W-MCP3-5.073 TO THOMAS BAKER MCQUESTEN from his mother, Mary Baker McQuesten
Aug 8 1906
To: Thomas Baker McQuesten 22 Grosvenor St. Toronto, Ontario
From: Bayview Farm, Dorset P. O. Ontario
My dearest boy,
[I] Received your letter yesterday and also the Globe. We took a delightful row in the evening, it is the most beautiful time just after tea before the Sun goes down and the scene is lovely beyond description; we got off at a little island and inspected it, there are such pretty islands. Later was a fine display of Northern Lights. It ended with a complete circle across the heavens like a midnight rainbow, and then the moon came up like the rising sun for it was just at the point where the sun rises.
The two Misses Shaw (Dr. Shaw's sisters) came yesterday. Had been at Fox Point, but food was so bad. We are certainly most fortunate in the table here.
On Sabbath, Mr. Sparks rowed us all to Church; but it was extremely warm and in the evening had a great thunderstorm with torrents of rain. Had another preacher, from Montreal this time, I am feeling much discouraged as to the preachers, if they were old men, I might excuse them, but to be so lifeless and so lacking in earnestness when young is deplorable. Sad days indeed, as you would say.
I really have not a particle of news. Have not heard from Cal for some little time. Hilda wrote just before leaving Eglinton. Mary is having a thoroughly pleasant time, I think, with excellent food.
The Hamilton papers are of course full of the Beach trouble. I must say it does seem a very great shame that the Beach could not have been saved for the City. Those horrible R.R. Co's. The paper mentioned a Mr. Gillis representing Roy etc. Who is he?
You would see perhaps that Central Church is moving to cor. of Caroline and Hannah. In your letter about the properties, you said all south of MacNab. I fancy you meant South of Hunter between James and MacNab. Now that the church is gone, it is hard to say what will be our fate, but time will tell & in the meantime we will trust to God.
I feel I should never be dissatisfied, again when I look at Edna. Her recovery is a never-to-be-forgotten mercy, and we will try to wait quietly for everything else.1
We have the High School teacher and his wife from Hagersville and old Mr. & Mrs. Hamilton with four children from Galt, all Presbyterians, quite nice people. The two men and Jack Sparks went off fishing yesterday and caught some Grayling. There is a little lake "Clear Lake" some distance off which is the only place this fish can be caught. I always remember the Grayling in Tennyson's book. This is a very wild fish. The fishing laws are quite strict, only four fish are allowed each person.
Those Pittsburghers use plenty of lager, one consignment alone consisted of 150 kegs or barrels.
You never complain but I am sure you must have suffered with the heat. May God bless and keep you , dearie, & with fondest love,
Your loving Mother,
M. B. McQuesten
P.S. Keep the "Presbyterians" for H. will want to see story [?] [?] [?].
THE COMING CRASH IN RUSSIA.
[Enclosure, Newspaper Clipping, No date]
On the verge of Bankruptcy
Professor Rudolph Martin, German Councillor of State, had the firm conviction that Russia is hopelessly bankrupt, and that nothing can stave off disaster. After showing Russia's enormous indebtedness and the smallness of her money reserve in comparison to the bank notes in circulation, he admits that the very fact of her bankruptcy is part of Russia's strength, for it is to the advantage of French and German investors to go on bolstering her up in an endeavour to save the money that they have already poured into her coffers. But he blames France and Germany for ever having been deceived by the story of the unparalleled natural wealth of Russia.
The English, he says, have never believed in these unmeasured riches, nor have they ever looked upon the boundless power of the autocrat as a magic wand that could stamp riches out of the ground.
Those who might be expected to know where these riches are to be found know nothing. The soil in central Russia is certainly very fertile, but Russian peasants are absolutely unable to cultivate it properly.
The cotton and iron industries are good, but not in an extraordinarily flourishing state; and are handicapped by heavy freight charges. Russia's best possessions are the oil wells at Baku, but these have been greatly reduced in value by the continual rioting there.
It is a very great mistake to believe that the revolution is over. There are many points of resemblance between Necker, the pre-revolutionary Minister of Finance in France, in 1777, and Count Witte, the pre-revolutionary Minister of Finance in Russia. Just as Necker was unable to master the great revolution in France, Witte has been unable to overcome the opposition in Russia.
I do not write, he concludes, merely to warn German investors against the coming crash in Russia, but I do hope that when the bankruptcy of Russia comes it will find German capital but little engaged. Then Germany's advantage from the alliance between France and Russia will be much greater than her loss in money.
Not St. Petersburg, as the Slavs have hoped for twenty years, but Berlin, will become more and more the metropolis of Europe. The stronger Germany becomes on the continent of Europe the more not only Japan, but also Great Britain, will seek her friendship.2
1 Edna had suffered a mental breakdown. She continued to suffer these breakdowns and was finally hospitalized and died in an institution in 1935. See W2511, W5382, W5426, W5487, W5430 & others.
2 The inclusion of this article in a family letter demonstrates the family's interest in world politics and economy.