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2-215 (Raw)

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author,male,Porter, William,un addressee,male
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Official Correspondence
Porter, 1841
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Mission House, Wellington Valley 
Jan. 21, 1839 
Dear Sir,
The Colonial Government having decided to establish a Town on the Mission Land (as the Surveyor has measured off about 1000 Acres for that purpose.) I beg leave to address the Society, on the supposition of them forming another Mission. I would first just mention that I wrote to the Society in August last. In that letter I made known to them my suspicions that the Colonial Government would eventually take the Land from us. Since the date of my letter the Rev J. Gunther has made some important communications to you respecting the Colonial Government and the Mission which makes it unnecessary for me to write on that subject. I wish to give merely my own thoughts and feelings relating to the removal of the Mission. And I do so with the greater confidence from the liberty given, or rather the wish expressed by the Rev. W. Jowett, in a letter to me dated 17 August last, the receipt of which I have gratefully to acknowledge. That the Mission must be removed is quite certain. It can never be carried on in so close a connection with a Town. 
There are several things to be considered in forming another Mission. First, the Situation. It should be were there is plenty of water and the Land fertile. Also were the Natives are most numerous. Secondly the Land should be a large tract, not less than 5 miles each way from the Mission Station. The Land should also be secured to the Society, for the use of the Mission as long as they should wish to keep it for that purpose. Thirdly, as a Mission amongst the Natives of this Country is attended with so much secular labour it appears necessary that the Society should have a large number of Lay Missionaries to commence another Mission, and avoid the necessity of employing those wretched characters, the convicts of the Colony. But I must again advert to the situation of the supposed Mission. We have thought it advisable that the Mission should be removed down the River if re-established at all. But my opinion is altered on that subject for these reasons. First, unless we removed 60 or 100 Miles; lower down, the Natives are not numerous, and even at that distance they will soon cease to be, if they diminish as they have done in other places. (For it is a remarkable fact that 12 months ago, at a place 30 Miles down the River, the Natives, it is said, were numerous. Now there is scarcely one at that distance. It may be asked, what is the cause? I think it to be this. The great increase of population enables the Settlers to extend their Cattle and Sheep Stations farther every year: wherever they locate themselves they drive away the Kangaroos and Opossums, on which the Natives chiefly subsist. The Natives must therefore either pine away and die or else move into the interior. My other reason is this: The great additional expense of obtaining our Supplies from Sydney. 
If I may be allowed to give my opinion respecting the situation of another Mission. I should propose it being a few Miles from the sea shore in an unlocated country, either in the South between Port Phillip and South Australia, or on the East side of this Country, a little to the Northward of Moreton Bay. At the latter Place there is a Mission established under the auspices of Dr Lang of the Scots Church in this Colony. The Land to the South is most suitable for Agriculture. And again unlikely to be soon located. The Natives are every where [NN] Mission on the seacoast. 
I wish now, dear sir, to write a little concerning myself. It was the wishes of the Society before I left England that I should take a Partner with me in my Missionary labours. They may recollect that the only obstacle to my doing so then was the opposition of the Parent to her daughter leaving her Native land. I can with confidence now inform the Society that that obstacle is removed. I have therefore humbly to request the Society to allow me to return to England, for the purpose of obtaining a Partner, previous to their forming a new Mission, should they do so at all in this Colony. For if I must continue to be Agriculturist to the Mission, it is highly desirable that I should be a married man. 
Should the Society, dear sir, not establish another Mission in this Colony, I expect they will send me to some other Mission. In the event of this I have two things to request of the Society if they are agreeable to their own views. The one is, that my labours, may be of a more spiritual kind than those I am at present engaged in. The other that I may have a more complete education, to enable me to perform such labours with greater efficiency. 
There is another subject, dear sir, which I cannot pass over, though I mention it with the greatest reluctance. Ever since I have been here 
I have had to witness very unhappy discussions between Messrs Watson and Gunther. Though it is my wish as well as my duty to think and speak charitably of all, yet in the present occasion I cannot forbear to express my falling somewhat strongly against the Rev W. Watson yet I grieve over it as I write it. I can never join in any other Mission of which he is one of the members. His unhappy temper makes every other fellow labourer miserable. All is division and disunion. No brotherly Love, that blessed grace, so highly valued by our Lord and Master. Unless there is a great alteration, I cannot stay, should the Mission continue some considerable time longer. 
In conclusion, dear sir, I beg leave to add that my wish is to live and die a Missionary. I have undergone no change from my six months' trial and disappointment at Wellington Valley; on the contrary they have increased. I long, I desire, I pray that I may be engaged in a field of more spiritual and less temporal employment. I thank my heavenly Father that I can look upon the World and the things of the World 
[Next section virtually illegible] 
. . . pray of my Brother Missionaries . . . for the World, allowing their affections to be fixed on the things of . . . I can lift up my heart to the . . . 
. . .that he had hitherto preserved me from such circumstances. 
Waiting an answer at your convenience. 
I remain dear sir 
Your humble Servant in the Lord 
William Porter,