W0015 TO DR. CALVIN AND MARGARETTE [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from sister Eliza McQuesten
Apr 17 1833
To: Dr. and Mrs. Calvin McQuesten, Brockport, Monroe County, New York
From: Bedford, New Hampshire
Ever Dear Brother and Sister,
What we have long feared has come upon us. Our dear Mother is no more but is removed. I believe to a better world. I have no doubt but she is now--before the throne--clothed in white--commenced the song of redeeming love that shall never end.
When I last wrote which in March I think there was no especial [sic] alteration that I know of. She had lost and was losing strength she was becoming less and less able to make exertion either of body or mind but made no further complaint and appeared to enjoy herself as usual; about a fortnight previous to her decease her cough stopped. I think it did not entirely at once but she gradually ceased to raise till she did not raise anything which produced some stricture, shortness of breath, sickness at the stomach, she took such medicines as she had formulas under similar circumstances but without any effect. We with her consent applied to Doct. Woodbury for medicinal aide and I think his medicine a little relieved her. I think she had more comfortable feeling through her sickness for his attendance. I do not think of any thing that was neglected that could have been done either to have removed or have alleviated her weakness of disease. It appeared to me from the first like the sickness of death. The circumstances of her death I think could not have been ordered in any other way to have left her friends with more comfortable feelings.
Eliza was with us the last week of her life--was very kind and useful. She entered in her rest Saturday morning 2 o'clock 13 inst. was buried Monday 15. From the commencement of her sickness as was usual with her she did not think she should recover but appeared perfectly tranquil and composed. I think I never saw a more perfect pattern of entire submission to will of heaven than she has manifested for a year past particularly. I think she was fully ripened for that rest which is prepared for the children of God. Mrs. Chandles remarked to us the day of her funeral that she hoped her mantel would rest upon her posterity.
Oh dear friend that we may be more consistent followers of Christ. The Monday previous to her death she made mention to us of all the absent children--told us to tell them she thought of them all on her death bed.
We had read your letter to her the day before; we received it Saturday night but thought the exercise of hearing would be too much for her then, she felt the intelligence of Br.'s ill health but was not disturbed. Her Christian friends and neighbours were kind in calling on her, it appeared to afford great satisfaction to them both. She was pleased to see them and they appeared to be comforted in seeing her. From the remarks she made to different persons that called, it appeared that the fear of death was taken away. She felt that she could trust the grace of God to sustain her in the last conflict and I think she was not disappointed before she expired.
About 20 minutes or perhaps less she appeared to revive a little--opened her eyes--took her friend by the hand who sat beside her, knew her, and said she had got partly on her way through the dark valley and then could speak no more ...............................
Now dear friends if I have neglected to mention any thing which you wish to know please to inform me and I will oblige you if in my power. Her sickness and death was so gentle--so peaceful so serene that we feel comfortable. But dear friends we are bereaved we are called to mourn but not without hope. I feel that there is but little in this world but disappointment and sorrow, and that happy are all that have entered in their rest who have reason to struggle with sin and temptation, the corruption and infirmities of the flesh. I feel perfectly satisfied with the advise you gave in your last letter. I do not wish to do anything that will not be for the best nor anything that causes unnecessary trouble from my friends. I wish to know my duty and be enabled to do it.
Sister Sawyer sends her love to you, wants you to write her. I expect to send this by F. Moore. I think you will get it as soon as though I mailed it. Gunough McQuesten and Clark his brother spent the night with us Monday said they were well at May McAllaster's and that May had left off selling rum. I have many more things I could write but am exceedingly weary believe me,
Your affectionate sister
[Written on envelope:] By the politeness of Mr. Moore.1
1 This note on the envelope refers to the person who has been entrusted to deliver the letter in person.