Object #1002818 from MS-Papers-0032-0644
3 pages written 4 Jun 1862 by Helen Ann Wilson in New Plymouth District
From: Inward letters - Helen Ann Wilson, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0644 (90 digitised items).
84 letters (including some incomplete and fragments) written from New Plymouth (Henui & Calpe Cottage), 1849-1870 & undated, written to `My dear son' (Donald McLean)Letter from Helen Wilson to Isabelle Gascoyne (Gascoigne), Jun 1858
A transcription/translation of this document (by ATL) appears below.
My dear Son,
We have just heard that you are in Auckland and therefore lose no time in writing in the hope of getting and answer to the many letters I have written to you since August - your last to me was dated in that Month. I must own the truth that I have been much grieved at your long silences, and was on the eve of writing to good Mr. Strang to ask him whether you had left for Scotland and to know where I should direct to you. You will not believe how much I have gone through since we last saw you - we have had to change our House twice within the last eight months, to do this, situated as I am at my age, and without the help of a servant, has been almost too much for me, McGuiness the Hospital assistant has been quite a treasure to us - he has so kindly helped us in all ways - saving us a penny where ever it was possible to do so - he knows how we are situated'. - he knows the unfeeling way in which the Government are acting towards us - after all our misfortunes they will not even allow us House rent and have now saddled Mr. Wilson with the duty of attending the Government workmen without adding one penny to his paultry Salary of £100, out of which, we are obliged to pay 40 for a House. They took the situation of medical attendant to the Militia
from Dr. Rawson to whom they gave ten shillings a day and gave it to Mr. Wilson and refuse to give him anything for his trouble - at the Henui Hospital we were allowed one room - in town they won't allow us even that. I know you will say that I am writing in a bad temper - you are wrong if you think so, I am writing with an aching heart - for added to all this - James Ritchie has lost for me all that I had in his hands - affairs at Wanganui have all gone wrong - so putting all these troubles together you may suppose that it is no easy talk to make both ends meet - nor could we do it - were it not for the few casks of wine which we have lately received - excuse me troubling you so much about my affairs - but it does me good to say what I feel, and as I still hope that you care a wee bit for your old Mother induces me to this give vent to my feelings - they are very sore sometimes when I think that after the many years that Mr. Wilson has served his country that at the age of 70!!!. he has only £100 a year to live upon. Thank God we don't owe a pound to anybody. This feeling makes my pillow soft. I hope you will write to me and let us know what you are about and what you think of doing. There is no news in this doomed, unfortunate Province - nothing talked of but the strange goings on of Charles Brown - who does everything in his power to thwart Fred Carrington and the Council having consented to allow him to contract a loan of £25,000 - one thing is, they have not
got the money yet - who will lend a sum of that amount without some good security? and what security have they got to offer? How earnestly we pray that Sir George will see the necessity fo doing away with this useless Province. Under Auckland's wing, we may chance to regain some of our former peace and quietness. Not with such rulers as we have at present to guide our helm - what can we expect but a total Shipwreck! The rocks are showing themselves most plainly ahead, and drive on them we most surely shall, if our good Governor does not come soon to our assistance and put a stop to the mad career at present followed. How will it all end? ...
... - going to resign! - "a good riddance of bad rubbish" say I. McKechney who was the Senior Lieut. has been overlooked entirely no doubt by some of Brown's usual dirty work. He is at present at Sydney - on his return he will be sure to find it out. I hope he will give Master Brown a sound good horsewhipping if he finds out any of his tricks. I have wasted too much time, ink and paper upon these vexatious follies - now I will refer to much more pleasant matters - first place, your old mother must indulge in a bit of a scold at her Son. Why did you not give Dr. MacKinnon a line of introduction? you good for nothing fellow! Just think what you might have lost to us by your neglect! but out
good star guided him to us a very few days after his arrival, and we are quite delighted with the acquaintance. He is a Highlander after my own heart - he is intimately acquainted with some of my relations - and I know of some of his in my younger days. I really feel as if he belonged to me. You ought to see him and Lady Campbell over the old shield! We only want my good son Donald to make the party complete - I only wish I could see you all around my table this coming new year. But no such good luck for your poor old Mother. I have persuaded my Gudeman to write out a copy of his letter about Brown, and I have added a copy of Browns letter - if you have an opportunity I wish you would show them to Sir George - for we strongly suspect that such correspondence are never shown to him - particularly as Domet is so closely united to the "Clique" his being so, is a great misfortune for the Province - most of the said "Clique" are working hard to bring about a way, and they have arranged to get Domet to aid them - by joining in their shameful prosecution against F. Carrington - the reason they wish for a war is the hope of again fingering the cash as they did last year. H. Atkinson was well known to be thus in receipt of £1100 a year from Bullock and Cart hire. His brothers, cousins and other connections had similar "titbits" also; and even Charlie Brown had his two pair of Bullocks bringing him in a
a pretty sum during the whole time - it is well known that Master Charlie has a taste of all contracts of the present day - this item is likely to come out some day - for rogues cannot always agree - let them once fall out and they will not keep quiet long he has been playing some tricks with the Tataraimaka people - doing them out of the sum allowed for destroying the thistles - we hear that Greenwood is going to Auckland for the purpose of sifting the affair everything connected with compensation in any ought to have been public, so that every one might have seen that they had been honestly dealt with - this has not been the case - everything has been kept quite secrete - so that goodness only knows what tricks have been played. There has been a committee of three Wm. Halse - H. Atkinson - and H. Richmond sitting to settle the compensation business for the last year! at £1 a day each. They will take care not to settle up in a hurry! Is this not a shame? a hundred of such things are constantly going on - unfortunatelythere is no one dare bring it forward - the two Papers are for Brown - and so are the whole of the council. I have often asked, who is the representative of the General Government? I am told, the commanding officer of the Troops - if so, Colonel Warre, certainly does not do his duty - or else, many abuses which are daily practised would soon be put a stop to - I wish Sir George knew all that is going on. I must stop now, or you will get quite cross with me for writing so much about what you care
so little about - but bear with me, for my mind is so full of these vexatious things that I can hardly think of any other. The good you may do will be great, if you mention all this to Sir George. My Gudeman unites with me in wishing you and dear Douglass a very Merry Xmas and a happy New Year, and in your merry making think of your attached old Mother
I find that the "Gudeman" is writing you a very long letter so I must make this a very short one or he will begin to grumble - do let me hear from you soon (I anxious to hear about dear Douglass - with affectionate regards to him and your good for nothing self - Believe me as ever your attached old Mother.
Inward letters - Helen Ann Wilson, Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0644 (90 digitised items)
Series 1 Inward letters (English), Reference Number Series 1 Inward letters (English) (14501 digitised items)
McLean Papers, Reference Number MS-Group-1551 (30238 digitised items)
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