[This letter was sent c/o Dr. McQuesten.]W0609 TO MARGARETTE B. [ LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her mother Mrs. Catharine Lerned
Jan 30 1832
To: Margarette B. (Lerned) McQuesten, Sandbornton Bridge,1 New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
From: Hopkinton, New Hampshire, [U.S.A.]
My dear Margarette,
Painful as it is to me, my first letter to you must bear the intelligence of my beloved Sisters [sic] death. An only Sister. Yes! another pang is already added to an afflicted heart. Her sickness was only six days, and the complaint a long fever. I had thought much of her this Winter, but was not prepared for her sudden death. It would have been a great consolation to me, if I could have seen her in the hour of death, that I could have known her reconciliation to God's will. Mr. Stacy brought us the news. We shall hear more particularly when Louisa returns, as she & Joseph are now at Boston making purchases for furnishing a House.
Our West part is talked of for them, and I hope it will be for the best, though by so doing I deprive myself of hardly room for my own family, of sleeping rooms I refer too [sic], but you Margaret shall have a part of my chamber so long as I have one; and it appears now as though your visit to Sandbornton had been quite long enough. We all want you here. I passed an hour or too [sic] last Saturday with Elisa. She has been confined all this dreary Winter to her chamber, but as she is going to write you I need not now particularly.
Margrett [sic] I have been avisiting but twice this Winter. Once at Caroline's with my older children. No one else there but Hamilton. Had meant to go on &c. Hamilton and Catharine's connexion is over for the present, you shall know when I see you. The next day Wednesday we were sent for to Mr. Leach's to meet Mr. & Mrs. Leach from Concord, Mr. Ballard and wife, Minister Change, we were carried and brought, had an elegant entertainment pleasant conversation.
The next day received a letter from Eveline Bryan, informing us of Andrew's return, buoyant in spirits and anxious to see his New Hampshire friends; enquires for your health &c Catharine around it, yesterday. My neighbours are all kind. The Widow and Mrs. Moran have visited me without any ceremony. But my Brother B., I cannot sufficiently thank him. He is all that I could wish, & appears to know my wants, unask'd. Last night at Sunday school, I was informed by May of your recent sickness. I hope your cold will not last as long as mine has. I am still hoarse, & cannot sound a loud note at all. Our Sunday school library has arrived, and we have purchased a map of Palestine for the use of the children. Great pains are now taken for the future usefulness of our dear children. I hope it will be blest to them, and their Parents likewise. Our school has at no period been so interesting as at the present. Every attention is paid by the instruction, and the Pastor.
Now dear Margaret for my domestic concerns. They are much as usual. We sew knit and read. The children cannot attend school, as the Winter has been so very severe. Edward is engaged in Latin, under the care of Mr. Colby. He goes on errand's [sic] takes care of my one cow, brings in wood, and shovels paths. He is very kind to me, and they are all well for the first time this Winter. Elizabeth say's [sic] most about her dear Father. Will often say of an evening when the bells are going past, "that sounds like Father coming home," it seems to me sometimes as though he would come, and had only gone to Concord. It is seldom that I can answer her my heart is so full, even Prince will bark and try to get out. I must tell you that Mr. [ink blot] has our bells which will account for our hearing them so often. Mr. Little drove into the yard yesterday and it really seemed as though our horse knew us. He pranced around, and all seemed to be overjoyed to see him. It was not so with me. Although reconciled I rode to Church with a heavy heart.2 I cannot bear the thought of leaving a few lines for Catharine but s'pose [sic] I must. I shall write Louisa soon. Love to all, your dear Husband in particular.
Catharine S. Lerned
[P.S.] Beloved Sister. As mother has left a small space for me I shall endeavour to fill it according to the best of my ability, but as there is not much room for ceremony must only say jot [sic] that I mentioned your marriage in my letter to A,3 requested him & sister E.C. to make us a visit in the Spring, &c &c, 2nd that I have anxiously look'd for an opportunity to visit you this winter but I have look'd in vain and must defer it till spring. 3rd, that my health is good & lastly, that Jack Frost will have my fingers if I don't leave off this very minute.
I subscribe myself yours in haste,
Mrs. Margarette B. McQuesten
Care of Dr. McQuesten
Sandbornton Bridge, New Hampshire
1 The Internet (Google) shows two spellings for this town: Sandbornton and Sanbornton. The latter is the current spelling. Sandbornton Bridge existed in the 1830's and is now named Tilton; it is very near Sanbornton and North Sanbornton.
"Sandbornton Bridge." December 29, 2003. The Mary Baker Eddy Library for the Betterment of Humanity. Mary Baker Eddy, in 1836, moves to new farm in Sandbornton Bridge (now Tilton). www.marybakereddylibrary.org/
2 Dr. Ebenezer Lerned, husband of Catharine (the writer), likely died in the Fall of 1831.
3 Miss Margarette Barker Lerned was born on June 3, 1809 in Hopkinton, New Hampshire, USA. Margarette (1809-1841) was the third daughter of Ebenezer Lerned, M.D. of Hopkinton, New Hampshire, by his first wife. She was married to Dr. Calvin McQuesten on November 8, 1831 in New Hampshire, USA. Margarette seems to have been of a very sweet and lovable disposition.
She was married to Dr. McQuesten on November 8, 1831, died in Hamilton in July 1841, and is buried in the McQuesten plot in Hamilton Cemetary with her two infant children, Calvin Jr. (August 15-25, 1834) and James Barker (July 10-29, 1841). Margarette died after giving birth to her third son James Barker, although she suffered from ill health all her life. Her second son, Dr. Calvin Brooks McQuesten (1837-1912), survived through infancy unlike his two siblings and went on to become a doctor. See W1652 for more information on the life of Dr. Calvin Brooks.