Earliest correspondence

The earliest piece of correspondence held at the Archives is a description by settler, Chauncey Townsend, of his arrival and life in Wellington.

Scan of an old hadwritten paper with a seal

Letter from Chauncey Townsend - 1842 Ref: Wellington City Archives AA001:1:2


A newsy, four-page letter sent to a friend in England in 1842 includes gems of information such as this description of the bird life in Thorndon: "also the green parrot - I have shot hundreds and their feathers my dear Isabella has made into some excellent Pillows".

The letter is cross-hatched - the handwriting goes in both directions on each page - a common practice in the nineteenth century when paper was hard to get.