W-MCP5-6.347 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his sister-in-law Louisa [Lerned] McAllaster
Mar 28 1843
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten, Hamilton, Canada West,
From: Concord, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
My dear very dear Brother,
You know not how much your letter dated [illegible] has made me feel. It has opened the wounds of my heart afresh. I feel as though there ought to be something more to make you happy than what you experience. No doubt you find a "Balm in Gilead" & find comfort and consolation in the [?] [?] and friends. But my dear brother, you too find it not good for man to be alone [?] [?] [?] Oh! be entreated to come immediately and see us, change of scene will no doubt favorably affect your drooping spirits or again renovate your hopes. I heard from you via William Baye, "that you was very melancholy & so great the change that you did not seem as C. McQuesten used to."
Your loss was great when your confiding loving wife was transplanted to the heavenly mansions,1 yet you do not mourn as those who have no hope. Still the cup is full of blessings, you are not left comfortless, you have a darling son, the delight of his mother & I hope the blessings of his father. So young as Calvin was, he cannot be expected to remember his mother's instructions on the prayers he so oft has heard, yet God has treasured them up & will in his own time answer them. Must Calvin ever remain motherless? Can no one be found who would love him as his "Aunt Louisa" did & ever will. Do not dwell so much like a hermit, you have long looked on the darker side of the picture, do not wait to look on the opposite.
In the first place pack up, take Calvin, shut up house & come toward the sister's way to find peace [ink blot] write or come. Your sister's house to our almost city homeland. Come, stay a while, leave Calvin with me and as I have Howard & Alfred so will I love Calvin he shall share their bed, their board & their parents' love. You know both husband and myself love yours and Margarette's boy even as our own, and as I feel that the eye of that mother knows & sees her son so will I even be to him as though he was actually present with me. Will you not regard this as a call not from me a feeble erring mom, but a call from God, from your wife, to arrange yourself & try to live for Calvin, for usefulness? Would not that spirit "respond dear husband and take our little pledge of love our, your, only son take him to my home in N. England, my sister's home he will there find a mother, sisters & brothers." Do dear brother be entreated to come & leave Calvin with us, till such time as you think best, to take him away. Alfred is a very obedient child never has been near the Depot or river in since we have lived here unless with my permission, never goes out of hearing of our tea bell, never spoke a profane word and neither lies or deceives his teachers say, his stories are always true, though by so telling he implicates himself, if late at school 10 or 15 minutes, he tells for what, though rather unpleasant, so to do. Howard is the pet of the house, he has always reminded me of Calvin, a brighter smarter boy I never saw. I fear the amiable disposition of Alfred will not be much sought after by Howard, for he is driving, fears nothing & though obedient would like his own way. It cannot injure Calvin to stop in between these boys a place, just it [?] [?] [?]. I will do by him even better than by my own, for his dear mother's sake. Methinks she is guiding my pen & knows the dictates of my heart & your happiness I earnestly seek, do come, you know my desires with regard to yourself, come. I have waited long to invite some of my dearest friends to visit me with you, have not had company since sister M. was here, come, don't say nay--If you will not come, why I would wish you to bring on C. if I have the means to expend on such a journey but your business will [?] & sister Mary.
Husband's blues have all evaporated, I was sick 3 months the past winter now well or very smart, no more "blues" to trouble him. Sister M, however, is not so well off, her cares and responsibilities are increasing, she loves you & young son even as we loved our sister.
The bond remains in our possession, husband has been treated so badly by Cath. with hand language threatenings, & because we would not sign when asked, without thought or consideration, and because he said he should not, unless the Dr. did, that, they despise us. Cath. here in town last week, spent the night at Col. [Kents?] within a few feet of our door & next house without looking this way, every one saying "why did not C. call to see Mrs. Mc. after spending 6 months there this seems strange," she said her "Ma did not wish her to go to Major McAllister [McAllaster] but she could not tell them her reasons," it's the stay down to Col. Kents for her. I called [?] and thanked her for visit, & sent a bundle to my dear Mary by her. Mother now one of the family but Hannah, the best (Lucy is at Roxbury) will enter Sister Mary's house, now "never will till the house is signed." We pass unpleasantly but never refused signing if Dr. would, but Hugh says now, he shall wait awhile till things grow out.
Temperance is gaining ground with us, we have very full houses every Sabbath eve, & lectures on Temperance, if Rum sellers will do their duty all will be well. Husband has now gone to meeting with his two sons, & do let Calvin come & go with them--If you will come, mail a paper with day of month, if not with a N. for No. which letter would break my heart. I feel it your best thing to come, if not I shall almost fly to you. You can return if necessary this summer & come on again for Calvin & perhaps some other friend. My anticipation my very prayers are that you will come.
I do hope the best of Heaven's blessings are yet in store for my poor husband brother, stay not still, court not solitude, but the path is marked out, my earnest desires even now made known. Concord is filling up fast, come & do business here, we are all alive as to this world's company. Husband is gone to meeting but I know his love & good wishes would be yours and Calvins. Rodney Town has been here says Urania Grady [or Greely?] is still at [?] not very pleasantly situated, but does not go [letter ends here].
[No closing and no signature]2
[Note on envelope:] Via Lewiston
1 Margarette Barker (Lerned) McQuesten, wife of Dr. Calvin McQuesten, died on July 13, 1841, and this letter is dated almost 2 years later. Margarette died after the birth of their third son, James Barker, who lived for 6 days after his mother died. Their firstborn Calvin Jr., born in 1834, had lived only 10 days. Their second son, Calvin Brooks McQuesten (1837-1912) became a doctor and practised in the U.S. Dr. Calvin McQuesten married his second wife, Estimate Ruth Esther Baldwin on September 11, 1844. The first indication we have of a possible relationship between Dr. Calvin and Estimate Baldwin is a letter dated May 4, 1844, "Has Dr. McQuesten visited you?" (W-MCP5-6.315).
2 Although the letter bears no signature, the mention of husband Hugh indicates that the letter is from Hugh McAllaster's wife, Louisa (Lerned) McAllaster, Margarette (Lerned) McQuesten's sister, and the handwriting is similar to her other letters. See also W0484, W0488, W0492, W0565, W0651, W0675, W0678, W0679, W0680, W0701, W0702, W0735, W0801, W0803, W0810, W0814, W0833, W0835, W0841, W0857, W0869, W0870, W0889, W0897, W0898, W-MCP5-6.113, W-MCP5-6.291, W-MCP5-6.379, W-MCP5-6.332, W-MCP5-6.347.