[This letter was sent c/o Dr. Calvin McQuesten.]W-MCP5-6.325 TO ESTIMATE RUTH ESTHER [BALDWIN] MCQUESTEN from Margaret Mann
Jun 17 1846
To: Estimate Ruth Esther (Baldwin) McQuesten, Hamilton, Canada West
From: South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts
My dear Mrs. McQuistan,1
It may surprise you that after this distant period, I should attempt to address you, yet I remember when we parted, nearly four years since, it was with a mutual understanding that we should not lose sight of each other entirely, but occasionally at least commune by writing. As each was waiting for the other, I suppose, the correspondence was never commenced. I should rejoice much now to see you, and talk over the scenes of that year, and of intervening scenes of mutual interest.
It has been my good fortune occasionally to have met with nearly all the members of our class so many of them have been at Hadley, and my particular object now in writing you, is in behalf of some of its members, to solicit a visit from you during the Anniversary week of the present year, viz., the first week of August.
Martha Chapin closes her connection with the seminary the present term, to be a missionary to India, in company with a brother of Miss Harper, and it is desired so far as practicable, to obtain a meeting of that class before she leaves.
From those who will be unable to be present we propose soliciting a letter to be read at the meeting. We very much hope you will be able to be present. The journey is a long one, but I suppose in making a home beneath the smiles of another power, you did not mean to abandon forever the free and pure atmosphere of your native soil, and that many other inducements present themselves to allure you hither, besides the seminary.
I could tell you many a tale about our old class-mates, more than half of whom have like yourself left their first--(love, I hope it was which led them into the path of the teacher) for a second, which I trust at least will prove more enduring--but I forbear, in the hope of telling them to you, face to face.
There is living at your place, a good Scotch family, whom I became acquainted with at the West, during a sojourn I made there in the capacity of teacher. Dr. Ferrier was my minister. Do seek their acquaintance, if you do not know them already. I once knew you both though under such a different circumstances, and in places so distant, so well, it would be pleasant for me to reflect that you had met. I wrote to them sometime since, but did not mention you, not thinking at the time that you were there.
Now say, dear Mrs. M. if you are not able to come, do at least write a good long letter, telling us all about yourself--and after the anniversary, I will write you again. School closes on the sixth of August. Present if you please the regards of an old class mate, to your husband on your own account.
1 Note the variation in the spelling of McQuesten. Leona Bean McQuiston has written a genealogy named The McQuiston McCuiston and McQuesten Families 1620-1937. Louisville, Kentucky: The Standard Press, 1937.