Written on blank front page: "William J. Fisher Esq. care of Wm. Mitchell of James Murray Co. Cornhill, London, England."
Box 15-001a [DR.] CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN'S DIARY--PART ONE, Began at Meriden N.H., 4/4/1859 to 2/1/1862
"Be calm what tho the tempest war,/ It may but thunder, & pass o'er." Scott
"There is a reaper whose name is Death/ and with the sickle keen,/ He cuts the bearded grain at a breath,/ and the flowers that grow between." Long[fellow]
Apr 4 1859 to March 29,30 /59
To: Diary of C.B. McQuesten Meriden, New Hampshire
From: Meriden New Hampshire
DR. CALVIN BROOKS MCQUESTEN'S DIARY--PART ONE
Meriden,N.H., K.U.A., Monday, 4/4/59
Was with Pierce some this morning & sat up with him last night. He had a pretty comfortable night of it but suffered much pain. It seems evident he set up too much on Saturday, for I learned on return from Claremont that he had been carrying on & laughing all the afternoon. He has some internal injury that the Dr. has not relieved as yet, nor does he seem to understand his case, for this evening he seems worse than in the morning, when first called he said one of his lungs was crushed, what he thinks now of him I do not know, but I know the boy is suffering misery all the time; pains are running through him from place to place mostly in his back under the shoulder blades. The blister he has on his breast is very sore & troubles him very much, whether it is neuralgia pains or rheumatic as from the hurt he received I know not, but do know if there is not change in him I shall go up for Dr. Crosby tomorrow & see if any person can tell me what is the matter, for now I am all of an [?th] as it were to know whether there is danger or not.
Did not go into recitation of French but made out to get in to Bourdon. My French is coming easier or I am improving in getting my lessons which ever may be, it is all right. Bourdon is coming easier after tomorrow & hope it will continue so. Again I have commenced a new book where I shall be when I get through I know not but hope a long way from this place.
Sundry things about Pierce lead me to believe him dangerously sick, for he does not improve any but on the contrary suffers more pain in his back. Did not go into recitations was busy doing all I could to relieve the boys from duty attending Pierce. Will leave him to their care tomorrow & go to recitation. There is friends enough so he will be well cared for & not want attention, as it to often the case when one is away from home. Shall go for Dr. Crosby this evening. It is a long ride to Hanover & back after six o'clock but must be done.
Pleasant but windy
Last evening left after 5 o'clock for Hanover had Mr Thayer's horse so could not go very fast arrived there about 8 o'clock at Dr. Crosby's but he was away from home, called on his son, & left word for either he or his father to be down Thursday came back and arrived here about 1:30 so had a late ride. Found Hubbard & Chapman up with Pierce & after some trouble got to bed. Today did not feel like going in to recitation as my ride gave me no desire for study. Went in to the Phil. Soc. this evening to hear Bingham & Dingwell speak. Bingham did capitally was much pleased with him, but think Dingwell gave the best on argument. Hamilton gave his decisions also in favor of D-. Last night received a letter from L.R.T.
Very Pleasant, but windy-
No school today as it is Fast day in N.H. At Prayers this morning Mr. Richards laid down to rules how the day should be spent & how the students must preserve order. From appearances it was not very well keeped [sic] by the students, some were out walking, some playing footballs, some studying, some carrying on in the house. Dr. Crosby came down about 12 o’clock. Dr. Hall was here. They examined Pierce some talked over his difficulty, & fixed some medicine & linement to rub him with. Dr. C. thinks that Dr. H. has done pretty well with him, he did not say that he could not have done better. But thinks he will get alone [sic] unless something else turns up.
Cloudy, a little snow
Today studied some but being with Pierce could not do much, went into recitations but did not have my lessons. The French class are getting on very well & the Bourdon class are over the hardest part of the book we will have I believe. Have lost a part of it, the Cube root, yet that does not amount to much. Caught a bad cold going up to Hanover & feel the effects of it today.
Some 25 to 30 of the student who were playing football yesterday had to remain after prayer both morning & evening & had to beg the pardon of "Kuros." It is a wonder others were not hauled up for other deeds.
[K.U.A.], Saturday 9/4/59
Very pleasant but windy
Did not go in to the exercises this morning & made my excuse on account of remaining to take care of Pierce, who was more comfortable today; till the Dr. gave him some physic, which did not operate as well as wished for, for it made him sick & gave him a bad head ache. More comfortable this evening. This afternoon I was in my room all the time, trying on my boots which arrived today & having a good time generally. My boots are not made much as I have been in the habit of having them made, for it was an hours job to get them on, & they seem large enough when on. Went walking this evening met Mifses.[sic] Fairbanks & Learned. Wrote a few lines on my essay for the Phila. Soc. this evening.
Did not get ready to go in to Bible exercise this morning, & had my name called but no one to ans. to it. Met Mr. Rickhards going to church & gave my excuse. Mr. Blanchard gave a very fine discourse this morning, but had an [sic] bad head ache from the effects of eating too much maple sugar last night, which spoiled the discourse for me. Some old foggy who attends the sulpher baths here preached in the afternoon, did not enjoy it any. Spent the afternoon on the bed woke up in time for supper much refreshed & free from my head ache. Spent the evening with Peirce who is more comfortable. French set up with him tonight.
It appears from circumstances, that the weather here is as diversified as the soil. Have to spend so much time with Peirce I have get little left to study in, so had my lessons very imperfect today, & the prospects for improvement are equally poor at the present time. Tried to do something on my essay but the boys were bent on having a good time this evening so did very little. What Lizzie is intending to do I do not know at present she is teaching in Lancaster Mafs. [sic] How long she is to continue I know not but speaks as if she would remain if they are suited with her. I must find out something as to her intentions as it may affect my interest.
Another change & for the better, Have been busy all day but as usual accomplished very little on my duties to K.U.A as I did not go in to recitation on account of my duties in the Phil. Soc. yet did very little for the boys were in my room carrying on again, not till 4 o'clock did I get to writting [sic] & then could do very little. The evening I spent idle or with Pierce, & set up with last night made me feel somewhat tired, yet set up till after 12, writing & have made little headway for my thoughts do not flow very easy, not having been used much of late. The ladies are sending around their programmes for the Minervian.
K.U.A. Wednesday 13/4/59
Again my duties with Pierce detracted my mind from my studies & the morning passed away without accomplishing any particular part of my lesson. The afternoon passed off with me and my essay for company & not my studies, nor did I go into recitation on the contrary have an excuse to give to for two days of absence. Rec'd a Minervian Programme this afternoon. The Phil. Soc. Programmes have arrived & I was busy sending them off, some to the young ladies here & some are to go away from here. The Phil. Soc. had their meeting & I read my essay subjects "Love of the beautiful". All went off well. Election tomorrow.
Studied some till 12:30 when the election came off. We were victorious all round. G.S. True elected 64 to Bingham 35. 29 majority as president. Laithrop vice do by 86 to Hicks 10. Kendall as Sec. by 89 to Buchanan 9. Chuckman [or Cushman] as 2nd Dir. by 64 to G. Millers 23. Jenkins as 3rd Dir. by 85 to 2 scattering Parmlee as Treasurer 67 to 8 scattering C.R. Miller as 1st Librarian by 71 to Thurston 5. Whittaker 61 Vila 56 as 2nd and 3rd Libr. so the day was easily won. Did not have my recitations on account of election so another poor day put in, will have some black marks. This evening spent doing nothing.
Pleasant overhead but unpleasant underfoot.
Tried to study this morning but did not do much, as for some reason or other my mind will not work as it should do, all this term it has been so, however little there has been to attract it, my thoughts would wander off from my books, & I left minus the quantity or my lessons at least. For some reason or other my recitations went of much better than I anticipated, yet the lesson themselves were poorly learned. Some talk about electing the officers of the Junior class. Debating club next week, this evening the election of officers of the Harmonic Soc. comes off. This evening the Concert took place which was postponed sometime ago, by Mr. Mrs. Hosmer. Did not go. Those that went seemed pleased.
Didnot go in to exercise this morning as I was with Pierce who is getting better, he set up some two hours this morning, he feels very well or free from sickness but is very weak. This morning our Debating Club elected its officers. This afternoon Chapman White & myself went over to Mr. Colby's to sugar off. Did not find them at work but Mr. M. Colby took us into the house & boiled some down on the stove, we had a capital time & I had all I could eat. Brought Pierce home some, he pitched right into it, & thought it was capital. Marsh is getting really indifferent toward Pierce & leaves it for Chapman & I to remain with him & set up.
Went into the Bible class this morning for some reason or other the exercise does not seem as pleasant as it used to, perhaps my thoughts are not where they should be. Mr. Blanchard preached from Mark 8th Chap. Verse. The discourse did not seem as good as usual, but the truth was very prominent in some parts. Sometime it seems if I was nearer to God than ever again it is impossible to think of him or his holy word, thus I am revolving between life & death, heaven and hell, yet cannot or will not give myself up unreservedly to him who made all things.
This morning came back from prayer to find Pierce cross and discouraged, he caught cold last Friday & has not been quite as well, but he feels more discouraged than he need. One thing about him is his self opinion of how much he knows, & a wish for every person to believe what he says is so, & nobody can bring any arguments to break his down. The fact is he has no friends in the school, but Sawtelle who when he knows him better will not think too much of him.
Have a very bad cold caught more by going out walking last evening. Had my French but the Bourdon is not understandable, it is awful stuff, & I do not spend time enough on it.
It seems strange Pierce does not get along better, again he has the pains in his back & shoulders, but not so bad as at first. If he continues much longer down on the bed & unable to help himself, he will loose all his friends, for the they are dropping off, from their cordiality to him every day.
My cold is not much better, for I have been about sick today, from it. The discussion of the Senior class this evening was between Mr. Williams and Learned. Mr. W. did very well but had a very good side. Mr. L. did better & had a poor side, he is the smartest fellow in school, had the best discussion & read the best of any, better than any can do.
Spring begins to open the buds & again dame nature wears the aspect of Spring as if we were again to have the beauties of nature portrayed before us to lead us to look more to the Beautiful, & see how much God has given us to enjoy.
Had a fine walk around the square with Fletcher. My dumb bells have arrived & now I have something to stretch my chest & arms.
This is the last night of the Phili. So. this term, did not go in. They had a small meeting, as most of the seniors were at Mr. Richards, attending the sociable. Set up this evening & night with Pierce.
K.U.A. Thursday 21/4/59
Three or four of us set up in Pierce's room last night till near midnight, carrying on & having a good time in general, Pierce enjoyed it much, & sleep like a log the rest of the night but I had no piece [sic] or comfort, as I filled the stove with wood, there being no way to stop the draft entirely it became so hot had to open the doors & windows, it was long after 1. before got quieted down. Today The recitation passed off very well we are reviewing in both French and Algebra. Some boys full of the mischief have taken the top part of the desk from the Chapel also the Bible, It seems some how contemptuous boys exist every where.
A change of weather, again we have some miserable weather to dull ones spirits and make him out of sorts. This afternoon Miller & I ran away from French as Mifs.[sic] Bates did not make her appearances in time. The boys have started a new game here, which is running football out "cicket" it is a much different game, something on the principle of "wicket" it is a much different game, something on the principle of cricket, but not near so good. The boys are not satisfied with taking the desk away but have taken the bible also, none of them are found yet.
Last evening received a letter from W.P.F. his eyes are very bad, he cannot read or write much expects to go to Boston or New York, hope he came to Boston when I can see him, for I will go down, then can go & see L.R.F. Wm. Speaks of his father's being engaged in some oil business with Mrs Williams, also if his eyes trouble him he will want assistance soon to attend to his business. If he does think most probably I can get it, which will be a start, & who know what may turn up after. Have been with Pierce all morning. Wrote Wrote C.F. McLean & L.R.F. today.
Did not go in to Bible exercise nor to church in the morning, as was engage with Pierce who is now growing worse, & unless the medicine left this morning does some good he will be as bad as ever. Went to church in the afternoon but was sleep [sic] paid very little attention to the service. Mr. Wood preach as Mr. B. is absent, his subject was the immortality of the soul, & certainly he proved it to [mind?], for the facts he brought to bear on the subject were undeniable. Had a bad head ache. Have spent the very foolishly & wickedly.
K.U.A. Monday 25/4/59
A. No. 1
It has been to pleasant to remain cooped up studying but it had to be done. My recitations went off very well. Had a very pleasant time playing ball this evening, enjoyed it so much will engage in it again. This evening the Glee class gave a concert in aid of raising funds to ornament the common. Mr. Wood had the charge, & he has done well to prepare them as well as he has. There were 17. Some very good singers & others not so good. Mifs Webster did well she has a strong voice. Hattie Kimbell's voice went up a few time high & clear. Mifs. Grannis did well. Among the gentlemen cannot say so much. Young little Daily did miserably well. All went off harmonious & all seemed pleased.
Raining all day.
The grass is beginning to look green, as if spring was coming on in earnest. It is about time something was doing to favor the farmers or else the crops will not have time to ripen. French went off miserably today, Algebra very well. Have had more time to study than usual but have not improved it. The steamboats have commenced running on Lake Ontario from Hamilton to Montreal.
The reviewing is not going so easy as I expected especially the French which seems very hard, but will have to make up for it by studying the harder.
This evening the Philadelphian Society public meetings came off. It was very good. Did not hear Hamiltons Essay but heard it was excellent. Oration by Farnesworth did not hear, it was not called very good or nothing extra, discussion, Res. [resolved] Is seclusion more beneficial to the formation of a literary character than society? [Tappan?] on the Aff. [affirmative] Did not hear him but from what I hear he was the most original speaker G.S. [True /neg??] did pretty well, sometimes quite eloquent, but did not do as well as I expected. Oration by Salmon Dutton was good but not original at all, still it showed some reading. He delivered it much better than I expected, but his position was very poor. The poem by Homer T. Fuller was pretty good, some might call it good others not good, it was too long however good it might have been. The Philadelphian paper called the Phila [Patriamenos?] by F.P.[Savarin?] was not such as I would have [fist?] in but it was full of wit and truth, although to much of the comical & not enough of depth of the solidity kind. Performances closed closed at about 11.
K.U.A. Thursday 28/4/59
Did not study any for we began carrying on this morning & continued all day, although in the afternoon we studied some. Had to get excused from my French so as to prepare my Bourdon, which passed off very well, but have a long, long, lesson for next recitation.
A number of Hanover student have come down to the Minervian this evening. They are al rough, unmannerly drunken set of fellows; at the tea table they were disgusting to me, & all the time till the Minervian, when they did their best to make fools of themselves, but after they got in the chapel they behaved better. The essay by the Pres. Mifs [sic] Taylor I did not hear, but believe it was good. The discussion did not hear, but Mifs Grannis on the Aff. was very much excited but made out to get through the piece. Hattie Kimble on the Neg. read the best of any but her arguments were not much. Essay by Mifs. [sic] Walker did not hear nor have no others opinion on it. The Casket by Ellen A. Webster did hear, it was very fare [sic] some good things in it. She read very well, & looked very well. The Poem by Marian Powers I could not hear very well so much noise. The Ornamental scene Mifs [sic] Spaulding as Morning, good Mifs [sic] Parker as Morning Twilight good, Mifs [sic] Gillette as evening twilight passable Mifs [sic] Laura Robinson as night, Majestic & beautiful. Had a bust after the performance. Since the above was written have heard that Laura [?] wrote Miss Robinson's piece.
Friday & Saturday 29 & 30 of 4/59
Very Pleasant and Warm
Oh how pleasant it was to [ramble] around the hills & amount the woods, leafless although the trees yet anticipation of the time when verdure will crown all woods & hills make it very pleasant.
This afternoon the students had a holy-day to plant trees around the common, quite a number took hold & worked but many did not, among that number I rank myself, for I spent the afternoon off on the hills roaming around for health, pleasure, & renewed energy to study, but also for the fickleness of man, my roaming did no good, for I neither attended the levee nor the studies I intended. Saturday came but with no desire to improve my time, but had to hold forth in the chapel to a very attentive audience. Felt very comfortable on the stage, had no fear of breaking down, or flunking as it is called, so congratulate myself that again my duty is done & one more object accomplished. This afternoon wandered off again but to enjoy a cigar only having given up all hopes of doing anything till Monday when must prepare for examination. Mifses [sic] Bates & Wakefield wrote in my autograph today, also in [Ludkins?], but Mifs W. only put her name in his, yet favored me with a few lines of poetry. Henry Duncan is going off after the term closes to teach in Rhode Island, so will lose another good teacher, what I will do next term, is a mystery.
1 See also Box 15-001b, Box 15-001c and Box 15-001d for the rest of the diary. For the complete diary--dates are: April 4, 1859 to January 2 1862.
Also see footnote at end of diary (Box 15-001d) for more information on Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten. His biographical sketch is available under "Family" on the home page.