W-MCP4-6.065a TO ISAAC B. MCQUESTEN from his half-brother Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten
Mar 22 1865
To: Isaac B. McQuesten Upper Canada College, Toronto, Canada West.
From: 105 East 27th St., New York, N.Y.
My dear brother,
You sent enough money to pay for the half dozen I sent last week & now after going down there four times have just got the balance of the dozen. Seeing it is you we will call all square. I have kept one of yours and send one of our group in the place of it. By the way is there no chance of getting one of the group I took from your album.
Will write Father in a few days to send you some money & have you get me the books. You had better get some good writer to put my name in them and cover them with paper when you find a chance to send them as the duty is 25% on books.
I will take a look in some of the stores for some good engraving for you, but it will cost some $10.00, & now that gold is down to $1.50 it will be $7.50.
Young man I want you to enjoy yourself, but I trust you will not place too great confidence in your own powers to resist temptation. 1 For I know I came near going too far, before I left home. Since then have led a very different life.
I often wish I was in Canada for the sake of having a good skate, here there is no ice that has offered a temptation to go on it, let alone buy a pair of skates. It is lucky New Yorkers don't know what good ice is, if so they would never flock to Central Park in such numbers.
So the good Lady has, for once acknowledged she has been sold--Good! 2
Write often & tell me how you are getting along & what good time you are having. For my part it is so long since I have had a real good time I do not know what it is.
I have sat up every other night with a very sick patient so am some tired. But last night was the odd night, so went to the opera & then to Delmonico's & had a good supper, so that this morning I feel as if I had only a half night's sleep in two nights, for I had to get up at six o'clock & dress a wound for one of Dr. Peaslee's patients. The worst of it, is, that I do not get any pay, yet it may give some patients in the end and that is all I want.
Write soon & I will let you know what success I find in regard to the pictures.
Truly, your Brother
C. B. McQuesten.
1 This letter confirms that Isaac was prone to "temptations" even in school. He did become an alcoholic and it is reported that he died of an overdose of sleeping medication and alcohol. See W2511.
2 It is impossible to know to whom this is referring. It may be likely that it refers to some of the problems that Isaac and Calvin experienced with their step-mother Elizabeth Fuller McQuesten. It is too early (1865) to be referring to Mary Baker, to whom Isaac became engaged and later married in 1873.