WHAT event in the history
of a nation is more worthy of notice, nay, of veneration and pride, than
the story of that nation's birth and of the early struggles of the
lion-hearted pilgrim fathers - men and women alike - who did so much
towards placing its affairs on a successful footing?
Their remarkable foresight,
their self-denial, their unwearing labours, and their many heart-breaking
difficulties, successfully overcome, demand some hearty recognition at the
hands of those who have reaped, and are still reaping, the benefits. It is
to their forefathers and their deeds that all canons and peoples point
with pride, and what more fitting than that the young Outagans should do
the same? Can there in history be found a nobler story of the beginning,
and ultimate success of a people, than the story of Otago and its
founders? In the opinion of the compiler of this account there cannot, and
future generations may point with pride to the early pioneers of Otago,
who. to their everlasting honour be it said, were men and women of the
right stamp, worthy representatives of those who have always led the van
of Britain's march of empire round the world.
It is with the object of
placing on record a short account - history it cannot be called - of the
settlement of the Province, dealing more especially with the Clutha
District and its pioneer settlers, that this sketch is published.
In dealing with the
subject, it is absolutely necessary to exclude a great deal of interesting
matter, which would be included if a history of the Province were being
treated upon. Lest much disappointment should arise by this omission,
short chapters, explanatory of the initial steps taken by the original
founders of the Province and of their development, will be added, as well
as an outline of the settlement of Dunedin, and of the country between
Dunedin and the Clutha.
The compiler desires to
record his hearty thanks for assistance and information received from
early settlers and their descendants. from the newspaper Press, and from
authors of accounts already published. Many publications have been put
under contribution, and their information has been largely used.