[This letter was sent c/o Rev. Dr. Tenney.]W-MCP5-6.316 TO ESTIMATE RUTH ESTHER (ESTY) BALDWIN [MCQUESTEN] from her sister Lucy and Lucy's husband David Flanders
May 4 1844
To: Estimate Ruth Esther Baldwin, Northampton, Massachusetts,
From: North Londonderry, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
My dear very dear sister,
How I wish that I could enjoy your company this eve and talk over the events of the past week. There has not much transpired of very important interest to communicate by pen but still it would excite interest by recital. That wedding which we told you that Jane was invited to came on last Thursday--Mr. Greely of this town was married to a Miss Dodge of Hollis. Jane went with the groom's brother. He called for her about six in the Morn. They reached Hollis about 10 o'clock. The couple were married soon after dinner. Jane and her gallant uniting as best man and maid. After the ceremonies were over they returned to this town to their new home which is not far from, Esq. Whitting. Jane spent the night with them and returned yesterday a little before noon.
We have been having the outside of our house painted over. The yard fence likewise. Our painter finished his job today and has left. We had a letter from Harriet last week the next day after we mailed our letter to you. She has been afflicted with chills all winter and a few weeks since she had another Polypus on the womb she calls it. You know she wrote to us last summer that she had been very sick with the extraction of one. She says she is very much reduced in strength and it seems as though she could live through many such turns. She has relinquished the idea of coming on this season but thinks that she shall certainly come the ensuing year if her health will permit. Mary Hanes sent a lock of her hair and a pattern of her frock to Mother. I took a small bit of both and have sent the rest with the letter to Mother. I will enclose in this a little bit to you if I do not forget it.
Sabbath Eve. Dear E.
We have attended meeting to day it has been our communion season. It has been earlier than usual on account of Mr. Brainards journey. He starts tomorrow with his wife and wife's sister and his Mother goes with them as far as Connecticut. Caroline Holmes is going to Ohio to visit her brother. She probably will not return before another year.
I have felt much solicitude with regard to my knowledge and worthiness to discover the Lord's body and to feel upon it. Dear E. will you not pray earnestly for your backsliding and erring sister that she may be brought into the fold of Christ and kept in it. Religion is in a low and feeble state here and has been for a long time. We have had a long dark night in which we the members of this church have slept or at least I have and have lived as though this world was my home. We do greatly need an authorizing of the holy Spirit in this place. And do dear sister join with me in praying to God that we may have a refreshing shower and that our church may be enlivened and invigorated by its divine influence.
Spoke with Mrs. Anderson today she enquired very affectionately for you and desired to be remembered to you as always when I write. Likewise Deacon Chase and wife. Husband wants the other page so that I can only say more that Mrs. White continues to gain and that I love you dearly & Jane too sends love.
[Letter continues by Lucy's husband, David Flanders:]
Lucy has gave over all the ground--I cannot add nor diminish--I have thought sometimes that it would be pleasant very much so, to take a sheet or two and fill it--alone to you but am afraid that it would not be worth the ink and paper to you--Do not accuse me of false modesty or of pride conveyed in the gaul [sic] of humility. I should be willing to denote many views in correspondence on my part but feel that nothing can be added to your intellectual happiness by any thing from this region--We congratulate you on your lot having "fallen in pleasant places," surrounded (as you are) by the Literati of New England--beloved Lyceum pupils and their parents--good friends daily accumulating as your friends--what is more, blessed with the consciousness of being a benefactor of your sex & race--You surely must be happy.
You say nothing in your last respecting Dr. C. McQuesten--I do not wish you to reveal any thing which you may [not] think proper to reveal [sic]--He was advised by some mutual friends to visit you,1 but whether he has done so or not we have no means of knowing--Do write often, Lucy says a week is a long time to do without a letter from you--So say I--Miss Baldwin. Yours in much fraternal affection,
[Written in margin of first page:]
I send you a New Orleans paper. Our friend Webster figuring largely as you will see.2
1 This is the first indication in the letters of a possible relationship between Estimate (Esty) Baldwin and Dr. Calvin McQuesten. They were married on September 9 or 11, 1844 (Minnes 6, 10, see also, W-MCP5-6.313).
2 This is likely a reference to Daniel Webster (1782-1852) who was born in Salisbury, New Hampshire, and studied at Dartmouth NH, Salisbury and Boston. Salisbury is in southern New Hampshire about 30 km from Londonderry. There is presently a small community named Webster near Salisbury. He became a US senator, orator, lawyer, and secretary of state. "He is best known for his Webster-Ashburnton Treaty of 1842 between Britain and the US, which established the present-day boundaries between NE USA and Canada" (CBE 981).