Story: Whanganui tribes

Memorial plaque (2nd of 3)

Memorial plaque

When he visited Whanganui in the 1890s, the American writer Mark Twain was incensed by the text of the memorial. It referred to ‘fanaticism and barbarism’ on the part of the upper river tribes, who opposed European settlement. In Twain in Australia and New Zealand (1897) he wrote: ’Patriotism is Patriotism. Calling it fanaticism cannot degrade it … But the men were worthy. It was no shame to fight them. They fought for their homes, they fought for their country; they bravely fought and bravely fell.’

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Te Ara - The Encyclopedia of New Zealand
Photograph by Jock Phillips

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How to cite this page:

David Young, 'Whanganui tribes - Wars', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, http://www.TeAra.govt.nz/en/photograph/2184/memorial-plaque (accessed 30 September 2020)

Story by David Young, published 8 Feb 2005, updated 22 Mar 2017