Title: Henry Lawson Among Maoris

Author: William H. Pearson

Publication details: Reed Publishing (NZ) Ltd, 1968, Wellington

Digital publication kindly authorised by: Paul Millar

Part of: New Zealand Texts Collection

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Henry Lawson Among Maoris

Henry Lawson Among Maoris Corrections, 1993

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Henry Lawson Among Maoris
Corrections, 1993

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Preface

It is hardly conceivable that a second edition of my book Henry Lawson Among Maoris (Australian National University Press, Canberra, and Reed, Wellington, 1968) will ever be needed, but it is necessary to make available corrections of a number of inaccuracies of which I became aware after the book had been published. Two corrections were made in the course of a discussion between me and Rollo Arnold in Austraiian Literary Studies, May 1969, pp. 68–79 (to which I refer scholars who are interested) but the need for further corrections became apparent after comments from the historian of the Kaikoura district, the late J.M. Sherrard, who had advised me throughout the writing of the book, and information received from a Ngai-Tahu elder who knew the relationships of the Maori people of Mangamaunu.

When the book was going to press there was a prolonged postal strike in Australia which prevented me from submitting the maps and photographs to J.M. Sherrard for comment. Consequently, mistakes in the map of Mangamaunu and in the captions to two photographs were not picked up in time. They are corrected in this revision.

The other changes concern family relationships in the Maori community at Mangamaunu. The advice of the Ngai-Tahu elder, Syd Cormack of Tuatapere, Southland, was very helpful. He provided a whakapapa (genealogy) of the descendants of the chief Wahaaruhe and directed me to succession orders of the Christchurch Maori Land Court, held then at the Maori Affairs Department, Christchurch, which enabled me to verify variants of the names of Ratima Jacob and his daughters Mary, Irihapeti and Okeroa and trace their death certificates (for example a partition order dated 15 September 1927 in File Marlborough 33/62 and a succession order in the South Island Minute Book 42/304 following the death of Ratima Ihaia Waruhe on 15 July 1929).

Those unfamiliar may at first be confused by the fact that the people of Mangamaunu could have several names. Thus Mary Jacob's father could be known by by an inherited baptismal name which functioned as a surname, as Ratima Jacob or Hakopa; he could also be known by his father's name as Ratima Ihaia, by his grandfather's name as Ratima Ihaia Parau, and his great-grandfather's name as Wahaaruhe (which came to be simplified to Waruhe and treated as a surname). It was also common for a person to take on a familiar name such as Maud for Irihapeti (or Elizabeth) and October for Okeroa.

It is unlikely that the changes made in this revision will be of much interest to Australian scholars, since none of them concern the biography of Henry Lawson himself, and there has been no attempt to update the book in the light of Lawson scholarship since 1968. But the current interest in the history of education of Maoris means that the corrections page breakmay be of interest to New Zealand researchers. The motive for preparing this list of revisions has been simply to put right the details which I learned were wrong, and to make them available in a select number of research libraries.

I have also revisited the files of Mangamaunu Native School, now held at National Archives, Auckland.

This revision is designed to be used in conjunction with a copy of the original edition of Henry Lawson Among Maoris.

Copies of the revision are being sent to these libraries:
National Library of Australia
Mitchell Library, Sydney
Australian National University Library

National Library of New Zealand
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington
University of Auckland Library
Auckland Institute and Museum Library
University of Waikato Library
Massey University Library
Victoria University of Wellington Library
University of Canterbury Library
University of Otago Library

W. H. Pearson

Auckland,
5 April 1993

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Hapuku-Mangamaunu district; some of the features (the Hapuku school, the Hapuku bridges, the railway and railway station, the present main road, and the present Mangamaunu school) were constructed after 1897.(Uncorrected)

Hapuku-Mangamaunu district; some of the features (the Hapuku school, the Hapuku bridges, the railway and railway station, the present main road, and the present Mangamaunu school) were constructed after 1897.
(Uncorrected)

page 55
Hapuku-Mangamaunu district; some of the features (the Hapuku school, the Hapuku bridges, the railway and railway station, the present main road, and the present Mangamaunu school) were constructed after 1897. (Note the new positions of Sites A, B and C)

Hapuku-Mangamaunu district; some of the features (the Hapuku school, the Hapuku bridges, the railway and railway station, the present main road, and the present Mangamaunu school) were constructed after 1897. (Note the new positions of Sites A, B and C)

page 65

facing p. 65

Kaikoura from the north, about 1900 (Alexander Turnbull Library)

Kaikoura from the north, about 1900 (Alexander Turnbull Library)

Site of Mangamaunu School, 1880-19221880-1881(photograph, 1959, by J. M. Sherrard)

Site of Mangamaunu School, 1880-19221880-1881
(photograph, 1959, by J. M. Sherrard)

page 65

facing p. 65

Kaikoura from the north, about 1900 (Alexander Turnbull Library)

Kaikoura from the north, about 1900 (Alexander Turnbull Library)

Site of Mangamaunu School, 1880-1881 (site A on map on Page 55)(photograph, 1959, by J. M. Sherrard)

Site of Mangamaunu School, 1880-1881 (site A on map on Page 55)
(photograph, 1959, by J. M. Sherrard)

page 69

page 69

ahatanga ranei kinonga ranei ki[te] patu kino i nga tamariki o te kura, tera ka tae atu e* whakaaturanga ki a koe a aku ranei; a te Tiamana ranei. Heoi ano ena kupu. Kei te aroha matou ki a Tanaha, raua [ko] tona hoa wahine i muri i a raua kua motu ke atu nei i a matou. Na te Pononga aroha, te

Keepa te Hina ranginui.

Great is our liking for our schoolmaster Danahaer and his wife sent to us by you and the Government. We like them so well because they have become people to us and we are now kin to them and they to us. He is a very good master with no faults. He does not beat the children severely. He teaches them well and with kindliness and there is harmony. There is no master like Danaher for skill and kindness in teaching the children. Who can speculate if this schoolmaster to be sent after him will be as good and gentle as Danaher and his wife? Would it not be possible that this can be settled by Danaher and my chairman interviewing this schoolmaster who is coming concerning his virtues and calmness (I trust this is the case) or his other qualities, or bad points such as severely beating our school children. Then word would be sent to you by the chairman or myself. It will suffice for this matter [to say] we will love Danaher and his wife even after they have been separated from us. From your affectionate servant,

Keepa te Hina Ranginui.

But the committee were not favoured with their request: Pope's reply was non-committal: 'I was pleased to find that you think so highly of Mr & Mrs Danaher.' R. H. Beck a bachelor arrived without the preliminary inspection the chairman had hoped to give him. Beck had applied several times to get into Native education and at the time of his first application in 1879 he was clerk at a Wellington brewery. He had been employed as journalist, clerk, and book-keeper, and he had taught at Gympie and Warwick in Queensland. He was teaching at Kaituna when he applied for Mangamaunu. He was appointed the day Keepa te Hina's letter was written.

At the start he apparently got on well. Kirk reported at the end of 1886: 'Mr Beck has established himself on a good foot-

* e= he. 'The h is invariably omitted in the early texts'. Note supplied by Dr P. W. Hohepa.

page 80
Mangamaunu Flat Settlement in the 1890s (from T. L. Buick,Old Marlborough, 1990, reproduced by the Alexander Turnbull Library)

Mangamaunu Flat Settlement in the 1890s (from T. L. Buick,Old Marlborough, 1990, reproduced by the Alexander Turnbull Library)

facing p. 80

Painting of Mangamaunu, artist and date unknown (photograph by Frank McGregor, from the original in the Christchurch Technical Institute)

Painting of Mangamaunu, artist and date unknown (photograph by Frank McGregor, from the original in the Christchurch Technical Institute)

page 80

facing p. 80

Mangamaunu Flat Settlement in the 1890s (from T. L. Buick,Old Marlborough, 1990, reproduced by the Alexander Turnbull Library)

Mangamaunu Flat Settlement in the 1890s (from T. L. Buick,Old Marlborough, 1990, reproduced by the Alexander Turnbull Library)

Painting of Mangamaunu, artist and date unknown (photograph by Frank McGregor, from the original in the Christchurch Technical Institute)

Painting of Mangamaunu, artist and date unknown (photograph by Frank McGregor, from the original in the Christchurch Technical Institute)

page 81

facing p. 81

The house the Lawsons lived in (photograph by Barry Yelverton, date unknown but probably between 1920 and 1940)

The house the Lawsons lived in (photograph by Barry Yelverton, date unknown but probably between 1920 and 1940)

page 81

facing p. 81

The house the Lawsons lived in (photograph by Barry Yelverton, date unknown but probably between 1920 and 1940)

The house the Lawsons lived in (photograph by Barry Yelverton, date unknown but probably between 1920 and 1940)

This photograph as reproduced in 1968 (and here) is a mirror image. Right should be left, and left right. In the right background of the photograph as reproduced here can be seen the chimney of the school destroyed by fire in 1922.

page 121

page 121

16, and to Habens about 17, and in his Autobiography, 'about 20 a [s] big as I am'. His last guess is the more accurate. Kaikoura parish baptismal records, so far as any contemporary records can be trusted in such a matter, give her year of birth as 1876. As Mere Ratima she is on Stack's list, made in December 1877, of children likely to attend school-which would make her (since the school wasn't yet built and children started attending when they were 3 or 4) about 2. She would have been about 6 or 7 at the time of her mother's death. She was baptised on Boxing Day, 1886 as Mere Ratima, daughter of Ratima Waruhe and Herina Haura, and her sponsor was Martha Taki. A sister, Josephine Ratima, was baptised the same day, with the same sponsor, and most probably wrongly, the same year of birth. I can find no other reference to Josephine and suspect she may be the same as Para or Parahi who at the end of 1885 won a scholarship entitling her to secondary education at Napier. (A separate entry in the baptismal register of Josephine Ratima on the same day and with the same year of birth as Mary must be seen as a mistake. Josephine was in fact Mary's second baptismal name.) Another Jacob who enrolled at the school in its first year was Para or Parahi who at the end of 1885 won a scholarship entitling her to secondary education at Napier. But in fact she was Mary's cousin, shown on Stack's list as daughter of Ratima's brother Reweti (or Tereweti) Ihaia. Parahi Jacob was one of Danaher's better pupils, gaining full or nearly full marks at every examination. Assuming she was 13 or 14 when she passed Standard IV (the average age for this pass for Maori pupils in 1894 was 13 years 6 months)3 she would have been born 1871- 2, and so would have been 10 to 12 at the time of the murder.

Ratima had five children.4 It is possible from school records to give an account of the rest of the family. The name Annie Jacob appears on the examination schedules 1881-3. She did not do well and was sick or absent during two of the examinations. She enrolled a year after Mary and Para and left school before them, so that it is impossible to tell whether she was younger or older. I suspect she might have been the 'sick sister' of Lawson's story and the sick woman Bertha attended and called 'Mrs Jacobs'.

A brother John was as distinguished at school as Parahi and won a scholarship that took him to Te Aute College in 1887. A descendant by adoption of Ratima's remembers him as Jack Tuha Jacob and he was commonly known too as Hoani Terewiti Jacob and it is necessary not to confuse him with his cousin Hoani Terewiti Jacob, brother of Parahi; he can be recognised on Stack's 1877 list as Tuwhaitauira Ratima. Te Aute College records show his birthday as 20 June 1874; if correct, he was 8 at the time of the murder. He was possibly the Teoni (Johnnie) Ihaia, using his grandfather's name, who signed the 1894 petition; and as Terewiti Ihaia John Jacobs he was on the school com- page 122 page 122 mittee in 1898 and probably in Lawson's year too (for which there is no inspector's report). He would be the model of the 'brother or someone' that Lawson's fictional teacher took the shotgun to.

The age of another member of the family can be calculated from her death certificate. Elizabeth or Irihapeti who started at the end of 1887 must have been 9 or 10 at the time, though the reason for her late enrolment can only be a matter for speculation. She was also known as Maud.

The fifth member of the family provided Lawson with a suggestion for the fictional name he gave Mary-'August'. Her name was Oketopa or October Okeroa playfully known as Oketopa or October, by which name she appears on examination schedules. She began school in 1885 and since she could have started as young as 3, she was probably born 1880-1 and would have been between 1 and 3 years when she was orphaned. The petition of 1894 lists her as still of school age but though she might have been at school in Lawson's time her name does not appear on examination schedules after the school closed in 1889 (there was none for Lawson's year). Either Para or Annie was also known as Maud

During Steel's time the spelling 'Jacobs' first appears. Two 'Jacobs' children can be ruled out by age. There was an Elizabeth or Irihapeti who started at the end of 1887 and might have been a daughter of Ratima's brother Karipa who married in 1881. Another of that name can be ruled out by age. A John 'Jacobs' who began school at the age of 2 or 3 in 1894 must have been a son of John Terewiti Jacob, returned from Te Aute. He was at school in Lawson's time.

This then was the family of Ratima and Erina when Erina was murdered on 26 January 1883: Parahi of 10 to 12, Elizabeth of 9 or 10, Annie of unknown age, John of 8 to 9, Mere of 6 to 7, and Oketopa Okeroa of about 3. Lawson's account of the tragedy, depending on gossip fourteen years afterwards, in inaccurate. From the judge's report and the press report of the trial, the evidence was as follows: Ratima and Erina, according to Eliza Poharama, 'had never been good together.… He was always quarrelling with his wife, and she quarrelling with him'.6In the week before the murder the runanga had met to consider a charge of adultery between Erina and Ratima's brother Karipa. Ihaia te Awanui presided, and Paratene was 'the magistrate'.7 Karipa was ordered to pay a fine but refused and said they could take everything off his back. The trial finished about midnight, but they stayed talking till dawn. Erina refused to go home with Ratima and said she was not afraid of death. According to Ihaia te Awanui, Erina had already been before the runanga twice and Karipa once. On the day of the murder Ratima and Erina were seen talking near their house from morning to noon, he was 'jawing, jawing all the time, and slapping her page 123 page 123 face'.8 At lunch-time Danaher saw Ratima dragging his wife by the hand and intervened; Ratima, grey-faced with emotion, told him she had annoyed him again and had been a bad woman a second time. Danaher advised him to calm himself and went home for lunch. When he got home there was an immediate outcry that Erina was dead and he rode back to the kainga. Ratima had stabbed her five times in the neck with a hunting-knife. When he saw Ihaia te Awanui and Paratene coming he covered her body with a blanket. Danaher found the women washing her wounds. Asked why he had done it, Ratima said 'Ko ahau te utu', interpreted in the court as 'I shall be punished for it'. When the Kaikoura constable came at 3 p.m. Ratima sat quietly waiting to be arrested.

Ratima was found guilty after a jury retirement of 28 minutes; but the jury added a recommendation of mercy: in view of his wife's infidelity, 'we trust the term will not be a life one.'9 The judge sentenced him to death, but recommended that the sentence be commuted to penal servitude for life, and at the concurrence of the Minister of Justice and the Colonial Secretary, the Governor formally commuted the sentence.

Three years later Mu Wahaaruhe who was Ratima's uncle, wrote to T. W. Lewis, Under-secretary to the Native Office, enquiring about the possibility of Ratima's release for good behaviour; but the reply was negative.10 Mrs Walsh thought he saved the life of a warder in gaol, but such an action would normally have been mentioned in the Department of Justice Annual Reports and there is no such mention.11 Yet he was in fact released, according to Lawson, shortly before June 1897, though he was not living in Mangamaunu. Nothing can be known of the circumstances and date of his release, which would have been recorded in the journals or logbooks of Lyttelton Prison, since they cannot be located.12Mrs Walsh thought he was released on parole and married a woman from Kaiapoi or Little River who had a son by a previous marriage; this son was adopted and took the name of Jacob.

By the murder the children not only suffered the shock of losing their mother; they lost their father too. In a community of about eighty living in small huts, and with many of the men absent on seasonal work, there was no permanent provision for them. Pope noted in his report of 26 February 1883:

page 125

page 125

The fact that it was Martha Taki who sponsored the baptism of Mere and Josephine in 1886 and that theirher grandfather Ihaia Wahaaruhe was not himself baptised till eight months later, suggests that Ihaia was no longer their guardian and that Martha Taki was. The fact that the runanga decided in February 1886 that Para Jacob and Emilia Taki should decline the scholarships entitling them to secondary education since they were needed to help in 'household duties' suggests that Mrs Taki had a good reason for needing help, as she would have done if she were rearing two families.19

Lawson might well have feared Mary with her 'eyes like a hawk' watching for his mistakes in arithmetic: she had had over nine years longer at school than he had, though she had not made much use of them. She enrolled when the school opened and for her first three examinations she got no marks at all. In February 1884, like the two other Jacob children at school, she was given full marks (and passed Standard I) — presumably a charity pass, since they had influenza at the time. It took her a further two years to pass Standard II. When at the end of 1888 (under Beck) she failed, Kirk named her as one of those 'of good working age' who had 'attended well on the whole' who should have passed. She must have been thought too old to be listed in the 1894 petition (she would have been 17 or 18); but she re-enrolled when the school reopened. That this is not another girl called Mary Jacob is evident first from Lawson's guess at her age, and second, from her being credited on the examination schedule, December 1894, with having spent '36 months' at school. This is wrong and may be all that Steel could make of her answers to his inquiries; but there had not been any other Mary Jacob at the school when it closed in 1890. At the end of that year, aged about 20, she passed Standard II. Presumably, since according to Bertha she was considered strange and moody, she was sent to school for something to do.

It was possible under the Native Schools Code for teachers to take Maori girls to board with them, with the object of teaching them European house-keeping. For this they could claim £2 for every three months the girl stayed with them. It was specifically provided that such girls 'shall be treated as

page 157 page 157

one of your pupils—is married. William Barnett, commonly known as Billy Barnett, remembers you well. I am living in the queer little school-house. It has lately been mended & additions, much needed, have been made. The tiny garden is gay with flowers & great cairns are in different parts of the large play-ground. They were built years ago with the loose stones which used to lie around.

The mountains are still fairly well covered with snow. We have some gorgeous sunsets and during the last fortnight we have had forty earthquakes, great & small.

The Hapuku river is still unbridged & is swift & deep at times.

I do not quite know how to address this but send it to the "Bulletin" office, hoping that it may reach you, also that you will not think me impertinent in bringing this out-of-the-world place to your mind again.2

One cannot know if Lawson recognised how much of this sad news concerned Ratima's children, Mrs Walsh recalled that Maraia Poharama had married Harry Jacob, Ratima's adopted son. She recalled that Okeor perhaps Maud-Jacob had married Harry Norton, who had lost four children, and that Mary Jacob had married Wi Poharama, who had lost one and had three ill.*

Lawson at this time was a lonely and dispirited man, who had been imprisoned more than once for defaults in maintenance and tended to brood on his wrongs, to see himself (as he put it seven years later in a letter to George Robertson) as 'a good, kind, proud husband and father & a generous friend-a cruelly wronged and innocent man'.3 As a writer he felt he had exhausted his subject:

Has Beens we who fight the cheerful jim-jams of the Written Out.4

He welcomed Mrs Moss's letter and was disposed to reconsider his memories of Mangamaunu. In an undated letter to Robertson apologising for an incident at his shop of the previous Tuesday, he wrote as an afterthought: 'Had a letter from my Maoris will send you a copy'. The letter ends: 'Will see you Monday 26th December'. The only years in which 26

* Records of Maori births, deaths, and marriages for this time are incomplete, and of Mrs Walsh's memories only not only that concerning Maraia Poharama and Harry Jacob can be confirmed by the Registrar-General's office. I have been able to confirm the other memories of Mrs Walsh from death certificates at the Registrar- General's office. It was Maud (or Irihapeti) who married Harry (or Rihari) Norton. Her death certificate, dated 1952, shows that she had made an earlier marriage to Lawson's shooting companion Bob (or Ropata) Poharama, who had presumably died. (According to Syd Cormack the Poharama family were subject to tuberculosis and in 1968 there were few survivors.)

page 167 page 167

tion is quite well known, as also is the fact that he wrote verse. Evidently too he was fond of sport but I have come across no reminiscences of him and there are no records of him in the district.… I have been told that Mrs Lawson was here and a child was born in the district but this information is by no means reliable.25

Harry Jacob was the adopted son of Ratima's second marriage, and was not taught by Lawson. His son was unable to give me more information than that he had heard his mother say that Lawson taught at the school. Mary Jacob I am told, died years ago, though I have not been able to trace the entry of her death; (as Mary Josephine Poharama Waruhe) died in Kaikoura Public Hospital in 1945, her age given as 70. Ratima had died in 1929 in the same hospital, as Ratima Ihaia Waruhe, aged 77. Maraia Poharama (Mrs Harry Jacob) died of tuberculosis in 1939. I have not found any surviving ex-pupils besides Mrs Walsh.

There are few Maoris living at Mangamaunu now and none at the old kainga. The Maori community began to break up in the 1930s; railway construction camps in the district after 1936 hastened its disintegration.26 J. M. Sherrard, visiting the site of the village in 1965, found no remains of the settlement on the flat; the huts of the old settlement on the terrace were in disrepair with sheep wandering through them; the church had several holes in the walls and sheep had fouled the floor. The old teacher's residence, extended and altered, still stands; it was occupied till his death in 1959 by Hoani Terewiti Jacob, son of Ratima and brother of Mary Jacob, and model of the 'brother or someone' that Lawson's teacher once chased away from it. nephew of Ratima and cousin of Mary Jacob.

1993 footnote: The teacher's residence was vacant when I visited it in 1970, standing in waist-high cocksfoot. The residence had been considerably altered and expanded since Lawson's day, and was last occupied by a family of milk suppliers. Two or three years later I learned from a member of the Kaikoura Historical Society that it had been used as a refuge by surfies from the neighbouring Hapuku beach and vandalised and burned down. In the late 1970's the area was visited by the Australian historian Manning Clark, for whom I provided a sketch map. I do not know it he left any record of his visit.

page 180 page 180

Appendix II
Lawson's Visits to New Zealand

Lawson made two earlier visits to New Zealand. Not much is known about the second; but a summary of the first, based mainly on published sources, is appropriate. The main sources are Tom L. Mills's two articles, Anthony Cashion's article in Henry Lawson by his Mates, and Lawson's 'Pursuing Literature in Australia', his four letters to Jack Louisson and one to Emma Brooks.* Little is added by an article by Charles Wilson in the Lyttelton Times, 9September 1922. Colin Roderick has added further details in his two essays, in Overland,Spring 1957, and the Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society,June 1967; and an account of the visit is given by Denton Prout in his biography.

Driven by economic depression in Australia in 1893, Lawson sought the price of a passage to New Zealand and was donated a first-class passage by the Union Steam Ship Company, but he chose to travel steerage. The voyage took eleven or twelve days, and he wrote of it in 'Coming Across', first published in the N.Z. Mail(Wellington), 15 December 1893. H. Roth's statement that he landed in Wellington on the Waihoraon 27 November is backed by a report in Fair Play(Wellington), 2 December, that Lawson had arrived on the previous Monday. This conflicts with Lawson's dating a letter from Wellington to Emma Brooks, '6/11/93', but perhaps the '11' is a mistake for '12'.

Lawson landed at Auckland first, and he visited the Auckland Museum to see Maori carving. He 'could not get a show' of work in Auckland and spent his last pound travelling to Wellington where he was better known, 'old chums at every corner'. He reached Wellington in time to see women vote 'for the first time' on 28 November. When he arrived, according to Colin Roderick, he telegraphed J. F. Archibald, editor of the Bulletin, for money. He slept at least his first two nights in Wellington in sewage pipes which were lying in the recreation ground harbour reclamation area waiting to be installed as part of a municipal drainage system.

A compositor on the N.Z. Times called Talbot told the chief compositor, Tom L. Mills, who asked Talbot to bring Lawson to the news-room. Mills, whose family was away at the time, offered to put Lawson up, and

* I have not seen a letter written from New Zealand to John Le Gay Brereton, in the possession of Mr Harry Chaplin.

H. Roth, Overland, 12, Winter 1958, p. 11; Henry Lawson to Emma Brooks, Mitchell Library A1 29/-2.