W0499 TO MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her sister Mary [Lerned] Flanders
Mrs. Margarette B. McQuesten
Bockport, N. York.
[Carried by] Mr. Stanley
May 7 1834 [estimated year]1 Wednesday evening
To: Margarette Lerned McQuesten Brockport, New York
From: Sandbornton, New Hampshire
Much Loved Sister,
It is so long since we heard from you, I hardly know what to say, But this I know, We all long to see you. When absorbed in thought of you my dear brother and sister I hardly know how to contain myself. In vain I forbid the tears to flow, and mind to think of friends who are far away--Were not verbal conversation denied me, I would not puzzle my brain with epistolary. I should not be so averse to it, could I devote more to it--but as sure as I commence a letter some call or something else interrupts, and withdraws my thoughts from writing, and my letters at best are poorly composed and unconstructed, nothing but the natural feeling of your sister Mary, with hardly the air of a common education--I feel as though I had quite a tax on my mind, to what you have--the core of a family--every thing to please and perplex alternately--My children are (as the old saying is) troublesome comforts--I should feel like a statue without them, they afford me a great deal of happiness and they often weary me with their noise--Each day brings with it new duties--every one I endeavour to fulfill as far as lies within my power--Forgive me for writing thus--it is only a polite apology for not writing as good a letter as my younger sister.
I am now seated in my chamber alone--the rain pattering against the windows--and the noisy croak of the frogs serve to remind me of days of our childhood when you and I slept beneath the same roof and in the same bed. When we rambled through the woods, or skipped o'er the green pastures picking our dippers full of berries--(or poured over our Liber Primus or spelling book)--yes every event rushes into my mind at once and wafts me back to days untold! But still we press "onward onward" down to the end of time. Oh! chang arret, [sic] shall I not see you before many months. Will you not sacrifice a few dollars and a little time to see so many friends! We all have families to leave--you have not (as I know of)--Do write encouraging that your health is good and you intend visiting the East the present summer--I wish you to be very particular in regard to your health--whether you are better, the same, or worse.
How is business, &c. &c.--A thousand questions I should like to ask. How is Mr. Berry's health and prospects? Jacob's &c.?--Charlotte Towne wishes, "that she lies on the floor of a log house, the cracks large enough for the rats to run through--wolves in abundance, has not attended public worship but once." Bontwell could hardly read the letter he was so agitated--when he received it.
I suppose Mother and her children have written all the news. Charlotte has just returned from Boston and given Edward French his answer in the negative, kept him in suspense all winter. It is thought she has a beau in Boston. Mrs. Greely is in Vermont at Wrifford's mothers. Have not heard whether she is married or not. The Episcopal Working society is rechartered. We meet once a week at Mrs. Ballards, have a sociable time, and the little girls have formed a juvenile Society for the aid of Mr. Chase.
Mother begged of me to tell you she had two daughters who are Presidents, Mary and Hannah, though I am a Vice P. We often talk of you at our meetings, as you once held an office. Mary Ann Parker was married a short time since to Doct. Dascomb, and gone to Oberlin Ohio. It was uncertain whether she passed through Brockport, or not.
Hopkinton is quite on the gaining hand both as to looks and improvement in society. There has been quite a round of parties. I had a second one in March when Louisa was over and staid a week, Morse must tell you all the news how he is courting Lydia Stanwood &c. I understand Thomas Wells is smitten with Elizabeth Harvey. Give my love to Mrs. Berry and Urania--called at Deacon Baileys the other day all well. Sophia is going to keep school at the Bridge. Rhoda is going to keep on district school.
My little children often speak of you, I am afraid they will grow out of your knowledge. Martha Jane goes alone, and looks like me, just such a nose with wings to it. She is a cunning little mimick [sic]. I have been into Mothers this evening. She sat in the same old corner she used to with her children all around the stove as happy as old Tilly. She scarcely ever speaks of you without shedding tears. I know she loves you. Brother Sam has been up here again and took dinner. One of his sisters is quite out of health. We have got our place quite spruced up, a handsome front yard, blinds, &c. Mr. Flanders expects to start for Bangor with Mr. Darling in week from Monday to see the country if nothing more. There is a great Eastern fever here now. The same little Hester lives with me yet, I hope she will through the summer. Emeline continues to go to the Academy. She has taken a school in the district by the old Baptist meeting house, and commences next Monday. She will stay in town till next November. She sends love so does everybody.
I will not forget to send a scrap of my silk now. We have not had any new dresses this season yet. What are your fashions, what have you got new? I should like to know a thousand little silly things about you. Hope you will write everything that interests you, however trivial it may seem, still it will be interesting to us. Should be glad to write all night if I was not sleepy, and it is between 10 and 11.
Mr. Kimball the Congregational Minister was installed this afternoon. Mr. Hatch is preaching at Greenfield. His family still here. I think you will be glad to see Morse, don't shake him to pieces. Hugh has given up the idea of going west. Mr. Cram a gentleman of your acquaintance came here very wishfully to see my sister when Louisa was over and thought it was Margarette, perhaps I have told you. Do my dear sister write soon a great deal, and everything, of what you think and do &c. It is very healthy now. As Mother and the rest have written long letters I think I may be excusable if I close this time without filling my sheet. Morse will go out early in the morning and I must get up and carry this letter in, before the stage gets along. With a great deal of love from all of us I close by wishing you a very good night's rest with your dear Hub.
Your affectionate Sister
Mary [Lerned Flanders]
[P.S.] I have scribbled as fast as possible for Martha Jane is impatient for me to retire.
Here are some pieces of two gowns I had last summer. The dark 26 light 81 cts. and the little sprig, Mary Hall's--18 cts pr. yd. Why I am particular about the price is to know how you sell goods whether dearer or cheaper. Is it a good place for traders?
1 The letter is undated for the year; however, May 7th falls on a Wednesday in 1834. Also the context of the letter states that Margarette has "no family." On August 15, 1834, Margarette's son Calvin Jr. was born and lived only ten days. To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.