“Fritz Reuter” Im 15/186 (Captain Cölln). Ships papers Im 5/4/18 no. 197
LDS Film No. 0472907.
(Left Hamburg, Germany—16/12/1874 arriving at Napier, N.Z.—13/03/1875)
“The Fritz Reuter, from Hamburg, for New Zealand, was passed by the Dragon (steamer), off Borkum, with loss of foreyard and foretop-gallantmast.” Evening Star, 16 February 1875, p 2
“No. 10. His Honor the Superintendent, Hawke’s Bay, to the Hon. the Minister for Immigration. Sir, — Superintendent’s Office, Napier, 9th March, 1875. Referring to former correspondence on the subject of the proposed location of immigrants in the Seventy-Mile Bush, I proposed and you approved the settlement of the Scandinavian immigrants expected by the “Fritz Reuter” on the block situate adjoining the Norsewood settlement taken under the Public Works Act, and gazetted on the 19th November last. It was intended to build cottages on the sections, and to employ the people on the tramway, commencing the work at a point near the proposed settlement, and working each way therefrom. Owing to unforeseen causes, the survey of the tramway has been protracted, and the line in the vicinity of the land for settlement cannot now be determined in time to locate the people on their arrival. The delay in determining the line has also prevented me from making the preparations necessary to locate the expected immigrants, as it was useless getting timber cut in a bush country unless in the immediate vicinity of where it will be required. The “Fritz Reuter” is due in about a fortnight’s time; and as the immigrants coming by her, some 500 souls, are all foreigners, and therefore difficult to place in private employment, I have taken steps to provide for their location in the best way I can devise under the circumstances. I should say that I still propose the people should be employed on the construction of the tramway, the work in connection with which will occupy and support them during the next year. The tramway line is now, I am glad to hear, determined for the first few miles, so that, by arrangement with the Hon. the Minister for Public Works, employment can be found for the people. As, however, this portion of the line is not within reach of the land on which the immigrants are to be located, it is necessary to provide some accommodation for them on their arrival; and considering that the winter season is approaching, I think it will be best to locate them on the tramway line about where it enters the bush. Supplies will be more easily got to them there through the winter than if settled in the heart of the forest, and the men will be within reach of their work. I have therefore ordered from 40,000 to 50,000 feet of timber, suitable for building a number of lean-to sheds, sufficient to shelter the people through the winter. I propose to either supply the immigrants with the timber necessary to build a shelter for themselves, or else build it for them, charging them with the cost of labour and material, and deducting it from their earnings. This will provide for those among the immigrants who may arrive without means. Those who have means can, if they so desire it, at once be put upon land. With the object of attaching the people to the land, I think it would be desirable that forty acres should be allotted to each head of a family who desires it, on terms of deferred payment. It will probably be necessary to have regulations prepared for this, and I think it will be best to simply adopt the same regulations and terms as for the Norsewood settlement. By doing as I have above proposed, the immigrants will have shelter provided for them close to their work for the winter. They will be within reach of their land, and be able to make preparations for occupation, fell a part of bush, &c, and, by the spring, be in a position to go upon their sections. The timber now supplied them will be their own property, and can be removed to their holdings. To enable this plan to be carried out, I am having portions of the block taken for settlement by the Proclamation of the 19th November last surveyed into sections, and now enclose a tracing of the same. This work is nearly completed, so that the land will be ready for apportioning on the. arrival of the immigrants. The cost of the survey will be about £4 10s. to £5 a section. The sections are chiefly laid out abutting on two lines of road (branch roads), which were first carefully laid out, and which connect the present main road through the Seventy-Mile Bush with the tramway line. One of these roads, the one nearest the Mangata-wainui river, has been made out of provincial funds, so that all the sections along it can be occupied at once. The other line I propose to open with the labour of the immigrants, and shall have to expend a portion of the vote for locating immigrants upon the work, unless the Public Works Department can provide for it. That explains, I think, the steps I have taken for providing for the “Fritz Reuter” immigrants. I shall be much obliged if you will be good enough to arrange with the Minister for Public Works for the employment of these people upon the tramway work. 1 should propose that they be employed for the first two weeks at day work, clearing the line, and after that that the work be let out to parties by the piece. It will be necessary to provide for taking the people and their baggage to the Seventy-Mile Bush, and also in some way for rationing them for a short time after their arrival there, during which time they will be occupied in getting up shelter for themselves, and not earning money. I should propose to pay for rations for them for say three weeks, the cost to be repaid and added to the cost of the land. From the experience of the Norsewood and Danevirk settlements, I am sure this is necessary, and that without some provision of the kind no trader would supply them with food. I think I have now stated the principal points that occur to me in connection with this subject, and as the vessel may arrive at any time, I shall be glad if you will inform me, as early as you conveniently can, how far you approve what I propose doing. I need not, I feel sure, press upon you the importance, for the successful carrying out of the Public Works and Immigration scheme, of actual settlement upon land, and I only regret that the urgent demand for labour has prevented more being done in this direction. I have, &c, J. D. Ormond, The Hon. the Minister for Immigration, Wellington. Superintendent.”
“A sailing vessel yesterday sighted a ship off Palliser Bay, the Fritz Reuter, bound for Napier, full of German immigrants. No communication was made with her.” Globe, 11 March 1875, p 2
“The following as a list of the ships, and number of emigrants forwarded to New Zealand by the Agent-General during the month of December: Wellington, for Otago, with 184 souls; Baron Aberdare, for Auckland, 164; Fritz Reuter, (from Hamburg) for Hawke’s Bay; 440; Edwin Fox, for Wellington, 265; Dallam Tower, for Wellington, 310; Fern Glen, for Auckland, 189; Tinoern Abbey, for Canterbury, 318; William Davie; for Otago, 170; Timaru, (from Glasgow, for Otago, 130; total, 2,170.” Wanganui Herald, 15 March 1875, p 2
“We left Hamburg the 25th, of November 1874 with 470 adults on board and soon encountered in the North Sea very heavy weather; we lost our foremast and were obliged to put back to Luxhaven. There all the passengers, who suffered very much during the short trip for the bad weather, it being very cold and damp and wet – the vessel shipping great quantities of water, were at once taken off from board of the ship and lodged comfortably in some dancing saloons. Scarlet fever being in the town, it occurred among the passengers in one family, who was brought in to the town hospital and left behind. The 16th of December we went to sea again, this time with only 371 adults, many having gone home fearing another voyage. Few days after starting scarlet and typhoid fever broke out. There occurred during the voyage 12 cases of scarlet and 25 of typhoid fever; any other infectious diseases we had not; 13 cases of pneumonia were treated – 13 deaths are noticed; 3 adults died of typhoid fever in the beginning of our voyage; 3 children of scarlet; 3 children and 4 infants of pneumonia, bronchitis and diarrhoea. The last death occurred the 20th February when an infant died of bronchitis; 5 cases of birth took place during the passage. C. Utterhart, Surgeon-Superintendent of the “Fritz Reuter”, to the Immigration Officer, Hawkes Bay, Appendix To The Journals Of The House Of Representatives, D-5, 18 March 1875
“INTERPROVINCIAL. Napier, March 18, The immigrants ex the Fritz Reuter were landed to-day in good health. There had been some sickness on the voyage, and thirteen deaths.” Globe, 19 March 1875, p 2
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Pobόg-Jaworowski J. W., History of the Polish Settlers in New Zealand, Warsaw, 1990, pages 12 & 29
Compiled by Paul Klemick (2022)
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