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Home - introductions to the site
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Thesis - essays on the McQuestens and lifewriting by Mary Anderson
Timelines - a chronological list of events in the McQuesten family and corresponding historical events

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[Written up the side of the first page:] Little son sends a kiss to Uncle Edward. Love to all my dear young sisters. I think were you here this morn I should say come my dear. Cannot you just run into Mr. [Arn's??] shop and get some blocks for C. Brooks to play with.

[Written up the side of the third page:] Fri. morn. I spent last eve at Mr. Bov. he wept the most of the time.

W0959 TO EDWARD LERNED from his sister Margarette [Lerned] McQuesten
Dec 11 1838 Wedn. Eve
To: Edward Lerned

Your letter dear Edward was received Monday eve, and after so long an absence from us, was happy to hear from you. Could we see each other as often as in days past we could view the landscape o'er without this formal way of writing. In this channel however, this we cannot see the rising sigh or heaving heart, yet it sends forth words & thoughts from the mind expressive of the feeling there cherished. In taking a retrospect of the past, since you left, many things have transpired which speaks loudly, that time is hastening on in its course cutting down both great & small leaving its fearful track for the admonishing of us who are left. The two lovely children of Esq. Borroughs Louisa & Mary are no more, the messenger of death took him in four weeks after the death of M. both of Typhus fever which terminated to the head. It was a solemn & affecting season on Thursday last when Louisa was carried to the ch. [church] for the last ceremony to be performed to her remains Esq. B. was sick when Mary was taken and the Congregation assembled at his house this was on Sabbath day P.M. and when the confine of his youngest idol was brought into his sick room, it melted his heart almost to convulsions the services were short. L. was then well and attended the funeral, but now she is gone to join her sister in another world. The text was "Cloulds [sic] and darkness are round about him righteousness & judgement are the habituation of his throne." The emotion of the heaves loudly spoke of their sympathy to the afflicted. Esq. B. Fuller had exchanged houses, & he was going to build largely, and was making great plans when he was taken sick with inflammation; his hopes are now cut short, his idols are taken & money cannot satisfy the immortal mind. He says if any poor creature needed the consolations of the Gospel, it is himself, oh that the veil may be taken from his eyes, and the clouds & darkness disperse for the light of the Gospel of Christ. if dear E. you are in heart what you have proposed--before God, men and angels--to be you must see an realize something of the nature of sin which brought death into the world. Meditate often I beseech you on the wretchedness of that man who has no arm to leave when in the hour when clouds & darkness are round about [page ripped] & he cannot look beyond in sweet submission to the land that rests upon Him. Not every believer feels this confidence when afflicted, but if we are children the way will be made plain before us and however far we stray from the path of rectitude & peace, God will either by the nod or a way we know not bring us back to the fold then may the penitent well exclaim in the admirable words of the 57 Ps. [Psalm] where the Psalmist David prayed for the remission of sins, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned & done this evil in thy sight--"&c well may we with him say cast us not off from thy presence neither take thy holy spirit from us else will it bring disease wretchedness & woe to the immortal soul. I felt greatly to rejoice that sister Han'h [Hannah] was at last bowed to the mild sceptre of Emmanuel. It brings peace to the troubled soul. My grace mercy & peace be multiplied upon you all is our fervent prayer. May the good work go on with churches there and there be daily added such as shall he saved. Mr. Chipman who first studied theology with a Pres. divine is the Epis. Min. in this place. He has a Bible class and Sab. [Sabbath] school; he appears faithful to his flock. Holmes, sweet [Downes?] Bennet and a good part of the Baptist people attend meetings there. Mr. Stocton is a neutral set man--is liked as well as could be expected--he appears engaged, and is faithful & fervent in prayer. Some of his views do not precisely coincide with some of the props [propositions] of the Ch. [Church] and he is cautious in sermonizing. Wedn. eve he gives a lecture a [sic] the Ch. prayer meetings as usual. Nothing particularly interesting at present. Mr. S. preached the funeral sermon of Mrs. Benedict of L. (Miss Merill) she died in Nov. of Consump. [Consumption] was buried at L. a sermon was preached here for the friends & relatives. Mrs. Albert Walker the same month died of Typhus fever--and was buried at G. Mr. Ball gave an eloquent sermon. His precision of style & beauty of sentiment with depth & solemnity added greatly on the occasion.

Yesterday I was visiting Mrs. Minot & saw her husb. & mother--she appears broken hearted--weeps the most of the time. Mrs. [?] lungs are diseased--and her health is miserable, she has been confined to her bed sometime. Mr. Gifford is about the save sits up about half of the time. Esq. V. is chosen Assembly man, and next week he & wife start for Albany to pass the winter. J. is with his mother. Mr. Stocton has bought [?] house & they take V's for the winter.

Mr. S. studied at Andover1 his Theology the same as the orthodox congrega[tion] tho [sic] he is decided presb. in government not in favor of new assembly.

Mr. Colby has been to B. all summer nearly under a quack Dr. but his health is more impaired his swellings enlarging and probably his end is near--He is quite a sufferer, he has come home now satisfied that Quacks cannot cure--husband does what he can for his comfort--Med. business as usual. You will receive [a] certificate on this leaf from him & let me say dear E. you have our best wishes both for your temporal & spiritual welfare. May you flee temptation and never approximate vice. Strive to keep your thoughts aright [sic] and prove "for out of the mouth proceedeth evil things"--and the end is woe--Now as to dear Mother I know her anxiety--her deep yearnings--her love ever wakeful, ever watchful over you, her only son--and there is one whose eye neither slumbers nor sleeps who knows all your ways for his sake, for her sake continue in well doing, and a blessing will be yours. Oh that we might have more faith to believe the promises of Jehovah, then should he not fear man whose breath is in his nostrils--but our trust would be wholly in God. Our little son has got to be a smart boy, he is trying to whistle the most of the time. He is strong & runs all about the house. He is quite obedient and has to submit in his young years--have had some trial about his throwing things in the fire but now if he sees us looking at him, he will take them out again (I mean over the fender). Much love to all our family--Sister's familys [sic] also--I hope Cath. will write when convenient. Perhaps Sister H. will help you fill out a letter--Letters from home ever give me pleasure. Receive that from

Your sister in love


1 Likely Andover Newton Theological School in Newton Center MA., established in 1807.

2 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.

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Copyright 2002 Whitehern Historic House and Garden
The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

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