Object #1012614 from MS-Papers-0032-0827

8 pages written 1851 by Susan Douglas McLean to Sir Donald 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)

Thursday evening October 9th 1851


Your things by the 'Phoebe' have come. They were to be sent up today. I send two letters Papa got for you. I shall send also your brush which I was so stupid as to forget.

My dearest Donald

Although I wrote you a long letter only on Monday I must write you a few lines this evening as it was this day six weeks that I became your wife and happy weeks they have been to me. Indeed they were the happiest I ever spent in my life. I can scarcely yet believe that it is reality that nothing but death can part us. It seems to be too much happiness for me. I trust however that I shall always be grateful to that God who has blessed me so much and I hope my own dear husband that we may never

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

forget Him but serve Him with our whole hearts through life. I hope darling you are far on in your [way] to Ahuriri by this time. I trust you have better weather than we have here. It has rained today so much that I could not get up to see Mama as I was sitting this afternoon at work beside Jessie in the kitchen I began to think of you and wonder if it was possible that you would be out in such stormy weather. The thought of this made me feel in low spirits and I was foolish enough to walk into the parlour and sit down and cry which was foolish I must acknowledge but you must forgive your little slave for indulging in such foolish fears. It is indeed a great comfort that I have Jessie with me. She prevents me from feeling very lonely and she is as careful of me as you could be. Mama is

Page 3 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

better today. It makes me feel so happy to see that she is getting better. I can see that you will feel the same. I must bid you my own darling husband good night. I have not read this evening yet and I wish to get through Charlemange. God bless you my dearest and keep you under His protection. My own dear love I received your letter this afternoon at a time when I very much required something to comfort me for when I went up to Mama I found her much worse. Her cough had been very bad all night and she felt very weak and she looked dreadfully ill. It makes me feel so unhappy to see poor Mama suffer so much and makes me feel your absence so much more for I have no one to comfort me but I am wrong in saying that I have none to comfort me for I ought to look to our Heavenly Father for comfort and support in my sorrow and he will give me strength to bear whatever afflictions he may send I trust he may in his many spare my dear mother and restore her to health but he knows

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

what is best for us and if he should see it right to take her from me, dreadful as the loss would be to me, I must strive to submit to his will with patience but my darling husband I am wrong in writing this way to you. I am afraid it will make you unhappy but I felt when I sat down to write to you that I must tell you all my feelings. Dear Mama may not after all be so ill as I imagine. It may be that my anxiety for her causes me to fancy that she looks worse than she really is. I am going up tomorrow morning to Mama's whenever breakfast is over and to spend all the day with her. I have now returned nearly all my visits. I went on Monday with Miss Hart to call for all the people at the other end and I went with Miss Kelly today to call for those on the Terrace and flat. I have only to call for Mrs McDonald, Mrs Carkeek and Mrs Smith. I am so glad to hear that your rheumatism is better for I have been quite uneasy about it. How unfortunate this bad weather has been for you but I am glad that you were

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

not travelling in it. I was quite anxious about you. I am glad to hear that you get up early. We are getting very active here. We seldom have breakfast later than half past eight. What do you think of that? You must not fear darling that I do not take care of myself for I am very careful. I know that I do not live for myself alone, that I have a husband to think of. I am getting really very strong and healthy. My cold is nearly gone, indeed I think I have got over this cold or influenza that is going about much better than the most of people have done. It is such a nasty lingering complaint. Dr Featherston says that almost everybody has had it more or less. I suppose you will be glad to hear that it is almost certain that you have got your wish. I think there is no doubt of it now. When you write do not take any notice of it

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

in your letter in case Papa should ask to see it. If you wish to say anything write it on a small piece of paper. Papa told me today that there would be an opportunity of sending a letter to you on Monday morning so I shall send this and this letter which I have written. I must now consider my own dearest husband as it is nearly 12 o'clock and I feel fatigued. May God bless and preserve you my dearest Donald and bring you back in safety to your


affectionate wife
Susan D McLean

Saturday night
I received this evening with an affectionate note from Ellen Paul in beautiful antimacasser which she had worked for me. Was it not kind of her in the midst of all their

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

afflictions to make it for me.

Monday morning
My dearest Donald
I got up at 6 this morning that I might be able to write a little more to you before Papa call for the letter so you see love that I am not very lazy. I thought as I got up that you might be then starting on your journey. If poor Mama were well how much I should like to be with you. I trust however that I shall be able to go with you to Taranaki if she is better. Perhaps after all I shall be obliged to give up all thoughts of going there except by sea as I may not be able. It is really very annoying. I shall be very much disappointed if I cannot go. I am happy to tell you that I found Mama much better yesterday then she was on Saturday. She really looked very ill then and I came home in exceedingly low spirits. As the day was so fine yesterday she sat outside for

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

some time and I think it did her a great deal of good. I trust that when the fine weather comes she will get strong. I answered my cousin Maria's letter last week and told her all about our wedding. Mr Hervey called for Mama with his wife the day after his arrival. Mama thinks that she is a very nice person. I met them on the beach on Friday. She is not plain looking. I think she is rather pretty. She is much too good for him. Your large dog has come back. Mrs Williamson sent him up to me. I fastened him up but he got loose again and has ran back I suppose to her. I must send for him today and get a chain. Tomorrow you will have been gone a fortnight. The time has passed slowly with me. It has appeared longer than the five weeks we were together after our marriage. I trust darling you will not be away more than six weeks or two months. I know however you will not stay away a day longer than you can help from your little slave. Mama desired me yesterday to give you her love. I must conclude darling although I would wish to go on writing to you for hours. Both letters are dreadfully written but I know that you will receive them with pleasure however bad the writing is as they express the feelings of your affectionate wife, Susan D McLean

English (MD)

Thursday evening October 9th 1851


Your things by the 'Phoebe' have come. They were to be sent up today. I send two letters Papa got for you. I shall send also your brush which I was so stupid as to forget.

My dearest Donald

Although I wrote you a long letter only on Monday I must write you a few lines this evening as it was this day six weeks that I became your wife and happy weeks they have been to me. Indeed they were the happiest I ever spent in my life. I can scarcely yet believe that it is reality that nothing but death can part us. It seems to be too much happiness for me. I trust however that I shall always be grateful to that God who has blessed me so much and I hope my own dear husband that we may never forget Him but serve Him with our whole hearts through life. I hope darling you are far on in your [way] to Ahuriri by this time. I trust you have better weather than we have here. It has rained today so much that I could not get up to see Mama as I was sitting this afternoon at work beside Jessie in the kitchen I began to think of you and wonder if it was possible that you would be out in such stormy weather. The thought of this made me feel in low spirits and I was foolish enough to walk into the parlour and sit down and cry which was foolish I must acknowledge but you must forgive your little slave for indulging in such foolish fears. It is indeed a great comfort that I have Jessie with me. She prevents me from feeling very lonely and she is as careful of me as you could be. Mama is better today. It makes me feel so happy to see that she is getting better. I can see that you will feel the same. I must bid you my own darling husband good night. I have not read this evening yet and I wish to get through Charlemange. God bless you my dearest and keep you under His protection. My own dear love I received your letter this afternoon at a time when I very much required something to comfort me for when I went up to Mama I found her much worse. Her cough had been very bad all night and she felt very weak and she looked dreadfully ill. It makes me feel so unhappy to see poor Mama suffer so much and makes me feel your absence so much more for I have no one to comfort me but I am wrong in saying that I have none to comfort me for I ought to look to our Heavenly Father for comfort and support in my sorrow and he will give me strength to bear whatever afflictions he may send I trust he may in his many spare my dear mother and restore her to health but he knows what is best for us and if he should see it right to take her from me, dreadful as the loss would be to me, I must strive to submit to his will with patience but my darling husband I am wrong in writing this way to you. I am afraid it will make you unhappy but I felt when I sat down to write to you that I must tell you all my feelings. Dear Mama may not after all be so ill as I imagine. It may be that my anxiety for her causes me to fancy that she looks worse than she really is. I am going up tomorrow morning to Mama's whenever breakfast is over and to spend all the day with her. I have now returned nearly all my visits. I went on Monday with Miss Hart to call for all the people at the other end and I went with Miss Kelly today to call for those on the Terrace and flat. I have only to call for Mrs McDonald, Mrs Carkeek and Mrs Smith. I am so glad to hear that your rheumatism is better for I have been quite uneasy about it. How unfortunate this bad weather has been for you but I am glad that you were not travelling in it. I was quite anxious about you. I am glad to hear that you get up early. We are getting very active here. We seldom have breakfast later than half past eight. What do you think of that? You must not fear darling that I do not take care of myself for I am very careful. I know that I do not live for myself alone, that I have a husband to think of. I am getting really very strong and healthy. My cold is nearly gone, indeed I think I have got over this cold or influenza that is going about much better than the most of people have done. It is such a nasty lingering complaint. Dr Featherston says that almost everybody has had it more or less. I suppose you will be glad to hear that it is almost certain that you have got your wish. I think there is no doubt of it now. When you write do not take any notice of it in your letter in case Papa should ask to see it. If you wish to say anything write it on a small piece of paper. Papa told me today that there would be an opportunity of sending a letter to you on Monday morning so I shall send this and this letter which I have written. I must now consider my own dearest husband as it is nearly 12 o'clock and I feel fatigued. May God bless and preserve you my dearest Donald and bring you back in safety to your


affectionate wife
Susan D McLean

Saturday night
I received this evening with an affectionate note from Ellen Paul in beautiful antimacasser which she had worked for me. Was it not kind of her in the midst of all their afflictions to make it for me.

Monday morning
My dearest Donald
I got up at 6 this morning that I might be able to write a little more to you before Papa call for the letter so you see love that I am not very lazy. I thought as I got up that you might be then starting on your journey. If poor Mama were well how much I should like to be with you. I trust however that I shall be able to go with you to Taranaki if she is better. Perhaps after all I shall be obliged to give up all thoughts of going there except by sea as I may not be able. It is really very annoying. I shall be very much disappointed if I cannot go. I am happy to tell you that I found Mama much better yesterday then she was on Saturday. She really looked very ill then and I came home in exceedingly low spirits. As the day was so fine yesterday she sat outside for some time and I think it did her a great deal of good. I trust that when the fine weather comes she will get strong. I answered my cousin Maria's letter last week and told her all about our wedding. Mr Hervey called for Mama with his wife the day after his arrival. Mama thinks that she is a very nice person. I met them on the beach on Friday. She is not plain looking. I think she is rather pretty. She is much too good for him. Your large dog has come back. Mrs Williamson sent him up to me. I fastened him up but he got loose again and has ran back I suppose to her. I must send for him today and get a chain. Tomorrow you will have been gone a fortnight. The time has passed slowly with me. It has appeared longer than the five weeks we were together after our marriage. I trust darling you will not be away more than six weeks or two months. I know however you will not stay away a day longer than you can help from your little slave. Mama desired me yesterday to give you her love. I must conclude darling although I would wish to go on writing to you for hours. Both letters are dreadfully written but I know that you will receive them with pleasure however bad the writing is as they express the feelings of your affectionate wife, Susan D McLean

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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