[note on envelope:] The Postmaster will please forward this to Dr. McQ. if he has left SandborntonW0102 TO DR. CALVIN MCQUESTEN from "The Dr."
Dec 10 1831
To: Dr. Calvin McQuesten Sandbornton, New Hampshire
From: Bucksport, Maine
Altho' a long time has elapsed since we have seen each other--be assured my friend--you have not been forgotten by your old friend--time after time have I resolved to write you but business of various kinds has prevented me carrying it into effect--you must pardon me & exercise patience if this scrawl should prove to be uninteresting & a tax upon your time however--I will try to make it otherwise if possible--undoubtedly you knew long since, that I have ben spending the last year in this place.
This town is very handsomely situated on the Penobscot river 18 miles below Bangor--a large amount in navigation is transacted here & vessels constantly passing & re-passing my office to Bangor, it contains 31,000 inhabitants, two old physicians, Dr. Moulton is 67 and will not be able to retain his practice a great many years & the other over 50 & not the best of habits--We have uncommonly fine society especially the fair side of the house--It has always been remarkably healthy until within a few--we have within a month past had an epidemic prevailing in this place--it is the scarlitina linginosa fatal with children quite young. It is going through the town--a new disease in this country.
Since I have been here I have a little more than paid all expenses & I consider this stand in a few years will be an excellent opening--but I am too impatient to wait--when I came down last fall & I expected only to spend the winter & in the spring to have gone into the Druggist business in one of the cities--but was disappointed--the stand was not a good one--I always intended to go into that line of business. I do not like the Eastern country--is too new & but little little money--you must take oats, corn, hay, wood board, etc. I have been quite sharp with them & I have got my debts about paid by taking such things. But I do not intend to stay any longer here after I find a place--if I continue with this practice I want as much as I can do--If you can be of any service in obtaining me a good place I should feel under much obligations--I am making inquires in all directions--what I should much prefer would be to go into company with some old physician who has a large practice & to open a druggist shop in the place--or if I could find a good opening I would take an apothecary shop alone--or go into partnership with some one already in business. The roads in this Eastern country is bad in the new & back settlements--& I do not like the practice & never did tho' I admire the study--If you can learn about any place--will you be so kind as to let me know it soon--I understand that you have a good place & I am glad to hear it--how long have you been & how much have you done, &c. &c. most of our Med. Students are doing well--What kind of an opening do you think Concord or Haverhill presents?
The Med. still flourishes Prof. De Lamater will move in the Spring to Portland quite an acquisition to the state. Prof. Mussey is in Dr. W. place & all are much pleased with him. The college has lost its Pres't. by a law passed by in Jackson legislature last winter. Pres't. Allen was removed from office--they want to make a political & Unitarian college of it--they talk of removing the Boards this winter &c. I fear they will ruin it--My father has to preside as Pres't. There was a large access of new students this fall & some wild ones I guess for the few last weeks they have been breaking all the Professors windows also the chapel--blowing up the brick temples &c. &c. they have dismissed two--suspended for six months about a dozen more & have not yet done--what boys all foolishness.
Bailey is still in Utica--he and another receive $1,800 per year that is doing well. Mitchell is settled in Cumberland Me. near N. Yarmouth. How is Dover--Somersette & some of those manufacturing for physicians?
We have had a most singular season especially the fall very mild & rain almost daily the whole of season--last Tuesday we had nearly a foot of snow & is now beautiful sleighing--&prospect of snow today & I do hope winter has set in for good. Tilden is good health digesting law--George Moulton sailed last week for N.Z. to find a school--we have this day had an address before the Temperance Soc'y--by Rev. M. Blood our minster, instead of a sermon. I am glad to see this cause prosper so well--we can do something to aid this holy work. I must draw this to a close as we are to have a sleigh-ride with the fair ones this afternoon to settle a Thanksgiving dinner.
I wish I could have a chit-chat with you tete-a-tete if but an hour & revive old times--but it cannot be at present--so mote it be. Have any of our graduates settled near you? You probably know that Prof. Harris McKeen lost his lovely wife last spring of pthisis [sic] a severe blow--alas! poor John McKeen has left the state of single-blessedness--after a courtship of 40 years, he has wedded Miss Fanny Toppan! do not be discouraged--fish enough in the deep ocean!
I presume N.H. is wide awake about politics--I care but little for it--but I do hate to see country crushed & going to destruction by these hands of the office seekers--what shameful times have transpired at Washington-- may Jacksonism go down with the end of the year!1
My friend I trust that you will excuse the looks of this letter--when I write I wish always to write my thoughts just as they flow without any regard to order or exactness of expression. I forgot to mention that my classmate Dodge practiced four months this summer & has now given up his profession & taken the high school of the young ladies in Brunswick & boards and lives with Rev. Mr. Adams--he will keep the school three years as he is studying Divinity with Mr. Adams.--Dr. Lincoln the Unitarian has left them & made a profession of Religion. Last Sunday in B. K. he was formerly the hottest of the Unitarians--Dodge made a profession last Spring. The scarlet fever is raging at B.K. & in most of the Eastern towns--I shall expect a long letter--By the way Aunt Nelly Bailey is as well as usual tho'
she says she has been dying for years.
In haste and with [torn page] esteem,
1 Few politicians were as popular with the electorate in the early 19th century as was Andrew Jackson who won resounding electoral victories in 1828 and 1832. But while the masses referred to him as "Old Hickory," his opponents had another name: "King Andrew." The elite in America found Jackson profoundly dangerous, not just to their own privileged positions in society, but, they argued, to democracy. They accused him of garnering an inordinate amount of power within the office of the presidency as he justified his actions by saying he was a representative of the people. For his opponents, they interpreted his actions as demagoguery and begin to refer to themselves as "Whigs," the name used to refer to English members of Parliament who opposed executive tyranny by the King in both the English and American revolutions. The spirit of Jacksonism. . . is the same that prevailed in France at the worst period of the Revolution, and was then known by the name of JACOBINISM. As it then existed in France, and as it now exists in this country, it may be described as a spirit which aims at the subversion of social order and the regular and wholesome authority of law, for the purpose of concentrating the whole power of the country in the hands of a single ruler. (From "Spirit of Jacksonism," by Alexander H. Everett, from The Conduct of the Administration (Boston, 1832), 74-78.
2 Letter No. W0084 is also signed "The Dr." It is from Brunswick, Maine, dated September 23, 1830.