W0972 TO MARGARETTE B. LERNED MCQUESTEN From Harriet H. McClure.
Mar 23 1839
To: Margarette B. Lerned McQuesten Brockport New York
From: Harriet H. McClure Jacksonville Illinois
March 23rd, 1839
Your long looked for letter, my dear friend, although a very very tardy messenger, was welcomed most gladly- The long and wearisome time that has elapsed, since our last intelligence had made me almost dread to hear, lest I should learn that none of my friends had escaped affliction. I have a strong attachment to Brockport, there were spent our first hight [Eight] days of wedlock; the mood and dreamy happiness of these days, has bestowed a peculiar charm upon every spot. Where we enjoyed it; a magic witchery, which invoke [?] in rainbow hues ever varying yet always bright. Perhaps the question arises, are they still bright? Yes, my friend let me assure you, that although the novelty of wedded love has long since passed, the ardour of our youthful attachment remains undiminished, strengthening and increasing day by day and the sweet little pet so lately bestowed, has added one more link to the strong chain which unites us. One question in your letter dear Margaret [sic], which comes home more emphatically than any other I will first apply to (that is,) "Have you any chickens, kitty, or any addition to your family? No my friend, not even a chick, or pet, but a dear little daughter, that we love most tenderly & a nice little wife for your nice little son. She was born the 2nd of December, I was very fortunate in having my Mother, and two sisters, with me at that eventful time, and an excellent female attendent of great experience and skill. The baby is now three months and a half old, very playful, very pretty, and [?] by all. The exact image of her Father, her wining ways and merry laught, amuse and delights us, and daily she is enturning [sic] herself more and more closely about our hearts. You mention that Father is again coming west. Has he yet left home? We are hoping to see him in a few weeks, will not his wife accompany him? I trust he will take great pleasure in his little grand child; tho [sic] I suppose he takes but little notice of children in general, I am sure he must love her. I grieve to hear of Mrs. Burroughs great affliction, as well as the other melancholy death which you mention. Brockport I always considered an unhealthy place, but now when I look back upon the many who have been called to their last account since I left, it appears unparalleled, not less than seven adults among my acquaintance, besides numerous children. I suppose Louisa Sadler has now reached the very height of her ambition, since she is a boarder in the Hotel. Has she a children, and Mrs. Peter Sweatt only one? Have they given up removing to the west? Mrs. John Sweatt I think will be very glad to get back to town, one who loves society as she does, must find the retirement of a farm very dull. I do indeed rejoice my friend that at last an Episcopal clergyman has been called to Brockport. I am so warmly attached to my own church, its great purity, its long established, steadfast faith, and scriptural creed, render it so firm and unshaken: the disorder and changes of other churches effects no tattering in ruins. I trust I wound no feelings by my endear, knowing you to be an Episcopalian, I feel at liberty to expatiate freely on the simplicity and beauty of our service and Liturgy: I do not refer particularly to the purity of the members, for I know that in all denominations there are some who make clean the outside of the cup and platter, while they are utterly regardless of the inner man. I observed by the paper that Mr. Chipsman married a Miss Caroline Crane, I once had a dear friend of that name, that last I heard of her she was in Burlington VT [Vermont]. I should like to know if this is the identical Caroline. If she is a beautiful woman, of ordinary sise [sic], with raven locks, ruby lips, and hazel eyes you may venture to speak to her of Harriet Hemshaw. I am glad you have so agreeable a hostess as Mrs. Brewster; was Mr. Arons obliged to dispose of his house? It was only in your last letter to me my dear friend, that you mentioned the death of Mr. Bennetts wife, I cannot realise that he has so soon consoled himself with another. Does he keep house? Give my love and sympathy, & To Mrs. J Homes I feel very much for her. I now know the depth of a Mothers love, and can realise in some measure the anguish of the bereaved; yet the broken spirit who cannot look to Heaven for consolation is bereaved indeed. Truly my friend how few there are, who do not daily need help from on high; without it, how are we to guard against the deceitfulness of our own hearts, how we are to resist the temptations which assail us, on the right hand and on the left, or meet the dark love of adversity, sickness, sorrow and death. Surely that blessed Father whose ear never encarieth [sic], and whose mercy never faileth [sic], must be our great consolation and refuge; and the brighs [sic] smile of the Son of righteousness, cheer and surge us onward. Yes my friend, "onward and upward", should be our motto, under all circumstances let us not loose sighs [sic] of the great meek, the prize of our high calling in Christ Jesus. Jacksonville has been unusually gay this winter, a few weddings in the fall gave rise to many parties &c . Our church has been closed a long time, we have confidently expected a pastor next month, lest are to be disappointed. We are still at housekeeping, have had two rooms added to the house, and been very fortunate in procuring good help. I wish you would come and pay us a visit. Has Mrs. Minot any children? I suppose my friends have almost forgotten me, but I retain a warm remembrance of them; give my love to those who may enquire. Henry is much as usual; not robust, but I think much better than when he left Brockport: he joins me in much love to yourself and husband. We are both quite happy in this western county; although there are many inconveniences, there are many pleasures, and good society. Now my dear friend let me beg of you to write soon, recollect you are my only correspondent in that region (the others having never noticed my recent letter) and I am much interested in all that occurs.
Harriet H. McClure.
[Note on first page]
When does Mr. Chipman come on board?
[Address on Cover]
Mrs. Calvin McQuesten
Brockport, New York
1 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.