1 December 1862 Southern Cross, Coromandel Contributors
Contributors from Coromandel to the Lancashire Relief Fund Appeal from October 17th to November 27th. The total raised in Coromandel for this appeal was £44.
Contributors are as follows
3 December 1862 Southern Cross, Coromandel Correspondent
Now that the sympathy of the Auckland public, and the working population of Coromandel has been fairly established, let us carefully investigate all elements necessary to form a sound basis upon which this sympathy may rest securely and thrive. Fortunately, all compacts entered into by sleeping and work shareholders, bind so much of the interests of both into so close a union, that it needs very peculiar circumstances to set one interest against the other. To prevent, however, even circumstances of the latter kind to create distrust and discussion, we should, without any more delay, have our assessors' and warden's courts established. Surely the government might stretch a point of the almighty red tape and say, though there is not as yet the requisite number of diggers employed on this gold field, yet the amount of capital employed is now of such magnitude, that we may give to the latter that protection which emanates from warden's courts. I don't think that the eye of government is any longer shut to the importance and worth of Coromandel. Then why delay the institution of a thing that will have such a beneficial effect on the free investment of capital, and on the cheerful confidence of the working claim-holder, when he knows his rights to the ground will be secure from encroachment of any kind. Any one, not acquainted with quartz-reefing "cannot" form an idea of the value our at present humble enough looking claims will represent shortly. If the actual results come within half the length only of our prospects, the money now invested in them, will seem ridiculously small alongside the profits. Such interests therefore, should be sheltered as soon as possible, from future litigation. Once their true value is ascertained, rapacity, envy, and chicanery, will find these claims too strong a temptation not to exert all their power to get a share in the plunder. Place all right on a clear and generally understood basis, and half the battle is fought for the advance of justice.
Whenever that period comes in which "outlay" and "profits" will show their glaring disparity in favour of liberal pockets - then shall many a tight-bound purse, burst, like a shell, with fulminating rage, at its pound-foolishness, scattering probably, with reckless avidity, sums that would "now" bring ten times the number of shares, with consequently ten time lesser risk than the "one" chance to which all will have to be trusted. If advice and precept can have any influence over any of those afflicted with such unhealthy propensity, let them make use of this present period to prepare for that golden future so near at hand. Let them not fear to be misled by "poetic flights" of fancy. Pegassus here is a steady hard-working animal, long broken into harness-work, and not very apt to buck or kick, and certainly incapable of "jibbing."
There is one more item of preparation for the future to be brought, in all humility, before the consideration of Government, and that is "the consolidation of our road to the diggings." That work must be done now while it is summer. With such increase of traffic as we have now on that road, the rainy season will effectually isolate us from human communication. If that road was fearful last winter, what will it be this one? In fact unless there is "a tramway" laid down to the beach, the yearly repairs will make any other road a very costly and inadequate concern. Any, or any such work, will have the additional advantage of bringing for a time labourers to us, who, after earning a little money, will be enabled to prospect or wait for employment on our reefs; at present a man coming in a hurry, with necessity at this back, finds seldom on the first day such employment as he is looking for; - he returns at once to Auckland, losing a chance of good wages, and we losing probably a good working man.
There is only one bit of news for the curious in our digging operations, and that bit is old even. Since some days of last week, Mr Cole has been taking out very fine looking quartz with gold visible in it. Mr Coles’ claim is the one furthest to the south of our digging and Main Creek claims. It is most gratifying thus to see that so much perseverance and skill as applied to that claim, has had a reward at last. It is to be hoped that the present find will lead Mr Cole to still more important results, a circumstance that my now take place at any moment. New claims are taken up and are being worked higher up the creek - even as far as the Driving Dam, and "new chums" from England and "the Cape are making their wondering appearance.
3 December 1862 Southern Cross, Coromandel Correspondent (written Dec 1st)
The day has come at last when people really do take the trouble to come here, and judge for themselves how far their interests are connected with this little place of their nearest neighbourhood. I think, generally, that result has been favourable to this little place; ay, some honest-minded and honest-spoken men have even acknowledged that they felt "ashamed" of having allowed this place to remain so long unappreciated. Well, it is not too late yet to make up for lost time. A good thing -and a thing intended to last, is slow of growth; such we will hope, shall be the character of the growth of confidence in Coromandel, and enterprise of Auckland men.
Now, however, is the time that all those entrusted with the welfare of our Northern Province should come forward in vigorous action, pushing all those points which governments are expected to look after under our circumstances. We have no means of landing yet with any comfort; and we cannot expect that people accoutred but with one pair of shoes and stockings, with no hope of a change at their disposal, shall wade through our shore mud without becoming expletively eloquent against Coromandel. A little subscription has been started already to erect a temporary jetty for passenger traffic; and we hope the government will liberally come to the aid of that subscription.
One company of private individuals, however, has this duty before it, even more than the government, and that is the steamer company. If that company expects to reap any "lasting" benefit from Coromandel, they must exert themselves more than what they have done, to accommodate the public and forward their own interest. No greater fallacy can exist than to think that two such interest can at all clash, or be opposed to one another. You cannot hurt the one without hurting the other, or vice versa, as regards mutual benefit.
Our works up the Driving Creek - up Murphy's creek - upon the shore reef, are all proceeding steadily in developing all the truth and attraction of that one long-doubted fact that "there is more gold in Coromandel than what Auckland dreams of in its philosophy." The wakening is at hand; the philosophical apathy at an end, and the digger smiles at the utter astonishment and "long-doubting" exhibit on their wakening.
Messrs Kelly lately crushed upwards of three pounds and a half of gold from twenty pounds of stone. Other crushings of similar richness have taken place in other claims, but the exact results of the latter have not been communicated yet.
At the invitation of Messrs S. Jones and M. Wood, a convivial "meeting" of diggers and town gentlemen took place on Saturday night, at Mr Simpson's hotel, in Kapanga. We hope this first meeting of vigour, skill, capital and enterprise, will be followed by so many more that the "union" of them may become complete, a union which showed its harmonious results most pleasantly already on that very first meeting.
4 December 1862 Southern Cross, Letter to the Editor
Sir: - Is it usual for meetings of great importance to be held without any previous notice being given to the interested parties? I allude to a meeting convened by Mr Turton, the commissioner, and called for the purpose of forming new laws for the future working of this gold field. According to what I can hear of it, these laws were to be made and approved of by a committee of six; three to look out for the interests of the diggers, and three for the sleeping shareholders and men of money. There is no doubt but that the diggers will be well represented, but who takes care of the welfare of the men of capital and sleeping shareholders? Why, Mr Turton has appointed the sub-commissioner (though how he can be a sleeping shareholder I don't understand), and two diggers. These are the persons who re to represent men of money. That is to say, that really the man of capital is not represented at all. The whole thing is a farce. Why talk about the interests of companies and men of money, and then appoint diggers to represent them. I do not complain of the diggers : they are doubtless well fitted to take care of themselves, but I want men of capital to have a chance to do so too. As it ism it is not very encouraging, and is likely to have a very bad effect, as men of capital having had no opportunity to see to their interests, will be rather chary of speculation during the present unsettled state of things. And without capital, Coromandel will be a long time in making any progress at all. Signed, A sleeping Shareholder. November 29th 1862
5 December 1862 Southern Cross, Editorial
We reprint an article from our Dunedin contemporary, the Daily Times, which for his own sake we could wish had never appeared. We do not object to the pleasantries of our contemporary at the expense of Aucklanders, and we would be among the last to find fault with a brother journalist for indulging in a little witticism at our own expense, however elephantine the effort might be. A man has a right to render himself absurd if he pleases and therefore we will silently pass the absurdities of our contemporary and come to his assertions. Let us see if they are consistent with fact. He says "the Coromandel gold-field was puffed into notice in February last;" and again, he asserts that it was not until the discovery of the gold fields in Otago that the Aucklanders manifested an intense desire to have gold fields of their own. These statements are not in accordance with the truth, and have been written either in ignorance, or with a deliberate intention to mislead that section of the public, who derive their general information on New Zealand matters from the columns of the Daily Times. The Otago gold fields were discovered in 1861, but in 1852 Coromandel was actually proclaimed a gold field, and a considerable mining population was located close by the present Driving Creek diggings. The unsatisfactory relations with the natives, after a few months' trial, induced the Europeans to give over prospecting for gold but not before Auckland had demonstrated that she possessed a paying gold-field close to her own doors. This, it will be seen, was many years before our contemporary was dreamed of, or extensive gold deposits were thought to exist in the South. If our contemporary was at all familiar with the subject on which he writes, he would have known that so far from the native difficulty having lessened, since the first closing of the Coromandel diggings, they have increased; and if he had care to satisfy himself further in reference to the dealings with regard to Coromandel, he had an opportunity of acquiring correct information in his own town. But Coromandel was to be written down if possible, and truth was a secondary consideration.
"Tortures may force the tongue untruths to tell;"
But we cannot imagine why a journalist should so far forget his vocation as to travel into the realms of fiction, when the truth might be leaned next door to him, for aught we know to the contrary. For his special information we will now tell him that over and over again the General Government were urged to purchase Coromandel from the native owners, and that they persistently refused, as on much later occasions a similar line of conduct was pursued. They were aware of the auriferous nature of the ground, for they had the experience derived from the partial working, in an unfavourable locality. They likewise were aware of the valuable forest timber, which was so available for commercial purposes; but they refused to buy, although the Deputy Land Purchase Commissioner stated often that it could be done. The secret was, that the members of the General Government represented Southern interests; and the development of the resources of the Northern province was postponed, lest it might interfere with the training school for political neophytes which Maoridom supplied. All this while Auckland was treated as a milch cow for the benefit of the other provinces. The Auckland revenue supplemented the deficits in the South, and we bore it ungrudgingly. Our gold-fields were locked up, and the natives were gradually estranged from the settlers, but the Southern politicians who had by this time graduated at our expense, found that they were unable either to acquire the land or rule the natives. Auckland did not complain even then, and it was not until the public were at length aroused by the local journals to a sense of duty, that they protested against the culpable negligence of the Government. A sustained pressure was kept up, or the government of that day would have allowed the matter to drop, well pleased that Auckland would be forced to take a secondary place, as the destiny of the South appeared then, to be fixed by the development of the Otago diggings. We take credit to ourselves for stimulation public opinion at that time, and we are perfectly satisfied at the result. We did not "write up" Coromandel in the sense implied by the Daily Times; we stated what had been already done, and insisted on the authorities either buying or leasing the land. Sir George Grey succeeded in leasing a block of auriferous land from the native owners, and as yet only a few hundred yards of this land have been prospected. We say advisedly that the result has more than warranted all that has been written on the subject by our own correspondent, or by the correspondent of our contemporary, whose letters are the text for the Dunedin journalist's article. The writer in the daily times makes a point of stating that the gold export from Auckland up to the end of September, covering a period of seven months, represented only £2,005 sterling ; but here again his disingenuousness appears. The auriferous district was not acquired until the end of June, and the gold-field was not declared until the 1st of July, two days having elapsed before the second batch of miners' rights were issued, after an interval of ten years, during which period the diggings were closed, if not by order, at least with he consent of the Government. No gold of consequence was found the first fortnight, so that the gold export instead of representing the produce of seven months, was covered by the lesser period of eleven weeks. And every person in this community knows that a large quantity of gold dust was taken South by miners who left for Otago. And also by men who early took their departure for the Australian colonies. We have made inquires on this point, and are led to conclude that gold worth at least £1,000 found its way out of the province during the eleven weeks in question, without being entered in the Custom House. In fact, it is only recently that the Customs authorities in Auckland took any steps to levy the export duty, and the gold hitherto returned has chiefly been the result of small parcels of auriferous quartz and dust, lodged in the banks, and forwarded by them to the Sydney Mint for analyses. The Customs returns do not include any of the parcels of gold conveyed out of the province by private parties, before and after the district was opened to the miners, and which, we had an opportunity of knowing, was considerable. Our Dunedin contemporary may therefore deduce this truthful inference from the foregoing, that the Customs returns are not a reliable guide, nor anything like it, to the quantity of gold procured in Coromandel up to the end of September. But we have further to inform him that owing to the want of crushing machinery hitherto, much of the auriferous quartz has been kept back by the diggers, or deposited in private hands. This fact, taken in conjunction with the difficulties of prospecting, has rendered the diggers in Coromandel less industrious than they would have been. Those who have struck the reef, or who have discovered one or two of those remarkable rich leaders for which Coromandel is becoming famous, do not labour continuously, as they are satisfied to await the erection of crushing machinery; and those who are engaged prospecting in the ranges, or sinking shafts, are not contributing immediately to the produce of gold. Notwithstanding these drawbacks, however, and with only a very limited mining population indeed, we may safely estimate the gold in the hands of miners having claims on Ring's diggings, at 1,500 ounces. Quartz crushing machinery is being erected, and the return of gold will then be steady. Having explained thus fully the position of the Coromandel diggings, without fear of contradiction on any point, we feel constrained to protest against the attack made upon the diggers of Coromandel by the writer of the Daily Times. "The diggers who have been enticed to Coromandel have been working on the assistance principle, and not content with this alone, they besides slyly inserted their digits into the Auckland tradesmen's pockets, in the shape of obtaining large prices for claims to be thrown into companies, the shares of which the innocent Aucklanders have greedily snatched at." Never was a more untrue or unmanly charge made against any deserving body of men, than our Dunedin contemporary has, in the foregoing extract, preferred against the gold miners of Coromandel. Let us tell our contemporary, that he has on the Otago gold-fields the men who ate the bread of our Provincial Government, and drew their regular supplies, without rendering the slightest return in the shape of labour, - their heaviest undertaking being a turn at pitch and toss as a relief to the monotony of smoking their allowance tobacco, and regaling themselves with the plunder of the Maori peach groves. Nay, further: the only men who ever inserted their digits into the pockets of Auckland tradesmen, who assisted them without any desire for reward, left Auckland for the Otago gold-fields. These are the men who speak disparagingly of Coromandel, and we know, from actual observation, that they never made an effort to obtain 'the color" during their stay. There were many worthy and industrious men who left Auckland for the South, and we would be sorry to class them for a moment with the more numerous body, who may be considered, to quote Thatcher, as "ornaments of the Otago Loafing Society." We have followed our contemporary far enough to show that he is no authority on Auckland matters; but we cannot conclude without adverting to the close of his article. The allusion to Thatcher is simply absurd. His Coromandel song was too well received to admit of gloomy looks being produced; and for the best of all possible reasons, that there was no occasion for them. Our contemporary may, if he pleases, close his columns in future to any Coromandel news, but he may rest assured that his doing so will not lessen the effect upon the public mind of the reports from this district. The "obstinate, wilful blindness" of people will continue so long as quartz containing twenty-five percent of gold can be procured in quantities in Auckland. The two last sentences of the Dunedin article exhibit the crassitude of the writer in the Daily Times, and also manifest the envious feelings with which he regards Auckland. The Maoris have parted with the land; he says, because they do not "believe in it;" and if it had been worth anything, the first arrivals would have offered better terms than Sir George Grey gave. The truth is, the natives have not parted with their land; they have leased a portion of it for a term of years, with an annual rent of £500 per annum, and £1 per man additional for every miner employed over 500; and the first miners who visited it not merely offered, but some of them actually paid the natives the rate of £1 per man per day for leave to prospect Driving Creek, and this circumstances was a main difficulty in the way of Sir George Grey negotiating terms with the Maoris. Besides, it was illegal; and it is up to this moment, illegal of the part of Europeans to lease land from the natives; consequently, the diggers could not come to terms publicly with the Maori owners. The ignorance of our contemporary is therefore apparent, and we hope he will in future be more careful when he comes tow rite on subjects of which he has no personal knowledge. His article on the Non-conformist special settlement was also wide of fact, and if he persists in this style of writing, he will earn the unenviable character of being an untruthful recorder of public events.
5 December 1862 Southern Cross, General Notices
Mr Tuckwell, of the Albion Gold Company, came up to town on Tuesday, bringing with him 68oz. 3dwt 12gr of gold dust, obtained from a small quantity of the stone taken out of the company's claim. The dust was sold to the Bank of New Zealand.
5 December 1862 Southern Cross, Letter to the Editor from H. K. Turton
Sir. - When the Coromandel gold-field regulations appear, your correspondent of this morning will be surprised to find how fully the rights and interests of employers and capitalists have been asserted and protected by our committee of 'nothing but miners;' but to us who associate daily with these men, it is no surprise at all, for no one understands the doctrine of capital and labour better than themselves, especially in quartz-reefing. To place a monied man at a mining Board simply because he is rich, is to sacrifice the best interests of the body he would represent, by putting him entirely at the mercy (if made a question of "class") of the more intelligent and experienced. A man's wealth is no use to him on a goldfield, except for the employment of labour , &c,; and none can be successful in the framing of just and suitable regulations, unless they are practically acquainted with the subject matter of discussion. The bye-laws of all other gold-fields have been constituted in a similar manner, that is, in accordance with the intelligence of sensible and practical men, who know perfectly well that one interest or class, cannot suffer without injury to the rest. And of these points our committee of miners was very justly observant, as will soon be acknowledged by all concerned.
On one point however, some of our Auckland and Coromandel capitalists (and even diggers too - they may laugh, but they know it,) will be sadly disappointed, - and that is, the stringency with which all monopoly of unoccupied ground, (to the exclusion of the waiting and willing digger) will be prevented. All claims which cannot be manned with the proper number of miners will have to be given up to those who can occupy and use them, for if they are not worth working they are not worth having. Owing to the rush to Otago, I have hitherto been very lenient on this point (and, I think reasonably so) that is, to parties who had incurred considerable expense over their claims: but now, that sufficient labour can again be had in the province, it must either be used over the appropriated claims, or those claims be given up at once, to the public.
Any number of persons (instead of eight only) may now associate themselves together as a company, in the first instance, for making out and working new ground; and three or four distinct parties may amalgamate together so as to work their united claims with greater facility and economy. Indeed, the whole of Coromandel may be taken up at once by the Auckland people only (and the sooner the better for Auckland) save and except on this one condition, that the land so appropriated must be fully occupied, and properly worked to entitle the claimant to retain it in possession. No more shepherding of claims will be allowed (or ever have been, knowingly) so as to form bubble companies in town, and so enrich the few at the expense of the many. All mining works must be undertaken in a bona fide spirit, with the intention of extricating the gold from the stone, rather than that of selling stone which has no gold in it. Until lately, everything has gone on pretty well, and to the general satisfaction of the miners. But now that the desire to grasp and monopolise is being exhibited on the field, it is the duty of all interested in the future of Coromandel, and of the whole colony, to place a check upon that spirit, and to bring such unreasonable desire under the restraint of suitable rules and regulations.
I sincerely trust that the Government will relieve me from this thankless office of commissioner, as soon as a skilled and professional man can be obtained for the situation; but so long as I hold my present position, neither wealth nor flattery, nor any other device, will ever persuade me to allow of monopoly at Coromandel. With the exception of a few, the monied men of Auckland know better than to follow such a cry (for such it really is), and will not band together to keep the gold out of the market, and population out of the province, merely for their own personal aggrandisement. However, that no one may have the shadow of a complaint hereafter against the rules adopted by the late Committee of Miners, I will hold a public meeting of all shareholders at the diggings, on the Driving Creek, on Saturday, the 13th instant, when I hope your correspondent will be there to see how fully his interests have been attended to by the diggers, even without his personal interference.
As to the mining public generally, whether labourers or employers, I think their confidence in some of us is sufficiently great to prevent their supposing that we would allow the interest of one class to be sacrificed to those of another. We have been amongst the few who from the first have pleaded the introduction of Auckland capital into Coromandel, and have protected it throughout, and it only now remains for that capital to be worked under suitable mining regulations (such as those of Victoria, which we have chiefly adopted) to render it profitable to its owner, and of immediate and lasting good to the colony, which requires nothing but an immense and well-classed population to make it a 'great country.' Yours truly, H. K. Turton, December 4th, 1862
6 December 1862 Southern Cross, Coromandel Correspondent
Yesterday a meeting of shareholders of No.3 and No.5 quartz claim, was held at Mr Simpson's Hotel. It was resolved that No.3 should be managed henceforth under the Joint Stock Company's Act, limited. Mr Edward Wood was elected chairman pro tem. Mr Buckland, secretary. A proposal for a similar regulation of the management of No.5 was discussed, and generally approved of, but no ultimate decision arrived at. Mr Buckland was chosen chairman pro tem; Mr Edward Wood, secretary. Managers for No.3 and No.5, Mr Thomas Farrel and Mr Woodin. The division of gold got since the last fortnight was then decided upon, according to the claims of each shareholder. On an average No.5 has yielded up to this date (within that fortnight) "from 40 to50lbs weight," out of 300lbs of stone. No.3 has yielded 80lbs weight of stone, not crushed, yet the result will probably be equal in proportion to that of No.5
40lbs weight of stone was crushed from Mr Eric Hausson's claim, yielding between 7 or 8lb weight of gold.
Mr Murphy's claim is continuing to take out rich stone. The gold of that reef seems to be or a very superior quality to any in this neighbourhood.
Thus in a few days a little of the precious metal will make its appearance again in Auckland.
I trust its bright reflections will make all honest men's faces shine, and turn them faith inspired Coromandelwards.
11 December 1862 Southern Cross, Coromandel Correspondent, Cabbage Bay (from Dec summary)
The reports of riches outshining our best finds in the Driving Creek, drew me at last to this neighbourhood, to ascertain personally how much of "new-chum" and "old-chum" gold could be seen here. I have found things as I almost expected to find them - exaggerated through the influence of glittering mica and other sparkling deceivers, particularly when dilated on by excited bushmen over their tenth rummer of rum. There is no doubt about the existence of gold here - no doubt about leading quartz formations - no doubt about a few good specimens having been taken out; but what was described as a large reef turns out but a very humble little leader, with now but a little gold in it. I saw three of them - one on a smaller branch, the other two up the big branch of the main creek. Neither of them promises much; and to find out what they "might lead to," would require a great deal of work - a process much cheaper to be carried on, on our side, where there is yet even a much greater choice of leaders to be had. Some of the Government land comes pretty close to the golden region, but I doubt whether diggers en masse would be allowed to pass "toll free" through the Cabbage Bay possessions of Mononui le Grand. Thus putting all in all together, it would be a great pity if we were to fritter away our numerically very limited energies over too great an extent of country. The longer we work in Coromandel the more we perceive the immense advantage resulting from "numbers working together," Only very golden leads can be worked to advantage on the solitary - "the hatter's principle."
The road from Kapanga to Cabbage Bay presents some magnificent specimens of mountain and marine scenery combined; the bay itself is a perfect gem for the artist, through masters of big craft condemn its anchorage; and the lovely verdant creek-valley, on closer acquaintance, turns out to be a swamp. Yet why should we look at things but in their utilitarian bearings? Why see in these lance-head peaks, shaggy and jagged with dark foliage and rock-edge, only the steepness and discomfort of their ascent; or calculate, if we need not to go up, the number of feet of Kauri presented thereby only. Inspiriting as the latter calculation may be, it should not be the sole basis of appreciation, if we wish to be considered in possession of a soul, regardless of shoe leather, able to travel a rocky beach in search of those beauties that rise here from oceanic foam. Thus much presents itself to the lover of nature; but even the utilitarian, undiluted, will find that these rugged barriers enclose treasures worth all the trouble of getting at them. The very centre of the valley is occupied by a large cluster of extensive buildings. The dimensions of the central one indicate industrial purposes - it is, in fact, the well-known steam saw mill of Messrs Heron, David and Co.; certainly, in Coromandel, the largest concern of the kind, able to consume by tooth of saw, oppressive numbers of feet of timber, in that shortness of time generally and vulgarly symbolised by the twinkling of a bedpost. The long valley through with a large creek serpentines is walled in by a succession of peaks, reminding me, in their shape and mien, of old friends of volcanic central America in their grand silent mood, awful to behold while the recollection of their terrible moments of fury was yet fresh in me; when I had seen the country around trembling convulsively, and its inhabitants fleeing from elementary wrath like the miserable ants that we are, seen from on high. Here these giants of fiery merciless bowels are at rest, bound into strong quiescence by the spell of time - statues but of what they once were in the wild , youthful period of our earth.
Roads, made at great expense, now lead right up to the forks of the creek, where the large bush-houses and cook-houses of Messrs Heron, David, & Co., are situated. As I went along this creek, I was struck by the great number of rolling roads crammed full of logs - piles of them heaped in the creek, whereon the roads abutted; at the least about two thousand logs are now awaiting a long desired fresh. Two large driving dams are now in process of construction, higher up in the two forks; one of the first will be finished by the end of this week, the second will take a little longer yet. As I went my way up those creeks over easy paths cut and levelled by the bushmen, I could not help reflecting how much of general benefit there always results form individual enterprise. No one man can be industrious, can strive and work for himself, and not benefit hundreds directly, though he never dreamt of them, and though he was as selfish as human nature can be. If one man, therefore, "must" benefit another, if he worked at all, how productive of "goodwill to our neighbours" would such reflection be, if we only searched for such truths with an unprejudiced mind. All hail and all praise, then, to all pioneers who push their bold way in new directions! Let no after-comer forget what he owes to the man into whose track he puts his foot easily.
12 December 1862 Southern Cross, Another Coromandel Correspondent (written 8 Dec)
The news from Driving Creek continues to be excellent. A gentleman who has for the last few days been staying down here, saw 50lbs weight of pure gold at Mr E. Wood's store today. This was from No.5 claim of the Driving Creek, and was obtained during the past week from No.3, Farrel's claim. The specimens obtained during the past week were of extraordinary richness.
From Government point to low water mark, Mr Michael Wood has caused a planked way to be laid down, so that at any time of tide a landing (without the danger of sinking up to your waist in mud) may be effected. The road from the Creek to the Court House is in process of making, so that in a few days it will not be necessary (at the highest tides even) for those who have business to transact at either the resident magistrate's or post office, to "wade" up the armpits in water, or "carry a letter in their mouths, for fear of its getting wetted." This will be a source of great delight to your correspondent, who, as he depicted everything so well, must have written feelingly.
On Monday night next, the 15th of December, a concert is to be given in Mr Ring's new store, situated on No.2 allotment of the Kapanga township, the proceeds to go towards the fund for the building of a church at Kapanga. It is anticipated that many from Auckland will be present.
12 December 1862 Southern Cross, Coromandel Magistrates Court
Hastie v Hami (a native) Defendant was charged with obstructing the police in the execution of their duty, and at the same time using threatening language on the evening of the 28th ult.
Hami pleaded guilty. Ordered to pay a fine of £1 and costs, or to be imprisoned in the common goal at Auckland for one calendar month, and to be there kept to hard labour. The fine was immediately paid.
15 December 1862 Southern Cross
On Saturday night last the 'Tasmanian Maid' arrived here from Coromandel, bringing with her a large party from the diggings, and visitors who had been to inspect the Kapanga township of Mr Michael Wood. Among the passengers was Mr Samuel Cochrane, who had left Auckland on Thursday evening in the cutter, 'Wanderer,' but which only fetched her anchorage in the harbour of Coromandel on Friday evening at 4.30. He went up to the Driving Creek and succeeded in buying between 300 and 400 ounces of gold-dust from the diggers, which he brought to town. This is only a small portion of the gold on hand, the greater part being retained. Mr Farrell also brought up a quantity of gold for sale. The diggers do not like to crush at present, owing to the imperfect machinery now on the ground. The following are the parties from whom the gold was purchased by Mr Cochrane: - Watt & Co., Eric Hanson & Co., Messrs Kelly and Co., Gibson & Co., Schmidt, Doyle and E Wood & Co. The diggers still consider the price given for the gold not equal to its value, and are careless about selling. It was bought a £2 12s an ounce.
15 December 1862 Southern Cross, General News in Brief
Suicide of a Policeman: - On Saturday morning last a police constable named William Murray, stationed at the Driving Creek, committed suicide by cutting his throat. He was an old 58th man, and drink was the cause of his death. He left a letter stating hi reason for taking his life. An inquest has been held on the body. A charge was about to be preferred against him for neglect of duty. He was only temporarily employed on the police force.
Death by Drowning: - On Thursday evening last as the cutter 'Wanderer' was on her trip to Coromandel, when off Rangitoto, a passenger named M Laughlin fell overboard and was drowned. The night was calm and clear, and although the boat was speedily lowered, and but little way was on the cutter at the time, the poor fellow sunk. His body has not been found. He was an old 58th man, and was employed at Mr Craig's saw mill. He was under the influence of drink.
20 December 1862 Southern Cross, Advance Coromandel
At no sale of landed property in the Province of Auckland did we ever meet so large or so earnest a concourse of buyers, as at that of Mr Michel Wood's township of Kapanga, Coromandel, which was brought to the hammer by Mr S. Jones at the Brunswick Auction Mart on Wednesday last. From the diggings - from the city - suburbs - and almost every part of the country, purchasers were attracted in order that they might possess a holding in ground but late a wilderness, shortly however destined to become a great and thriving town. It is not many months since Mr Wood, with a prescient eye to the future wealth of Coromandel became a buyer of Kapanga, for which he paid what was regarded as the adventurous sum of £1000. But Mr Wood, a man of much intelligence, and gifted with untiring energy and enterprise, knew well what he was about. He saw that Kapanga lay at the head of Coromandel Harbour, in the direct way to the diggings - that it was environed by ranges of auriferous quartz of whose intrinsic richness he had ample opportunity to make himself practically conversant. He beheld those ranges without hut or shelter for diggers and prospectors who were prematurely pouring in and as prematurely hurrying away. He felt that, if idlers there must be, a home on the spot was preferable to a lounge at Somerville's corner; and that the first to found a village, would be the first to establish Coromandel and profit by the efforts of his own industry - knowing this, Mr Wood spared neither pains nor expense to lay off his township to the best advantage, and the result has proved the accuracy of his judgement by a crowning sale the gross proceeds of which amounted to £10,944 2s 9d.
Although the adjoining township of Kingston was sold the previous week for upwards of £2000, we are led to regard the sale of Kapanga as the first and most practical test of the early future of Coromandel; and for this conclusive reason that among the many eager bidders were to be found not only land speculators, merchants, and future storekeepers, but a fair proportion of diggers who, roughing it throughout the long and trying months of an unusually tempestuous winter and spring, have struck manfully to the quartz and have now become masters of a homestead of surely increasing value.
The plot of ground which constitutes the town of Kapanga comprises seventy-eight acres. This was well laid off, all the allotments having a frontage of 33 feet, with a depth of 100 feet and upwards, the several streets being 66 feet wide. Buyers did not bid in the dark; they were afforded every facility of making themselves acquainted with the property for which they competed, the steamer 'Tasmanian Maid' being chartered to convey to Coromandel all who desire to inspect Kapanga and make their own selection. This was a judicious step, and hence the numerous visitors eventually become numerous purchasers.
The highest price obtained for any one lot was £4 2s 6d per foot; the lowest was £4 12s 6d per lot. For lot 3 of section 1, upon which was a house, £440, was realized, the sum total amounting, as we have already said to £10,944 2s 9d; being at the rate of £135 per acre. One-third of this amount was in cash; and every cheque, of 290 received was duly provided for.
Since the sale, one party has been offered six shillings per foot profit; and another has sold at an advance, of one hundred per cent. Land in the immediate vicinity has been inquired after; shares in the various quartz-crushing companies are on the rise; and if the results of the Keven's Reef Company, which commence crushing on Monday, be only moderately successful, the immediate and immense success of Coromandel will be placed beyond question or cavil.
Whilst Coromandel was in abeyance we forbore to write strongly, because we had no desire to write for a rush and witness that rush melt as quickly away. We now can speak out with confidence for gold itself - not auriferous specimens - is coming into market, and each new day exhibits the extent and the wealth of this extensive auriferous region. There are now, moreover, means of housing and feeding those who may be induced to make a trial of Coromandel: and there are established Companies, with claims in their possession and machinery to work them, so that incomers willing to give a fair day's labour for a fair day's wage need be under no apprehension of want of employment. To those at a distance, Coromandel may very naturally have been looked upon as mythical. She has now, we believe, cracked the shell, and before the summer wanes, we have a confident hop to see her in full and prosperous feather.
23 December 1862 Southern Cross, Letter to the Editor (G F Von Tempsky)
Sir, - An article published in the New Zealander of yesterday, bearing upon the respective positions taken by the Southern Cross and the aforementioned journal, in relation to Coromandel, demands that some one, sufficiently connected with the gold movement to know its history, and sufficiently unconnected with party interests to discern general from individual interest, should pass a few remarks on the labours of the two journals in that direction.
My belief in journalistic integrity rests upon too wide a basis, that I could not - not for a moment even, give room to a suspicion that any rivalry or mere party spirit, could warp their honest endeavours so far as to misrepresent, wilfully, such generally public interests as Coromandel embodies. Yet when antagonists of long standing and undecided superiority are brought face to face with a new movement, the very fact, - often accidental, often simply a result of quicker action - the fact of one grasping, espousing that cause before the other touches it, will blind the latter so far as to feel to some extent towards that cause as towards an ally of the enemy. There is no need that this feeling should lead to direct attacks of the cause; but that cause can hardly expect a "warm" support from the antagonistic journal. Now there is no doubt that the Southern Cross took up the cause of Coromandel first and that "warmly" - the New Zealander for a long time treated "coldly." If the Southern Cross was often lead into error through it enthusiasm, and the New Zealander through its want of that all-quickening element, sympathy - let that pass into the sealed catalogue of "bygones," of all those evils and imperfections attending human effort in any struggle. Now, however, we have "a result" up for judgement. The gold of Coromandel is no longer in Auckland synonymous with "humbug;" and the weak cause has grown into a strong one. Now, whose is to be the crown of merit for that result? Is it to be awarded to the journal that simply "kept pace" with public feeling, silent as long as there was silence, speaking when the new movement was discussed, and warming only with the atmosphere around it? Is that the mission of a journal? What is the use of "leaders" unless they march "ahead" of a crowd? Or, is a leader to be condemned to the loss of all merit in a successful action, simply because his ardour made him occasionally run out of sight, beyond the laws contained in the general marching orders. If such errors cannot be forgotten in a triumphant result of leadership - then human nature must forswear all claim on all-pervading charity, without which we are nothing. Let the errors of the Southern Cross then be forgotten in the gratitude the public owes that journal for its enterprise and brave advocacy of a weak and worthy cause. When the risk of such conduct has ceased, when the public is awarding the prize, no one should come forward who has not sheltered and fostered "the germ" of the grand result.
The not very flattering reference in the same article to the letters of your Own Correspondent, I, his representative here, most humbly submit to, in his name; but, I hope that, though the style of those letters is often at great variance with the subject, the majority of the educated public will not have felt that by those letters "ridicule" was thrown on a cause of so serious importance. Signed G. F. Von Tempsky, Auckland 21st December.
24 December 1862 Southern Cross, Coromandel Correspondent (written Dec 20th)
The Hon. Alfred Domett, Colonial Secretary and the Hon. Dillon Bell, Native Minister, together with R. Graham, Esq., Superintendent, and other gentlemen, arrived here yesterday by the 'Tasmanian Maid' and I am informed that a meeting is to be held today on the diggings, but for what purpose I am at present an a loss to determine. Keven's machinery is going to start today, but not to crush quartz, but more for the sake of ascertaining that all the working gear is in good order and to give time to remedy any defect that may possible be discovered. As a quartz-crushing machine it appears to be complete, and far superior to anything of the kind I have yet seen. The greatest credit is certainly due to the head engineer for the most excellent and workmanlike manner in which it has been erected. As I said before the machine will be tried today, but I don't think any stone will be crushed by it till after Christmas.
The machinery for Murphy's claim has arrived, and a short time only will elapse before its at work. A few 100th shares in this claim have changed hands during the last few days at £100 each.
From No.3 and No.5 Driving Creek, some more rich stone is being taken, and in No.15 the leader has been struck at a depth of 40 feet below the creek level, and will doubtless prove highly remunerative.
There has been a small rush to Cabbage Bay; accounts from it are very contradictory; some say it is a failure, and others again that it is native land, and not opened, the grapes are sour. Be that as it may, time and population will prove a great deal.
24 December 1862 Southern Cross, Publicans Licenses
Crowns Lands Office, Auckland 18th December 1862: - It is hereby notified for general information that Publican's Licenses have been issued to the person undermentioned, resident on the Coromandel Gold Fields, to be in force for the period set opposite their names respectively.
Name of Licensee
Charles Ebenezer Brown
1st July 1862
30th June 1863
24th Nov 1862
23th Nov 1863
26 th Nov 1862
25th Nov 1863
16th Dec 1862
15th Dec 1863
Patrick Edwin Dillon and William John Hurst
18 th Dec 1862
17 Dec 1863
Alfred Domett, Secretary for Crown Lands
30 December 1862 Southern Cross, Correspondence on Native Matters.
Sir, - Having recently returned from a sanitary mission for the government, to the Thames and Waikato districts, you will oblige me by giving publicity to a few observations, through the medium of your valuable paper.
The Government "having heard that the typhus fever was prevalent amongst the natives of the Thames district, was desirous to secure the services of a qualified practitioner, to check if possible the extension of that disease.
Having accepted the appointment, my instructions were "to go to Coromandel in the steamer, visit the natives there and at Manaia, then take a passage in any craft going up the Piako, visit the few scattered villages between the entrance of that river and Peria, and between Peria and Otawhao, affording to the sick every assistance in my power, and advising natives generally how to preserve their health, by keeping themselves and their houses clean, attending to ventilation, and wearing clothes suitable to the season."
I went to Coromandel by the 'Tasmanian Maid,' on the 14th of last November, having a supply of drugs, and being allowed the services of an interpreter.
At Manaia only I found the disease prevailing as an epidemic. Twenty-four had died there of the fever, and I visited ten natives still suffering from it. At Hauraki (the mission station at the mouth of the Thames), whither we were forwarded by the kindness of the Rev. Mr Landfeer in his yacht, and thence up the Piako; at Hahoeka, Matamata, Tamahere, and at Mr Cowel's, on the Waipa river, I met with isolated sporadic cases of fever, but there had been no deaths from typhus previously.
The disease prevailing is typhus fever of a very mild type, and in my opinion, not contagious. There was no dangerous complication of the vital organs, the brain, lungs, or bowels; if I except some degree of congestion of the lungs from over-crowded or smoky sleeping rooms. In no instance was there dysentery or diarrhoea as a symptom. The attack was ushered in with pain in the forehead and fever which seemed soon subsided under plentiful supply of cold water, the only diet at hand they were capable of taking. The deaths seemed to occur during apparent convalescence, after the fever had subsided, by actual starvation and exhaustion, for want of proper nursing and light nutritious food. The only food supplied to them was crude and indigestible (potatoes and putrescent Indian corn, and mussels, in places near the sea) all which they generally refused to take.
Arriving at Tieoma, a small hamlet at the head of the next creek to Manaia, in the evening of a very hot day, I saw a man about 50 yrs old, who had been carried out and laid under the shade of a tree, perhaps to die. He had been ill a week, and the fever had subsided. He was cold, pulseless, and speechless. Beside him were placed some stale boiled potatoes, and putrescent Indian corn; but he took nothing the whole day. Having brought some coffee, sugar, and a loaf for myself and interpreter, we gave him some hot coffee and bread, which he ate with relish. The next morning he was able to sit up and talk cheerfully. Good nursing and nutritious food have been of more use to these people than the doctor and his medicine; for I very much fear that my directions would not be carried out, though I had good reason to believe that the natives here were not without means. If the natives will not help themselves, there is little encouragement to others to assist them. I saw one or two cases of miserable bed sores from long confinement. Ingenious cradles of wicker work had been made to relieve them from pressure and the contact of the bedclothes. By the simple cold water application and a fish diet, I trust they would ultimately recover.
A much more destructive and general disease prevails amongst the natives than typhus fever. For though slow in progress, and attracting less attention by its symptoms, it affects a much larger proportion of the Maori race, is more fatal in its ultimate issues, and, under present circumstances, is less under the influence of medical treatment. This disease is scrofula, and it prevails to a fearful extent. Most of the native show evidences of its ravages, either past or present. Nearly all the children, after weaning, exhibit unmistakable signs of a scrofulous constitution, and many of the strongest adults bear traces of having been the subject of this disease at an earlier period in life. Scrofula, or strumas, which are synonimous terms, usually develops itself in the glands of the neck (where it tends to produce slow abscesses leaving unsightly cicatrices or scars,) in the lungs, where it tends to induce phthisis pulmonalis or pulmonary consumption; and in the absorbent glands of the bowels, when this disease is called "tabes mensenterica," phthisis and tabes being severally the Greek and Latin words for consumption, or wasting. Scrofula may effect almost every other organ in the body, and in children it not unfrequently attacks the brain, termination in hydrocephalus, or water on the head. Blear-eyes, so frequently seen amongst the natives, as well as the tumid and chapped upper lips, so common in Maori children, are scrofulous diseases. The loathsome skin diseases to which many of the Maoris are subject, though generally excited and aggravated by their neglect of personal cleanliness, have usually a scrofulous character. When scrofula manifests itself in the neck, or any other external part of the body, it with certainty indicates the strumous constitution, and may soon become developed in the lungs or bowels, if not already affecting those organs.
The scrofulous constitution may be hereditary, that is, transmitted from parent to child; but it may also, doubtless, be originated by certain favouring circumstances, or causes of debility, as insufficient nutriment, exposure to wet and cold, impurity of the atmosphere, and the want of natural exercise. Where, therefore we have the conjunction of hereditary or congenital predisposition, and all the existing external causes of scrofula, there can be but little chance of a child attaining to mature age.
It is frequently asserted here that scrofula was unknown amongst the Maori race before their contact with Europeans, and that, therefore, this decimating scourge has been communicated to them. There can be no reasonable ground for such an opinion. The influence of the exciting causes above mentioned, acting separately, but a portion in combination, is unquestionable in developing scrofula in any race of man, as well as in the lower animals. By shutting rabbits up in cold, damp, and narrow places, and feeding them on food not natural or suited to them, we can produce or evolve the scrofulous disease. Monkeys, and many other animals, when subjected to unnatural circumstances, die of scrofulous consumption.
Then again, scrofula is not in any sense contagious; it cannot even be communicated by the direct inoculation of the discharge from a scrofulous sore. If we have been the cause of the introduction of this disease amongst the natives, it must have been by indirectly bringing about a change in their diet, habits and clothing. The almost universal appearance of the disease amongst native children after weaning, as declared in the large stomach or protuberant belly, and the attenuated limbs, sufficiently point to the chief source of the mischief. The first derangement is clearly in the assimilative functions; in the organs of nutrition. The glands and ducts, concerned in eliminating and conveying the digested food into the system, have been irritated, obstructed and enlarged, by indigestible and innutritious diet; the lacteal ducts are no longer able to take up form the food a sufficient supply of nutriment, the little patient is starved. There can be no doubt that improper diet, or rather imperfect nourishment, is one main exciting cause of scrofulous disease.
Impurity of the atmosphere, and want of natural exercise, can scarcely claim much share in the production of this disease amongst the natives. Their low and crowded sleeping apartments must certainly, considering their insufficient clothing, make them very susceptible of cold; and the quantity of smoke which they inhale, must tend to irritate the respiratory organs. Yet still there is a certain amount of ventilation in all their whares. I suspect that their neglect of ablution operates more injuriously, by obstructing the pores of the skin. Exposure to wet and cold, especially as regards the young, must have a more decidedly pernicious tendency. The Maoris are capricious in the quality of clothing they put on, and do not adapt it to the weather. It appeared to me that the children were especially exposed tot he influence of cold. Most of them, it not entirely naked, had nothing but a thin cotton frock, open at the neck and throat;and if a blanket, the upper part of the chest was generally exposed. Now, scrofulous disease of the lungs almost invariable attacks the upper portion of the chest first. I visited the only surviving child of a Maori chief at Hauraki, who was dying of scrofulous disease affecting the upper portion of the lungs. Three other children of this chief had died of pulmonary consumption.
If scrofula be more prevalent now amongst the natives than before their contact with Europeans, the question arises, whether we have been the means of introducing amongst them, a less healthy diet, or a less protective description of clothing? On the latter point I doubt whether the thin cotton dress worn by many women and children, or even the blanket, do protect the throat, neck, and upper part of the chest, especially behind, as effectually as the Maori mat. What change we may have effected in their diet, less conducive to health, is not very apparent at first sight. The introduction of wheaten flour was a great boon, but it appears that the cultivation of corn has been much neglected by the Maoris for the last two or three years. At many of the pahs I saw no wheat grown; and all the corn mills I passed were disused, and out of repair. Small quantities of Indian corn were grown at all the native settlements, but the putrescent condition in which they always eat it, is at least innutritious, if it does not actually excite disease, which it most certainly does in young children. In the absence of farinaceous food it is to be regretted that the prepared fern root, which formerly made an important part of their diet, is now almost entirely gone out of use amongst them. Very little animal food is eaten by the natives, except occasionally, dried pork, too indigestible for children. Some years ago a physician of some standing published several papers in the Lancet, on the poisonous effects of pork! If the natives can rear so many horses and bullocks, they could also keep cattle and sheep for food.
If, through the benign influence of Christianity, the natives are no longer "Anthropophagi," it is not the less necessary for their health that those friends who wish for the perpetuation of the Maori race should induce them if possible to provide for themselves animal food of a less objectionable character. Their health and stamina will not be improved by becoming vegetarians. At the pahs I visited on the Piako river, I met with no case of typhus fever, and with comparatively few cases of consumption and scrofula. Here the natives have an abundant supply of eels and wild fowl. This is a significant fact.
There is one description of vegetable diet, however, which could go far to supply the place of animal food; leguminous seeds or pulse; as peas, beans, and lentils. In the first chapter of the book of Daniel we are told that the "Princes of the captivity refused the king's meat and wine which he drank," but desired to be "proved ten days with pulse to eat and water to drink;" and that at the end of ten days "their countenances appeared fairer and fatter in flesh than all the children which did eat the portion of the king's meat." Now modern chemistry can explain this physiological fact. Leguminous seeds contain a large quantity of nitrogen, an essential element of healthy blood and muscle; and pulse is consequently better fitted for the development of the muscular system than any other vegetable diet. It is probable that the missionaries, and others who have influence with the natives, might induce them to cultivate peas, beans and lentils for food.
For young children after weaning, a most critical and important period, I know of no sufficient substitute for milk, or milk, eggs and wheaten bread. Milk and eggs are the only natural products which, within themselves, contain all the other elements which are thoroughly fitted to sustain life, to provide all the essentials for building up, and repairing the necessary loss of, the animal frame.
The animal system cannot originate any one its essential elements; every element of the body must be supplied from the food we eat, the water we drink or the air we breathe: and if any be deficient, the "house of man" must give way in some of its necessary supports. Nothing would tend so much to diminish scrofula amongst the natives as a plentiful supply of milk to the children on being weaned. Both milk and eggs have the necessary advantage of being easy of digestion; they are a sort of animal diet, both nutritious an unstimulating, no hospitals, provided by a generous and philanthropic government, would do so much for the perpetuation of the native race as "hotels des enfans," where the children could be received after weaning, and be properly clothed and fed. For scrofula, preventative measures are far more effectual than curative means. I fear that no very successful regimen or medical treatment, can be carried out in the home of the Maori.
When once scrofula has been developed in the system its tendency from hereditary taint, may be so strong that no after care, no favourable combination of circumstances, may prevent its local manifestation; and any exciting cause, as exposure to wet and cold, or the occurrence of other diseases, my call it into activity; and thus in after-life, with every advantage of diet and sanitary appliance, ordinary diseases become more complicated and difficult of treatment. The powers of resistance are weakened, and the system more readily succumbs under disease.
It is painful to contemplate the mortality which would ensue from the occurrence of epidemics amongst the natives, as malignant typhus fever, putrid scarlet fever, small pox, or diphtheria, with every disadvantage of a faulty constitution and regimen.
Unless the natives can be induced to cultivate for themselves a greater variety, and a better quality of food, and to clothe their children with more care, the Maori race must inevitably at no very great distant period, die out and become extinct!
The facility and rapidity with which the natives recover from external wounds, has often been noticed. This is not al all incompatible with weak powers of resistance to the ravages of internal disease. I have frequently observed the same apparent anomaly amongst the migrating Irish and the Gypsies of England. "Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast."
Some years ago I amputated the arm of a man, near the shoulder, which had been crushed by the bite of a horse. The second time I dressed the stump, at the end of the third or fourth day, I found to my astonishment, that the wound had entirely healed by the first intention or direct adhesion, with the exception of the small apertures through which the ligatures which secured the arteries, hung out; yet this man never recovered from the shock to a system previously weakened by scrofula and intemperance.
The free-exposure to the air has doubtless much to do with the speedy healing of wounds amongst the Maoris. In the Peninsular campaign, where there was very insufficient accommodation for the wounded, the men who remained and were treated, on the field of battle, recovered more rapidly, and in a larger proportion, than those who had all the comforts and appliances of a hospital. - I am, sir, yours, &c., T. E. Rawson, M.D. Symonds St, Dec 27th 1862.