Advanced Search 

Home - introductions to the site
Search - a searchable database of letters/essays/etc.
Genealogy - short biographical information of each family member
Photographs - various images pertaining to the McQuesten family
Thesis - essays on the McQuestens and lifewriting by Mary Anderson
Timelines - a chronological list of events in the McQuesten family and corresponding historical events

Search Results

Feb 1 1901


The Evening News, Toronto, Ontario February 1, 1901


I have personally a keen interest in the struggle of the Negro women for higher education and culture, and believe that this interest is shared by many Canadian women. Naturally the subject does not come home as closely to us as it does our American cousins; still we are near enough to watch with unflagging interest all efforts put forth by the women of this despised race to help themselves, and also any humane efforts being put forth by white women to help them.

The Woman's Club movement in the United States has gained prominence and a wide reputation for their public spiritedness and their usually broadminded grasp on public questions. The day has passed when women must quietly acquiesce in legislation passed by men; they have armed themselves with information, clear-sightedness, and are ably assisting men in legislating. The Women's Clubs both in Canada and the United States have greatly hastened this enlightened condition of things. For the last few months a controversy has been in progress among the different Women's Clubs of the United States as to whether colored women's clubs shall be admitted to the General Federation or not. There is a strong faction, mostly Southern as might be expected--opposed to the resolution passed in most of the clubs as a result of the General Federation. The Chicago Women's Club, one of the foremost, has declared--but not unanimously--against the exclusion of the colored clubs. At their last meeting the following resolution was passed; "Resolved, that the Chicago Women's Club regrets the exclusion from membership in the General Federation of Women's Clubs of the Woman's Era Club (colored) of Boston, and affirms its unwavering belief in equal opportunity to all, without regard to race, color, religion or politics."

This is a great stride in the right direction, but was opposed in a rather ridiculous fashion by Mrs. Robert Hall Wiles, recognized leader of the opposition faction. Among other things Mrs. Wiles quoted a trite and rather threadbare argument, viz.: "History proves invariably that when inferior races have been brought into close contact with superior races they have imitated the vices but have not had strength to imitate the virtues of the superior race." If history has proved it, there is nothing more to be said, but Mrs. Wiles spoke a bad word for women's clubs when she intimated that there were any "vices" to imitate. As arguments of that description are best applied to parallel cases, this does not appear to be one.

Mrs. Wiles goes on to say that "Statistics show conclusively that in the generation since the war the Negro has been no exception to the rule." Mrs. Wiles may consider this also as admitted as a general truth if she wishes, but she must be allowed to forget that her ancestors were among the people who first placed the inferior race in contact with the superior so that they might learn the "white vices," and the obligation will never, to all eternity, be lifted from their shoulders till they have made it possible for the colored race to acquire and practice their virtues also.

Her Simple Taste Shown in Furniture and Decorations.

The Queen's private sitting room might well belong to any one of her wealthier subjects who might possess a simple taste in furniture and decorations, a large collection of pictures and sketches, and a full circle of relations and friends. The general scheme of color is crimson and cream and gold. Heavy damask draperies frame the windows, the lower panes of which are veiled with short curtains of snowy muslin. The blinds are of a dainty material called diaphane, in which are woven in a transparent pattern the insignia and motto of the Garter. The furniture is principally upholstered in the same flowered crimson and gold damask that drapes the windows. The walls are panelled in the same silk, and here the constant recurrence of the pattern (a conventional bouquet of flowers) would become monotonous were it not for the number of pictures of every description which cover the walls from within a short distance of the ceiling of deep cream and gold to within four feet of the rich crimson carpet, which is patterned with a delicate tracery of scrolls and garlands in pale yellow. The many doors are painted cream color and decorated with floral panels and gold mouldings. This scheme of paint prevails throughout the suite, the dressing and bedrooms only differing from the sitting room in that the walls of the former are panelled in a soft shade of green silk, while the latter are papered with rich crimson flock. The most striking features of the Queen's private rooms are to a casual observer, the pictures. In the eyes of their owner each separate one has a history or recalls a reminiscence. Chief among the portraits and landscapes, the oils, water colors and crayons, are the many likenesses of the Prince Consort. The best of these, which hangs in the sitting room opposite the fireplace, is a life size, full length picture, by Winterhalter, of the Prince attired in black walking costume and holding the top hat of modern times in his hand. But a most charming Landseer that hangs above the cabinet on the left of the fireplace also shows the Prince to great advantage. He is in shooting costume, and the fruits, in fur and feature, of his day's sport lie heaped at his feet. The baby Princess Royal, his favorite greyhound Eos, and a Skye Terrier are playing on the floor, while Her Majesty, in a plain gown of white satin, and with her slender girlish shoulders bare, stands at her husband's side. The picture, which was painted in the bay of the green drawing room, has for the distant background a fine view of the East Terrace and the park beyond, and is replete with grace and tenderness.

The mantelpieces and occasional tables in the Queen's dressing room are as charmingly arranged and beflowered as those in the sitting room. Here the green silk walls and hanging make a perfect background for the toilet accessories that cover the dressing table. These are all of gold, worked and chased into most delicate designs. The mirror is set in a square cornered frame that rises at the top into an oval.

Before it lies a large gold tray, flanked by four scent bottles of carved crystal. Two of these are set in gold filigree stands of a shallow boat shape. The pincushion is dark blue velvet, fitted within a gold pierced edge. Of gold boxes there are about a dozen, and they are of every size and shape, ranging from the large square handkerchief box to the small, nutlike patch box. A pair of candlesticks, two large oval hair brushes without handles, and a handbell complete the equipage. From the dressing room floor rises some feet high the magnificently elaborate gold stand which supports a lamp and "dressing kettle" of the same precious metal.

The solid gold hand basin,on the bottom of which are engraved the royal arms, has a romantic story attached to it. It was made especially for the Queen's use at her coronation, but after that event, "as strange things will, it vanished," and every effort to discover it completely failed. After twenty-seven years, however, when some structural alterations were being executed in St. James' Palace, a workman found, bricked in a hollow wall, the long lost gold hand basin. Since that time the Queen has always made a point of using it. As her Majesty does not posses a golden ewer, a china one that matches the rest of the wash-hand stand fittings, is used. Her Majesty has, for some reason, persistently refused to have a golden ewer made.

The Queen's bed is large and of wood, as are all of the beds at Windsor, the hangings being of fine crimson damask. It is most pathetic to note that above the right side of the bed there hangs against the rich silken background a portrait of the late Prince Consort, surmounted by a wreath of immortelles. The same sad memorials are in every bedroom that the Queen ever occupies.

The view from the windows of the Queen's bed and dressing rooms is absolutely perfect, embracing as it does the incomparable East Terrace, with the tennis courts beyond, and in the distance Frogmore and the Great Park.

Perhaps the least noticeable but quite the most charming and interesting sketch is of a girl's small, white, dimpled hand without the ring, evidently a Princess' hand, of which our greatest poet has said:

"Princess like it wears the ring
To fancy's eye, by which we know
That here at length a master found
His match, a proud, lone soul its mate."

The Board of Managers of the Women's prison at Indianapolis, all the members of which are women, has received an adverse criticism from the Indiana State Board of Charities, which has recently made investigations of the prison management. The report claims that the constant friction in the Board of Managers for the last few months has impaired its efficiency and caused lax discipline among the inmates of the prison. It charges some of the managers with having their laundry done in the prison at lower prices than it would have cost outside: with using the office to make purchases for themselves; with letting the prisoners out on tickets of leave and encouraging the prisoners to associate in violation of the rules that the board itself established. These comments, or rather, charges are most unfortunate, as this is said to be the only institution in the country governed wholly by women.

To Awaken Keener Interest in the Need of Heathen Lands.

The Canadian Church Missionary Association have for some time past been arranging to hold a missionary exhibition in Toronto. The object of the exhibition is to bring more prominently before the public the heathen countries of the world and their great spiritual and temporal needs; also to demonstrate, so far as possible, the work being done among them by Christian missions, and the great silent appeal that their condition makes to the Church of Christ. The prejudices and lack of true information on these subjects have darkened the eyes of many, particularly in this time of unrest and political agitation in the eastern world, therefore missionary bodies feel that it is laid upon them to define as clearly as possible the true position of missionary enterprise and to win it the approbation and support it deserves from all fair-minded people.

As art loan exhibitions widen interest and enlighten judgment in favor of art, so it is hoped this missionary exhibition will do for missions.

The plan adopted is to gather from all available places as many curiosities as possible from heathen countries. These articles, representing the history, every-day life and religion of heathen countries, will be divided into separate exhibits or courts, each representing a country or division of the mission field.

The idea is not to make money for any organization, no admission fee being charged, though by free will offering to a refreshment department it is hoped to take in something towards expenses, which will necessarily be considerable. A series of short talks on missionary subjects will be given at intervals in the different courts.

The exhibition is to be held in the hall of the Confederation Life Building, from February 4th to 9th inclusive. The hours will be from 12 noon till 10 p.m. the following ladies and gentleman have kindly extended their patronage to the undertaking--His Honor the Lieutenant-Governor and Miss Mowat; His Lordship the Bishop of Toronto and Mrs. Sweatman; Mr. N. W. Hoyles, K.C., President of the C.C M.A., and Mrs. Hoyles, and Mr. H.W. Frost, Director of the China Inland Mission. If any one possessing articles of missionary interest, and willing to lend them, would communicate with Rev. G. A Kuhring, Chairman of the Exhibition Committee, C. C. M. A., Room 61 Confederation Life Building, the committee would be much obliged.

Massachusetts Physician has Made a New Departure.

Northboro, Mass., February 1--Dr. L Everett Foster, of Northboro, stands a chance of having his name handed down to posterity as the greatest man that ever lived in Northboro, as he has practically solved the servant girl problem.

After passing several years in figuring out how best to get along with servants he hit upon a plan already adopted in other places far remote from Northboro and now has a full grown man of thirty five years in his employ, as man of all work, to make beds, cook, and bake, sweep and do the thousand and one things that go to make up the work of a servant.

Kaspath Churchian is the new servant's name, and he is the first man to don the apron and cap as a professional housekeeper in Northboro, and the doctor says he is a success.

In Armenia Kaspah has a wife and several children, and he recently came to America to win fortune, or at least a living for his family, and not knowing the language, believed in a housekeepers' position he would be better able to learn it than in any other place he could get, and the doctor engaged him on the spot.

He is a big rugged fellow, and a broom seems no more to him than a toothpick to some women.

The doctor's experiment is watched with interest in Northboro, but everybody doesn't know that he has a man servant, but those who do, having the same trouble the doctor once had, believe the man of all work will soon be a permanent feature.

Striking Comparison Instituted by the Bishop of New York

"Washington was what Vicoria is, not a genius, but a personality of character. We come to think at last that greatness is not in what a man has or what he does, but, as in Washington and Victoria, in what a man is. The Queen did her duty. And the homage men have paid her, and which they will pay her after she is dead, is because in the most difficult position in which a human being could be placed--I mean her position on the throne--she did her duty and lived up to the high personality and character."

Mrs. James Garfield has never forgotten the tenderness and sympathy of Queen Victoria's thought for her at the time of her great troubles. It has been just such tender personal touches that have endeared our late Queen to women the world over, through all the years of her reign.


The second of a series of lectures under--the auspices of the Young Ladies' Phelethea Bible class of the above church was held last evening, when Mrs. Jean Joy, principal of the Toronto School of Domestic Science, gave an hour's practical instruction (with demonstrations) on the arty of healthful cooking, to a large and appreciative audience of young ladies.


Will any lady or gentleman who has curious pictures, or anything of interest from South America or Mexico, and who is willing to loan them for the missionary examination to be held in the Assembly hall, Confederation Life building, on February 4th , kindly send a postcard to Mrs. S. Trees, 399 Sherbourne street? The aim of the exhibition is to show forth by a collection of curios some of the customs and religion of heathen nations, and the great silent appeal their condition makes to the Christian Church.

Mrs. Angus MacMurchy of Spadina Road, is spending a few days in Port Hope with her sister, Mrs. Mulholland.

Le Cerde Francais will hold its next meeting at the residence of Miss Pope, 70 Stadium Road on Tuesday, February 5.

Miss Hay, daughter of Colonel Hay, of Washington, who has been staying with his Excellency the Governor-General and the Countess of Minto, has returned home. Her Excellency the Countess of Minto will not be present on the floor of the House at the opening of Parliament in Ottawa next week, and , of course, there will be no State dinner at Government House that evening.

Mrs. Fred Paterson, of Brunswick Avenue, gave a very pleasant small informal tea on Wednesday afternoon, in honor of Miss Chaffe, of New Orlenns. Miss Chaffe is the guest of Miss Gillesple, of Avenue road, and will remain in Toronto the greater part of the winter. Miss Rose Mockridge, of Watertown, N.Y., is the guest of Mrs. Jellet, of St. Mary Street.

Mr. and Mrs. Sidney Lee have returned from a visit to New York.

The Saturday Night Sketch Club will not meet, as announced, this week. The Women's Art Association announces that owing to the death of her Majesty the Queen, open studio day will not be observed this month.


I bared my heart unto my Love
In letter most impassioned,
This is the answer that she sent,
Of doubtful phrases fashioned:

"My dancing eye hath taught you love?
Then say I without scruple
The apple of my eye you are,
For are you not its pupil?

"But yet believe the solemn truth
Of this my final answer--
Unless you shall resort to arms,
You may not have my hand, Sir!"

Distraught, I hastened to her side,
To see what this queer page meant.
"To arms!" I cried--and then began
A serious engagement!

I prisoned first her dainty waist,
With triumph stiffe engendered
I caught her lips and then her heart
The citadel surrendered!

-Edna Kingston Wallace

Home | Search | Thesis | Family | Timelines
Photographs | Whitehern | Sitemap | Credits

Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

Hamilton Public Library This site was created in partnership with and is hosted by the Hamilton Public Library. Canada's Digital Collections This digital collection was produced with financial assistance from Canada's Digital Collections initiative, Industry Canada.