Object #1002710 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

8 pages written 1852 by Susan Douglas McLean in Wellington to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0828 (82 digitised items). The letters from Donald are written from Porirua Barracks, Otaki, Rangitikei, Waikanae, Wanganui and Taranaki. Susan's letters are addressed from Dalmuir Hill (her parent's home) and Wellington Terrace. Many letters are undated and were written prior to their marriage in Aug 1851. Includes correspondence between Susan McLean and her mother Susan Strang (2 letters, undated); one letter from Helen Anne Wilson to Mrs McLean, 30 August 1852

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

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Page 1 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
Monday night [ca 27 July-2 August 1852]


My own dearest love

I sent off two letters to you this morning and as it is now late and I have a delightful dose of castor oil to take my dear Donald must forgive a very few lines. I have not gone out today but have been working hard with my sewing as I am quite in a fidget lest I do not get it done in time. It is the most tiresome work I ever did in my life. What a little plague it is for giving me so much trouble. I should not be in the least surprised if you hear before you leave Taranaki that you have had a son as it was reported so here a few days ago. Mr St Hill called at the office to enquire how I was and whether it was a son or daughter. I cannot imagine how the report originated,

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English (MD)

although it amused me very much, still I felt quite uneasy lest you should hear before receiving my letters as it was possible you might believe it and make you very uneasy. I was so delighted my darling to hear by a letter from Major Durie that you had arrived at Taranaki on the 16th. I trust I shall hear either by the mail or a vessel this week. It seems so long since I heard from you. Of course I could not expect a letter last mail. I must now say good night. I send a hundred kisses.

Wednesday night
I hope my Donald will not be angry with his pussy for not having written last night but really darling I was so sleepy that I could scarcely keep my eyes open. I called for Mrs Hargreaves yesterday and after that went to see the minister with Mrs Rhatigan. He is much better although he still looks very ill. Ellen Paul came yesterday to stay with me a short time. I trust it will not be long that I shall require any one to keep me from

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English (MD)

wearying as I hope soon to have my darling husband home again. It is eleven months today since we were married. I always think when the 28th of the month comes of our happy wedding day. It was to me the happiest in my life. I trust my darling, if we are spared, to pass eleven years together we may at the end of that time feel the same love for each other that we feel today. I did not go out today as Mrs Kirton spent the forenoon with me. She told me that poor Papa has been telling her to scold me for taking such long walks as he is afraid I will do myself harm. He said he did not care about the baby but he was very anxious about me. Poor Mrs Stokes is still living but her death is expected every moment. She seems quite insensible. I think I told you that I went to see her on Monday morning. I have not gone since as I can do no good to her and may do myself much harm as it is so painful to my feelings to

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English (MD)

see her as it always brings my own loss to my mind. I can scarcely tell if she knew me on Monday as I shall never forget how fondly she kissed me when I was stooping over her to say goodbye. I think she must have known me at that moment. How much I wish darling you had seen [her] before you left. She was so fond of you. I must now conclude for tonight. God bless you my own dearest.

Friday night
I cannot tell you my darling husband how much I felt disappointed when I sent down to the Post Office this afternoon and found that there was no letter for me by the Taranaki mail, and as none has been left at Papa's office I suppose I shall not hear from you for a fortnight unless some vessel comes in. I feel quite uneasy love for I cannot understand why I have not heard if it was true that you arrived at Taranaki on the 16th you had plenty time to write before the mail left. I must not fret, however there may yet be a chance of

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English (MD)

receiving a letter tomorrow which may have come enclosed with other letters. I did not go out yesterday as I was afraid it would rain but Ellen Paul and I walked in the garden for sometime which caused me to think of my dear old husband and the moonlight walk we had on the same path the night you say "you were taken in". I think however it was me who was taken in. Moonlight walks are very dangerous and I would advise young ladies to beware of them. I think our friend Miss Hart has found that out. I do not think I told you that when she was here last Saturday when she went to put on her bonnet to go away she sat for I am sure an hour talking of her intended in my room. She seems very fond of him. I cannot help thinking it is strange as their acquaintance has been so short. We went for a walk this morning and when

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English (MD)

we came home I sat down to write. I am really getting tired of sewing. I had not the least idea I had so much to do when I commenced. I have just finished a pretty little wrapping for the plague. I am sure it is much to good for it. It has cost me more than two days hard work. I don't care however about working hard if my own Donald will kiss me when he comes home and call me a good girl. I have my house book to make up so I must conclude, my own love for tonight.

Monday night
I did not write to my Donald on Saturday night as I did not feel well having been so much disappointed in not hearing from you. I cannot tell you how uneasy I felt & I began to imagine all kinds of evil thoughts that perhaps you were ill and unable to write. Papa tried to persuade me that you had not arrived at Taranaki before the mail left but it was no use

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I fretted all the evening and if it had not been for Ellen Paul I would have been much worse. She did all she could to amuse me and prevent me thinking to make me still more dull. We received letters from home, one of which was addressed to poor Mama. I cannot tell you how delighted I was to receive your letter this morning. It cheered me up so much, however there was some things in it which I did not like and as I have the toothache and feel in an exceedingly bad humour and inclined to be cross with some one I shall give my Donald a scold. In the first place you accuse me of not having answered Dr Sinclair's letter without knowing whether I have done so or not. Now seeing that I wrote to him sometime ago you lecture on neglect was quite unnecessary. Perhaps I was to blame in not

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English (MD)

having mentioned it in some of my letters but when I write to my Donald I think of no one else but him. You do scold me for not having written to Mrs Wilson but you should not blame for it as you know that for months I was not in spirits to write to anyone. I have only written once since I was married to my old friend Mrs Outhwaite. I am very cross also in the second place because you do not seem as anxious to be at home as I am to see you. I think there must be some attractions at Taranaki. I was a great fool to allow you to go without me. You tell Papa to send up your letters which if they go by the mail it will be three weeks before you receive them as it does not leave till tomorrow week. Of course you will not start whenever you get them and if you are a fortnight coming in it will be 5 or 6 weeks before I can hope to see you and I am certain of this that if you are so long as that something that is going to happen will have taken place before then as I cannot be sure of having a day after the second week in September. Do my own darling husband try and come in sooner. I shall not commence another sheet of paper tonight as my toothache is bad. I shall banish my scold tomorrow. Goodnight my own darling Donald

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
Monday night [ca 27 July-2 August 1852]


My own dearest love

I sent off two letters to you this morning and as it is now late and I have a delightful dose of castor oil to take my dear Donald must forgive a very few lines. I have not gone out today but have been working hard with my sewing as I am quite in a fidget lest I do not get it done in time. It is the most tiresome work I ever did in my life. What a little plague it is for giving me so much trouble. I should not be in the least surprised if you hear before you leave Taranaki that you have had a son as it was reported so here a few days ago. Mr St Hill called at the office to enquire how I was and whether it was a son or daughter. I cannot imagine how the report originated, although it amused me very much, still I felt quite uneasy lest you should hear before receiving my letters as it was possible you might believe it and make you very uneasy. I was so delighted my darling to hear by a letter from Major Durie that you had arrived at Taranaki on the 16th. I trust I shall hear either by the mail or a vessel this week. It seems so long since I heard from you. Of course I could not expect a letter last mail. I must now say good night. I send a hundred kisses.

Wednesday night
I hope my Donald will not be angry with his pussy for not having written last night but really darling I was so sleepy that I could scarcely keep my eyes open. I called for Mrs Hargreaves yesterday and after that went to see the minister with Mrs Rhatigan. He is much better although he still looks very ill. Ellen Paul came yesterday to stay with me a short time. I trust it will not be long that I shall require any one to keep me from wearying as I hope soon to have my darling husband home again. It is eleven months today since we were married. I always think when the 28th of the month comes of our happy wedding day. It was to me the happiest in my life. I trust my darling, if we are spared, to pass eleven years together we may at the end of that time feel the same love for each other that we feel today. I did not go out today as Mrs Kirton spent the forenoon with me. She told me that poor Papa has been telling her to scold me for taking such long walks as he is afraid I will do myself harm. He said he did not care about the baby but he was very anxious about me. Poor Mrs Stokes is still living but her death is expected every moment. She seems quite insensible. I think I told you that I went to see her on Monday morning. I have not gone since as I can do no good to her and may do myself much harm as it is so painful to my feelings to see her as it always brings my own loss to my mind. I can scarcely tell if she knew me on Monday as I shall never forget how fondly she kissed me when I was stooping over her to say goodbye. I think she must have known me at that moment. How much I wish darling you had seen [her] before you left. She was so fond of you. I must now conclude for tonight. God bless you my own dearest.

Friday night
I cannot tell you my darling husband how much I felt disappointed when I sent down to the Post Office this afternoon and found that there was no letter for me by the Taranaki mail, and as none has been left at Papa's office I suppose I shall not hear from you for a fortnight unless some vessel comes in. I feel quite uneasy love for I cannot understand why I have not heard if it was true that you arrived at Taranaki on the 16th you had plenty time to write before the mail left. I must not fret, however there may yet be a chance of receiving a letter tomorrow which may have come enclosed with other letters. I did not go out yesterday as I was afraid it would rain but Ellen Paul and I walked in the garden for sometime which caused me to think of my dear old husband and the moonlight walk we had on the same path the night you say "you were taken in". I think however it was me who was taken in. Moonlight walks are very dangerous and I would advise young ladies to beware of them. I think our friend Miss Hart has found that out. I do not think I told you that when she was here last Saturday when she went to put on her bonnet to go away she sat for I am sure an hour talking of her intended in my room. She seems very fond of him. I cannot help thinking it is strange as their acquaintance has been so short. We went for a walk this morning and when we came home I sat down to write. I am really getting tired of sewing. I had not the least idea I had so much to do when I commenced. I have just finished a pretty little wrapping for the plague. I am sure it is much to good for it. It has cost me more than two days hard work. I don't care however about working hard if my own Donald will kiss me when he comes home and call me a good girl. I have my house book to make up so I must conclude, my own love for tonight.

Monday night
I did not write to my Donald on Saturday night as I did not feel well having been so much disappointed in not hearing from you. I cannot tell you how uneasy I felt & I began to imagine all kinds of evil thoughts that perhaps you were ill and unable to write. Papa tried to persuade me that you had not arrived at Taranaki before the mail left but it was no use I fretted all the evening and if it had not been for Ellen Paul I would have been much worse. She did all she could to amuse me and prevent me thinking to make me still more dull. We received letters from home, one of which was addressed to poor Mama. I cannot tell you how delighted I was to receive your letter this morning. It cheered me up so much, however there was some things in it which I did not like and as I have the toothache and feel in an exceedingly bad humour and inclined to be cross with some one I shall give my Donald a scold. In the first place you accuse me of not having answered Dr Sinclair's letter without knowing whether I have done so or not. Now seeing that I wrote to him sometime ago you lecture on neglect was quite unnecessary. Perhaps I was to blame in not having mentioned it in some of my letters but when I write to my Donald I think of no one else but him. You do scold me for not having written to Mrs Wilson but you should not blame for it as you know that for months I was not in spirits to write to anyone. I have only written once since I was married to my old friend Mrs Outhwaite. I am very cross also in the second place because you do not seem as anxious to be at home as I am to see you. I think there must be some attractions at Taranaki. I was a great fool to allow you to go without me. You tell Papa to send up your letters which if they go by the mail it will be three weeks before you receive them as it does not leave till tomorrow week. Of course you will not start whenever you get them and if you are a fortnight coming in it will be 5 or 6 weeks before I can hope to see you and I am certain of this that if you are so long as that something that is going to happen will have taken place before then as I cannot be sure of having a day after the second week in September. Do my own darling husband try and come in sooner. I shall not commence another sheet of paper tonight as my toothache is bad. I shall banish my scold tomorrow. Goodnight my own darling Donald

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0828 (82 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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