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W-MCP2-4.013 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN from his sister, Mary Baldwin McQuesten
Mar 22 1904
To: 41 Isabella St., Toronto, Ontario
From: Whitehern, Hamilton, Ontario

My dear Tom,

I was so pleased to receive your letter; it was so thoughtful of you to think of me, when you must be nearly rushed to death.

Whitehern has been quite giddy lately--a Tea for Miss Craig, Mrs. Bell, Florrie and Marian one night [Robb?], Mr. Best and the patriarch, Bill another night, Miss Brown and the Misses McKeown, a third night. But we have now settled down.

Whom do you suppose I called upon last Thursday? May is delighted, Llew nearly crazy with joy, and Grandma (Mrs. Sutherland) nearly off her head with pride. You ought to call some day and congratulate Aunties Clara and Gladys. To me the youngster was most unprepossessing, however I suppose it will improve. Llew wanted a little girl, he thought she would be so nice in the house, for which opinion he has risen in Mama's estimation.

Florrie Bell was telling me a funny thing about Mr. and Mrs. Spratt at the beginning of their wedding trip. Of course, the little Bankiers were at the station to see them off. One brat said "Are you sure you have your whiskey flask all right?" and the other was most solicitous about the sandwiches. Fancy their giving their mother away like that. Imagine taking sandwiches on a wedding trip, instead of dining in state. I expect stepfather Spratt will have his hands full.

Charlie Bell and Ishie are to be married in the fall. The wicked Florrie is looking forward to scraps between the married couple and Charlie's charming mother-in-law. Poor Mrs. Bell is terribly worried about Herbie he is not a bit well, had had to go to Atlantic City, and seems miserable. Of course the wound isnít healed yet.1 >p? Two or three weeks ago young Mrs. Arnott was bobbing down Beckett's Drive with the Ptolemys when they ran into a curbing and she had her right leg broken in two places, and has been in the Hospital ever since. Mattie Davidson also fell down and hurt her knee two months ago and can not walk without a splint now.

Did you see Dr. Fletcher? He said something about taking you and Hugh to lunch somewhere.

Mamma was quite annoyed at those bothering Sawyers, looking you up. She does not seem to have much use for them, although I fancy Aura would be rather nice.

Annie Fletcher seems to be having a gay time in Chicago, does not seem at all anxious to come home. Mrs. Fletcher wished me to tell you that Bobs has been distinguishing himself lately.

The dog had a number of fights, and only a few days ago, attacked a Collie and Bull Dog and beat them both. The Dr. is quite proud of him, although Mrs. F. does not quite improve [approve].

Have just had a letter from Calvin in which he tells me of a dead two-headed calf that was brought in by an Indian. Both heads were perfect, eyes, ears, mouths and teeth were all complete. He also witnessed an Indian Dance which does not seem to be very exciting. 2

Mamma is progressing famously with her Jew teaching, although at first it was something like that little anecdote which you doubtless remember "R. I tell you, R. R. R." My man is hopeless. I see by the "Presbyterian" that you are to have Robert E. Speer in Toronto next Sunday, also Saturday night. He addresses a public meeting in Central Church Saturday night, and speaks in St. James Square Church Sunday evening. Mamma says to look in Saturday's News for article on Fraternity--page 14.

Hoping you are not wearing yourself to a shadow.

With [?] love,

Your loving sister,

Mary B. McQuesten.

1 For the Bell family, see W4531, W4582, W5199. For other family names mentioned, search by name.

2 Rev. Calvin McQuesten wrote an article on the Blackfoot Indians and he took several photos of their dances.

In June of 1904, Calvin witnessed the three week long ceremony of the Sun Dance and wrote an article about it which was not published until 1911. Some of the members of the Blackfoot tribe involved had religious objections to the camera and Calvin was chased away several times. This article was published with Calvin's photographs in The Canadian Magazine, Vol. XXXVII, No. 5, September 1911, (403-412). Calvin had lived in Alberta for several years between 1903 when he took a missionary position in the developing prairies and February 1911 when he moved back to Ontario and in June took up position as a minister at Staney Brae in Muskoka (see Rev. Calvin's biography on the Family page). Although it is not entirely clear when the article was actually written, it was very likely in 1904. In W-MCP2-3b.053, written in June of that year, Calvin writes to his brother Thomas about the camp of Blackfoot peoples preparing for the Sun Dance and in subsequent letters mentions the photographs he took of the rituals. See also, Box 14-040, Box 14-018, W-MCP2-3b.055, W-MCP2-3b.053, W-MCP2-3b.054, W5261. Calvin's article was published with photographs, including an image of a Blackfoot man charging the camera to drive Calvin away. These images are available on this site, see IMG030 and others in the series. This site also has several photographs of native Canadians that had been taken by Calvin, including IMG030, IMG081, IMG082, IMG141, IMG175, IMG188, IMG184, IMG185, IMG142, IMG143, IMG163.

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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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