Object #1016595 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

6 pages written 19 Jan 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.

Download alow-resolution PDF or high-resolution PDF

Page 1 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Wellington Terrace
January 19th [1852]


My dearest Donald

I was so delighted to receive this morning your letter from Waikanae as it set my mind at rest about my darling husband as I have felt so uneasy about him since I heard he had been so unwell. I wrote to you on Saturday by Mr McDonald but as he did not leave till yesterday I suppose you will not receive it before this evening.

I still continue to feel better and I am sure if I go somewhere with you for a change I will be as strong as I was before you went to Ahuriri.

Page 2 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Poor Papa seems so dull for the last two days. I hope love for his sake you will be home by the end of the week and then when you are here we will perhaps be able to persuade him to leave that house altogether. I am sure he will always feel miserable when he is in it. I hope we will be able to persuade him for I really quite dread going back to live there. I get in low spirits whenever I go up. I feel as if I could do nothing but wander from room to room and I always at last sit down and cry. It is quite impossible I can ever be happy there every thing brings back her whom I have lost to my remembrance. If I cannot keep up my spirits in this house where we were so happy how can I be while I nursed my dear mother on

Page 3 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

her deathbed without feeling miserable. Jessie also feels the same. She says she is sure she never will be well there. I told you that the doctor was going to speak to Papa and perhaps he will persuade him better than us. Is it not strange that I am not able to sleep at night yet last night I do not think I slept half an hour at a time. I was constantly getting up and wandering about the room. Jessie got so cross that she said she would tie me in bed tonight. I think it must be the heat of the weather. It has been much warmer since you left. I have not commenced bathing yet and I will not be able to do so till the end of the week but you must not scold for it was Mrs Kirton who would not allow me to go. I shall tell you the reason when I [crossed out] you come

Page 4 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

home. I am so cross darling and I intend to scold you when you come home for Mr Kirton has never sent back your shirt and handkerchief and I think he has gone. I shall not allow you to lend again and you must obey your little slave or she will never kiss you again. Papa laughed when he saw another letter this morning. I am sure he thinks we are very fond of each other. What made you date your letter from Waikanae the 27th when it was only the 16th. I hope you dated no other letters the same way. If you had not been married people might have said you were in love. I think however you are more so than you were before your marriage. Bye the bye Mr Pelhcut [sic] is to be married on Thursday. They are not going to take so long to think about it as we did but I think darling

Page 5 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

that we acted in a more wise manner by having a long courtship as it enabled us to know each other's temper and disposition before our marriage as well as we do now.

I must now my darling bid you good bye as I must go to my work and not sit writing love letters to my husband all day although I must say you deserve a long letter. You have been so good in writing to your little slave. God bless and keep you in safety my own dearest husband and believe me ever


Your own affectionate wife
Susan D McLean

Page 6 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


I shall expect you home on Friday or Saturday at the latest if the natives are troublesome. You must get cross with them and not allow them to detain you. You appear to me to have been away a month. Again I never heard such impudence to say that I am between 25 & 30. Won't I punish you for that when you come home. I am much too young for you.

[Note on transcription: Mr Pelhcut = Charles Pelichet]

English (MD)

Wellington Terrace
January 19th [1852]


My dearest Donald

I was so delighted to receive this morning your letter from Waikanae as it set my mind at rest about my darling husband as I have felt so uneasy about him since I heard he had been so unwell. I wrote to you on Saturday by Mr McDonald but as he did not leave till yesterday I suppose you will not receive it before this evening.

I still continue to feel better and I am sure if I go somewhere with you for a change I will be as strong as I was before you went to Ahuriri. Poor Papa seems so dull for the last two days. I hope love for his sake you will be home by the end of the week and then when you are here we will perhaps be able to persuade him to leave that house altogether. I am sure he will always feel miserable when he is in it. I hope we will be able to persuade him for I really quite dread going back to live there. I get in low spirits whenever I go up. I feel as if I could do nothing but wander from room to room and I always at last sit down and cry. It is quite impossible I can ever be happy there every thing brings back her whom I have lost to my remembrance. If I cannot keep up my spirits in this house where we were so happy how can I be while I nursed my dear mother on her deathbed without feeling miserable. Jessie also feels the same. She says she is sure she never will be well there. I told you that the doctor was going to speak to Papa and perhaps he will persuade him better than us. Is it not strange that I am not able to sleep at night yet last night I do not think I slept half an hour at a time. I was constantly getting up and wandering about the room. Jessie got so cross that she said she would tie me in bed tonight. I think it must be the heat of the weather. It has been much warmer since you left. I have not commenced bathing yet and I will not be able to do so till the end of the week but you must not scold for it was Mrs Kirton who would not allow me to go. I shall tell you the reason when I [crossed out] you come home. I am so cross darling and I intend to scold you when you come home for Mr Kirton has never sent back your shirt and handkerchief and I think he has gone. I shall not allow you to lend again and you must obey your little slave or she will never kiss you again. Papa laughed when he saw another letter this morning. I am sure he thinks we are very fond of each other. What made you date your letter from Waikanae the 27th when it was only the 16th. I hope you dated no other letters the same way. If you had not been married people might have said you were in love. I think however you are more so than you were before your marriage. Bye the bye Mr Pelhcut [sic] is to be married on Thursday. They are not going to take so long to think about it as we did but I think darling that we acted in a more wise manner by having a long courtship as it enabled us to know each other's temper and disposition before our marriage as well as we do now.

I must now my darling bid you good bye as I must go to my work and not sit writing love letters to my husband all day although I must say you deserve a long letter. You have been so good in writing to your little slave. God bless and keep you in safety my own dearest husband and believe me ever


Your own affectionate wife
Susan D McLean

I shall expect you home on Friday or Saturday at the latest if the natives are troublesome. You must get cross with them and not allow them to detain you. You appear to me to have been away a month. Again I never heard such impudence to say that I am between 25 & 30. Won't I punish you for that when you come home. I am much too young for you.

[Note on transcription: Mr Pelhcut = Charles Pelichet]

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)

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=1016595). 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