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Historic Poverty Bay and the East Coast, N.I., N.Z.

General Rising Feared

General Rising Feared

On 4 August, 1869, a further appeal was made to the Home Government by Governor Bowen to allow the 18th Royal Irish Regiment to remain at Auckland. In a dispatch to Lord Lyttelton he stated that the rebels were nearly as numerous as, but more experienced and ferocious than, they had been when an army of 10,000 Imperial troops had utterly failed to subdue them. If the Maoris realised that the colonists were being abandoned by the Mother Country, there would be massacres like those of Poverty Bay and Cawnpore all over the East and West Coasts of the North Island.

Mr. Whitaker had, he continued, advised him that there would be no chance of effectual resistance if from 1,000 to 2,000 Maoris were to march on Auckland from the Waikato—the houses would be burned, the women violated, and a general flight or massacre would ensue. It was with grief and sorrow he had learned that public opinion was fast setting in towards separation from England. [On 23 June, 1869, W. H. Harrison (Westland Boroughs) stated in Parliament that H. Driver (the member for Roslyn and Consul for the United States) was prepared to make overtures for the acquisition of the colony by the United States, one condition being that the rebellion should be subjugated with American aid. Premier Stafford said that he had no reason to page 288 suppose that it was at all probable that such an offer would be made.]

The rebels spent the remainder of 1869 in the Urewera Country and around Lake Taupo. They were encountered on over a dozen occasions by pursuing forces which had entered the arena in columns from various directions. Colonel Whitmore took the field with the northern columns. By October, 1869, the Taupo area was practically cleared.