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The New Zealand Journal, Saturday, November 21 (1840)

281

Reviews.

A Map or Chart of New Zealand, from original surveys, by T. M'Donald, Lieut. R. N.; corrected by the recent surveys of Capt. Chaffres of the Tory, Capt. Robertson of the Samuel Winter, and other authentic sources. Engraved and Published by James Wyld, Geographer, Charing Cross, East
This is an improved edition of the map noticed in our eleventh number, and it is certainly the best extant. It partakes more of the character of a chart than of a map, because the interior is but little known.
This edition is executed with Mr. Wyld's usual care. No pains have been spared to collect the best information, and embody it in the present edition—as far as the scale will allow.
Port Nicholson, which was not in the former map, has been laid down in its proper place, with a plan of the harbour on a larger scale. The harbour of Taranaki, which far eclipsed all others in the older maps, has been omitted in this, for the very excellent reason that it has no existence in fact.
There are also enlarged plans of the Pelorus River, and of the Town of Victoria at the Bay of Islands, with a considerable number of corrections, which we need not enumerate.
The map is of a useful size, and should be in the possession of all who take an interest in the proceedings for the colonization of the Islands.
An Earnest Address to New Zealand Colonists, with reference to their intercourse with the Native Inhabitants. By the Rey. Montague Hawtrey, M.A., of Trinity College, Cambridge.
Parker, West Strand, 1840.
In the eighteenth number of our Journal we noticed very briefly the publication of this admirable little work, promising ourselves
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the pleasure of a more complete examination when opportunity should serve. As there now seems little likelihood of our being overpressed with matter, we shall seize the occasion to recommend Mr. Hawtrey's little book to those for whom it is intended, in as earnest a manner, if possible, as the work itself assumes.
Though we are not aware that the proposition is exactly stated, it is easy to perceive that Mr. Hawtrey assumes the peculiar capacity of the natives for civilization to an indefinite extent. This, indeed, is the great distinguishing mark which exalts them above all other aboriginal tribes—above even those of a less ferocious character. This distinction between ferocity and barbarism we have already pointed out. The extreme ferocity of the New Zealanders is not altogether inconsistent with considerable intellectual power. At the earlier periods of our history, we exhibited a similar feature, and whilst we made but little progress in the cultivation of our affections, we were certainly advancing rapidly in intellectual culture, and in knowledge of the arts and sciences, which constituted the "humanities" of that day.
We have already adverted more than once to the remarkable fact of the non-existence of aboriginal animals, and of its two fold effect of making them cannibals on the one hand, and cultivators on the other. At the time Cook visited New Zealand there were no known animals in the country. Now, it is well-known, that from our physiological constitution, man cannot flourish without some portion of animal food: this most likely led to the horrid practice of feeding on the flesh of their fellow-creatures. Another reason for thinking this to be the case is, the decline of cannibalism from the time Cook introduced the pig, and other domestic animals. As these have increased, the necessity for cannibalism has been almost extinguished, and those who have busied themselves in promoting the welfare of the natives have found less and less difficulty, from year to year, in inducing them to give up their ancient habit.
But the absence of animals appears also to have done this good, that, never having been hunters, like the North American Indians, they necessarily resorted to an occupation which presupposes some degree of civilization, and we now find them prone to adopt all the arts of civilized life. All the evidence we have of the habits of the New Zealanders goes to show, that they imitate most exactly, and are likely to learn the use of those improved implements, and especially those of agriculture, which are to be found in older countries.
By taking advantage of the peculiarities of the New Zealander's character, there cannot be a doubt that his civilization will proceed most rapidly. Every thing will depend on the mode in which the intercourse of the colonists with the natives should be regulated, and it is to point out how this should be done that Mr. Hawtrey's little book was evidently written.
The first section of the work is on "The Necessity of guarding against Antipathy for the Natives." When we look on the state of feeling in the convict colonies towards the "black fellows,"—the "monkeys,"—the "black vermin," as they are called, we are bound to admit that this section is not out of place. We recommend every word of it to our readers' attentive perusal:—
"The first thing I would most earnestly recommend is, that you should guard yourselves against a feeling of dislike for the natives. White men, in general, are accustomed to regard their coloured brethren with a kind of antipathy, and to speak of them and treat them with contempt. This feeling, unhappily, seems to be rather fostered than allayed by a residence in the neighbourhood of coloured races. The American hates and despises the negro, and denies the common rights of humanity to his own coloured offspring. The European of India has feelings of the same kind towards the native inhabitants and half-castes. I believe this feeling to be, in a great degree, artificial—if we begin by injuring and degrading our swarthy brother, it is no wonder that we should end by despising and hating him. But whether wrought within us by our own evil actions, on the principle of odisse quem læseris, or whether it be natural to us to dislike what is different from ourselves, it is a most inhuman and unholy sentiment; and should it get ground in New Zealand, must end in the extermination of the native race.
"I rejoice to think that there is much in the character and condition of the New Zealanders themselves to prevent this unholy feeling. All accounts agree in representing them as a very fine race of human beings, possessing many noble traits of character, highly intelligent, and most anxious for civilisation. If these traits are drawn out and cultivated, it must be a very mean spirit that would regard them with contempt on account of their difference of colour. I derive great encouragement on this head from the footing on which Nayti was received into English society. Few could enjoy anything of his acquaintance without being deeply interested by his intelligence, his gentleness, his self-respect, and his perfect propriety of demeanour. He won the regard and consideration of all classes, and seemed instinctively to adopt towards all that tone of blended respect and self-confidence which markes the character of the gentleman. If Nayti is a fair specimen of his New Zealand countrymen, you will be in little danger of entertaining those feelings of antipathy to which I have referred; and if you treat them as you treated him, we shall have nothing to fear for the fate of the aborigines.
"Still you will find much iu the present state of the New Zealanders to surprise and shock the prejudices of the Englishmen, and for this you should be prepared; you will probably find them dirty, intrusive, violent, thievish, restless, already perhaps affected by the low habits of the most degraded of your countrymen, having manners and customs of their own utterly at variance with all your ideas of right and wrong, and displaying the most extraordinary ignorance about things which to you are perfectly familiar.
"If you should find this to be the case, you should recollect that it was your own choice to go among them; that you have gone among them knowing them to be savages; and that these are the universal characteristics of savage life. If you hope to civilise them, you must not expect to find them already civilised, or despise and dislike them because they have savage manners to get rid of. You must use the same patience and forbearance with them which a parent or wise instructor would use towards a wayward child."
In another section Mr. Hawtrey pleads earnestly in favour of "Strict honour in dealing with the Natives." This rule has, unhappily, been too often violated, especially during the early periods of intercourse. In particular, Mr. Hawtrey condemns most of the bargains made by the settlers with the natives for low money wages, which he considers as taking an unfair advantage of their ignorance; but we are inclined to think this an evil of very short duration, as the natives soon become accustomed to make correct estimates of money values. They soon demand larger prices for pigs, potatos, and above all for their own labour. To use the words of a letter quoted by Mr. Hawtrey, they get more awake, and the accounts which will be found in the several letters published in our sixteenth Dumber go to show that the principle of supply and demand is working beneficially for them at Port Nicholson, and that all they had to sell—pigs, potatos, labour—was advancing in price. Still we agree with Mr. Hawtrey, that the natives should not be taken in at first in the bargains-made with them, and a few evidences in deed of the disposition of the settlers to deal fairly would tend to establish the best relations with the chiefs.
Another principle upon which Mr. Hawtrey insists, in various ways, and on all occasions, is the caution with which we should disturb the existing habits and prejudices of the tribes. It is always painful to find that what we respect does not command the respect of others, and Mr. Hawtrey is, for that reason, of opinion that the dignity of their chiefs should meet with due consideration. A few extracts from this section will sufficiently explain his views:—
"The matter at which I look with the deepest anxiety is your treatment of the native chiefs. Upon this point your success or failure, as regards the aborigines appears to me to depend. Not only justice to themselves, but a respect for the national importance of the New Zealand people, requires that the chiefs should continue to occupy as high a relative position after your settlement among them as before.
"I fear that this important point has nut been sufficiently attended to by the missionaries, and that the course of things at present going forward in New Zealand is to depress the chiefs to the level of the lower orders. It is very evident that this is felt to be the case by the chiefs themselves. Many of you have seen the letter addressed by a New Zealand chief to Mr. Marsden. After mentioning several matters respecting which he requests Mr. M. to give them a law. he concludes his letter by the remarkable words:—'Another thing of which we are afraid, land which also degrades us is this, slaves exalting themselves above their masters: will you give us a law in this?' This expression from a Christian chief is very affecting; and it is clear, that unless something be done for the purpose of obviating such a result, the natural consequence of the progress of civilization would be to degrade them from the position which they occupied in their savage state."
"From the conduct which the New Zealand colonists and their friends, adopted towards Nayti, when in England, L feel sure that you will be anxious, as soon as possible, to admit the native chiefs to your tables, and teach them how to associate with English families without being, intrusive. It will also be useful and convenient to yourselves to follow the example of the missionaries, in receiving the children of the native chiefs into your families, for the double purpose of assisting you, and learning by observation the habits of civilised life. But you will, of course, be very careful that not the slightest feeling of servitude is connected with such a position, and that they have time and opportunity for the general cultivation of all their faculties."
On the importance of infant and other schools, and of the mode of conducting the education of the children of the chiefs, Mr. Hawtrey's remarks merit especial notice. He says—
"An early consequence of your settlement in New Zealand will, I trust, be not only the establishment of an infant school, but of other schools for those more advanced in age. The great amount of good which is done in England by means of voluntary instruction in Sunday and day schools, will, I trust, act as an inducement to the New Zealand colonists to co-operate in similar labours of charity for the benefit of the young New Zealanders. An incalculable amount of instruction might be conveyed to them by six persons agreeing to devote three hours a week each to the work of their instruction, and would be a most desirable way of instructing them until funds are raised for the support of a schoolmaster. Great use may also be made of their hours of freedom, by promoting among them a taste for manly English habits.
"These remarks apply to the young New Zealanders in general. But I think something more ought to be done in favour of the young, chiefs; those whom it will be expedient to form into the props and buttrasses of the national honour of New Zealand. It will be highly desirable to select the most promising, well-disposed, and intelligent among them, and send them to be educated in England. What funds and facilities there may be for effecting such an object future events must disclose. But it appears to me that nothing would so infallibly secure the future prosperity of the New Zealand race, as for their young chiefs to obtain a thoroughly good English education, by passing several years of their youth, between the ages of ten and twenty, partly in good English families, and partly at our public schools. Nayti is an example of the good which might be effected by such a course; but much more would be done for them if they were to come over earlier and to stay longer. And by the time of their return to their native country, their portion of the reserved land would have acquired such a value as to support them comfortably in that kind of life to which they would have
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been accustomed, and enable them to associate on a footing of perfect equality with the British settlers. Were this plan adopted, it is highly probable that, in the course of ten or fifteen years, we might have a number of young native New Zealanders, not only perfectly acquainted with the manners, habits, and language of Great Britain, but thoroughly well instructed in all those branches of study which are essential to a liberal education—able to take correct views of men and things, and justly to appreciate and carry out those measures which had conferred such great benefits on themselves and their country.
"I will say no more on this subject at present, as the possibility of effecting it depends so much upon future contingencies. I merely suggest it as an important object to be had in view, according as possibilities arise, while the colony advances in prosperity and the native reserves increase in value. Might we not reasonably expect that many of those wealthy and powerful individuals in this country, whose interest is at this moment so strongly excited in favour of the native New Zealanders, would be happy to promote an object so obviously conducive to their national prosperity?"
By this time the reader will not fail to perceive that Mr. Hawtrey contemplates the raising of the New Zealanders to a perfect equality with the Europeans, and he will be prepared for the proposition that the two races should be encouraged in every possible way to amalgamate. From the section "On Amalgamation" we make the following extracts:—
"I have hitherto spoken of measures to be taken with reference to the circumstances of the natives of New Zealand, while they continue in what may be called the infancy of their social existence. But it is right that we should throw our regards into futurity, and consider what is likely to be their condition after a lapse of time.
"We can hardly expect that at any future period the country will be inhabited by two races equally civilized and happy, and enjoying the same social and political privileges, but perfectly distinct from each other in blood and complexion. We may support the natives in a position of advantage for some years to come, and justice and sound policy require that we should; but if we wish to see the country inhabited by a powerful, happy, and well-ordered people, we must look forward to the amalgamation of the two races in one."
"It would be very unwise to connect any feeling of disgrace with the mixed blood. Children of such complexion must be regarded with the greatest interest, and cultivated with the greatest care, as being in some degree the representatives of what we must expect the whole of the New Zealand people at some period to become. However essential, therefore, it may be to discountenance illicit connexion between Englishmen and native females, as being calculated, beyond all other things, to degrade the native race and counteract your plans for their improvement—it would be very unwise at the present stage of things to visit the crime of the father upon the child by attaching manifest disgrace to such illegitimacy. As far, therefore, as circumstances allow, these children, of whatever parentage, should be educated with the greatest care, and every pains taken to develop and regulate their moral and intellectual qualities. They must be considered as very remarkable and interesting specimens of the human family, and would no doubt afford you a most important field for moral culture.
"If any are disposed to smile at the idea of an amalgamation between the New Zealanders and British, we may refer to the precedent of the marriage of Mr. Rolfe with Pocabuntas in the early times of American colonization, and the remarkable fact that many of the best families in Virginia are proud to trace their origin to such a source. Unhappily the example set by Mr. Rolfe was not followed. It was the custom, and| perhaps the policy, of the age to regard the aboriginal races with contempt, and to rejoice at anything which gave a plausible pretext for their destruction. A better tone of mind prevails at the present moment; and the best proof that there is no natural repugnance to the contraction of marriage between the natives and the British, is to be found in the number of children of the half-blood already born in New Zealand.
The first step towards the promotion of marriage between the two races will be what I have already indicated, viz., the legal ratification of all such connexions actually existing in New Zealand, but which from indifference, bad example, or the absence of means, have never assumed the matrimonial character. No doubt, while the natives are under the influence of missionaries, and the native female has been baptized, a marriage according to the rites of the Church would have been performed; and certainly where the female remains a heathen, she is not in a condition to participate in the performance of such a ceremony. But the difficulty which is here presented may, I think, be fairly got over by the permission given to us by the law to make marriage a purely civil contract; and however we might desire to invest it with a religious character, it is certainly no mean step in a progress towards civilization and good order, "dare jura maritis," to surround the marriage rite with those legal sanctions which have received the common consent of all civilised nations.
"How far, in any individual case, we ought to give our countenance to a contemplated marriage between a Christian and a New Zealander persisting in heathenism is a very different question. Nothing I conceive but the necessity of preventing an illicit connexion could warrant us in advising such a measure. But such a case of conscience is not likely to arise, as, from the strong disposition which prevails among the New Zealanders to accept Christianity, it is more than probable that no conscientious Briton would be likely to wish to marry a New Zealander who was not at least a catechumen; while for those with whom the question should lie between marriage and a connexion unsanctioned by marriage, there can be no question that a merely civil contract would be better than no contract at all.
"To marriage, unexceptionable in every point of view, every encouragement should be given. If by any means marriage portions could be given with a native female, it would be well; and if the plan for enriching the families of the native chiefs should prove successful, (and its success will depend on the general success of the colony,) the daughters of the native chiefs will be among the most richly-endowed heiresses of the country.
"Nor should we neglect other means for encouraging such alliances. The natives who form them should feel that they are entering into a new family of countrymen and countrywomen; and their marriages should not only be celebrated with religious solemnity, but be made occasions of picturesque interest and innocent rejoicing. All men are powerfully influenced by ceremonies, and this taste is, no doubt, one of the intended means for promoting order and system throughout mankind: those who are affected with morbid hyper-civilization think they can dispense with them; but it is a happy thing that this taste exists strongly among the infant races of the world, and it may, no doubt, be made an important instrument in their social culture."
Many will, doubtless, be somewhat startled at the proposition above set forth; but, it will not be difficult to show that it is not unreasonable; and that there is, moreover, a fair ground for believing that the way is being prepared for that consummation.
In the first place, all accounts agree in asserting the physical superiority of the aboriginal race. The women are described as comely, and many of them as beautiful; and in proportion as the women approach towards physical perfection, the men cannot be far behind them. The New Zealand men are, in fact, described as exceedingly well formed, of dignified aspect, and with an expression of countenance, which, although severe, indicates a high degree of intelligence.
At the present time, a considerable number of Europeans are married to New Zealand women; and a still larger number are united permanently in the way sanctioned by the customs which constitute the law of New Zealand. The missionaries have made great efforts to substitute for the latter kind of permanent connexion the sanction of Christian marriage, and to a very great extent they have been successful; but, it must be observed, that the permanent connexion to which we alluded should not be called "open concubinage," as it has been designated, because on the woman's side, at all events, it is deemed a lawful marriage, and should not otherwise be treated.
In this country, the existence of such a connexion previous to marriage would very properly exclude the parties from social intercourse; but if this rule be carried to New Zealand, it would cease to be a wise precaution—it would be an unjust prejudice. It should, in fact, be treated as the substitution of one kind of marriage for another, and the new union should only be deemed the necessary result of Christianizing the parties, and bringing them within the pale of English law.
On this point there will, perhaps, be no difficulty, but the rule leniency must be pushed still further. It is much to be regretted that, besides the permanent unions which we have above alluded to, a large number of the women of New Zealand are, according to our notions, unchaste. We need not cite cases; they must be painful to every well-regulated mind; but if we are to undertake the civilization of the New Zealanders, we must probe somewhat deeper than the surface, and estimate fairly what we call want of chastity.
All accounts agree in stating that conscientiousness is one of the most striking features in the New Zealand character. By conscientiousness we mean, that they strictly perform what they believe to be right. There are many acts which they consider to be virtuous, which our more rational code of morality deems vicious. There are others which we consider vicious, which they deem indifferent or neutral. Revenge is a sample of the first class of acts—polygamy of the last.
It follows, that before we assign to any act the same degree of obloquy with which we are accustomed to visit it, we should carefully ascertain in what light the act is regarded by themselves. We do not mean that if they deem an injurious act virtuous, that we should at once relieve it from all obloquy. That would be to remove the only correctional means within our power. We should still attach obloquy to the act, and teach why we deem it bad; but the safe line, we think, will be to remove the obloquy the moment the act is reformed. Our punishment should, in short, in no case be retrospective.
What we call want of chastity comprises elements not to be found in the conduct of the New Zealand women. With them it is a vice of society, and not a vice of the individual. The practice does not degrade them in the eyes of others, and they are, therefore, not degraded in their own estimation. As they are conscientious in doing that which they believe to be right, they require only to be taught what is wrong, and the reformation follows as a necessary consequence.
To apply the moral sanction efficiently, having first taught what is right, the European settlers should remove the obloquy the moment the practice is discontinued. There should be nothing in the conduct of society towards the reformed, which bears the character of punishment for a past offence. Those who persist should be treated with obloquy—those who abstain should be relieved therefrom. Thus would reward be made use of as an instrument of reform as well as punishment, and the result would he conspicuous in a very short time.
To meet the difficulties, in the way of amalgamation, which we have pointed out, would require courage and firmness on the part of the leaders of opinion in New Zealand; but the object is a high one, and we sincerely hope it will be duly attended to.
With these observations we dismiss Mr. Hawtrey's excellent little work, with the strongest recommendation to the New Zealand settler.

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