W0106 TO DR. CALVIN AND MARGARETTE [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from Adams W. and Sarah McQuesten Platt
Jul 21 1832
To: Dr. Calvin and Margarette Lerned McQuesten, Sandbornton Bridge, New Hampshire
From: West Galway, New Hampshire
I received your communication in due time and have been so busy in making the necessary inquiries to give you an answer. I have visited Johnstown yesterday and find they have engaged a Physician to come among them.
That place of course must be left out of the question. There are however, three or more places in this immediate region, which I consider more desirable situations for a Business Physician.
The one in W. Galway where I reside I have made inquiry of Dr. Payne, agreeably to your suggestion. He would not be willing to take a Partner for the time because he should be in an unsettled state during this time, and should not be able to fix on any other locations to advantage--again. He can attend himself to all the calls of his ride, while his health continues good as it now is--and if he stays here should like the whole income himself--Besides the people would be likely to get the idea that he was uneasy or dissatisfied and might not be so well for him in any case you should think best not to purchase. He thinks, and I am so inclined to think so also that there would be very little if any risk in purchase of the situation for several reasons.
The ride is unusually well defined. The people on the whole circuit have been in the habit of coming here from the early settlement of the country--not easily led any where else.
Business leads the whole population to this neighbourhood Stores, Mills of various kinds-Sawmills, Gristmill, 2 Hulling Mills and for carding--1 Oil Mill &c. all within 1/2 or 3/4 of a mile of this place. You would readily see by looking at the place and region of country that there is no place in which a Physician would be likely to locate himself--and yet the ride is unusually large. Dr. Payne is not so well situated here for being a Baptist--The great mass of the people are Presbyterians. The Scotch are very numerous, & increasing annually. It is not therefore, a situation in which he can be as useful as a Christian, as he might be somewhere else.
He remarked that you McQ. would be worth $200 a year among people here, referring to the Scotch Prejudices and a Presbyterian would also have many advantages in every way.
He says--he should be willing to take all due pains to introduce you or any Physician coming into the situation to the people and secure their patronage. He says besides supporting his family which has been considerably expensive--he has laid up on an average about 500 Dollars a year.
The cause of Temperance is making progress among us, but much more needs to be done. State of religious Society tolerably good & improving. A large and important field for usefulness.
Another situation now offered is on the east line of Galway about 7 miles from this--now occupied by Dr. Northrop about 45 years of age, began there poor now worth a good property, tired of riding wishes to live easier therefore anxious to sell.
The ride is large, people with very few exceptions able to pay owns a house and two or three acres of land--pleasant situations hours &c. not so good and expensive as Dr. Paines--An old established ride--but no village--A Scotch Covenanter's Church, about 3/4 of a mile to the east of him. And a Presbyterian church 3 &1/2 miles to the west in the centre of Galway where Dr. Preston resided.
He charges from 1,000 to 1,500 annually--He would be willing he says to take you as partner for a year. A third Situation--is 6 or 7 miles directly South of this place in Glenville--The Physician Dr. Smith has sold his farm--and purchased a Druggist establishment to the west--He has done a very fair business though not a man of much skill. It is in the Centre of Dutch Reformed congregation--a good people, and a good Minister I believe. As Dr. Smith did not sell to a physician; it is now open for any one to take possession.
You inquire concerning the frequency of Pulmonary complaints. There is some considerable of it--though I should think no more than is common to other places in the same latitude. It is called a very healthy part of the country. I have now given you all the information that occurs to me at present, concerning this situation.
They are considered important localities for a business Physician the two first in a special manner--The others I am not so well acquainted with. Perhaps it would be well for you to ride over and take a view. It is not common I should think to find such places offered. We should be glad to see your wife. I will leave the rest for Mrs. Platt.
Adams W. Platt
Husband has left me a little place and it is as much as I have time to fill I have done without help most of the time since you left, have however engaged a girl to come tomorrow--babe about as cross as ever we have not lived only staid. I could not avoid dropping a few tears that I could not accompany you to A.--although my judgement told me it was best to stay. I feel very grateful for your visit and your kindness to me and mine. I now feel that I love you as a sister. I formerly esteemed you as a brother's wife. I think such family interview is necessary occasionally to keep up family affection, and interest for each other. I shall now wish to see you often and hope Dr. McQuesten may think it is for his interest to come and be neighbour to us and by and by perhaps you will follow. I have already began to anticipate how happy I should be if I could stand in my door and talk to you sister a dozen times a day. I believe I should not feel that restraint I now do, when about my back yard. I hope if the Dr. comes she will accompany him he will wish to her suited of course. It will be a pleasant jaunt Sister Preston says, give my love to her and tell her to come.
The cholera no nearer us than Albany, it is very malignant there and in New York but is not considered contagious. Dr. Preston has visited the Hospital in Albany--no business doing-- and a great deal of suffering. All feel the influence of it.
I presume you will have hours when you would like to see home, such feelings are to be expected and perhaps, Sister will find occasion to
fault with you sometimes, but you must remember that she intends it for your good, you have lived with a kind easy mother and have some habits that need improving, this you wish to have done and I am persuaded will receive kindly any advice--sister sees proper to give. Have not heard from home yet hope to soon. Write particularly have time. paper
Caroline I am very happy to answer a letter from you. I hope you will not find it such hard work to talk only on paper as you imagined ease and particular is all the beauty of letter writing, remember that practice makes perfect and do write often. If you are not contended let your feelings be known brother or sister would not wish you to stay unless you enjoy it.
I was something mortified that I could not entertain you and enjoy your visit as I wished, but I hope your good judgement and sisterly affection will excuse and take the will for the deed, I am not sorry you came though and found me in such a plight. Give those little nieces a great many kisses for their Aunt Sarah and her daughters. Louisa Jane1 would make a much better minister's daughter then my wild girls--I did not expect to love her so well. Sister Preston was here Saturday--the Dr. Sister has come to spend some time with her--is very much out of health, says she intends to do as much work as she makes. Amsterdam church is to be dedicated the 8 of August, Sermon by Dr. Phillips of N. York perhaps Dr. McQuesten can attend the dedication, I think sister I will get a new shawl by your [?] they commenced poor and with the determination not to run into debt and she has denied herself clothes--for the purpose of getting articles of furniture on the house this although neither of us have got anything--niece has taken some of our pennies.
Much love to you and yours
from your Sister S.
1 Louisa-Jane is Margarette's niece by her sister and brother-in-law Louisa and Hugh McAllaster. The McAllasters may have been living in Sandbornton Bridge by this time and it seems as though Margarette visiting them at the time this letter was written. For more on the McAllaster family, see W0889.