W0637 TO CATHARINE C.P. LERNED from her sister Margarette B.[Lerned] McQuesten
Dec 19 1832 1
To: Catharine C.P. Lerned, Hopkinton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
From: Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
Well my dear Catharine my thoughts & paper must reach to you--for I depend much on your letters--tho' you must not take pattern from me but remember I have much & many to write to--you only owe large & long letter to me in this section--so be careful that it is well filled. I have not had but one since I came here--that I committed to the fiery element trusting I may have some to file for the future. Well dear Sister if I thought you would like to know just how I am situated, I will tell you;--to begin I have a front chamber in a large house--Mrs. Webster native of New Y. who married Joseph Webs. of Salisbury has the other front chamber--a hall and a small room between us. I am 20 days the oldest--her husband is at Ohio--been about 7 weeks. She has a beautiful son 6 mo. old--and a lovely pious woman she is. We visit each other often. Nuts apples & plenty. Dr. sits & snacks them. Follow through the hall a little farther, there is Mrs. Fassett's room she is [?]8 & rather handsome & pretty lively--she is a professor of religion. Mrs. Judson who occupies a [?] room is an elderly woman. [?] [?] has a room below & Mrs. Palmer composes the family of ladies--Young men a plenty--one very much of a gentleman from West Point--named Nancy [sic] boards here--he has some elegant drawings--Diploma &c.--he is going to Green Bay in the spring, is now teaching a military school--plays on the flute--sings & his form is genteel--and dress very rich. Mr. Minet you have seen. He goes next fall to the east--by way of Philadelphia--Baltimore &c--just as you would like I presume--he comes up to see me often brings his letters to shew--and I must speak a good word for him.
I heard of David Stark's death. What impression does it make in Concord people--he was gay & thoughtless--death too often comes to snatch its victim unprepared!--yes! and the young & lovely who would fain say wait a little longer. Are you prepared to die my Sister & meet your God. What have you done for his glory? Why does he spare you? Is he not calling you by the strivings of his spirit. Do you not [?] wait a little longer--oh my dear girl the world with all its pleasing votaries cannot keep you in the hour of dissolution. No! you must go naked to the bar of God--to answer-- yes to answer--for your every thought word & action--Cath. I will warn you that you may not rise up in judgement against me in that day for not warning you to flee the wrath to come--oh! do read your bible pray over it for grace to understand its truths that they may sink deep in your heart. God will then change your heart--give you a heart of flesh--The "small pox" is within 8 miles of here--it is raging much at Rochester & fatal in many cases.
I do think we should enjoy each other's society were you here--and you would love Mrs. Palmer she has picked you out a beau young Norton a lawyer--one of the finest singers & flute players you ever heard--he looks the most like Math. Molony only I think much prettier--very graceful &c--such accomplishments amount to nothing compared with other virtues & graces of the heart. I presume he is a virtuous young gent. or Mrs. P. would not like him.
But enough of such nonsense--and now what are you doing this winter? and all the unmarried folk? How does Mrs. Little appear? Is Ellen L. at home? Did Cath. have a wedding. Is Mr. Colby well and does he continue at H.? Where is Charlotte & Chadwick, M. Cur. &c----Is it healthy at Hop.[Hopkinton]. Does Sister L. pass Christmas with you & what kind of singing do you have? You must give in your help! so as not to forget how to sing--I cannot dear Catharine write anything very interesting for I have not much to write accept [sic] to ask questions of you? & hope you will not get tired answering them; when the Canal is opened in the Spring I shall doubtless have an opportunity to send packets occasionally.
This place is settled mostly by eastern folk who go often that way; I should delight much to have you come here & hope at some future period you will but there would be great risk in your coming without some particular friend to accompany you; at least I would not trust myself--or any friend--it is a long journey; and must be pleasant in good weather--and the country is delightful after reaching here--but there is so much prejudice on account of the Canal & lake, that I think it a chance if all who said they would like to come don't get discouraged--and then they fear the scourge which is passing through the land! perhaps the smallpox. I know dear C. we are not free from Death in any country or diseases either--and some eastern people enjoy perfect health here, & others not any. The climate so far is salutary to me but I cannot answer for those who have not tried it. But hope some of you may be tempted to when the way is made is clear. The weather has been mild and seemed like our Spring since I came here--tho' extremely muddy--roads all mire & clay--until to day--there is a light snow on the ground--but I fear 'twill make them worse. There is a Miss Rowell from Clarkson at H. been attending the Academy--she is a respectable girl--I hope when she returns (if she does) you will see her first--her father has called on me Dr. B.--he has lately been converted.
Yesterday I pasted a large square box wished you had been here to help. I will tell you how I came by it? Husband went down for Mrs. John Sweat to pass the afternoon with me. She had lately bought a new cap at Rochester--5 dollars--elegant flowers, ribbon thread border &c--they came in the gig--and the box cap and all went out in the mud--the cap was entirely spoilt--we took it right to pieces, her dress was covered with mud to the waist in getting out of the carriage--quite a mishap--to as pretty a cap. I shall pass the day with her this week--but the box and cap husband picked up--& she wanted to burn the box. I made an excuse it would make too much heat in the stove & thought I would serve it better--so now it is handsomely dressed in yellow paper and sits on my table.
We have very nice tea sauce Peaches Plums Currants &c. This is a good boarding house. Mr. Palmer & wife are from Connecticut. Worthy good people--Julia their daughter is very amiable--A black man does the cooking--but we have it well prepared.
My brain is quite exhausted & eyes ache--Love to Mr. Chase and family and all my friends where due--Now my dear Cath.--Give love to all the children hope you are all blest with health and that soon I shall hear from you. Your affectionate Sister, Margarette
Love to Sister M. & family.
[Envelope containing two letters W0635 & W0637, addressed to:]
To Mrs. Catharine S. Lerned
Hopkinton, New Hampshire
1 W0635 & W0637 to Margarette's mother and sister were in the same envelope. They were written over two days, Wednesday and Thursday, but are both dated December 19, 1832. To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.