Object #1017709 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

5 pages written 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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English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
Friday night [1852]


My own dearest Donald

I did not write to you last night as I had been out all day and I felt so fatigued that I had to go to bed immediately after dinner. I called for Mrs Waitt, Mrs Baker, Mrs Grimstone, Miss Hart and your particular favourite Mrs Kelham. Since I have paid these visits I do not think I shall go again for some time to the other end. I find it is too far for me now for although I am quite well it is no use laying myself up again by walking too far. I must however go up to see Mrs Inglis. I have promised so long to spend a day with her. I was quite vexed when I came home to find Mrs Featherstone and Mrs Wakefield had been up. It is such a long way for Mrs Featherstone to come. Her poor boy has been very ill again. Neither she

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English (MD)

or the Doctor seem to have the least hope of his recovery. I think it would really be a blessing if he were taken away. It must be so distressing to them to see him in [the state] he now is in. I think I told you the night before last that the minister is very ill. Papa called to see him today and he is a good deal better but there is to be no service in the church on Sunday. Mrs Hargreaves had a daughter yesterday. I went to see her this morning and sat a long time with her as she felt very dull having no one with her but the nurse. Her aunt is still very ill. I was told that she was in danger yesterday. I called to enquire on my way home and I was told she was a little better. There is a great deal of illness just now. It is a kind of influenza. Mrs Stephen has also been ill with the same complaint. Poor Mrs Stokes is much worse the last two days. I think she is fast going. I trust she may have as peaceful a death as dear Mama had. I often think of her last moments but

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English (MD)

never now with the painful feelings I had at first I feel so assured of her perfect happiness. I am quite resigned now to my loss and although I feel the want of a mother's love and advice yet I would not wish her back again. You may think darling that I am in low spirits because I write this way but I am quite happy. It is my greatest pleasure now to talk of her to you. I often think that the spirits of the departed watch over those they loved on earth and if they do I am sure my dear mother watches over me. I have never since her death done anything which was not right. Sometimes when I have felt inclined to disobey you but I seemed to hear her say you are doing wrong. I must conclude for tonight love. Jessie came to tell me it is near 12. God bless you my darling Donald.

Sunday night
I am sorry to acknowledge that I did not get up in time to go to the English church as there was no service in our own. Perhaps however it is as

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English (MD)

well. I did not as I have not been there since we were married and being the church to which dear Mama and I used so often to go together I should have felt it very much. I went down to see poor Mrs Stokes today but I found she was too weak to see me. Mr Stokes seems very much distressed. I believe the Doctor thinks it is impossible she can live many days. There has been a great change on her since Friday. I fear to send down to enquire for her tomorrow morning. How fearful it must be to be laid on a deathbed and be unprepared for death to know that we were about to appear before our Judge to answer for our sins and to feel that the Savior who would have washed us in His blood we had despised and rejected. I trust my beloved husband this may never be our case but that while we are in health we may put our whole trust and confidence in our Saviour so that when our last hour comes we may, like our dear mother, depart in peace and happiness.

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
Friday night [1852]


My own dearest Donald

I did not write to you last night as I had been out all day and I felt so fatigued that I had to go to bed immediately after dinner. I called for Mrs Waitt, Mrs Baker, Mrs Grimstone, Miss Hart and your particular favourite Mrs Kelham. Since I have paid these visits I do not think I shall go again for some time to the other end. I find it is too far for me now for although I am quite well it is no use laying myself up again by walking too far. I must however go up to see Mrs Inglis. I have promised so long to spend a day with her. I was quite vexed when I came home to find Mrs Featherstone and Mrs Wakefield had been up. It is such a long way for Mrs Featherstone to come. Her poor boy has been very ill again. Neither she or the Doctor seem to have the least hope of his recovery. I think it would really be a blessing if he were taken away. It must be so distressing to them to see him in [the state] he now is in. I think I told you the night before last that the minister is very ill. Papa called to see him today and he is a good deal better but there is to be no service in the church on Sunday. Mrs Hargreaves had a daughter yesterday. I went to see her this morning and sat a long time with her as she felt very dull having no one with her but the nurse. Her aunt is still very ill. I was told that she was in danger yesterday. I called to enquire on my way home and I was told she was a little better. There is a great deal of illness just now. It is a kind of influenza. Mrs Stephen has also been ill with the same complaint. Poor Mrs Stokes is much worse the last two days. I think she is fast going. I trust she may have as peaceful a death as dear Mama had. I often think of her last moments but never now with the painful feelings I had at first I feel so assured of her perfect happiness. I am quite resigned now to my loss and although I feel the want of a mother's love and advice yet I would not wish her back again. You may think darling that I am in low spirits because I write this way but I am quite happy. It is my greatest pleasure now to talk of her to you. I often think that the spirits of the departed watch over those they loved on earth and if they do I am sure my dear mother watches over me. I have never since her death done anything which was not right. Sometimes when I have felt inclined to disobey you but I seemed to hear her say you are doing wrong. I must conclude for tonight love. Jessie came to tell me it is near 12. God bless you my darling Donald.

Sunday night
I am sorry to acknowledge that I did not get up in time to go to the English church as there was no service in our own. Perhaps however it is as well. I did not as I have not been there since we were married and being the church to which dear Mama and I used so often to go together I should have felt it very much. I went down to see poor Mrs Stokes today but I found she was too weak to see me. Mr Stokes seems very much distressed. I believe the Doctor thinks it is impossible she can live many days. There has been a great change on her since Friday. I fear to send down to enquire for her tomorrow morning. How fearful it must be to be laid on a deathbed and be unprepared for death to know that we were about to appear before our Judge to answer for our sins and to feel that the Savior who would have washed us in His blood we had despised and rejected. I trust my beloved husband this may never be our case but that while we are in health we may put our whole trust and confidence in our Saviour so that when our last hour comes we may, like our dear mother, depart in peace and happiness. I do not think Mrs Stokes has expected to recover for a long time. She has often said that she did not think she would and that she was quite resigned to the will of God. I shall not add more to this letter as I wish to send it down with Papa in the morning. The next letters I send I think I shall address to Whanganui as I hope by the time another vessel reaches Taranaki you will be on your way home. God bless and protect you my own dearest Donald and believe me ever to remain


Your own affectionate wife
Susan D 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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