W0805 TO MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her sister Catharine C. P. Lerned
Aug 24 1835
To: Margarette B. Lerned McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Hopkinton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
Have unsealed 2 letters sent you 19th July, by Mr. Sibley & daughter, and returned, as they went no farther than the Springs. His health much improved by the journey. We have long been waiting a line from you, and feel anxious to hear of your health, happiness, &c &c. You may judge from the size of my sheet that I have lots of news or something [like?] to communicate but tis seldom we write, and when the time comes for the event, so much presents to commit to paper, that were we to write all, twould [sic] seem as huge as Caucasus, but to cast a look at and to scan the whole--Great Heaven! Grant me Patience!
Uncle & Aunt Woods dined with us June 2nd. Went to Concord--on return pass'd the night. Aunt's health poor. Lydia there with 3 children from Boston. Uncle wants me to move to Newport. Esq. Breck returned a week or two since from the West, under a severe attack of the Fever & Ague. Martin discontented at Illinois. Expect William & Madge every day. Cousin Ham. carried me to Concord in [?] time--passed a day & night at Guss'. Was introduced to several gents from Boston &c &c. All the children have made him a visit, & Hannah returned yesterday from a weeks trip, and they wish her to come back Monday. But she is engaged for the present.
Anti-Slavery & Colonization are "by the ears" in this ville. We have had several Addresses on the former, and I last week placed my name on the side of Abolition!!! Have had a visit of 9 days from Mr. & Mrs. Conners of [Wooburn?], & Mr. & Mrs. Warren Perkins of Reading, Mass. Mrs. C. & Mr. P. children of Uncle Andrew P., mother's half brother. Mr. P. is independent & Mr. C. worth enough. E. L. & myself have had new [openworked straws?] this season; all lined & trimmed with blue. Mine turned up, in part. Have worn the Belt twice, & like it much. Cousin Harriett gave me a pair silk lace gloves--very fashionable, but not durable.
Mother & I hired a horse & carriage of Cousin Ham. & left July 18 for New Boston. Pass'd night at Mr. Jones'--call'd at Parish Breckford's--went in morn to Lyndborough, remained till Sunday noon. Uncle failing in health--his place given to Burnam, [?] lent me the works of Thomas Paine to read. I have not perused them far, as yet. Then went to Andrew Moors, in Bedford, and remained till Monday noon. Had a delightful visit. They said Eliza M. was to be married.
Stopt on return at [Mrs. Reynold's?] and took tea. Sarah lives at Goffstown, upper village, in a large and handsomely furnished house. John R. is expected from Troy in Sept. I [?] has been here 3 or 4 times this summer, to pass Sunday &c. &c. We have now 2 boarders A. Ayre of Canterbury at 1.75 per week & Miss S. M. Wilkins, of Lowell, at 1.50. The former came Tuesday last, and we refused to take him; but his father came the third time, and we concluded to oblige him. We soon expect a Mr. Davison of Goffstown, has been here 3 or 4 times for board and we told him Saturday he might come Tuesday if he could not find other accomodations [sic]. Miss W. has been with us 6 weeks, teaching the Italian or mezzotinto & Chinese Paintings. Each course of 6 lessons each. H. took the Chinese (colors) & I the mezzotinto, in imitation of engravings. Price [$ 2.00] each, independent of materials for same. Miss W. has had 8 scholars, she leaves tomorrow or Thursday for Newport. I intend sending you one of my pieces first opportunity. Some say mine look better than hers.
[Written up left side of page:] Mother wrote on the outside of this letter, but I've creased it tolerable well. Be sure and write immediately. Lucy attends the Acad. & E. Miss Blanchards. Mothers health not good as twas in Spring. The Acad. closed last term with a grand Exhibition, keeping us in a crowded room till 15 [min.?] past 12! Very well done. It has commenced under good auspices all the boarding houses full, save H. Judkins & none seem willing to go there. She has but one boarder as yet.
July 25th. R. Burns came & remained till Monday morn. Pass'd the Sabbath with him at Dr. Long's in Warner. Mrs. Dr. Marshall was there, and her little daughter, 5 weeks old. Mr. B. & the Dr. are one and I should think his wife was on equal terms, should I judge by appearances. Was not as well pleased with Mr. B. as I have heretofore been.
Aug 1st. Mr. J.W. Gunnison, & sister Mary, came and remained at our house & Judge Chase's, till Monday eve. Sat. afternoon went with them to Mr. Raymond's and took tea. Returned in eve by way of Steck's burying ground, and leaving the carriage in the road, took a promenade round the spot. The moon shone resplendent, and the water at the foot of the hill lay unmoved by a single murmur. There seemed a death like silence o'er the scene, disturbed by naught, save the wind murmuring through the tall Pine Tress--the only tree around the spot where lay the dead. I felt too strong impress'd to poetry upon the scene--else, methinks I could have formed a rhyme that would have sounded well. But enough. At best I am no poetess, though I think that evening's scene, might "make a bodie poet, that never knew a rhyme."
After riding home farther met [Thom's?] [R?] returning from Concord. He concluded to go to H. with us. So he taking Mary G. returned back and reached home 1/2 past 11 o'clock--most froze to death. Sunday Dr. H Currier and Miss S. M. Wilkins, Mr. R. & Mary G. Mr. G & P. went to Concord--dined at Guss'--went to Unitarian meeting in P.M. Mr. G. left me a French book, ["Gile Blas"?] have read it and like it. He wants E. to apply for a situate at W. Point.
E. Little is published, and will be married in the morning next week. All the Greenleafs and connexions will escort her to Portland and then to B. Capt. Green, will remain in town some months and [?hap] a year. Ellen's health some better than twas in winter. Mr. Tucker & lady (Eliz. Webber) have parted. He was ugly, and she foolish. Edward French is published, to Miss Chase of Dumbarton. R. W. Molineaux buried his little Elizabeth on Thursday last. Funeral sermon yesterday. They seem very much afflicted, and Mr. Chase could hardly proceede [sic] in the funeral exercises. Had a call the same day from [T?] R. Crosby of Hannover. Did not speak well of Dr. Hoit of N. though he married a sister.
Friday. Mary Jane Tyler was buried, after but a week's sickness, of Typhus Fever. She was deprived of her senses some time before her death, but previously seemed in distress of mind. Her sister (Irene) has been sick of Consumption 5 or 6 months and is now only able to turn herself in bed. Her mind has become like that of a child, & her memory almost gone; but her symptoms are now more favorable. The death of Mary was sudden, and I cannot realize it. Her health was so perfectly good, and she seemed not in the least fatigued through waiting on her sister.
"But death will never heed the sigh
Nor soften at the tearful eye!
And eyes that sparkle--eyes that weep
Must all alike be sealed in sleep."
Louisa & family are boarding at Marys. They just returned from Portland. Think the East a good place for earning money. G. H. Cheney is worth $15,000 all made in speculation. Lives in style at P. Mary and family well. Martha is a going to spend some time with her mother. Horace is here with Miss Carr goes tonight to his mothers. He has an elegant chaise--top lined with Cuff damask silk--cushions &c of Cuff cut silk velvet--side lamps--and the shape "new fangled." He has made $3000 in speculation!!! Maj. Stanwood has moved into the tavern. W. Little will soon move into Mrs. Stanley's. [?] is now at the East speculating! We have 900 cocoons, and intend to enter into the silk business next year. Have been to see the Patent machine for reeling and twisting, at Mr. Kimballs Beach Mill. Col. Wadsworth & Cousin Ham. have the Patent for this state, and Vt.
Now about my coming to Brockport. There is no prospect of employ you say, and at $2.50 per week for board, think my money would not last long. 'Pon the whole, think I should defer coming till I can come as I like. In the course of 2 or 3 years, should life and present intentions hold good, I think I shall take a view of "York state." Would that time were now; that I could just meet you and your hus. It seems sometimes that I could be happy had I riches to do with as it pleased me. "But roll on thou earth, in thy pride pomp and glory; Still charm to deceive, and still kiss to betray, Till mortals shall learn from experience the story, That unalloyed happiness dwells not in clay." But Friendship is the only tie that binds us to earth--the only pilot to guide us safely 'long the rocky shores of time--the brightest lamp that ever shone when the sable curtains of Heaven had o'ershaded the light. The [?] solace in adversity--last--the little something sought by all, yet seldom caught, if ever." Like a twinkling star, it brightens as day departs. Though much we wish, yet where is found a friend? "Whom can we trust? Man is frail! But God is just"! We seldom think of our dependence on each other for every enjoyment. Truly saith the Apostle "None of us liveth unto himself." I sometimes wish I knew futurity; but should the veil be raised, I think again, it may be darker than the past. "So let it come what will; tis right, and so are all things. Tis God who makes, who orders all. Then why should mortals murmur!"
Rev'nd B. Stone sent me a letter some weeks since, stating that should a vacancy occur in the department at Charlestown, and one suited to my mind, he should wish me to fill it. I wrote to Miss Reed respecting instruction in Musick. But the fickle, romantick [sic] girl is first at Cambridge, then at Boston, and now intends visiting Burlington Vt. R. Burns will procure me a teacher, and boarding place. I trust I shall be ready for teaching, or something else soon.
Now M. comes some important business, which I wish to be kept in your own and your hus' thoughts. Edward has been in B. nearly 6 months, and for 2 weeks was sick under the care of Dr. Stevens. Mr. Gunnison had some talk with E. and Messrs [A] & [Welers?] suspected his thoughts of going to W.P. He had some difficulty with one of the clerks, and one or the other must leave. Ed. accordingly came home, a week since, last Sat. He was pleased with [?] but not as well with Mr. W. I copy from Mr. A'.s letter. "Your sons habits are expensive, and I do not wish to consider myself responsible for any deviation from the right path. He meets reproof gently, and with a timely correction of errors he will, I trust, make a valuable man. He has ever complied with any wishes " &c &c. Ed. you know is quick tempered, but as Mr. A. says is capable of being a fine man. He states to Mr. Burns of his understanding, as surpassing most other boys of his age, and of his perfect satisfaction. As yet tis understood that E. has come home on a visit, since you know to what wrong motive they might attribute his return.
Now before [?] shall ask & answer "Why tarries he" will you write (immediately) and say if the Dr. will take him, and [?] property, and do by him as a son. He will be of no expense to you. If too young to study Medicine, get him a place till fit for the same, or do any way to his best advantage. Mother will say something, so I must be brief. Messrs A. & W. did not wish him as clerk unless would stay longer than next June, at which time he thought (a commission obtained) of entering W. P. He is quick at figures, and a good writer, so he may be of some use to your husband. You have once & more offered to take him and now we put your promises to a proof. Should you conclude in the affirmative he will come soon as you write; but if in the negative, you would not make mention to any one of our proposal. He could have another situate in Boston, but E. not knowing the use of money or how to reject the proposal of the many wicked, we plainly see that tis no place for him. He always loved you, and I know he would obey your wishes. Tis his own plan going to B. ours was to have him fit for the Army, and sue for a commission. He chose otherwise, and we feel perfect confidence in yourself & husbands management in your doing by him as a child. Now dear sis, write on the receipt of this, that we may act accordingly. Accept this with the best of my love & good wishes, & thanks for your friendship.
C.[Catharine] C. Lerned
[Note from mother, Catharine Lerned, follows on same page:]
My dear children, you will no doubt be surprised at Edwards request but they are not new to me he has frequently said that he should see Margarette before any of us and I hope he will. I have consulted Uncle Wood, and he strongly objects to his having an appointment at the Military Academy and so do I. Should your Husband think best for him to come on he will not come without your recommendation and for more than a year past Edward has tried to think to do his best but I will not say to [sic] much you can see for yourselves was he placed under your kind Husband care [sic] it would ease my mind of a great burden. I have never considered Boston as a permanent situation for him I have long wished that he might pursue the study of medicine perhaps he can do something by way of paying for his board if not it must come out of his small [patinary?] he shall come well clothed and all expenses paid &c. I wish dear M. that you could be with us at this time. L & M [?] with Sarah P came in last Eve we are all very happy together hope soon to write you good news of Louisa &c my health is very poor, but my mind is more at ease than it was some months ago. I long to see you. I [?] will not see the [?] or any of his family [at present?], I do wish that you could leave [?] for I do want to see you, more than I can express perhaps you may know of some one that is coming out and that E might return with them if so let us know Cathrane [sic] has given but little room so I shall say but little yet I have much to say / write soo [sic] as you receive this.
Your Mother in love
[To] Mrs. Margarette B. McQuesten
Brockport, Newyork [sic]
1 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.