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Samuel Ironside Diaries- The Wairau Incident

Last Modified: 23-6-2017 21:47

Note: See F.W. Smiths lecture at Nelson on 08.11.52 page 15. Quoting from 1890's remaining. "Next morning, Tuesday, we managed with difficulty to landed the boat and with a strong crew of white men pulled down to Kakapo Bay. There were the old chiefs Te Rauparaha & Te Rangiheata and a tumultuous mob of their followers, wind and weather bound, exultant at their unexpected victory and yet alarmed at the consequences when the Government should hear. "As it was utterly impossible to venture out in the whale boat across the dozen miles of open sea to the mouth of the Wairau and the bar would be dangerous, I landed in the cove and went to see the old chiefs. They were sullen, and evidently in dread of the authorities; but they justified their conduct. The magistrate they said , had begun by wanting to handcuff them and threatening them with the war party if they resisted. "I then said I wished to go, seek out and decently bury the slain, and I supposed they had no objection. "What to do you want to go for?" was the reply: "Better leave them to the wild pigs; but you can go if you like". "We could do nothing that day and so returned to Ngakuta, dispirited and anxious. Next Morning we returned out at considerable risk, got over the bar at the rivers mouth. I wondered afterwards at our tenacity and our marvelous escape. END EXTRACT FROM LECTURE. 24th (June 1843). Late tonight I returned home from the unpleasant but necessary business of seeking up the poor bodies and reading the burial service over them. We found Capt. Wakefield, Mr. Thompson, Capt. England, Mr. Richardson, Mr. Patchett, Mr. Cotterell, & Mr. Howard gentleman, & twelve other white people all of Nelson. Many of them having shot wounds about them & all of them dreadfully tomahawked about the head. From all I hear Mr. Thomspon was hasty and caused the affray to commence, but the revenge of the natives has been indeed savage. Capt. Wakefield, Mr. T. and one or two others were made prisoner & slaughtered after the affray was over. The natives have gone away from here afraid of the Europeans taking with them ammunition, & all their property, so that Mrs. I, & I are left entirely except a boy & give whose services she has bought from their chiefs with blankets - there are also two or three from the Sound staying with us. What will be the end of these things? Lord Thou knowest!

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