W0763 TO MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her sister Catharine C.P. Lerned
Apr 8 1835
To: Margarette Lerned McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Hopkinton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
Loved sister Margarette,
I have long been thinking of answering your kind epistle, but one thing & another here arisen to incite a spirit of procrastination. But opportunities to send to the far west shall not pass unheeded, & by Mr. [Herick?] I'll send, first a letter (if such it may be call'd) next pieces of all the dresses we've had since Sept. last--a hexagon pincushion, made wholly by Elizabeth, and sent as a testimonial of her remembrance. You may judge from the number of pieces how much it costs to clothe [over?] a number of us.
Cousin Cummings Tuttle call'd in last eve, saying our packet must be ready by Wednesday night, as Mr. H. would start Thurs. So in haste I must write, since I expect M. Chadwick this P.M.
First a descript. of Mother's & Hannah's journey to Boston. They left 15 Jany, returned 4 Feby on the latter day, P.M. I took tea with E. & Edward, at Mary's. Mother found no one at home, so came to M.'s & remained till 8 in eve. She has had an alarming cough, and though now better, the pain in her left side is not diminished. She made it her home at Cousin Ted's where Uncle B. resides--pass'd a week in B. at Cousin [Mary?] Welch's--call'd on many friends & made some few purchases. Visited the Museum with R. Burns, the Market House with Mr. Tebbets, [glass?] House &c &c. I intended to have attended the Theatre, visited the Navy Yard, Bunker Hill &c. had not Ted's babe been suddenly taken ill, and aparently [sic] in a dying state. He has buried one wife & child in the same coffin; and this first offspring of his second marriage, died the Sat. after Mother's return. I fear the result on Ted's half crazy brain. Mother pass'd 3 days at Uncle Lerned's. He does not waste a drop of spirit. Every attention was paid her, & she will never forget it. Uncle carried her Sat. to Aunt Locke's where she remained till Monday. She was taken Sat. night with a violent pain in her side, and cold chills; in the morn hardly able to stir. Aunt & Cath. & Ham. went to meeting & she staid in that castle of a building alone! I guess she hardly thought then that she should again see her children, or the home she had left. Whilst there, Mr. John Sibley call'd & Mr. Foster, brother of the late Dr. Foster (an acquaintance of Father's) of Cambridge, and worth his milions [sic], aged between 30 & 40. He shut himself up for 20 years, allowing no one but his housekeeper to see him, nor once shaving him. After his brother's death, he made his appearance & is universally extoll'd for his benevolence to the destitute. He brought H. in a great many elegant volumes to examine and promised to call Monday morn, and show her the colleges. But Mr. Sibley superseded him, and with Hannah visited the Library & all the principal rooms in the Hall pointing the house & room where Father was located when at College.
Mr. F. call'd at 12 A.M. saying he had just been at the barber's but had not breakfasted! Was sorry that he did not inform them of the hour he intended coming. The Monday after her arrival at B. Hannah fell from a chair & dislocated her thumb. Dr. Stevens of Charlestown set the joint, and took care of it till healed, but made no charges. Dr. Marshall is in Co. with him & married to a finished lady. We call'd 3 or 4 times. Cousin Ted's wife's sister (Miss Binney) presented Hannah with an elegant bead chain. Cost $3.00. Edmund is married to a Miss Parker formerly of Westford. Adeline Willard has a daughter, born 2 months since. Emeline is to be married next fall to Mr. J. W. [Teel?]. The funeral of Mr. Marcy, father of the young [Convent Ricter?], was at E. Cambridge & had H. been well she would have attended. I am well acquainted with the family--live next door to Uncle B's. Tis not thought Mrs. M. will live long.
Mother and Ed. have visited S. [Sandbornton] Bridge this Winter & had an excellent time. Some weeks after their return, Dr. O. Hoit! & Mr. Clough came to H.[Hopkinton] the former in pursuit of a wife! I thrashed about at a great rate playing the worst part I could & Mr. C. said the evil one possessed me, for I did not hardly treat him with politeness. I thought him rather feminine, but was at least civil, when told he was an intimate of D. McQ's! though I rather doubted. I went to S.B. after Lucy (who had made a visit of 14 weeks to Louisa) and [tarried?] a week & 4 days. Attended a Social dance at Gliddens Hall, with D.A. Clark Esq. Returned in company with a number of S.B. people--travelling very bad.
Mother pass'd two or three days last week at [Co.] [Ham's?]. He made her a present of a very handsome bead bag, that he bought when at Canada with his wife in Feb. Judge Henry sent us a large load of dry pine wood, as a gift! Fred is at Troy, studying Medicine, & E. goes there in May to study French & Musick [sic]. I suppose you heard of Anne [Lo?s] death & [Lucien's?] insensibility. Tis thought the latter will not continue long. Augustus is very poor, & intending to go on to Illinois where Hamlet resides. Mary's health poor. Mrs. Towne & family send best love to all friends at B. [Mary?] Brown is to pass the summer at Windsor Seminary. Since Dec. there have been 9 boys & 4 girls born, in and about this village. Mrs. Curtis a daughter & Mrs. A. Currier. Ellen Green at Boston. [C?] [C?] & babe at Newburyport to see [?] [?]. She will go in some months to Martinique to which place her Capt. is Consul! Lucrative office. [Major Stanwood?] is selling out at cost. Uncle P.'s health very poor, a sore mouth &c. Plants very backward this spring. Have a Snow Ball tree and expect some others from Warner (H. Harris) soon. Bed moved to the painted chamber--secretary stands where the book case did. Mr. E. L. Childs & sisters superintend the Academy this summer.
Christmas pass'd without much company--a few gents from Goffstown at tea. Attended a party at Mr. Raymonds, in [Weane?], with W. Chandler. H. Currier & A. Colby Thomas were there [?]!! Sarah is married to Mr. George Parker, and lives near his father’s. Some think E. McQuesten's not made a good selection in Mr. [Holson?]. His looks do not indicate great enterprise. Eliza is rather pretty. You requested E. [Ch?] to write you but have not answered or even mentioned it. She thinks of it. Trust you will remember her by Noyes, and E. Wilkins too! I forgot to mention that I went on to New Hampton from Louisa’s, staid between 3 & 4 hours--dined at Esq. Taylors--call'd on Miss Hazeltine & returned with Drake. Stage fare free from S.B. to N.H. & back again. All glad to see me, but provoked at my short [stay?]. Had I waited longer I should have had my fare to have paid, as [?] would not (on account of engagements) dine Friday or Monday. But Mary C. has come & sends lots of love and good wishes, hoping to see you. Says she'll send love to the Dr. too if you wont be offended. She is a cutting [sic] the green dress for Mother. Going to have baked rice pudding coffee for a dine. C.
One o'clock. Rev. Mr. Chase is much engaged at present. There have been meetings for 3 Fridays past at certain houses in the village, and one here this week, preparatory to Good Friday, which is next week. The 10th is Hannah's birth day. Some [few?] are expected in. We take a weekly paper $2.00 per annum published at Boston, (Episcopal) Christian Witness. Very good. Brown Sibley has long since left this transitory scene of existence. You may hear of it. He left $2.00 apiece to many of his connexions. Tis said Nancy is engaged to John Sibley. Took tea with Mrs. Sargent last week. She cried much when talking of you coming here in the course of ages. E. Little says she does hope you will come this year. She is to be married in Sept. Mrs. Breck has another daughter added to her family; born last winter. Martin & Gilbert Nettelton & Oliver Prentis Cheney & Devinnels, at Mobile. The former much out of health. He has written a parting letter to his Mother & sisters, which has been printed & a sent [sic] me, with the same.
We are all piecing bedquilts. Hannah's will be finished this week, Lucy's all but one stripe round, Eliz. but little done to it, & mine, a few squares cut out, half handkerchief style. I am now making me 3 for Linen Corsets, with much stitching in them. 3 days & one half, steady application to stitch the backs & run in the wicking. But I've broke a needle making the first p'r. So they'll not be my wedding corsets. So much for signs.
Mother says if Sam'l McQuesten"will ax [sic] her [?] g'on [?] of [?], she is determined to start whether or no." But "my stars and garters" says Mary C. "he never thought of axing [sic] you more than [?] at all; nor has any more notion after you than any bodie [sic]." O, dear! I wish you was here! And [?] hear! My dearest dear! I always thought my daughter has quite agenius [sic] for poetry.
Your loving Mother, C.S. Lerned. Mary! So do I. Lucy. Now you have all names of those in this room, and the writing of one who ne'er wrote you before. Mary C. who thinks I'd better write all day. Mary hopes you'll not feel the leastest mite embarrassed at seeing her name.
Now dear sis, I am very much engaged sewing; but who'd think it from this long scribble! Shall try & write letter by Noyes. Do not expose this for worlds; but commit it to the fourth element soon as once read. If the Dr. will obtain me a school, at or near B. to commence next fall, I will truly come there, provided the compensation be sufficient for the trouble. Mother is willing, and Pa Dustin. I can have schools enough about here $4.00 per week and board; but I [never'l] keep, unless in a school where I can have credit for the trouble, both in deed and word. Certificates I have a plenty; of attainments &c.&c.
Now loved M. I will think of closing this scrawl, lengthens almost beyond measure with a sickning [sic] nothingness. Love to your consort, respects to P. Fisher all friends & connexions in your realm. Trust to hear from you soon, & see you sometime, if not at H. in B. I wish your hero would write me a letter. I have two scraps of paper [?] both sides, which I keep all done up in a rag! I am in earnest about the school, but do as you think best. Pleasant dreams and slumber light to you. Good evening. C.C.L.
[Catharine C. Lerned]
[Written vertically up page 763:] All send love. Mrs. Towne read your last letter, & requests the privilege of reading the next. Are you willing?
[Written vertically up page 765:] Evening. Mrs. Towne & Cousin Clara have just call'd, and brought Lucy a g'd black silk .83 per yard for an apron. Quite a present. I read [this?] letter to them, because Clara would have her own way. I send you a bath biscuit I baked a week since. Do not expose this for the love of me.
[Envelope wrapper:] To Mrs. Margarette B. McQuesten
Brockport, N. York
(Mr. John [Herick?])
1 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.