W-MCP5-6.336 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from his nephew John Knox McQuesten
Jan 27 1879
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten, Hamilton, Ontario
From: Manchester, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
My dear Uncle,1
Yours of the 10th was received some days ago and would have been answered sooner, but I wished to quote a part of Grandfather's will which I could not find. As to the will of Aunt Margaret, she considers that if she makes her will as you have suggested, I shall be under further obligations to her than I already am by reason of my Grandfather's will.2 In my judgement that will made ample provision for her and for fifty years she has had the benefit of the various provisions or a full equivalent and I am unwilling to enter into any arrangement with any one whereby my expenses may be increased as I am now unable to meet current expenses without trenching on the Estate. I fail to see why my brother or Aunt Margaret should desire to give their property away from this household. You need have no anxiety about Aunt Margaret's care and kind attention, as each member of the family owes it to themselves to be kind and just to every other. I think we have been so and it is now late in the day to act otherwise.
Aunt gets a semi-annual dividend of 2 ½ per cent from her Rail Road stock which is better than any Savings Bank will pay. The stock was quoted at about $90 the last I observed. We are glad to know your health is so good and hope it will continue so. Aunt is very comfortable. She had rather a bad day something like a week ago caused by a bad state of the stomach.
Mother is in her usual health. She has been away from home for 6 weeks during the fall and winter, visiting in Dover, Lawrence, Winchester, Lowell and Nashua. What you say about Isaac family makes us wish to see them.3 The amount of Dyphtheria [sic] about here makes me almost glad that we have no children. That disease is getting to be a scourge. Adam Patten has been unable to help himself to a drink or to do any thing else for eight weeks.
I wonder if Archie considers the leaving of his family on your hands a "coup d'etat." If he had been sure you would support the children why not have 20 instead of 7? I am really sorry for the woman. I am really glad to be able to say that J.Q.A. McQuesten's daughters are making great improvement, and it is owing mainly to their mother.4 She is much more of a woman than one would be led to think in seeing her once or twice. We fear one of the girls is becoming deaf. Mother learned at Nashua that the Hobsons were very well this winter. The rest of the relations are well so far as I know.
Mr. F. Howell is about to "fold his tent like the Arabs, and silently steal away," where it is to be hoped he will keep himself.
Enclosed find that part of Grandfather's will which relates to Aunt M. With love to all.
[Enclosure: Part of David McQuesten's will (1757-1829).]
[Written at top:] "This is the part of Grandfather's will which relates to Aunt Margaret." J.K. McQuesten.
Also I give and bequeath to my daughter Margaret N. McQuesten the sum of $200.00 to be paid unto her at the expiration of one year after my decease. I further give and bequeath to my daughter Margaret two feather bedsteads and bedding for the same, including the one she now has in use, also the bureau which I now have in use. The articles above named to be delivered to her at my decease.
Also I give and bequeath to my daughter Eliza McQuesten the sum of $200.00 to be paid unto her in one year after my decease. I further give and bequeath to my daughter Eliza McQuesten two beds bedsteads and bedding for the same, also a case of high drawers which are now in use. The above named articles to be delivered to her at my decease.
Also I give and bequeath to my two daughters Margaret N. McQuesten and Eliza McQuesten before named for their use only and occupation so long as they or either of them remain unmarried and should one of them marry then to the sole use of the other, Viz., the front room in the South West corner of my dwelling house and the east bed room in the chamber over the kitchen, a privilege in the cellar necessary for their accommodation with the privilege of passing to and from the bed room above mentioned.
Also the privilege of using the oven for baking and other necessary uses. Also the privilege of drawing water from the well at all times, with the privilege of passing through that part of the house necessary in going to and from said well. Also six dining room chairs which are now in use.
Also one good cow to be delivered them at my decease which is to be kept and supported on the farm free from expense to them or either of them so long as they or either of them may occupy the privilege in the house before named.
Also the privilege of cutting and taking eight cords of fine wood yearly from the farm where I now live so long as they or either of them may continue to occupy the privileges above named, agreeably to the provisions above named, and which are hereinafter named, Provided, however, should both of them hereafter marry, then their right to occupy and enjoy the privileges above named to cease. Provided further that should they or either of them be left a widow and in indigent circumstances in that case they or either of them are to have the privilege of returning, occupying and enjoying all the privileges before mentioned in the same way and manner as though they had remained, said premises not to be rented by them nor occupied by any other person.
Also the chaise and harness for the same and also the horse I may leave at my decease to be kept for the use of the family and to be supported from the farm which I now live.
1 John Knox McQuesten is the son of Samuel who is the brother of Dr. Calvin McQuesten and of Margaret and Eliza.
2 Margaret Nahor McQuesten (1796-1893) is Dr. Calvin McQuesten's sister. She remained unmarried and her father David McQuesten's will provided for her and gave her a right to be kept in her own room in the family home for as long as she lived: "her whole life was passed on the homestead in Bedford, and she died in the room where she was born" (L.B. McQuiston p.81). See attached Enclosure for the portion of the will that provides for Aunt Margaret. The portion of the will also mentions Margaret's sister Eliza who did marry but was widowed and died in April 1877, see W2480. This portion of the will also occurs at W-MCP1-3a.006.
3 Isaac Baldwin McQuesten is the son of Dr. Calvin McQuesten. He was married in 1873 to Mary Baker and in 1879 they had four children. They lived near Dr. Calvin McQuesten in Hamilton, Ontario.
4 John Quincy Adams McQuesten is the nephew of Dr. Calvin McQuesten; he is the son of Dr. Calvin McQuesten's brother, David Jr. (L.B. McQuiston p.84).