Object #1027190 from MS-Papers-0032-0828

8 pages written 16 Jan 1852 by Sir Donald McLean in Manawatu District to Susan Douglas 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 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Manawatu
Saturday 16 Jany 1852


My dearest Douglas

The greatest and indeed only enjoyment I have is to write when I cannot converse with you. I was so pleased to meet Ashton St Hill today who took on a letter for you that I wrote at Otaki last night. I do trust dearest that you are well, that your health is improving and your mind more settled and composed. Remember pussy what a binding affection ours is and how inseparable even to eternity our interests now are therefore "Let not your heart with anxious thoughts be troubled or dismayed but trust in Providence Divine and trust My Gracious aid". We have many comforts, we have many enjoyments,

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English (MD)

we have always the word of God to comfort and support us in afflictions, to regulate and guide our actions, to cement and permanently establish our happiness if it should be His will to prolong our lives and to render us humble, faithful and obedient servants of His to the end of time. One thing if we are obliged to be separated our prayers may often times be poured out before His throne and offered up at the same time, each of us desiring that God in His mercy may never leave or forsake us, that His goodness may always be extended towards us, that His powerful guidance should direct our paths and bring us together to each others arms in health, happiness, peace of mind, conscience and future hopes of salvation. I must confess that I am not so religious as I ought. No dearest very far from it. My mind that is known to my Heavenly Judge is far from being what I should wish

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English (MD)

but there are moments when religious reflections burst up on me and to whom should they be communicated but to the dearest treasure that I possess on earth and with whom I hope to be united in the bonds of happiness and peace to the end of time. Take courage my dear wife, know that God presides over us that He in His mercy has brought us together and if we, under His merciful hand, endure affliction for a season we should not relinquish ourselves to grief as those we have no future hope or consolation beyond the grave.

"Take comfort Christians when
Your friends in Jesus fall asleep
Their better being never ends
Why then dejected weep"

I have dropped my pen for a few moments to glance over the beautiful memoirs of Mrs Wilson where I find the following beautiful remark. "We are indeed

Page 4 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

unskilful reasoners in what relates to the Providence of God, and our thoughts and desires too frequently savour of earthliness when we least expect its existence. How different from our puny conceptions and plans are the arrangements of that infinite Being who adapts every event to our particular character and wants, and who embraces in connection with each of them, not only the little span of our earthly life, but the whole range of our past and future history! Though we cannot at present perceive the exact bearing of these events we know that infinite wisdom and unerring love pervade and characterize them, and that God's purpose will all be fulfilled and have a glorious issue when our conflict with sin shall have terminated and when we shall see their design in the clear light of immortality".

The foregoing is part of a letter from India to her brother in Scotland. It is such a delightful book

Page 5 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

you must read it. I know it will give you great satisfaction, besides some historical knowledge of the different castes in India among whom she and her husband laboured as devoted missionaries till death called them to a higher and more glorious occupation.

I had a pleasant chat with the Bishop who blessed me in parting with him in a very kind manner. I am now most comfortable and happy at Mr Duncan's only that I am without my pussy which gives me more than usual anxiety.

On Monday I commence operations and shall work hard to get finished as soon as I can.

May the Almighty bless you dearest and protect you during your slumbers to which I shall now betake myself and add more on Monday feeling

Page 6 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

happy that I have cheerfully performed the duty of writing to my pet before going to bed, then goodnight and God be with you.

Monday morning
Spent yesterday rather quietly. Mr Duncan went up the river to preach to the Europeans. I remained at home and dined at Mr Robinson's. The musquitoes did not annoy me last night owing to the good curtains Mrs Duncan put up. Moreover I am such an old acquaintance of theirs that they pass me over without much notice. Poor Mrs Selwyn did not sleep a wink with them at Waikanae the night I was there but unfortunately she slept up at the native village instead of coming down where I was. I think pussy would get a little pettish with them if she was down here at present. They would be a greater annoyance to her than her

Page 7 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

old husband appears to be at times.

I shall soon be expecting a few lines from pussy and I almost think I may give up writing to her. It cannot be so very many days before I leave to join her having no intention of going to Rangitikei.

10am. We had breakfast, morning prayers, and I have just had a short walk. I hear the clattering of horses hoofs, the voices of natives in the distance and there is every prospect that in a few minutes more I shall be at work in earnest and I do trust that I may not be delayed too long from Pussy.

I will add no more my own dearest. The natives are arrived therefore I must conclude. May every blessing attend you is always the affectionate desire of your own Donald McLean.

The weather here is lovely & bright. I wonder if the little slave has bathed this morning or over-slept herself.

Page 8 of 8. View high-resolution image

English (MD)

Now puss I have had one talk over with the natives, perused some letters, shall have a further korero shortly, then I trust today will finish my work at Mr Robinson's. Afterwards I shall go up the river to Kebbel's whose lady I hear is in a fair way of enlarging her family so that the chances are I will not stop there as I hate being near such places. At any other time it would be all right to stay there for a night or two. Bathe, read and walk and be sure not to ought after sunset.


Ever your own
afft husband
Donald McLean

English (MD)

Manawatu
Saturday 16 Jany 1852


My dearest Douglas

The greatest and indeed only enjoyment I have is to write when I cannot converse with you. I was so pleased to meet Ashton St Hill today who took on a letter for you that I wrote at Otaki last night. I do trust dearest that you are well, that your health is improving and your mind more settled and composed. Remember pussy what a binding affection ours is and how inseparable even to eternity our interests now are therefore "Let not your heart with anxious thoughts be troubled or dismayed but trust in Providence Divine and trust My Gracious aid". We have many comforts, we have many enjoyments, we have always the word of God to comfort and support us in afflictions, to regulate and guide our actions, to cement and permanently establish our happiness if it should be His will to prolong our lives and to render us humble, faithful and obedient servants of His to the end of time. One thing if we are obliged to be separated our prayers may often times be poured out before His throne and offered up at the same time, each of us desiring that God in His mercy may never leave or forsake us, that His goodness may always be extended towards us, that His powerful guidance should direct our paths and bring us together to each others arms in health, happiness, peace of mind, conscience and future hopes of salvation. I must confess that I am not so religious as I ought. No dearest very far from it. My mind that is known to my Heavenly Judge is far from being what I should wish but there are moments when religious reflections burst up on me and to whom should they be communicated but to the dearest treasure that I possess on earth and with whom I hope to be united in the bonds of happiness and peace to the end of time. Take courage my dear wife, know that God presides over us that He in His mercy has brought us together and if we, under His merciful hand, endure affliction for a season we should not relinquish ourselves to grief as those we have no future hope or consolation beyond the grave.

"Take comfort Christians when
Your friends in Jesus fall asleep
Their better being never ends
Why then dejected weep"

I have dropped my pen for a few moments to glance over the beautiful memoirs of Mrs Wilson where I find the following beautiful remark. "We are indeed unskilful reasoners in what relates to the Providence of God, and our thoughts and desires too frequently savour of earthliness when we least expect its existence. How different from our puny conceptions and plans are the arrangements of that infinite Being who adapts every event to our particular character and wants, and who embraces in connection with each of them, not only the little span of our earthly life, but the whole range of our past and future history! Though we cannot at present perceive the exact bearing of these events we know that infinite wisdom and unerring love pervade and characterize them, and that God's purpose will all be fulfilled and have a glorious issue when our conflict with sin shall have terminated and when we shall see their design in the clear light of immortality".

The foregoing is part of a letter from India to her brother in Scotland. It is such a delightful book you must read it. I know it will give you great satisfaction, besides some historical knowledge of the different castes in India among whom she and her husband laboured as devoted missionaries till death called them to a higher and more glorious occupation.

I had a pleasant chat with the Bishop who blessed me in parting with him in a very kind manner. I am now most comfortable and happy at Mr Duncan's only that I am without my pussy which gives me more than usual anxiety.

On Monday I commence operations and shall work hard to get finished as soon as I can.

May the Almighty bless you dearest and protect you during your slumbers to which I shall now betake myself and add more on Monday feeling happy that I have cheerfully performed the duty of writing to my pet before going to bed, then goodnight and God be with you.

Monday morning
Spent yesterday rather quietly. Mr Duncan went up the river to preach to the Europeans. I remained at home and dined at Mr Robinson's. The musquitoes did not annoy me last night owing to the good curtains Mrs Duncan put up. Moreover I am such an old acquaintance of theirs that they pass me over without much notice. Poor Mrs Selwyn did not sleep a wink with them at Waikanae the night I was there but unfortunately she slept up at the native village instead of coming down where I was. I think pussy would get a little pettish with them if she was down here at present. They would be a greater annoyance to her than her old husband appears to be at times.

I shall soon be expecting a few lines from pussy and I almost think I may give up writing to her. It cannot be so very many days before I leave to join her having no intention of going to Rangitikei.

10am. We had breakfast, morning prayers, and I have just had a short walk. I hear the clattering of horses hoofs, the voices of natives in the distance and there is every prospect that in a few minutes more I shall be at work in earnest and I do trust that I may not be delayed too long from Pussy.

I will add no more my own dearest. The natives are arrived therefore I must conclude. May every blessing attend you is always the affectionate desire of your own Donald McLean.

The weather here is lovely & bright. I wonder if the little slave has bathed this morning or over-slept herself. Now puss I have had one talk over with the natives, perused some letters, shall have a further korero shortly, then I trust today will finish my work at Mr Robinson's. Afterwards I shall go up the river to Kebbel's whose lady I hear is in a fair way of enlarging her family so that the chances are I will not stop there as I hate being near such places. At any other time it would be all right to stay there for a night or two. Bathe, read and walk and be sure not to ought after sunset.


Ever your own
afft husband
Donald 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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