W0724 TO MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her friend M. Preston
Jun 23 1834
To: Margarette B. (Lerned) McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Galway, New York, [U.S.A.]
My dear Friend,
I have an opportunity to send directly to your place tomorrow and will improve it though my time is rather limited. How is your health now my friend? Are you still happy and conted [sic] at Brockport? Have not heard from you in a long time. Lisa has been quite silent of late and Caroline will not write, am quite vexed with her. Sister Hinman has been spending some time with me, her husband has comenced [sic] buisness [sic] at Nassau, about twelve miles from Albany. Am quite happy that she has settled so near me, as sister Platt had left and I began to feel quite lonely. Rather more so I suspect than if I had not had her society for so long a time. They have moved west about two hundred miles near Geneva, think they are pleasantly situated.
How are you pleased with your new minister at Brockport. Is your husband fearful of having a competitor? We have heard your new minister was like to draw another Physician there, a connexion of his. He now lives in Amsterdam. I believe he has not decided upon leaving as yet. If I have not been misinformed Dr. Hunter is your minister, some felt unpleasantly that he did not stay at Amsterdam.
What is the state of things in your region at presant [sic] is there as much strife as ever about old and new [measures?]. How unpleasant these things are. "But it must needs be that offenses come." This excitement does not effect [sic] this society so much as if we were more anxious to do something for the promotion of the Redeemer's Kingdom. We seem, at presant [sic] to be satisfied with no measure at all.
We have a Scotch clergyman, he has been in this country but a year. The people seem quite captivated with his preaching--he seldom preaches but upon the sabbath and then he is frequently quite [straightened?] to make out two sermons. He must have them well "cut and dried" or he thinks they will not help. But to be serious his style is very chaste and his ideas and language a little beyound [sic] the capasity [sic] of common people. His congregation I think is very well instructed, and by the bye a little proud and so of course he is just the man for them, for my own part I should like preaching a little more like Paul's, that would come home to the heart and consience [sic]. For myself I am very much interested and and [sic] think instructed. But I think this is not all the preacher should aim to accomplish. You know the Scotch as a nation pride themselves very much upon their doctrinal knowledge. Sometimes I think their religion is a skeleton without flesh and blood. But I must stop or you will think I am not on the neutral ground between old and new measures.
I think I wrote you about the time we formed our Maternal Association and you wrote me you was a member of one, how does your society prosper? I find that I am getting more and more in favour with them. We have adopted a course for a year past that has made our meetings very interesting. That is too [sic] choose a President to preside at each successive meeting, whose duty it shall be when elected, to propose a question or subject for conversation, at the following meeting. In this way each member feels a responsibillity [sic] and interest they would not otherwise feel. Our members have felt it to be a duty to prepare themselves by reading and reflection, to do the subject justice. Perhaps you will not be uninterested to know some of the questions, as the subject of education is one that we all feel a deep interest in.
We generally have had some anecdotes laid up if they occured [sic] under our own eye, so much the more interesting. As I have the record of the proceedings I wil [sic] scetch [sic] off a few of the questions, perhaps you may think it best to recommend such a course to your society. You can improve upon them as much as you like.
1st What course shall we take to prevent our children from using profane & vulgar language? 2. Is it proper to use corporeal [sic] punishment for the sin of lying? 3. What judicious course can the Mother take with her daughter between the age of 12 & 15 with regard to their intercourse in society? 4. What course shall we take with regard to their reading? 5. What course can we take to make our children happy and contented in the house upon the Sabbath? These questions have sometimes been proposed without much thinking, but we have upon examination, found them to be of importance.
I hope my dear friend you will pardon me from taxing your patience so much. You know that "but of the abundence [sic] of the heart the mouth speecheth."
Has your sister L. [Louisa?] visited you yet? and if not when does she contemplate it. I am quite a stranger to their plans it is so long a time since they have written. They had quite a N. York fever the last we heard from them.
I have had many interruptions this afternoon. Husband has been absent, and the care of the office descends upon me--must close by wishing you abundent [sic] success in gaining influence, and in using that influence, to the glory of God. Oh that this were the more earnest desire of your unworthy friend.
Mrs. M. McQuestion [sic]
[Envelope wrapper & postmark:]
Rochester,1 New York, June 30
Mrs. Margarett M.cQuestion
Brockport, Monroe Co., N. York
1 The letter is clearly postmarked Rochester and must have been sent through the post office in Rochester, New York.
2 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.