Box 14-102 DECLARATION OF DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN
Mar 3 1885
Declaration of Dr. McQuesten
To all to whom it may concern.1
I Calvin McQuesten of the city of Hamilton Esquire do hereby acknowledge and declare that the Sentiments affecting my wife Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten which are below set forth on referred to and which are contained in a certain Indenture dated the 13th October 1873 made between myself of the first part and William Proudfoot and my sons Isaac Baldwin McQuesten and Calvin Brooks McQuesten of the second part were and are without foundation in fact that I deeply regret that such statements ever were made, and I whereby withdraw and retract the same.2 One of the statements referred to in this Declaration used in said Indenture is in words following:--
"Whereas the said party of the first part (meaning me the said Calvin McQuesten) is subjected to constant importunity by his wife Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten to make such a disposition of his estate as will secure to her and some of her relatives and friends the larger portion of his estate and is frequently and at short intervals harassed on the subject and to induce him to do so she has for a considerable period systematically endeavoured to depreciate his sons the said Calvin Brooks McQuesten and Isaac Baldwin McQuesten in his estimation and to lead him to believe them to be unworthy of his affection and regard and often [?] to the subject and [with out?] vague illustration of her acquaintance with disreputable conduct on their part and has threatened unless her wishes are complied with to publish such an account of these matters as will affix a lasting stigma on their character and reputation."
Another of the statements referred to in this declaration and said Indenture is in words following:--"And whereas the party of the first part though now in the full possession of his faculties in growing aged and in apprehension that if he should be subjected to a long illness influence might be brought to bear on him and a course of conduct presented that might lead him for [?] to say or do anything that might be required of him, or if he retained sufficient resolution to resist such influence and conduct that papers might be produced purporting to be executed by him making a disposition of his estate other than what he considers right. And whereas the said Calvin Brooks McQuesten resides in New York and the said Isaac Baldwin McQuesten having recently married has gone to reside in a house of his own and the party of the first part in these left exposed to such influence as may be brought to bear upon him by the said Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten" and etc. other statements referred to in this declaration and in said Induction first mentioned are all charged against my said wife of impropriety or unnecessarily incurring debt for which I am or might be liable and all charges or insinuations or suggestions against her honor [sic] or honesty3 or fair dealing or accusation of want of kindness or affection towards myself.
I also acknowledge and declare that the statements referring to my said wife set forth below and contained in a deed signed by me dated 10th December 1877 and referring to the Induction first above referred to was and is without foundation in fact that I deeply regret such statement was ever made deed I wholly withdraw and retract the same. One of the statements referred to in the declaration and in the said deed dated the 10th December 1877 is in the words following:--"And whereas since the execution of the said Declaration hereinbefore [sic] firstly in part recited the said Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten has become more indifferent intolerant and unkind to the said Calvin McQuesten." And the other statement referred to in said deed and the declaration are all charged against my said wife of impropriety or unnecessarily incurring debt for which I am or might be liable and all charges or insinuation or suggestion against her honor honesty or fair dealing or accusation of want of kindness or affection towards myself. And I further acknowledge and declare that my said wife was not aware till very recently that the statement aforesaid had been made. Dated at Hamilton this day of March A.D. 1885.
The aforesaid statement was read to Calvin McQuesten in our presence who acknowledged that he had himself previously [read?] and considered the same & requested in to attest the execution thereof.
Co. [letter?] Martin & Wilson to Walker & Scott dated 2 March 1885
We have yours of the 25th which we do not quite understand we have had no communication whatever with Dr. McQuesten and suppose the instructions of which you speak must have come through Mr. I.B. [Isaac Baldwin] McQuesten and not from the Dr. personally and for various reasons we need not now discuss we do not recognise [sic] Mr. I.B. McQuesten as the agent of his father or as a proper party to act for him. I was
[continued on the back of fourth page]
instructed that Dr. McQuesten has after free and deliberate consideration withdrawn certain statements affecting Mrs. McQuesten and has agreed to sign a document to that effect while not recognising [under the fact above stated] as Dr. McQuesten solicitor we enclose to you on behalf of Mr. I.B. McQuesten or whoever may have instructed you a copy of the proposed document above referred to.
Martin & Wilson
[to] Mefs. Walker & Scott
[Sideways at top of page:]
Re Mr. C. McQuesten
Declaration of Dr. McQuesten
(said to signed 3/3/85[ )]
[On back of third page:]
On the 24th Feb /[85?] Mr. Martin called on me to discuss within deeds referred to, stating that he was acting for Mr. McQuesten. He wished to know if an arrangement could be arrived at, explained I did not see how it could. Then informed my father of interview. He requested me to see Mr. Walker, tell him to let Mr. Martin know that he Mr. W acted for him. I did this next A.M. [the?] 3rd [March?] '85 Mr. Walker called about 10 a.m. with co. enclosed deed & letter stating it was just received. He called on my father about 11 a.m. when deed had been signed in presence of Mr. I.M. Williams, when was just leaving house [sic].
5 March 1885
1 The document is written without any apparent paragraph breaks. These have been added for ease of reading.
2 Dr. Calvin McQuesten signed a trust deed on October 13, 1873 which made it virtually impossible for his wife to pressure him into making financial arrangements in her favour at the expense of her stepsons, Isaac Baldwin McQuesten and Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten. Isaac and Calvin Brooks both signed the document as did Isaac's then law partner, William Proudfoot, who had helped draw up the deed (see copy of this document at W0234). Furthermore, on October 4, 1878 he signed another declaration of trust between his sons and Mr. Fred Walker (Box 14-103), in which he decreased the annuity to his wife. For more details and links concerning Dr. McQuesten's troubled marriage to his third wife Elizabeth see W-MCP5-6.351.
3 Below "honor" is written "(2)" and below "honesty" is "(1)" which may refer to sections in Dr. McQuesten's declaration of trust, see above footnote.