Object #1000776 from MS-Papers-0032-0826

6 pages written 16 Aug 1850 by Susan Douglas McLean in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward and outward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0826 (43 digitised items). Mainly letters between Susan Strang and her future husband Donald McLean. Includes a letter from her mother Susannah Strang to McLean, 1849; letter from E Shand to Susan Strang, written from Portobello, 1850 in which she gives her impressions of Dunedin

A transcription/translation of this document (by MD) appears below.

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English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
August 16th 1850


My dear Mr McLean

I was delighted to receive your letter this afternoon although I was rather disappointed that you do not say when I may expect to see you. On Tuesday next it will be two months since you left and that was the time you said you would be away. I really cannot allow you to stay much longer. You must come in if it were only for a week. You must obey me sometimes. I am always so obedient to you. I was at a dance last night at Government House and I enjoyed myself very much. I cannot understand why some people say that Mrs Eyre's parties are dull. The

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English (MD)

party last night was quite the reverse. I have not been at one so pleasant for a long time. There were only eight ladies as several were prevented from going by the badness of the night. There were I think about twenty gentlemen. I often wished during the evening that you had been there for I am sure it was a party you would have liked and I would have enjoyed it much more. I was also at a large dinner party at Captain Sharp's on Tuesday last but it was very dull. Mr & Mrs Ross were the only cheerful people there. Mrs Johnstone was there and she is in general very lively but that day I believe she was unwell and she seemed in very low spirits. After tea we danced a little but as none of the gentlemen were dancers it was given up soon. I always have disliked dinner parties and I would have been

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English (MD)

delighted if I could have found a good excuse for not going to Mrs Sharp's but as none was to be found I was obliged to go or I would have given offence.

I am sorry to say that Mama has not been well for the last fortnight and although we have had a good deal of fine weather I have only been able to persuade her to go out once when she went to see Mrs Ross. She also went to church last Sunday but I do not call that a walk it is so near. I wish I could prevail on her to go out more. She will never be well till she does. The Doctor has often told her so. Mama sends her kindest regards and she will be happy to hear from you at your convenience. She wishes to send home some native curiosities to her friends and if you could without any trouble or expense get some for her she would feel very much obliged. Did Mama ever tell you that she sent

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English (MD)

home a box containing native mats, spears and one of those carved greenstones which the natives wear. It was given to her by poor Mr Campbell. They were sent to the care of Mr McFarlane's sister and not one of them reached their intended owners. Mama says that like the rest of the Highlanders they had lifted and appropriated them to their own use but without joking it was too bad. Everything was addressed to our friends. There were also a number of letters. Papa's brother and a nephew were the only persons who got what was sent and I don't think they would had Papa not written to say that the things were under Miss McFarlane's care. My Uncle Edward did all he could to recover them. He even threatened to take them to law. We do not know whether he has done so or not at all events none of our friends have received them. How did you find out that Mr McDonald had seen me. I really

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English (MD)

do think that you have got the second sight but you were mistaken in saying that he dined in our house. It was at Mr Hickson's he met us at dinner. I do not doubt as you seem to know everything about me that you can tell the names of everyone I danced with at Government House.

Perhaps you have heard by this time of a report about me for which I have to thank Mrs Kelham for being the author. She was going to send to Sydney for some things for herself and I asked her if she would at the same time send for a one of those large combs which are worn now and a bonnet of a description which is not to be got here. The very next day Mrs Kelham told to a great number of ladies that she had sent for my wedding bonnet. It was very annoying. I could not have believed she would have said such a thing but I think it is better to take no notice of it. It

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English (MD)

[is the] only way to stop that foolish gossip. You appear very anxious to hear what books I read. I am reading now Rollin's 'Ancient History' which I like very much. Is this information sufficient to satisfy you? If not let me know what you wish in your next letter. I must now conclude my letter as I am very sleepy. It is now late and I slept very little after my return from the dance so I am sure you will forgive my abrupt conclusion. Do dear try and come in soon. Still I would not like you to neglect your duty for me and if you cannot come in just now without doing so I would not for a moment think of asking you.


Good night my dear Mr McLean
And believe me to remain
Ever your affectionate
Susan Douglas Strang

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
August 16th 1850


My dear Mr McLean

I was delighted to receive your letter this afternoon although I was rather disappointed that you do not say when I may expect to see you. On Tuesday next it will be two months since you left and that was the time you said you would be away. I really cannot allow you to stay much longer. You must come in if it were only for a week. You must obey me sometimes. I am always so obedient to you. I was at a dance last night at Government House and I enjoyed myself very much. I cannot understand why some people say that Mrs Eyre's parties are dull. The party last night was quite the reverse. I have not been at one so pleasant for a long time. There were only eight ladies as several were prevented from going by the badness of the night. There were I think about twenty gentlemen. I often wished during the evening that you had been there for I am sure it was a party you would have liked and I would have enjoyed it much more. I was also at a large dinner party at Captain Sharp's on Tuesday last but it was very dull. Mr & Mrs Ross were the only cheerful people there. Mrs Johnstone was there and she is in general very lively but that day I believe she was unwell and she seemed in very low spirits. After tea we danced a little but as none of the gentlemen were dancers it was given up soon. I always have disliked dinner parties and I would have been delighted if I could have found a good excuse for not going to Mrs Sharp's but as none was to be found I was obliged to go or I would have given offence.

I am sorry to say that Mama has not been well for the last fortnight and although we have had a good deal of fine weather I have only been able to persuade her to go out once when she went to see Mrs Ross. She also went to church last Sunday but I do not call that a walk it is so near. I wish I could prevail on her to go out more. She will never be well till she does. The Doctor has often told her so. Mama sends her kindest regards and she will be happy to hear from you at your convenience. She wishes to send home some native curiosities to her friends and if you could without any trouble or expense get some for her she would feel very much obliged. Did Mama ever tell you that she sent home a box containing native mats, spears and one of those carved greenstones which the natives wear. It was given to her by poor Mr Campbell. They were sent to the care of Mr McFarlane's sister and not one of them reached their intended owners. Mama says that like the rest of the Highlanders they had lifted and appropriated them to their own use but without joking it was too bad. Everything was addressed to our friends. There were also a number of letters. Papa's brother and a nephew were the only persons who got what was sent and I don't think they would had Papa not written to say that the things were under Miss McFarlane's care. My Uncle Edward did all he could to recover them. He even threatened to take them to law. We do not know whether he has done so or not at all events none of our friends have received them. How did you find out that Mr McDonald had seen me. I really do think that you have got the second sight but you were mistaken in saying that he dined in our house. It was at Mr Hickson's he met us at dinner. I do not doubt as you seem to know everything about me that you can tell the names of everyone I danced with at Government House.

Perhaps you have heard by this time of a report about me for which I have to thank Mrs Kelham for being the author. She was going to send to Sydney for some things for herself and I asked her if she would at the same time send for a one of those large combs which are worn now and a bonnet of a description which is not to be got here. The very next day Mrs Kelham told to a great number of ladies that she had sent for my wedding bonnet. It was very annoying. I could not have believed she would have said such a thing but I think it is better to take no notice of it. It [is the] only way to stop that foolish gossip. You appear very anxious to hear what books I read. I am reading now Rollin's 'Ancient History' which I like very much. Is this information sufficient to satisfy you? If not let me know what you wish in your next letter. I must now conclude my letter as I am very sleepy. It is now late and I slept very little after my return from the dance so I am sure you will forgive my abrupt conclusion. Do dear try and come in soon. Still I would not like you to neglect your duty for me and if you cannot come in just now without doing so I would not for a moment think of asking you.


Good night my dear Mr McLean
And believe me to remain
Ever your affectionate
Susan Douglas Strang

Part of:
Inward and outward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0826 (43 digitised items)
Series 9 Inwards family letters, Reference Number Series 9 Inwards family letters (1204 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)

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