History of New Zealand
Chapter ii. — European Discoveries
The land which has been described, and its warlike inhabitants, were unknown to Europeans until a Dutchman, Abel Jansen Tasman, on a voyage of discovery found them in 1642. His ships were the ‘Heemskirk’ and the ‘Zeehaan.’
Claims of prior discovery have been put forward on behalf of French and Spaniards, but they do not stand the test of inquiry, and may be dismissed. The claims which were only made by their countrymen long after the death of the pretended discoverers, were fortified by no more definite statements than that a Frenchman, De Gonneville,1 reached some undescribed South Land in 1504; and that a Spaniard, sailing for a few weeks from the west coast of South America, saw some brown men wearing cloth garments on a fertile shore in the Pacific.
Tasman discovered and described with accuracy. Commissioned by Governor Antony Van Diemen, he sailed from Batavia to the Mauritius. Thence, in search of the Great South Land of which navigators dreamed, he found his way to the south coast of Tasmania, which he named after his patron Van Diemen.
Still exploring eastward he reached the Middle Island, Te Wai Pounamu, in September, 1642, and anchored in what now appears on maps as Golden Bay.
Two war-canoes approached the ships, and a blast like that of a Moorish trumpet saluted the wondering Dutchman.
1 De Gonneville took back to France the son of a chief, and was robbed in the British Channel. That he had not been to Australia or New Zealand was deducible from his own tale. According to it the natives used the sound of the letter s, and had bows and arrows, both of which statements were (with others) inapplicable. Kerguelen, who was sent to confirm De Gonneville's tale, thought he must have been at Madagascar!
He sent no boats to the shore on that day. On the following day a canoe with thirteen men was paddled near his vessel, the ‘Zeehaan.’ He could not tempt the Maoris on board though he invited them with presents. The solitary canoe returned to the shore whence seven other double canoes went straight to the ‘Heemskirk,’ and the Maoris scaled the vessel's side.
Tasman sent seven men in a boat to warn his comrades of danger, and the boat was at once attacked by several canoes. Three Dutchmen were killed; a fourth was wounded. The Maoris made off at once, carrying with them a dead Dutchman.
Tasman called the bay Murderer's Bay, and sailed away. Twenty-two canoes put off to jeer or to attack him. Tasman poured a broadside upon them. A man in the foremost canoe, holding an ornamented spear, was struck down; and the iron storm discomfited the Maoris who fled back to the shore.
The navigator, despairing of obtaining refreshments from such a race, sailed northwards, and called the northwest cape of the North Island, Maria Van Diemen.
He was about to land on one of the islands he named the Three Kings, near the Cape, when he was deterred by seeing thirty-five gigantic natives, “taking prodigious long strides with clubs in their hands.”
He had discovered but not landed on the islands, and he did not ascertain that a strait divided his enemies at Murderer's Bay from the land which he coasted on his way to Cape Maria Van Diemen. He declared that the natives were bloodthirsty, and that their attack on him was unprovoked.
His countrymen could scarcely lay claim to the territory on which he did not set foot, and where he did not even endeavour to plant his country's flag,—the cheap pretence recognized by Europeans as giving them titles to foreign lands.
The celebrated English navigator, Captain James Cook, was the next European who visited the land of the Maoris. Born in Yorkshire in 1728 he had gone early to sea in a collier, and entered the Royal Navy, as a volunteer, in 1755. He served in America, and was present at the capture of Quebec. He surveyed the channel from that city to the sea, and was noted for his diligent study of mathematics and astronomy. While employed on marine surveys he published some observations on page 66 an eclipse which attracted attention, and when it was determined to send an expedition to the Pacific to observe the transit of Venus in 1769, Cook, who had won the esteem of Lord Colville, who commanded the North American squadron in the war, was selected as the commander of the ‘Endeavour,’ a vessel of 370 tons. Sir Joseph (then Mr.) Banks, Dr. Solander, and other men of science accompanied him, and the required observations were duly made at Tahiti (called by him Otaheite).
Inducing a native named Tupia to go with him, Cook sailed in search of new lands, and on the 6th October, 1769, saw land of which he said, “the general opinion seemed to be that we had found the Terra Australis Incognita.”
He anchored at Turanga, on Sunday the 8th of October, and landed with Sir Joseph Banks and a party of men. He saw a palisading encompassing the crown of a hill; houses which “appeared small but neat;”and men in canoes, as well as gathered on the shore. He crossed a river to speak to some of them, and they ran away. But four others rushed from the woods to attack the boys left in his boat. The pinnace was at the river's mouth, and the coxswain called to the boys to drop down the stream. They did so, but were pursued. The coxswain fired twice over the Maoris' heads. At first they stopped and looked round them, but renewed the chase, and as one of them was about to launch his spear against the boys, a shot was fired which killed him. His companions, petrified for some minutes, dragged the body some distance and then fled.
Cook turned back at the sound of the firing, and saw the body of the man thus slain on the Sunday on which the white man first set foot in the islands.
Brown, but not very dark, in complexion, tattooed on one side of the face, clad in a mat of fine texture, the victim lay dead, shot through the heart.
Cook returned to his ship. The natives were heard talking earnestly and loudly in the night.
In the morning Cook took another armed party on shore. Maoris sitting down on the opposite side of the river seemed to await him unarmed. He, Sir J. Banks, Dr. Solander, and Tupia approached the river. They started up, each with a short weapon made of green-stone. Tupia spoke to them in page 67 his language. They flourished their weapons and made signs to the invaders to depart.
A musket was fired wide of them. The ball struck the water. “They saw the effect and desisted from their threats; but we thought it prudent to retreat till the marines could be landed.”The marines being drawn up, Cook with his officers and men advanced. Tupia again spoke, and Cook was pleased to find that “he was perfectly understood, he and the natives speaking only different dialects of the same language.”
They said they would trade, and invited the Englishmen to cross the river. Cook consented to do so if they would put away their arms. They refused. Tupia warned Cook that he must be on his guard as they were unfriendly.
Cook asked them to cross the river, and after some delay one of them threw off his mat-dress and swam to the Englishmen. Two others followed, and then twenty or thirty armed men joined them.
Cook gave them iron and beads, and they gave him feathers. They knew not the use of iron, but wished to make an exchange of arms, and “when we refused made many attempts to snatch them out of our hands.”
One of them snatched an officer's hanger and waved it in exultation, while his comrades became more insolent than before. Sir Joseph Banks fired at the boaster with small shot. This stopped his shouting, but he retreated flourishing the hanger still. Mr. Monkhouse, the surgeon, shot him dead. His comrades, who had previously retreated, rushed up to secure his “mere,”or green-stone weapon, and Mr. Monkhouse barely succeeded in preventing them from carrying off the hanger also. Small shot were fired at them and they swam away.
Cook designed to surprise some of them, and by treating them kindly “to establish by these means an amicable correspondence with their countrymen.”
He waylaid two canoes with his boats, but one escaped by rapid paddling. The other sailed unwarned into the midst of page 68 the boats; and then descrying the danger the Maoris struck their sail and plied their paddles so vigorously that they outran the clumsy boat. Tupia called to them in vain. A musket fired over their heads made them stop, not to surrender but to fight. With paddles and stones they resisted so stubbornly that Cook was constrained to fire upon them.
“Four,”he says, “were unhappily killed, and the other three who were boys, the eldest about nineteen and the youngest about eleven, instantly leaped into the water.… I am conscious that the feeling of every reader of humanity will censure me for having fired upon these unhappy people, and it is impossible that upon a calm review I should approve it myself.”He pleaded that the nature of his services required him to obtain a knowledge of the country and that his intentions were not criminal; that he did not expect such a contest, and that when the command to fire has been given no man can restrain its excess or prescribe its effect.
The three boys when dragged into the boat sat down expecting death. Treated kindly they became cheerful and accepted food. At night, however, they were heard to sigh “often and loud.” Tupia consoled them.
In the morning they were well fed, dressed in European clothes and adorned with bracelets and necklaces. They seemed overjoyed at the prospect of being restored to their friends, but when Cook approached his first landing-place near the river they said it was in the hands of enemies who “would kill them and eat them.”He crossed the river, and, after some internal struggle, not without tears the boys took their leave.
Cook proceeded to shoot wild ducks. A guard of four marines kept watch, and a band of Maoris was descried. Cook determined to retreat to his boats, and was astonished to find that at once “the three Indian boys started suddenly from some bushes and claimed protection,”which was accorded to them.
The Maoris mustered to the number of two hundred. Cook, despairing of making peace, and finding that even firearms would not keep them at a distance, resolved to re-embark.
The boys were still with him, and one of them cried out that he saw his uncle among the Maoris. Tupia parleyed with the crowd. The boys exhibited their presents, but would not swim page 69 across the river to their countrymen, nor would their countrymen go to the boys.
Near Cook and his men was the body of the man shot by Mr. Monkhouse the day before. The boys spied it and covered it with the clothes which had been given to them. Then the uncle of the youngest boy Maragovete swam over with a green branch which Tupia received as an emblem of peace. Presents were given to him, but he declined to go to the ship.
To Cook's surprise the boys still clung to his party as they returned on board.
Maragovete's uncle was then seen to pluck another branch, and with much ceremony to approach the dead body covered with the boys' clothes. The branch was thrown to the body, and the thrower returned to his companions who were seated on the sand. After an hour's conference the body was removed. In the afternoon Tupia ascertained that the boys were willing to be landed, and they were sent on shore, but the boat had no sooner put off for the ‘Endeavour’ than they waded into the water entreating to be received. The two midshipmen who had charge of the boat obeyed their orders and left the lads on the shore.
From the ship Cook saw that a Maori went across the river with a raft and took the boys to an assembly of forty or fifty men, where they remained till sunset. Then the meeting dispersed; the boys went to the beach, waved their hands three times towards the ‘Endeavour,’ and ran nimbly back to their countrymen who walked leisurely away. As the lads still wore the clothes given to them Cook trusted that no mischief would happen to them.
On the 11th October Cook sailed away from what, as an “unfortunate and inhospitable place,”he called Poverty Bay. He had only procured a little wood there.
With the brave Rongowhakaata tribe he had failed in establishing satisfactory relations.
Sailing southwards he coasted the territory of the Ngatikahungunu. He often named places after those who first espied them, and as Nicholas Young, a boy, first descried New Zealand, Cook called the south-west point of Poverty Bay, Young Nick's Head, a name which still appears in maps.page 70
Occasionally Maoris were induced to go on board the ‘Endeavour,’ and Tupia heard them assuring their companions that the Englishmen did not eat men.
Once three Maoris were left on board, apparently by accident, and were not disconcerted, but “danced and sang, eat their suppers, and went quietly to bed.”When the warriors in the canoes appeared to threaten, Tupia explained to them the terrible powers of the weapons of thunder, and Cook displayed them by discharging grape-shot over the sea.
While traffic was going on, Tupia's Tahitian boy, Tayeto, was seized by a Maori and dragged into a canoe which was swiftly paddled away. A marine fired at the crew; a man dropped. The boy, for one moment released from Maori gripe, plunged into the sea. His pursuers desisted when fired at, and the terrified Tayeto was restored to his ship. When he regained his senses he carried a fish to Tupia as a thank-offering to his god (Eatua), and Tupia, commending his piety, told him to put the fish into the sea.
The scene of Tayeto's escape was called Cape Kidnappers to commemorate it. Hawke's Bay was named after the First Lord of the Admiralty.
On the 17th of October Cook ceased to explore to the south, and called a place Cape Turnagain to mark the fact.
His dealings with the Ngatikahungunu had been less disastrous than with their countrymen, but no real confidence had been established.
The Maoris seemed ever prone to war. One chief who went on board at Terakako attracted Cook's admiration by his frank and engaging manners. He remained on board, self-invited and fearless, a whole night, with another chief and three servants.
“We found,”Cook wrote, “that they had heard of our kindness and liberality to the natives who had been on board before, yet we thought the confidence they placed in us an extraordinary instance of their fortitude.”
At Gable End Foreland two chiefs went on board, and their friendly manner induced Cook to take advantage of the opportunity to fill his water-casks. The shooting at Poverty Bay was known to them, but the Rongowhakaata at Gable End page 71 Foreland were not embittered by it. Sir Joseph Banks wandered about to obtain natural curiosities, and the English were politely shown the houses, the cultivations, the Maori food, and the mode of cooking it. Sir Joseph Banks saw plantations, where, in Cook's phrase, “the ground was as well broken down and tilled as even in the gardens of the most curious people among us.”The travellers were startled when they found that “a decent article of civil economy, the privy,”unknown in Tahiti, and not introduced at Madrid (Cook believed) until 1760, was, used in Maoria. The ground was everywhere clean, each little cluster of houses having its proper appendage, and all offal being placed in a midden.
At Tolago Bay, within the confines of the Ngatiporou tribes, Cook found an excellent watering-place. The inhabitants were friendly. An old chief exhibited the mode of warfare with spear and club, and his savage gestures in striking the mock enemy (a stake) with his patoo-patoo (club), after furiously thrusting at it with his spear, made the English infer that in Maori battles there was no quarter. The demeanour towards the visitors was friendly but confident. The war-dance was performed for their entertainment, and fish and sweet potatoes were exchanged in barter.
On the 30th October Cook left Tolago Bay and coasted to the north, observing much cultivated land and many villages in the Ngatiporou territory. He saw and named East Cape and Hick's Bay. The latter, according to Cook's custom, was called so because Lieutenant Hicks descried it. As he approached the territory of the Whakatohea, armed Maoris, in canoes, put off from the shore in menacing manner, and were only driven away by grape and cannon-shot fired near them as a demonstration. As they fled Cook called the cape near him Cape Runaway. White Island was named on the same day.
On the 1st November forty-five canoes surrounded the ship, and, Tupia having conversed with the natives, barter was commenced; but as the Maoris soon became insolent Cook again displayed the terrors of gunpowder, and was constrained to wound one boastful chief with small shot. The same audacity was shown by all the tribes of the Bay of Plenty. The Ngatimaru, at the North, on one occasion seemed angered at being page 72 fired over, and “they went away, threatening that to-morrow they would return with more force and be the death of us all.”… “There was some appearance of generosity, as well as courage, in acquainting us with the time when they intended to make their attack, but they forfeited all credit which this procured them by coming secretly upon us in the night.”Cook kept a careful watch and the Maoris silently retired. In the morning twelve canoes were brought to the attack, but Tupia's persuasions induced the Maoris to trade. There were more quarrels, terminated as usual by firing and by the retreat of the natives.
On the 4th November Cook landed at Mercury Bay, so called because he there made observations of the transit of Mercury. An old chief, Toiava, visited the ‘Endeavour,’ and Cook was glad to learn that the Indians had been taught to dread the terrible guns of the white men. Cook, ignorant of the divisions of the tribes, was surprised to find that a great chief, Teratu of whom he had heard in the Bay of Plenty, was not acknowledged at Mercury Bay, and he thought he had fallen upon a band of outlaws.
While Cook was on shore the firing of a ship's gun alarmed him. The second lieutenant, Gore, indignant with a Maori who, while bargaining, retained his own property and carried off the cloth for which he had bartered a mat, fired upon and killed the man in the midst of his defiance. The fleet of boats was dispersed, and tidings were sent to Cook, who was on shore in the company of several Maoris. “Our Indians,”he said, “drawing all together, retreated in a body. After a short time, however, they returned, having heard a more particular account of the affair, and intimated that they thought the man who had been killed deserved his fate.”1
1 This occurrence was the means of proving beyond doubt the occasional longevity of the Maoris. When Colonel Mundy was in New Zealand, in 1848, he saw an old chief, Taniwha, who spoke of Captain Cook's visit, of which he had a vivid remembrance. His narrative was taken down, in 1852, by Colonel Wynyard, and it confirmed the accuracy of Cook's description.
Taniwha said that when, after the man was shot, the Maoris landed, they consulted over the body, and decided that as the dead man “commenced the quarrel by the theft of the calico, his death should not be revenged, but he should be buried in the cloth which he had paid for with his life.”
The old chief Taniwha was ever friendly to the English, and fond of repeating that Captain Cook had kindly placed his hands on the children's heads.
If, as was supposed, Taniwha was at least ten years old in 1769, he was ninety-three when he gave his narrative to Colonel Wynyard; yet the latter said “his faculties were little impaired, and his great age perceptible more from a stoop and grey hairs than any other infirmity.”
Colonel Mundy, in 1848, saw Taniwha excited by the sight of singlestick exercise. He capered round the combatants, and hobbled away to procure a staff about six feet long. With this he undertook to contend with one of the Englishmen.
“The octogenarian gladiator commenced operations by a most grotesque war-dance, accompanying his movements by a monotonous, croaking song, wielding his staff in exact measure with his chant, and gradually nearing his opponent, who on his part stood firm, with his eye fixed on that of his adversary, but with a careless guard. From the manner in which the old man held his staff we all imagined that his visitation would be in the shape of the broad-sword exercise, when suddenly, and with a vigour of which he seemed quite incapable, old Taniwha, elongating his left arm and sliding the hani through the same hand, gave his opponent the point, the stoccato alighting on his ribs with an emphasis quite sufficient to prove that had the tourney occurred twenty years ago and been à outrance the white knight would have been done brown and supped upon.”—‘Our Antipodes,’ by Lieutenant-Colonel G. C. Mundy. London, 1855 (Bentley).
During the remainder of his stay at Mercury Bay Cook maintained friendly relations with the natives. He visited their pahs and admired the skill with which they were fortified. Old Toiava told him that he must guard himself in his pah, because the friends of the man shot by Mr. Gore had threatened to revenge themselves upon Toiava as a friend of the English.
Before leaving the bay Cook cut upon a tree the name of his ship and of her commander, with the date of her visit, and, after displaying the English colours, took “formal possession”of the land “in the name of His Britannic Majesty, King George the Third.”On the 15th November, 1769, he departed.
With similar results, continually firing small shot at the Maoris when they were inclined to be insolent, and by means of Tupia's persuasions inducing them afterwards to trade, Cook named Cape Colville and the River Thames, which he surveyed carefully. Cape Brett he named after Sir Piercy Brett.
At the Bay of Islands he saw the great Ngapuhi tribe, whom he found and whom he treated like the rest of their countrymen. He thought their appearance superior. Their canoes were well carved, the chiefs wore the best mat cloth he had seen, and the tattooing seemed of the highest order. As usual, the final solution of a trading difficulty was a shot. But Cook was careful to show that he desired to be just. At one place where the natives seemed peaceable and presented themselves unarmed, three sailors broke into a plantation and dug up some sweet potatoes. Cook ordered them to be flogged, giving severer punishment to one of them for insisting that an Englishman committed no crime in robbing an Indian.page 74
In the Rarawa territory Cook found that the fame of his guns had preceded him. He named the North Cape, saw Abel Janszen Tasman's Cape Maria Van Diemen, and the Three Kings, where he encountered severe weather in the end of December, and keeping farther from the shore than had been his wont on the east coast, he saw a high mountain (Taranaki), greatly resembling the Peak of Teneriffe. This, on the 13th January, he called “Mount Egmont, in honour of the earl.”
He then bore off until he saw the northern end of the Middle Island, near the spot where Tasman had failed to open negotiations with the Maoris and had been attacked. Their descendants, clad like their forefathers, as described by Tasman in 1642, with four canoes at once assailed the ‘Endeavour’ with stones. Tupia spoke to them, and an old chief, in spite of remonstrance from his comrades, went on board. He was kindly received and loaded with presents. When he returned to his canoe the Maoris danced, but “whether as a token of enmity or friendship we could not exactly determine, for we had seen them dance in a disposition both for peace and war.”Finding himself only a few miles from the scene of Tasman's encounter, Cook directed Tupia to inquire if any tradition of Tasman's visit had been preserved, but could hear of none. He did ascertain that cannibalism was practised, but only on the bodies of enemies killed in battle. The Maoris affected no secrecy on the subject, and Sir Joseph Banks was permitted to purchase the preserved head of one slain enemy. On the whole, Cook's relations with the Maoris at this place were friendly, although an officer, apprehensive of an attack, fired upon some unoffending natives.
On the 30th January, 1770, the inlet at which the ‘Endeavour’ was anchored was called Queen Charlotte's Sound. The Union flag was hoisted, and Cook took formal possession of “the adjacent country in the name and for the use of His Majesty, King George the Third.”page 75
He observed the appearance of a strait between the North and Middle Islands, and an old chief told him that it existed; the name of the North Island being Eaheinomaue;1 that of the Middle Island, Tovy Poenamoo,1 or “the water of green talc.”With his small ship Cook entered the strait now known by his own name, and after naming Cape Palliser on the north, and Cape Campbell on the south of the strait, he sailed northwards until Cape Turnagain was in sight. “I then called the officers upon deck,”he says, “and asked them whether they were not now satisfied that Eaheinomaue was an island; they readily answered in the affirmative, and all doubts being now removed we hauled our wind to the eastward.”
Captain Cook did nothing by halves. He determined to survey the Middle Island. On the 14th February he was off Kaikora. He found the natives on the coast very different in demeanour from those of the North Island. They kept aloof in wonder. They never attacked the voyagers. When closely approached they paid little attention to the ‘Endeavour.’ A few, induced by Tupia's eloquence, went confidently on board. Banks' Peninsula, Cape Saunders near the modern Otago, the South Cape in Rakiura (or Stewart's Island), Dusky Bay, and the West Cape had all been named by the 15th March.
The land rose perpendicularly from the sea to a stupendous height; the mountain summits were covered with snow.
Cascade Point was named on the 16th March, Rock's Point on the 23rd. On the 27th Cook had circumnavigated the islands and reached Admiralty Bay. There he filled all his water-casks.
On the 31st he sailed from Admiralty Bay, “giving the name of Cape Stephens to the north-west point, and of Cape Jackson to the south-east, after the two gentlemen who at this time were secretaries to the Board”(of Admiralty).
1 Cook did not spell the Maori words in the manner afterwards adopted. The appellation of the North Island as given him at Queen Charlotte's Sound, Te hinga o Maui, was “the fishing of Maui,”and was another name for Te Ika o Maui, the fish of Maui, usually given to the North Island.
As he left the coast finally he named Cape Farewell. Noticing the scanty population of Tavai Pounamu, as compared with that of Eaheinomaue, he concluded that it must be barren. “If,”he wrote, “the settling of this country should ever be thought an object worthy the attention of Great Britain, the best place for establishing a colony would be either on the banks of the Thames or in the country bordering on the Bay of Islands.”He lauded the timber of the forests as excellent for all kinds of building.
1 I observe in the ‘Transactions of the New Zealand Institute’ (vol. ix.) a paper by the learned Mr. W. Colenso, F.L.S., which alleges that Sir Joseph Banks was guilty of invidious conduct towards Mr. Sydney Parkinson, described by Captain Cook as “Sir Joseph's natural history painter.”Sydney Parkinson died on the homeward voyage. The drawings he had made were the property of Sir Joseph Banks, and were by him given to the British Museum. There was a rigid rule in those days, and long afterwards, which compelled all persons in exploring ships to hand over to the Government all journals kept on voyages. Mr. Parkinson's brother (Stanfield Parkinson) bitterly complained that he had great difficulty in procuring Sydney Parkinson's Journal from Sir J. Banks, and that when he had obtained it, Banks and Dr. Hawkesworth attempted to stop the publication by means of an injunction.
The fact is that by giving up to the artist's relatives what was usually retained, the Government and Sir Joseph (then Mr. Banks) relaxed the usual rule, and the accusations of meanness charged against the editor of ‘Cook's Voyages’ (Dr. Hawkesworth) and Banks, though not unnatural in one jealous for the reputation of his brother, have no real foundation. Had Sydney Parkinson lived, he would have had no property in his Journal so far as it related to the voyage. But a Journal contains much which is treasured by friends, and it was a humane act to give Parkinson's to his brother. According to Stanfield Parkinson it was an act unwillingly performed. In spite of the obstacles encountered he published it in 1773, and it is doubtless to be found in that storehouse of letters, the British Museum.
After leaving the islands, in 1770, Cook proceeded to discover, to survey, and to take possession of the whole of the east coast of Australia.
The next navigator who visited Maoria was a Frenchman, De Surville, commanding the ‘St. Jean Baptiste.’ He indeed arrived while Cook was engaged in his task. The bay which Cook called Doubtless Bay (near the boundary between the territories of the Rarawa and the Ngapuhi) De Surville, who entered it soon after Cook left it, named Lauriston.
The treatment of the Maoris by Cook had been warlike, but it was at least tempered by good faith and prudence. De Surville's conduct was unrelieved by such considerations. He had been hospitably received. Some invalid Frenchmen, prevented by a storm from rejoining their ship, had been kindly entertained by a chief, Naginoui, and all seemed to augur well for future relations between the natives and the Wee wees (Oui, oui), as the French were called by the Maoris. But when the storm passed away a boat was missing. De Surville thought the Maoris had stolen it. He inveigled the hospitable Naginoui on board, put him in irons, destroyed the village, and carried off the chief, who pined away and died on board, weeping only because he would no more see his children. The kidnapper was himself drowned in the surf at Callao a few days after Naginoui's death.
Another Frenchman was the next visitor in Maori-land. Marion du Fresne, with two ships, the ‘Mascarin’ and ‘Marquis de Castries,’ arrived on the 11th May, 1772, at the Bay of Islands. On the way he saw Mount Egmont, and called it Le Pic Mascarin.
The Ngapuhi were kind, and the French were plunged in Cytherean delights. Mutual confidence endured for a month. The French commander was treated with the utmost respect. Then, as Crozet, the second in command, alleged, without provocation or warning Du Fresne, with sixteen others, was brutally murdered, and the Maoris ate their victims. Crozet had previously entreated Du Fresne not to confide in the Islanders. He now inflicted condign punishment upon them. He was on page 78 shore with sixty men, obtaining kauri timber. Gallantly he withdrew his men, though pressed upon by a crowd of Maoris, who shouted that a chief, Tacouri, a relative of the kidnapped Naginoui, had eaten Du Fresne. Crozet cautiously embarked his men in a boat, and then into the thick ranks of the Maoris poured a murderous fire; and for several days destroyed all Maori life and property within his reach. He desired to call the Bay of Islands the Bay of Treachery; but Cook's name prevailed. Marion had taken upon himself to call the northern island ‘France Australe’ with equal failure. Long years afterwards an Englishman heard by chance the Maori version of the death of Marion du Fresne. It was remarkable that the wreck of a French corvette enabled him to hear it.
In 1851 Sir George Grey, the Governor, sent Dr. Thomson, of the 58th regiment, to assist in forwarding some shipwrecked Frenchmen from the west coast to Auckland. They had been wrecked about fifty miles from the scene of Marion du Fresne's exploits and death, but on the opposite coast. Two hundred natives were assembled to assist the French, who numbered about one hundred. At night Dr. Thomson heard the Maoris tell the tale of Marion du Fresne's death. When the French were about to depart they violated sacred places, cooked food with tapu-ed wood, and put chiefs in irons. In revenge the Maoris slew and ate the offenders, and the Frenchmen shot the Maoris and burned their villages. Dr. Thomson made further inquiries at the Bay of Islands and satisfied himself that this version of the tragedy was true,1 and that Maori superstition made it imperative on the islanders to revenge the insults to their law to avert the wrath of their gods. In 1820 Captain Cruise (14th Regiment) heard a similar story. Korokoro minutely told how Marion's men were massacred in revenge for the burning of two villages.2
Crozet left on record a high testimony to Cook's accuracy. As soon as he procured Cook's chart he compared it with his own. “I found it to possess an exactness and minuteness which astonished me beyond all expression. I doubt whether our own coasts of France have been delineated with more precision.”
2 'Journal of a Ten Months' Residence in New Zealand’ (R. A. Cruise), p. 47.
Again Captain Cook entered upon the scene, and again bloodshed befouled it, under his comrades, though not by his command. In 1772 he in the ‘Resolution,’ 462 tons, and Captain Furneaux in the ‘Adventure,’ 336 tons, sailed together to search for southern lands. Cook was instructed to be kind to all natives he might encounter. If he could not find land near the South Pole he was, after careful search, to return by the Cape of Good Hope to Spithead. He was empowered to use his discretion as to proceeding northwards at any time for refreshment or refitment. In February the ships parted company, and Cook, having vainly sought to find the ‘Adventure,’proceeded on his voyage.
Ice-barriers blocked his course in lat. 67.15 south. He bore away to New Zealand, and entered Dusky Bay in March, 1773, having been one hundred and seventeen days out of sight of land. In the ‘Endeavour’ he had lost many persons. By scrupulous care he had in the ‘Resolution’ averted the scourge of navigation—scurvy. Sweet wort and sour krout, ventilation and fumigation, were amongst the weapons with which Cook made Admiralty functionaries wonder at his success. At Dusky Bay he saw and established friendly relations with the Maoris; but he had no Tupia as an interpreter. That faithful companion died at Batavia during the previous voyage.
Cook had five geese on board, and he let them loose at Goose Cove to increase for the benefit of man.
He sailed northwards, and on the 18th May found the ‘Adventure’ at Queen Charlotte's Sound. Captain Furneaux, having vainly endeavoured to rejoin the ‘Resolution,’ had borne up for Van Diemen's Land, had obtained wood and water, explored the east coast from Adventure Bay to the Sisters (north of Flinder's Island) without discovering Banks's Strait or Bass's Strait, and then sailed for the rendezvous at New Zealand.
The Maoris were inquisitive about Tupia, and hearing that he was dead, were much concerned, and wished to know whether he had died naturally or had been killed by the English.page 80
Captain Furneaux had avoided quarrels. During the several weeks he had been at New Zealand he had made gardens on shore. Cook did the same, and left them for the benefit of the Maoris, after explaining as well as he could his benevolent intention. He wondered at not seeing the same natives as he had seen three years before, and imagined that conquest had expelled them. Without informing the islanders, he put on shore goats and pigs, hoping that they might escape notice until they had multiplied. A ewe and ram put on shore were found dead three days afterwards; killed, it was supposed, by some poisonous plant.
Erroneously concluding that Furneaux's examination of Van Diemen's Land had proved it to be a part of New Holland Cook prosecuted his voyage to the eastward, passing through Cook's Straits on the 7th June. After cruising in the Pacific, he returned to New Zealand on the 21st October, carrying pigs, fowls, seeds, and roots for the Maoris. On board the ‘Adventure’ was Omai, a native of the Society Islands. Another, Heete Heete, was in the ‘Resolution.’
At Black Head, between Cape Kidnappers and Cape Turn-again, Cook presented to a chief (in what was the country of the Ngatikahungunu in 1840) pigs, fowls, “wheat, beans, peas, cabbage, turnips, onions, parsnips, and yams, &c.,”obtaining a promise that the animals should be permitted to multiply.
A great change had been wrought in three years. The value of iron had been learned. Nails, formerly despised, were greedily clutched at. The guns of the English had inspired respect. The Maoris now said, “We are afraid of the guns.”
In stormy weather the ships were again parted. Cook in the ‘Resolution’ reached the rendezvous at Queen Charlotte's Land, and there saw several Maoris with whom he had made friends in 1770. The potatoes had been looked after, but otherwise the gardens had been neglected. A pig had been caught, and was very tame. Reassured by this fact, Cook distributed more pigs and fowls.
It was well that Heete Heete was on board to teach such a lesson. He had not at first been able to converse as freely as Tupia with the Maoris; but in two or three weeks had mastered the differences between the languages of Bora Bora and New Zealand.
Burying a bottle to inform Captain Furneaux of his movements, Cook again passed between the North and Middle Islands and sailed in search of a southern continent. Again he strove to pierce through the regions where ice stands thickribbed and rearing its pinnacles like mountain steeps. At 71.10° of south latitude he was finally repelled on the 30th January, 1774. Heete Heete (of whom Cook published a portrait) survived the polar privations, and returned with Cook to his native land. He was anxious to go to England, but Cook would not promise that he could return. The love of country strove with friendship. “I have not words,”Cook wrote, “to describe the anguish which appeared in this young man's breast when he went away. He looked up at the ship, burst into tears, and then sunk down in the canoe.…. He was a page 82 youth of good parts, and, like most of his countrymen, of a docile, gentle, and humane disposition.”
On the lurid horrors of Maori cannibalism the conduct of the untutored lad from Bora Bora casts a gleam which justifies a glance at his portraiture by Cook.
Many of the great navigator's numerous discoveries in the Pacific, inclusive of New Caledonia and Norfolk Island (“named in honour of the noble family of Howard”) were made before he returned to New Zealand in October, 1774.
Meantime the consort ship, the ‘Adventure,’ under Captain Furneaux, had been in perils of the sea, and her commander had suffered a fatal collision with the Maoris, in which he lost the whole of a boat's crew. The ‘Adventure’ was run on shore near Cape Palliser, on the 4th of November, 1773, while Cook, at anchor in Queen Charlotte's Sound, waited for her. Captain Furneaux, despairing of safe passage through Cook's Straits, went to Tolago Bay to obtain wood and water. His crew were weary, and his decks leaky. After battling with adverse winds he succeeded in reaching Queen Charlotte's Sound on the 30th November, a few days after Cook's departure.
He saw a direction to dig under a carved stump of a tree, and in a buried bottle he found a letter telling him that Cook would wait a few days at the entrance of the Straits; but it was nearly a month before Furneaux contrived to obey orders, although he declared that he “set about getting the ship ready for sea as fast as possible.”
On the 17th December, having refitted and taken in wood and water, he sent his large cutter on shore at Grass Cove with a boat's crew under a midshipman named Rowe, to “gather wild greens,”and return the same evening. On the 18th the ‘Adventure’ was to sail.
The boat did not return. In the morning Mr. Burney, second lieutenant, with a boat's crew and ten marines, went in search of their comrades — two midshipmen, a quarter-master, four forecastle men, two men of the after-guard, and the captain's man.
Late at night Mr. Burney returned with a tale of horror. Maoris had waved to him to depart; but he continued searching from cove to cove, firing guns to attract the attention of the page 83 missing crew. Near Grass Cove some Maoris fled from the shore, and Burney found in their deserted canoe some clothing recognized as having belonged to one of the lost midshipmen. In Maori baskets Mr. Burney soon found human flesh, and the hand of one of the forecastle men was known.
Burney advanced. In Grass Cove he saw several canoes, and a crowd of Maoris retreated to a small hill, hallooing to the Englishmen to land. Burney reserved his fire until near the natives. “The first volley did not seem to affect them much; but on the second they began to scramble away as fast as they could, some of them howling. We continued firing as long as we could see any glimpse of them through the bushes. Amongst the Indians were two very stout men, who never offered to move till they found themselves forsaken by their companions, and then they marched away with great composure and deliberation; their pride not suffering them to run.”Burney thought there were from 1500 to 2000 Maoris gathered together for their inhuman feast or triumph.
On the beach were the remnants of the carnage of the previous day. Fragments of flesh were scattered about, and dogs were gnawing them. Horror-struck, Burney, enraged as he was, reflected that “killing some more of the savages”was “poor satisfaction,”and returned to the ship carrying with him the head of the captain's servant, and three recognized hands of the midshipmen. These, with other remains, were duly buried after the manner of sailors.
Furneaux was “not inclined to think there was a premeditated plan of these savages.… It might probably happen from some quarrel which was decided on the spot.”
On the 26th October “our good friends the natives having brought us a plentiful supply of fish, afterwards went on shore to the tents and informed our people that a ship like ours had been lately lost in the Strait; that some of the people got on shore; and that the natives stole their clothes, for which several were shot; and afterwards when they could fire no longer, the natives having got the better killed them with their Patoo-patoos and ate them; but they themselves had no hand in the affair, which happened on the other side of the Strait.”
These and other stories alarmed Cook, who could not but fear that the ‘Adventure,’ ordered to join him at the Sound, was the lost ship.
He had not now his former faithful interpreters, but many Maori words were known to himself. Cook questioned the storytellers: “I endeavoured to come at the truth by every method I could think of. All I could get from them was ‘Caurey’ (Kahore, as now written), ‘No;’ and they not only denied every syllable of what they had said on shore, but seemed wholly ignorant of the matter; so that I began to think our people had misunderstood them, and that the story referred to some of their own people and boats.”
Subsequently a chief, Matahouah (called Pedro by the sailors)—“of fine person and good presence,”told Cook that the ‘Adventure’ had arrived soon after the departure of the ‘Resolution,’ had stayed between ten and twenty days, and had been gone ten months; and that neither she nor any other ship had been wrecked on the coast. Cook's anxiety was thus set at rest with regard to his comrades. His own stay was characterized by the utmost friendliness; and he thus spoke of the Maoris: “Notwithstanding they are cannibals, they are naturally of a good disposition, and have not a little humanity.”
The immediate cause of the slaughter of the ‘Adventure's’ men was not then discovered.
The fact observed by Cook when he returned—that the women were not allowed to approach the English—seemed to indicate that the ‘Adventure's’ crew, by their demeanour to the women, page 85 had given offence. Or it might be that sin against the law of tapu; desecration of holy ground; removal of some cherished heirloom temporarily suspended, or some other sin so easy of committal by those who did not know the law, might have provoked the islanders. But there was no clue to the mystery.
Cook had spent Christmas at Christmas Sound in Terra del Fuego, and made further exploration in the Southern Ocean before on reaching the Cape of Good Hope (22nd March, 1775) he found a letter left for him by Captain Furneaux to inform him of the slaughter of ten of the ‘Adventure's’ best men at Grass Cove.
Great honour was paid to him at home for having (as was stated in a paper before the Royal Society, 30 Nov., 1776) “under Divine favour, with a company of 118 men, performed a voyage of three years and eighteen days throughout all the climates from 52° North to 71° South with the loss of only one man by sickness.”
He received Sir Godfrey Copley's “medal, with his unperishing name engraved upon it.”… “If Rome”(said Sir John Pringle, the President of the Society) “decreed the civic crown to him who saved the life of a single citizen, what wreaths are due to that man, who, having himself saved many, perpetuates in your ‘Transactions’ the means by which Britain may now on the most distant voyages save numbers of her intrepid sons, her mariners, who braving every danger, have so liberally contributed to the fame, to the opulence, and to the maritime empire of their country!”
He was instructed to search for islands in 48° South latitude, said to have been discovered by the French, and to proceed (touching at New Zealand if he thought fit to do so) by Tahiti or the Society Islands, and thence northwards to latitude 65° North to find, if possible, a passage from the Pacific Ocean to the North or Atlantic Sea.
In July, 1776, he sailed. In December he examined Kerguelen's Land, discovered by Kerguelen in 1772.
On the 24th January he sighted Van Diemen's Land, and page 86 while obtaining wood and water at Adventure Bay received a friendly visit from eight native men and a boy, whose woolly hair surprised him.
On the 12th February he anchored at his old station, Queen Charlotte's Sound, in New Zealand. He had with him Omai, a native of the Society Islands, who had been taken to England by Captain Furneaux in the ‘Adventure,’ and was returning with Cook to his own country.1
At first the Maoris would not go on board Cook's ships. He thought they feared that he would avenge the deaths of the ‘Adventure's’ boat's crew. Cook, through Omai, persuaded them that they had nothing to fear, and they cast away their distrust. He himself was studious in taking increased precautions. No boat was allowed to go far from the ship without a trustworthy officer and sufficient arms. He observed also that the Maoris always piled their arms so that they could lay hold of them in a moment.
The sailors had conceived a dislike to the Maoris, and on this occasion did not visit their houses. A chief, Kahoora, was pointed out to Cook as the man who had led the attack on the ‘Adventure's’ boat. Some of the Maoris urged Omai to persuade Cook to kill Kahoora, whom they rather feared than liked. They were surprised to find that Cook thought such revenge improper.
One day he visited Grass Cove and saw his old friend the chief Matahouah there. Many natives kept aloof, but Cook established friendly relations with the chief and a few others. Cook inquired about the massacre, and was informed that the quarrel arose about thefts in which the natives were detected. There were various accounts, but all agreed “that there was no premeditated plan of bloodshed, and that if the thefts had not been unfortunately too hastily resented, no mischief would have happened.”
1 He had been introduced by Lord Sandwich to the King at Kew. He was highly esteemed by Sir Joseph Banks and other distinguished persons in England. He had rendered himself (Cook declared) acceptable to the best company. He was caressed by all; but he desired to return to his native island, Ulietea.
Cook took care, however, to warn all persons that they should page 88 feel the weight of his resentment if a second outrage should be committed. The confidence reposed in him was such that a Maori lad, Taweiharooa, resolved to accompany Omai, though Cook declared that the lad could never return. A boy nine years old was given to Cook to act as servant to Taweiharooa.
From Taweiharooa on the voyage Cook was surprised to hear that a few years before he arrived in the ‘Endeavour,’ in 1769, a ship had touched at New Zealand; that the captain had cohabited with a native woman, and that a son had been born to him, and that by the ship's company syphilitic disease had been first introduced amongst the Maoris.
Whether the Maori youth was accurate or not cannot be decided. If any ship did touch at such a time at Terawiti (near Wellington) it is probable that she was afterwards lost, as no record of her visit was given to Europe.
Cook left the land of the Maoris for the last time in friendship with the islanders, glad to have given them food of various kinds, grieving for their internecine wars.
The Maori lad and boy, in the affliction of sea-sickness, repented their expatriation and made their moan in song commemorating the charms of Maoria. No consolation soothed them for many days; but at length they accepted their situation and became firmly attached to their new friends, and eventually remained with Omai at Huaheine.1
1 In 1788, Captain Sever, in the ‘Lady Penrhyn’ transport, touched at Huaheine. He saw Heete Heete and other friends of Cook. Omai and the two Maoris had died of sickness, and the men of Ulietea, of which Omai was a native, had made war on the men of Huaheine to obtain Omai's chattels, most of which were carried away in triumph. The house built by Captain Cook for Omai had fallen into a chief's possession. Heete Heete was unremitting in kindness, and shed tears when Captain Sever departed.
Cook settled Omai at Huaheine in October, 1777. The Maori lads wished to remain with Cook; but not being able to promise that he could ever send them to New Zealand he would not allow them to remain with him. The elder, who was “capable of receiving any instruction,”seemed “resigned, though perhaps with reluctance, to end his days in ease and plenty at Huaheine. The other was so strongly attached to us that he was taken out of the ship and carried ashore by force.”
Cook, after some difficulty, obtained a cession of land for Omai from the chiefs of Huaheine. On this plot, rather more than two hundred yards square, the ship's carpenters built a house for Omai, whose household consisted of his brother, the two Maoris, and a few Tahitian servants. His father had been dispossessed of his land at Ulietea, but Omai seemed as well content to remain at Huaheine as to return to his native place. Religious rites were performed on his induction to his new estate.
How Cook fell at Hawaii on the 14th February, 1799, for violation by his people of the law of Taboo, and how his assailants seemed to dread the eye of the great sailor, and struck him the coward's blow on the back, is recorded at length in the narrative of his voyages.
The publication of Cook's narrative, and the mutual slaughter of Maoris and Frenchmen, gave bad eminence to the race which gloried in its cannibalism. Sailors recoiled in horror from it.
1 Cowper wrote of Omai, and his portrait, painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds, is one of the treasures at Castle Howard. He dined with Lord Mulgrave and Samuel Johnson, and the company “were struck with the elegance of his behaviour.”
The bad faith which characterized the next transaction of the English with the Maoris, was calculated to arouse bitter hatred.
Governor Phillip had, on the 26th January, 1788, founded the settlement at Sydney. He sent his friend King to form a settlement at Norfolk Island in the same year. It was desirable to cultivate and manufacture the New Zealand flax found there by Cook.
King, having gone on a special mission to England on leave, besought the discoverer, Vancouver, at the Cape of Good Hope, to obtain by friendly means two Maoris, to teach at Norfolk Island the art of manufacturing the flax.
Vancouver, in 1793, sent a storeship from Nootka Sound, under Lieutenant Hanson, who was instructed to comply with King's request, on the voyage to Sydney.
It was not difficult to obtain the consent of the inquiring and adventurous Maori; but Hanson did not strive to obtain it. Two young chiefs, Tookee and Woodoo, boarded his vessel, and Hanson kidnapped them.
The acting Governor (Grose), at Sydney, unlike the just Phillip, did not condemn the act, but shipped the chiefs to Norfolk Island, whither, fortunately for the fair fame of Englishmen in the Pacific, King had returned.
Grose's order was, that the captives were to be “victualled and clothed,”and he hoped they might be of use.
The chiefs were sullen and sad. King said, “They often in an affecting manner lament their separation from their friends, which they express by mournful songs.”At first they condescended to give no information about flax. They haughtily declared that they were well-born chiefs, unskilled in menial service. King strove to soothe their wounded feelings, and entertained them as guests at his own table. He promised to return them to their homes, and by degrees won their confidence. They told all they knew. They became attached to him. They recognized the “stone axes”dug up in the island as exactly like their own.page 91
King kept his promise, and to ensure its fulfilment went with his friends in November, 1793, and restored them to their people, amongst whom it was plain that the kidnapped chiefs held honourable estimation. The absence from Norfolk Island was only of ten days' duration. Grose upbraided King for his “unwarrantable proceedings”in delaying a ship for such a “trifling purpose.”He hoped it would meet the “highest disapprobation”in England.
One of the chiefs took the name of his restorer, Kawana Kingi,1 and British sailors were hospitably received by the Maoris at the Bay of Islands by the grateful chiefs, and by Ti-pa-he, a personage of importance.
King, after he became Governor of New South Wales (1800), in order to confirm relations which were of importance to mariners, directed the commandant at Norfolk Island to send some breeding stock to Ti-pa-he. The chief, desirous to see the author of the gifts, sailed with four sons in H.M.S. ‘Buffalo,’ by way of Hobart Town to Sydney, in 1806. Governor Collins, at Hobart Town, sent gifts on board.
In Sydney, King2 caused every attention to be paid to him. “This worthy and respectable chief (for so we found him in every sense of the word after residing among us three months) informed me that he had long intended this visit, being encouraged by the report of Tookee and Woodoo. He had undertaken it also at the request of his father, and the prospect of his country being benefited by his visit as it had been by the great blessing bestowed on it by the two New Zealanders' return from Norfolk Island, who introduced the potato, which is now in the greatest abundance.”3
There was one grievance also. A blow was an insult which a Maori must wipe out, if need be, by blood.
1 The Maori mode of expressing the words “Governor King.”Long years afterwards, at the request of King's widow, the Rev. Samuel Marsden discovered the chief, and persuaded him to embrace Christianity, in which faith the grateful convert died.
2 King to Lord Camden, 15th March, 1806.
3 It would seem from this contemporary evidence that the Bay of Islands was not one of the places at which Cook succeeded in introducing the potato. Tookee and Woodoo having resided some months at Norfolk Island could explain to their countrymen the proper method of treating the new article of food.
“He complained that in one instance a New Zealander had been flogged by the master of a whaler, and hoped that I would give orders that no such act would be committed in future, and very liberally observed, that he supposed the master must be a bad character in his own country to commit such violence on a stranger, whose countrymen were relieving his wants.
“I assured him that I would give strict directions that nothing of the kind should happen again, but if, unfortunately, it should recur, every pains should be taken to bring the offender to justice.…”
“That he might receive no unpleasant impressions, he ate at my table, and was with his four sons comfortably lodged.”
King sent him home in H.M. colonial vessel, the ‘Lady Nelson,’ with gifts of fruit-trees. There was a project to procure Maoris to serve as shepherds in Australia. Ti-pa-he discountenanced the idea of obtaining the “emoki, or lower class, who were too idle and vicious.”The middle-class would “be more expert and tractable.”That a high-born chief should perform menial service was not to be contemplated.
Ti-pa-he received a silver medal with a suitable inscription, and bearing on the obverse: “In the reign of George III., by the grace of God King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.”
The commander of the ‘Lady Nelson’ reported on his return, that it was “evident that Ti-pa-he is a chief of considerable authority.”
The roving spirit which took Ti-pa-he and his sons to Sydney gave Samuel Marsden an opportunity of becoming acquainted with the race which he was to evangelize. As a close friend of King, Marsden saw much of the guest and his sons, and formed projects for the benefit of their countrymen.
By some writers Marsden's first acquaintance with the Maoris for whom he was to do so much, was ascribed to his having seen Tookee and Woodoo in Norfolk Island, but they had returned to their homes before Marsden first landed in Australia.1
1 I may perhaps be permitted to cite this case as a proof of the care with which he who would compile a truthful history must guard against repeating the unintentional errors of others. The Rev. V. Taylor, of unimpeachable veracity, and “a missionary in New Zealand for more than thirty years,”as his title-page informs us, says (p. 396), in ‘New Zealand and its Inhabitants’:—“On such apparently trifling circumstances do the greatest events often depend! Mr. Marsden's first desire to send missionaries to New Zealand arose from his there (Norfolk Island) meeting with those two natives and being struck with their superior intelligence; they were afterwards sent back to their country enriched with presents,”&c. Marsden did not see the chiefs at Norfolk Island at all. King took them home in November, 1793, and Marsden had not then arrived in Australia. He landed in Sydney on the 10th March, 1794. The error adopted by Mr. Taylor has not even dust for a foundation. King wrote an account of the chiefs which was published in Collins' ‘New South Wales,’ in 1798.
The rascally conduct of Hanson was promptly remedied by King; but other adventurers, less careful of the good name of England, encountered various fortunes on New Zealand shores.