W0978 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his wife Margarette [Lerned] McQuesten
May 31 1839
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten, Brockport, N.Y.
From: Hopkinton [Likely New Hampshire]
My dear Husband,
We have now arrived safely at home, enjoying hearth and the comforts of a welcome home. Started from Albany Tuesday eve 10 o'clock. Rested through the day, up with C.B. [Calvin Brooks] and watching him a good part of the night previous--a dose of oil releaved [sic] him he breathed loud and rattled and the sweat caused by a stage ride was beneficial as the cars and he grew better till we reached home. The last day he appeared bright and more as usual. Passed Wedn. night at Battleborough. Breakfasted Thurs. morn at Keene I became so exhausted during the forenoon. Had to stop twice. Some brandy gave me strength and a cup of tea at the Hillborough so I reached home safely at five o'clock. Found Mother and family well--did not know my sisters save Cath. [Catherine]--Lissy [??] looks the most natural of the other three. They are very pretty--sister Hannah has red cheeks and very fleshy & short, the others tall rather pale & slim. Mother looks seven years older than when I say her last--After tea sister Mary came down. She also looked much older than I expected. [??] had lost some teeth and I could hardly believe it was her. Calvin was pleased and seemed as much at home as myself. [Mary?] had no care of him since I arrived. Mother thinks him an extraordinary child but no Lerned about him all McQuesten Catherine says he is his Father's own child. He was up washed and dressed and eat [sic] his breakfast before his Mother. About ten I took my bed for a rest & nap--Mother put him asleep--and he likes her much--he looks pale & thin--for he had diarrea [sic] all the while on the boat. Then his cold &c. Have given him nothing to take since I left Albany--he has not eat [sic] anything of consequence but drank his milk. To day he eat esparagus [sic] and appears fond of rye & indian bread his appetite is coming again--and mother says you must come after him or she shall keep him as her son. She is very anxious to see you--
A call from Mr. Chase our dear minister has interrupted me, he has been here all the P.M. social and very agreeable hopes to see you in the Fall--Calvin is full of his pranks and very happy indeed. It is near tea time. Mary is passing the afternoon here.
I took cold Wedn. night getting up at 3 o'c. to take the cars there was change in the weather quite cold--and I hack considerable have a plaster on my lungs. Feel considerable vented but do not value the fatigue if our lives and health do no suffer. Calvin is broken out with a thick rash and he appears well with the exception of a cold does not cough--They all want to see you Mother says she should have been to B. [Brockport] before now if her health had been sufficient-- Cath. is very frank and has said many things, they talk plainly about E. [Elizabeth] and may things are not as they should with him [sic] he returned by way of New York, Boston, borrowed money &c. I cannot think there is any change in him for the better by what they say: They tell the [most out?] but C. says Dustin does not like you at all, and is determined to have a settlement1 with you this year he has thought of going to B. [Brockport]. Selden has written to him of Edwards worth &c. Praised him much, in answer to one D. wrote. Cath. says he though of prosecuting you but does not now intend to--Mother wants to settle also. I have said nothing of your intentions, C. said Dustin had papers to show you would give Edward his instructions & tuition--that is true for I recollect the writing. Then of course they expect something--all mother has spoken of is the profits of the shop--they have not much opinion of E. tho' say he does better now--he is coming back on the 14th of this month from W. I have a poor opinion of Dustin and he is no friend I find, by what Catherine says.
My luggage returned in Tuesday cars to my satisfaction [sic]. Miss Catherine found hers also--I am very contented to hope my dear husband is enjoying health and all the happiness he can without his own dear family. I am very anxious to hear where you are and how things are arranged at B. We had a very pleasant time while Mrs. [?] was in the boat, but please say to her tho' they laid nothing to my charge, when I returned I found her shoes in my Carpet Bag. They were new & she had better get another pair at Joslin's and perhaps I can dispose of those I put them in through mistake or some one else did. M. Dustin wishes you to come on if possible and arrange matters to the satisfaction of all parties. I have not seen him yet. Mrs. Little has called and only two others besides those I have mentioned. They do not mean to get me sick the first day. I feel very much at home and feel very contented. Calvin is in a sweet sleep and moisture covers him Mother is steeping elder flowers, tho' his cold is loose and he is playful as ever this P.M. is called a pretty boy. M. [Mary] Flanders is wanting to take this at the office. Our village looks very pretty, am going to dine with Mary tomorrow on Halibut & pumpkin pie Mary would like your company--Do write dear husband on the reception of this and believe me your affectionate wife
[P.S.] Calvin was all scream after we got over the mountains, he saw a man in the waggon that he thought was you, he said Pa, pa, pa--He looks anxious [sic] at every man but looks disappointed.
A good nights sent--pleasant dreams and the Presence of our heavenly Father with you my dearest best of friends--Adieu
--Friday eve 9 o'cl.
1 In 1835, Dr. Calvin McQuesten had agreed to supervise the education of Edward Lerned (the half-brother of his wife Margarette) and had made financial arrangements with Edward's legal guardian, Mr. Dustin. By the summer of 1838, however, Mr. Dustin was threatening legal action against Dr. McQuesten for money that he claimed was owed to Edward, which all parties hoped to settle outside of court. For details and links, see W-MCP4-6.233.
2 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.