Care of Mr. J. Fisher1W0989 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his wife Margarette [Lerned] McQuesten and others
Aug 7 1839 2
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten, Hamilton, Upper Canada
From: Concord, [New Hampshire]
My dear husband:
I received your lst letter mailed from Rochester [?] Tuesday eve. I put a letter immediately in the office & thought it was gone till today the Postmaster sent me word it could not go without paying to the line, so you see how my letters are treated. I wrote you a long letter & put it in the mail the night I received your last but dated West [Gaines?] thought best to take it out again & wait till you returned to B. [Brockport] expecting it would be about a week & then to hear you had not received it &c. was disappointed--hope you left directions about yr letters at B. office and that e'er [sic] this you have received it. You only mentioned me to send to Canada "if I wrote immediately"--so my intention was good--tho' you may have been the "sufferer"--I am at a stand when to direct this as it is now Thursday but hope for the best--and shall send to Canada pay postage, I shall write once more before you come as I shall want you to bring me some things--Hope my dear you will come as it is hard for me to bear great disappointments, and I have depended much on seeing you here. Sister Margarette3 came here last week in the stage and made me a very pleasant visit of a few days & expected me to return with her but I found it their most busy season and they would quite as soon leave me go in Sept so I shall pass Aug. after this week at Hopkinton & Sept. at Bed. [Bedford] Margarette and Brother Sam'l would come for me at H. I told her not to trouble themselves about it--I could go in the stage and it will depend on his business. Margarette said we must go & see Eliza and that they would not be denied your coming. She thought 7 years abroad ought to bring you back-- They have a horse & chaise at command and I expect to enjoy my self there if we are all well. Now my dear will you not come and have a week or two there with me even all the month? I trust matters will be so arranged you will come. Mrs. Fisher is still in Concord. A little unwell at present. We see [coach?] there every day. She received a letter from her husband last week she could not sleep till she had brought it to me-- talk of affection-- and a great desire for me to return the middle of Aug. She thinks of starting first of Sept. Esther Bentley is going on with her. She does not care about my company unless I have a husband or some gentleman to [?] about Calvin--thinks he may be sick again. Mrs. Minot called on me last week on her way to the Beach. I was right glad to rec. [receive] her. She is expecting Mr. M. to pass the month of Sept. here-- [the?] you coming together, I told Uncle Woods you was coming, have seen them again and he says "Well he thinks you are worth coming for"-- makes me promise again to pass a [chat?] with him-- Esqr. Breck is about moving to Rochester. I shall be sorry to move farther from them. Should you make up yr. mind to go to C. [Concord]-- Presume I shall be a little disappointed at first at the news if it should be in the affirmation. But I wish to regard your interest--Do not change unless you are satisfied 'twill be for the best--that I leave to yr. better judgement. Is the new Dr. still at B. & does he "take well." Who will take your place? Where is [Mr.Chen or McClure?]? I have thought much of my friends at B. The society of Ladies seem [sic] very dear to me. Fearing you may have not received my last long letter will write again about my Hop. visit. Mr. McAllaster went to H. with his wife & yours--took mother & E. & myself after dinner & went to Dustins. Sent E. ahead to have him at home. He read that [?] thought as it was written--he or Ed. would have to go to B. to settle it--he thought they could not afford such unnecessary expense. Said if you would bring on a statement of the profits-- loss & gain &c. or send it out to me-- or bring on your books unless you needed a copy of the same--Then he would settle with you in that way & sign the papers. He could not sign until he knew something of the business what the profits were &c.
Mother said she did not want any thing exorbitant only wanted what was right--I think if you would come it would in the end better the matter, for Mother says I should believe what Dr. McQ. says. If I could only see him I should be satisfied. And Mr. Dustin said if he could settle with you alone, 'twas all he wanted, he had rather settle [so than?] an other way. You requested me to say to Mother there were no profits & you could not get all the Capital [sic] in Budlong would lose &c. As you have now collected suppose they would like to know what the profits are &c. Mother brought that up, when you wrote the [assignment?]. She says you promised to come and I think if you do not E. will make them believe you are afraid to-- that you have wronged him &c. Mother did make this remark "she never thought you would come on." They have no confidence in E. to appearance-- Mother speaks of him, as we do "easily [led?] away--influenced by any one" &c &c. It appears to me, it will be settled easiest way for you to come on &c. Mother says she has never taken Ed.'s part in this affair is friendly to you &c. But I think dear husband after this is settled we can look out for the future. I think Mr. Dustin will do what is right, for he must keep in with his heirs yet I guess he sees throught them-- I pity Mother, she is tried--and wearing all out pale & thin-- Ed. is a weight to her heart, yet she has a mothers feelings, hopes for the best & catches at every well spoken word of him. He appears well-- yet I fear the seeds of vice are too firmly rooted and he is still an alien of the common wealth of Israel." They have to try a dozen times to get money from any quarter. Every thing looks pretty and neat at home. The children are now young ladies. All want to see you. I told Mr. D. if you sent a statement on before you come I would show it him [sic]-- he would then decide-- I have done what I could but as I have not the gift of talking business hope you will come on and do it yourself. Have heard nothing more about "letter"-- Mother has not come to C. or any of her family, but Ed. came to call-- Mrs. Flanders came here yesterday noon and I shall return with her to Hop. Satur. You may direct your next to Hop. Hope you will write me immediately all your prospects. May you be guided in infinite wisdom. I am now calculating to return the first of Oct. or last of Sept. if you think best-- Shall stay to Bed. till you come on after this month, and I could stay longer if you thought best and would let me know in season to arrange matters-- yet I do want to see my dear husband-- and have him see his darling boy-- "the brightest boy in all the world" Mother wishes you to remember the Dividend of the [Stocker Pasture?] which has been [even?] for three years-1.80[cts?] she has a bond--in which the heirs promised to her while she lived so much if she would sell it-- I have spent a greater part of my money kept a [memoran.?]-- and every thing I have got seemed necessary-- little items I find run up to much during the season-- Time will not seem quite so lonesome to you travelling round. You always grow fat in Canada--Let me know when I may see you if I may be thus happy in the idea. The Rail cars will soon be done to Syracuse. I can accommodate myself to your wishes about the time I return-- The way would be with my dear Calvin if agreeable to him. Love to Mr. & Mrs. Fisher & Lucy if she is there.
From your affectionate wife
I beg my dear of you send me another such a big [page torn] letter you will have more in it--else diminish the shape to ordinary size that I may not be [page torn] Is Mrs. Budlong living! Wrote a few lines to Mrs. Brewster by Mr. Stanley tho' 'twas uncertain [whether] he went through in Brock. [Brockport]. I want to see them all-- Do you want to see me? I will not ask! I know full well-- thy love--thy tenderness. Adieu.
[One sentence illegible.]-- Today [?] but [little Calvin?] and has been very well- good appetite loves to beg climb and dance which I allow for health.
[The following are post-scripts added by, likely by Louisa (Lerned) McAllaster and Mary (Lerned) Flanders:]
Well Doctor there is a space unoccupied on this paper & I will notwithstanding the noise which Mrs. Flanders' young son, your wild one & my noisy one are making with [zeal?] a few [lines?] I have but little to say except come on for Margarett [sic], let Mother and brother know you are not afraid to come as they have repeatedly said you would not-- Do come on & let them know you are not afraid-Ed. pretended he was ready & willing to sign the bond but when we got to H. he had a different part to act from what he pretended he should when here at Concord-- I hope you will come & pafs [sic] a Sabbath with us perhaps you can start husband off, he is not yet settled to his mind [leave?] at any time-- Let me tell you we shall mifs [sic] Calvin much he is a smart fellow eats with knife sits at table, is a laughing stock for us all he is full of cunning feats, firing at us-- driving us from home, telling us to "back" & "when" then "go long" go out doors, upstairs"4 then will call Mommy [Jane?] [?] & husband he calls for "all the time, will scream for joy when he comes in the house runs to his lap--ask to "boost" & a thousand other little actions pleasing to parents-- but he is a rogue he will go up the [Mary?] & down again, run out if the gate is ajar & clear like a colt-- he loves his aunt Louisa & she does truly love him he wants me to say prayers put him to bed, & then expects a real play-- his mother knows not how to play agreed to [?] & the way to the [sugar pickin?] will catch my finger saying my [?]--Louisa
Dear Brother C. I need say but a very few words as the paper is so well filled. We enjoy Sister M's visit much and want her to stay as long as you can spare her at least till the weather becomes cold or till another spring & you can do without her-- The Brockport boy exceeds our anticipations by far. Is as cunning as ever his father was-- We all do want to see you very much indeed-- I pity Mother very much. She has trouble she does not tell every one-- I think she is aware that all is not right with respect to Edward--and would feel better satisfied to see you personally-- Hope you will not come too soon- M., will return with me Saturday morn to spend 3 or 4 weeks--Yours &c--Mary Elisa [Flanders]
[Written sideways below Mary's script:]
It is very cloudy and rather cool. I attended a large party here in Concord today all the Physicians was [sic] in the place--one from New Orleans & one from Philadelphia-- Would my dear husband was one of the numbers-- Friend [Barton?] was present had good conversation with him-- Let me know all the news in yr. [your] next & please write very soon to your dear wife. Hope another month will bring you here-- I suppose Ed. has spent his money--Adieu
1 John Knox Fisher was Calvin's first cousin and business partner in the Hamilton iron foundry.
2 The envelope is postmarked from Queenston, August 14, 1839. The date on the letter is difficult to read. The Calendar lists the date as August 7, 1839.
3 Possibly Dr. Calvin's sister Margaret Nahor McQuesten, who remained unmarried and lived at the McQuesten homestead at Bedford, NH. She died in 1893, at the age of 97 (Bean).
4 Louisa does not use quotation marks in a consistent manner and it is not always clear what was intended to be part of the quote.
5 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.