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MSS. Brit. Emp. S. 18 / C147-59
17 July 1885
I notice, from a paper, that some mention was made of the visit of the Maori chiefs to England at the annual meeting of the Aborigines Protection Society, and this has led me to write you about an idea I have long entertained, vis: that it would greatly conduce to the preservation of the Maori race if they could be persuaded to wear a sandal, or some sort of sole-covering in winter.
I am a schoolmaster in a country district, and, going to school lately, I could trace the Maoris by the blood on the sharp-cut road-metal. Europeans are protected by leather, but the great majority of the natives go barefoot, and even Whanui, when he visited Auckland with Tawhiao, went about the streets with no covering on either his legs or feet!
If you would send me out a few specimens of sandals, that I daresay could be readily picked up in London, I would try and get them introduced here, and ascertain if they could be manufactured cheaply, so as to be within reach of the native race.
Before I left London in 1865, I called on you, but you will have forgotten me in the multiplicity of calls.
I am Sir
James L. Sinclair
Mr Chesson, London, England