Object #1023943 from MS-Papers-0032-0816

8 pages written 26 Jul 1860 by Annabella McLean to Sir Donald McLean

From: Inward family correspondence - Annabella McLean (sister), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0816 (50 digitised items). Letters written from Scotland (Edinburgh, Glenorchy Manse, Stranraer) prior to her arrival in New Zealand in Jan 1864 on the Wild Duck; afterwards from Maraekakaho, Napier and Wellington. One letter was written in Sep 1858 during a visit to her sister Flora Ann Conway in North Wales.

A transcription/translation of this document (by MD) appears below.

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Page 1 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Mrs Walker
Agnew Crescent
Stranraer
July 26th 1860


My dear brother

The accounts in the papers are becoming quite alarming regarding this outbreak in New Zealand and that the loss of property has been enormous at Taranaki. I feel rather in a mystery about the whole affair. The local papers give such varied accounts and I have no access to the Times which is the most authentic paper to rely upon in critical statements of that kind.

For months I have put off writing fully expecting that you would be on your way home but alas I fear that expectation must for the present be

Page 2 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

disappointed and still live in that painful uncertainty of not knowing when or how it will be possible for you to leave a country whose interest has been your life's devoted aim and which of course now will arouse all your energies in its behalf. Somehow I have a warm feeling of liking towards the poor natives I suppose excited by their touching and simple expressions of affectionate regard towards yourself and felt so sad when I read that the disagreement had really come to that ever ready fatal weapon of England's boasted might, and that the sword should really be the measure used to extripate a noble and peaceably inclined, we know not how ancient a race from a soil which it is

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English (MD)

natural to suppose they would not willingly give up to those who dogmatically insisted that they should have it because they paid for it. The experience of other nations may teach that the arbitrary spirit is but the best with which to negotiate in cases where both parties are equally obliged & patient conciliatory mode of mutual friendship will gain the point desired even under any circumstance sooner than that hasty overbearing spirit which is so often assumed by those placed in authority but who unfortunately possess not this discrimination necessary to enable them to adorn the sphere in which they are placed with Christian humility

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English (MD)

and moderation in their peremptory dealings. Such I fear my dear brother is the character of many with whom you have to contend. Had you not been laid aside at that time I daresay this would not have terminated in so violent an outrage. Archy McInnes is home and to our utter mortification and astonishment speaking the vilest of reports throughout all our relations that he was in fact no less than a victim to the grossest injustice from his cousins but they take very good care not to ask him what did his conduct merit. I doubt it would stand but a very superficial investigation at least if we may judge from what those who knew him well

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

have told us. Archy's wife has not yet left the country, the draw back being that she could not get a ship that sailed direct to Wellington. However she expects to leave by the middle of August by the ship 'Strath Allan' from London, one of Messrs Willis & Gann's Company vessels. I hope she will meet with every kindness and attention. She is quite that style of person that commands the respect and esteem of strangers and I have no doubt but you will very soon come to recognise her sterling worth as no ordinary person but one of a superior intellect, good solid practical judgment

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

with the air and dignity of one that has been accustomed to the best of society. If Archy displays prudence in anything it was in the choice of his wife. She will give you all home news etc etc. If she were not going I would enclose a few of my essays as you desired but I shall send them by her. I fear my dear brother that you will think them very simple but it is right that you should have an idea of what I can do lest you make the mistake of estimating my qualifications at too high a rate and consequently be disappointed.

Charlotte Square establishment was given up in Spring on account of M Dickson's bad health and

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

her sister Miss M'Lean having gone to Sydney to commence a seminary there. I could not in Edinburgh procure such another eligible home for the same terms unless in an inferior school where no masters taught. I did go for a short time to one of that description but I soon discovered that I could teach many of the branches better than those with whom I went to be under so that is the reason of my being here with Mrs Walker, a sister of Mrs M'Lean's, a clever energetic ladylike person. She keeps a pleasant stylish house with several other young ladies who

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

with whom I go out for private lessons in the different branches I require for the special object which you have in view and what I rather anticipated before you mentioned it. I make English almost the essential study and for the sake of getting well versed in grammar I feel so inclined to begin Latin.

You will at present be so engrossed this letter will be almost an intrusion upon your time but I shall feel anxious even to get a paper to see what is really to be the issue of this affair.

Catherine and all friends are well. I saw Uncle before I left Edinburgh. He heard from you lately. I hope little Douglas is well.


Your affect.sister
Annabella McLean

English (MD)

Mrs Walker
Agnew Crescent
Stranraer
July 26th 1860


My dear brother

The accounts in the papers are becoming quite alarming regarding this outbreak in New Zealand and that the loss of property has been enormous at Taranaki. I feel rather in a mystery about the whole affair. The local papers give such varied accounts and I have no access to the Times which is the most authentic paper to rely upon in critical statements of that kind.

For months I have put off writing fully expecting that you would be on your way home but alas I fear that expectation must for the present be disappointed and still live in that painful uncertainty of not knowing when or how it will be possible for you to leave a country whose interest has been your life's devoted aim and which of course now will arouse all your energies in its behalf. Somehow I have a warm feeling of liking towards the poor natives I suppose excited by their touching and simple expressions of affectionate regard towards yourself and felt so sad when I read that the disagreement had really come to that ever ready fatal weapon of England's boasted might, and that the sword should really be the measure used to extripate a noble and peaceably inclined, we know not how ancient a race from a soil which it is natural to suppose they would not willingly give up to those who dogmatically insisted that they should have it because they paid for it. The experience of other nations may teach that the arbitrary spirit is but the best with which to negotiate in cases where both parties are equally obliged & patient conciliatory mode of mutual friendship will gain the point desired even under any circumstance sooner than that hasty overbearing spirit which is so often assumed by those placed in authority but who unfortunately possess not this discrimination necessary to enable them to adorn the sphere in which they are placed with Christian humility and moderation in their peremptory dealings. Such I fear my dear brother is the character of many with whom you have to contend. Had you not been laid aside at that time I daresay this would not have terminated in so violent an outrage. Archy McInnes is home and to our utter mortification and astonishment speaking the vilest of reports throughout all our relations that he was in fact no less than a victim to the grossest injustice from his cousins but they take very good care not to ask him what did his conduct merit. I doubt it would stand but a very superficial investigation at least if we may judge from what those who knew him well have told us. Archy's wife has not yet left the country, the draw back being that she could not get a ship that sailed direct to Wellington. However she expects to leave by the middle of August by the ship 'Strath Allan' from London, one of Messrs Willis & Gann's Company vessels. I hope she will meet with every kindness and attention. She is quite that style of person that commands the respect and esteem of strangers and I have no doubt but you will very soon come to recognise her sterling worth as no ordinary person but one of a superior intellect, good solid practical judgment with the air and dignity of one that has been accustomed to the best of society. If Archy displays prudence in anything it was in the choice of his wife. She will give you all home news etc etc. If she were not going I would enclose a few of my essays as you desired but I shall send them by her. I fear my dear brother that you will think them very simple but it is right that you should have an idea of what I can do lest you make the mistake of estimating my qualifications at too high a rate and consequently be disappointed.

Charlotte Square establishment was given up in Spring on account of M Dickson's bad health and her sister Miss M'Lean having gone to Sydney to commence a seminary there. I could not in Edinburgh procure such another eligible home for the same terms unless in an inferior school where no masters taught. I did go for a short time to one of that description but I soon discovered that I could teach many of the branches better than those with whom I went to be under so that is the reason of my being here with Mrs Walker, a sister of Mrs M'Lean's, a clever energetic ladylike person. She keeps a pleasant stylish house with several other young ladies who with whom I go out for private lessons in the different branches I require for the special object which you have in view and what I rather anticipated before you mentioned it. I make English almost the essential study and for the sake of getting well versed in grammar I feel so inclined to begin Latin.

You will at present be so engrossed this letter will be almost an intrusion upon your time but I shall feel anxious even to get a paper to see what is really to be the issue of this affair.

Catherine and all friends are well. I saw Uncle before I left Edinburgh. He heard from you lately. I hope little Douglas is well.


Your affect.sister
Annabella McLean

Part of:
Inward family correspondence - Annabella McLean (sister), Reference Number MS-Papers-0032-0816 (50 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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