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W0096 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his niece Eliza McQuesten
Apr 16 1831
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten, Sandbornton, New Hampshire
From: Goffstown, New Hampshire

Dear Uncle,

I have again seated myself to address you, but 'tis so long, since I have seen you, or heard from you, that I hardly know what to say, rather think that I shall not be able to tell you any news very interesting, but if not, you must excuse me as the intention is good. It is said, ladies when they meet, always introduce conversation with a few remarks upon the weather, so I will tell you, it is a very rainy day, and it rains most all the time, down here, suppose, it is pretty much so with you. Suppose this is very interesting. Is it not?

We have had quite an alteration in mercantile affairs in this village, week before last, had a great auction to sell all the goods belonging to the late firm of George Ela & Co. It continued all the week, that store is now occupied by the firm of Cushing [written below "Cushing": James] and Hadley. There is to be another large store to be built north of that, to be occupied by Ela & Marshall. There is at present considerable talk about an Academy in this town, and I hope they will succeed in building one, it is to be supported by funds, left for that for that purpose, by the late James Aiken.

Oh. Uncle, I had almost forgotten to tell you, that last Monday, Priest Harris of Dunbarton, and aunt Jane Aiken were married, quite a blooming couple, he was 76 and she 50 now uncle sure you need not despair, and guess you don't, for I heard not long since something that sounded as though you was going to get married, and if this is the case, do bring your lady down and let us see her, don't see why you can't come down to Goffstown this summer, you must not think Doctors can never go visiting, because I think they can sometimes, as well as not.

I heard from Bedford folks yesterday, they were quite well as usual. I have not been down for a great while, but intend to go soon. Mother is now up to New Boston, she went up and got caught in a rainstorm, she has been gone three days and I have to be the lady and ketching [sic] maid. I don't like the employment, quite as well in wet as in dry weather, however I get along pretty well, Mother spent five or six weeks in Boston last winter.

Mr. Ela has just been in, says the river has risen so high, in consequence of the long rains, that it is feared Mr. Aikens' mills will be carried away. This river never has been so high, as it now is since 1810. Our little Piscataquog,1 now looks like quite a large stream, don't know but the whole village will be under water, if it continues raining as fast as it now does, all night, and I think there is no prospect of fairer weather at present.

We have got three new families in the neighbourhood, one a Dr. Crosby, and it is thought he came here with the intention of buying land upon this river for a company to build factories, but I don't know as he has ever owned this as his intention. Mr. Whittiers expects to leave Goffstown soon believe he thinks of going to Boston.

Believe now I have told you all the news except that the folks are all well, they tried pretty hard to make me sick, I believe, or else they thought I was sick, and tried to cure me, they gave me emeticks [sic], pills, and powders, about three weeks. I believe the advice you gave me in your letter was very good, it was this "keep clear as possible from the Doctors." wonder if you have ever given Miss Learned2 this advice, if not perhaps you had better give it soon, before it is too late. Perhaps it would be quite well for me to stop as to write any more.

From your Niece

Eliza McQuesten

[P.S.] Please to write soon.

1 The Piscataquog River in southern New Hampshire is one of the major tributaries of the Merrimack River and prime habitat for Atlantic salmon parr. It is a popular river for whitewater paddling, see web site: In 2003, flooding and erosion continues to be a problem on the river. The web site states that it is one of several Trout Unlimited restoration projects underway in New Hampshire. The Piscataquog Watershed Association (PWA) became concerned with stream bank erosion above the Gregg Mill Bridge on Route 13. Further erosion could have affected the road and rare aquatic species in the river. The association teamed up with Trout Unlimited and other organizations to explore a relatively new approach to bank stabilization that could be used as a model for the state. The association received a grant from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services to protect the bank and stream habitat using "natural" techniques

PISCATAQUOG: English interpretation is "Place of Deer."

2 Dr. Calvin McQuesten married Margarette Barker Lerned on November 8, 1831.

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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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