On 17 September 1848 Henry Chapman wrote from Wellington to his father in London, and noted Edward Eyre's failed attempt to take a daguerreotype of Eliza Grey, the wife of Governor George Grey, on the verandah of Government House in Wellington. This is the first surviving recorded instance of an attempt to make a daguerreotype in New Zealand. The relevant section of the letter reads:
On Wednesday Eyre who is an amateur Daguerreotypist took portraits of Mrs Grey black and unlike because they were taken under the verandah of Government house with insufficient light. When his aparatus is in order I shall try and get him to take one of Kate [Chapman's wife] to send you.
Using this item
Alexander Turnbull Library, Chapman Family Papers
Reference: MS-Papers-0053-11C (no. 11, 17 September 1848)
Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand, Te Puna Mātauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image.