Object #1011661 from MS-Papers-0032-0827

8 pages written 15 Nov 1851 by Sir Donald McLean in Ahuriri 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.

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Page 1 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Ahuriri
15 Novr 1851


My dearest Douglas

I have been quite delighted with the receipt of your three letters, the first without date, I presume to have been the 3rd containing an interesting diary on the 9th. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to hear continually from you, and the plan you have adopted in your last of noting down daily events and informing me of Mama's state of health gives me the greatest satisfaction. There was one letter of mine from Morrison's station at Wairarapa which I entrusted to a Mr Cassils who lives in a house of Mr St Hill's and known to Papa, enclosing £3, which you say nothing about. I hope you have received it. If not will you request Papa to make enquiries as to its safety. Give my kindest love to Mama and tell her that I hope to find her much

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English (MD)

better when I get back. I always think of her during the fine weather and imagine that with your own and Papa's care and attention she must be making some improvement. At all events it is a great comfort to me to think that my affectionate little pussy has opportunities of paying every attention to her mother in her present infirm state. How sad you would feel if removed at any distance from her during her present illness.

We had severe weather in coming here but now the weather and climate of Ahuriri is all that we can wish. Capt Thomas and others have just come in to talk about sheep, runs, etc so that I must leave off for this time and again address my little pet when I am more alone. I have had tea. Park, Pelichet, Thomas, Curling and other mess mates are enjoying their evening tumbler at the hotel while I am much more happily employed in writing to my little slave even

Page 3 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

if she does not get my letter for weeks. I am vexed with myself that I did not write you 10 days ago from the Waipukurau where I was paying £1800 to the natives as there was a party of Manawatu chiefs who would have gladly taken a letter but I fancied that the 'Rose' or some other vessel would be laying in Ahuriri but much to my disappointment no vessel is even yet in sight from any quarter except a whaler the 'Prince of Wales' which has brought no news in any way interesting to me. I never had the slightest idea before our marriage that I should be so constantly thinking of you at all hours, morning, noon and night and nothing I can assure you will delay me an hour longer than I can help in getting back to see you and the various changes and improvements you have made in my absence notwithstanding this constant thinking and desire to be with you. I feel much easier and happier since our marriage than ever before

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

our engagement that caused so much foolish speculation and gossip to our acquaintances and which frequently gave us both considerable annoyance. More especially little pussy seemed very cross when told that her Highland lad should never turn again. I am again disturbed and must bid you good night. God bless and keep your and believe me ever to remain your own faithful husband


Donald McLean

20 Novr
Since I last wrote I have had a great meeting of natives. Paid them £1000 so that gold is abundant here at present. I have disposed of several things, clothing etc to Park and others as they were chiefly things that you would not like me to wear so that the cash will be quite as acceptable to both of us. I only wish some of my odds and ends from Taranaki were here. I could sell them all for good prices and buy sheep. The sheep I have got here are doing well. I sold a hundred of them lately for £100 and I have still more than I commenced with 7 months ago, and I am

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

20th Nov contd. A sail in sight. In a few moments I hope to have such a number of letters from Douglas. How delightful! I trust they contain good news and that poor Mama is better. My only fear is in consequence of her weak state of health half an hour will remove all anxiety and suspense. By this vessel I will send a box or two of my things. I fear this vessel will bring passengers which will disturb the quietness of my present lodgings and prevent me from writing so fully to my pet as I should wish. I will send you Allison's Europe, 19 vols . The 20th is at Capt Daniel's. I purchased them from Capt Thomas for our amusement during the long winter nights. They are delightful reading and just exactly the kind of reading you are so fond of. Deep reasoning and extensive knowledge conveyed in a most agreeable and pleasing style. I am living at Villiers Hotel. The natives have a fine large house for me but it was so full of people during late native meetings that I prefer taking my

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

quarters here, the Survey Office being too small for Park, Pelichet and myself, besides it interfered with their privacy and arrangements. Lodging here is rather expensive, £1 a week, but the place is quiet and exceedingly comfortable and clean, and being married myself I like to live with married people and quiet. I never was happier in my life than I now am and I trust that nothing will ever arise to disturb that happiness and that hereafter we shall not be so much separated as we are now obliged to be. I may say that the greatest and most important part of my duties here are completed and thankful do I feel for getting through them so well, however it may be sometime before I can get to Wellington although of course you know my anxiety to join you. Keep yourself quite easy respecting me. I never was in better spirits or health. Matters here have prospered with

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

me beyond my most sanguine expectations and I hope some day to take you with me to travel over the scenes of my laborious operations when I can call to your mind what took place here, what happened there, how such a spot was alienated to our sovereign and an other retained. Added to this you may see instead of a waste wilderness, cottages with their smiling cheerful inhabitants gratefully acknowledging the advantages they and their smiling red faced healthy urchins may derive from the early pioneer of the land of their adoption. But it is to the Almighty that we have to acknowledge all thankfulness for these innumerable blessings that He in His wisdom bestows on the wicked children of men. How little do we deserve His great and wonderful mercies. The vessel has now cast anchor and I feel quite a palpitation till pussy's letters are opened. I am anxious about my own pet but particularly so about poor Mama. I feel so vexed that there is nothing here I can send her, neither have I got a mat for pussy's kitchen but I must try to get one if possible. There are several of your own at Taranaki. I must enclose you some of the recent letters from there

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

in which you will perceive that your Ladyship is quite welcome in that fine district. Have you been debating with yourself whether we should reside permanently in Wellington or not. The climate at Ahuriri is beautiful but I am myself quite undecided where we shall take up our permanent abode although it would be greatly to our advantage in a pecuniary point of view to have that point set at rest. Much however will depend upon Mama's state of health as I conceive it to be our duty to willingly give up any personal considerations for her sake. I find that I had plenty of coats, shirts and trousers at this place without taking such a supply from Wellington. I sold 2 of the coats and I have still 3 including your favourite striped one and to confirm your good taste no one offers to take my striped trousers they are so ugly so I must keep them for winter wear. Thomas has just taken a pair of my duck ones for 5/-, Park my tartan and 2 other vests at 16/ each. I have bought Thomas's watch for £12 and sold my own for £10. I like the excitement of barter and exchange when doing so with gentlemen and in fact we always do it in the bush to pass an idle hour. Thomas sold £80 worth in this room in one day last week.

[Note on transcription: 'History of Europe from the French Revolution', written by Rev Archibald Alison.]

English (MD)

Ahuriri
15 Novr 1851


My dearest Douglas

I have been quite delighted with the receipt of your three letters, the first without date, I presume to have been the 3rd containing an interesting diary on the 9th. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than to hear continually from you, and the plan you have adopted in your last of noting down daily events and informing me of Mama's state of health gives me the greatest satisfaction. There was one letter of mine from Morrison's station at Wairarapa which I entrusted to a Mr Cassils who lives in a house of Mr St Hill's and known to Papa, enclosing £3, which you say nothing about. I hope you have received it. If not will you request Papa to make enquiries as to its safety. Give my kindest love to Mama and tell her that I hope to find her much better when I get back. I always think of her during the fine weather and imagine that with your own and Papa's care and attention she must be making some improvement. At all events it is a great comfort to me to think that my affectionate little pussy has opportunities of paying every attention to her mother in her present infirm state. How sad you would feel if removed at any distance from her during her present illness.

We had severe weather in coming here but now the weather and climate of Ahuriri is all that we can wish. Capt Thomas and others have just come in to talk about sheep, runs, etc so that I must leave off for this time and again address my little pet when I am more alone. I have had tea. Park, Pelichet, Thomas, Curling and other mess mates are enjoying their evening tumbler at the hotel while I am much more happily employed in writing to my little slave even if she does not get my letter for weeks. I am vexed with myself that I did not write you 10 days ago from the Waipukurau where I was paying £1800 to the natives as there was a party of Manawatu chiefs who would have gladly taken a letter but I fancied that the 'Rose' or some other vessel would be laying in Ahuriri but much to my disappointment no vessel is even yet in sight from any quarter except a whaler the 'Prince of Wales' which has brought no news in any way interesting to me. I never had the slightest idea before our marriage that I should be so constantly thinking of you at all hours, morning, noon and night and nothing I can assure you will delay me an hour longer than I can help in getting back to see you and the various changes and improvements you have made in my absence notwithstanding this constant thinking and desire to be with you. I feel much easier and happier since our marriage than ever before our engagement that caused so much foolish speculation and gossip to our acquaintances and which frequently gave us both considerable annoyance. More especially little pussy seemed very cross when told that her Highland lad should never turn again. I am again disturbed and must bid you good night. God bless and keep your and believe me ever to remain your own faithful husband


Donald McLean

20 Novr
Since I last wrote I have had a great meeting of natives. Paid them £1000 so that gold is abundant here at present. I have disposed of several things, clothing etc to Park and others as they were chiefly things that you would not like me to wear so that the cash will be quite as acceptable to both of us. I only wish some of my odds and ends from Taranaki were here. I could sell them all for good prices and buy sheep. The sheep I have got here are doing well. I sold a hundred of them lately for £100 and I have still more than I commenced with 7 months ago, and I am 20th Nov contd. A sail in sight. In a few moments I hope to have such a number of letters from Douglas. How delightful! I trust they contain good news and that poor Mama is better. My only fear is in consequence of her weak state of health half an hour will remove all anxiety and suspense. By this vessel I will send a box or two of my things. I fear this vessel will bring passengers which will disturb the quietness of my present lodgings and prevent me from writing so fully to my pet as I should wish. I will send you Allison's Europe, 19 vols . The 20th is at Capt Daniel's. I purchased them from Capt Thomas for our amusement during the long winter nights. They are delightful reading and just exactly the kind of reading you are so fond of. Deep reasoning and extensive knowledge conveyed in a most agreeable and pleasing style. I am living at Villiers Hotel. The natives have a fine large house for me but it was so full of people during late native meetings that I prefer taking my quarters here, the Survey Office being too small for Park, Pelichet and myself, besides it interfered with their privacy and arrangements. Lodging here is rather expensive, £1 a week, but the place is quiet and exceedingly comfortable and clean, and being married myself I like to live with married people and quiet. I never was happier in my life than I now am and I trust that nothing will ever arise to disturb that happiness and that hereafter we shall not be so much separated as we are now obliged to be. I may say that the greatest and most important part of my duties here are completed and thankful do I feel for getting through them so well, however it may be sometime before I can get to Wellington although of course you know my anxiety to join you. Keep yourself quite easy respecting me. I never was in better spirits or health. Matters here have prospered with me beyond my most sanguine expectations and I hope some day to take you with me to travel over the scenes of my laborious operations when I can call to your mind what took place here, what happened there, how such a spot was alienated to our sovereign and an other retained. Added to this you may see instead of a waste wilderness, cottages with their smiling cheerful inhabitants gratefully acknowledging the advantages they and their smiling red faced healthy urchins may derive from the early pioneer of the land of their adoption. But it is to the Almighty that we have to acknowledge all thankfulness for these innumerable blessings that He in His wisdom bestows on the wicked children of men. How little do we deserve His great and wonderful mercies. The vessel has now cast anchor and I feel quite a palpitation till pussy's letters are opened. I am anxious about my own pet but particularly so about poor Mama. I feel so vexed that there is nothing here I can send her, neither have I got a mat for pussy's kitchen but I must try to get one if possible. There are several of your own at Taranaki. I must enclose you some of the recent letters from there in which you will perceive that your Ladyship is quite welcome in that fine district. Have you been debating with yourself whether we should reside permanently in Wellington or not. The climate at Ahuriri is beautiful but I am myself quite undecided where we shall take up our permanent abode although it would be greatly to our advantage in a pecuniary point of view to have that point set at rest. Much however will depend upon Mama's state of health as I conceive it to be our duty to willingly give up any personal considerations for her sake. I find that I had plenty of coats, shirts and trousers at this place without taking such a supply from Wellington. I sold 2 of the coats and I have still 3 including your favourite striped one and to confirm your good taste no one offers to take my striped trousers they are so ugly so I must keep them for winter wear. Thomas has just taken a pair of my duck ones for 5/-, Park my tartan and 2 other vests at 16/ each. I have bought Thomas's watch for £12 and sold my own for £10. I like the excitement of barter and exchange when doing so with gentlemen and in fact we always do it in the bush to pass an idle hour. Thomas sold £80 worth in this room in one day last week.

[Note on transcription: 'History of Europe from the French Revolution', written by Rev Archibald Alison.]

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)

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