W-MCP6-1.451 TO THOMAS B. MCQUESTEN from his father's cousin John Knox McQuesten
Nov 27 1914
To: [Whitehern] [Hamilton]
Yours of the 26th came yesterday and I was glad to hear from you. Glad you were pleased with the [??]. It has been [??] in our family towards fifty years. It will be sent to you for a while at any rate.
It is very true that the people of this country are almost to a man anxious for the successes of the Allies and I am told some of the Germans are hoping to see the end of the Monarchy in Germany. Some Belgian refugees have reached Manchester where something like a thousand of their countrymen are living and the people are kind to them furnishing them work and other aid.
We have been back in the house since before the end of September and the house is in many respects in better conditions than before the fire. The barn is nearly all new, but is not as good as was the one that was burned.1
The fire caused a lot of hard work in addition to regular business and work is less attractive [to] me as the years slip away. [Text crossed out] I went to Windham's Thanksgiving day where Mrs. Hutchinso, my sister in law, has been staying for a month. On reaching home I found my housekeeper suffering from an acute attack of plurisy [sic]. She has nearly recovered from it but some day I fear she will suddenly step out. She is subject [to] attacks of acute indigestion which are even more dangerous than plurisy.
It is not to be wondered at that law business should be down at the heel for no one should go to law without he has "money to burn" and when business is poor where does the money come from. We are not crowing over prosperity here. The Amoskeag Co. with its 16000 employees furnishes work only four and a half days in the week but the McElwaine Co. has a $2,000,000 order for shoes for the French army and that keeps the shops running over time.
Soon after our fire your mother informed me in a letter of condolence that his reverence had thrown up the sponge so to speak on account of his health. That he may be able to preach to sinners again is the hope of the subscriber.2
My brother in law Rev. Charles Cutler died in Tallmadge Ohio the 30th of October. He was born in Lebanon in 1827. There are but two of the family living, Mrs. Low now past 80 years of age; and Mrs. Hutchinson. A notice of Charles' death may have been in one of the papers I sent you.
My cousin Ed French is quite ill and there is no prospect of his recovery. His troubles are complicated--such as many old men are liable to and his inability to do any work is a great trial to him as he has been an uncommonly active man.
I saw some time ago an article on Editorial Writers in which Sir. W.R. Nicoll was spoken of as one of the best newspaper writers in the world and it seems to me that his productions are as well done as was the Autobiography of Ben Franklin which is claimed to be a stunt in every way above and beyond criticism. Is this extravagant?
Give my love to all the members of the family.
1 See W4814 for a newspaper article about the fire in 1903. It appears that the rebuilding took several years.
2 The reference is likely to Rev. Dr. Donald Fletcher who retired from the MacNab St. Presbyterian Church in Hamilton in 1905.