W0914 TO MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her friend Harriet H. McLure
Jan 1 1838
To: Margarette B. (Lerned) McQuesten Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Jacksonville, Illinois, [U.S.A.]
A very happy New Year to you my dear friend, if such I may still call you. A letter of apologies is one of the few things I despise on earth, I will therefore wave [sic] all; merely confess my negligence, and trust to your kindness of heart to forgive and to forget. The last two months have rolled by so rapidly--I can scarcely realise that they have been. During that period I have been to Alton, and hoped to have seen your friend Mrs. Sanborn, and given you some account of her situation. After passing a year among strangers I went full of anticipation, and hope; but alas! she had moved to St. Louis. I found however some very agreeable people who soon became as friends, and thus a few days passed off delightfully. Among them was a young lady from Peoria, who gave me much information about my acquaintances there, I grieve to hear of the death of Mrs. Castle; she was a lovely woman, a useful member of society and beloved by all who knew her.
Alton is beautifully situated on the bluffs of the Mississippi quite as wild and romantic as any place you may find among the Green or White Hills of New England. I really wanted to go there to reside, but imagine during the cold days which we may at present expect Jacksonville is the most comfortable. As yet however we have had but two cold days, the remainder having been warm, clear, and delightful as May. Oh this glorious climate my friend, and if you want to be restored to health, vigour and vivacity, come to Jacksonville. The society too is agreeable and our snug little houses as convenient as possible on so contracted a scale. I believe I have not written you since we commenced housekeeping but I suppose you have heard through Mrs. Saddler. I gave her a long and minute account of every crack and crevice; but she deigns me no reply, so I imagine myself one of the cast off, and forgotten, on her long list of admirers. Well be it so. I'll sigh not, for those who sigh not for one, and one correspondent from that sphere of iniquity and scandal will answer, while that one is your own dear self, affectionate and sincere, faithful, and true.
You write such long news letters they are really charming. I feel as if I had been with you, having a real old fashioned chit chat. You speak of broiling your own poultry can it be that you are really at housekeeping? If so I congratulate you sincerely, for I am sure your happiness great as it may have been before, must be increased ten fold.
Every husband and wife should have a home of their own, is my maxim. No matter how small, if it is but their own home, is far preferable to all style and splendour where you are but visitors, or what is still worse, boarders. From the enigmatical way in which you speak of yourself, my dear friends, I am Yankee enough to guess that could I now look in upon you, I should find a new subject of congratulation: if this is indeed so, you have my warmest wishes for the prosperity and happiness of you and yours, that you may enjoy all that is right and desirable in the present, and in the future, realise your fondest anticipations. I am anxious to hear all particulars of yourself and Mrs. Holmes. Two frail beings, but He who numbers the very hairs of our head, is able to restore the most tender plant, and to infuse new life & vigour into the feeblest frame. May we at all times rely on his strength and love, and ever feel that He doeth all things well. How is Mrs. Bennett? Where is Elder Putnam and family? How do the King and Miss Bowker come on? What has become of Mrs. John Sweatt. I wonder if she still retains an affection for me? Henry recieved [sic] a letter from Father a few days since and will write soon, we regret very much to hear of his accident but hope he has recovered. How did she feel at the loss of her little one? When I last saw her she was so averse to any thing of the kind I think she could not but felt [sic] it a disappointment. What is her present situation and how is she? I hope she bears no ill will towards me, but I know some reports have been attributed to me of which I am entirely innocent. Please give her, as well as Father the united love of Henry and myself. I wish most sincerely that an unkind word, or thought, might never never be indulged by any one of us, and if their lives glide on as smoothly, yes, even joyfully, as ours, they have no cause for complaint. I am sorry for Joseph and were it in my power would do something for him. Give my love to Mrs. Fuller.1 I should like to hear from her but cannot write first. If she is tired of B. tell her to come to the [?]. Remember me affectionately to all who may enquire and believe me as ever,
Harriet H. McClure.
[P.S.] Henry joins in much love his health is good.
Mrs. Calvin McQuesten
Brockport, New York
1 It is not known if this Mrs. Fuller was related to Dr. Calvin McQuesten's third wife, Elizabeth Fuller.
2 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.