W0785 MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her sister Catharine C.P. Lerned
Jun 2 1835
To: Margarette B. Lerned McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Hopkinton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
Once more dear sis, I commence thee an epistle. Though you have had to peruse with asking eyes two scrawls by B & L and some 20 lines in L's letter yet forbear a little and I'll write once more a little news and every thing.
We now own this situation, free from incumbrances; and tis our intention to sell, soon as we can find good opportunity. This house is much larger than we would like, and needs more repairing than we would like to undertake. Besides we have no particular attachment to "Oz" save the bones of our deceased relatives, and the consideration that this was our birth place--this the home of our youth! Here, the light of day first bless'd our opening eyes--here alone we can say, here we spent the days of our infancy.
Visions of Childhood! Ye pass away,
Like the morning winds of a summers day:
And the bowers ye reared are withered and bare,
And the dreams that fluttered are vanished in air.
And the loves that brightened existence are gone
And the glass is [crushed?], though the sand runs on.
Visions of Childhood! Adieu--Adieu
Ye are fled! yet I still can remember you;
And the lingering light of your setting rays
Shall lighten each care of my older days.
Haunts of my Childhood! Once more--Adieu!
E'en at Death shall my memory dwell upon you.
It recurs to my mind of having read some lines on the above subject "Visions of C." in a [?] [?] Scrap book of some like artiste--but tis so long since, that I can remember but little of it. Have endeavoured with a little of my own Geni to make it rhyme tolerable. In fact, I wish we could sell this castle of a building and obtain a smaller one. We have been offered $1400 but we wish $2000 and think it may bring that, since the land &c is good.
A year since today I went to Concord with M.J. Eaton & brother to pass Election. Mr. E.E. is now a musician on board the "Constitution", bound to France--M.Y.E. and parents have moved back to [Candia?], and I am at the homestead. But what's this to you--only implying that when I was last "Lection" I [?] this; and that "where a bodie need be, there he always [?] be, unless the Goode Power will see."
Uncle & Aunt Woods dined with us to day--going to C. expecting to hear addresses on Anti Slavery & Colinization [sic]. The latter from Gurley! If I should side with either, t'would be the former. Aunt W's health miserable. Lydia coming to C. this summer with some children from Boston. Dr. McG. at the [?] & [?] (aged 17!) keeping a district school. Wrote to M.A. Breck to day.
Charles McQuesten call'd this P.M. on his way to Hillsbrough, with Col. McNeil, said Eliza boarded in same house with him--kept school $1.00 per week. M. I wont do that if I never keep--for I can earn more at home, helping Mother. Schools enough at that price I could have--but consider the time, wear of clothes &c &c. Tis no compensation at all.
Old Dr. Jones & wife have just come to Mr. A. Curriers! Mother has been in to see them--says the Dr. is about the same but Mrs. J. cannot remember any one--even the names of connexions--Memory entirely gone. Great many were in to see her, but all think her near her end. They leave in the morning for Concord, to meet Abner [or Abilene] the Unitarian Minister, & then go to Salem. They live in Freetown, R.I.
Have just waited on Rev. M. Kimball & Lady--the Misses Stanley--Dr. H.L. Currier--Dr. Jones--Mr. S. Webler--[?] Gilman & A. Sawyer! and all [?] too, and in 1/2 an hour--and--[?] and it is all [?].
And now I close my letter in Alphabetical Order &c. Most [?] E.E. [?] [?] P.M. Have to day moved carpet & chairs from west into east room. Dr. Long pounded at front door a long while, but we did not hear him. He wants to buy the house! A young gent out of health from Boston, came here to get boarded, but we said nay. L. Stanwood had a still born babe last week. It had been dead a fortnight--and she could not have lived but a few days longer had not it been born. She was not anticipating its birth till Aug--but is quite comfortable. Emily Clark is recovering from a Typhus Fever of which she has been dangerously sick.
Well, I'll stop a moment to see every body going to Lection. Wish you was here to have some stew'd Rhubarb for supper. Only be [?], and I guess you'll get here while the [?] is hot. Table is set, so you'd better hurry; else you'll lose a [pan?] cake, and I wont tell what else.
Eve. We have thought much of you to day, since tis the birth day of Margarette and she is 26 years old.1 Time--stop a little--hurry not--nor bear thy pilgrims on their journey more--till once they've met! We have done our best to bake you a Lection Cake. But we made it too rich, and in taking from tin it dropped to pieces--now see the reason--we wanted something extra for our sis at B. so twas spoilt. Tis however most always the case so I do not think strange. Wish I had a Bun to send you; for Sam'l Gale got some super ones at Concord. Good night.
C. [Catharine] C. Lerned
Thursday Eve. 12 o'clock. Every one abed, I seat myself to relate the occurrences of the day. All H. has been to Lection I believe; for it is nothing but [?ibbling] at this late hour. Uncle W. & wife arrived at C. they will leave in morn. 1/2 past 6. Mrs. Bailey & E. Wilky, Mrs. Leash & Mrs. Hatch call'd--then in the midst came a party of 7 from Goffstown & Weare! The old people retire to the west room, & Miss W. with rest, remain till 1/2 past 10. Mr. Wallace tarries all night, and goes to Henniker in morn. An old boarder of Mrs. Eaton and class mate of mine at [Russel's?] school. His mother married to Col. Moor of [?ford]. Well I [?] rather so-so. We have had every thing upside down. Butterfield was one of the party--says his sis (Mrs. [?] Marshall) is in [Wear?]--her hus. keeping store & he with him. Mrs. Carol of Goffstown says Sarah Perkin formerly Raymond is ["encient"?] & so is Cousin Clara P. and B. Nelly (White) has a daughter--her father & family go to Bangor soon, where she is. I think Uncle W. an excellent man. Mr. Cotton heard him deliver a short address at one of the meetings in C.--said it was fine and informingly delivered. The descript. given me of Election, by this [?] company, I will sketch. Great many people--not as many ministers as usual--Badger Gov--Menagerie & Circus of ["?] [?"] Military company's [sic] from Dover & Concord--Gurley on Colonzation [sic]--[Woodbury?] on Anti Slavery--rather vulgar twas thought, but twas the truth he wished to come [A.], and C. folks must not criticize since they are 2/3 Anti S. [slavery] [Murray?] against Phrenology--[hearing?] it in [?] knocking "in" every bump--temperance addresses and many others. Well--I went there to hear nothing--& fear I shant hear anything, lest I stop scribling [sic]--for Morpheus bids me retire. C.
Thursday P.M. Mrs. [Town?] sits at the same table with me, writing to Caroline B. This A.M. took my red dress to pieces for a bedquilt. What's become of [Young?]? Mother has just finished M's pink apron. Trimmed with Linen braid [wavy sketch showing pattern] so round edges & sprig in each corner. Harriet says tell M. I think often and much of her kindness to Caroline, and would acknowledge my feelings by lettr [sic], had I time & confidence that my lines would meet with a cordial reception. [Ham?] & H. start for Boston Tuesday.
Ed. writes "I read in M's Book and my Bible every day, and I wish to be informed when I can have opportunity to write her, and express my thanks for her kindness." He has not given up the idea of going to West Point though we think it a more permanent residence than a Store. Am a going to write to Cousin Hannah for a bonnet, and Eliz. one. Han. has the open worked one she has worn 2 sumr's--[?] her old straw--Mother her old willow [?], and I the Leghorn. I had the latter new lined & trimmed last Spring, but every one seems resolved that the article shall be lain aside, after so many years wear & I now have a deep green cape (all the rage are bonnet capes of ribbon) and will do for [common wear?]. I am a thinking of an openworked, trimmed with blue silk cord & tassels--white satin ribbon or a plain sprig. The silk bonnets are the rage--[?] [?] and [?] [?] the front, and [?] lace plaited on them--short veils &c. &c. But silk bonnets look mean to me. Hannah is in one of the first shops, and all things sold reasonable. [?] B. & wife moved to Gloucester, Cape Cod--on a farm. Uncle boarding at the Hotel. Catherine leaving [?] [?]. Mrs. Town has just gone with H. [?] & babe. All send best love.
Clara admired the new arrangement of our rooms. I'll describe it. Stove well cleaned--green blind in front, then two decanters of [?] on [?]--[green?] spit box--shovel & tongs laid crossed on top stove Philadelphia Style. That old picture trimmed with green tissue paper. [?] [?] & [?] of birds eye maple, with pictures transferred--a [?] [?] [?], fill'd with leaves cut, and other forms of paper, and all colours intended as fancy lamp lighters--two rosette baskets and a moss vase, with [?] brown sprigs in it. That's about the fire place, now the room in general. Centre table with red [?] book rack--secretary--Jumping rope--[grace hoops?]--large mahogny [sic] table neath glass--flowers at end window--[?] 9 blossoms--[?] two long ones--boxes books & newspapers plenty--My New Hampton picture in gilt frame--Dr. Holyoke's likeness with yellow tissue paper & Fathers portrait! The two former ones, each side of Fathers.
Well this must be interesting, but will [?] to fill up this little [?], for you will percieve [sic] I am for economy having used [?] 38 sheets lettr [sic] paper in 7 weeks besides the rest used in family.2
C. [Catharine] C. Lerned
[Envelope wrapper:] To Mrs. Margarette B. McQuesten
Brockport, Newyork [sic]
1 Margarette, to whom the letter is addressed, was born on June 3, 1809. To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.
2 This comment illustrates the economy that was employed in writing materials. Almost all of these letters between the Lerneds and the McQuestens employ the tiniest script and fill every space possible with script. There are apologies if a space is ever left bare. Then the letter is folded into a small envelope wrapper shape and the address written on the blank space on the back of the page. The letters are very difficult to transcribe accurately, especially the names.