[This entry consists of a letter and a note included below.]W-MCP5-6.306 TO ISAAC B. MCQUESTEN from Jessie E. Wilson
Dec 25 1863 Christmas Day
To: Isaac B. McQuesten, Maiden Lane [later changed to Jackson Street], Hamilton, Canada West
From: 8 Pemberton Square, Boston, Massachusetts, [U.S.A.]
My dear Isaac,
I was delighted to receive you kind letter yesterday. I have been waiting to write you till your promised epistle made its appearance. Our time is so taken up with sightseeing, calls &c that I can only write a few lines at a time, so if this is not in my best type, you know the cause.
Boston has indeed exceeded my expectations. I like the people, the place & all connected with it. Everyone is kind & I enjoy myself as much as I could wish. I have been invited out every evening since we came frequently two or three invitations at Mrs. Fuller's & then met Mr. & Mrs. [Loye?] What a dear little girl Fanny is. While there I was shown Dr. Ormiston's carte which Mrs. Fuller said your mamma left on the mantel for her last summer. There must be some mistake, for it is neither the dear Dr. nor any one the least like him, I said I w'd ask Mrs. McQuesten to send one to let them see the difference, as they would not be convinced by all I could say--I think I ought to know Dr. O. when I see him.
Everyone here has been taken up with a grand [Sanitary?] Fair which has not yet closed but they have already made more than $100,000. Is not that a handsome sum? For the same open they had some splendid tableaux & private theatricals which we went to see two evenings, nothing could have been finer than the manner in which they were got up. One Wednesday afternoon, I went out to Roxbury & staid the night with Dr. Cotting who took me to a party where I saw such lovely girls. It is a pity you were not with me, as I fancy you are an admirer of beauty.
I was so grieved to learn from your letter of Capt. Plane's death. How sad for the poor young widow. His death must have been sudden, how did it happen? I had a letter from Mary McQuesten by the same post that brought yours, giving me an account of the wedding1 & a pressing invitation to go up to Plymouth, much as I should like it, I do not see how it can be managed, as I have made engagements for most of the time we shall be here, but you may be sure, if it is possible, I shall go & see her dear face once more.
And so Mr. Ikey you think I require improving do you? Well I suppose we are none of us so perfect that we can not be made better & I am sure Mary could not be with any one without exercising a beneficial influence. Can you say the same? But although Mary is allowed to lecture you I must not forget that you did not give me the same privileges. In regard to Mary's letters which I saw, you need have no fear that I shall say anything to her about them. I never repeat what I see or hear Isaac dear, so I hope your mind will now be at ease. You are coming out in a new light. That of matchmaker, I am sure. Mr. Gibson ought to feel grateful that you take such a deep interest in his correspondence. I fear he could not say the same of your letters, as you must have an immense number of Fair Friends who look out for billet doux of nine pages each--But do you not think that if there were any very important letters to post, he could do it himself.
Now we have discussed our neighbours affairs, I shall return to my own. I have had one day's delightful skating since I came here, but the young people here seem to be tired of my favourite amusement so I shall live in hope of those expectations for the same purpose that I am to have under your wing & protection when I come to Hamilton. Papa's present intention is to leave Boston on Friday evening Jan'y 8th after his lecture--that is to say if there is a suitable train. I believe that the time table was altered the beginning of every month. I shall write you again & let you know exactly when I shall leave. Letters take so long to trace that I shall write some days before the time Mamma says if we reach Hamilton at some unreasonable hour, that it would never do to go wakening you up, but I do wish to come & give Mrs. McQuesten an account of our delightful Boston visit.
This is Papa's lecture night. But Mama and I have such colds & sore throat, that we can hardly speak, so we are going to keep ourselves in the house to-night, so as to be fresh, & quite well for tomorrow. I fancy it is being so near the sea that makes us liable to take cold. When you see Mr. & Mrs. Mackay will you give my most cousinly love. Remember I shall expect you to write me again before I leave & you may give my best love to the Great Sidekick sneezing when you see him, that is to say if he has not on his very unbecoming clerical tie.
I suppose by this time you are enjoying the company of Miss Goddard. Tell me if your fears are realized, I only hope she will teaze [sic] you as much as you desire, if so, I will give my thanks when I come for doing my work for me.--Love to your Father & Mother & as much as you please to yourself.
Your [?] friend
[Written across previous text:] If you knew under what difficulties this letter has been written you would [?] at different times & people talking beside me.
[Written across previous text on another page:] Were my two cartes of your Father & Mother's left in your house? I know I put them in my work basket & they were not there when I opened it. I fancy Mama must have taken them out, & left them [?] If so keep them for me--gentlemen generally dislike crooked letters, but I only follow your example,
Yours, J.E.W. [Jessie Wilson]
Love to the McKeands
[NOTE TO ISAAC MCQUESTEN FROM JESSIE WILSON INCLUDED ON MICROFILM WITH MCP5-6.306]
Toronto, Wed. Morning
My Dear Isaac,
Your mother has come away without her spectacles which she left in the brown case on the Parlour table & would like you to send them at once either by Telegraph or Express which ever you find most convenient. We are going to write you a long letter this afternoon to cheer you in your loneliness.
Love to the Doctor, ever yours,
1 This item "wedding" might provide a clue to the date of this letter. Carrie McQuesten (a cousin) married Mr. Dole in December 1863. The wedding is mentioned by Carrie in her letter to Isaac of January 27, 1864, after returning from an extended honeymoon of at least five weeks W-MCP5-6.277.