Object #1006967 from MS-Papers-0032-0817
From: Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 digitised items). Letters written on board ship or from various ports, 1847-1858 prior to his arrival in New Zealand in mid-1858. From then on the letters are almost all written from Maraekakaho about station matters.
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4 June 1862
My dear Donald
I was quite taken aback when I received your letter stating that you left for Auckland. Doubtless something very pressing took you away. It made us all quite dull for a time as we fully expected you up the very day you left. Poor John was very sorry he did not see you before you left. He would have been very happy while up here but his poor wife was very poorly and I fear she will always be so while in this world. Her illness is such that she is not likely to recover. I feel very much for poor John under the circumstances. She got every attendance from both of the ladies here and appeared quite thankful for it. The poor little baby was so happy and cheerful. It is really a nice child. Douglas was so pleased, sometimes nursing it. You can hardly believe how Douglas is improved. He is quite robust and strong and very fond of work. He is often lending me a hand in the gardin or anything I am doing. He is a wonderful sharp boy for his age. His aunt Catherine has taken charge of him in the teaching line and makes him read lessons quite regular. The time he may have to spend here will improve his strength very much and make him more active and hardy for the voyage. They
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made him flannel shirts and Catherine wished to make some drawers for him but I would not let her as I consider it nonsense to bring a boy under any circumstances up to[o] tenderly and altho we had a few days of very cold weather he ran about quite brisk and never felt the cold.
John left here on the 23rd of last month owing to the state of the roads and the ill health of his wife they had to make a tent over the dray for her to get down to Napier. John insisted on my wife going with them to Napier in case any fatal accident happening on the way. I stayed at home till Sunday evening when I went down and brought Catherine home on Monday. I then went down on Tuesday night and came home with the dray and my wife on Wednesday night again and found everything all well at home. The fence from the river to the swamp is finished last week and the sheep are into the padock now and doing very well. There is a few lambs coming now but not a great many. I am sorry to tell you that one of the Auckland Lesters [Leicesters] took very ill and died but the others are doing very well. Alick has been at Napier
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since John went down. I do not know what is keeping him. He promised us to be after us on Wednesday before we would get to the river but I have not heard of him since. I do not know what is the cause of this stay. I am very anxious about you. I do not half like your having to go among the natives again after making up your mind to leave for a time however I trust my fears may be groundless and that it is all for the best. John appeared very uneasy while here about his affairs at Christchurch. I am much afraid that John has been living very fast and much beyond his means. Still if all his projects will turn out he may do well enough but never poor fellow as long as his wife keeps in such miserable health. He told me that a £1000 a year did not keep his house. That was fearful expenditure even for a man in your station and rank. I think it was plenty as you must keep a possition up but for a man beginning busness it is far two much. She never had any idair of economy nor yet had he. I think he has too much usless pride about him for that but I do not think he has proper pride about him or he would consider that he had some right to assist his brothers in helping his sisters in place of other people's children. Besides
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I fear his cellor costs him far to much. However it is not my busness but I did not like things that I saw and I do not think it did poor Alic any good, but on the contrary incouraged him in his vice by saying that all their squatters lived at hotells and were never about their stations. That might answer rich men but not people striving to make a living. John was anxious to get a run himself some times and at other times he was for going home a trip. I told him it was usless to go home with his wife in that state without he was thinking of doing some busness that would pay his expences. It appears that Nairn wants to sell his sheep and Alick said he was going to make him an offer for them. I supose you understand all about that affair. The half of that place would answer me very well if it can be got. I think the old arrangement that I had with Condie would suit you also as it would save so much sheepherding but really the state of the country is very uncertain and one does not know what to do for the best. I am busy planting the padock behind the house this last week, removing all the trees I had in the nursery into it. I am still burning every opportunity. We have finished all our grass seed for the year but I hope to have a better variety for the hills next year as the bees are doing very well and will seed the clover and the other mixed grasses ought to yeald a good lot of seed also. My wife got a great variety of plants while at Napier from Mr Tiffin who was very attentive to her and so was Mr Smith. She had two large box full of plants on the dray. I now must tell you from Douglas to mind and bring the dog Fido down here. He wants me to put you in mind to bring it.
Ever your affectionate brother
Archibald John McLean
Inward family correspondence - Archibald John McLean (brother), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0817 (65 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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