This letter is very closely written and very difficult to transcribe in parts.W0781 TO DR. CALVIN AND MARGARETTE [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from Margarette's sisters Catharine Lerned and Louisa [Lerned] McAllaster
May 29 1835
To: Dr. & Mrs. Calvin McQuesten [Margarette Lerned] Brockport, New York
From: Hopkinton, New Hampshire
My Dear Sister Margarette,
And in no shape or way can I do this, than by making you pay 18 3/4 cts for my letter. I cannot wait till Noyes goes for it will make months or weeks difference with our plans. Your dear long look'd for packet arrived. I was in the parlour with the Religious Magazine in my hand wishing I had all the numbers to take the next week with me to Hopkinton to have bound with Janes Magazines. Hus. came in at the front door. I as usual met him but it was with a joyful clap of the hands and "oh the Brockpt packet." Before I had half opened it the tears were streaming fast & the fever which I had taken that morning (an eastern speculating fever) had entirely subsided & it was Oh! I will see M. I must gt [sic] to B. [Brockport] Hus. said read your letters first, as I was weeping over your litle tokens of love to the Children & myself--the pink letter first, not a word of the west, but the one dated May 4th almost crazed me. It affected my nervous system so that I could not sleep that night & sick all the next day. I felt that the same Providence had divested you to write to us, the same things we had conversed about again & again & our plans you seemed to know. Now M.--I am seated in the back kitchen Mother cooking dinner, very dark & showery just left writing a thunder shower went over quick & a great deal of rain--it now pours down. I did not visit Hop. the time I wrote you Sam came up & thought best to sell house &c instead of repairing & I was needed at the auction to sign deeds--so I concluded to wait & with Jane & Sarah left home.
[written at side] Mothers health not much better--sick abed yesterdy [sic]
Monday morn, expecting today Hugh would take stage from here & go to Bos. & Catharine had promised to return with me & help me sew. She does not now incline to go & the weather prevents our returning. Mary boards with Mrs. Hazeltine. Our Cat with her two nursing kittens & her 3 adopted squirrels keep the back room all inhabitants of the same box & all own one mother. Molly with her daughter are under Mr. Hazeltine's care & Sarah Jane has gone to see her sister.
Now M. I must be plain & write to your husband & be candid & he must not deceive or say any thing to have me come to B. more than he would to his greatest enemy placed as I am. For the first place my ride & shopping in Concord fatigued me much I was very tired when arrive have dinner & took tea at Mr. C. Hutchins. The last of Sept or in Oct. I expect to be sick [childbirth].1 My health is much better than two years since though troubled with the piles as then & so on. We did not reserve the house to live in only till the last of July & as S. Pilton has either bought it or is about buying it, conclude he would wish to move there immediately himself as his wife is tired living in the little house Goodhue formerly lived in. We did think of coming here & occupying half this house till another spring but Mother has bought the whole of it & it is not convenient for two families. We can occupy for the fall & winter the house D. Hazeltine used to but I dislike the fuss of moving so many times. I cannot go about much, excitement is worse for me than work. You mentioned for husband to come on immediately & have me pass the winter with you. After confinement it takes me a long long time to get about, then it will be late, weather cold, days short & should I live & prosper the care of another would increase the hardship of my journey--hard enough to think of any way. We could not go in the winter & another spring you might possibly see us--but this long time Husband will be unemployed. You say must not come till after July. Now [Dr?]--if not a healthy season of the year to come the month of July why we must wait till we can come. Husband has proposed going on in July if expedient, safe, & proper provided you can obtain a house or board in a good family for us during the fall & winter--he would then go on west & look out a place & leave me in your care--then in the month of December come on here & finish his business attend the court & go back again prepared to move if he finds a place to suit him. Another proposition is to go on himself & leave me somewhere in S [Sandbornton] then move next spring--this looks discouraging. A seperation [sic] from him for a number of weeks would bring on dyspepsy with all its horrors at this time--even a separation from him to go on farther west & leave me at B. would be unpleasant though I should not be so far from him as at Sandbornton. He says he should probably get acquainted with the customs of the people, possibly might speculate some on his "paper" enough to pay his way, & thinks I might be more contented with Margarette than to be at S. without him. I do not think of coming to Hop--I could not be so contented as in my own dear house that once was, if turned from there no place will be home till I once more know that it is my husbands choice & a place where he could do a good business & some society I think he must consider this we have three dear daughters who need a good education, who need bringing up in good society that they may be useful & respected in the world live near a meeting schools [sic] &c. Money is not the object with me I do think of educating my dear little ones, they have never had any advantages they are ignorant by the side of little girls at Hopkinton & it is trying to my patience with all other cares to instruct them. Will you M. be their school dame a short time if I come there, they are white, innocent, tender hearted, & easily in subjection. Sarah has been to school a few weeks this summer to A [Merril?] does not learn much rather a wild ungovernable child. Husband has two hundred dollars to send on by Noyes. The [?] pasture is sold and Daniel has bought out Sam in all the [rest?]. S. was here staid one night. Mother paid 4.8[?] dollars for half the house and our title to 3/8 at her decease. It is for her heirs the same as the other property. Husband is teasing me to get ready to start for home but it is late--& cloudy. I do not care about starting. Now do think of all these things & write immediately we are in a wretched state of suspense & wish to do all that is for the best. Hus. thinks he must go farther than B. hus says come get ready, better start now--but I do not want to set out at two o clock nor 3. We do not wish to come if unhealthy, if we should be likely to meet with sickness on the way or fevers there. What do you think Dr of riding over the [Gros. Mtns.?] now as all things are shall I be able? Do write candidly. The chaise is most ready & must pack--your loving sister L. M'Allaster [Louisa].
[Louisa's letter continues] 3 o'clock. Well sister instead of Sandbornton I am in Hop.--just been up to Aunt Chad who is very dull. Hiram has had the delirium tremens attempting to kill Aunt Mina & is now in confinement at the poor house. Called to see L. Stanwood who has had a still born babe this week, she is very comfortable. The exertion of getting ready for home & then concluding not to go, with ride up to Aunt C's has made me either fidgetty or else riding agitation & so on will overcome me. Do consider, do advise me right--my life perhaps depends upon this journey, it will be hard either way either before or after confinement. I cannot walk but a very short distance almost need what Susan Burley had an "imitation of a nutcake" you remember those [?]. Husband thinks he cannot go in June on account of settling but I fear it will be too late & too warm in July. I do long to do that which is for the best my health & prosperity. I could ride on water but how will the jolting of the ride answer. I wish you could advise me--husband & I are poor judges. Mary has a pretty babe all are well & seem happier & contented than your sister L. I do hope I shall be submissive, my summer looks dreary. Life is so uncertain & prospects so dull now. Dr. be impartial--be candid--be not selfish--my health is not very fine at the best a journey now or in the fall will be hard should my life be spared. Husband says he could start in six weeks.
[Catharine's letter begins] Dear M. Louisa has concluded to stop till tomorrow morn, so will say a word though I sent you two long letters by B. F. Long M.D on Monday last. Suppose they are received and perused but with what feelings I cannot divine for they were fill'd with attempts at almost every kind of effusion! I wrote concerning the School! I will go to Boston & finish taking lessons on Piano should there be a prospect of employ. A Harp or guitar as I can take either with me would be better perhaps, but you decide. Mrs. [Petroon?] moves to day from [?] & [Henrill?] says she will board in for $1.50. Price at B. from $3.00 to 4.00. I wrote also to you concerning the Convent.2 Ed in Allen & Welles Dry Good store Boston &c &c. Hope the letters are received. Have this afternoon with Mary & A. Sawyer a young [Chap?] in W. Chandlers store been as far as our Old Dumbarton Farm! & came home by Pages Corner 18 miles. Stopped at Starks grave yard hour before there. Quite a romantick [sic] spot. Mary [?] [?] her young [?] Picking Apples and drinking "Boddy". Sawyer thought her excellent company, said next time he carried her to ride would take a Jug of "North East" (alias N.E.). Since tea with [Laura?] & H. Mary & children have been in to the grave yard. [?] [?] has a new & handsome stone erected by Miss Harris of Boston. [Louisa?] has taken a farewell view of out buildings. [The?] cow yard full of high clover--door kept together with sticks--windows off--stairs rotting--& all bending neath the impress of time. She told of the [?] in [?] [?] Room. Poppy buds for tea pots--[?] shells for saucers--broken glass [?] earthen &c all [conspiring?] to [render?] our [chat?] rather affecting--since [?] of time past--happy hours of our childhood--[fresh?] like the mists of a summer's morn. C.C.L. [Catharine].
[Louisa's letter continues at top of page]
5 oclock [sic]. Well I feel curious. I have been into to see [B.L.?] Sargent--went into the store there & was treated with Oranges, figs, bay [?] with raisons [sic] & found hus. there, in the midst of our good cheer. Mr. Noyes came in. I was introduced & then talked fast enough about the west. He says we shall do well--is some danger of fever & ague that time of year [?]. I wish I could divide my orange & raisons [sic] with you likewise my two herrings she gave me. She will not hear a word about the west--says I ought not to leave all my friends for the sake of you. The reason C. does not go home with me is because she is sick as [?] [?] [?] [?], and Mother needs her help. L.[Louisa] Love from all. Do write soon
[Catharine writes].L. [Louisa] wants me to go on with her in July. But I cannot then give lessons on the Piano. C. [Catharine].
[Address on Cover]
[From]Hopkinton N.H. 18 3/4
[To]Mrs. Margarette B. McQuesten
Brockport, New York
To [??] could not be continued as in my own dear house that once was turned from there no place will be home till it is once more know is my husbands choice a place where he could do a good businefs [sic] & some society I think he must consider this we have three dear daughters who need a good education, who need bringing up in good society that they may be useful & respected in the world live near a meeting schools &c- Money is not the object with me I do think of educating my dear little ones, they have never had any advantages they are ignored by the sull of little girls at to [?] & it is trying to my patience with all my other cares to instruct them until you [??]- be their school-dame a short time if I come there they are white, innocent tender hearted, & [?] in [?] Sarah has been to school a few weeks this summer to & Merrit does not bear much rather a [?] ungovernable child- Husband has two hundred dollars to sent on by wages- the shorter pasture is sold and Daniel has bought out Pam in all the rest- S. was here staid [sic] one night- Mother pay'd [sic] 4.88 dollars for the house and at her disease. It is for her heirs the same as the other property- Husband is telling me to get ready to start for home but it is late- & cloudy I do not care about starting- Now do think of all these things & write immediately we are in a wretched state of suspense & wish to do all that is for the best- Hus thinks he must go farther than us- Hus says come get ready, better start now- but I do not want to go not at two o'clock now B- We do not wish to come if unhealthy, if we should be likely to meet with sicknefs [sic] on the way or fever there- What do you think Dr. of riding over the [??], now as all things are shall I be able? Do write candidly- the chaise is most ready I must hush- your loving sister.
L. McAllister Bodock
Well sister instead of Sandstonton I am in of just been up to dunt Chad- who is very dull & inane has had the dilemma seems attempting to kiss dunt mania & is now in confinement & at the poor house- I able to use & Stewart who has had a still born babe this week, she is very comfortable- The exertion of getting ready for home & then concluding not to go with ride up to dunt C's, has made me either fidgetty or else riding agitation & so on will overcome me. Do consider, do advise me right- My life perhaps depends upon the journey, it will be hard either way either before or after confinement I cannot walk but a very short distance almost need what Susan Burly had an intuition in a nutcake you remember these [?]- Husband thinks he cannot in June on account of settling bufsinefs [sic] for it will be too late for too much and too long to do that which is for the best my health & prosperity. I could ride on water but how in July will the jolting by now but ride answer- I wish you could abolish me Husband & I am from judging- Mary has a pretty babe all are well & seem happier & [??] then your sisters. I do hope I shall be submifsive [sic] my nurse looks so easy- life is as uncertain a prospect so dull now- Dr be impartial-be candid, be not selfish my health is not very fine at the best a journey now or in the fall will be hard should be shamed – to unknown ways he could start in size [?]
Dear Husband has concluded to stop by tommorrow will do will say a word though I sent you two long pages by B E long. MD. Monday. Can't I suppose they are received and perused and with what feelings! cannot divine for may come filled with attempts in almost every kind of illusion. I wrote concerning the school! I will go to Boston & finish talking. Coons or Pam should Sara be a prospect of comply. I harp on further and can take the written word the both perhaps. but you decide Mrs Petroon was today from side & Hamill says she will board me for $1.50 Price at B. from $3.00 to $4.00 I wrote also to you concerning the Convent- Ed in Allen & Miller Dry Goods store Boston &c &c Hope the letters are received. Have this afternoon with May & A. Sawyer ajoining keep in M. Chandles store been us for us [sic] our Old Dumberston I am! Come home by Pages Corner 11 miles. I suppose at Starks green grass now left there. Quite a [?] spot. May later on his young [?] fishing appear and drinking "Boldly" Sawyer thought her excellent, raspberry said next this he carried in to ride would take a jug of "North Band" (alive 55) hasten with Waver & H. Mary & children have been in to the green grass, Bold now that a new and handsome store candid by his House of Boston. From here when a farewell view of out building she can joun full of high clear day light together with slick windows off stairs rottings & all landing neath [sic] the impress of time. She told of the supper in the Back room- Pappy sends for her Ms [??] name shall for housing- Brother granthem &c all company to reach our chat rather affecting some letters of of time past.- happy hours of our childhood flase like the mist of a summers morn. C.C.L.
[Address on Cover]
May 30 183/4
To: Mrs. Margarette B. McQuesten
Brockport, New York
1 This is very likely one of the boys either Hugh Alfred or Howard, as Louisa and her husband Major Hugh McAllaster had three daughters [Louisa-Jane, Mary (who died in December 1853 or January 1854 [W1174]) and Sarah] who are mentioned later in the letter. For more details on the McAllaster family, see W0889.
2 The Urseline Convent in Charlestown, Massachussetts which had been sacked and burned, see W0777.
3 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.