W0929 TO MARGARETTE [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her friend Mrs. Sanborn
[Written near address:] I hope you will see my brother & write by him.
[Written beneath address:] [Per or Rev.?] Mr. B.G. [Pettingill?]
Apr 23 1838
To: Margarette (Lerned) McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [USA]
From: St. Louis, Missouri, [USA]
My dear Mrs. McQuesten,
It is late in the evening I can have but a few moments to write but I could not deny myself the pleasure when so good an opportunity presented itself of sending to you [sic]. Your very kind letter by my husband would not have remained so long unanswered had their [sic] been a private opportunity of sending you and I could not at any time have written thing [sic] sufficiently interesting to read by mail.1
I knew my brother was going to N.Y. soon but expected he would stay two days with us I flattered myself I should write your a long letter but he came just before tea and leaves early tomorrow morning. Our little family without an exception are well & happy Mary goes to school Sarah is not the sickly thing she was when we left B. [Brockport] but very fleshy & playful Cornelia can run about & say almost anything now I have told you about my own dear little one I must congratulate you on yours. How much I wish I could see you with your baby. Will you not come to St. Louis I do think this place is healthy as Brockport my health has not been so good for many years as it was the past year. Sister [Jane's?] health is better than when she lived in N.Y. Jane is very well I suppose you knew she was married Mr. Smith [sic] her husband is one the best of men [sic] they board with Mrs. [Cavender?] his sister who was my neighbour in Franklin N.H. [New Hampshire] she seems to me as a sister. James Smith another brother who married a cousin of mine occupies one part of this new house. I took tea with them a short time since found them a half dozen ladies from Boston & its vicinity very pleasant & interesting here and many from N.H. and all the N. England states.
We find here good schools good meetings. We attend the Presbyterian church have a very able preacher [?] both school of 400 scholars. The blacks have two churches Baptists & Methodists the latter have 250 scholars at the Sabbath school & Mr. Holmes who married H. [Hudson?] has preached for them he kept school here the past winter has now gone north.
Temperance lectures have been delivered weekly the past winter Ministers of the different denominations have been actively engaged and the cause is gaining ground. There are many very rich people here French & others who support great style ride about in their carriages with four horses a servant to drive and frequently two hanging on behind. You I presume would have the same objections to coming to this state I had on account of its being a slave holding state but my prejudices have been removed in some measure when I see how friendly they are treated in this place I have a good girl & she is a slave her master is as tender of her & of others he owns as if they were his own children.
Cousin C.S. Greeley is boarding with us at present he is in company with Mr. Sanborn & Gale from Salisbury N.H. in a store. Mr. S. was at Alton a few days since report says Mrs. Robert Smith S. Bingham that was [sic] is in a fair way shortly to recover her health her husband and friends are highly pleased with the prospect.
Mifs [sic] Greeley resides at Upper Alton is as independent as ever pursues much the same course she did at Brockport has but new furniture &c. she will not leave [R. Town?] I reckon----Charlotte [Town?] is married. Brother Moses has a fine little girl which they call Hannah Grant----Lucy's health is not good she spent three weeks with sister Jane at Bunkerhill when I boarded last summer we had a fine time I assure you Mr. [Cavender?] was there at the time. I passed a part of the winter before the last at Peoria with my brother [A.P.?] Bartlett & wife [page torn] boarding there. The weather was very cold when we left [page torn] we were obliged to stay at Canton five days in consequence of deep snows J.J. [Little?] & wife L. Webster were boarding there visited Mrs. Hill & Mrs. L. Webster at Bernadotte Henry McCluer3 travelled with us a few days when we broke our carriage he left us we staid two days at a log cabin where there was no light except what the door let & through the cracks nothing to eat but coarse corn bread fat-pork & deer meat.
But I must draw to a close I think your eyes must be stronger than they formerly were or you will not be able to find out what I have written and I beg you will not let any one see it I have written so hastily it was past ten o'clock when I commenced & you may judge what time it now is--
Adieu my dear Mrs. McQ. write me soon I should be glad to hear from you by mail believe me ever your sincere friend S. [P?] Sanborn.
My compliments to your husband Mr. Sanborn & C.S. Greeley desire me to present their respects to you & your husband. Remember me to Mrs. Seymour Mrs. [Allen?] M. & [?] [Dougan?] ever see Mrs. Jones & Bigelow my love to them tell them write me my love to the Mrs. [Sweats?] & others who may inquire for me I did not think of writing half as much & yet I have much more I would say I am ashamed to send this good night yours affectionately [S.P.?] S.
1 Punctuation is inconsistent throughout the letter, which has been transcribed according to the original. Some paragraph breaks have been added for ease of reading.
2 They were likely in Peoria, Missouri and most likely in Bernadotte, Illinois. There is also a Bernadotte, Minnesota.
3 Perhaps she means Henry McLure, who is mentioned in W0881, W0893, and W0914, written by Harriet H. McLure from Jacksonville, Illinois. Harriet McLure mentions Mrs. Sanborn, who has moved from Alton to St. Louis.
4 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.