Object #1019894 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

6 pages written 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.

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Page 1 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
Tuesday morning July 1852


My dearest Donald

I am very sorry that I could not write last night. I had been all day working hard to finish something I was sewing but when I got it done I was too fatigued to begin writing. The weather has been dreadful since Saturday. It [cleared] up a little on Sunday morning and we got to church in the morning with great difficulty. The roads were in such a state I do not think I have seen them so bad for years. At Lyon's they are quite unpassable. It commenced raining again in the afternoon and has continued ever since. It is very annoying to be kept a prisoner this way. I feel so well now that I would like a short walk every day which would be much better for me than sitting sewing from morning till night. I thought

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English (MD)

of you very much last night. I would have given anything to have known where you were and what you were doing. I thought it was possible that you might be in some uncomfortable place between Whanganui and Taranaki or that you might be exposed to the storm and far shelter. I should be very miserable when you were away from me. Did I not feel afraid that our Almighty Father watches over you and keeps you from danger and to Him every morning and night I pray that He will protect and bless my dear husband and bring him home in safety. What a comfort it is to think that if we were in trouble and sorrow we have one friend to go to for help who is always willing and able to support us. But for the help of God I never would have been able to undergo what I did during poor Mama's illness when you were away. I remember the night when I heard for the first time that she could not recover that after I got better I prayed

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English (MD)

that God would give me strength to bear it and enable me to do my duty to the last and I know that prayer was heard and but for the strength that I received I could not have been with her to the last and with my hand closed her eyes. I trust dearest I shall ever look to that God who supported me then for strength to bear all the trials we may have before us through life. I must now dearest love go to my work. It is getting late in the day. God bless you my own love.

Wednesday night
I wonder where my darling Donald is tonight. I trust he is very near Taranaki if not there. The weather cleared up a little and I was quite determined, although the roads were in a fearful state that I would go out a little way. I am so tired of sitting sewing from morning till night. We thought the road up to Mrs Hargreaves would be the best to attempt and we found it much better than we expected. The walk did me a great deal of good. I am in hopes that if it does not rain in the night it may be possible to get down to town. I am getting stronger every day. I never

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English (MD)

now feel the least unwell. I am determined I shall go out every day when it is possible. It is nothing else than constant exercise which has made Mrs Hunter so well. I get up much earlier in the morning now. I am always ready in time for breakfast. I hope you have got over your lazy habits since you have been away. It was really a great shame that we always had breakfast so late. Do you remember our old servant John Farmer (he slept in the study the night you came back from Taranaki). I was very sorry to hear today of his death. He died of consumption. He was only 23. It will be a great affliction to his father and mother. He was such a good young man and it is so short a time since they lost their only daughter. She died about a week or fortnight before poor Mama. But although it is a severe loss it must be a great comfort that he was so religious. It is such a happy thought to know that those we love are enjoying the presence of their God and Saviour. I do not now think of my dear

Page 5 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

mother as laying in that grave over which I have wept but I think of her singing the praises of her Saviour in His Kingdom. Often I think that her spirit watches over me. What a blessed change it was to her from her bed of suffering and how selfish in me to wish her back again. I trust my beloved husband we may all meet her again never more to part. I shall now conclude for tonight. I hear there is a vessel going this week to Taranaki and I shall send this letter by it. It is strange how fortunate we always are in getting opportunities of writing to each other. Good night dearest love. May God bless you.

Friday afternoon
My darling husband I did not write last [night] as I sat too late at work so you must forgive your pussy. I am just going to send down to the post office to see if the mail has come in. I am so anxious to hear.

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
Tuesday morning July 1852


My dearest Donald

I am very sorry that I could not write last night. I had been all day working hard to finish something I was sewing but when I got it done I was too fatigued to begin writing. The weather has been dreadful since Saturday. It [cleared] up a little on Sunday morning and we got to church in the morning with great difficulty. The roads were in such a state I do not think I have seen them so bad for years. At Lyon's they are quite unpassable. It commenced raining again in the afternoon and has continued ever since. It is very annoying to be kept a prisoner this way. I feel so well now that I would like a short walk every day which would be much better for me than sitting sewing from morning till night. I thought of you very much last night. I would have given anything to have known where you were and what you were doing. I thought it was possible that you might be in some uncomfortable place between Whanganui and Taranaki or that you might be exposed to the storm and far shelter. I should be very miserable when you were away from me. Did I not feel afraid that our Almighty Father watches over you and keeps you from danger and to Him every morning and night I pray that He will protect and bless my dear husband and bring him home in safety. What a comfort it is to think that if we were in trouble and sorrow we have one friend to go to for help who is always willing and able to support us. But for the help of God I never would have been able to undergo what I did during poor Mama's illness when you were away. I remember the night when I heard for the first time that she could not recover that after I got better I prayed that God would give me strength to bear it and enable me to do my duty to the last and I know that prayer was heard and but for the strength that I received I could not have been with her to the last and with my hand closed her eyes. I trust dearest I shall ever look to that God who supported me then for strength to bear all the trials we may have before us through life. I must now dearest love go to my work. It is getting late in the day. God bless you my own love.

Wednesday night
I wonder where my darling Donald is tonight. I trust he is very near Taranaki if not there. The weather cleared up a little and I was quite determined, although the roads were in a fearful state that I would go out a little way. I am so tired of sitting sewing from morning till night. We thought the road up to Mrs Hargreaves would be the best to attempt and we found it much better than we expected. The walk did me a great deal of good. I am in hopes that if it does not rain in the night it may be possible to get down to town. I am getting stronger every day. I never now feel the least unwell. I am determined I shall go out every day when it is possible. It is nothing else than constant exercise which has made Mrs Hunter so well. I get up much earlier in the morning now. I am always ready in time for breakfast. I hope you have got over your lazy habits since you have been away. It was really a great shame that we always had breakfast so late. Do you remember our old servant John Farmer (he slept in the study the night you came back from Taranaki). I was very sorry to hear today of his death. He died of consumption. He was only 23. It will be a great affliction to his father and mother. He was such a good young man and it is so short a time since they lost their only daughter. She died about a week or fortnight before poor Mama. But although it is a severe loss it must be a great comfort that he was so religious. It is such a happy thought to know that those we love are enjoying the presence of their God and Saviour. I do not now think of my dear mother as laying in that grave over which I have wept but I think of her singing the praises of her Saviour in His Kingdom. Often I think that her spirit watches over me. What a blessed change it was to her from her bed of suffering and how selfish in me to wish her back again. I trust my beloved husband we may all meet her again never more to part. I shall now conclude for tonight. I hear there is a vessel going this week to Taranaki and I shall send this letter by it. It is strange how fortunate we always are in getting opportunities of writing to each other. Good night dearest love. May God bless you.

Friday afternoon
My darling husband I did not write last [night] as I sat too late at work so you must forgive your pussy. I am just going to send down to the post office to see if the mail has come in. I am so anxious to hear. My dear Donald the weather still continues bad. I feel so sorry for poor Papa having to go down through it every morning. I shall be so glad when I hear that you have arrived at Taranaki. It is such miserable weather for travelling. I think love I shall finish this letter and send it down with Johnny as there may be a vessel going soon and I should not like one to leave without a letter from me as you might hear by it sooner than by the mail and I know you will be anxious to hear from your pussy. I have not told you what a fright I got when I read your letter to Papa from Whanganui. You said that you would be detained a few days there and after that you would sail for Taranaki. I thought you meant that you were really going in a vessel till Papa persuaded me that it was only your way of expressing that you would start at once. Remember my darling that you do not come down in a vessel. I must bid you goodbye for it is near 4 and I am afraid I shall be too late. God bless you my darling husband.


Your affectionate and devoted 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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