Object #1023252 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

7 pages written 16 Aug 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 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
August 16th 1852


My dearest husband

I have just received your letters by the 'Lucy James' and I must write you a few lines in answer as soon as possible to send down to Papa to go with the other letters. We can not understand what has become of the messenger you sent in with the letters as Papa got them in the Post Office and no native was to be found in any of the pahs. Papa thinks he must been taken ill on the road and sent them in by the mail. He was going to enquire this morning at the Post Office how they came. Some other messenger will I suppose have to be sent with the Governor's despatches to you so I must be quick and get my letter sent down. I hope you will be able to

Page 2 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

understand what I wrote on Saturday. It was written in such a hurry besides I was not well at the time. I felt fatigued as I had been going about the house hunting for something I had laid away. I feel much better today. It is a lovely morning and I feel inclined to have a walk but I must not go beyond the garden as the Dr thinks it would not be safe now. I have sent for Mrs McKenzie to come down to see me. If she comes to stay for a fortnight it will be soon enough but in case of anything happening I asked Mrs Shaw if she would come down. She said she would at whatever hour in the night or day I wanted her so if anything were to take place before we could get Mrs McKenzie I shall send for her and as Mrs Kirton's servant is not going to leave my mind is set at rest.

Page 3 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Mrs Paul also has kindly offered to come so I am very well off and you need not feel anxious about your pussy besides you know my love that God is always with me to keep me from all danger. To His hands I commit myself and I have not the slightest fear. I know I will receive support and comfort if I seek it in faith. I would feel happier could you be with me at this time but since it cannot be I must not complain. I cannot expect to pass through life without disappointments and trials. I ought to feel thankful that I have so few and grateful to the Almighty for so many blessings. I am very busy getting all your things and Papa's put in order. I put all the buttons on your shirts on Saturday night and laid them in a drawer in the library as I have been obliged to take possession of your shirt drawer for some other articles which require to be in my room.

Page 4 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I do not mean to keep it so you need not be cross. It is only in the meantime I require it. I hope everything will be in order when you come home. I have mended and put all your stockings in a box and I have got a woman in to help me to get your flannels made, some also for Papa and some other things I wish done before I am taken ill. I am afraid my Donald will not like the flannels since his pussy is not able to make them. I am very sorry to allow anyone else to do it but I have such a number of little things to do yet which takes up so much time that I fear I shall not be able to do them and Papa is always scolding me for sewing so much. You ask me if I would like a new sideboard made for the parlour. I do not think I would care for one as I intend to put your desk there and there will be no room for one besides

Page 5 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

it is not a thing that require made. Papa was talking of getting made half a dozen chairs of light colonial wood for the drawing room and to put those we have there in the parlour. If you think they could be made cheaper and better at Taranaki and if you should like to have them you might order them but just do love what you think best. If you do so get them made of pale coloured wood which will match the drawing room table and fire screens do not have them made heavy. Drawing room chairs are better to be light made, the seats should be stuffed to cover with damask but do not have them covered as I can do that myself much cheaper and quite as well. Those are the only things that would be of any use to me and even then

Page 6 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

I do not care much about at present so do as you like about them. I must now conclude in case I keep Papa waiting. I shall not address my letters to Whanganui as it is uncertain how long you will be at Taranaki. Ellen Paul sends her kind regards. I think it is most likely she will stay with me till I require to send for Mrs Kirton. Papa does not like me to be alone as she keeps me cheerful. I intended to have asked Mrs Rhatigan to come but her mama is still at the Hunter's and she is housekeeper at home. What a comfort it is to have a mother. When I have been up there and have seen how happy Mrs Hunter was in having her mother with her it made me feel my own loss but the will of God be done. He knows what is best and I have no right to complain.

Page 7 of 7. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

May God bless you my own dearest husband and believe me ever to be your own affectionate wife



Susan D McLean

Forgive your pussy for thinking one of your letters was cold. Your last are as loving as I could wish for I feel vexed with myself for thinking that it was so. I know my Donald loves me as devotedly as I love him.

English (MD)

Dalmuir Hill
August 16th 1852


My dearest husband

I have just received your letters by the 'Lucy James' and I must write you a few lines in answer as soon as possible to send down to Papa to go with the other letters. We can not understand what has become of the messenger you sent in with the letters as Papa got them in the Post Office and no native was to be found in any of the pahs. Papa thinks he must been taken ill on the road and sent them in by the mail. He was going to enquire this morning at the Post Office how they came. Some other messenger will I suppose have to be sent with the Governor's despatches to you so I must be quick and get my letter sent down. I hope you will be able to understand what I wrote on Saturday. It was written in such a hurry besides I was not well at the time. I felt fatigued as I had been going about the house hunting for something I had laid away. I feel much better today. It is a lovely morning and I feel inclined to have a walk but I must not go beyond the garden as the Dr thinks it would not be safe now. I have sent for Mrs McKenzie to come down to see me. If she comes to stay for a fortnight it will be soon enough but in case of anything happening I asked Mrs Shaw if she would come down. She said she would at whatever hour in the night or day I wanted her so if anything were to take place before we could get Mrs McKenzie I shall send for her and as Mrs Kirton's servant is not going to leave my mind is set at rest. Mrs Paul also has kindly offered to come so I am very well off and you need not feel anxious about your pussy besides you know my love that God is always with me to keep me from all danger. To His hands I commit myself and I have not the slightest fear. I know I will receive support and comfort if I seek it in faith. I would feel happier could you be with me at this time but since it cannot be I must not complain. I cannot expect to pass through life without disappointments and trials. I ought to feel thankful that I have so few and grateful to the Almighty for so many blessings. I am very busy getting all your things and Papa's put in order. I put all the buttons on your shirts on Saturday night and laid them in a drawer in the library as I have been obliged to take possession of your shirt drawer for some other articles which require to be in my room. I do not mean to keep it so you need not be cross. It is only in the meantime I require it. I hope everything will be in order when you come home. I have mended and put all your stockings in a box and I have got a woman in to help me to get your flannels made, some also for Papa and some other things I wish done before I am taken ill. I am afraid my Donald will not like the flannels since his pussy is not able to make them. I am very sorry to allow anyone else to do it but I have such a number of little things to do yet which takes up so much time that I fear I shall not be able to do them and Papa is always scolding me for sewing so much. You ask me if I would like a new sideboard made for the parlour. I do not think I would care for one as I intend to put your desk there and there will be no room for one besides it is not a thing that require made. Papa was talking of getting made half a dozen chairs of light colonial wood for the drawing room and to put those we have there in the parlour. If you think they could be made cheaper and better at Taranaki and if you should like to have them you might order them but just do love what you think best. If you do so get them made of pale coloured wood which will match the drawing room table and fire screens do not have them made heavy. Drawing room chairs are better to be light made, the seats should be stuffed to cover with damask but do not have them covered as I can do that myself much cheaper and quite as well. Those are the only things that would be of any use to me and even then I do not care much about at present so do as you like about them. I must now conclude in case I keep Papa waiting. I shall not address my letters to Whanganui as it is uncertain how long you will be at Taranaki. Ellen Paul sends her kind regards. I think it is most likely she will stay with me till I require to send for Mrs Kirton. Papa does not like me to be alone as she keeps me cheerful. I intended to have asked Mrs Rhatigan to come but her mama is still at the Hunter's and she is housekeeper at home. What a comfort it is to have a mother. When I have been up there and have seen how happy Mrs Hunter was in having her mother with her it made me feel my own loss but the will of God be done. He knows what is best and I have no right to complain. May God bless you my own dearest husband and believe me ever to be your own affectionate wife



Susan D McLean

Forgive your pussy for thinking one of your letters was cold. Your last are as loving as I could wish for I feel vexed with myself for thinking that it was so. I know my Donald loves me as devotedly as I love him.

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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