W1013 TO MARGARETTE B. LERNED MCQUESTEN from her sister Mary Lerned Flanders.
Mar 20 1840 Friday
To: Margarette B. Lerned McQuesten Hamilton Ontario
From: Mary Lerned Flanders Hopkinton New Hampshire
Hopkinton. March 20th 1840
Friday P.M. 1/2 past 3.
My Ever dear sister M,
Will not accuse me of neglect and indifference, as the reason of my not writing, for you may rest afsured [sic] for to the contrary of that. I was destitute of help (only occasionally, hard days work done) from the first of Oct. Till the 5th of February, when the good Dolly came back to stay till the 5th of Aug. 6 months- will not promise any longer. Would have returned sooner had it not been for delay of letters in the Office. You may well imagine my time was wholly employed, and as the mind truly sympathises with the body, it was daily in a state of constant fatigue, which rendered it wholly unfit for writing. I thought of commencing a letter in Dec. but Cath. said "wait a little longer for I am writing this week." And again and again, Sister L and Hugh were about writing- now, sister Mary is writing in the clock room, at the end window, the monthly rose a beautiful verdure on the same table (which often reminds me of the rose the little dear Calvin picked off) Dolly sits by my side sewing, and Charley asleep in the cradle, no one else in the house, children at school, it is very still and my thoughts are with you. Not a day has pafsed [sic], but I have had many an hours mental conversation with my dear Sis, and am grieved that summer's past and gone, and you so far away: your visit was almost an aggravation to me, placed as I was, not able either to go out much, or receive company- and then prevented by C's sicknefs [sic] at last, then to crown all the manner of your leaving. Oh Margarette I could hardly bear it, I knew not what to do with myself for more than a week. Was as grieved as L. when you came from Concord. Your chamber looked like a tomb. I did not dream, but that I should have another visit from you, then I felt so condemned that I did not exert myself more for your happinefs[sic] regretted for the thousand little things, that I did, and for those which I left undone for both of your comfort- Also for my ungodly example in my family- want of patience, forbearance, and all the Christian graces of which I am so destitute. Little did I think, when wishing you "gone to Bedford" it was to be the last visit that year. Oh I do hope you will come again, for seeing you face to face serves but to strengthen my affection for you- I could not speak or think of you for weeks without shedding tears, and almost wished you had not come. On hearing of you determination to leave, run into Mothers for bonnet &c- and I afsure [sic] you, they did not feel that grief which I did, but appeared astonished, disappointed, and quite enraged at the manner of your leaving, especially Mother & Cath- but Mother said "She knew it would be so," and only yesterday, Mother said, she rather thought the Doct. would come here this summer, or ought to at least if he does. Do you come too, How happy I should be to see you.
I suppose L. wrote the particulars of her visit to Hopkinton, a fortnight since. They were about settling with Dustin. We sold our part of the Lane to Mother- Edward has taken the fence down and thrown it in common with their yard. We think of having our barn moved to the east side of the Shed. You have probably received the "Panoply" by this time, L said she should send you one. It seems your businefs [sic] is made rather publick [sic]. I asked Mother and E. what it meant & they both appeared rather ignorant, said it was Dustins work. I really wish it was settled, it deprived you of much happinefs [sic] while here Edward is going West this spring, a certain Bristol formerly from Brockport has written him to go on there [???]- I believe that is his intention.1 You know they are still, with regard to my knowing all their affairs, but I mistrust he is going to Canada too. Cath is now at Woburn with their connections. She spent the day with me before she went, very pleasantly and an evening- She did not go into the Church but once after her sicknefs [sic] that was on bitter cold New Years eve with Woburn friends. I think it very strange, Minister Chase spoke to me of it. She has kept very much at home all winter till she went away, it is uncertain when she will return. She went the 4th of Feb., Mother and the other girls are well, and send much love, Louisa with Husband and two Children spent Christmas with us. Our church was crowded- The society in Concord united, with ours as their Church was not completed. It was consecrated New Years day. Our Church was very handsomely decorated- and we had good singing. I thought very much of you. How did you spend Christmas? I have not been to Concord since L. was sick last October, then staid [sic] a week. Think of going soon, Margaret went down Town- meeting day, with L. Jane (after she had spent a few days with us) to stay 6 weeks and perhaps longer. Timothy still goes to Mr. B's school, You may imagine him, with a new suit of Lavender grey on now, instead of the old patched ones he wore last summer- Mary and M. Jane go to George Currier. Little Charley instead of a white slip, his rolling all over the floor with a red salisbury flannel and long sleeves light blue tires. 2 under teeth and weighs 20 lbs today- Is very smart, healthy and grows handsome. I was extremely sorry I did not have him Christened while you were here, it was my intention, but when I did, (some time in Oct.) I felt very melancholy, my thoughts were with you that day, as you had requested his baptism while you was here. He cried like a trooper- I had him named Charles Henry. His blanket daily reminds one of your industry as well as a great many other things- Capt. Daniel is very busy in the shop- if you would just call now, I would supply you with boxes to put in your pantry. There are 1000, ready for market now; I meant to have given you a set before you went back. You tell of your calf & c. I will also. We had a fat calf killed last week. A new cow, which gives abundance of milk. 12 Hens- have plenty of Eggs- killed 4 Hogs- can supply you with some and Sausages-preserved Blackberries &c. I have really felt mortified when thinking how much you lotted on milk when you was here and how little you had, but as it happened you know the cow did not give but about 1qt- It was not good time for feed then. But I had a heart to do all for you.
Does Calvin drink as much as ever- Do write all about him, how you manage with him- especially his Father, He is a dear boy- his little cousin would be very happy to play with him, I called on his little after you last did your mefsage [sic] &c. She was sorry she did not see more of you, meant to have had you there more- So did Ellen, and many others, who were enquiring when you would return. Mrs. Harvey, M.B. Chase &c- I have not sent for any company as yet- after you went away I had no inclination to fret I meant you should have some of the cake, I intend to this Spring, but shall not relish it as I should if you was here. Mary has told me your visit was so broken and interrupted while here, they hardly know when you was here. I think so. But may we not expect you to come and spend another summer? I hope so. Do give some encouragement that you will. As spring and [??] nigh. I am reminded of your expected arrival last May. I wish much it was this year. Dont [sic] never stay away so long again from your friends- Wish the way was open for me to live near you- The time may come when L and I shall see Canada. Have not heard from Bedford since you went away, but have written a long letter to Margarett [sic] requesting a visit from her, and an answer to mine. I know of no particular alteration in Cath., only she treats us very kindly made a good deal of my babe. She never saw him till the day he was 3 months old, then sent for us to spend the day with her before she left her chamber. E. has got a new suit of clothes from top to toe with trimmings accordingly- at least not lefs [sic] than 50$. He is making preparations to start. I think he is very pretty, and accomplished. Showed me all his cards from the Medical Profefsors [sic] in Hanover and Woodstock. Oh I do hope he will prove to be a likely man- a blefsing [sic] to his Mother who idolizes him. He is now going far from home, among strangers and needs the grace of God to enable him to resist all evil, and cleave to that which is good. I pray that he may be guided in wisdom, I think C. is calculating to go to Canada sometime, I dont [sic] know when. I think too they have very hard thoughts of the Doct., say "he does not treat them well, that he promised to come and settle with Edward, and are not afraid to speak of it anytime"- Mother said the thought that was his motive in moving to Canada- to get out of the reach of settlement &c. I write this thinking you would like to know something of their minds, not to injure you.
I dont [sic] really understand about the postage. The post mark on your letter was written with blue "Hamilton" Paid 25. The paid was crofsed [sic] out and marked at Lewiston with red ink I could not read that mark. Shall sent this unpaid for, to venture did you pay for my letters. We did too- 25 cts, and dont [sic] value it neither. Our sewing silk come to 2oz 25 dollars all colored black- Martha and I did it last fall saved 30 skins for myself. Sold the next for 5 cts per skeins- So much for our busy worms last summer. Charlotte Joynes has been in great distrefs [sic] of mind- I believe now she indulges a secret hope. How is the state of religion with you. It is very cold and well with us- now and then one is concerned for their souls eternal welfare. I think Dolly is very thoughtful and at times in distrefs [sic] after returning from meeting in tears sends her best love, says she should like to go to Canada to live with you- Blefsed [sic] thought! Dear sister that we shall win the prize, if we run the race set before us with Christian zeal. Happy am I in the idea that we shall meet again, and if we are really chosen of God, he will not suffer us to fall entirely from Grace, lest we shall be daily growing in the knowledge and love of our Lord Jesus Christ- May this be the case with us. The delightful hours I spend in communion with my God- far exceed all worldly pleasures. Oh! may I be the happy instrument of bringing my Husband and children to the foot of the Crofs [sic]. There may their sins be washed away in the blood of the Lamb of God- And may we all be members among the redeemed.
For want of paper I cannot write anymore.
[Address on Cover]
Hopkinton, N.H. 183/4
Mrs Margarette B. McQuesten
Hamilton, Upper Canada
By way of Lewiston
1 For more on Edward Lerned, Margarette Lerned's half brother, see W-MCP4-6.233 and W0824.
2 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.