Kaikoura Island in the Hauraki Gulf, New Zealand

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Great Barrier Island August 10th 1857

Fredk Whitaker Esq.

Sir, I wright this Note I was over to KIKORA taken after the Cattle I found 5 head of and 2 calfs and my Cow was Calfin and I could tuck the Calf home But it was no good to me with out the cow Cattell coulte sum Brought to with outher Cattel now there is 6 vessell Dawn hear and 2 mor to com there is 300 Natives and soon there be mor and the have one Part is up the guly weare I have been Claren for to Plant and sone are the wither get fine I shall Burn it of and it will Burn there huts and there will be Row and wat will be the commence I do not know the have eat all the Turmets up the guly wich Robiston* and my self was days dig up and the have do com in our will to wash there self and if we say anything to them the say LUD it is very a noin to us. Halfer workin from morning to Night and then to have it Nothing for our Pains the other Bay would be for Better for them But the do take Delight in comin to anoin the Wight Peple so no more at Present.
from your obedient servant
Wm Harding-
Great Barrier Nov 20th 1857

Fr Whitaker Esqr

Sir I wright this Note to let you know that it is luckin very Bad with us the Patatos up be hind the house is a faliur I do not think wee shall get the seed out of it sense the Natives left wee went up the Guly the first flat wich is little mor then half acker wich wee fence in and Plant it and the slugs have heat all the turmets Carrits onions and now in the Patatos and Corn so every thing is goin Bad with me I hav at the Reumack in my back very Bad But it is Beter now Miller was to get something of Mr Fisher for me for my Back I think I have great faith in Mr Fisher gobulus for he give me one wich removed the Pain in my Brest wich I had mor than 20 years and I have not ad no Pain there since now 2 years a go so if should see Mr Fisher and if he woute give you somein for mee Back the vessel is comin Down a gain Be for Critmas biefor the Com wee ad no Tea Butter in fack everything is got in short the is eaten in the sand mullet is comin in the larg Mullet will soon be in the I will cure som for you the first wee are Clearin the ground for the swain we must Do something for I get in out of everything one year Down ear now and have got nothing wee have at very Bad weather the Native Chife wich I wright in my last not was hear 3 weeks ago he is Plantin on the Flat Island wich William the Chiefs in MORI Bay give him liberty Sir I Tole Miller to call for my wach wich I left at the wachmakers nex Door to Michells and to lieve it with you there is Nothing to Say on it wen the fin wether set in I should like to go over the hills so no mor at Present from your obegent servant
Wm Harding. Source: transcription of letters in Whitaker/Heale papers, held in the Auckland Museum Library.

* There was an old Swedish sailor named Robinson who was a ship's carpenter till about 50, when he married a London woman of about 40, who was an excellent cook and housekeeper. George Frederick Allen noted this on the back of a painting he did of Great Barrier from above the eastern shores of Fitzroy harbour in September of 1862. Allen said that he and Captain Young had boarded at the Robinsons’ cottage at the head of the Kai-arara Bay for three months, after their first arrival, in early 1860, and after they had got their own cottages up, Mrs Robinson had continued employment doing washing and baking bread. Source: Val Burr
Transcriptions by Don Armitage.

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