Misappropriation of Maori land

Destruction by fire of the railway station at Mataura on May 11. The stationmaster's residence...
Destruction by fire of the railway station at Mataura on May 11. The stationmaster's residence narrowly escaped. — Otago Witness, 18.5.20.
The explanation of how Princes Street comes to be so wide in all its southern part though no doubt well enough known to the elder generation will yet come as something of a shock to many present-day residents.

The story was referred to at the Museum last night by Dr Fulton at the outset of his vivid and informative historical lecture on the Maori wars. He described the incident as an extraordinary breach of faith on the part of the founders of the province which might easily have plunged us into bloodshed and massacre. "The deliberate misappropriation of the Maori reserve in Princes Street," he said, "with all rents and appurtenances thereto, of value very considerable in the fifties and hardly calculable at the present day is now a matter of ancient history. To begin with, distinct guarantee was given by the original purchasers of the Otago block to the Otakou tribes that reserve would be set apart for them for all time giving them access to the front of the settlement for their boats, and Crown grant was made out to the Maoris by the then Governor Gore Browne in 1853 giving them this reserve of the water front from about Jetty street as far north as Manor place. The letting of this reserve to various tenants in quite illegal way, the accumulation and retention of all rents accruing, and finally deliberate provincial legislation ignoring the promise and grant and transferring the reserve through another grant to the Superintendent in 1866, absolutely breaking the white man's word — all this makes one realise that but for certain: conditions of climate and consequent very sparse settlement of Natives of comparatively placid type the Otakou people might have paid very dearly for this possibly expedient but foolish and wrongful act." Dr Fulton explained that part of this stolen reserve was used for widening Princes Street, and proceeded to illustrate from North Island history the terrible retribution that overtook similar breaches of faith up there.

Important local Maori artefacts

The most important recent addition to the ethnographic collections of the Otago University Museum is the collection of Maori artefacts from Otago beaches, presented, by Mr J. W. Murdoch. It includes 103 pieces in greenstone, 84 pieces in stone of other kinds, and 195 pieces in bone, shell, and whale ivory. Its value, which is considerable from any point of view, is greatly enhanced by the fact that the locality of every article is recorded. The part claiming most attention is the greenstone section, much of which was collected by Mr Murdoch at Murdering Beach when that famous hunting ground was first being explored. The most notable part of the bone and ivory section is the trio of beautiful pendants from Stewart Island.

Racism rife in Louisiana

Typically American: Because a juryman failed to agree to a verdict of guilty in the case of Alvin Calhoun, a negro alleged to have confessed to the murder of N. E. Arnold, young white farmer of Talluah, Louisiana, a mob publicly whipped the recalcitrant juror and dipped him in a mud-hole. After the chastisement the mud-covered juryman returned to the jury room and agreed to verdict of murder in the first degree. He was then ordered by a delegation of citizens to leave the town. — ODT, 12.5.20


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