Object #1002881 from MS-Papers-0032-0826
6 pages written 18 Aug 1850 by E Shand in Portobello 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.
August 18th 1850
My dear Susan
Your kind note of the 25th July reached me on the 16th of August. Like me you see it has made a lazy passage. I hasten to reply as the 'Mariner' is to sail for Wellington in a few days.
In reply to your question as to how I like Otago. You must understand that it is nothing more than a few scattered houses & a lighthouse just within the Heads. It was once the port but that is now removed to Port Chalmers. As for Port Chalmers it boasts of a small wooden building called the Customhouse, a few merchant's houses & hiki shops. Dunedin itself I have not seen but if report speaks true it must be a delightful place to dwell in. Every family's tongue being against its neighbour. Mr Shand speaks highly of the Cargills. They have invited him to make their house his home when he visits Dunedin and the Capt. Has been trying to learn a family relationship, his mother's name having been Shand. Miss Cargill he describes as a very plain spoken & independent young lady and very stout. Withal this is all the gossip for the present. I am sorry the weather has been using you so badly at Port Nic. Now I must say for the climate that one week & a odd day as been of your harsh disagreeable weather is all that we have had and that with the exception of a fall of snow similar to that we experienced in Wellington last winter. The remainder has been like your October but without its winds.
Now as touching my new residence know that I am once more in solitary confinement in the bush. The house & its situation are pleasant enough. It is the same distance from Port Chalmers that Evans Bay is from Wellington but with this difference that the only approach to it is by the river which is at least an hour's pull across & a rough pull too in squally weather. The last morning Mr Shand went across from my window I watched the boat pulling against a heavy surf when suddenly she dashed round the point, a sort of half way house where they lighted a fire & remained until the pilot came to the rescue. Now all this is very comfortable & agreeable but it could not be helped as Macarthy's house would not do at all. It is simply a But & a Ben. The But about the size of your dressing room. The Ben smaller and a porch smaller still to stow all our family in there was impossible besides it requires rebuilding as the bricks are oiled up without mortar and provided it were convenient I would rather build upon a pretty spot called Mussel Bay, just behind the Customhouse & about ten minutes walk from it.
You mistake in supposing that we went into Port Cooper but I met by accident with Mr Cridland's friend Mr Cass. Of course I could not make a direct inquiry but he told me that both Mrs Cridland and her young son owed their lives to the unceasing attentions of Miss Trotter even to the extent of her own health's injury. Great misrepresentation then must be somewhere. I am inclined to believe that the disappointment of high expectations may have something to do with Mrs Cridland's illness.
You were quite correct in thinking that I would be delighted to leave the vessel. The next time I do any coasting it shall be in a steamer if possible! Only think of being 3 times driven into harbour first into Wellington, secondly into Cloudy Bay, thirdly into Akaroa, and lastly when within a mile or two of our destination being nearly driven off again but they managed to beat in in grand style. Our voyage began with ill luck. In tacking about preparatory to starting they ran there aground at Kaikoura. Mr Waitt can tell a much better story our truly miserable yet laughable voyage than I can write and indeed had it been for his most kind & gentlemanly attention to us I should have failed entirely. The prevailing winds at this season are quite against a voyage to Otago. The weather-wise attentive people with their "Northerly Slants" being quite at fault. Another time I will tell you more of our voyage if you wish it.
Now for our own private gossip. What of that Cake [?] we used to talk about? I assure you I am constantly looking out for it and Mr Shand also occasionally enquires after it. In your next I expect a whole budget of news, some foreign but principally domestic and pray tell Mr McLean when he returns that his letter was safely delivered and at the same time give him my kind regards.
Receive my kindest love both for yourself and dear Mamma and fail not to remember me kindly to your Papa. The study with all its kind & dear faces I often have before me.
Believe me to remain
P.S. In return for your kiss the children send you one apeice not a bad exchange, six for one, and still I don't know. One apiece amounts to six & as I performed that number of kisses for you you gain none by the return.
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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