[This entry consists of two letters. A letter from Catherine to Margarette was enclosed with John Fisher's letter.]W-MCP4-6.235 TO DR. CALVIN AND MARGARETTE [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from their cousins John and Catherine Fisher
Apr 27 1838
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten and Margarette Lerned McQuesten, Brockport, New York, U.S.A.
From: Hamilton, Upper Canada
I send you a Draft for $150.00 Davis & Ford have not yet paid anything on their a/c [account]--I was detained a day in LeRoy by the stage leaving a.m.--Left Warsaw Tuesday morning--No conveyance on Monday--There is to be no more executions in this Province--I fear Lerned1 will
not find employ with Winer--I shall try to obtain Iron on
D & Fords claim of Van Norman. There was grat [sic] excitement on the 21st fearing the seven might be executed--but it is now proclaimed by the official paper that any other execution will be nothing short of murder--I may say I reached Home last night--all well--Have yet made no arrangement with Dickerman will write you as soon
as I do--Bout [bought] one stove in LeRoy for
Pattern--Rotary No. 2 without [arbour?]--Use a Tin one--
Lerned talks of going to Brockport and New Hampshire
[Enclosed with John Fisher's letter:]
TO MARGARETTE LERNED MCQUESTEN from Catherine Fisher
I received your letter by the hand of my dear
Husband who arrived home Thursday afternoon bringing with him little John. You must know that I was very happy to see them for I can assure you that it is not pleasant being allone [sic] here in this land of civil commotion. During my Husbands absence and the night before the day
appointed for the execution of the 5 prisoners3 all was
in motion, double guards were placed throughout the town
and word was given out that the Americans had landed in
Canada. This it was supposed was mostly an excuse for
the preparations which they were making against an attack
which they feared would be made upon the Prison for the
purpose of relieving the prisoners. Between 10 and 11
about a doz. persons well armed came to our door and
enquired for the key to our meeting house they wished to
lodge some of their men in the church. We did not have
the key and sent them where we thought they could find it
supposing they only wanted to use the bell but they did
not get the key and very glad was I when I found out
their object. I should liked very well to have told them
to go to the scotch Kirk and ask permission particularly
of those members who would not even sign a petition to
the Governour [sic] for Pardon of those prisoners under sentence of death many of whom had never taken up arms but had merely dared to avow their sentiments and that I would say go especially to that member of the Kirk who tore the petition which was handed him to sign as he would probably throw open the doors without hesitation.
Edward [Lerned] has been very good company. I should have been very lonesome without him. I hope you will make up your minds to come to Canada. We hope for better times when Lord Durham arrives.4 He is a very highly
spoken of and vocal reformer and a very amiable man.
This letter will compare very well with Napoleon's letters to Josephine which you know took her a long time to decipher on account of the blots and scratches.
Your affectionate cousin
Catherine W. Fisher5
[Post-script from John to Calvin:]
N.B. I intend next week to purchase with notes from Davis & Ford 10 Tons Scotch and 6 Tons of Long Point Iron.
1 Likely a reference to Edward, Margarette's brother who had
been working in the McQuesten Druggist business in
Brockport; However it may be a reference to Catherine
Lerned, Margarette (Lerned) McQuesten's sister who had
been visiting Hamilton since March. See W-MCP4-6.236 in
which she states that she may be hired by Winer who is
also a druggist.
2 John Knox Fisher was Dr. Calvin McQuesten's first cousin and business partner. He had some difficulty working with another of the foundry's co-founders, Mr. [Joseph] Janes, and was often concerned about the man's methods of conducting business. In 1838, Janes ran off, leaving behind his wife and thousands of dollars of debt. See W-MCP4-6.237. For more on Fisher, see W-MCP5-6.240.
3 These are the prisoners taken during MacKenzie's rebellion
4 Lord Durham (1792-1840) came to Canada in May 1838 as
governor general of British N. America in order to report
on the Canadian Rebellion of 1837. He was here for six
months and wrote his famous report in which his major
recommendation was to reunite the Canadas . . . and the
union was brought into effect in 1841 (CE 637).
5 It is not quite clear if the name Catherine should be spelled Catharine. Mrs. Fisher and her husband write Catherine. Minnes, however, uses Catharine in her biographical information on John Fisher. See also footnote 7 in W-MCP4-6.236.