Object #1020268 from MS-Papers-0032-0827

6 pages written 8 Oct 1851 by Sir Donald McLean in Wairarapa to Susan Douglas 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 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)


I have the shoe brushes the boy took them by mistake
Mr Russel's station
Wairarapa
Octr 8th 1851


My dear Douglas

You will say that I am making slow progress in going through the Wairarapa but I am anxious to see the settlers and the natives, also to give the poor horses some rest after the severe weather we have had. The valley has been one continued sheet of water and for some days the rivers have been quite impassable. Now I am on the coast and a good road before me. The people here are exceedingly hospitable and kind. Mrs McMaster is a nice person. She seems pleased that Jessie is with us. By the way dear

Page 2 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

while I think of it will you pay Mrs Calder for some whiskey I asked her to give the Highlanders on our wedding day. It cannot be much but I like these small things to be settled. Excepting the firewood I know of nothing else that you should pay for me at present and that I have some thoughts of deducting from your £1.2.6 only that I like the idea of being that much in your ladyship's debt. I am determined now to push on as quick as I can to Hawkes Bay as that will be my first chance of hearing from you and I am extremely anxious to hear how both you and Mama are. Do not forget to write me all particulars. You cannot conceive how frequently I think of both of you. Give my kind love to Mama and endeavour by every means in your power to cheer her up by getting her to the cottage and when there pussy do not spare any pains or expense to make her comfortable by anticipating her little wants, providing everything for her that she may possibly fancy, by doing all this I will be much pleased with you and shall give you an extra kiss when we meet. If you are dutiful and kind to your mother I am sure you will always prove equally so to your husband of whose fond attachment you have the most convincing proofs.

Since I last wrote you I discovered the old Dane of our party to be a great scoundrel having stolen a cap from

Page 3 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

one of Mr Bidwill's men. Of course I discharged him. The fellow declaring his innocence in his broken English in the most imploring terms but all to no effect. How apt we are to be imposed upon by the scum of the earth that float about with such plausible appeals to our feelings and with such false pretensions and claims to our sympathy. Often have I now been imposed upon by such characters of whom I shall be more guarded in future. The scoundrel has had £2.1 from me already for expending which I deserve a scold from you. My other expenses as yet have not been much so you see I am keeping my promise to become more economical after marriage. I have no news to give you. If I have time I will write to Papa.

Page 4 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I fancy all my old correspondents will be very jealous of me now that I never write to anyone but you. The fact is that I begin to fell that my affections hitherto were although in a great measure fixed upon you never so entirely centred on you to be exclusive of my other friends as they now are. Take care of yourself dearest & little slave. God bless you and protect you is the sincere prayer and desire of your own affectionate husband


Donald McLean

If Mr Russel calls you should give him some refreshment and treat him kindly. I almost lost the stone of the ring Mama gave me. Fortunately I found it after a long search in the mud trampled by the horses feet. It would vex me much to lose it.

Page 5 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Let me know when you write if you have received previous to this date a letter enclosing £3 and a subsequent one written from Bidwell's.

I find a native goes in tomorrow so I trust you will get this note before Tuesday.

Again dearest goodbye. I fear I will not again have a chance of writing to you before I get to Hawkes Bay but I feel confident that your mind is more at ease than it was before our marriage and that if Mama is recovering as I earnestly hope she is, you are happier than many young ladies in the place and I wish you may ever continue so.

Remember me to Jessie. Tell her that her brother is quite well and that Flora is likely to get married but she must not think of doing so just yet.

Page 6 of 6. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I find that I have not time to write to Papa therefore dearest you will remember me most kindly to him and ask him to spend as much time with you as possible. When Mama is at the cottage could you not send Jessie to Dalmuir and take Mama's girl to assist you when you have them with you. You should not encourage other visitors when Mama is there. This has been written on the knee at different times of your own Donald.

[Note on transcription: Mr Russel = Thomas Purvis Russell]

English (MD)


I have the shoe brushes the boy took them by mistake
Mr Russel's station
Wairarapa
Octr 8th 1851


My dear Douglas

You will say that I am making slow progress in going through the Wairarapa but I am anxious to see the settlers and the natives, also to give the poor horses some rest after the severe weather we have had. The valley has been one continued sheet of water and for some days the rivers have been quite impassable. Now I am on the coast and a good road before me. The people here are exceedingly hospitable and kind. Mrs McMaster is a nice person. She seems pleased that Jessie is with us. By the way dear while I think of it will you pay Mrs Calder for some whiskey I asked her to give the Highlanders on our wedding day. It cannot be much but I like these small things to be settled. Excepting the firewood I know of nothing else that you should pay for me at present and that I have some thoughts of deducting from your £1.2.6 only that I like the idea of being that much in your ladyship's debt. I am determined now to push on as quick as I can to Hawkes Bay as that will be my first chance of hearing from you and I am extremely anxious to hear how both you and Mama are. Do not forget to write me all particulars. You cannot conceive how frequently I think of both of you. Give my kind love to Mama and endeavour by every means in your power to cheer her up by getting her to the cottage and when there pussy do not spare any pains or expense to make her comfortable by anticipating her little wants, providing everything for her that she may possibly fancy, by doing all this I will be much pleased with you and shall give you an extra kiss when we meet. If you are dutiful and kind to your mother I am sure you will always prove equally so to your husband of whose fond attachment you have the most convincing proofs.

Since I last wrote you I discovered the old Dane of our party to be a great scoundrel having stolen a cap from one of Mr Bidwill's men. Of course I discharged him. The fellow declaring his innocence in his broken English in the most imploring terms but all to no effect. How apt we are to be imposed upon by the scum of the earth that float about with such plausible appeals to our feelings and with such false pretensions and claims to our sympathy. Often have I now been imposed upon by such characters of whom I shall be more guarded in future. The scoundrel has had £2.1 from me already for expending which I deserve a scold from you. My other expenses as yet have not been much so you see I am keeping my promise to become more economical after marriage. I have no news to give you. If I have time I will write to Papa. I fancy all my old correspondents will be very jealous of me now that I never write to anyone but you. The fact is that I begin to fell that my affections hitherto were although in a great measure fixed upon you never so entirely centred on you to be exclusive of my other friends as they now are. Take care of yourself dearest & little slave. God bless you and protect you is the sincere prayer and desire of your own affectionate husband


Donald McLean

If Mr Russel calls you should give him some refreshment and treat him kindly. I almost lost the stone of the ring Mama gave me. Fortunately I found it after a long search in the mud trampled by the horses feet. It would vex me much to lose it. Let me know when you write if you have received previous to this date a letter enclosing £3 and a subsequent one written from Bidwell's.

I find a native goes in tomorrow so I trust you will get this note before Tuesday.

Again dearest goodbye. I fear I will not again have a chance of writing to you before I get to Hawkes Bay but I feel confident that your mind is more at ease than it was before our marriage and that if Mama is recovering as I earnestly hope she is, you are happier than many young ladies in the place and I wish you may ever continue so.

Remember me to Jessie. Tell her that her brother is quite well and that Flora is likely to get married but she must not think of doing so just yet. I find that I have not time to write to Papa therefore dearest you will remember me most kindly to him and ask him to spend as much time with you as possible. When Mama is at the cottage could you not send Jessie to Dalmuir and take Mama's girl to assist you when you have them with you. You should not encourage other visitors when Mama is there. This has been written on the knee at different times of your own Donald.

[Note on transcription: Mr Russel = Thomas Purvis Russell]

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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