Object #1002858 from MS-Papers-0032-0827
From: Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0827 (34 digitised items). Letters between Donald McLean and Susan. Donald's letters written from Hawke's Bay, Rangitikei, Taita and Wairapapa. Susan's letters from Dalmuir Hill, Wellington (the home of her parents (Robert and Susannah Strang).
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October 18th 1851
My dearest husband
The minister came up late last night to tell me that the Dane had come in with letters from you and that he was going out Sunday morning. I was sorry to hear that you had not got on far on your journey when the Dane left you. This bad weather is most annoying for I am afraid it will keep you away much longer than you expected. You have been gone now nearly three weeks and I suppose you are still a long way from Ahuriri. How much I wish darling that you were back. I would not fret about you being away if poor Mama was well but I am sorry to say that I fear she is no better. It distresses me
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more than I can tell you when I see her strength failing so fast. She seems to get thinner every day. For a short time she appeared to get an appetite but now again it has completely gone. There is nothing I can make for her which she seems to like. Poor Papa seems quite miserable. Dearest Donald if you were only here what a comfort you would be to both of us. I am now constantly with Mama. I come up every morning by 7 o'clock and remain till about 6. I do not know what I would do without Jessie for when I go home in the evening I always feel in low spirits and she does all that she can to comfort me. How thankful I ought to be that my health is so good at a time like this when Mama requires my attention so much. I do not know what Mama would do if I were unfit to attend to her. I feel very much better than I could have expected indeed I have not felt so strong for many years so you need not love feel in any way uneasy
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on my account. You need not feel that I will not take every care of myself for I love you too much to do anything which would injure my health for I know that if I were to do so it would make you miserable. In your letters to Papa be sure that you do not mention anything about me for I do not wish Mama to know as it would make her so anxious. I told you all about Mama as I feared that you might hear some other way and that you might think she was much worse than she really is. I wish I could get her up to our house. She seems anxious to do so if she has strength if she is able we will try and get her up next week. This weather is very much against her. It is so changeable. What a comfort it is been in writing to tell my sorrows to one who can feel for me. Every day I feel more and more the comfort and blessing of being married to one who loves me as you do. I know dearest that although you are away from me that your thoughts are always with me and that you share with me in all my troubles and trials. My dearest
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husband pray that your wife may be supported in them all and that she may have strength to enable her to do her duty.
I am sorry to hear that Mr Williamson has been ill. The Dane foolishly told Mrs Williamson and she is very anxious about him. I understand that the dog is to be sent back to you. He has been with me for some days. I like him very much. I hope you will not lose him at the East Coast for I would like to have him about the house. I forgot to tell you in my former letters that Ben sleeps at our house every night. I have never yet felt the slightest fear since you left. I have returned all the visits now but Mrs Bell's but that I must leave till you return for I have no time to go out as I am so much engaged with Mama besides what I have in our own house to attend to. There is a mail in from Auckland. Very likely that there will be letters for us if there are any I shall send them. I wrote you by the Rose and by your
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native. I trust that the Rose will not have left before you get to Ahuriri. Your things have come from Manawatu. The man who brought them up to the house asked 14 shillings for the freight and bringing them up. I would not give it as I thought it was too much but I sent him to see Papa who was afterwards told by the Captain that 10 shillings was all the man should have asked so I suppose he thought he could impose on me. Shall I send any of the things by the 'Rose'? I must now darling conclude for it is time for Mama to get up and I must assist her to dress. She desires me to give her kindest love. May God bless you my dearest husband and believe me ever to remain
Your affectionate wife
Susan D McLean
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My dearest Donald
This is Sunday evening but I do not think that there can be anything wrong in writing to my husband. I have spent the day with poor Mama who I am sorry to say is no better. My darling it makes me feel so unhappy to see her every day getting weaker. How much I wish you were here to comfort me. I felt so dull and lonely when I came home last night but I prayed to our Heavenly Father for comfort and support in my sorrows and after I had done so I felt much happier. What a blessing it is that in all one's troubles in this life we can look to God for help and He will support and comfort us in them all. Mama has made up her mind to come down to our house as soon as she can, most likely she will this week but till then I have made up my mind to stay all night with her. I know she will
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feel much happier if I am with her constantly and I shall feel much more easy about her besides I feel the walk up so early in the morning to much for me for at that time I never feel quite well. Jessie will remain in the house during the day and Mrs Paul has kindly offered one of her man servants to sleep at night. Mama will also send Ben down to stay with the man so the house will be perfectly safe. The servant is very respectable. He was with Mrs Rhatigan for a long time. There were no letters for you from Auckland. There was one for me from Mrs Outhwaite. She had not heard of our marriage at the time she wrote as the letter was addressed to Miss Strang. It is strange she had not received the cards before she wrote. The letter was written five weeks after our marriage. I trust my own love that nothing will detain you longer than you expected. I know that you will not stay a day longer than you can help.
Inward family correspondence - Susan McLean (wife), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0827 (34 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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