of the Association which you are to represent; with the difficulties against which it has to contend; and with the means to which it trusts for overcoming them. Again, you cannot be insensible to the deep responsibility devolving upon yourself, as upon all who have undertaken to carry out so great an experiment; nor is it necessary for us to impress upon you the important influence which its success or failure will have upon the interests of colonization generally, and of colonization as connected with the Church of England in particular. We believe that your mind is already sufficiently imbued with these high moral considerations; indeed, it is in a great measure on account of that belief that we consider you qualified for the task which has been assigned to you. We shall therefore confine ourselves, for the most part, in the following instructions, to a general definition of your powers, a brief recapitulation of your principal duties, and a few leading suggestions for your guidance and direction.
I. Your powers, except so far as they are limited by these or subsequent instructions, will best be defined by informing you that whatever the Association is competent to do in England, you are authorized and empowered to do, on their behalf, in New Zealand. The servants of the Association in the Colony are placed under your unqualified control, and you are empowered to suspend or dismiss any of them, as you may see fit. They will be informed that they are to receive your instructions as though they proceeded from the Association itself, and that they are to perform no act, in relation to the affairs of the Association, except with your concurrence and under your direction. In case you shall be obliged to exercise this power of suspension or dismissal, or in case any of the Association's servants should voluntarily resign, you will supply the vacancy as you may best be able. You will also, from time to time, make all such appointments as may be necessary for carrying out the objects of the Association, and consistent with the means at your command. The disposal of the land within the Canterbury settlement; the regulation of pasturage; the selection of sites for towns and public buildings; in short, the affairs and property of the Association generally, will be under your exclusive management and control, subject, of course, to such regulations as the Association has already made, and to such instructions as may be from time to time forwarded to you by the Association itself.
II. Your duties may be classed under two heads: 1st, That of preparing for the reception of Colonists; and 2nd, That of superintending and promoting the establishment and progress of the settlement. The Committee trust that much will have been done before you can arrive in the Colony, towards effecting the former object, by their chief-Surveyor, Captain Thomas.
As soon as the Association shall have effected a sufficient amount of sales, it will place at your disposal the means which it may consider to be required for completely establishing its settlement, and fully providing for the public objects at which it aims.
You will, as soon as possible after your arrival, communicate with the Bishop of New Zealand. You will express to his lordship the anxious desire of the Association that their design may be conducted under his superintendence and sanction; you will entreat him to favour you, so far as may be in his power, with his advice and assistance; and you will invariably pay the utmost attention and deference to his opinions and wishes.
The surveys, the allocation of the land to purchasers, and the measurement of the sections after allocation, belong more particularly to the province of the chief-Surveyor, and detailed instructions have been already furnished to Mr. Thomas on those heads. Over this, however, as over all other departments of the Association's service, you will exercise a general superintendence and control; and the chief officer engaged in it will make his report to you. But there will, in all probability, be one very important function connected with this branch of the Association's business, which must be exercised more immediately and directly by yourself. The Association intends, after the first body of colonists shall have gone out, to convey the right of selection to its purchasers, according to the priority of their applications at the Land Office in the Colony. It also intends that, from the same time forward, land shall be sold in the Colony as well as in this country. You will be prepared, therefore, to offer land for sale in the Colony, as soon as you shall receive intelligence that the period above referred to has arrived, on the terms and subject to the conditions detailed in the plan of sale published by the Association, or such other terms and conditions of sale as may be in force at the time being in England, except so far as regards the disposal of that part of the price which goes to the emigration or passage fund.  It is almost unnecessary to say, that no part of your duties will involve you in heavier responsibilities than this, or to urge upon you the paramount importance of exercising, in such event, the utmost care and discrimination in the admission of new settlers; inasmuch as the main object of the Association is, and will continue to be, the creation of a colony distinguished from others, not only by unity of religious belief, but, so far as possible, by the good conduct, good character, and respectability of its members.
The pasturage regulations with which you are furnished, sufficiently indicate to you the nature of the functions which you will be called upon to discharge with reference to that branch of the Association's colonizing operations. In these, indeed in all, your dealings with the settlers, especially during the period immediately succeeding their first arrival, you must not only be careful to acquire their confidence by exercising the strictest justice and impartiality, but you must remember to make all due allowance even for unreasonable demands and pretensions. In this, as in every new Colony, there will almost certainly be found persons who will have formed very erroneous ideas of their prospects and of their rights in the country of their adoption, and who will be sure, in the first instance, to lay the blame of their disappointment on the Association. Experience shows that while such persons often become, after their first angry feeling subsides, valuable and useful settlers; they also frequently fail to do so, only for the want of timely and sympathizing advice. It must be your business, therefore, to do all that in you lies to allay such disappointments, should they exist; to meet, whenever you can, the wishes of the colonists; where it is out of your power to do so, to explain why; to be always ready, in short, to hear their complaints, and to render counsel and aid to all who want them.
The Association understands that, out of the million acres which have been allotted to the Canterbury Settlement, about 1450 acres have been disposed of to different individuals, whose names and holdings are given in a schedule hereto annexed. You will assure those individuals that every right and privilege to which they are entitled will be scrupulously respected, and that they will be regarded, in all respects, in the same light as though they had been purchasers from the Association.
It is probable, indeed nearly certain, that before the first body of colonists arrive at Port Cooper, many stock-owners, with large quantities of cattle and sheep, will have found their way to the Canterbury plains. To such persons you will uniformly hold the language of welcome and friendship; recognising the mutual advantages which the colonists and themselves will derive from their neighbourhood, and pointing out to them the means by which, if it should suit them, they may, generally speaking, at an early period, and on easy terms, exchange their temporary occupancy, for an assured right of pasturage. The same principle will be kept in view by you in your intercourse with all persons who may be attracted to Port Cooper from other parts of the Colony, or from Australia, by the prospect of gain which a new settlement will open to them. We allude not so much to labourers and artisans, as to storekeepers, millers, timber merchants, and other capitalists, who may make it their business to provide, in advance, for the early wants of the first colonists. It is almost superfluous to say, that every encouragement should be given to this valuable class of men; but at the same time they must be made fully aware, that their liberty of occupation is of a temporary character only; that, until the first body of purchasers shall have made their selections, no land can be conveyed in the Colony to any one; and that if they invest capital in buildings or improvements in any shape under such circumstances, they must do so at their own risk, and with a full knowledge of their precarious tenure.
The Association is informed that reserves have been formed by the Government officers, for the few natives who inhabit the district in which the Canterbury Settlement will be established. If such is not the case, you will take care to have such reserves as may have been agreed upon defined as soon as possible, and respected in the same way as the property of Europeans.
The Committee have only to add, in conclusion, that a very material part of your duties will consist in sending home, by every opportunity, the most ample information upon everything connected with the country in which their colonizing operations are to be carried on. In doing so, you cannot be too minute or too particular. They wish to receive not only written descriptions of the climate, soil, scenery, natural productions, &c., but also, if possible, drawings and specimens of all kinds. Much of the attractiveness of a colony depends upon the extent to which intending settlers are enabled fully to comprehend and realize its character, condition, and circumstances; too much pains, therefore, cannot be taken by those who are on the spot, to satisfy the curiosity which is so naturally and so uniformly felt.
If you should be compelled by illness, or any other cause, to resign the post which you are about to fill, you will appoint, provisionally, your own successor; such appointment to be, of course, subject to the confirmation of the Association.
In conclusion, in all arrangements which you may find it necessary to make, as well as in all your communications with the colonists, you will remember that the Association is pledged to use its utmost endeavours towards the conversion of the Canterbury Settlement into a separate Province, according to the assurances which they have received from the home and local governments, as well as to procure for the settlement the establishment, within its limits, of local self-government; an object which they conceive most desirable for securing the prosperity of the colony, and which they have good hopes of ultimately obtaining. In the meantime, we need hardly express our confident belief that yourself and the colonists generally will cultivate the most cordial relations with the existing government.
(Extract from 'Hints on Church Colonization,' by the Rev. James Cecil Wynter, M.A., Rector of Gallon.)
When the North American colonies parted finally from their alliance with Great Britain, the duty which the Anglican Church owed to them—owed but never paid—was in a great measure transferred to the other hemisphere. Since the first settlement of Botany Bay, in 1787, a large cluster of colonies has gradually sprung into existence at the Antipodes. Now ripening into manhood, they ask from the parent state the same amount of self-government which the New England Colonies insisted upon before they resolved on separation; they utter the same loud outcry against the infusion of the pollutions of the metropolis into their chosen home; and they solicit from the Church that tribute of parental affection which the Americans for nearly two centuries sought for, but which the Church for nearly two centuries unnaturally refused to concede to them.
This sphere of duty the Church must accept, or perish. There seems no middle term between these two extremes. If the Church shall fail to reproduce itself—in other words, to beget individuals of a like species with itself—surely that must be an index of sterility: in cases analogous, the body then becomes effete; the season of decrepitude has come on; vital force is ebbing; the period of existence is determined.
Post ubi jam validis quassatum viribus ævi
Corpus et obtusis ceciderunt viribus artus:
Claudicat ingenium delirat linguaque mensque,
Omnia deficiunt et uno tempore desunt,
Lucretius, de Rerum Naturá, iii. 452.
And the crisis is not something distant, whose coming is to be expected and waited for; it is at hand and imminent, presenting itself in a twofold shape. On the one hand, the Colonies no longer press their suit upon the country with whispering humbleness, as children in their nonage, but as emancipated sons they prefer their claims with manly plainness of speech; and they say that unless we lend them a patient ear, they must needs take that as of right which is not granted as of favour. On the other hand, the excessive population of these islands, pent up within the limits of a mere speck of the universe, yearns after an outlet in which to exercise its energies and hardihood. Silently, but with astonishing velocity, the tide of human life is gaining upon us. It has ebbed only once in the memory of living man. We may not expect another reflux: either we must divert the waters into fertilizing channels, so that they may wash harmlessly at our feet, or else they will recoil, gather strength, break, and overwhelm us.
These apparently are the two broad features of the colonial question, with which the coming Session of Parliament must grapple, if not bring to a prosperous issue. Upon the felicitous solution of the problem, the safety and integrity of the empire may depend. It seems hardly possible to overrate the magnitude of the danger which, like a circle of fire, encloses us on all sides; and unless the statesmen of England shall have nerve to confront that danger—not turn it aside with adroitness and dexterity, but measure strength with it—the Crown and the Mitre, the Royal Sceptre and the Pastoral Staff, may soon become traditions; mere legends of things gone by.
Is the Church to stand aloof, a cold, dignified, unimpassioned spectatrix of the solution of this great knot and juncture of England's destinies? with epicurean indifference to gaze unmoved at the spasmodic writhings of her self-expatriated children:—
Errare atque viam palantes quærere vitæ?
Or, shall she assume not only a nobler part, but the very function imposed upon her by her Divine Founder, and, assimilating her life with their life, her interests with their interests, share while she heartens them under difficulties, and temper the violence of the struggle which she may not be able altogether to turn aside?
If it is lawful to augur of her future, by a review of her former bearing towards the Colonies, the omen will be indeed gloomy and unpropitious.
Henceforth let the Church colonize itself. It has never yet attempted to do so. Now let it begin to transplant itself entire, 'a living germ, with all the powers of reproduction in herself.' Strong in the strength of her Lord, let her become a leader, not a tardy attendant; let her go forth; for shame's sake let her no longer be dragged forth.
The objection to this proposal will be, that it is an experiment, and may fail. Of course it is an experiment, and may fail; but others have tried it, and did not fail; why should not we try it, and succeed? Yet it is a thousand times more comely, wise, ay, a thousand times more religious, that the experiment should be attempted though it fail, rather than that it should never be attempted at all. A nicely balanced mind, in the common affairs of daily life, will not hesitate an instant between contingent failure and permanent dishonour. I suppose we should not like to hear it said of our Church that, like all bodies corporate, it is a body without a soul or conscience. We should none of us care to attribute to our Church the 'pouvoir prochain' of the Jesuits, which Pascal's irony turned to ridicule; or to insinuate that she has every capacity of action, but neither the ability nor the will to act.
Churchmen certainly will not quarrel with this position, viz.,—that our past system has no sanction from antiquity. The Apostles did not plant churches by driblets, fragments, instalments; not bit by bit; not by sending out here and there a separate disjointed limb; not the limbs first and the head afterwards; but by gathering together the separate members into one body under one common visible head; just as the loadstone attracts scattered atoms to a common centre of unity. They planted the church entire; they did not plant episcopacy without a bishop.
The waste territory of New Zealand, the outskirts and shores of which are now only just being fringed with settlers, throws open a wide field for the commencement of such a work; for the operation of a revived spirit of true religious colonization.
It is plain, however, that this revival must take place amongst the laity as well as amongst the clergy; it would be more correct to say, that it must be communicated from and by the clergy to the laity. There is not a subject, having a direct bearing upon the social welfare of the people of this country, which is so little understood as that of colonization. The sympathies of society are yet to be enlisted in its behalf; unreasonable prejudices require to be removed; a knowledge of it to be generally diffused. The clergy must undertake this duty if they would gain the co-operation of the laity; for this is clear beyond a doubt, that when a matter of public usefulness or public beneficence is fairly brought under the consideration of the laity of England, they enter upon it cheerfully, and with munificence, as men in earnest working for an end and anxious to reach it. A colonizing clergy, without a colonizing laity, is but a poor instrument. Separate, either will accomplish little—united, what may not be accomplished? It is only by an intimate union and co-operation between the two that the Church's labour, under God's blessing, can be wrought out, and the Redeemer's triumph finally accomplished. That union, if God shall prosper it, will lead to the spread of the Gospel by the Church throughout the yet untrodden Continent and the countless islands of the Southern World.
The proposed Settlement of Canterbury, in New Zealand, offers a starting point for the immediate activity of this revived spirit of true colonization.
If it be desirable to found a happy home for the swarming multitudes of our increasing population—if it be a blessed consolation to reflect, that when our sons and daughters are compelled by an imperative necessity to quit our side, they shall not be cast forth as waifs and strays into the wide world, doomed in the midst of material plenty to intellectual ignorance and hopeless irreligion—if it might almost heal the pang of parting with them, perhaps for ever, to be assured that in the land of their adoption they shall find the same faith, the same charities, the same morals, which still adorn and sanctify their fatherland—then, I say, upon us be the fault, if this glorious vision shall fail to be realized for our emigrants, who are about to found the Settlement of Canterbury in New Zealand. The almost heroic bishop of that country, (Dr. Selwyn, whose devotedness can find its equal only in primitive ages,) in a recently published letter, has represented the natural features of the proposed Settlement as presenting 'a picture, which needs only the true manna of God's blessing to fulfil every promise which he ever made to his chosen people, to the happy settlers who may hereafter occupy this fair land in the spirit of simplicity and faith.'
It remains for the Church to be the angel of that true manna. She can assume the sacred embassy if she will. The will alone is wanting. There is no other hindrance in her way. The ground is yet unoccupied. No settler has set foot there. Only one lofty spirit, forsaking station, hereditary fortune, fair prospects, here, is on his way to lay the foundation of a future home for himself and others. The pollutions of our sins—the dregs and lees of our prisons—have not yet tainted that sincere atmosphere: thank God for that! for (as Lord Bacon says) 'it is a shameful and unblessed thing to take the scum of people and wicked condemned men to be the people with whom you plant.' There are no natives there to vex its future tenants; it may become a nursery-plot for God's people, if the Church will be the nursing-mother.
If she lead the way, bearing with her the precious and eternal truths of light inaccessible—if she take the Bible in one hand, and the means of intellectual culture in the other—an accomplished laity will not lag behind. As of old, 'gentlemen of aunciente and worshippeful families, ministers of the gospel of great fame at home, merchantmen, husbandmen, and artificers,' 'persons of condition, education, fortune,' 'noblemen and gentlemen,' will follow. These, according to the old writers, emigrated aforetime: why should they not again? Why should not noblemen and gentlemen embark for the colonies now as well as the labourer and artizan? Is there not one in the ranks of our peerage ambitious of the fame of the illustrious Lord Baltimore, and of the wise, conciliatory Bellamont? Not one among the children of the peerage, who, having no well-defined sphere of duty at home, yet feeling himself to be a minister of Divine Providence, a steward of creation, a servant of the great family of God, would be content to exchange inglorious ease for the honourable toil of building up God's church in a distant wilderness, and of perpetuating a noble name and lineage in a new world?
Or are the sentiments of honour and of virtue, the fires of high ambition, so utterly extinct and dead amongst the sons of English barons; have they become so emasculated by luxury and inaction, that they have no heart to brave a little hardship in order to plant the religion, laws, liberties, of England (for which their grandsires dared even to die) under the cloudless skies of the Southern hemisphere? Why should not we erect there a cathedral which may be a glorious rival of Westminster or of York? Why not send out a bishop endowed with the learning of Pearson or of Bull—with the piety of the sainted Wilson—with the gentleness of the accomplished Heber? Why not found an university which may be no mean rival of the scholastic honours of Eton and of Oxford? Why not raise up a society there, the tone of which need not fear comparison with the piety, honour, purity of an English fireside, though some few outward ornaments for a time may be absent?
The answer to this long series of questions will be the shopkeeper's answer—'No money.'
Be it so. Only let it be put on record, that two centuries ago the Puritans could raise 192,000l., a prodigious sum for those days, to found for themselves a church and nation in New England; that two years ago the poor Irish of America could raise 450,000l. to lead away their brethren from the pestilence and famine at home; but that in 1850 the princes, prelates, nobles, gentry, of Britain cannot spare a single penny to further the advancement of the best design the mind of man ever framed for the reproduction of an English nation.
Again, I say. Be it so! but accept the blame of your infatuated imbecility; bear the reproach of having all the appliances to carry this high enterprise into execution, without having the masculine courage to act accordingly.
Multitudes watch for your fall, and greatly will they rejoice thereat. Only if you fall, you fall by lukewarmness, the turpitude of which God alone can judge, and of which, of all other Churches, only the Church of England could by possibility be guilty.
Multitudes are on the alert, hoping for your fall; and if they should ever occupy the ground on which you might have stood triumphant, they will taunt you with those austere words once applied to a nation foredoomed to desolation: 'This people's heart is waxed gross; and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed, because they seeing see not, and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand.'
WE have been favoured with the following paper by an intending colonist. As an example of the light in which the Association is viewed, and its project accepted, by those most interested, we willingly find a place for it here. But, independently of the circumstances under which it is written, as elucidating a principle it is deserving of attention.
THE CLUB PRINCIPLE,
Which is now the order of the day, and is being carried into effect in all the walks of life, from one end of the kingdom to another, is that by which the maximum of comfort and luxury with the minimum of expense is realized. In proof of it, witness the number of model dwellings, baths, wash-houses, &c., for the poor that are being reared up on this plan, and the increasing number of clubs that are springing up in every street of the West End of London.
How do a number of young men of limited means manage to build a palace in Pall Mall—to furnish it in regal style, and enrich it with the treasures of literature and art? Is it not by clubbing together that they get this splendid habitation—their dinner table covered with damask, costly plate, and sparkling crystal—their retinue of courteous butlers, stately porters, messengers of despatch, faultless flunkies, and their joint at eating-house prices? Is not all this, and much more, done by association and organization? for all the combination in the world would be of no avail without order and method.
Take the origin of any one club—say a military one. A number of gentlemen belonging to the army found themselves constantly in London, spending their leave of absence from their regiments; or, perhaps, on business. Many of them had few friends and acquaintances in town; they had to get their meals either at good and ruinous hotels, or cheap and nasty eating houses. Some bright genius said—If we were to club together all the money we fritter away individually, we might have, at the eating-house prices, as good, or better, than the best hotels now give us, and have something to show for our money. A dozen of those this genius first converted formed themselves into an association, named a committee of management, appointed a secretary, and wrote to state their views to those they thought would join them. Here was the nucleus—they soon numbered hundreds; and the result is before our astonished eyes in the splendid edifice thus created.
The Canterbury Association, with its committee of management and secretary, is nothing more nor less than a nucleus to form a club in New Zealand. They say, individuals colonizing are in the position of the individual members before they joined the club—they fritter away their substance in small colonial 'eating shops,' and have nothing to show for it but disappointment, failure, and vexation. They ask them to combine; and offer them as the premium for so doing, not palaces, damask, plate, crystal, and a pompous array of menials, but a splendid country, a magnificent climate, a stake in the soil, a comfortable home, a position in a nation, full occupation for their time and talent, a certainty of something for their children, and the joint at eating-house prices as long as they live.
But this is not all the London Club does, nor is it all the Canterbury Club offers. There is one room in that vast building in Pall Mall more prized by a select few than all that has yet been enumerated—it is the library. Formerly the young man about town, so soon as he had devoured his chop in the aforesaid eating-house, fled from it as from an uncongenial place; and what was there to receive him?—the streets, the theatres, the saloons, the Cider Cellars, Coal Hole, &c., &c. Now, he need not leave the house he dined in to find a quiet, comfortable apartment; with all that is most enticing in the field of literature.
Are not the colonial settlements still in the former position of the young club member? Assuredly so; the library is wanting, and the consequence all know who know aught of our colonial youth. The food for their minds is, at present, prepared and served up in educational establishments, no better in degree than the London eating-houses of former days, and the unfortunate scholars are turned out from them to rush into dissipation and vice, to look for their mental training in the sea-port towns, billiard-rooms, grog-shops, &c.,—the coal-holes and cider cellars of colonies.
In the Canterbury Settlement the library will not be wanting. Educational provision will be one of the first thoughts of the promoters. It is even hoped that the Settlement may soon be able to boast a college which, for learning and piety, may take its stand with those of the mother-country.
Clubs are invariably class communities, the right to choose their associates is always recognised. They are held together by the ties of common interests, pursuits, habits, and inclinations; and by a similarity of opinions in matters temporal. This is the case with the Reform, Conservative, Athenæum, Travellers', University, Military, and East India Clubs; and, in fact, with all. All bear out the old saw, 'birds of a feather flock together,' and adopt the motto, 'unitate fortior.'
And now, step by step, we have arrived at the most important consideration of all. Here we must do more than our London Club; for happily the club member could, if he chose, as well formerly as now, enjoy the advantages which are not to be obtained by the colonist, in any other way than by making them an integral portion of his club.
This, being the most vital question of all in the consideration of a joint society, has been chosen by the Association as the ' bond of unity. '
Men cannot be induced to co-operate heartily unless there be some great end to be obtained, equally sought after by all. It may be a great thing to give them a worldly inducement to hold together, but it is surely a far better to bring about that end by creating a higher and purer motive—by substituting the Bible for the purse—by raising the Cross as the self-imposed yoke. There is everything to facilitate this. Those holding similar opinions on religious subjects rarely differ widely on other important points. An individual's opinions on most topics may, generally, be very readily inferred from a knowledge of his religious persuasions. Sectarianism of opinion as regards his church will assuredly carry with it peculiar sentiments on worldly affairs. This is shown by the readiness with which we guess at a man's political bias the moment we hear to what sect of the Christian church he belongs. Religion, in fact, is, as it should be, the main spring of action with all right feeling men.
To return to the question of temporal benefit. In the London Club, advantages always accrue to first or original members, as they are termed. The entrance fee has often, in a few years, been more than trebled. Such, it may be confidently hoped, will be the case with the new Settlement; and, doubtless, each succeeding year will greatly increase the value of freeholds.
It is but right that those who are the first to join a good cause should have their reward. It is natural to expect that, generally speaking, they will get the best sites in the new capital, suburbs, post-towns, and in the best pasturage districts. They will, probably, choose their rural sections as near these as they can; and it is fair to infer that they will find them daily rising in value. After-purchasers will neither have the bonus of the half-acre in the capital, nor will they have their pasturage at the same cheap rate.
The standard is raised! Who will gather round it? Who will join our Canterbury Club?
THE CANTERBURY DISTRICT—HYPOTHESIS AND FACT.
'Suppose now that, by a sudden reflux of the sea on one of the coasts of Great Britain, a tract of land were laid bare, consisting of two millions of acres, and that this land were found to be immediately available for the purposes of agriculture. Suppose it to contain excellent pasturage for cattle, to be well watered by streams, and to possess a healthy and invigorating climate. Suppose, further, it to be probable that beneath the surface minerals, including coal, might be found, and that the right of getting such minerals were promised to all who should become the purchasers of the soil. Suppose, further, that the land were offered for sale at a price which, when compared with that in any part of England fit for cultivation, was extremely low; and that two-thirds of the price were returned to the purchaser, in the shape of outlay upon roads, bridges, churches, and schools, designed for the benefit of the new settlers on this derelict of the sea.
'Would not such an accession of territory be looked upon as a very providential event, and singularly adapted to the exigencies of the times?
'The case is hypothetical as regards land contiguous to our shores—but the territory described does exist in the Middle Island of New Zealand. No doubt the bridge is long and the way wearisome, and it is not without a struggle that a man can bring himself to abandon the home of his birth to seek his fortune at the antipodes. But the question is not one of taste or inclination, but of necessity. It is infinitely better to buy land, stock a farm, rear sheep and cattle, and sell the produce at a profit in New Zealand, than to struggle on here for a bare maintenance, with the prospect of bankruptcy and the Gazette. And, for those who cannot afford to buy land, it is infinitely better that they should go out to a country where labour, their only capital, is in demand, and they are sure of finding employment at good wages, than stay here to become the pauper inmates of a union, or perish of cold and hunger in a hovel. If, in addition to these inducements, a promise on which they can rely is held out, that due provision shall be made for their spiritual wants, and that they will find churches and schools for worship and instruction when they arrive at the end of their voyage, we think that they have before them all that they can reasonably desire. The great ends of colonization, in such a case, are answered. The mother country derives benefit, and the colonist enjoys happiness.
'We have, indeed, hardly an option in this matter. The tide of emigration is rolling on year after year, and we have no power, had we the wish, to stop it. Men will fly from starvation to the uttermost ends of the earth; and from our villages and towns thousands after thousands find their way to the seaports, knowing and caring little where or how they go, provided only they are taken away from a country which refuses to support them in honest industry. Their feelings must be those of bitterness and hostility towards the land they leave, if, in addition to all the misery they have endured in it, they are allowed to wander forth over the ocean, uncared for during the voyage, and find at its close that they are abandoned to a state of moral, if not physical destitution. Emigration and colonization ought to go hand in hand together. They ought, indeed, to be correlative terms. But this is not so; it cannot be so, unless emigration is conducted on very different principles, and in a very different manner, than heretofore. For we have no right to say that we colonize any part of the earth, if all that we do is to get rid of the refuse of our population, by placing them on shipboard, that they may no longer offend us by their importunate wants. We must provide for their reception in the country to which we send them, and if we do this in a wise and adequate manner, we not only relieve ourselves from pressure, but we found colonies whose surest bond of union with ourselves will be their attachment to the mother country for the benefits they have received from her.'—Colonial Magazine for January, 1850.
THE COLONISTS' ROOM.
THE nature of the publications under this head is sufficiently indicated by the subjoined article; and this, we may add, like all future communications for which it is intended to find a place here, emanates exclusively from the Colonists themselves.
It is proposed, under this head, to appropriate a certain space in these papers to the exclusive treatment of such practical questions as more particularly affect the immediate personal interests of the intending colonists; and to such practical suggestions as it is thought may seem in any way to promote their future comfort and well being in the settlement. With such abstract questions as are involved in the discussion of the general principles of Colonization—the erroneous views and misdirected efforts of the past, or the grounds on which Ave may found a more hopeful anticipation of the future—it is not proposed to concern ourselves here. We shall confine ourselves in this part to the more humble, yet we hardly think less profitable, task of giving a resume of the topics discussed by the Colonists at their place of Assembly, 1a, Adelphi Terrace. We shall also embody, in as compact a form as possible, the answers returned to some of their numerous correspondents in special cases. We shall treat, in fact, of all matters in any way interesting to those who have declared to go out. We shall submit to them, from time to time, suggestions of practical utility, and discuss, by the aid of united experience, how in its smallest details, and all its practical bearings, the success of the noble undertaking in which we have embarked may be best assured. Nor will there be difficulty in finding an ample supply of subjects, which are neither likely to fail in interest or to become soon exhausted. It must, we are sure, be unnecessary to tell the man, who has finally decided on the momentous step of changing his home and country for another and far distant land, how many and varied are the subjects of vital importance which press on his attention, demanding his most serious consideration, and on the best solution and happiest mode of doing which may greatly depend his own individual comfort and future success—indeed, that also of the whole settlement—for out of the aggregate of individual successes or failures will spring more or less the failure or success of the entire undertaking. The whole scheme has been nobly devised and ably set on foot by its authors. It remains that, as far as possible, it be carried out in its integrity; and it is for those who feel any interest in the success of an undertaking, which unquestionably commences a new era in the history of British Colonization, to do what may be in their power to this end. Our hope, in supplying here the smaller, yet not less necessary, appendages of the work will be, that they may in the end be made to tit together with the more solid parts in one harmonious whole; that our future community may prove, to our unspeakable comfort hereafter, to be built up like the sacred city of old, 'as a city that is at unity in itself'.
We will assume, then, that the preliminary matters connected with the general subject of emigration, and the true principles of colonization in the present day, have been duly studied and mastered by our intending colonists; and that that most serious, perhaps, of all questions, 'whether to emigrate, and whither?' has been finally and satisfactorily decided on by him in favour of the Canterbury Settlement. It is at this point his fellow-colonists are desirous to make his acquaintance; and taking him, as a fellow-traveller and future neighbour, by the hand, they would enter into earnest, familiar intercourse with him, compare their respective views and ideas, and endeavour to make such intercourse and exchange of thought productive of general benefit—in smoothing common difficulties, in the suggestion of practical advantages, and in promoting, by co-operation, schemes of utility and solid benefit for their future home. There are a multitude of little ways in which this may be done, that will at once suggest themselves to every practical mind. How many are the considerations that must, at this moment, occupy the mind of one who is making his preparations for the great epoch of his life, and on which he would desire counsel and advice, and to hear the opinion of others similarly situated. These collective ideas it will be our business to record here. The necessity of a clear understanding of how a man is going out, what he proposes doing, and how he can best adapt the necessary means to the end; the numberless contrivances and preparations for the voyage; and for the new sphere of existence; the supply of provision and labour, all considerations connected with the moral, social, and religious interests of the community; the library, museum, botanical garden, down to sheep, to sheep-dogs, and the most petty details affecting personal arrangements and individual comfort, will find an appropriate place here. The Colonists' Room, with its discussions on these topics, will thus be a continuing feature of the series.
As the present papers were going to press, the following Report of a Meeting in Birmingham appeared in the morning papers of the 30th of January:—
Yesterday a meeting was held in Birmingham, under the auspices of Lord Lyttelton, Mr. Adderley, M.P., and other gentlemen who have taken part in the promotion of the 'Canterbury Settlement' in New Zealand: the object was to afford information as to the principle and details of the plan on which the colonization of this Settlement is proposed to be conducted. Mr. Felix Wakefield attended to answer inquiries, and the Hon. Frederick Gough presided. Lord Lyttelton gave a general sketch of the project. His lordship said the promoters of the Canterbury settlement had set it on foot with a desire to realize some settlement which should more worthily represent society, in its best views, than had ever been attempted before in colonization. To carry out this, a principal object had been to secure some site which should give to emigrants a secure possession in their purchases of land; this was an assurance not always given to colonists, and many persons on going out to New Zealand and other colonies had experienced the greatest embarrassment and difficulty. Now, upon the Canterbury settlement, there was no longer this drawback; the land was secured, and was situate in the southern province of the middle island on the southern coast of New Zealand. The title was complete in every respect; that of the natives was extinguished, and a crown grant had been made to the purchasers. The settlement would comprise about 2,400,000 acres of land, which was offered for sale at 3l. per acre. It must be distinctly understood that this was a church undertaking, and must therefore be confined strictly to members of the church of England; it was also an essential part of the undertaking, that all the advantages of churches, schools, and clergy, would be provided for the first batch of emigrants. For the rest, he had only to state that the land was already in possession of the Association, and that local agents would be stationed in large towns for the purpose of affording information on the subject.—Mr. Adderley, M.P., said that he regarded this as one of the greatest enterprizes of the present time. He condemned the attempt to govern distant and fully-matured colonies from the home country. He hoped that each colonist would, at the proper time, be invested with the rights of citizenship, without which no colony would prosper. With reference to this being a 'church enterprize,' the hon. gentleman said that this must not be regarded as savouring of intolerance; the measure had been adopted as an element of success, and, in fact, the Presbyterians and Roman Catholics had settlements of their own.—In reply to a question from the Rev. H. Bellairs, Lord Lyttelton said that Mr. Godley had gone out for the express purpose of making suitable provision for the reception of the labourers and other emigrants on their arrival.—Mr. Adderley (in reply to other questions) said that there was no doubt as to the excellence of the title to the land; that, in fact, it had been purchased of the natives for 2,000l., and subsequently been granted to this company by the crown, with a reserve of 2,400 acres for the natives.—From the statements made, a favourable impression was produced relative to this project.
- This has since been increased to 2,400,000 acres by subsequent negotiations with the New Zealand Company.
- Who has since been succeeded by the present Secretary, H. F. Alston, Esq.
- Now forming part of the Canterbury Settlement
- This mountain range is generally capped with snow: it has a most fantastic outline, sharp pinnacles and deep gorges following each other;—a rough country for the traveller, this Alpine region. I estimate their greatest height at from 7000 to 8000 feet. We know of about six passes through them.
- The natives of the Middle Island bake the young Ti trees in large ovens formed in the earth with hot stones, and they obtain a valuable article of food. The Ti contains much saccharine matter, the whalers formerly distilled a spirit from it, and the bishop states that the early missionaries brewed excellent beer from its roots.
- Mr. Mantell travelled from Kaiapoi, near the ' Double Corner,' to Otago. By 'the northern part of the journey' is therefore meant the plain of the Canterbury, from Double Corner southwards.
- The appropriation of this sum being governed by an Act of Parliament cannot be interfered with.
- Since these instructions were drawn up, the land at the Association's disposal, as previously stated, has increased to 2,400,000 acres, or thereabouts.
- Bishop Wilberforce's History of American Church.
- Already given, page 32.