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W6636 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Feb 12 1910 Saturday
To: Calvin McQuesten Knox College, Toronto
From: 'Whitehern'

My dear Calvin,

I was very glad to hear you were keeping well and resisting temptation though it is very trying to always have to be careful, but Tom says those debates are not worth your spending any strength on for the few who hear them. Isn't that a fine Editorial in the British Weekly? Such a fine setting out of the whole case, the condition of things in Germany and America too! It seems to me "Protection" has been settled for awhile. Haven't had any papers since, those three came together. Very glad they sent the one with the Editorial1.

Do not know that I have written since Hilda and Edna had the upset, they took Connie Turnbull with them on Tuesday and had had a fine drive, which is such a treat for Connie, as she has seen very little of the city. When on their way home, they came down Queen St. and at Aberdeen Ave. their runner caught on car rail and over they went, they were not hurt but it was so sudden H. let go the lines, the horse trotted off. But the Bard and Charlie2 saw them and assisted them to gather up their things, everything was dumped on the road two soap stones etc. and it was a thawing day and they were covered with mud or slush rather and were sent in to Martha to get cleaned up, whilst the brothers looked after the horse, it was caught on Aberdeen Ave. near James and brought back. Then to Hilda's intense disquiet Charlie was anxious to drive them home, "just as if she couldn't drive or the horse had run away." O it was very mortifying! But these things often occur now-a-days with these tracks the snow is cleared off them and left high on the sides. Emily Colquhoun3 said her mother was turned out at the Federal Life corner and a whole lot of groceries spilled out too. I saw one yesterday, groceries too spilled out at Club corner. The next day I drove them and we went away East, saw St. Giles church and all those new streets. It is certainly the thing for Edna, it makes her sleep and eat finely.

Charles the office boy was trying for a prize offered by Spectator for essay on "The Whale." Tom had given him books to help and to-day we hear he has got it, a gold watch. Tom had threatened Gordon Southam4 with bodily injury if he didn't give it to him. Had a card from Mrs. Bell written on the 1st she was sailing the next Sabbath, had been seeming ill for three weeks and would be so glad to get home; she should reach New York very soon now. I see by paper over 500 children sent in essays. I understand the prize was given by "Tindell and Tobey" clothiers here, and essays were said to be most comical; there was a prize for the country as well as city and one for those under thirteen.

Ruby's letter seems very cheerful. Isn't Mrs. Young wonderfully kind? It seems as if we ought to hear soon of her sitting up5. This is the marmalade season and H. has been busy at it all day. The James' never succeed so we coaxed them to let us make it for them, though Mrs. J. would pay for materials6. I went out this morning, though the snow was up to my knees to get R.'s valentine, which took the shape of a red heart box full of red candies in hearts etc. such as Crawfords gets up very nicely7. The snow seems to be endless, but it is a beautiful winter and we have no beggars, so much work made by the snow. Well, I must close. With love from all and much love from myself.

Your loving mother

M.B. McQuesten

[P.S.] That must have been a funny little place you were at, but every dollar counts.

1 The British Weekly: Journal of Social and Christian Progress for January 20, 1910 displays a front page editorial during the election campaign, entitled "Points for Progressives." It is a direct attack on the Tory "Protectionists" and their tariffs, as opposed to the Liberals (Progressives) and their "Free Trade." The editorial foresees the danger of war with Germany under the Protectionists, and declares: "We may say with joy that Protectionism, if not dead, is at least in a dead faint." On January 27, 1910 the paper reports a victory for the Progressives: "Back again after the most terrific electoral battle fought within living memory." On February 3, the paper notes a "victory by a round majority of 124" and attacks the "pretensions of the House of Lords" who "have striven for" the "absolute destruction of representative government in this country." The Free Trade Liberals under Prime Minister, Mr. Asquith gained the support of industry and unions and won by promising employment and social benefits (Owen 185-88).

2 For Murray family, see W5990.

3 For Emily Colquhoun and family, see W4549.

4 Gordon Hamilton Southam (1886-1916) athlete, publisher, soldier, worked for his father's printing company and became assistant manager of The Hamilton Spectator. He was killed in WWI.

5 For Ruby's illness and treatment for tuberculosis, see W6135, W9058.

6 For the James family, see W4436.

7 Crawfords' Confectionery Store was on King St. W. between James & MacNab Sts. It was owned by William and George Crawford. They sold wedding cakes and fine pastries and had a restaurant in the rear where ladies held afternoon tea parties.

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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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