[Written upside down at top of page:] The Mr. Smith a friend of mine whom you once saw at our house is engaged pro & con to Miss H. a principal of N.H. Seminary--they [?] for a home in [?]--go in about 2 yrs.W0655 TO MARGARETTE B. [LERNED] MCQUESTEN from her friend Anne Elizabeth
Apr 5 1833
To: Margarette B. (Lerned) McQuesten, Brockport, New York, [U.S.A.]
From: Sandbornton, New York, [U.S.A.]
My dear Margarette,
How grateful are the trophies of remembrance from absent friends, & with pleasure I will assure you of the happiness I experienced on the receipt of such from you, it was the first mark of your pen I had seen since you bade adieu to S. It rejoices me dear M. to learn of your & your Husband's comparative bodily health, but still more your spiritual--how incomparably great & exalted are our (more particularly your) religious privileges, and we not make a grateful return for all these? shall not our hearts beat in unison with every note of praise? All nature now seemingly writes in praise to "Nature's God"--how sublime the poetry of such a song! How mellifluent the tones of the redeemed! Such Mrs. McQ. you have an opportunity of hearing--from your letter I learn that in mercy & affliction too, God still remembers man.
The sudden bereavement of your Hostess is truly very affective, her situation very melancholy, but we may hope that she may yet praise Him who is the widow's joy & say "blessed be the name of the Lord," in view of her deep & heart-rending trials often are the [young?] & lovely when unprotected & torn from all their hearts hold dear, made to rejoice in this their affliction & happy, happy would it be for the children of men if all would profit by chastisements. You write a work of grace is going on around you, what cheering intelligence Oh, may it spread far & wide. May it reach even us, who are unworthy such a blessing: judging from observation a great stupidity reigns among the professed followers of Christ in this vicinity--their powers seem palsied & their graces dimmed. Dear M. I'm sure none can be a greater stumbling block than your Anne Elizabeth, pray for me that "I may arise & let my light shine" until the visible church shall awake out of her slumbers we cannot expect aught else but a dearth. Intemperance, that fell destroyer, still stalks abroad at noonday and under the cover of the night, his votaries hold their bacchanals & keep their demoniacal vigils--the widows & the mothers tears, the [aspha?] & the innocents moan still portray the evils of this "sin of night." We have hoped he might be put to flight, yet more, become extinct.
Much encouragement is now presented from your Brother McAllaster's recent decision to abandon the sale of ardent spirit.1 Others in this place possibly may be induced to follow his meritorious example.
You ask if I have a "Missionary or a Revival spirit" of late. My dear sister my interest has been much increased in both these subjects: the conversion of the poor benighted heathen & indeed of all men, in this & foreign lands has I humbly trust been more earnestly implored than in by-gone days. Oh I do hope that I shall never again be suffered to languish as I have done, nor trust so much in the arm of flesh & my own self-righteousness, which is polluted & even every act, not dictated by the desire to glorify our Heavenly Father: Do you not think we are greatly wanting in faith in our addresses at throne of grace? and again do we not sometimes place too much confidence in our prayers which if not immediately answered leave us to despair & doubt? how presume we to distrust the goodness of the immutable Jehovah.
The account of those elevated Young Ladies is highly interesting--all is given up for the love of the Saviour--every sacrifice cheerfully made for the glorious privilege of leading young immortals on the way to Heaven & of rescuing them from the chains of moral slavery & physical degradation--how noble the enterprise in which they have embarked & how great the reward. [I] have often wished their situation mine, but am led to believe a sphere less ennobled though possibly of momentous consequences no less fraught is appointed for me.
A school is at present my object--instructing (if competent to the task, an employment), that would suit my taste--do not know where Providence may see fit to place me, or it may present an opening, however rather uncertain--at any event I wish to be guided aright & humbly resigned to all the allotments of a just & unerring Providence. Should be delighted to visit N.Y. friends--a great desire to see the country but still more unargueable to see you & yours--hope some time not far remote to enjoy the luxury of this anticipated tour & then should a favourable opportunity present for a school, should gladly embrace it. Margarette my dear Sister & friend, where are those moments we whiled [toge?] so happily? have they fled forever? are they swallowed up in the vast "Ocean of Time"? how painful the reply were it not for the hope of spending an Eternity together, where there is no alloy as in human happiness: how desirable when called to pass, that this hope of a happy reunion should render us more submissive & more assiduous in the path of duty: Quicken us oh Lord with thy Holy Spirit.
M. you wish now to know something of our secular affairs. I have led a very retired life the season past, therefore, can give you but a little information about our neighbours. Suffer me to speak firstly of the inmates of my own beloved dwelling, for none love you more ardently than we: family in usual health. Mother much better than for two preceding winters--Sister S.C. is now at [?] home, Miss Hinks Boarding School--attending to French--Geom.--Algeb--& Logic, gets along very well with her studies--under a native teacher in the French--admires her Governess--a superintendent boards in the family--every kindness is shown in sickness & health--somewhat troubled with her humour in the ankles & wrist--[?] very often was better last week, school closes Apr. 10 will then go direct to Boston where Father will meet her unless Miss F. should employ her in her school the ensuing season. A school is even to open here under the instruction of Mrs. Sanborn of [?], five sisters will attend.
My time has been occupied the past winter in assisting my Mother & studying--fear I make but slow progress in intellectual [?] of course have been into your sisters not very often. She & family are still the same to us the same universe. All well. Little children grow prettier every day. Sarah Platt a picture. Caroline I think a sweet girl. Have met the Miss Molonys several times this winter--no interchange of even words between us, on account of a personal insult received from Miss Phebe--at a party too--it even exceeded the insult Mrs. Cross once received at the same place Mrs. H's, which so much incensed Dr. M'c--they're a miserable unworwthy family, much to be pitied, & still more avoided. I have been correctly informed that the children quarrel exceedingly from the eldest to the youngest what a lamentable thing!
C.H. I see occasionally she is blooming & more gay than ever. You know her Lover has bade her a last adieu in the holy triumphs of Christian faith. C. undoubtedly feels her loneliness at times, but you are well aware that persons of her equanimity of temper are seldom so susceptible of grief as those possessing greater variety & more vivacity--am not authorised to say she receives special attention from any one, though there are reports. S.T. is the same. Mrs. A. has a little daughter 5 or 6 weeks old, named for her Husband's first wife, Mahala. Mother & child well I believe great joy among the connection.
Mr. D. Hazeltine moves soon to Hebron village, will go into trade there as his Father & Mother are both dead. We are very loath to have them leave. Mr. McQuesten is now doing business with Mrs. H.'s store, family expecting to occupy the Blanchard house which now undergoing repairs. They will be an acquisition to our society in point of merit as well as number. The young the beautiful & the dearly beloved. Mary Lovejoy is now the wedded wife of your friend Dr. P. & am in daily expectation of a letter from her. She is a valuable ever penitent & still dearer friend.
[Written vertically on left side of page:] Margarette please accept my thanks for your card, it is a treasure.
Mrs. McQ. our family ardently desires your happiness & hope again to meet you on the shores of time. Much love to you & Dr. M. Do write me often as you can--& believe me truly grateful for all such favors. When presenting others at the throne of grace, may your friend be still remembered & that Heaven's choicest Boons may be yours & your devoted is the earnest prayer of your ever affectionate,
[P.S] George D. G. sends love as one of our family. Mr. McAllaster has very kindly offered to take this & hand to Mr. Bartlette. J.F. desires a kiss for Aunt Margarette & the Dr.--yours truly A.[?] [Anne Elizabeth]
[Envelope wrapper:] Mrs. Margarette B.L. McQuesten,
1 The writer is possibly referring to the fact that Hugh McAllaster has given up selling alcohol. His wife Louisa, Margarette's sister, mentions in W0651: "Hugh has done selling rum!" For more information and comments on the McAllaster family, see W0889, and footnote 1 of W0175. To learn more about Margarette Barker Lerned [McQuesten] please see W0609.