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[Note at top] In last nights paper is the death of poor Ivy Buchanan in Pittsburg, no particulars known here.

Box 12-097 TO REV. CALVIN MCQUESTEN, B.A. from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Feb 9 1915 [approximate date]
To: Calvin McQuesten Buckingham, Quebec
From: 'Whitehern' Hamilton

Dearest Calvin,

I think I must write you a few times, before the weekend to keep you from feeling homesick. Probably the extreme cold affected your liver and made you feel that way. But I arm quite distressed with myself indeed, for I am getting to have so little interest in new people and to have so little human affection except for my own, that I am ashamed of myself. I am going to send you a parcel of "Punch." By the way your letter came by the last delivery on Saturday. I told you that a new maid had come last Tuesday; well on Saturday morning, she slipped going to ash barrel, fell and sprained her right wrist so badly, she had to go home. Doctor says she will not be well for weeks. I shall have to do the right thing by her, but she was not here long enough for us to discover whether she really could cook well, after she got over the first nervousness. The girls have been doing the cooking now ever since Alice left. But we decided we would not grumble, when we had our health, after reading a letter from Minnie Baker this morning. She had been up in Detroit with Alice Harbin, who had undergone a fearful operation for cancer; then she had to come back to Hattie for Mr. Hicks had a stroke some three months ago.1 Then Oswald2 went off, he writes he has now a lieutenant's commission in Kitchener's army in a Worcestershire Regiment,3 never felt so well in his life and hopes to be a General before he is killed. Minnie had just been out to see Louie, who is very poorly indeed, only a matter of time, with a lump in her4 side. Altogether we have reason to be thankful. It is just a trial that you are so far away, but you might be farther. Yesterday I went to see old Mrs. Hope, a beautiful old lady in her 94th Year, but can no longer see to read or sew, deaf and never goes out, but is very cheerful. Offered me Xmas cake which is always sent by Sir John and Lady Gibson. His second wife was Carrie Hope. All send love.

Your loving mother

M.B. McQuesten

1 Minnie Baker, Alice Harbin (not Alice who was the maid) and Hattie Hicks were sisters to each other and Mary's nieces by her half-brother James Alfred Baker and his first wife Charlotte (Puckridge) Baker. After their father died in 1876, they and their younger siblings were under the care of their stepmother, Maria (Mudge) Baker. When their grandfather and Mary's father, Rev. Thomas Baker, learned of rumours that soiled Maria's reputation, he removed the children from her household. For more details on their family, see W3155.

2 Oswald Hicks, (likely Hattie's son) who was injured in the course of his military service, see W6991.

3 Following the outbreak of hostilities in the Great War the then British Secretary of State for War, Horatio Kitchener, Lord Kitchener of Khartoum, advised forming a volunteer army of a million men. Officially called the "New Army," it was often referred to as Kitchener's Army." They fought at Passchendaele and the Somme and drove the German forces out of Belgium in 1918.

April 29, 2004

4 It is very clear from the handwriting that both "Louie" and the feminine pronoun "her" are both correct. It is therefore likely that "Louie" is a nickname for a woman named Louise or Louisa although it is not entirely clear to whom this may refer.

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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.
Please direct questions and comments to Mary Anderson, Ph.D.

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