A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 eBook

Augustus Earle
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 197 pages of information about A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827.
It was a curious and interesting spot, being a native pa and depot, and was entirely covered with storehouses for provisions and ammunition.  The centre was so contrived that all assailants might be cut off before they could effect a landing; and we were all much gratified by the judgment and forethought displayed in this little military work.  The next morning we got off, but could not proceed far, as the shoals were becoming so numerous as to render the navigation dangerous.  But here we beheld, with both surprise and satisfaction, a most unexpected sight, namely, a snug little colony of our own countrymen, comfortably settled and usefully employed in this savage and unexplored country.  Some enterprising merchants of Port Jackson have established here a dockyard and a number of sawpits.  Several vessels have been laden with timber and spars; one vessel has been built, launched, and sent to sea from this spot; and another of a hundred and fifty tons burthen was then upon the stocks!

On landing at this establishment at Te Horeke, or, as the Englishmen have called it, “Deptford,” I was greatly delighted with the appearance of order, bustle, and industry it presented.  Here were storehouses, dwelling-houses, and various offices for the mechanics; and every department seemed as well filled as it could have been in a civilised country.  To me the most interesting circumstance was to notice the great delight of the natives, and the pleasure they seemed to take in observing the progress of the various works.  All were officious to “lend a hand,” and each seemed eager to be employed.  This feeling corresponds with my idea of the best method of civilising a savage.  Nothing can more completely show the importance of the useful arts than a dockyard.  In it are practised nearly all the mechanical trades; and these present to the busy enquiring mind of a New Zealander a practical encyclopaedia of knowledge.  When he sees the combined exertions of the smith and carpenter create so huge a fabric as a ship, his mind is filled with wonder and delight; and when he witnesses the moulding of iron at the anvil, it excites his astonishment and emulation.

The people of the dockyard informed me that, although it was constantly crowded with natives, scarcely anything had ever been stolen, and all the chiefs in the neighbourhood took so great an interest in the work that any annoyance offered to those employed would immediately be revenged as a personal affront.


Journey overland to bay of islands.

Here we left the brig to unload her cargo; my friend Shand and myself having determined to proceed overland to the Bay of Islands.  An intelligent chief, hearing of our intention, offered to accompany us himself, and lent us two of his kookies to carry our baggage.  We accepted the chieftain’s offer, and several other natives joined the party to bear us company.

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A Narrative of a Nine Months' Residence in New Zealand in 1827 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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