[This letter was sent c/o Dr. Calvin McQuesten.] W-MCP5-6.322 TO ESTIMATE RUTH ESTHER (ESTY) [BALDWIN] MCQUESTEN from Elizabeth Nale
Feb 12 1848
To: Estimate Ruth Esther Baldwin McQuesten, Hamilton, Canada West
From: Rochester, New York, [U.S.A.]
My dear Mrs. McQuesten,
I have been wishing for some days to write and congratulate you [10 lines illegible]. He will add very much to your care as well as to your happiness,1 and I fear [?] I shall not hear from you as often now, but allow me to suggest that you [?] your dear husband [?] [?], that those who love you may hear often of your affairs. I have returned from a call on Miss Walker, she is well and rejoicing that spring is so near when she expects again to see Mr. Fisher.
We have had a very pleasant winter but the sound of the ringing sleigh bells have scarcely been heard, yet the people [4 lines illegible]. We were out last night with the brides dear [?] hundred friends, until 12 o'clock, so a poor [?] is better than none [1 line illegible]. I promised myself to write you this vacation and place your [?] [?] did that I might once again having the pleasure of getting a letter from you.
School begins again, nigh Monday. On the whole I think a schoolroom rather the pleasantest place in the world. I have been quite nonplussed during the whole week to find occupation for the livelong day. But with books & work & healthful play have succeeded in passing this week totally happy, yet it is almost a mystery how ladies can live so year after year.
I must tell you how frightened we were not long since in school. The small pox has been in the city at an alarming extent all winter. Well one of the pupils had been apparently most sick with a cold for some days, but she was ambitious and it was near examination so continued to come. One morning eruptions began to appear on her face & neck & soon the physician being called pronounced it the smallpox. It produced quite a panic but no one else took the disease.
Fanny Choate and her husband passed through Rochester last month, on their return from the west. They found it very sickly and did not consider it their duty to remain. Mr. Cushing is now preaching in Waltham and Family is at her father's in Derry. [2 lines illegible] There has been no extra effort [?] [?]. It seems to be the silent work of the spirit. Several of the young ladies in our city meet here every Friday afternoon [?] [?] very interesting [?] [?] herself to the missionary work, our [?] [?] useful members of the church.
Do you know the minister Mr. Kitredge filled in for [?] about eight miles from Rochester a cousin of Dr. K.'s of Nashua. The presbytery met this last week & he stopped with us. I became quite well acquainted with him from three years ago but left on account of ill health. In his travels for health he came to G. He now owns a farm there--preaches a little. These little reminiscences about eastern minds, are all gems in my existence. It is said imaginary happiness the best but it seems to me the real pleasures of my earlier days are pleasanter thoughts than any dreams of the future. This is leap year you know and you needn't be surprised if I try to better my condition. I belong to the priviledged [sic] class and the gentlemen are so slow--backward in doing their duty that I think it is high time to remind them of it.
I hope you wont cast me out of your books for writing so much nonsense.
May I not hope for a letter from you soon? I want very much to hear from you of all the interesting events that have transpired lately. You mentioned in your last that you expected a niece to spend this year in your family. You must be very happy with her society, give my love to her and Calvin & the last but not least to the Dr.
Believe me, ever truly and affectionately, yours
[Note on back of folded envelope:]
Please direct to Deacon Russell [?]
1 The writer is likely referring to the birth of Estimate's son, Isaac Baldwin McQuesten, on November 26, 1847.