Letters to P.E.I. - Lemuel Bagnall en route to New Zealand to John C. Clarke, Cavendish, March 19th, 1864

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Transcribed by Anne Brooks, [email protected]

In the 1850's, The Agent for New Zealand in Prince Edward Island made an offer to Islanders as follows: "Land Orders to all Persons of Good Character and Sober Steady Habits who will emigrate at their own Cost from this Island to Aukland". Unused land in New Zealand had been purchased from the Maori natives by the N.Z. Government for this settlement, and all over the age of 18 who settled would receive 40 acres of land by paying 10 pounds to the agent. If applied for by a Parent or Guardian, children would receive 20 acres. To understand why people took advantage of this offer, one has to understand the political climate of the mid 18th century here on P.E.I. Land was a major issue, as much of it was in tenures, and held by landlords, making it difficult for the young to obtain land. There was also the lure of the adventure of going off to far exotic places.

"The Islander" of 11 Dec 1863 wrote: "The new brig PAKEHA, Capt.(Alex.)Campbell, from this port(C'town)lies at the Three Tides awaiting a favourable opportunity to sail. She has on board as passengers bound for that distant country (New Zealand).

The New Zealand Herald said of the arrival, "They sailed from P.E.I. 12-23-1863, crossed the line 1-24-1864, and went into the Cape of Good Hope on 3-6-1864. She left there on the 24th and passed through the Bass Straits on May 12 of this year. The Three Kings were made on the 13th, and she had light winds from there. It was the Brig "Pakeha" of 173 tonnes, Capt. Alexander Campbell, arrived in New Zealand 5-26-1864."

On the vessel, amongst others were George Bagnal, Martha, Lemuel J., Sarah M., William H., Albert E., George E., Richard W., Elizabeth F., Horatio N., Margaret A., and Charles Bagnal.

A compiled passenger list of those on the voyage is available on the Island Register at: https://www.islandregister.com/pakeha.html

See also related letter: Sarah BAGNALL, nee WALLACE Pakeha off, Cape Town to Mrs. Donald CRAWFORD, New Glasgow, March 18, 1864

Paper written by Margaret Bagnall regarding the Bagnalls resettling to New Zealand in 1864

Paper Regarding Islanders Resettling to New Zealand in 1858

From: Bagnall, Margaret. Memories, 1936. Auckland War Memorial Museum Library. MS 855.

Brig "Pakeha" Cape Town
Cape Good Hope, Africa
March 19th 1864

Dear John,

The Brig is being prepared for the rest of her voyage, while I sit here trying to collect a few ideas to transmit to you, 5 caulkers are hammering away above my head making such a noise so that it is almost impossible to write. You will understand by this that the deck is being caulked, so much hot sun as we had made the plank shrink a great deal. The bottom of the vessel which caused alarm on account of leaking has become quite tight.

You will, of course, be expecting to hear something about what kind of a passage we had. Well, on the 22nd day of Dec. we sailed out of Canso with a pleasant breeze, on the 24th a heavy blow commenced which lasted thee days. This was the only storm we had. We then went nicely along and in 17 days sighted one of the Cape Verde Islands, and in a few days more were within a few degrees of the "line" (3 degrees I think). We were then becalmed for nearly a fortnight, during which time we made little or nothing. After crossing the line we had a succession of head-winds and calms which tended to lengthen our passage very much. On the 2nd of March we sighted land some two degrees North of Cape Town, and after beating about for four days sailed beautifully into Table Bay on the morning of the 6th, and dropped anchor off the pretty town called Cape Town.

The anchor was not rightly down before the vessel was almost covered with agents, Malays, and boatmen, some wanting a job to sell the cargo, some to put the passengers ashore for an enormous sum, some with a boat-load of grapes and fruits of different kinds to sell. A person will get as many grapes as he can eat for 3d. On the whole we had a pleasant passage, no sickness of any account, nor was the heat so oppressive as was expected from the accounts we received, not half as bad as the cold on P.E. Island.

Mr. Bell was sadly disappointed in the sale of his cargo, the potatoes rotted considerably, the price is very low. There is heavy duty also, which amounted to �20 between boating and duty on 20 barrels. They were taken to the parade and offered at auction, three shillings only were offered per barrel. This would not suit so they were stored till next auction day, then after having them all picked over, they were only offered 4/-, so I guess there will not much go to the profit column. The pork, oats and oatmeal, it is concluded, are to go to New Zealand.

We have been informed that the war in New Zealand is about over, and that there are good times there. Hundreds of people here want to go to New Zealand, about 10 more are going in the "Pakeha".

I expect we will sail on the 21st, and a more boisterous passage is expected between here and Auckland than we had to this place. We will be more crowded on account of having more passengers, which will not be very pleasant, as we were crowded enough before.

Father found a five shilling Island bill in his trunk which he did not know was there, which you will find enclosed.

Before we left Ch.Town Silbie Barnard sold us a few candles which we by some mistake forgot to pay. You will please settle with him, and tell it was a mistake on account of the hurry and bustle we were in. They were five or six pounds, I think.

We are all very well and in good spirits and hope you are all the same. Remember us to all the friends in Cavendish.

I want you on receipt of this to write to us in Auckland, care of Mr. Charles Hazard, don�t forget. Mr. Bell goes with us to New Zealand.

Sarah sends her love to the girls and all the rest of you. Tell Uncle David�s & Henry Simsons we will write them from New Z. Father and Mother and all wish to be remembered to you all,

With best respects,
I remain yours affectionately
Lemuel J. Bagnall

To John C. Clarke
Cavendish, P.E.I.

Copy of original letter and transcription obtained from New Zealand Archives. Bagnall, Dorothy Chadwick: "The Bagnalls of Turua", D.C. Bagnall (ED.), Auckland, 1993, pp. 21-26.

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Last Updated: 10/26/2007 12:56:37 PM
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