Edwin Harris to Donald McLean. New Plymouth, 14 April 1849
New Plymouth, April 14 – 49
Captain King has been so kind as to advance me the nine pounds ten shillings received by you from the Southern Government and he says as there is an account between you & him, you had better, instead of sending it me, keep it yourself and he will place it against your account.
The accounts of mine charged to the Northern province are returned requiring further explanation from you. It remains until your return which I hope will be shortly.
I am not particularly desirous of going to Port Nicholson so that it is just as well that you have no occasion for my services. But if you had I should have felt it a duty to have done so.
I remain Dear Sir
Your obliged Servant,
MS letter to Donald McLean. Written in New Plymouth, NZ, 14 Apr 1849. Turnbull. MS-Papers-0032-0326.
Edwin appears to have carried out survey work 1848-49 for government bodies in Wellington and Auckland. Resident Magistrate Henry King extended his support for Edwin in a letter of 9 May 1849 to William Fox, Acting Principal Agent of the NZ Company, who was visiting New Plymouth: ‘I have just received your letter dated 7th inst requesting that an officer may be appointed on the part of the Local Government to co-operate with Mr W Carrington in carrying out your instructions relative to the re-survey of Native Reserves. In reply I beg to acquaint you that whenever the Resident Agent of the N.Z. Company may require the services of a competent person to assist Mr W. Carrington I will appoint Mr Edwin Harris to that office until I hear further from Auckland.’
Edwin Harris painted Captain King’s residence at Brooklands in 1848 according to a diary entry by New Plymouth collector WH Skinner 9 May 1899. Skinner was purchasing some of Edwin’s work from Emily Harris: ‘Miss Harris of Nelson in to tea and spend evening […] I sold for her to Mr Newton King a nice watercolour of the original homestead at Brooklands done by her father about 1848 price 30/-.’ The watercolour has not been recovered.