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W6028 TO [REV.] CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Feb 10 1908
To: Calvin McQuesten Toronto Ontario
From: 'Whitehern'

My dearest Calvin,

It was very cheering to receive five long letters from my two sons on Saturday morning, when it was so cold that I had not had the courage to get up. Those cold days, I not only had a hot stove for my feet, but a hot water bottle at my back, whilst I ate my breakfast. It is a most merciful thing, that the weather has moderated and is quite pleasant today. I was very pleased indeed that you went to Rolland Hill's funeral. I think it would please them very much and it does not do to cherish feelings of resentment. It is distinctly wrong for a Christian to do so. Hattie Hope was here to-day. Adam did not go to the funeral but had wished her to do so, but she saw no reason why, and had not even written, but concluded she would telephone. There was never any love lost amongst those Sawyer families. I received a note from Mrs. Hills, most grateful for my letter. It seems she sold their house during the summer on her own responsibility as she received a good offer and Mr. Hills was in Muskoka too ill to consult.

I was sorry Tom did not let us know sooner and we would have sent his laundry in time for Sabbath. I am so pleased you have had some snow-shoeing, it's so very dull to have no kind of recreation. May Stevens said her mother thought you looking so remarkably well, and is even proposing to May to go with her snow-shoeing.

So you are taking Tom to hear Bryan, we have heard of him so long it would be interesting to hear what he is like. Since when I wonder has he taken to talking on Missions, as I see he has been doing in Montreal? He must be following Roosevelt's example. The latter was one of the speakers at the Ecumenical Conference in 1900, before he was President. Perhaps it is wrong of me to speak this way as I know nothing of Bryan's private life1.

I received Tom's long letter this morning and have got names of committee for Mr. Chisholm but shall not interview more than three, as it would look too much like wire-pulling. I hope we shall be in fairly good shape by end of week if you come, but have not succeeded yet in getting the dining-room chandelier done, Stevenson always promising to see about it and not doing so, and our drawing-room one is not up either. The cold weather froze us all, so we lost energy, but must try and pick up again.

We have never heard a word from Mrs. Mullin, since she departed, shall wait to see how long she will be in communicating, though Miss Walton tells us, she expected to be back on the 6th which is long past.

Mr. Ketchen continues, I believe, to preach wonderful sermons, so that the managers always dread that he will get a call elsewhere, but I have not yet had the courage to go to church, but hope to do so each Sunday. Well, I have been trying to fill up another sheet but I cannot think of anything more to say. I am so glad you have a comfortable warm room, you need one particularly when studying. I only wish I had the means to do something for some of these poor people, it is so terrible to be cold and starving.

Ruby's health is improving now. I hope you were both pleased with the miniature or could suggest what it needed. With much love to you both from us all.

Your loving mother

M.B. McQuesten

[P.S.] If for any reason you would rather not come this week let me know and I will post the Westminster, but let your clothes come home for washing as you socks shrank & I bought lasts for y[?corner missing].

[Clipping Enclosed, mostly illegible, on the use of automobiles at the North Pole] "Ought to Reach Pole"

1 Likely, William (Jennings)Bryan (1860-1925) lawyer and US politician. He was a great populist stump-orator and editor of The Commoner. He ran for President in 1908 but was defeated by Taft (CBE 141).

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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.
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