Object #1002169 from MS-Papers-0032-0826

4 pages written 12 Aug 1850 by Sir Donald McLean in Wanganui District to Susan Douglas 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.

Download alow-resolution PDF or high-resolution PDF

Page 1 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Whanganui
12 August 1850


My dear Susan

After returning from my river excursion I was delighted at having a letter from Papa and you, especially as Mrs Kelham deprived me of one by the previous mail.

The morning after I returned from Rangitikei from which place I wrote you two letters although you only acknowledged one, I started up the river in a fine large canoe with a crew of 16 men besides Mr Park and some chiefs. Two days and a half brought us to Pukehika where there was a large feast with 1500 natives assembled. Our share amounted to a ton of kumeras besides pigs, potatoes, birds preserved in their own fat, and a variety of other produce, so that independent of our own ample supplies we could not starve

Page 2 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

under these favourable circumstances. There was no occasion for my considerate young girl to indulge in such foolish apprehension of danger. I send you a rough sketch of canoeing by which you will see how comfortably I am sitting in the stern of the middle canoe with Capt Campbell facing me wearing wearing his broad Kilmarnock, and Mr Park taking his observations in the last canoe as quietly as if he was sitting in a drawing room, in fact during fine weather these excursions are so agreeable that the most delicate ladies would enjoy them. Take care of the sketch for me like a good girl as I intend to have it properly finished and copied.

I am very much vexed at Mamma's annoyance owing to the unfortunate matter of her cousin (of whom she was so fond) has made. No doubt she would be an excellent companion for Mamma in New Zealand as it would drive all ideas of her going

Page 3 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

home from her head but don't you think it would be a very melancholy thing if her coming out here should cause a separation from her husband as they may yet, unless he is a most vicious abandoned character, be reconciled.

It is 2 am, a late hour to be writing in a clergyman's house. I came over here to spend a few days before I leave for Rangitikei when the bell rings at 7 in the morning to rouse us up for prayers and breakfast which are over by 8. I always think of you conjecturing whether you are continuing your excellent resolution of early rising which I confess I find some difficulty in accomplishing unless I go early to bed.

In a few days I expect to hear of you from Mr McDonell who recently dined with you at Dalmuir. I intended fully to have written to Mamma by this opportunity. Will you apologise and give her my kindest regards. Tell her that I feel very sorry for the

Page 4 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

the misfortune that has attended her cousin.

When am I to be favoured with a knowledge of the books with which you amuse yourself? I wish I had the opportunity to read that you have as you seem from the severity of the weather which is rather broken here also at present to confine yourself pretty much to the house.

Really puss I must ask you to forgive a short letter tonight as I have only finished some despatches and a long letter to Dr M'Leod of Glasgow, portions of which he may probably publish when he receives it. I feel the want of a clerk very much. Good night or rather morning and believe me to always to remain


My dear Douglas
Yours affectionately
Donald McLean

English (MD)

Whanganui
12 August 1850


My dear Susan

After returning from my river excursion I was delighted at having a letter from Papa and you, especially as Mrs Kelham deprived me of one by the previous mail.

The morning after I returned from Rangitikei from which place I wrote you two letters although you only acknowledged one, I started up the river in a fine large canoe with a crew of 16 men besides Mr Park and some chiefs. Two days and a half brought us to Pukehika where there was a large feast with 1500 natives assembled. Our share amounted to a ton of kumeras besides pigs, potatoes, birds preserved in their own fat, and a variety of other produce, so that independent of our own ample supplies we could not starve under these favourable circumstances. There was no occasion for my considerate young girl to indulge in such foolish apprehension of danger. I send you a rough sketch of canoeing by which you will see how comfortably I am sitting in the stern of the middle canoe with Capt Campbell facing me wearing wearing his broad Kilmarnock, and Mr Park taking his observations in the last canoe as quietly as if he was sitting in a drawing room, in fact during fine weather these excursions are so agreeable that the most delicate ladies would enjoy them. Take care of the sketch for me like a good girl as I intend to have it properly finished and copied.

I am very much vexed at Mamma's annoyance owing to the unfortunate matter of her cousin (of whom she was so fond) has made. No doubt she would be an excellent companion for Mamma in New Zealand as it would drive all ideas of her going home from her head but don't you think it would be a very melancholy thing if her coming out here should cause a separation from her husband as they may yet, unless he is a most vicious abandoned character, be reconciled.

It is 2 am, a late hour to be writing in a clergyman's house. I came over here to spend a few days before I leave for Rangitikei when the bell rings at 7 in the morning to rouse us up for prayers and breakfast which are over by 8. I always think of you conjecturing whether you are continuing your excellent resolution of early rising which I confess I find some difficulty in accomplishing unless I go early to bed.

In a few days I expect to hear of you from Mr McDonell who recently dined with you at Dalmuir. I intended fully to have written to Mamma by this opportunity. Will you apologise and give her my kindest regards. Tell her that I feel very sorry for the the misfortune that has attended her cousin.

When am I to be favoured with a knowledge of the books with which you amuse yourself? I wish I had the opportunity to read that you have as you seem from the severity of the weather which is rather broken here also at present to confine yourself pretty much to the house.

Really puss I must ask you to forgive a short letter tonight as I have only finished some despatches and a long letter to Dr M'Leod of Glasgow, portions of which he may probably publish when he receives it. I feel the want of a clerk very much. Good night or rather morning and believe me to always to remain


My dear Douglas
Yours affectionately
Donald McLean

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)

Usage: You can search, browse, print and download items from this website for research and personal study. You are welcome to reproduce the above image(s) on your blog or another website, but please maintain the integrity of the image (i.e. don't crop, recolour or overprint it), reproduce the image's caption information and link back to here (http://mp.natlib.govt.nz/detail/?id=1002169). If you would like to use the above image(s) in a different way (e.g. in a print publication), or use the transcription or translation, permission must be obtained. More information about copyright and usage can be found on the Copyright and Usage page of the NLNZ web site.

External Links:
View Full Descriptive Record in TAPUHI

Leave a comment

This function is coming soon.

Latest comments