Object #1005090 from MS-Papers-0032-0827

4 pages written 3 Oct 1851 by Sir Donald McLean in Wairarapa to Susan Douglas McLean

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).

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)

Morrison's station, Wairarapa
3rd Octr 1851


My dear Douglas

The rains have set in so heavily that I have been detained here all day & I have just heard at Capt Smith's, where I have been calling that a person goes to town tomorrow giving me another chance of telling my little slave how I am getting on. We had a fine yesterday ascending the Rimutaka range. A dull lonely road where Mr Ray who bought your cousins unanswered letter was busy taking levels with his party. A glass of whiskey, biscuit & a cigar which I handed him seemed to cheer him up a bit. We left him there and on we went, some grumbling with sore feet, others raising difficulties about no food. Charley the Dane in his broken English saying "It vas very hard wak for te purse yorses, tey pi very pat starres for hims feets. The yintelmen of Velintin do vel come up here by gat de no get te Rumati if te climb tem high hills be so good for tem as te tocter". A voice from behind come Charlie on you go. "Ai ai sir come in te wo Phoenix my boy". Then a stone was against Charleys own toe & he sings out "Tat pur horse wo, wo, wo, stop one leetel menit".

Page 2 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

This gallant driver, a young horse for which he professes as much friendship as a Moor would a celebrated pet Arab but for which in reality he cares less than he does for a glass of grog. This evening as Charlie was riding home from Capt. Smith's he got a grand capsize in the mud much to the amusement of all our party.

I think you will find as much difficulty in reading Charlies speech as I do in understanding your wicked broad Scotch or as you do in understanding my Highland, but wait a wee. It was only this forenoon that the ladies of Capt. Smith's establishment had a debate as to whether I was Irish or Scotch. Fancy that my bonnie lassie after all your declamations about my strong Highland accent which I am endeavouring to improve by talking as much Gaelic as I can so that by my return I shall be wonderfully improved to your ladyship's satisfaction.

It was quite a delightful feeling yesterday to open the Wairarapa valley from a rough rocky woody range. I felt quite thankful

Page 3 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

at seeing the plain and had the road been better I should have liked my little slave to enjoy the sight with me. Tomorrow I visit Mr Bidwell , the model husband that you so much admired, then to McMasters and if a chance offers pussy will hear from me again before I quit Wairarapa. It is quite a pleasing feeling pet to be on duty and doing your work. I feel very happy excepting when I think of Mama's illness. I do trust she is better and that my own little pet is quite well. You were expected here with me but it would fatigue you too much. One of my horses broke up. I sold or rather exchanged him for a mule with a man named Collins who supplied you with milk and who told me that Miss Strang, my wife, was a homely young lady. He had often told her that she would get quite well when she married. There are many enquiries for you and now I really feel myself becoming an old married man. Give my love to Mama and believe me my dear little pussy


Your very affectionate
Donald McLean

Morrison tells me he would let us a house in town for £15 or sell for £100. It has 3 rooms and is out near Sellar's place.

Page 4 of 4. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

How would you like the place. I fear you will not be easily moved from your present quarter. Goodbye dearest and excuse a note written on a small corner of a table with bad ink worse light and smoking and chatting going on - What a long letter I expect in return for my two both written within a week. Remember me to Jessie.

In case my own little pet may be short of money because Papa supplies her I send £3 that I do not particularly require. God bless you. Take care of yourself. Mind your duty to God and your parents and you will ever command the esteem of your afft. husband

Donald McLean

[On verso in pencil] Let me hear how the ball went off or whether any of the ladies had the bad taste to ask you to go with them when Mama's illness, throwing aside my absence, should entirely check such ridiculous liberties. You must now have an independent will of your own that is not to be ruled by friends who wish to gratify their own vanity at your expense. Since your late illness arose from an ill-managed ill-advised ball you need not wonder if I am cautious to avoid a recurrence of such a misfortune. Goodbye again. I have been adding constantly as ideas struck me but now I must really close.

[Note on transcription: Mr Bidwell is Charles Robert Bidwill, 1820-1884.]

English (MD)

Morrison's station, Wairarapa
3rd Octr 1851


My dear Douglas

The rains have set in so heavily that I have been detained here all day & I have just heard at Capt Smith's, where I have been calling that a person goes to town tomorrow giving me another chance of telling my little slave how I am getting on. We had a fine yesterday ascending the Rimutaka range. A dull lonely road where Mr Ray who bought your cousins unanswered letter was busy taking levels with his party. A glass of whiskey, biscuit & a cigar which I handed him seemed to cheer him up a bit. We left him there and on we went, some grumbling with sore feet, others raising difficulties about no food. Charley the Dane in his broken English saying "It vas very hard wak for te purse yorses, tey pi very pat starres for hims feets. The yintelmen of Velintin do vel come up here by gat de no get te Rumati if te climb tem high hills be so good for tem as te tocter". A voice from behind come Charlie on you go. "Ai ai sir come in te wo Phoenix my boy". Then a stone was against Charleys own toe & he sings out "Tat pur horse wo, wo, wo, stop one leetel menit". This gallant driver, a young horse for which he professes as much friendship as a Moor would a celebrated pet Arab but for which in reality he cares less than he does for a glass of grog. This evening as Charlie was riding home from Capt. Smith's he got a grand capsize in the mud much to the amusement of all our party.

I think you will find as much difficulty in reading Charlies speech as I do in understanding your wicked broad Scotch or as you do in understanding my Highland, but wait a wee. It was only this forenoon that the ladies of Capt. Smith's establishment had a debate as to whether I was Irish or Scotch. Fancy that my bonnie lassie after all your declamations about my strong Highland accent which I am endeavouring to improve by talking as much Gaelic as I can so that by my return I shall be wonderfully improved to your ladyship's satisfaction.

It was quite a delightful feeling yesterday to open the Wairarapa valley from a rough rocky woody range. I felt quite thankful at seeing the plain and had the road been better I should have liked my little slave to enjoy the sight with me. Tomorrow I visit Mr Bidwell , the model husband that you so much admired, then to McMasters and if a chance offers pussy will hear from me again before I quit Wairarapa. It is quite a pleasing feeling pet to be on duty and doing your work. I feel very happy excepting when I think of Mama's illness. I do trust she is better and that my own little pet is quite well. You were expected here with me but it would fatigue you too much. One of my horses broke up. I sold or rather exchanged him for a mule with a man named Collins who supplied you with milk and who told me that Miss Strang, my wife, was a homely young lady. He had often told her that she would get quite well when she married. There are many enquiries for you and now I really feel myself becoming an old married man. Give my love to Mama and believe me my dear little pussy


Your very affectionate
Donald McLean

Morrison tells me he would let us a house in town for £15 or sell for £100. It has 3 rooms and is out near Sellar's place. How would you like the place. I fear you will not be easily moved from your present quarter. Goodbye dearest and excuse a note written on a small corner of a table with bad ink worse light and smoking and chatting going on - What a long letter I expect in return for my two both written within a week. Remember me to Jessie.

In case my own little pet may be short of money because Papa supplies her I send £3 that I do not particularly require. God bless you. Take care of yourself. Mind your duty to God and your parents and you will ever command the esteem of your afft. husband

Donald McLean

[On verso in pencil] Let me hear how the ball went off or whether any of the ladies had the bad taste to ask you to go with them when Mama's illness, throwing aside my absence, should entirely check such ridiculous liberties. You must now have an independent will of your own that is not to be ruled by friends who wish to gratify their own vanity at your expense. Since your late illness arose from an ill-managed ill-advised ball you need not wonder if I am cautious to avoid a recurrence of such a misfortune. Goodbye again. I have been adding constantly as ideas struck me but now I must really close.

[Note on transcription: Mr Bidwell is Charles Robert Bidwill, 1820-1884.]

Part of:
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)

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=1005090). 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