W0463 TO MARGARETTE B. LERNED [MCQUESTEN] from her mother Catharine Lerned.
Jan 1 1823 [estimated date]1
To: Margarette Barker Lerned, Warner, New Hampshire 2
My dear daughter,
I thank you for making the shirt because it is neatly done, much more so than the one you began at home, shall send your trimming some flags and some threads for bobbins. I am happy in knowing you are contented. Your Father must decide respecting the school I am willing that you should attend if he thinks best3 Edward has gone to bed quite unwell with a cold he says Uncle ought to have brought you home for he loves you dearly I believe Margarette that you will always have his love & I do not know but his very best Catharine is with Mrs. Towne.
I look round now and feel I know not how, but I hope ere long to see you both again and to feel that the separation has been for your real good, remember Margarette that time is precious improve to the best advantage yours but not a day pass without asking yourself this question, have I left nothing undone that I ought to have done, and hour spent in idle conversation or some trifling amusement. If my Daughter you are guided in the improvement of your time by your Uncle Woods I shall have nothing to fear go to him as you would to a Parent he is both able and willing to instruct you not forgetting that you have an heavenly Father who sees and knows everything to his care I commit you and my absent Daughter this night God by you my dear and keep you safe in health until I see you again.
Your loving Mother4
[P.S.] A baker from Westford called here this afternoon I took of him some bread and a large sheet of gingerbread shall send you & the children a cake give my love to them and your Aunt Lydia remember me to Mr. Kelly's Family. Hannah goes often to the stairs and called first Mandelee and then Tateline, she is a dear child and I know you love her write every convenient time that offers I must tell you that Louisa is deeply very deeply engaged in rags she would no doubt like some of your assistance & she has a bran new pair of paste earrings $3 [?] a new calico gown from Mrs. Little's like Carolines and I do not know what new things she will have next unless a Husband or Beau.
Sally sends her love in a great large banging big bushel basket nonsense enough now John comes in he wants to send his great I dont know what but you must guess yes.
Margarette I send you cambrick for a cape I have cut it in a hurry as your Uncle I expect any moment let me see it made in the right manner a plain broad hem and ruffle the collar your Aunt will be good enough to pair and fix it for you.
Miss Margarette B. Lerned, Warner
1 We have dated this letter on the basis of the comment about a school for Margarette--see Footnote 3.
A note at the top of the letter states: Mistake Wednesday [sic]
2 Warner is very near Hopkinton, New Hampshire, the location of the Lerned family home. By the context of the letter it is likely the home of Margarette's Aunt and Uncle Woods.
3 This reference to a school may be the Adams Female Academy in Derry, New Hampshire, which Margarette Lerned attended in 1824 & 1825, see W0548.
4 Mrs. Catharine Lerned is actually Margarette's step-mother. Mary, Louisa, and Margarette were Dr. Ebenezer Lerned's children from his first marriage (Farmer, p.3). In the early family letters, everyone is usually very affectionate toward each other and no distinction is made between siblings and half-siblings. Much later, in the 1870s, a rift in the family became evident when Mary (Lerned) Flanders tried to get her hands on her half-sister Elizabeth (also spelled Elisabeth) Lerned's small estate (see W1058 and others). To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.