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W0635 TO MRS. CATHARINE LERNED from her daughter Margarette B. [Lerned] McQuesten
Dec 19 1832 Wednesday Morning1
To: Mrs. Catharine Lerned, Hopkinton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
From: Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]

My dear Mother,

I did not intend when I left Hop. [Hopkinton] to have been so remiss but thought silence better than an unsatisfactory letter, as I have had but little news excepting my safe arrival; and that loses half; in being often repeated. You have probably heard from us by my Sisters and I think if my letters are no more timely to the feelings of those I consider my relatives and friends than the only one that has reached us--my pen will be silent-------------.

But I hope for better things--unless our minds are calm and happy, unless we have a friend that sticketh closer than a Brother, we are of all persons most miserable--that friend must be our Maker and our God; oh, how does my bosom glow with gratitude to my heavenly Father for his loving kindness and tender mercy toward me--he has preserved my life hitherto from difficulties dangers and death and what what [sic] infinite obligation I am under to spend the remainder of my days in his service and fear and to glorify him in all that I do--but alas! my heart is wicked wandering and unfaithful.

This climate so far, has been uncongenial to my health. I have not had any cough since I reached here--tho' it was renewed on my journey, by the uncouthness of a female in the stage who persisted in having the evening air--then the gentlemen were all polite enough to have their canvass unrolled & windows shut--however it only detained us one day on the green Mts. I peppered, plastered &c. &c. and did not receive any serious effect from it, I have not been subject much (if any) to that depression I was last fall & winter--and have had but few days but that I felt in tolerable health--as for strength and a perfect health if I ever enjoy it it will come by degrees--so I cannot look forward to the future with any great encouragement--the number of my days is nicely hid from me--at most they're but a span--the old axiom is good--Live each day as if 'twere thy last--and as if we had got to live always.

Now my dear Mother how do you get along this winter? is Providence blessing you and your little family with peace and happiness? do you enjoy the presence of our Saviour--the smiles of his countenance, and his tender favour? I am sensible it is our own fault if we do not and I humbly trust you daily receive grace, strength, & wisdom from on high--that all my little sisters are happy in making each other & you happy--I often imagine what you are all doing. I suppose you have all had something else to talk and think about lately besides me--such as the marriages--Wig. [Wiggin] Little & M. Molineaux.

[Written up left side:] My eyes are so tired I cannot read this over to correct.

I hope to hear the particulars. I think Wiggin has got a good wife and I have no doubt but it is a match made from pure love--that is the main thing. Let people say how or what they please--this slandering and back biting goes well, when the mind is low enough to enjoy it--but I do not think one of sound sense that can enjoy the comforts & blessings of life will be satisfied with so degrading a subject. I do not infer any thing concerning them--as I have heard nothing.

I cannot say but that I am happy and satisfied with my own situation and if I can enjoy comfortable health here, I will say as I ever have I shall not regret coming. My frequent coughs kept me much debilitated but I may be subject to the same here and death may come to remove me hence--without again seeing those friends who will ever have a place in my memory & affections--there is an eye that penetrates the universe at once-–He knows our every want and tho' I am absent from my friends in body I hope we shall be often together with each other in spirit--praying for each other to Lord--that we may be reunited in the kingdom of his holiness.

Mr. Sweat's sister has lately come from the east said she saw some of my connections, and what they said about my coming here--thought it must be some of Mr. P.s family--is Aunt & Louisa well--give much love to them--how is Mrs. H. pleased with house keeping. Do you see her & Aunt often? Does Mrs. Towne call on you frequently. Any thing dear Mother will be interesting to me from you.

In the Spring & Summer there will be frequent conveyances. Mr. Sweat & wife go the East in the fall & Mrs. Pettingill from Sals.[?] in the Spring--so perhaps in the course of a year or two I may get under some good wing & visit you--if my husband cannot leave--tho' I would not exchange only from necessity--I find in him a kind & faithful friend willing to gratify all my little desires--and renders even the rough & thorny path of life pleasant & smooth but not this alone, it is God that has united our hearts in love, and I trust in the goodness & mercy of Him that our friendship has only begun to dawn here but will continue to expand & increase throughout a never ending eternity--and this is my fervent prayer about all who are near & dear to my heart.

Thursday morn. [December 20, 1832]--Yesterday I left writing to read a letter from the east to Jonas, eat my dinner & prepare for meeting. It snowed for the first time and did not expect many into a female prayer meet, which is in my room every Wedn. P.M. 3 o'clock--but we had a precious reason--the Church seems to be awakening here. And Christians seem to mourn over their unfaithfulness their [sic] is quite a revival at Clarkson--I went to a Pr. meeting there last week. Many little children are converted & many hardened sinners. Dr. Rowell is converted, brother to the one that studied with father--he said he ate supper at our house with a room full of students & young lawyers--on roast turkey--Dr. McClure's wife (the one husband is in partner with)--she came from Windsor, a lovely woman--her father lived directly opposite Gen. Curtis. I did not ask her name (forget it) perhaps you may know--they were wealthy and one of her sisters is married in Wind[sor]. She recollected your name & the circumstances of G. Curtis--but she was but a child--said they had never heard from him since & she said "it would be a little strange if he should now return!"

The great blessing of life is health & contentment & I think I enjoy both in some degree, but still it would add to my happiness to have one of my little sisters or brothers or my great sister with with [sic] me--Cate is larger than myself--so I will call her this. Sometime I do hope for that pleasure. I think this is a place calculated to please strangers. I cannot realize I am most 500 hun. miles from you--but dear Mother do write me soon, very soon--right away--let me know how goes Christmas with you--New Year's day--&c. Tell dear Elisabeth, Lucy, & Hannah I love them tho' I am at Brockport. And say to Ed. he shall have a letter from me sometime and that if he was here we would have a sleigh ride today. Have your boarders gone?--how do you pass the winter. Is Mary well--how are her children--any thing new? Much love to all enquiring friends & believe me dear Mother your affec. daughter, Margarette at Brockport.


1 W0635 & W0637 to Margarette's mother and sister were in the same envelope. They were written over two days, Wednesday and Thursday, but were both in the same envelope and so both dated December 19, 1832. To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.




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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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