W0777 TO MARGARETTE B. LERNED from her sister Catharine C. P. Lerned
May 21 1835
To: Brockport, New York, c/o Dr. Calvin McQuesten
From: Hopkinton, New Hampshire,
Again I commence an epistle--not from thinking you would desire any more proof of weakness in compo--but from a strong desire to communicate all I ken of things (a le present).
To day with assistance of Mrs. Knowles have cleaned front room &c. &c. Fingers being rather sore shall write a few lines--then attend meeting at Judge Harris'. We have meetings in Church every Tues. night 5 o'clock. Had 3 meetings at Sunrise on Tues. Wed. & Thurs. mornings Passion week--next day was Good Friday. I hope Mr. Chase will not leave us. Singing improves but not with my assistance. D. Flanders1 on double bass. J. Gilman on single, Parker on Violin, H. Currier on Flute, & Sargent of Pembroke (at Ballards school) on [key?] Bugle. The lattr [sic] a fine player. Was connected last season with the "Mammoth Elephant Menagerie" of [?] Sultan. T. Wells left town this morn. Mother call'd on him last eve to send E. a bundle. He said a trip to Niagara would be rather to [sic] far for the present. But tis time for meeting, so I leave.
C. C. Lerned
M. B. McQ.
Just returned from meeting, and but few there. Mother just come from Mary's, says B. Franklin Long M.D. will take letters to B. [Brockport]. He goes Monday with his wife & Ruth Wells. We shall miss the latter much. Judge Harvey accompanyed [sic] his daughter, and Mary [?] (sis to M.D.B. student at [?] last Monday to Troy. They will remain 6 months. Miss B. has been a teacher in Mr. Gales academy (Londondary [sic]) the past winter. Her father a Methodist Preacher & Shoemaker!! Academy under the Superintendence of Mr. E.L. & Miss Mary Childs, is not as full as usual. A singing school commenced last eve--taught by William Long, on Mason's plan. [Laura?] Morse has a daughter. E. Clark sick of a fever and Clarissa returned from Boston. Mrs. Stanwood will--in course of the summer [?] Williams & L. [Wood?] live in Salem Mass. Clinton Parker is yet in town studying Medicine every leisure moment (as Dr. Gregg says). I see no prospect of a marriage there. Mary Brown is at Keene Seminary (Miss Fisk's). I have been down to see her Piano Forte. A good and handsome one. Wish twas mine. Mrs. Stark has an old one taken by Solon for debt. Not in good repair. Mary went some weeks since to Boston. Will stay some time longer with the Misses [N.?]. Yesterday P.M. had a call from William Breck. Newport. Said he and Margarette Ann should pass a week or two here and at Concord in August; as tis then College vacation. Mrs. Towne says she'll send for Hamlet to come over and have "births" (Clara) marriage &c. all in one thump. Wish you could be here.
Remember Osgood, and his 70,000 rusty needles? He is now at Washington taking portraits of the Kitchen Cabinet. Spose [sic] he makes poetry for the [sincerities?] hold forth. Farewell Osgood & Sister [M].2
Sunday Eve. 24th May.
Mrs. Towne here to day. Cousin Ham. hires a room for Sunday noons here & bring [sic] own dinner. Mrs. T. took all your letters home to read. She always wants them. Mother has been to the Rev. A.T. Foss' this P.M. She goes to Boston tomorrow--takes a line for Ed. is going to attend Convention. He offers to place E. in Rev. B. [Stowe's?] Sunday school, and connect him with a society of young men, who meet to read & converse at all leisure hours. Mr. [?] C. says twas formed as an inducement for young persons to shun the [haunts?] of dissipation and seek enjoyment from more lasting sources.
Mr. Little brought a line from E. Sat. morn. He writes "Mr. Allan has 9 children--a small garden, and many house plants is a Universalist. Mr. A.L. Welles a high [Buck?]! I room with Mr. Hubbard in a front parlor, and sink 9 degrees in feathers every night."
I have just returned from Dr. Appletons (Dentist--married to C & J Pennman's sister) where I was introduced to Miss Reed! I gave in my testimony concerning letter sent to the [Ursuline] Convent to the Misses P. which Miss R. recollects were burnt by the Lady Superior, as a male had written them. Miss C.P. states they were not received, and that she wrote several to H. which P. stated were not received. I signed my name, and want you to forward certificate concerning the time &c. &c. They are a going to have two books printed, one by Miss Reed & one by the Examining Commitee [sic]. The young ladies are all a going to tell all they know & they are a going to write to [?] P. in Baltimore. The Committee are a going to arrest the Lady Superior for intercepting letters $1000 each. They found two cells under ground today, in a concrete part of the garden (for punishment I spose [sic]) and they expect there are others. The "Hoar House" fever (as it is call'd) rages high. Miss Reed has fine eyes, mouth, hair & form--complexion dark nose short & snub. She appears very amiable. More hereafter. We sent our "certify" to day. Ed. mentioned also that the Lady Superiors Mary St. Francis & Mary St. John had been in Messrs. A. & W's store. The latter Nun, a sister to their first clerk!! 3
Trust Ed will like and be liked. But I may send this line by Long so tis time to finish. More hereafter on the Convent. Should you think there was any probability of my obtaining a situation in any Seminary in or about B. please write soon. I have taken lessons on the Piano 4 months, and will go to Boston and finish soon as I hear from you. If you think a Harp or Guitar preferable (as I can carry either with me) please write. Tis time I had decided upon something.
Accept all our thanks for your presents and good--long--lettrs [sic]. Excuse my last flourish, as tis [?]. I shall write more by Noyes. Do write soon and your hus. too. Expect Louisa tomorrow. Sales Wednesday!!! Your loving sis
Should I put M.D. for your hus instead of Dr?
[written on envelope wrapper:]
Dr. Calvin McQuesten
Brockport, Monroe County
(B.F. Long M.D.)
1 Daniel Flanders, the husband of Catharine's older half-sister (and Margarette's older sister) Mary (Lerned) Flanders. The siblings and half-siblings made no distinction with regards to their having different mothers and shared affection for each other easily. However, after the 1874 death of Mary's half-sister Elizabeth (sometimes called Lissy or Lizzy), Mary tried to claim some of the rather small estate and apparently caused a rift in family, although there is some indication that there may have been problems beforehand (W1054).
2 "Osgood" may be a reference to: "Her Fair Fame: The Reputation of Frances Sargent Osgood, Woman Poet." Studies in the American Renaissance, (1987): 265-83.
... Sara and Angelina Grimke: Selected Writings, 1835-1839. ... The Reputation of Frances
Sargent Osgood, Woman Poet ... Geissler, Kathleen M. "Needles and Pens: The Social ..."
Barbauld Bibliography (White)
"Kitchen Cabinet" refers to a political situation of the day: "Complete Explanation of the accompanying cartoon (not reproduced here):
A prediction of dire consequences to follow from Jackson's withdrawal of federal funds from the Bank of the United States, initiated late in 1833. The artist is harshly critical of Jackson's move to distribute federal treasury funds among several state or so-called "pet" banks. He also condemns the influence of both Jackson's informal circle of advisors, the "Kitchen Cabinet," and the newspapers friendly to the Administration, the "Collar Presses." Jackson declared his own personal "responsibility" for the controversial order to remove the federal deposits from the Bank.
3 Rebecca Theresa Reed
REED, Rebecca Theresa, proselyte, born in East Cambridge, Massachusetts, about 1813. Her father was a farmer in straitened circumstances, who gave his three daughters the best education within his reach. The eldest, Rebecca, was sent to a neighborhood school for three years, and displayed an unusual aptitude for making lace and other ornamental work. She was a serious, well-behaved girl, and thoughtful, according to the testimony of her teachers, beyond her years. Her attention was first called to nuns and nunneries in the summer of 1826, about which time an Ursuline convent had been established on Mount Benedict, Charlestown, Massachusetts. In 1830, on the death of her mother, she again became interested in the sub-ject, and was anxious to enter the institution with the intention of consecrating herself to a religious life. Through the influence of Roman Catholic friends, and notwithstanding the opposition of her family, she was admitted to the convent on 7 August, 1831. Although she remained within its walls nearly six months, she soon became dissatisfied with the continual repression of youthful impulses, the strict discipline, the physical discomforts, and the apparent want of sympathy of those in charge. Having accidentally overheard a conversation between the convent authorities, from which site learned that she was to be removed to Canada, she made her escape, and returned to her family. At this time her health had been seriously impaired by the austerities of her conventual life. Miss Reed's escape, and the statements that she made of what had occurred during her stay in the convent, gave rise to an acrimonious controversy. Two years later the excitement was increased by the escape of Sister Mary John on 28 June, 1834, and on the 11th of the following August the convent, a large three-story building, was sacked and burned by a mob. The foregoing statements are gathered from "Six Months in a Convent" or, "The Narrative of Rebecca Theresa Reed, Who was under the Influence of the Roman Catholics about Two Years," etc., and "Supplement to Six 'Months in a Convent,' confirming the Narrative of Rebecca Theresa Reed by the Testimony of more than One Hundred Witnesses" (Boston, 1835). See also "The Memorial History of Boston," edited by Justin Winsor (vol. iii., Boston, 1881), for details of the destruction of the Ursuline convent.
Edited Appletons Encyclopedia, Copyright 2001 Virtualology, BR>www.famousamericans.net/rebeccatheresareed/
4 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.