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[envelope addressed to:]
Miss Margarette B. Lerned, Lodonderry, N.H.

[written at top of letter:] While I was gone milking-- Catherine tipped my bottle of red ink over

W0466 TO MARGARETTE LERNED [MCQUESTEN] from a sister, likely Mary [Lerned] Flanders.
Oct 14 1826 [estimated year]1 Thursday Eve 8 o'clock
To: Margarette Barker Lerned Londonderry, New Hampshire
From: Hopkinton, New Hampshire

My dear sister Margarette,

I have just received some letters from Louisa, was glad to hear of her good health--and success in her school, she has 25 little misses--and has 7 weeks longer to keep. I must now turn my attention to another absent sister--How is your health? I hope you do not think we have forgotten you--no dear--far otherwise--I thought of you everyday--but we have a great deal to do, and my time is pretty much employed. We have another little sister a fortnight old tomorrow morning--Mother is very comfortable--has been down stairs once or twice. The babe is not named, what shall we call it?2 I have mentioned Rebecca and Harriet, Louisas name is "Sarah or Amanda La Fayette" Lucy Ann is a nice little fat girl--she drives all before her, can talk considerable--sleeps with Sally and is nearly as large as Hannah. She is a little, smart, roguish, girl. Hannah is a little still amiable child she has finished her schooling for this fall and is in good health. She sends love and wants to see you very much. Edward is a nice boy--and goes to Mr. Ballard's school with Catharine. He often speaks of you. Catharine sends love she is a smart scholar--she and H. Brooks sleep with me. Edward with Par in the bedroom chamber--Silas and his brother Wells still live here. Mary Norton is nursing Mother, she sends much love. Five milliners have commenced business in Mr. Flanders house they are rather more fashionable than Mrs. Greeley I believe. We all think it best for you to wait till you get home before you get a bonnet, make them do, as it will be but a little while before you again see your paternal mansion. These ladies make Shag and plush hats--they are all the rage for winter and I have no doubt but you will have one. Only make the best of them till you come home.

Li[?] Aurora Wait was buried last Monday--Poor little girl was taken sick Thursday night with throat distemper and died Sunday morning--Dea Farewell and Wife have been very much afflicted, they set every thing by her--but she is now no more!

I arrived home in Londonderry at sunset with Judge Darling and wife and three ministers who took tea at our house--we dined at Rogers in Hooksett last Tuesday.

I went to Pembroke with Mr. and Mrs. Greeley to attend our singing society. It is a pleasant place and we had a pleasant ride. Charlotte Eaton is in Menniker at her Uncle's on a visit. Betsey has finished her school at Mills. Mary Burrier is at home and well she sends love--so does L.A. P, Mr. Hall etc. A. Chase will finish her school in a fortnight. I understand she is going to have an exhibition. Judge Hariss house is painted white. Elisa Carr was married this afternoon. Elisa Pearson and Abigail Shute, last week. Uncle and Aunt Woods have been here once or twice since you went away--she is a very pleasant woman. Margarette, You have another pair of good white stockings at home, if you would like them, we will send them to you.

Sabbath PM 1/4 past 4. Again do I take the pen of sisterly affection to write to one who I tenderly love--and who is far distant Mrs. Laura Chandler has a fine little daughter not yet a day. This afternoon I attend the funeral of Mrs. Walter French, she that was Mary Gage. She died of a consumption. Yesterday I received two letters from Louisa--and the one you wrote her--enclosed in them I was sorry to read in your letter, that I was stupid at Londonderry--To be sure I was not very lively--being among strangers--but I enjoyed myself very much in your society Margarette, you must get your old green bonnet made into a hood--if you think it worth altering--I will send you down this old f[?]d--to wear out evenings--to keep your ears warm and when you return I have no doubt but you will have a handsome bonnet--You know we have a large family to provide for and Pa does not hardly feel able--to get you another bonnet now. I send you a little piece of cambric to mend the strap of this cap And send you a small piece of my [?] Next Saturday, Louisa wrote that she and Mrs. Breck's oldest daughter Margarette, with Captain Hugh McAllaster were coming to Hopkinton to stay til Tuesday if agreeable. I shall write by Tuesdays stage--that we should be pleased to have them--Of course--I shall expect them. I wish you was to be here--Have I got to spend Thanksgiving without you or Louisa. I wish you could both be at home then--but I must submit to the decrees of fate. I hope you will spend it pleasantly and usefully--I think I shall be rather dull at home and alone.

But you must think of home--Judge me by you, the thanksgiving after our dear Mother died. Oh, what a dull day that was--How did we leave the table in tears, while our dear Father sat in silence. The tears ran down his furrowed cheeks in spontaneous flows--Though you and Louisa. I hope are still among the living yet I fear you will be far distant But siren Hope bids me think your hearts will be in your Fathers house. It is nearly dark the wind sounds like February--nobody in the foreroom but Edward and I--he is playing with some pieces of paper on the floor--I sit by a good fire writing to my dear sister--Oh the door opens--here comes little Lucy Ann and Hannah--Charlotte Eaton has not returned from Henaiker yet or she would write to you I have sent to Margarette Hall and Mary Currier for letters--I hope they will send them in the morning.

[Mary (Lerned) Flanders]1

1 We have dated the letter from the context of the letter which indicates that Margarette is away from home and in Londonderry, which is the location of Adams Female Academy, which Margarette attended in 1824 & 1825.

2 Most likely Elizabeth. T. Lerned. However, the birth order of the five youngest Lerned children is not entirely certain, but it seems quite clear that, of these children, Catherine is the eldest and Lucy is younger than Hannah, but Edward's relative age is uncertain. It is quite likely, however, that Edward was born in the summer of 1819 (W0528).

3 The letter was unsigned, but it appears to have been written by Mary (Lerned) Flanders, since all of the other Lerned siblings and half-siblings are explicitly mentioned except Elizabeth who is likely the as-yet unnamed infant mentioned in the first paragraph of this letter.

4 To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.

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The development of this website was directed by Mary Anderson, Ph.D. and Janelle Baldwin, M.A.
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