[Letter W0775 from Dr. Calvin McQuesten to Mrs. Lerned is enclosed with W0771.]W0771 TO CATHARINE LERNED from her daughter Margarette B. [Lerned] McQuesten
Apr 22 1835
To: Mrs. Catharine S. Lerned, Hopkinton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
From: Brockport, New York, [U.S.A]
My dear Mother,
I must say I feel very much for you, in your ill health; by this time, hope it is better. Mary wrote me you had a cough and some other symptoms which were alarming. I very much wish I could be near you, and with you, to assist you in the trials & cares of your family but as that is denied me, I hope my younger sisters will feel it a privilege to do such offices of kindness, and after doing all in their power, they will still be under obligation for they have had an indulgent & kind Mother. I do think children never lose any thing by aiding their parents--there are so many things which they can do to lessen their cares. I believe their heavenly Father will bless and prosper them accordingly. A child may be intelligent and accomplished, but she cannot be beloved without she is kind and amiable. My dear Mother I hope you find every endearing quality in your children, to render them lovely and to be loved. Sister C. will know how to sympathise with you & aid you, as well as myself, but she is near you and can offer the cup of kindness to you, while I can only show my will, and say it would be a pleasure for me to do it. I have not heard from you since sister M's letter. It came in good time, and I was very glad to hear once more from Home.
I hope the weather has not been so rainy at Hop. as here for two weeks past it has not been pleasant for one day. There was an appearance of it last Thursday about noon. My husband was gone to Canada1 and with six other ladies I was invited to Parma on an afternoon's visit. 8 miles. We started at 12, reached there between one & two--before tea a violent shower came up, but it cleared away, and at six we started for home, a cold rain commenced and a boisterous wind changed it to snow and beat in our carriages so that we had to turn our horses and get out at the first house, the storm did not abate & we all returned to the hospitable mansion we had just left and staid all night. I had a little chill, but a sweat soon relieved me, and in the morning we started again with very high winds, but our carriage top could not go safely up, and I could not ride comfortably, and we reached two miles the second time and they left me with a friend to take the stage. We waited an hour or two and reached home, just as a violent snow storm commenced.
In three hours my husband came. He thought I was very imprudent, and little thought I was sharing any of the storm which he considered so very tedious. I did not get sick however tho' I felt it considerable. We had a happy evening together--the two rocking chairs kept time with our tongues. We had been separated one week--the longest time since we came to B.
This cannot interest my mother, if she is sick, but I hope for the best I know the interest she takes in her absent children's welfare. We take the same in our absent Mother, and should be glad to render her any kindness in our power, then when we think of the miles intervening, we sigh, & wish to her the friends of former years again.
Thursday Morn--Catharine [sic] letter reached me this last eve just before tea. I eat the cake husband's help [sic] and looked over the contents of letter, & scraps of dresses with pleasure. I do think C. does remember me by her long letters, and I am greatly obliged to her. Was glad dear Mother to hear your cough was well, and trust the pain in your side may soon abate. These little pains are nought but harbingers of our dissolution. Yes! harbingers of death, the last enemy we have to conquer--Oh what a solemn reality is death--What feelings does the very name inspire. When we lie stretched in the bed of death, when our spirits flutter to leave this cumbrous tenement to dust and soar to the eternal world--where oh! where will be our hopes? Whose arm will support? and whose comforts never fail? "The hope of the hypocrite shall be cut off but the hope of the righteous, shall endure to everlasting life."
I am very glad to hear Mr. Chase is engaged as C. wrote me--but for my part, I never saw the time when I thought he was not. I do hope you all know how to prize him? I will tell you my mind. I think that he is one among a thousand. Where is the minister that has taken any greater interest in the spiritual welfare of children & of youth I can say by experience than Mr. Chase. May God reward him and his Church feel to help encourage him in his labors to work with him and aid him by their prayers and united effort to do good? And I am made to feel if we are willing to help the perishing abroad, we shall be better able & with more ready hearts assist our dear Pastors at home. I always loved Mr. C. but I think I now feel his inestimable worth! I say this not to be told of, but to express my own feelings. I should consider it a great privilege to attend his Bible Class & other societies in the Church should like much to know what efforts are now making to dethrone Popery. We have lately formed a society to sustain a Preacher in the Western Valley. I had a long letter from a friend in St. Louis, which I should like to send you to read but think it not best, perhaps I may write some of it to C.
Mr. J. Sweatt & wife & two children start the middle of May for Andover N.H. They gave me an invitation to go with them but their sister has now concluded to go from Henrietta. I did not think of going as they will go in so short a time, and I should only trouble them. Mrs. Sweatt is an excellent woman, wish you could see her. Why cannot you & Aunt P. go to A?
I think my dear Mother you & H. had a pleasant journey to B. hope sister Hannah will profit by it. A good deal of anxiety generally with fatigue is the result of such a journey, yet there is a thorn in every rose, bitter with every sweet--no unalloyed happiness here, to show us this is not our resting place. Why do our hearts have so firm a hold on the perishing things of time & sense? Why do they not more frequently soar to the worlds above--where Christ is the light & glory--and all the heavenly hosts surround the throne in strains of sweetest harmony?
As you have taken a journey of 60 miles, I hope you may be induced to take one of 500--I do trust another year we may keep house, I should like it much, and hus. thinks after his partnership closes, which is in Jan. next he shall be better able--rent is very high! and I rather guess he is no more experienced in such business than I am. I used to call myself pretty good--but now shall have to learn. I will gallant you to the Falls and do all in my power to make you happy if you will come at any time. It may be an inducement when C. comes. I shall write to her on that subject. I should like to know how the yards gardens &c look, you have so much ambition, I imagine they look better every year. It is a healthy [pleasant?] employment! Some of our [?] here do all the gardening & one all the digging up earth &c that is for the "stronger sex"--I think--enough for the fair sex to weed--plant seeds--and the like. Does you [sic] Asparagus flourish?
[Written vertically up page 771:] I should be very glad to have a long letter from you. Hope you enjoy yourself; and are getting better also that all the children are well--kind & affectionate to their Mother, & to one another--My love to them and all friends. Do tell E.L. that she must write me a letter--she is indebted to me, & I am in hopes Mr. W. will want to take his wife to the Falls & see his old friend.
W0775 [ENCLOSURE WITH W0771] TO MRS. CATHARINE LERNED from her son-in-law Dr. Calvin McQuesten
To Mrs. Lerned,
I would like to know if you are expecting to send money for Ed. and if you do how much. It is now the best time in the whole year to dispose of it and if I knew a little before it comes I could make some arrangements that would enable me to do better with it for the first month than I could without any previous knowledge. You may send any sum that you please and I will take care of it and give my note for the same with other security as before mentioned. I feel more confident that I could do well with it than when I wrote you. It would perhaps be saying too much to encourage you that I could pay all Ed. expenses both at Lectures and here through his whole course of studies with what I could get for the use of a thousand dollars but I do think there is a probability that I can do it and if I should be so successful as to do that it will make a great difference with him in starting in business for if it remains as it is it will take the most part of what he has to carry him through. I feel very much encouraged that Ed will do well and if he does I feel very desirous to help him every way that I can. I am very happily disposed [sic] in him so far and I can assure you that I will make every effort that my ability will admit of to guide him right. I feel poorly prepared to take charge of a youth and fit him for business and usefulness in the world but I have taken it upon me to do it for Ed and I will try hoping that I shall be taught by him who is infinitely wise so that I may be able to import that wisdom to others that is profitable to direct in all things.
Yours with affection
[Envelope wrapper:] Mrs. Catharine S. Lerned, Hopkinton, N.H.
1 Dr. Calvin McQuesten had likely gone to Canada on business concerning the foundry that he had established in Hamilton, Upper Canada [Ontario] with his cousin John Fisher. To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.