Object #1005511 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

8 pages written 6 Jul 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
July 6th 1852


My darling old husband

I sent a letter down to the Post Office this morning as I heard a vessel was going to Taranaki this week so you will have two letters waiting for you when you get there. I spent this day much the same way as I did yesterday only I could not get out the weather has been so bad and I often thought of my Donald and wished he was here. I can scarcely believe that you are only gone a week today. The time appears to me so much longer. I do not know how I am to get the rest of the time to pass. It is all your own fault. You did plague that I grumble when you are away. You have petted me so much and are such an indulgent husband that I find I cannot be happy an hour without you. If you would be cross with me it would perhaps be better. I am

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

afraid however it is too late to try that for I love you so much that I would submit to be scolded all hours of the day if I only could have my Donald always with me. I had no idea love when I put away my work to begin writing to you that it was so late. It is past 12, a nice hour to be sitting writing to an old plague. It is not the first time however I have been writing late. Often before our marriage I have sat up till daylight writing stupid love letters. I cannot imagine how I could have been so foolish. I would not have acknowledged that I did so before we married for it would have made you think too much of yourself. I must bid you goodnight darling. I hope you will sleep well and dream of your pussy.

Wednesday night
My darling Donald must not be cross if I only write a very few lines tonight as I feel very much fatigued. I do not know why I should be so as I have done nothing but sew all day. Perhaps it is because

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English (MD)

I have been sitting too close at my work. I suppose you have left Whanganui long ere this and are getting on in your way to Taranaki. I am sure you will feel it strange to return to the place you so long lived a bachelor. Little did you think the day you left that when you returned you would be a married man. I shall never forget how I hated the name of Taranaki once. That was at the time you had to go up there when you were on your way in to Wellington and then after that the many disappointments I had so often made happy hearing that you were coming in and then hearing you could not leave till at last I began to think I would never see you again. I sometimes wonder how I could allow you to go up without me in case you remain as long as you did before. I can now however do now what I could not then, I can follow you and find out what you are about. What dreadful weather we have. It has

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

[rained] the whole day and the roads are in such a state that I do not know I shall be able to get out. I must bid you dearest love goodnight as I am half asleep. God bless you my own darling.

Thursday night
I did not get up this morning till 11 as I had taken castor oil and I felt sick. It has been a nasty showery day and I have not even been able to get a walk on the verandah. I am getting quite tired of being kept a prisoner this way. I feel quite uneasy thinking that perhaps the weather is as bad where you are and that you may be exposed to it. When I sit comfortable at a good fire I never can feel happy when I do not know whether my own darling is in comfort or travelling in the cold and rain. How I envy other wives who have their husbands always with them. It seems hard that two who love each other so much are separated so often.

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I have done nothing but sew today. I thought I would have been able to commence Allison's History while you were away but I find it impossible just now, I have so much work. I had no idea there would be so much and I cannot give it out. It would be so expensive and I cannot bear to spend more than I can help of my dear husband's money he works so hard for it. I think I shall get it all done by the time you come home. Miss Kelly came down today and she has been giving me some assistance. I am looking forward with so much pleasure to tomorrow as I am sure of receiving a letter by the mail. Good night my dearest Donald.

Friday night
My darling Donald I was dreadfully disappointed that I did not receive your letter by today's mail for of course there must be one for me in the Post Office. I was on my way to Miss

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Hart's with Miss Kelly and Mary Paul when I saw a policeman going into the Government offices with a bundle of letters so I would not move a but farther till I knew whether there was one for me or not. I saw David Hunter and asked him to tell Papa I wished to see him. He came out but I found there was no letter so I have been trying all night to be patient. Miss Kelly and Mary told it looked as if I expected a letter from a lover instead of a husband. However dearest I trust I shall never love my Donald less or be less anxious to have a letter from him. I loved you devotedly before I became your wife and ever since that day my affection has been increasing. When I went up to Miss Hart's today I found her dressed to come up to see me. She took me to show me the work she was doing for me and told me that Mr Park was going up to meet me at our house and that as Miss Kelly was staying with me she did not like to go so we settled that she would go

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

with me as far as Willis Street, go to Miss Wood the dressmakers and then go over the Terrace home. When I went home, if Mr Park was there I was to mention as if by chance the way she was going. We went over the Terrace and when we got to the top of the hill we saw Mr Park going up to the house. Miss Hart went off to Willis Street and I said loud enough for Mr Park to hear to Miss Kelly that I thought Miss Hart would get up easyly on the Terrace as the roads were in such a state. Mr Park knew that I intended this for him as he looked at me and laughed. He went up with us and had a drink and then ran off as hard as he could down Willis Street. I could not help laughing. It reminded me of our plans before our marriage. How often we used to meet at Mrs Kirton's. I must now conclude my nonsense for the night. I look forward with such pleasure to receiving your letter tomorrow. Goodbye darling husband.

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


Saturday night
My dearest love I was delighted to receive your letter this morning. I was so impatient to get it I thought 10 o'clock would never come. I am sorry you have been detained. I am so anxious again to kiss my dear husband. You will be glad to hear that Mrs Hunter had a daughter last night and is very well. Mary came up this afternoon to tell me. She says that she did not suffer in the least. I [am] beginning now to have courage seeing so many get over it easyly. I begin however love to be anxious about your quick return as Mrs Hunter did not think it would be before August and I may not have so long either as I imagine but I know love you will not be a day longer than you can help. I should like if possible that you would not be later than the last week in August. Mr Park dined here today. He is really a strange man. He made an attack on poor Miss Kelly's religion. It was too bad. I do not think from the way he speaks that he were much for religion. I am sure his intended would not like to hear the way he talked tonight, the idea of him calling Paul the Apostle a humbug. I must conclude darling for want of room. God bless and protect you my own beloved husband and believe me ever to be your affectionate and devoted wife


Susan Douglas McLean

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
July 6th 1852


My darling old husband

I sent a letter down to the Post Office this morning as I heard a vessel was going to Taranaki this week so you will have two letters waiting for you when you get there. I spent this day much the same way as I did yesterday only I could not get out the weather has been so bad and I often thought of my Donald and wished he was here. I can scarcely believe that you are only gone a week today. The time appears to me so much longer. I do not know how I am to get the rest of the time to pass. It is all your own fault. You did plague that I grumble when you are away. You have petted me so much and are such an indulgent husband that I find I cannot be happy an hour without you. If you would be cross with me it would perhaps be better. I am afraid however it is too late to try that for I love you so much that I would submit to be scolded all hours of the day if I only could have my Donald always with me. I had no idea love when I put away my work to begin writing to you that it was so late. It is past 12, a nice hour to be sitting writing to an old plague. It is not the first time however I have been writing late. Often before our marriage I have sat up till daylight writing stupid love letters. I cannot imagine how I could have been so foolish. I would not have acknowledged that I did so before we married for it would have made you think too much of yourself. I must bid you goodnight darling. I hope you will sleep well and dream of your pussy.

Wednesday night
My darling Donald must not be cross if I only write a very few lines tonight as I feel very much fatigued. I do not know why I should be so as I have done nothing but sew all day. Perhaps it is because I have been sitting too close at my work. I suppose you have left Whanganui long ere this and are getting on in your way to Taranaki. I am sure you will feel it strange to return to the place you so long lived a bachelor. Little did you think the day you left that when you returned you would be a married man. I shall never forget how I hated the name of Taranaki once. That was at the time you had to go up there when you were on your way in to Wellington and then after that the many disappointments I had so often made happy hearing that you were coming in and then hearing you could not leave till at last I began to think I would never see you again. I sometimes wonder how I could allow you to go up without me in case you remain as long as you did before. I can now however do now what I could not then, I can follow you and find out what you are about. What dreadful weather we have. It has [rained] the whole day and the roads are in such a state that I do not know I shall be able to get out. I must bid you dearest love goodnight as I am half asleep. God bless you my own darling.

Thursday night
I did not get up this morning till 11 as I had taken castor oil and I felt sick. It has been a nasty showery day and I have not even been able to get a walk on the verandah. I am getting quite tired of being kept a prisoner this way. I feel quite uneasy thinking that perhaps the weather is as bad where you are and that you may be exposed to it. When I sit comfortable at a good fire I never can feel happy when I do not know whether my own darling is in comfort or travelling in the cold and rain. How I envy other wives who have their husbands always with them. It seems hard that two who love each other so much are separated so often. I have done nothing but sew today. I thought I would have been able to commence Allison's History while you were away but I find it impossible just now, I have so much work. I had no idea there would be so much and I cannot give it out. It would be so expensive and I cannot bear to spend more than I can help of my dear husband's money he works so hard for it. I think I shall get it all done by the time you come home. Miss Kelly came down today and she has been giving me some assistance. I am looking forward with so much pleasure to tomorrow as I am sure of receiving a letter by the mail. Good night my dearest Donald.

Friday night
My darling Donald I was dreadfully disappointed that I did not receive your letter by today's mail for of course there must be one for me in the Post Office. I was on my way to Miss Hart's with Miss Kelly and Mary Paul when I saw a policeman going into the Government offices with a bundle of letters so I would not move a but farther till I knew whether there was one for me or not. I saw David Hunter and asked him to tell Papa I wished to see him. He came out but I found there was no letter so I have been trying all night to be patient. Miss Kelly and Mary told it looked as if I expected a letter from a lover instead of a husband. However dearest I trust I shall never love my Donald less or be less anxious to have a letter from him. I loved you devotedly before I became your wife and ever since that day my affection has been increasing. When I went up to Miss Hart's today I found her dressed to come up to see me. She took me to show me the work she was doing for me and told me that Mr Park was going up to meet me at our house and that as Miss Kelly was staying with me she did not like to go so we settled that she would go with me as far as Willis Street, go to Miss Wood the dressmakers and then go over the Terrace home. When I went home, if Mr Park was there I was to mention as if by chance the way she was going. We went over the Terrace and when we got to the top of the hill we saw Mr Park going up to the house. Miss Hart went off to Willis Street and I said loud enough for Mr Park to hear to Miss Kelly that I thought Miss Hart would get up easyly on the Terrace as the roads were in such a state. Mr Park knew that I intended this for him as he looked at me and laughed. He went up with us and had a drink and then ran off as hard as he could down Willis Street. I could not help laughing. It reminded me of our plans before our marriage. How often we used to meet at Mrs Kirton's. I must now conclude my nonsense for the night. I look forward with such pleasure to receiving your letter tomorrow. Goodbye darling husband.

Saturday night
My dearest love I was delighted to receive your letter this morning. I was so impatient to get it I thought 10 o'clock would never come. I am sorry you have been detained. I am so anxious again to kiss my dear husband. You will be glad to hear that Mrs Hunter had a daughter last night and is very well. Mary came up this afternoon to tell me. She says that she did not suffer in the least. I [am] beginning now to have courage seeing so many get over it easyly. I begin however love to be anxious about your quick return as Mrs Hunter did not think it would be before August and I may not have so long either as I imagine but I know love you will not be a day longer than you can help. I should like if possible that you would not be later than the last week in August. Mr Park dined here today. He is really a strange man. He made an attack on poor Miss Kelly's religion. It was too bad. I do not think from the way he speaks that he were much for religion. I am sure his intended would not like to hear the way he talked tonight, the idea of him calling Paul the Apostle a humbug. I must conclude darling for want of room. God bless and protect you my own beloved husband and believe me ever to be your affectionate and devoted wife


Susan Douglas McLean

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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