Object #1019411 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

8 pages written 19 Jul 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 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
July 19th 1852


My dearest Donald

I was delighted when Papa brought me a letter on Saturday. I had quite given up hopes of having one on Friday as they told Johnny at the Post Office that there were none for us and when Papa came home and told me he had not got one by the policeman I felt very much disappointed and quite uneasy for I was sure my darling never would allow an opportunity to pass without writing unless he was ill. I could scarcely sleep all night and I can not tell you how happy your letter made me the next day. We had a tolerable day yesterday and I went to church in the morning. Papa did not go as he did not feel well. He has not looked well for more than a week. The bad weather has prevented him taking exercise.

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I think he misses you very much as he does not appear in such good spirits as when you are at home. You have so many ways of amusing him and preventing him from thinking of poor Mama which I can not do as I am not able to converse on subjects which can interest him. I went out for a walk today and called to see Mrs Hussey's baby. It is a nice little thing although I cannot say it is a beauty but I never saw a baby I thought so. I am no admirer of them. I called also for young Mrs McDonald but she was not at home. I then went to Mrs Hickson's. She is very ill poor thing. She is one who never complains unless she is really unwell and she seemed in such low spirits. She was saying when I went in she must miss her husband so much and Ellen is unable to get down to see her. Poor Mrs Stokes is fast sinking. I am sorry you did not see her before you left for I am almost certain you will see again. Her memory is quite gone. She often asks the same

Page 3 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

question three or four times in five minutes. The other day she asked how Mama was. Miss Hunter sat with her for some time today and she told me that she had been asking her when things were going to take place which had happened years ago. It is impossible she can live long for she can take no food of any kind. I shall bid you now good night. I am afraid my darling you will scarcely be able to read this. I have written so ill but I know [sic] do not care how I write as long as I tell all my thoughts. Good night my dearest love. May God bless and preserve you.

Tuesday night
It is three weeks tonight since my darling husband left me. How I wish another month were past as I might then hope every hour to see him. I fear darling you will not be here by our wedding day as you have been detained so long on the way. I shall be very sorry if we cannot spend the first anniversary of that happy day

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

together. I do not believe two have ever been married for eleven months who are as fond of each other as we are. I am certain there is not such a happy wife in New Zealand as me. Before I became your wife I felt sure I would be happy with and I have never since regretted having become yours. It has been a lovely day. Mary and Ellen Paul came up to spend the day and we took a walk by Symmon's farm. You would be quite amused if you saw what a fidget Papa is in lest I should over fatigue myself. I told him one morning I was going down to see Mrs Stokes and about the middle of the day he sent Spiers up with a note for no other reason than to tell me that on no account was I to go out as the road was so slippery as he knew you would not allow me if you were at home. I am sure you need not be afraid when you leave me under his care. He is as careful of me as you were and I am

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

sure I do not require so much attention. I am getting so strong and well. The Minister was up here today and he said he was certain you would be delighted to see the change in me when you come home. I am sure I ought to be thankful to God for being in such good health as I have been for so many years delicate. I know poor Mama had many an anxious thought about me. She seemed always so uneasy about me when I was ill. Many a sleepless night has she had at my sickbed. I shall never forget when I was so ill after Mrs Kelham's ball how attentive she was to me although her last illness was even then coming on nothing would persuade her to leave me for some nights. She slept on the sofa in the parlour at my room door so that she might come in whenever she heard the least sound.

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

How thankful I am that I received strength to repay that love in watching her to the last. I must say goodnight now my dearest husband as it is very late.

Wednesday night
My dear husband must forgive his pussy if I only write a few lines tonight as I feel very much fatigued and I would like to go soon to bed. I went today to plant flowers on Mama's grave. I was very anxious to get it done while the roads were a little better. They have been quite impassable for sometime up there, although I felt it very much still I felt a melancholy pleasure in planting the flowers on dear Mama's grave as it is the only way I can show my love for her. Poor Papa seems so pleased that I have done it. When I was coming home I went in to the Minister's to rest a little. I found that he was very ill and confined to bed. Mrs Kirton told me she was quite

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

alarmed this morning. He must have been very ill for she sent for Dr Featherstone and when she found he could not come for an hour and half she sent for Dr Dorset. She thinks now that he is out of danger. His illness was caused I believe by cold. Almost everyone is complaining it just now. I think it was only a cold Papa had on Thursday. He is much better now. I called also to see Mrs Hunter. She looks as though there had been nothing the matter with her. The baby is really a very pretty little thing, much prettier than babies usually are. The parents all seem so proud of it. I don't think its Mama will have much trouble with it as it has so many nurses. Poor Bethune has been very ill but he is getting better now. I saw him today in passing. What a stupid man

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

he is not to get married. If he had a wife how much better it would be for him instead of only having a boy to attend to him. I am sure my Donald would not be a bachelor again on my account at least he always tells me so. Mr Park has gone to Whanganui. I am going up to see Miss Hart tomorrow to console her. I wonder if she feels the separation from her dearly beloved as much I used to do. I do not think however she is as much in love with him as I was with my darling Donald. Miss Kelly has gone home. She could not remain longer as Mrs Sharp is going to the Hutt. She has been really very kind sewing for me since she came. I would never have got on so well with my work has she not been here. I said love I would only write a few lines but I cannot stop writing when I begin. I must stop however for want of paper. God bless you my darling husband and believe me


Your own affectionate
Susan D McLean

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
July 19th 1852


My dearest Donald

I was delighted when Papa brought me a letter on Saturday. I had quite given up hopes of having one on Friday as they told Johnny at the Post Office that there were none for us and when Papa came home and told me he had not got one by the policeman I felt very much disappointed and quite uneasy for I was sure my darling never would allow an opportunity to pass without writing unless he was ill. I could scarcely sleep all night and I can not tell you how happy your letter made me the next day. We had a tolerable day yesterday and I went to church in the morning. Papa did not go as he did not feel well. He has not looked well for more than a week. The bad weather has prevented him taking exercise. I think he misses you very much as he does not appear in such good spirits as when you are at home. You have so many ways of amusing him and preventing him from thinking of poor Mama which I can not do as I am not able to converse on subjects which can interest him. I went out for a walk today and called to see Mrs Hussey's baby. It is a nice little thing although I cannot say it is a beauty but I never saw a baby I thought so. I am no admirer of them. I called also for young Mrs McDonald but she was not at home. I then went to Mrs Hickson's. She is very ill poor thing. She is one who never complains unless she is really unwell and she seemed in such low spirits. She was saying when I went in she must miss her husband so much and Ellen is unable to get down to see her. Poor Mrs Stokes is fast sinking. I am sorry you did not see her before you left for I am almost certain you will see again. Her memory is quite gone. She often asks the same question three or four times in five minutes. The other day she asked how Mama was. Miss Hunter sat with her for some time today and she told me that she had been asking her when things were going to take place which had happened years ago. It is impossible she can live long for she can take no food of any kind. I shall bid you now good night. I am afraid my darling you will scarcely be able to read this. I have written so ill but I know [sic] do not care how I write as long as I tell all my thoughts. Good night my dearest love. May God bless and preserve you.

Tuesday night
It is three weeks tonight since my darling husband left me. How I wish another month were past as I might then hope every hour to see him. I fear darling you will not be here by our wedding day as you have been detained so long on the way. I shall be very sorry if we cannot spend the first anniversary of that happy day together. I do not believe two have ever been married for eleven months who are as fond of each other as we are. I am certain there is not such a happy wife in New Zealand as me. Before I became your wife I felt sure I would be happy with and I have never since regretted having become yours. It has been a lovely day. Mary and Ellen Paul came up to spend the day and we took a walk by Symmon's farm. You would be quite amused if you saw what a fidget Papa is in lest I should over fatigue myself. I told him one morning I was going down to see Mrs Stokes and about the middle of the day he sent Spiers up with a note for no other reason than to tell me that on no account was I to go out as the road was so slippery as he knew you would not allow me if you were at home. I am sure you need not be afraid when you leave me under his care. He is as careful of me as you were and I am sure I do not require so much attention. I am getting so strong and well. The Minister was up here today and he said he was certain you would be delighted to see the change in me when you come home. I am sure I ought to be thankful to God for being in such good health as I have been for so many years delicate. I know poor Mama had many an anxious thought about me. She seemed always so uneasy about me when I was ill. Many a sleepless night has she had at my sickbed. I shall never forget when I was so ill after Mrs Kelham's ball how attentive she was to me although her last illness was even then coming on nothing would persuade her to leave me for some nights. She slept on the sofa in the parlour at my room door so that she might come in whenever she heard the least sound. How thankful I am that I received strength to repay that love in watching her to the last. I must say goodnight now my dearest husband as it is very late.

Wednesday night
My dear husband must forgive his pussy if I only write a few lines tonight as I feel very much fatigued and I would like to go soon to bed. I went today to plant flowers on Mama's grave. I was very anxious to get it done while the roads were a little better. They have been quite impassable for sometime up there, although I felt it very much still I felt a melancholy pleasure in planting the flowers on dear Mama's grave as it is the only way I can show my love for her. Poor Papa seems so pleased that I have done it. When I was coming home I went in to the Minister's to rest a little. I found that he was very ill and confined to bed. Mrs Kirton told me she was quite alarmed this morning. He must have been very ill for she sent for Dr Featherstone and when she found he could not come for an hour and half she sent for Dr Dorset. She thinks now that he is out of danger. His illness was caused I believe by cold. Almost everyone is complaining it just now. I think it was only a cold Papa had on Thursday. He is much better now. I called also to see Mrs Hunter. She looks as though there had been nothing the matter with her. The baby is really a very pretty little thing, much prettier than babies usually are. The parents all seem so proud of it. I don't think its Mama will have much trouble with it as it has so many nurses. Poor Bethune has been very ill but he is getting better now. I saw him today in passing. What a stupid man he is not to get married. If he had a wife how much better it would be for him instead of only having a boy to attend to him. I am sure my Donald would not be a bachelor again on my account at least he always tells me so. Mr Park has gone to Whanganui. I am going up to see Miss Hart tomorrow to console her. I wonder if she feels the separation from her dearly beloved as much I used to do. I do not think however she is as much in love with him as I was with my darling Donald. Miss Kelly has gone home. She could not remain longer as Mrs Sharp is going to the Hutt. She has been really very kind sewing for me since she came. I would never have got on so well with my work has she not been here. I said love I would only write a few lines but I cannot stop writing when I begin. I must stop however for want of paper. God bless you my darling husband and believe me


Your own affectionate
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)

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=1019411). 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